Martin Short eyeing new TV sitcom on NBC

Martin Short could be back in the weekly TV business with his former “Saturday Night Live” boss, Lorne Michaels.

Short says he’s waiting to hear whether NBC will pick up a comedy pilot produced by Michaels as a series next season.

The untitled sitcom stars “SNL” writer John Mulaney and is loosely based on Mulaney’s life. Short plays a quiz show host who uses jokes written by Mulaney’s character. The former “SNL” cast member says Elliott Gould is also in the cast.

NBC and other networks will announce their lineups for 2013-14 season next month.

Thandie Newton wants to empower women

Thandie Newton doesn’t shy away from the idea that she might be a role model.

With a leading television role, she hopes to empower women like the stars who have come before her.

“Empowerment anywhere leads to empowerment everywhere,” said Newton, a racially mixed actress who is of British and Zimbabwean descent. “The world is changing at a pace where it needs to be. That’s how I feel, and I’m proud to be a part of this movement.”

The 40-year-old actress stars in the dramatic series, “Rogue” on DirecTV’s in-house channel Audience Network.

On the 10-episode “Rogue,” Newton plays Grace Travis, an undercover detective who takes on a gangster after her son is killed.

“It’s the most time I’ve had to explore a character. It was a luxury,” she said. “That’s why TV is so great. You get to see deeper than you would if it was an hour and a half, although it felt like we were making a 10-hour movie.”

Newton has starred in movies such as “Crash” and “The Pursuit of Happiness.”

Kris Jenner’s TV talk show set for July debut

The studio behind Kris Jenner’s new daytime talk show says it will launch the program in July.

Twentieth Television said that the show, titled “Kris,” will air for six weeks starting July 15 on selected Fox-owned stations. The limited run for “Kris” is aimed at proving itself for a national niche.

Kris Jenner is the matriarch of the media clan that includes daughters Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian.

Mary-Louise Parker to return to Broadway

Mary-Louise Parker is coming back to Broadway in the world premiere of Sharr White’s “The Snow Geese.”

The Manhattan Theatre Club and MCC Theater said that previews will begin Oct. 1 and the play will open Oct. 24 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Set as World War I rages, the play is “about a family waking up from their own personal Gilded Age as the world around them changes forever,” according to producers.

Vanilla Ice joins Amish for DIY home show

The DIY television network is proving a comfortable home for rappers turned renovators.

“Vanilla Ice Goes Amish” will debut on the network this year. Network executive Burton Jablin says the former rap star will live with an Amish community in Ohio to learn how they do construction. Vanilla Ice already has a renovation series on the network that will return for its fourth season this fall.

Reverend Run of Run DMC will have a series next year starring with his wife and three children as they renovate their home.

Keeping with the music theme, DIY will also feature Daryl Hall next year as he renovates a farmhouse in Connecticut.

Zachary Quinto trusts his instincts for causes

Zachary Quinto might be headed into other worldly places this summer in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” but he says a social issue that’s near and dear to him is taking care of the Earth.

He conserves water and electricity whenever he can. It’s the little things that add up, he said.

Quinto served with Alanis Morissette as Kiehl’s Earth Day ambassadors in the beauty brand’s fifth year working with Recycle Across America. The effort aims to standardize recycling labels and collect empty grooming-product jars, and Quinto designed a limited-edition label for facial cream that is a fundraiser.

“I felt inspired by this organization. It’s trying to make a tangible difference. Sometimes part of the challenge of getting involved in a cause is when it’s abstract,” Quinto said.

TV’s ‘Dexter’ to end with upcoming season

The end is coming for Showtime’s serial killer drama “Dexter.”

The cable channel said that the series’ upcoming eighth season will be its last.

“Dexter” stars Michael C. Hall as a Miami Police Department blood-spatter expert who’s got his own list of murder victims. The drama debuted in 2006 and became Showtime’s first hit series, with a steady performance in the ratings through its run.

The final season begins June 30. It will feature English actress Charlotte Rampling as a neuropsychiatrist specializing in serial killers.

Friars Club to honor Don Rickles for career

The Friars Club is honoring Don Rickles with a lifetime achievement award.

The entertainers’ group said it will celebrate the 86-year-old comedian at its annual awards ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

Bob Costas, Tony Danza, Kathy Griffin, Bob Newhart, Regis Philbin and Joan Rivers are among those set to participate in the honors June 24.

Rickles started his career in the 1950s and has worked with generations of legends, including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball. He still appears on the late-night shows.

Widow of Ex-SEAL contributes to his book

The widow of Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL and best-selling author shot dead in February, has contributed a foreword and afterword to a book her husband had been working on at the time of his death.

William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced that Taya Kyle’s tribute will be included in “American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms.” The book comes out June 4 and was written by Chris Kyle and William Doyle. Chris Kyle’s previous work was the million-selling autobiography “American Sniper.”

Taya Kyle writes that she hopes readers “feel the presence” of her husband while reading the new book, which covers innovations in weaponry from the Revolutionary War to modern times.

Kyle and a friend were killed at a Texas gun range. An Iraq war veteran who they were trying to help deal with PTSD has been charged.

Associated Press