The ShowBuzz Weekly Forecast

Labor Day is only a few weeks away and as the summer ends so do many summer TV series. This week we'll see several season finales on the small screen, and four very different films opening on the big screen. Gin Blossoms, Slayer, Rick Ross and others release new CDs, and Spike Lee's "Inside Man" makes its debut on DVD.


The most highly anticipated film of the week is Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" which opens Aug. 9. Nicolas Cage and Michael Peña star in this true story about two cops trapped in the rubble of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

On a lighter note, Tim Allen, Courteney Cox, Rip Torn and Chevy Chase star in the comedy "Zoom." Allen plays a superhero who comes out of retirement to train a group of apprentice superheroes. The film opens Aug. 9.

Also opening Aug. 9 is "Step Up," which is about a street dancer and a ballet student from opposite sides of the track who team up for her senior showcase. Romance and plenty of dancing ensue. The movie also features R&B sensation Mario and Heavy D.

"Veronica Mars" star Kristen Bell and singer Christina Milian star in "Pulse" opening Aug. 9. It's a high-tech horror movie about teens who discover a Web site run by a deadly and sinister force that takes over their lives. No, it's not about MySpace; it's based on the 2001 Japanese thriller "Kairo."


First it was Ozzy Osbourne in "The Osbournes," then it was former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker in "Meet The Barkers," and now the new rock 'n' roll family reality show is A&E's "Gene Simmons Family Jewels." The series also stars Simmons' wife, former Playmate Shannon Tweed, and their two teenage kids, Nick and Sophie. It premieres Aug. 7 at 10 p.m.

Several summer shows will be airing their season finales this week, beginning with the 90-minute finale of this season's "Last Comic Standing" Aug. 8 on NBC. The season finale of Comedy Central's "Dog Bites Man" is Aug. 9, MTV's "Making Of The Band" finale airs Aug. 10, and "The Simple Life" finale airs Aug. 13 on E!.

The remaining four dancers of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" will dance their hearts out Aug. 10 in the hit show's final performance episode. The winner of $100,000 and a one-year contract with Celine Dion's Las Vegas show will be announced on next week's season finale.

Oxygen premieres the telefilm "Fight Girls" on Aug. 8. The original documentary follows three American women as they train in Muay Thai, a style of boxing from Thailand.

2Matthew Perry stars in the TNT original drama "The Ron Clark Story" premiering Aug. 13. It's the true story of innovative New York City public school teacher Ron Clark, who was named Disney's 2000 Teacher of the Year.


New albums released August 8 include Slayer's "Christ Illusion" which features their original lineup including drummer Dave Lombardo. It's the group's first studio album in six years.

The road to making Ani DiFranco's "Reprieve," also out August 8, wasn't an easy one. DiFranco was forced to leave the preliminary recordings for the album in her New Orleans home when she fled Hurricane Katrina, but she was able to retrieve them when she returned home three days after the levees broke.

Other albums out Aug. 8 are Gin Blossoms' "Major Lodge Victory," Rick Ross' "Port of Miami," a re-mastered version of the 1985 The Doors anthology "Best of the Doors" and soundtrack albums for the films "Step Up," "World Trade Center" and "The Last Kiss."


Several new DVDs of television series are out Aug. 8, including "Prison Break Season One" starring Wentworth Miller, Showtime's critically acclaimed "The Wire — The Complete Third Season" and Will Smith in season four of the show that launched his acting career, "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."

Also out is Spike Lee's "Inside Man" starring Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster, Larry the Cable Guy in "Health Inspector" and the comic book inspired "Ultimate Avengers 2."
By Judy Faber