Tag Archives: CBS

More news, more gossip, more stars, and more award show dates than you ever wanted to know

OUR TOWN: Music master Paul Hoffert and sidekick Bruce Cassidy host a jazz salon this Sunday afternoon at Musideum on Richmond Street west …

LIGHTSTONE: new showecase

30 Rock scene-stealer Tracy Morgan brings his special brand of funny to the Sony Centre tonight … Marilyn Lightstone premieres her latest art showcase, New Directions, on April 12 at Latitude 44 … more than 60 chefs will gather at the Royal Ontario Museum on June 3 to showcase their finest creations in support of Second Harvest. Tickets are $250 with a tax receipt issued for $125. You may think that sounds a bit pricey, but be warned: Tickets to last year’s Toronto Taste sold out in record time. To purchase yours, click here …  and Natalie Cole is set for this year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival with a June 25 concert at the Sony Centre.

PENMANSHIP: Additional marquee bait set for the third annual Toronto Screenwriters Conference at the Ted Rogers School Of Management next weekend (March 31-April 1) include ex-Toronto types Graham Yost (Speed,

CLOONEY: Sunshine boy

Justified) and Robin Gurney (Arrested Development, Parenthood) and Skype participants Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady) and Michael Hirst (The Tudors.) Closing speaker at this year’s creative clambake will be Lee Aronsohn (Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory.) Sounds like a pretty lively weekend … say what you will about the politics of the Toronto Sun, the headline writers at the Little Paper That Grew are still the best (and consistently most irreverent) in the country. The Sun’s front page pic of George Clooney in handcuffs last Saturday was captioned You Have The Right To Remain Handsome. Now that’s funny … by the way, Sun co-founder and columnist Peter Worthington, still typing up a storm, is now 85 (!!!) And Worthington’s latest boss, Quebecor emperor Pierre Karl Péladeau, recently announced new annual Sun Media awards for his newspapers outside of Quebec. Will there be a prize for CBC-slagging? Just askin’ … and here’s one for your calendars: The 9th annual gala fundraiser for Pierre Berton’s writers’ retreat in the Klondike will celebrate the Canuck victory of 1812 with a festive June 5 bash at old Fort York. Berton House clambakes are always a blast, and this one should be no exception … and speaking of good writing, the justifiably-lauded screen version of Mordecai Richler’s Barney’s Version premieres Sunday night on CBC, and the much-anticipated fifth season of Mad Men kicks off Sunday on AMC. That is, if you can tear yourself away from Canada’s Got Talent on Citytv. And the beat goes on.

CALENDAR JOTTINGS:  Next big award show on our horizon is the 2012 Tony Awards. Nominees will be announced May 1
live on TonyAwards.com and CBS will host the three-hour 66thAnnual Tony Awards telecast on Sunday

GERVAIS: will he be back?

June 10 …  the 27th Annual Gemini Awards’ Industry Galas are set for Tuesday August 28 and Wednesday August 29. CBC will host the Broadcast Gala on Wednesday September 5, the night before the 37th annual Toronto International Film Festival begins its time-honoured 10-day movie marathon on Thursday September 6 … 2012 Emmy nominees will be announced July 29, with ABC hosting the 64th annual PrimeTime Emmy Awards on Sunday September 23 … and before you know it we do it all over again in 2013, starting with the 70th annual Golden Globes, with or without Ricky Gervais, on Sunday January 20 on NBC, the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday January 27, the Directors Guild Awards on Tuesday February 5, and the 85th annual Academy Awards, with or without Billy Crystal, on Sunday February 24 on ABC.

STREISAND: Queen of Columbia

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Soprano-turned-director Catherine Malfitano and world-renowned conductor Sir Andrew Davis are joining forces for the Canadian premiere of Alexander Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy and the return of Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, an extravagant double-bill opening April 26 for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre. Since both one-act operas are set in Florence, expect some eye-catching cityscapes from set designer Wilson Chin, costume designer Terese Wadden and lighting designer David Martin Jacques… first headliners announced for the 46th edition of the

