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TV Notes: 'Guardian' crew members try to save children in Los Angeles fire

Thursday, February 07, 2002

Associated Press and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Crew members from a TV show about a lawyer who advocates for young people rushed to the aid of three real-life children, throwing water on a house fire that ultimately killed two boys and a girl.

The children -- a 4-year-old girl and boys ages 3 and 5 -- apparently started the fire Tuesday by playing with cigarette lighters in a first-floor bedroom, Los Angeles fire spokesman Bob Collis said.

Three adults suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation.

A crew shooting Pittsburgh-set series "The Guardian" nearby, including security workers and fire inspectors, ran two blocks to the fire and formed a bucket brigade, joining neighbors in a futile attempt to save the children.

"Flames were coming out of the front window," said Vahan Moosekian, co-executive producer of the CBS show. "Our security people, drivers and second assistant director had garden hoses and a bucket brigade and were throwing water inside the house through the window."

Less than an hour after the fire was out, the show's crew members had gathered food, clothing and blankets for the families, Moosekian said. The show's producers brought in crisis counselors to help those who witnessed the fire.

"You see tragedy like that happen so fast," Moosekian said.

"It sobers you up real quick. Fire happens, people lose their lives so quickly, it gives you pause. It was surreal. It's just the way it looks like on TV."

"The Guardian," which debuted last fall, stars Simon Baker as a troubled lawyer and Dabney Coleman as his father. Neither Baker nor Coleman was involved in the scene being filmed near the fire.

(Eugene Tong, Associated Press)

'King' to Nick's Fat City

Viewers called, e-mailed and got generally excited by what they thought was the exterior of Nick's Fat City on the South Side in Monday's episode of the CBS sitcom "The King of Queens."

In the show, series star Kevin James was taking a friend to a bar to pick up women. But "King of Queens" didn't send its characters to Pittsburgh, instead staying in its New York neighborhood.

Most likely an editor just picked random stock footage of a bar from a Hollywood vault and it happened to be the exterior of Nick's Fat City.

(Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor)

Missing some Olympics

MSNBC isn't available to AT&T Broadband cable subscribers in the city of Pittsburgh; however, the company did consider pre-empting another channel to make room for MSNBC Olympics coverage. But after reviewing what will be carried on MSNBC -- much of it replays of Olympic events broadcast on CNBC -- AT&T decided not to make the change.

AT&T spokesman Dan Garfinkel said only two stations could be pre-empted (WGN or EWTN), but it wasn't worth it. "After reviewing what was on MSNBC in the way of coverage, the benefits did not outweigh the inconvenience to customers who view those channels already," he said. "As in all cases, it's a balancing act."

Events covered only on MSNBC include the women's 15-kilometer biathlon and the men's gold medal curling competition.

(R.O.)

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