Science Goes ‘Through the Wormhole’ With Freeman

Also, Verizon bids farewell to “Lost,” DIY makes renovation interactive, Ovation heats up for summer and MTV goes inside the hiring process

The Science Channel explores the mysteries of the universe in new series “Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman,” Morgan Freemanpremiering Wednesday, June 9, at 10 p.m.

"Ever since childhood I’ve had a powerful fascination with the possibilities and wonders of the universe," Freeman said. The show “pursues further knowledge of these great unknowns, providing a unique window into the exceptional minds, pioneering research and important theories of the people searching for answers."

Freeman guides the viewer as “Wormhole” explores how astrobiology, string theory, quantum mechanics and astrophysics are pushing the boundaries of how we understand the universe and our place in it.

Episode titles include “Is Time Travel Possible?” and “How Did We Get Here?”

The show is produced by Revelations Entertainment and the Incubator. Freeman and Lori McCreary are executive producers for Revelations; Simon Andreae and James Younger have that role for the Incubator.

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ABC is teaming up with Verizon to help fans say goodbye to “Lost,” the cult-favorite series that comes to an end on May 23.

Verizon customers can watch the penultimate episode of “Lost” on Tuesday, May 18, to get a special short code to text in their farewell messages.

Texts must be received within 30 minutes after the code is seen on ABC.

Selected farewell messages then will be used on air during the retrospective special “Lost: The Final Journey,” which airs from 7-9 p.m. on May 23. That precedes the finale, which airs from 9-11:30 p.m.

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CBS’ “The Late Show With David Letterman” puts the focus on close-up magic for the week of May 17-21, featuring performances by some of the world’s best sleight-of-hand magicians.

On May 17, frequent “Late Show” guest Jason Randal performs. On May 18, it’s John Carney, seven-time winner of the Magic Castle’s Magician of the Year award. Johnny “Ace” Palmer, the first close-up magician to be named World Champion Magician by the International Federation of Magic Societies, is up May 19. Steve Cohen, known as the Millionaires’ Magician for his regular shows at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, takes the stage May 20.

Desmond Tutu Craig 
FergusonAnd rounding out the week is Michael Ammar, gold medalist at the World Sleight-of-Hand Competition.

During the same week, in honor of the 2010 Peabody Awards, CBS’ “The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson” will repeat its award-winning interview with Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to air Monday, May 17.

During the Peabody Award luncheon in New York City, also on May 17, Ferguson’s show will be presented with the Excellence in Broadcasting award.

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The Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony and TV chef Paula Deen are among the “celebrities and experts” who will judge this year’s Miss USA pageant, the 59th annual, airing live on NBC May 16 from 7-9 p.m. from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

NBC, Donald J. Trump and Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, announced other judges on Tuesday. They include Oscar Nunez of NBC’s “The Office”; Phil Ruffin, “American businessman and real estate mogul”; Suze Yalof-Schwartz of Glamour magazine; Melania Trump, model and Trump’s wife; and figure skater Johnny Weir.

Previously announced hosts are Curtis Stone, the chef who’s a current contestant on NBC’s (Trump-hosted) “The Celebrity Apprentice,” and Natalie Morales, NBC’s “Today” show co-host and correspondent, who also appears on NBC’s “The Marriage Ref.”

And as if that’s not enough stars in one place, Joan and Melissa Rivers will be backstage giving viewers a sneak-peek at the chaos behind-the-scenes.

Country music artist Trace Adkins will debut his latest single, “This Ain’t No Love Song,” during the evening gown portion of the competition, and Boys Like Girls will perform their new song, “Heart Heart Heartbreak,” during the swimsuit competition.

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DIY Network, which brought viewers TV’s first interactive home-building series in “Blog Cabin,” launches the first interactive home renovation series, “Run My Renovation,” on Thursday, Aug. 19, at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Carpenter Joannie Dodds and licensed contractor John DeSilvia ask homeowners to turn their renovations over to users to vote online on design decisions. The homeowners are at the mercy of the armchair contractors voting from home.

“’Run My Renovation’ offers homeowners an intriguing proposition: DIY Network will provide the makeover if you’ll allow the American public to make all the design decisions through online voting,” Kathleen Finch, DIY Network’s general manager, said in a statement. “Turning over the design of your home to strangers sitting in front of computers makes ‘Run My Renovation’ unlike any other home makeover series on television, and it exemplifies our strategy to grow both our television audience and web users through unique dual platform entry-points.”

