Dan Rather make news on ABC show

Published May 21, 2007

There were gasps of surprise at ABC's fall schedule announcement last week in New York when Dan Rather popped up as an actor in clips for Dirty Sexy Money, a new drama about a wealthy, misbehaving New York family. The role wasn't a stretch. Rather plays a reporter at a fancy dinner party pressing a politician, portrayed by William Baldwin, about his political plans. The veteran TV newsman initially said no when the show's executive producer and director, Peter Horton, called to ask if he'd be interested. News people occasionally pop up in fictional settings, like CNN's Christiane Amanpour on last week's Gilmore Girls series finale, but it is frowned upon at CBS News - his former home for decades - and Rather had never done it. Then he gave it a second thought. It might be an easy way to remind people that he's still working, with a weekly news show on HD Net. He did some research and found that TV news icons Eric Sevareid, Howard K. Smith and Walter Cronkite had done some film and TV work. "I did say to myself, 'No matter what the others had done, what do you think?' " Rather said. "And I thought, at this age and stage of my career, what the hell." He showed up in a tuxedo one night a few months ago for filming in New York. Nailed his lines in two takes.