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Hollywood Exclusive: NCIS, Dancing with the Stars

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT: Look for a major two-part story line ahead on "NCIS," in which "we're going to deal with Cote de Pablo's character, Ziva, and her father, who is the head of Mossad," reports the series' Rocky Carroll. It's so big, it will also tie in with Carroll's other show, "NCIS: Los Angeles."

Playing NCIS Director Leon Vance, the boss on two series, "People have the idea that I practically have to Medevac from one set to the other, but it's not that way. The fact my shooting schedule is not nearly as grueling as others' is what makes it possible for me to go back and forth. I like to say I have the greatest part-time job in television," says the amiable Carroll.

He says he feels lucky indeed, in fact. "I've been in Hollywood 20 years now and I've done five different shows as a series regular for one network. Not a lot of people can say that. There are Emmy- and Academy Award-winning actors who are on the Where Are They Now list who'd give their arm to be working."

Carroll adds philosophically, "When you're a young guy on a hot show and you have the attention of the entire town, you think that's the world. Hollywood is the world's greatest party, but one day, you find out your name's not on the guest list anymore. Mark Harmon has been on the guest list for decades. That's rare."

The well-liked veteran actor feels that career longevity hinges on this: "You're only as good as your reputation. It's a small town, and once you've done a few things, they already know you before (you) go in. If you have a great reputation — you show up on time, you're collaborative, you do the work, you make it an enjoyable experience — that takes you a long way. If you don't, well, I know some of the most talented people in this industry who walk around wondering why they have trouble getting work. It's their reputation. You think the heads of studios and networks don't talk to each other about what someone's like to work with? They do. It's the same in any field."

DANCING: Among the friends and fans cheering for Kyle Massey on "Dancing With the Stars" is fellow Disney Channel name Chelsea Staub. The "Jonas L.A." actress has come to know the former "Cory in the House" star pretty well, seeing each other at a lot of Disney events, supplying the main voices for the channel's "Fish Hooks" animated series, debuting tomorrow (9/24) — and spending a week together in Nicaragua last month.

"We were there for Feed the Children," recounts the beautiful blond 22-year-old. "That actually brought us together on a level I haven't experienced with a lot of people. We saw a lot of poverty, a lot of kids struggling, firsthand. It was eye-opening. I was glad to have Kyle there to talk about it."

Staub says that she and Massey visited a feeding center at a school, then each accompanied a child who was being aided by the organization to show "how Feed the Children helps them. We went to their homes and spent a day, saw what a day is like for them, really immersed ourselves in the whole thing."

Their trek on behalf of the embattled organization (which is working to move beyond controversy involving its fired president and founder, Larry Jones) was documented on camera, but Staub says she's not sure in what form it will be presented.

"We came back a couple of days before the Emmys and it was really surreal — culture shock — to suddenly be in this world of dresses and parties. It was amazing to see Kyle there," notes Staub, whose philanthropic bent previously showed itself in the Haiti fundraiser she put together early this year.

"It's awesome that Kyle's doing 'Dancing With the Stars.' I will definitely be there for at least a couple of live performances," she declares.

On "Fish Hooks," a high school-set comedy but with animated fish, she voices theatrical Bea the goldfish, while Massey voices cool, fun-loving fish Milo.

Staub is awaiting word on the Jonas Brothers' sitcom. "I can't believe we're already coming up to the end of the season. We had a blast filming it, and we're so proud of the final product," she says of the show in which she co-stars with Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas and Nicole Anderson. "Everything about it felt good; it was a great time for us."

So, is it over? "I think that's kind of an open question," she says. "We're in an interesting position because the show was pushed back a year due to the writers strike and the boys touring. So now we're two years in when we expected it to be four. Are we done now? Do we come back next summer? I'm one of those, I would be happy either way. It's such a great show and I've loved every second of it. If they wanted to go, on I'd say yes in a heartbeat."

THE BIG-SCREEN SCENE: You have to hand it to Richard Dreyfuss — he's got both ends of the brow range covered. The actor, who appeared in this summer's bloody, popcorny creature feature "Piranha 3D" is now attached to star in a film that's a modern take on Dostoyevsky's immortal "The Idiot" about an earnest, extremely naive man who thinks he can save the world.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.



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