FEORE: hosting

Montreux Jazz Festival are Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds, who are now set for a July 4 gig at Auditorium Stravinski. Gallagher says he and his band will perform songs from their first CD as well as some favourites from his previous band, Oasis … when they were the fast-drivin’, rubber-burnin’ Dukes Of Hazzard, who knew they could sing? But three decades later John Schneider and Tom Wopat are still warbling and obviously not superstitious. They’re set to play Fallsview Casino showroom on Thursday April 12 and – wait for it — Friday April 13 … in celebration of the company’s 60th anniversary season, The National Ballet of

GALLAGHER: High-Flying gig

Canada Orchestra will make their concert debut at Koerner Hall on Tuesday April 3. Colm Feore will host the event, and the Orchestra will perform select works that highlight each decade in the company’s 60-year history … and how many of us made deals that last for half a century? Barbra Streisand is celebrating her upcoming 50th year with Columbia Records – her one and only label – by signing a new contract with the Sony-owned label. Only Tony Bennett has been on the label longer. Columbia will celebrate her signing by releasing a 12-set DVD which promises unprecedented access into Streisand’s professional and personal life, including never before seen footage directly from her archives. Streisand’s most recent Grammy nominated album, What Matters Most, was her 31st to reach the Top Ten.

AND NOW, THE WEEKEND WEATHER FORECAST:

Happy weekend.

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Strombo gets YGL status, the Giller gets a new home, and Jesus steps up to the plate on Broadway

OUR TOWN: No wonder the upcoming April 10-22 TIFF Kids International Film Festival is already causing such a buzz. Guests set to participate in the new Roundtable Sessions designed to help delegates connect with each other include

DUNSMORE: directing at Factory

Patricia Ellingson (Creative Head of Children’s Programming, TVO); Alan Gregg (Director of Original Content, Teletoon); Jocelyn Hamilton (VP, Original Programming, Kids, Comedy & Drama Corus Entertainment); Kim Wilson (Creative Head of Children’s and Youth Programming, CBC); Daniel Bryan Franklin & Charles Johnston (Creators, Detentionaire); Simon Racioppa (Creator, Spliced!); Brad Ferguson (Director, Almost Naked Animals); Kevin Micallef (Director, Detentionaire); and many more …. when she’s not on stage herself, she’s in the

PORTER: jury duty

wings. Yes. that would be the Rosemary Dunsmore directing the Anosh Irani comedy My Granny The Goldfish, opening tonight at Factory Theatre …  and it’s official – the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner will be named on Tuesday October 30 at a gala black-tie dinner, not at the Giller’s traditional home at the Four Seasons hotel but at the still-newish Ritz-Carlton on Wellington Street. This year’s jury members are Dublin-based Roddy Doyle, Toronto-based Anna Porter and New York-based Gary Shteyngart.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Irrepressible barfly Buddy Cole (aka irrepressible Kid In The Hall Scott Thompson) sashays back to Maggie

FILLION: Castle builder

Cassella’s Flying Beaver Pubaret this evening for a three-night stand … Gifted Man co-star Rhys Coiro has joined the CBS mystery pilot Applebaum …  Bridesmaids alum Wendi McLendon-Covey is set to co-star in ABC‘s comedy pilot Only Fools and Horses …  Castle star Nathan Fillion is set to play Hermes in the Percy Jackson sequel … ER alumnus Anthony Edwards has signed on as the lead in ABC’s drama pilot Zero Hour, not to be confused with Jim Brochu‘s one-man show about Zero Mostel. In this Zero Hour Edwards plays a character who stumbles into an enormous conspiracy when his wife is kidnapped … and just call him YGL.

STROMBO: B.C.-bound

Yes, your boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos was recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, joining a select group of outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments and commitment to society. Meanwhile, Strombo is off to the west coast next month to tape a series of episodes at CBC Vancouver from Tuesday, April 3 to Thursday, April 5, and yes, some tickets are still available. For more information on how to score ’em, click here.

ON THE GREAT WHITE WAY: He’s opening on Broadway tonight in the title role, but Paul Nolan (aka Jesus Christ Superstar) confesses he still has baseball on his mind. After his show opens, he wants to play in the Broadway

NOLAN: new Broadway baby

league. “It will not be a successful year unless I’m doing that,” he told Broadway.com. Nolan says Jesus Christ Superstar at Stratford “was one of the first times in my career that I didn’t have to audition, so that was great.” Director Des McAnuff hand-picked him to play the lead, and after he saw Nolan in the show, Superstar composer Andrew Lloyd Webber gave him a hug — “but he looked kind of shocked. I didn’t know whether that was good or bad. But obviously it was good!” Obviously. Here’s hoping he hits it out of the park tonight. Meanwhile, Superstar lyricist and triple Tony Award owner Tim Rice will receive a well-earned Special Award at the upcoming 2012 Olivier Awards in London as a “celebration of his outstanding contribution to musical theatre.”

