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Dean discusses a TV talk show

MONTPELIER -- Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean is talking to television producers about hosting a talk show. Dean met this week with executives from Paramount, which produces talk shows such as "Judge Judy" and "Dr. Phil," according to Walker Waugh, a spokesman for Dean's grass-roots group Democracy for America.

"The governor has been getting offers from plenty of different people since he finished" his run for the presidency, Waugh said yesterday. "He's listening to everybody."

But he said Dean's main focus until the election will be working with Democracy for America to defeat President Bush.

The potential Dean talk show would not involve politics, said Asher Spittler, assistant to Paramount consultant Larry Lyttle. He said he didn't know what the focus would be.

"It's in the early stages," Spittler said.

Lyttle was head of the production company that created "Judge Judy," "Judge Joe Brown," and "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment," Spittler said.

Dean, who pulled out of the presidential race in February, met with television executives during a West Coast swing. The physician and former Vermont governor will speak regularly at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N. H., until the election. He spoke last month on "The Long-term Implications of the 2004 Presidential Election," and will return for two days each in June, July, and August, and again after the election.

Fox plans second `Swan' song

TV and cultural critics will still have "The Swan" to kick around. The Fox network says it will begin searching for candidates for the second season of the show, which in each episode takes two average-looking women, isolates them from the outside world (and mirrors) for 90 days as they undergo extensive cosmetic surgery, fitness and diet training, and "life coaching," then shows them what their new selves look like.

Then the show's team tells one of them "Sorry, you're still not quite good enough" and sends her home, while the "winner" goes on to compete in a beauty pageant with the other winners at the end of the season.

The network is touting "The Swan" as "the most popular makeover series in America," which it has been, thanks to an "American Idol" lead-in for its premiere. (The show has drawn about 10.5 million viewers a week thus far. Since moving to its regular Monday night home, though, it has averaged about a half-million fewer viewers than ABC's "Extreme Makeover.")

"The Swan" will conduct auditions for the show's second season in several cities in the coming weeks, on top of the thousands of applications Fox says it has already received. Further details are at www.swancasting.com.

KNIGHT RIDDER

Sizemore agrees to portray Rose

ESPN has added a high-profile actor to the well-known director already on board for its Pete Rose movie, "Hustle."

Tom Sizemore ("Saving Private Ryan," "Robbery Homicide Division") will play Rose in the movie, which is scheduled to premiere Sept. 25. The sports networkhas been trying to extend its franchise by programming movies and series.

"Tom Sizemore's ability to play gritty, conflicted characters is his hallmark," said ESPN programming and production chief Mark Shapiro. "Only someone with his hefty credentials and proven talents can accurately portray someone as complex as Rose."

"Hustle" will chronicle Rose's life in the mid- and late 1980s, when he was managing the Cincinnati Reds and betting heavily -- behavior that resulted in his banishment from the game in 1989. Peter Bogdanovich, an Oscar nominee for "The Last Picture Show," is directing the movie; Christian Darren is writing it.

Sizemore's other credits include "Black Hawk Down," "Natural Born Killers," and "Heat."

KNIGHT RIDDER

Talk of the dial

10 a.m. WBIX-AM (1060) -- "Stu Taylor on Business." Guests: Greg Palast, author, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy"; Jim Sapp, author, "Starting Your First Business."

Other radio highlights

7 a.m. WGBH-FM (89.7) -- "Classical Weekend." Berlioz's Roman Carnival Overture; Ewald's Brass Quintet No. 2; Faure's "Pelleas et Melisande" suite; Taneyev's String Quartet No. 1; Haydn's Salve Regina in E; Glinka's Five Songs.

8 p.m. WCRB-FM (102.5) -- "Boston Symphony Orchestra Live." Jahja Ling conducts Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23, with Gianluca Cascioli, piano; Mahler's Symphony No. 1.

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