The news that Jerry Seinfeld is going to be doing stand-up comedy on TV for the first time in more than two years is significant for where he's not doing it. The man who spent nine seasons on NBC won't be on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show," he'll be on CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" on Wednesday (10:35 p.m., Ch. 2).
We haven't seen much of Seinfeld on TV since his sitcom wrapped in May 1998. He did do a stand-up special on HBO in August 1998, and his most recent appearance on "Letterman" came in February 2000, when the host returned after heart surgery. Seinfeld interrupted Letterman's opening monologue, exclaiming, "I thought you were dead."
Coming our way
BOOTS MADE FOR WALKING: Considering the content of Fox's last reality series, "Temptation Island," it's a little hard to get excited about the network's next offering — "Boot Camp," which will take 16 "ordinary men and women" and put them under the command of four Marine drill instructors as they compete for big bucks.
If you've seen the promos the network is running for "Boot Camp," you already know that these eight men and women are, of course, your "ordinary" extremely attractive young people. But that's just a coincidence, I'm sure.
FROM WOLF TO BUNNY: Seth Green, who used to play a werewolf on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," has signed to co-star in Fox's forthcoming "Greg the Bunny," which will debut sometime this spring. He'll play opposite the title character — which is a puppet.
SPY VS. SPY: No surprise here — CBS has already announced that it will produce a miniseries based on the case of Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent suspected of spying for the Russians. The good news is that it's being produced by Norman Mailer and Lawrence Schiller, who have done some fine TV work.
MORE 'FIGHTING': NBC's new sitcom "The Fighting Fitzgeralds" is off to a pretty good start in the ratings — good enough that the network has ordered four additional episodes of the midseason replacement series for a total of 10.
BIG PROMOTION: One of the owners of Utah's KUWB-Ch. 30, Jamie Kellner, has just taken a big step up in the TV world. The founder and part owner of the WB network has been named the chief of all of AOL-Time Warner's networks — which include not only the WB but the cable outlets CNN (and its many offshoots), TBS, TNT, TCM, the Cartoon Network and Boomerang.
In addition, Kellner will continue to operate ACME Television, which owns Ch. 30 and a string of other stations.
Kellner, who was also largely responsible for launching the Fox network, is a genuinely nice guy who has a passion for TV — the sort of guy you like to see have so much influence over what comes into our homes.
HE'S BA-A-A-CK: Doug Herzog, whose brief run as the Fox's chief programmer ended in failure after only 14 months, has been hired as president of cable's USA Network. Herzog returns to his cable roots — he was president of Comedy Central before he proved to be out of his league at Fox.
Oddly enough, the guy hiring Herzog is Stephen Chao, president of USA Cable, who was himself fired by Fox a number of years ago after an incident in which he hired a stripper to perform at an affiliates meeting.
MONEY VS. CREDIBILITY: The Fox News Channel has signed Bill O'Reilly of "The O'Reilly Factor" to a six-year contract worth a reported $24 million. The timing is interesting, given that O'Reilly has been documented a liar on not one but two counts in recent weeks.
First, he is not, as he has told viewers, a "registered independent" — National Public Radio's "On the Media" has documented that O'Reilly has voted as a registered Republican in all five elections since 1994. Second, the Washington Post reported that, while O'Reilly has told viewers that the show he used to host — the sleazy, syndicated "Inside Edition" — won "a couple" of prestigious Peabody Awards, it actually won none.
But, hey, he brings viewers (and advertisers) to the Fox News Channel, so who cares if he lies to the audience, right?