ECONOMICS 101, or, What I Learned On The Internet Today:  It’s a slow day in the small town of Pumphandle and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit.  A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at the motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night.  As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the $100  bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. (Stay with this. And pay attention)  The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op.  The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her “services” on credit.  The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel Owner.  (Almost done. Keep reading) The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveller will not suspect anything.  At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves.

No one produced anything.  No one earned anything.  However, the whole town now thinks that they are out of debt and there is a false atmosphere of optimism and glee. And that, dear reader, is how a “stimulus package” works!

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Tracie brings Judy back to Broadway, Kal takes a flyer on a pilot, and Mother D gets her nun on

CASTING ABOUT: Brit sensation Tracie Bennett brings her Olivier award-winning talents to Broadway on  March 19 when she opens at the Belasco with her controversial portrayal of Judy Garland in the  West End musical

BENNETT: as Garland

hit End Of The Rainbow … popular German TV presenter Barbara Schöneberger will host the Rose d’Or Awards Ceremony on May 10 in Lucerne … Kristin Kreuk has been set as the lead in the CW pilot Beauty and the Beast, a remake of the CBS series from the late ‘8Os … and Harold and Kumar star and House alumnus Kal Penn is set to star in the ABC comedy pilot Prairie Dogs.

MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE ATLANTIC OCEAN:  This year’s Floating Film Festival sailors started their day yesterday with a fluffy croissant of a movie — Darling Companion, from Big Chill filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan.  Ostensibly about a lost dog, it’s really a gentle look at the different stages of male-female relationships and the emotional baggage we carry with us from childhood. And what a cast — Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline –Rex Reed, who introduced the film, pointed out that this is Kevin Kline’s sixth outing with Kasdan — Dianne Weist and Richard Jenkins, Elizabeth Moss from Mad Men,  screen enigma Sam Shepard and more.

KEATON & FRIEND: going to the dogs

Thanks to Rex, our afternoon screening was a bit of a mind-bender.  Remember Dolores Hart, the actress who co-starred with Paula Prentiss, Yvette Mimieux and Connie Francis in Where The Boys Are? Some 47 years ago the fair Ms Hart left showbiz  to take holy orders. She’s now Mother Dolores at a cloistered convent in Bethlehem, Connecticut, and is the subject of the Oscar-nominated short God Is The Bigger Elvis. Knowing that Mother D’s chum Paula Prentiss would be on board with husband Richard Benjamin, Rex brought a copy of the film for all of us to see. Fascinating to hear Mother Dolores — now the Prioress of the Regina Laudus Abbey — reflect on her Hollywood screen life with Anthony Quinn, Montgomery Clift and, yes, Elvis himself. Even more fascinating was meeting the beau she left behind — Edith Head had already designed her wedding dress — and seeing his relationship with her today.

HARRELSON: all too convincing

The 26-minute short film was a stark contrast to the Woody Harrelson shocker Rampart, a somewhat relentless saga of a corrupt cop that proved to be a tough slog for many of us. Harrelson is all too convincing as the flawed protagonist, and he gets great back-up by a dazzling cast of supporting players, including Ned Beatty, Steve Buscemi, Ice Cube, Anne Heche, Audra Macdonald, Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver and Robin Wright, each of whom make the most of their material. Not exactly a good time at the movies, but undeniably strong filmiest fare.