The network has ordered 13 episodes of the show.

DeSilvia also hosts “Blog Cabin,” which returns Aug. 19 at 10 p.m., leading into “Run My Renovation.”

Premiering Thursday, July 29, at 8 p.m. is primetime magazine series “This New House,” which brings together DIY Network and “This Old House.”

And a new competition series in the vein of “Iron Chef,” called “DIY Dominator,” premieres Friday, July 30, at 10 p.m. ET. Host Chris Grundy oversees head-to-head construction and home improvement competitions in categories including welding, carpentry and landscaping. The winner of the DIY Dominator title also gets a $10,000 cash prize.

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MTV looks into the increasingly difficult process of finding a job with the docu-series “MTV Hired,” premiering Monday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m. Airing weekdays, the show takes an inside look at the lives of young people attempting to secure the job of their dreams, from the interview process to the call back from a potential employer.

In each episode, viewers will meet the employers looking to hire, get to know the job applicants, sit in on the interviews and get a front-row seat when one lucky person lands the job of their dreams.

Companies participating in the show include TV production shingle Reveille, American Rebel PR, New York bridal salon Bridal Reflections, Santa Monica shoe/handbag brand Blowfish, Gen Art (which recently canceled its festival due to lack of funds), Malibu Family Wines, Models International, Prive Salon Los Angeles and Steve Madden.

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Cable channel Ovation, dedicated to art and contemporary culture, plans a summer of programming scheduled in themed 10-day, two-week and monthlong events.

Beginning Sunday, June 6, Ovation’s “Music of the Night,” its tribute to Broadway, offers two weeks of film and stage productions of Broadway classics including “Cats,” “South Pacific” and “Once Upon a Mattress.”

“Art Out Loud,” a new Ovation strand, launches Sunday, June 20. Looking at the influence of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) culture on film, literature, performance art and television, this 10-day event will kick off with the original U.K. series “Queer as Folk” starring Aiden Gillen and Charlie Hunnam. Films airing include “Velvet Goldmine,” “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Tipping the Velvet” and “Brokeback Mountain.”

For the entire month of July, Ovation brings back “American Revolutionaries: The Directors,” its annual tribute to American artists who have influenced the way we think about a particular art form. This year, the focus is on pivotal film directors, including Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, David Lynch, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Mel Brooks, John Cassavetes, Sofia Coppola, Hal Ashby, John Waters, Bob Fosse, Peter Bogdanovich and Julie Taymor.

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ABC soap opera “One Life to Live” has been bitten by the musical bug. Starting May 14, a three-day musical event called “Starr X’d Lovers: The Musical” launches as the follow-up to 2007’s “Prom Night: The Musical.”

Using both original music and songs such as “I Gotta Feeling” and “Our Lips Are Sealed,” performed in elaborate production numbers, “The Musical” centers on Starr and Cole and their Romeo-and-Juliet-like love affair, which is threatened by the constant discord between their families.

The original songs from “Starr X’d Lovers: The Musical” are available now on iTunes.

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Outdoor Channel said Tuesday that the network will become 100 percent native high definition on June 28.

Outdoor Channel HD is currently in more than 4 million homes. Approximately 75 distributors carry the network’s HD service. Outdoor Channel HD has already entered 98 U.S. broadcast markets in 2010, including 18 out of the top 25 markets.

"As a multiplatform provider, our mission is to deliver the highest quality content and viewing experience to outdoor enthusiasts no matter what the delivery channel – linear, HD or web," Tom Hornish, Outdoor Channel’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. "In January, we promised viewers that Outdoor Channel would move toward broadcasting in 100 percent HD by July. Today, we are proud to announce that we are delivering on this commitment."

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Epix named Tim Boell as group vice president and lead of its sales group, and Andy Hunter as chief marketing officer.

Boell most recently was senior VP of sales and affiliate marketing at Sundance Channel and previously worked at Showtime Networks. Hunter was senior VP of business development at Epix and spent more than 10 years at MTV Networks.

The multiplatform premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand and online service also announced its sales and marketing team, including Lara Salamano, VP; Mike Gnojewski and Ally Cantor, directors; Shane Bookmiller and Andy Rogers, managers; Matt DePersis and Sarah Ray, coordinators; and Nicole Valencia, assistant.