Quick Hits


Earnhardt Jr. Backs New Speed Series

Charlotte, N.C. — Nextel Cup Series star Dale Earnhardt Jr. has reached a deal with Speed Channel for 13 half-hour episodes of Back In the Day, a modern adaptation of the vintage race program Car and Track with Bud Linderman.

The series, created by Earnhardt Jr.’s production company, Hammerhead Entertainment, will debut Feb. 13 at 9: 30 p.m. (ET), during the network’s Daytona Speedweeks coverage.

Earnhardt Jr. will host the updated version, which will revisit NASCAR in its infancy, touching on not only what was going on at the race track, but what was going on in America at the time.

Car and Track, which included racing footage from the 1960s and early 1970s, aired on Speed from 1996-2000.

'Rifleman’ Mounts Up For Encore Westerns

Englewood, Colo.Encore Westerns has added two more notches to its series gun, acquiring the rights to Cimarron Strip and The Rifleman.

Cimarron Strip, starring Stuart Whitman, ran on CBS for one season in 1967; the 23 episodes, spanning 70 minutes apiece, will make their Encore Westerns premiere in July.

Starring Chuck Connor (above), The Rifleman was an ABC staple from 1958-63; its 168 half-hour installments join the multiplex’s lineup in December.

Cable Takes Four 'Golden Globes’

Los Angeles — Cable picked up a quartet of statues during the 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 16, headed by Mary-Louise Parker’s (right) win as best actress in a musical/comedy series for her role as a pot-selling widow in Showtime’s Weeds.

Home Box Office grabbed the other three: S. Epatha Merkerson was honored as the best actress in a miniseries/made-for-TV movie in Lackawanna Blues; plus a pair for Empire Falls (as best miniseries/made-for-TV movie) and Paul Newman (as best supporting actor in the mini).