ROSENTHAL: Raymomd by any other name

Rounding out our celluloid hat trick last night was a film about television by someone who definitely knows what he’s talking about. Exporting Raymond is a genuinely funny and unexpectedly revealing ‘In’-sight into the world of television.  The documentary follows Phil Rosenthal, creator of the hit TV series Everybody Loves Raymond, as he attempts to translate Raymond into a Russian sitcom. In a classic “fish out of water” scenario, show-runner Rosenthal travels to a distant land to help people who don’t want his help. What soon becomes amusingly apparent is that it is show creator Rosenthal, not Ray Romano, who is the real-life Raymond, with eccentric parents who are almost as camera-friendly as Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle. Watching him try to interact with understandably  suspicious Moscow TV types quickly becomes a guilty pleasure — which I suspect is exactly what Exporting Raymond star and producer Rosenthal had in mind. His sitcom was a monster hit and great fun, but his doc is not only entertaining, it’s also painlessly educational. Who’da thunkit?

Julie’s on stage, Dan’s discussing Ghosts and Meryl’s off to Rome for yet another film feast

OUR TOWN: Currently on screen as Graham Abbey’s ex in the crackerjack CBC thriller The Border, Julie Stewart has made some interesting choices since

STEWART: on stage

STEWART: on stage tonight

her CTV Cold Squad series was detoured by CBS. She’s currently on stage here at the Factory Theatre starring in Brad Fraser’s rave-winning new comedy True Love Lies. Be warned: Fraser’s new eyebrow-raiser closes in two weeks, so order those tickets now … writer-actor-vintner Dan Aykroyd and his pop Peter Aykroyd, a father-and-son duo to celebrate, sit down with Indigo chief Heather Reissman tonight at 7 pm at the Manulife store to discuss Aykroyd Sr.’s new book, A History Of Ghosts. Sounds like a sensational gift for Hallo’een … and director Ruba Nadda told audiences at the opening of Cairo Time here

AYKROYD: at Indigo tonight

AYKROYD: at Indigo tonight

last weekend that shooting the romantic drama in Egypt was a logistical nightmare, made even more excruciating by the extreme heat. “Much of the time when we were shooting,” she recalled with a grimace, “it was 50C.”  However, she added, while the rest of the cast sweltered under a relentless sun, the film’s star Patricia Clarkson continued to remain calm, collected and, well, almost cool. “Patricia is a southerner, born in New Orleans,” Ms Nadda explained admiringly. “The woman doesn’t perspire!”

PRIVACY POLICY: During her visit to T.O. last week Meryl Streep said she has always strived to keep her private life private. “I just have never been

CLARKSON: no sweat

CLARKSON: no sweat

comfortable using my children as little props to make me interesting or darling or whatever I’m supposed to be,” she told interviewer Johanna Schneller. Streep, who is married to sculptor Don Gummer, said she’s unhappy when journalists ask her to talk about him. “Don doesn’t want me to talk about him in a ladies magazine, you know. He’s a serious artist who has a life that doesn’t deserve to be reduced to a caption.”

La Streep is en route to Rome where she will be awarded the Marcus Aurelius award for lifetime achievement at the fourth annual Rome Film Festival. She’ll

STREEP: off to Rome

STREEP: off to Rome

participate in an onstage conversation about her career spanning back to her very first film, 1977’s JuliaJane Fonda was already cast as Lillian Hellman when legendary director Fred Zinneman flew Streep to London to test for the title role. When he gave it to Vanessa Redgrave instead, he asked Streep if she would be willing to play one of the smaller roles. “And of course I would have been willing to do their laundry!” And the rest, as they say, is history.  Previous recipients of the Marcus Aurelius award include Al Pacino and Sean Connery, and Czech director Milos Forman is president of the six-member jury. The festival, also known as the Rome Film Feast, opens tonight.

IT’S NOT ALL THAT FUNNY TO HIM: Monty Python alumnus-cum-laude John Cleese, back on the boards in a blatantly autobiographical one-man show,

CLEESE: on tour

CLEESE: on tour

calls his new theatrical venture his “How to Finance Your Divorce Tour.” He says he needs money because of the expensive divorce settlement with Alyce Eichelberger – but is he bitter? Well, okay, maybe a little. “I’m paying $20 million to a woman I believe is the love child of Bernie Madoff and Heather Mills!” snorts the 70-year-old funnyman. “Imagine how much I would have had to pay if Alyce had contributed anything to the relationship – such as children or a conversation!”

Ouch!

TOMORROW:

Roseanne’s TV sibling returns to the Great White Way.

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On a personal note: Remembering Michael and Farrah, with a little help from Liza, Larry and Liz

I met him only once, and you could hardly call it ‘meeting.’

