“Everybody Hates Chris,” “Aliens in America” do D.C.

EhccaucuscropEverybody Hates Chris'” mom and dad, Terry Crews and Tichina Arnold (pictured left), were in D.C. on Friday for a screening of the series third-season opener held as part of the Congressional Black Caucus’ 37th annual Legislative Conference, held this past weekend.

CW and “Chris” producer CBS Paramount Network TV hosted a screening and reception for caucus members and other salons and Beltway players at the Grand Hyatt hotel. Crews and Arnold intro’d the seg, “Everybody Hates the Guidance Counselor,” which featured Chris Rock in his first on-screen guest shot on his namesake show. Also on hand for the event was “Chris” co-creator/exec producer Ali Leroi.

I was sorry to see that “Chris” didn’t do much business for CW in its preem on Monday. It was a funny episode, with Rock playing the guidance counselor, but only 2.6 million viewers showed up for the 8 p.m. premiere.

Following “Chris” was the bow of “Aliens in America,” which was also given the D.C. think-tank treatment on Monday by CBS Paramount Network TV. Studio prexy David Stapf and others flew in for a panel at the Brookings Institute on the show and its theme of cross-cultural education and understanding among Westerners and Muslims. Brookings Institute isn’t the type of org to suck up to Hollywood, but “Aliens” caught the eggheads’ attention with its premise about a typically kooky American family inviting a Muslim exchange student into their world. I enjoyed the pilot of “Aliens” and was also sorry to see that it barely opened for CW, drawing 2.3 million people. Oh well. One night does not a season make, right?

One of the people who took part in the “Aliens in America” confab was Pakistani musican Salman Ahmad, who teamed with P.J. Olsson to record the theme song to “Aliens,” a new spin on the Nick Lowe song “(What’s So Funny) About Peace, Love and Understanding.” Sez Ahmad: “I believe in programs like ‘Aliens In America’ because music, film and television play a huge part in humanizing culture.”

Click here to for a vid of the Olsson-Ahmad collaboration, set for release Oct. 16 on Olsson’s CBS Records disc, “American Scream.”

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