Tag Archives: Kevin O’Leary

Ms Vanasse gets Scruples, Ms Koslo gets Sheba, Ms Janney gets a Dinner and Ms Lucci gets a maid

VANASSE: new pilot

TUBE TALK: Award-winning Quebec actress Karine Vanasse, who charmed American audiences with her work in the too-short-lived Pan Am, is shooting a pilot for a new series for a new first-time producer. The pilot? Scruples, based on the Judith Krantz novel about a socialite who attempts to open a fashion-forward boutique in the heart of Beverly Hills. The new producer? Natalie Portman, who is exec producing with Tony Krantz and Annette Savitch  … three TV favourite are tossing their hats in the ring again. Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) is shooting Americana,a

JANNEY: dinner date

pilot for a new drama about a legendary fashion designer and his family business; Tony Shaloub (Monk) and Allison Janney (West Wing) are starring in Friday Night Dinner, a pilot spin-off of the British series that revolves around a traditional Jewish family as they observe Shabbat dinners; and Susan Lucci is the top-billed marquee bait in Devious Maids, a pilot based on the Mexican telenova about four maids who work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. And the beat goes on.

MAZZARA: bound for Banff

PEOPLE: Add Glen Mazzara, Executive Producer of the Emmy Award-winning series The Walking Dead, to the Master Class series at the upcoming Banff World Media Festival … Women Fully Clothed will follow up their April dates in California with four May stops in beautiful B.C., performing their new show in Nanaimo, Victoria, Courtenay and North Van … Corrine Koslo inherits the juicy role originated on stage and screen by Shirley Booth when Come Back, Little Sheba opens this summer at the Shaw Festival. More on Shaw tomorrow …  Gerald Finley, Oliver Jones, Quartetto Gelato and the Nathaniel Dett Chorale are among the mighty music-makers set to spark this summer’s Westben Arts Festival Theatre offerings in

BUCKNER: Den mother

Campbellford, Ontario. July showcase presentations culminate in an August 5 fund-raiser finale, featuring pianist Brian Finley and the Brian Barlow Big Band and aptly named The Big Band Theory. Sounds like a winner … and the indefatigable Pat Ferns, in Cannes to moderate the “By Invitation Only” Drama CoProXchange at MIP TV, is heading back to his old stomping ground, li’l ol’ T.O., at the end of the month to host International Co-Production Day at Hot Docs on April 30.

IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO THEM NOW: On tonight’s Dragons’ Den finale, all five Dragons reminisce about the very best – and worst – moments over the past six seasons. Den host Diane Buckner reportedly gets Dragons Jim

HAWCO: cliffhanger?

Treliving, Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Bruce Croxon and exiting fire-breather Robert Herjavec to tell what they really think about each other,  and highlights from the last six seasons of the show include the stand-out pitches AND the in-fighting, counting down to the three most memorable moments in the series’ history. After you leave the Den,  Allan Hawco rallies his troops on Republic Of Doyle’s season closer  to prove his father’s innocence when he’s accused of murder. Will Season 3 end with another cliffhanger?  I’d put money on it, b’y … … and speaking of cliff-hangers, Martin Gero’s steamy L.A. Complex series, about young hopefuls sharing the same space in Hollywood, will premiere on The CW in the U.S. this month. New episodes are set to start unspooling here in July on MuchMusic.

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Tommy turns 75, Celine & Tony sound off, Kelly & Jay play Fallsview and Arlene writes a bestseller

SHARPS & FLATS:  Crowd-pleasers Kelly Clarkson and Jay Leno are both set to entertain at Fallsview Casino next month, with the increasingly popular World Rock Symphony Orchestra now set to return in April …

PIECZONKA: Toronto Tosca

sublime Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka continues to dazzle as Tosca in the lavish COC production at the Four Seasons Centre now through Feb. 25 …  Daniel Lanois is set for two CBC Music concerts next month at the Great Hall on Queen Street.  The concerts coincide with Lanois’ induction into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame during Canadian Music Week festivities that same week … and legendary country gentleman Tommy Hunter will celebrate his 75th birthday by hanging up his guitar once and for all. Currently on tour, he’ll blow out the candles at a splashy birthday party in London, ON, on March 20, right after he gives his final concert at the John Labatt Centre. Should be quite a night!