LIZA & MICHAEL: friends

LIZA & MICHAEL: friends

We met at the Academy Awards, at the Governors Ball, the big ballroom party immediately following the telecast at which the Academy celebrates the winners and the runners-up. I was sitting on the mezzanine having dinner with my friend Shirley Eder, the Detroit-based show business columnist, her husband Edward Slotkin, and our mutual friend Ginger Rogers. A number of studio executives had stopped by our table to ask me if I would introduce them to “Miss Rogers,” which of course I did. They regarded her as an icon, which of course she was. But since she didn’t regard herself as one, she was always willing to flash that dazzling smile and say hello to perfect and occasionally imperfect strangers, when they approached her. It was the third executive, a senior exec at Columbia Pictures, thriller-michael-jacksonwho asked me if I’d seen “your friend Liza Minnelli. She’s just sitting over there,” he whispered, trying to not to point —  “with Michael,” he added almost conspiratorially.

I looked up and saw Liza. She was sitting next to a well-respected young agent, a hotshot named Michael Black. I wondered why the studio exec had whispered his name. Was Michael Black involved in some scandal so new that I hadn’t heard of it yet? I could see that there were a lot of people gathered around their table, and not just the usual table-hoppers. Women in glamorous farrah_fawcettevening gowns, studio wives mainly, were pulling little instant cameras out of their Christian Dior evening bags and taking snapshots, their little flashbulbs popping. Very odd behaviour, especially at this very A-list event.

Or so it seemed to me, until I got closer to the table. There he was, in the flesh, much bigger and much taller in person, dressed – well, costumed, really — in one of those prince uniforms that looked like they just came out of a Sigmund Romberg operetta. He had his own security team with him, flanking him on both sides, with two more standing behind him. If he was going for incognito, he’d clearly misunderstood the word. I said hello to Liza and Michael Black; I forget who else was at the table. When I said hello to

FARRAH: refreshingly sweet

FARRAH: refreshingly sweet

Michael Jackson, his security goons bristled, but he just looked up shyly, smiled and looked down at his empty plate again.  I don’t suppose he or Liza ever had anything to eat that night. Not when they were so surrounded by diamond-laden Hollywood matrons who continued to walk right up to the table and stare at them as if they were freaks in a sideshow.

Later they actually escaped to the dance floor, and Shirley Eder and I (and half the ballroom, if I remember correctly) immediately followed suit. I think Shirley got a cute story out of it — how she’d sorta shared a dance floor with Michael Jackson, that kind of thing. Still later I learned that Liza had discovered that Jackson was a great fan of her father’s film work, and had spirited

MINNELLI: phone call from the Ladies loo

MINNELLI: phone call

him off to the ladies room, where she found a public telephone – this was long before iPhones, kids — dialed her father’s private number, and beamed while Michael shyly interviewed Vincente Minnelli for his own personal pleasure. I thought of that moment when I watched Larry King‘s show on Friday night, with Liza commenting from Paris, looking profoundly unhappy and a little angry. But she rallied, as she always does. On Saturday, before her evening performance at the Palais des Congres, she danced through Paris on a float in the Gay Pride parade, crying “Freedom!”

Over the years I met Farrah Fawcett two or three times, and each time I found her to be refreshingly sweet, polite, respectful. It was always a pleasure to be in her company. Another gal from Texas, my esteemed Manhattan colleague Liz

SMITH: fellow Texan

SMITH: fellow Texan

Smith, shared her February 2 birthdate and thought of her as one of the nicest women in show business. “I well remember how this dear girl, who became an iconic sensation with her good looks and great hair, always remained devoted to her family and worried about their welfare,” said Liz on her website at wowOwow.com. “We never had a conversation that didn’t lead back to her parents!”

I imagine Liz was as intrigued as I was to see all three U.S. majors, ABC, CBS and NBC, turn over most of prime time to news specials remembering Jackson and Farrah. CBS’ Life and Death of Michael

Jackson garnered the most viewers of the three network specials about the singer, drawing 7.6 million, but ABC’s 20/20 special devoted to Farrah attracted more viewers than any of the Jackson specials, leading the 10 p.m. hour with 8.2 million viewers.

