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Rather's Amusing Comedy Central Gig

November 6, 2006 12:00 AM

Former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather, whose colorful Dan-isms attained collectible status over his four decades of covering politics at CBS News, won't be sitting out this midterm election night. He'll sit in during the first half-hour of Comedy Central's hour of election coverage featuring "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart and "The Colbert Report's" Stephen Colbert. Titled "`Indecision 2006': The Midterm Midtacular," the show, which will be live at 11 p.m. on the East Coast and tape-delayed on the West Coast, will be, Comedy Central has promised, "unburdened by objectivity or even accuracy." However, Mr. Rather, who will launch his weekly news hour, "Dan Rather Reports," next week on Mark Cuban's HDNet, is expected to play (mostly) straight man to Mr. Stewart. They hope to discuss election results, which may be in short supply at that hour on a night chock-full of what are expected to be very tight races across the country. Scheduled to phone in during the Colbert-centric second half of "Midtacular" is politically active actor Warren Beatty. Mr. Colbert also is expected to have satellite conversations with Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Rep. Robert Wexler, the Florida Democrat who once let Mr. Colbert talk him into saying on TV that cocaine and prostitutes are fun. -Michele Greppi

Bye-Bye Bob

It's the end of an era: Bob Barker will call it quits in June after 50 years on the tube, 35 of them on CBS's "The Price Is Right." The ever-dapper Mr. Barker, who turns 83 next month, has been an astounding case of momentum for years; How many octogenarians could front a daily half-hour of unscripted TV and make it look effortless year after year? (Jack Valenti, you say? Granted, but who else?) Unfortunately, the inevitable always catches up with us. "I'm just reaching the age where the constant effort to be there and do the show physically is a lot for me," he told the Associated Press last week. "I might be able to do the show another year, but better [to leave] a year too soon than a year too late." -Tom Gilbert

A Real Game Show

In advance of the upcoming release of Activision's battle-centric "Call of Duty 3" video game, the game maker has forayed into TV production with a special episode of Spike TV's "Game Head" titled "Call of Duty 3: Challenge." The show, to be televised Friday, brings the game to life at a secret military base with a real-life military drill sergeant and 16 real-life gamers as his recruits. Each contestant is put through grueling physical and mental challenges as they compete for a grand prize package that includes a trip for two to Normandy, France, the setting of the third edition of "Call of Duty." -Tom Gilbert

Foley Funnies

Venturing into Comedy Central territory, GSN is having some fun with the Mark Foley scandal. Last week the network launched an online game called "Foley's Follies" that shows the former Florida congressman chasing pages through the Capitol as "The Stars and Stripes Forever" plays in the background. During the game, quotes from Rep. Foley's infamously inappropriate instant messages pop up on the screen. This is not GSN's first attempt to capitalize on low moments in current events with a video game: Last month it put up "So You Think You Can Drive Mel," a game in which players steer actor Mel Gibson as he tries to pick up tequila bottles while avoiding state troopers and stars of David-all set to the tune of "Hava Nagilah." -Jon Lafayette