HATS OFF:  To Tony Bennett and Celine Dion, who skipped the platitudes and went straight to the heart of Whitney Houston’stragic demise. Bennett says he has received mostly positive reaction to his statement urging the legalization of drugs in the U.S.

HUNTER: birthday boy

Legalization, he believes, would get rid of all the gangsters. “One thing I’ve learned about young people, when you say ‘Don’t do this,’ that’s the one thing they’re going to try and do. Once it’s legal and everybody can do it, there is no longer the desire to do something that nobody else can do.” Bennett, now 85, survived his own cocaine habit in the late ‘70s. Houston, who was 48, had admitted to using cocaine, marijuana and pills in the past. Dion, who is now, 43, considered Houston  “an amazing inspiration” but was clearly upset that “drugs, bad people, bad influences, took over her dreams, her motherhood,” she told Good Morning America this week. “When you

DION: remembering Whitney

think about Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson — to get into drugs like that for whatever reason – because of stress, bad influence, whatever — something happens that I don’t understand. That’s why I’m scared of show business, of drugs and hanging out. That’s why I don’t go to parties!” The private By Invitation Only funeral for Houston is set for tomorrow in New Jersey.

AND YES, YOU SHOULD TAKE IT PERSONALLY:  She’s worth millions and demonstrates how she got there every week on CBC’s megahit series Dragons’ Den.  But Arlene Dickinson shares even more of herself in her first (but, I predict, not her last) bestselling book, Persuasion, with some hard-won personal advice that everyone can use. “It’s a good idea,” she notes, “to take a hard look at your own narrative. Think about how you’d tell your life story to a Hollywood producer, how you’d explain the highs and lows. Have you cast yourself as a victim of circumstance? If so, maybe your story could use a rewrite, starting with the lead character who has choices – and sometimes makes the wrong ones.”

DICKINSON: persuasive life lessons

Making the wrong ones is something Dickinson knows about. She’s made quite a few herself. But, as she points out, those of us who have made some wrong choices along the way are in good company. High achievers are mistake makers, a fact she illustrates with engaging examples from Henry Ford to Oprah. (My favorite? Thomas Edison’s perspective on his many unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb. “I didn’t fail one thousand times. The lightbulb was an invention with one thousand steps.”)

Persuasion is about the art of connecting with the person you seek to persuade. It’s about caring. And about how to master “a little-known secret to success in business”  – listening. But because Dickinson makes it personal, Persuasion is much more than a How To book; it’s a survival guide for the mind and, sometimes, the soul. And within that survival guide are some valuable insights on corporate culture. “Staying in a situation you hate and complaining about everything that’s wrong, but never trying to fix it, doesn’t make you a martyr. It makes you complicit.”  Similarly, her views on our ability to choose the consequences of failure are bracing and refreshing. Bitterness is not an option, she insists, and shares another favorite quote, this one by mathematician Blaise Pascal: “Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

As CEO of Venture Communications she also has  some genuinely amusing business stories to tell, including the time one of her partners,  trying to save the company money, arranged for her team to stay on a friend’s sailboat off Vancouver Island instead of paying for pricey Vancouver hotel rooms. When they arrived at the dock she noticed that the boat’s name was Important Business  — andsuddenly realized what my partners meant when they told me in the past that they work ‘going away on important business.’ They were talking about this sailboat!”

Stylish on screen and off, she appreciates the fame that television has brought her but resists the urge to take it for granted. “I have exactly the same insecurities anyone has,” she admits. “If anything, they’re even more overwhelming when you know a couple of million people are seeing all your flaws in high definition!” And despite the fact that her on-screen chemistry with fellow Dragon Kevin O’Leary has made her an audience favourite, her account of her auditions for Dragons’ Den (yes, she had to do more than one) and how she had to discipline her own self-doubts to get the job — she replaced another Dragon when she came to the series in its second season — is intriguing inside stuff.