At the end of the day, CBS won the night, but not because of its Michael Jackson special. They attracted the biggest audiences of the night with an 8 pm rerun of The Mentalist, followed by a repeat of CSI at 9 pm.

Were younger viewers glued to their TV sets watching the specials on Michael or Farrah?

Nope. They were all watching So You Think You Can Dance, on Fox.

Ain’t showbiz grand?

TOMORROW:

Raves for stage lions Anne Hathaway and Bruce Dow,

Mia Kirshner’s little sister writes a book,

and Sacha Baron Cohen’s outrageous gay supermodel Bruno

(why wasn’t he in last weekend’s Pride parade?)

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500 channels, and not a single show I want to see. (Yeah, yeah, we know, awreddy!!

Wishing you could get away from reruns? 

 

HEATON: sans Raymond

HEATON: sans Raymond

Lots of new shows are coming our way from our next-door neighbours. But hey — be careful what you wish for.

 Accidentally On Purpose is a new CBS sitcom in which Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg) plays a film critic who gets pregnant after having a one-night stand and decides to raise the baby as a single mother. (I know, I know – hilarious.) Brothers is a new Fox sitcom starring Michael Strahan as a retired NFL star who is reunited with his brother whose promising football career ended because of a car accident. (Hey, the laffs just keep coming!) Modern Family is a new ABC sitcom written

GRAMMER: new series

GRAMMER: new series

 and produced by Christopher Lloyd and Steve Levitan about three different families seen through the lens of a Dutch documentary filmmaker and his crew (think The Office with accents and Married With Children anti-hero Ed O’Neill,) Cougar Town, exec produced by Courtney Cox Arquette, casts Friends alumnus Courtney as a divorced 40-year-old woman with a 17-year-old son and a 26-year-old lover. (Yup — problems ensue.) Patricia Heaton’s new ABC sitcom, sans Raymond, is The Middle, Her character, a car dealer salesperson, “is middle class in the middle of the country and approaching middle age.” And Hank is a new ABC sitcom, exec produced by Kelsey Grammer, who plays a washed-up Wall Street executive who is forced to return to his hometown and reconnect with his old friends. (James Burrows directed the pilot that got the green light. This is a good thing.)

GROSS: devilish

GROSS: devilish

New hour-long dramas set to go head-to-toe with Jay Leno’s new nightly gabfest include The Beautiful Life, exec-produced for CW by twitterbug Ashton Kutcher, about a group of young male and female would-be models in New York. with Elle Macpherson and Mischa Barton. The CBS drama Three Rivers with Julia Ormond tells the backstory of organ donors and their lucky (sometimes) recipients. NBC is in the medical mix too, with Trauma, about first responder paramedics. “When emergencies occur, the

MARGULIES:  Good Wife

MARGULIES: Good Wife

 trauma team from San Francisco General is first on the scene.” Jerry Bruckheimer’s new ABC drama The Forgotten spotlights a group of amateur sleuths who take on John/Jane Doe cases to identify the victims so that they can bring their killers to justice. And Joseph Fiennes gets madly mixed up with quantum physics in ABC’s FlashForward,

Classiest of all fhe new drama entries: The new Tony & Ridley Scott venture, The Good Wife, with Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth and Christine Baranski; Parenthood, a “contemporary re-imagining” of the hit Steve Martin film, exec produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, with: Bonnie Bedelia, Peter Krause and Craig T. Nelson; and Eastwick, a shot at re-spinning the hit flick Witches Of Eastwick, with angelic leading man Paul Gross inheriting Jack Nicholson’s devilish role.

Now that should be something to see!

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Cooking up a storm with ‘Doubters’ Meryl & Amy

BEAUTY CALL: Still-breathtaking silver screen siren Jacqueline Bisset, who reportedly walks away with Linda Yellen’s new opus, The Last Film Festival, has finally agreed to do a TV pilot. CBS has signed her for the lead role

BISSET: coup for CBS

BISSET: coup for CBS

 in The Eastmans, about a wealthy family who have made their fortune in medicine …  Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, so good together in Doubt,  team up again for Julia & Julia, the Julia Child saga now slated to open in August. The film marks Streep’s third outing with Nora Ephron, who co-wrote Silkwood and penned her own bestseller, Heartburn, which became a first teaming for Streep and Jack Nicholson … and one-man music machine Michael Feinstein recently coaxed 80-year-old MGM girls Jane Powell and Arlene Dahl  to team up with Jane Russell (yes, THE Jane Russell, now a sassy 88 years old) in a concert salute to Hollywood musicals.  Feinstein cast Hollywood Reporter alumnus Robert Osborne, more famous today as on-camera anchor of Turner Classic Movies, as the host, and audiences reportedly loved it.  Will the unstoppable Feinstein bring it to Broadway? Stay tuned.

