Posted Jan. 10, 2008 -- She's an "American Gladiator" co-host by night, but during the day Laila Ali's going the path of TV journalism. The former pro boxer is joining CBS's The Early Show as a contributing correspondent starting Friday, Jan. 11.
"I'll be doing pieces that are inspiring. I hope people walk away from what they see feeling good," Ali, 30, told PEOPLE. "It's going to be a lot of fun."
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"She's a great addition to the The Early Show team," says senior executive producer Shelley Ross. "She has been a dedicated educator and author in areas of heath and fitness. She has a spiritual side, while being a fearless competitor."
Fearless, maybe. But don't look to see Ali doing any "Gladiator" moves. "Doing a bunch of different challenges and having TV involved, it's not my type of thing. It's more fun commentating and watching them from the sidelines.
Underwood Checks "Weather"
"Dirty Sexy Money" star Blair Underwood is in final negotiations to join the cast of "Weather Girl," a romantic comedy directed by Blayne Weaver through his Secret Identity Prods, reports EUR.
The story follows a Seattle morning show weathergirl (Tricia O'Kelley) who, after learning her boyfriend (Mark Harmon) has cheated on her, is fired after going ballistic on live TV. Forced to move in with her little brother and to cope with being 35, single and unemployed, she begins an unlikely romance with a younger man -- her brother's best friend (Patrick J. Adams of "Friday Night Lights").
Production on "Weather Girl" is set to begin this month and is expected to complete filming in March.
Look for Underwood to be featured in HBO's upcoming "In Treatment," a mini-series that will air over five consecutive nights at 9:30 beginning Jan. 28.
Short and Fishburne in "Armored"
"This Christmas" star Columbus Short and Laurence Fishburne began production in Los Angeles this week on "Armored," a heist thriller that also includes Matt Dillon, Jean Reno and Fred Ward. Skeet Ulrich just joined the project in the main role of Dobbs, a scruffy guard for an armored truck company who is coerced by his veteran coworkers to steal a truck containing $10 million.