Television in Brief

Latifah

- Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is getting his own sitcom, and he'll have former "30 Rock" actor Jack McBrayer to "poop on" on a regular basis.

Adult Swim, the late-night, adult-oriented arm of the Cartoon Network, said it will air "The Jack and Triumph Show" starting Feb. 20. McBrayer plays a grown-up child star of a "Lassie" type show with Triumph, the puppet created by former Conan O'Brien writer Robert Smigel, as his washed-up canine companion.

Smigel hides behind chairs and other furniture on the sitcom set to "play" Triumph, the Don Rickles-type puppet that first emerged on O'Brien's late-night NBC show in 1997.

PASA - When Queen Latifah was approached 20 years ago to play Bessie Smith, she had to do some research.

"I was Queen Latifah the rapper. I had no idea who Bessie Smith was," the singer-actress told the Television Critics Association recently.

Since then, she's been thoroughly schooled in the life and talent of the legendary blues singer, whom Latifah, 44, finally gets to portray in the HBO film "Bessie."

Her music "may be almost 100 years old, but it has a power a lot of artists could learn from today," Latifah said. Smith herself would be a success if she were a contemporary artist, Latifah said of the singer who died in 1937 at age 43.

"Bessie," whose cast includes Mo'Nique, Michael Kenneth Williams, Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps and Charles S. Dutton, will air this spring. A date was not announced.

NEW YORK - Talk about a way to keep a young sibling in check.

Clare Foley, who plays Ivy Pepper in Fox's Batman prequel "Gotham," says she's got her baby brother convinced that she is the future Batman nemesis - and she's using it to her advantage.

In a recent interview, the 13-year-old actress said she thinks "it's kind of funny" that 4-year-old Declan, the youngest of her four brothers, truly believes that she and the character she plays, the orphan daughter of the man framed for the murders of Bruce Wayne's parents, are one and the same.

Her mom says Declan was so frightened at one point that they had to assure him that his big sister was the "good Ivy."

As for her other brothers, Foley laments that she doesn't get the same respect.

Associated Press