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TV

Showbuzz

Web posted on: Monday, October 26, 1998 2:13:05 PM

Today's buzz stories:

Chi McBride, star of UPN's "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer"

UPN's controversial 'Desmond Pfeiffer' benched

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer," UPN's political satire set in the Lincoln administration, apparently hasn't benefitted from the controversy surrounding it. The network is benching the show, and will finish off its 13-show order later in the season. As of November 2, a second original episode of "Malcolm & Eddie" will pinch hit in "Pfeiffer's" Monday 9 p.m. time slot.

"Pfeiffer" generated a firestorm of racially tinged controversy for its treatment of the slavery issue, but the publicity did not translate into higher ratings. Last Monday's episode of "Pfeiffer" drew a mere 1.1 national Nielsen household rating and 2 share.

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Christina Applegate as "Jesse"

NBC wants to see more of 'Jesse'

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Solid ratings have propelled the Christina Applegate comedy "Jesse" into the second half of the season. NBC has given a "back-nine" order of nine episodes to the show, which airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.

"Jesse" is the top-rated new series of the season, averaging an 11.8 rating over four airings in the key adults aged 18-49 demographic. However, ratings have fallen since the show scored a 14.2 in the coveted demographic for its premiere. Applegate ("Married ... With Children") plays the title character, a single mom and waitress delicately reentering the dating game with her dashing Chilean neighbor.

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Faith Evans has new love, new music

NEW YORK (CNN) -- R&B singer Faith Evans has a new album and a new love to go along with perspective she gained by becoming hip hop's most famous widow. Evans, wife of Notorious B.I.G. when he was gunned down in 1997, tells Rolling Stone magazine her new album, "Keep the Faith," features a tune dedicated to her new love, a man she didn't identify.

"'Caramel Kisses' is a song about a guy that I'm totally in love with -- his complexion is like caramel," she said. She also says her stormy marriage, aggravated when Smalls promoted the career of his lover, rapper Lil' Kim, over Evans' professional efforts, didn't make her bitter.

"I never felt I shouldn't make him seem like a good person, because he was, regardless of what we went through as a couple," Evans said. "The marriage thing wasn't for him -- and we dealt with it accordingly. But it didn't make me not want to get married. In fact, I'm going to do it again."

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Burnett

Carol Burnett to sing Sondheim

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Carol Burnett has signed on to perform in "Putting It Together," a review stitching together a collection of Stephen Sondheim songs. "Musically, I just love what Steve does," Burnett said. "His songs always have a very deep, philosophical meaning. They seem to always come up with a twist at the end to tell you what it's all about."

Burnett, who recently earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the Broadway comedy "Moon Over Buffalo," won fame as the princess in the 1959 Broadway musical "Once Upon a Mattress." Later, she became America's first lady of TV comedy with her namesake variety show.

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Slater

Slater says troubles came from lack of identity

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Christian Slater says he has finally found himself. Slater, currently starring on Broadway in "Side Men," tells the New York Daily News he has had a difficult time finding his identity while dealing with life in the spotlight.

"I've been in the public eye for the past 20 years, so my life has been slightly more exposed, and dealing with some of that has been difficult, especially when you don't have an identity or foundation of your own," Slater says. The actor, who has starred in movies like "True Romance" and "Pump Up the Volume," has had several run-ins with the law involving drugs and alcohol.

In 1997 he was arrested during a drinking binge for roughing up his girlfriend, kicking a man in the stomach and trying to take an officer's gun during his arrest. He got a 90-day jail sentence and three years of probation. Slater says he's made peace with himself by discovering who he really is. "I think I lacked a certain identity of my own and I spent a lot of time living up to a projected image that people would place on me," Slater said. "I lost myself."

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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