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BALLET HIGH:  Attention, Ottawa dance fans — the National Ballet’s three-day run of Romeo & Juliet at the National Arts Centre this week is virtually sold

COTE: Romeo in Ottawa

COTE: Romeo in Ottawa

out. And on opening night Karen Kain will give a free talk about the dazzling NBOC production before Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté dance the title roles. So if anyone at the NAC owes you a favour, now’s the time to call it in … p.s. to Toronto balletomanes: The National’s White Hot Gala is now set for June 18. The company’s 4th annual fundraiser will include a one-hour performance by stars of the ballet, followed by a reception featuring a live DJ and Grey Goose signature cocktails, followed by an extraordinary three-course dinner by Mark McEwen, followed by a White Hot night of dancing on stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts with the company’s biggest stars, including the legendary Ms. Kain. For more info click here.  

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PARTON: smart stuff

PARTON: smart stuff

HELLO, DOLLY: She’s a superb songwriter, a sexy singer, and an All-American fantasy. And so smart, too.

“Dumb Blonde jokes don’t bother me a bit!” says Dolly Parton. “Because I don’t think I’m dumb. And I know I’m not blonde!”

She’s a columnist’s dream.

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SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Big-voiced vocal coach Elaine Overholt, currently shooting her Big Voice television series for ‘W’, is currently weighing offers from

OVERHOLT: big voice

OVERHOLT: big voice

two rival U.S. networks who want her to create the same magic for them … don’t know what you did last weekend, but comeback kid Leonard Cohen spent Good Friday with 7,000 fans, on stage in his adopted home-away-from-home, Los Angeles … highlights of the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival, set for July 3-18 in Freddie Mercury’s favourite town, will include a world premiere performance by Herbie Hancock and Lang Lang and the reunion of Status Quo and John Fogerty

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PENN: boycotting Bill?

PENN: boycotting Bill?

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Sean Penn is a great actor, and if you hire him, you’ll get a good performance. I’m just not going to give a guy who gives aid and comfort to people like (Iran president Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez and Saddam Hussein, when he was alive, my 10 bucks. That’s my right as an American.”

The speaker? Brass-tongued Fox TV maverick Bill O’Reilly, who boycotts Sean Penn movies.

When asked to comment, Sean Penn said, “Bill who?”

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FLICKERS:  One of the most welcome features of Tonya Lee Williams’ 9th annual ReelWorld Film Festival, opening tomorrow night, is a free Family screening this weekend. Set for Saturday at 11 am at the Cineplex Odeon

WILLIAMS: family flicks

WILLIAMS: family flicks

 

Carlton Cinemas, the screening will include four (4) short films and a 20-minute interactive show, with Canwest graciously picking up the tab, For more info on ReelWorld screenings and seminars, click here … adult film aficionados were saddened by news that Marilyn Chambers (Behind The Green Door) died over the weekend at her home in Los Angeles. Chambers, who counted David Cronenberg‘s Rabid among her few legitimate films, was 56 … and does any other city have as many film festivals as Toronto? And yes, we’re bragging, not complaining. Next up: The Toronto Jewish Film Festival, an annual celebration on themes of Jewish culture and identity, showcasing feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world – 90 films from 23 countries. This year’s TJFF opens Saturday and runs for 10 days. For tickets call 416-967-1528 or cick here

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RIVERS: all for All

RIVERS: all for All

 

SEE/HEAR: Two episodes ago, Celebrity Apprentice survivors (so far) Joan Rivers and daughter Melissa were asked to create a viral video commercial for All detergent.  After Donald Trump gave their respective team videos a definitive thumbs down, Joan and Melissa decided to shoot their own videos, on their own time and their own dime, with highly amusing results. Check ’em out here, and enjoy!


 TOMORROW:  Natalie Wood’s daughter in New Brunswick.