Let the Mafia-obsessed world rejoice, for "The Sopranos" will be providing us with new underworld fun through at least 2002. HBO announced today that David Chase, the show's creator and executive producer, has signed on to helm the popular mobster sensation for another two seasons. For most broadcast network shows, that would mean about 44 new installments. In the rarified air of cable land, that means 26 new episodes.
NAG, NAG, NAG: What do successful creative types do when something they put out tanks miserably? Salvage their brittle egos by blaming someone else. Such is the M.O. of sci-fi titan Chris Carter ("The X-Files," "Millennium"). The producer is still steamed at Fox's decision to drop "Harsh Realm" after a mere three-episode run in October. "We never got the support or promotion we need," Carter tells the new TV Guide. "The show was launched at the wrong time with no thought or energy behind it creatively or financially."
AFTERLIFE: Well, this item ought to brighten Chris Carter's mood: All nine produced episodes of "Harsh Realm," including six that never aired on Fox, will be shown on the net's cable subsidiary, F/X, starting in March.
REPRESENTIN':"Will & Grace," the NBC sitcom about the platonic relationship between two white people -- a gay lawyer and his female interior-designer roommate -- is about to feature more than one color of the rainbow. Actress Shelley Morrison, who played a housekeeper in the sitcom's infamous "hot tamale" episode (and is now married on the show to one of the sitcom's gay characters), will return next season as a regular cast member. We would like to take this opportunity to commend the show's producers for their continual support of un-steoreotypical portrayals of societal minorities such as the rich gay white lawyer and, in this case, the comical Hispanic maid.
BOY-BAND WONDER: Really now, isn't anyone just sick and tired of the fact that MTV (which still stands for Music Television the last we checked) is no longer about music? Apparently not, for the music-video empire is about to move farther away from both music and video by repurposing the fictional boy band TV-movie "2gether," which premiered Feb. 21 to big ratings, into a full-fledged series called (what else?) "2gether: The Series." No word yet on an airdate. But consider yourself warned.
OH, 'GOD':The battle between the (religious) right and the devil continues this week with at least 18 stations now banning the supposedly sacrilegious "God, the Devil and Bob" from primetime in their respective regions. The animated comedy, which debuted March 9, premiered in its regular Tuesday slot last night. Some insiders believe that the show might be on the outs if the almighty numbers don't go up in the next few airings.
May God be with it.