Of course that’s why Persuasion is a bestseller. It’s a hypnotic, hard-to-put-down book of life lessons shared by someone who had to learn most of them the hard way. As Arlene Dickinson sees it, the main obstacle standing in our way is, not surprisingly, us. “Our past shapes and influences who we are, but it doesn’t limit who we can become.” Persuasion, as promised, is a new approach to changing minds. And although she preaches the power of persuasion, she urges her readers to be sure of their objectives, be they personal or professional. “Before you set out to persuade someone,” Dickinson writes, “you need to be certain that you actually want what you’re asking for. Because you just might get it.”

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Doyle and the Dragons rule the TV roost tonight en route to their revealing Road To Riches (and high ratings)

HOW TO TAME YOUR DRAGONS: I’m kidding, of course. It can’t be done. But then, who’d want to?  Tonight you’ll discover more about them than you’ve ever known before. The Road to Riches, the special season finale of Dragon’s Den, airs  at 8 p.m. on CBC Television

DICKINSON: Dragon lady

and retraces the Dragons’ personal progress, from humble beginnings to self-made success. Arlene Dickinson came here from South Africa; Robert Herjavec grew up in a farm house in rural Croatia. Kevin O’Leary was an east coast hippie. Jim Treliving was raised in small town Manitoba. And Brett Wilson still describes himself as “a proud Prairie boy.” Dragons they may be, but each of them has paid a price for their riches, leaving broken marriages and personal regrets behind them. And each of them appears to be driven to accomplish still more. In anticipation of tonight’s finale the Toronto Star is currently publishing some exceptionally well-written profiles on the five,  culminating in the story on  Wilson in today’s edition. And auditions for new would-be entrepreneurs with creative ideas and money-making savvy began March 1 across the country. (For audition information and scheduling details, just click here.) In the meantime, as they wrap up their most successful season ever, our favourite five fearless  financiers  demonstrate that Dragons are made, not born, tonight at 8 pm on CBC-TV.

ACCORDING TO DOYLE: Just when we’d started to forget about Thomas Magnum and Jim Rockford, along comes a brand new P.I. to capture our fancy: Brawl-addicted maverick

HAWCO: hit series

Jake Doyle, a.k.a. emerging screen lion Allan Hawco. Set in Newfoundland, Hawco’s Republic Of Doyle is enjoying a very auspicious first season, and no wonder — it’s a light-hearted whodunit that refuses to take itself seriously. It’s not light on talent, however; guest stars adding sparks to the first 10 shows have included such heavy-hitters as Nicholas Campbell, Mark Critch, Cathy Jones, Robert Joy, Greg Malone, Shaun Majumder, Eric Peterson, Gordon Pinsent, Leah Pinsent, R. H. Thompson and Mary Walsh, and the first season isn’t over yet! Mix in with those three fabulous Doyle dames — Linda Boyd, Rachel Wilson and Krystin Pellerin, all three of whom seem to be revelling in their uncommonly strong roles — stir well with Sean McGinley’s solid portrayal of Doyle’s dad (and frequently unwilling partner,) and then add what may be the most gob-smackingly gorgeous views of St. John’s ever captured on film, and is it any wonder the series has already been picked up for a second season? If you’re not already addicted, you can sample it tonight at 9 pm, immediately following that splashy Dragons’ Den finale on CBC.

QUINTO: by George!

CASTING ABOUT: Heroes favourite Zachary Quinto is set to play George Gershwin in a new screen biography of the legendary US composer … Naomi Watts, who just gets better and better with every new role, is in T.O. with 007 alias Daniel Craig shooting a new thriller called Dream HouseLittle Mosque alumnus Derek McGrath is set to play a corrupt politico (“Isn’t that redundant?”) on She’s The Mayor, the new Vision/Zoomer series created by Jennifer Holness, Min Sook Lee and Sudz Sutherland. (Move over, Mayor Dan!) Natalie Portman will star in the screen version of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. And no, I’m not making that up … Blake Lively is set to play Ryan Reynolds’ love interest in The Green Lantern… and Dermot Mulroney is set to pick up where James Garner left off in the all-new Rockford Files. And yes, those rumors are true: The pilot for a new and updated Hawaii Fivc-O has already been shot. Will this one get picked up too? Stay tuned.

TOMORROW:

Funnyman Colin Mochrie, cuisine queen Sara Waxman and

platinum record collectors Sharon, Lois & Bram — at the same party?

Glee girl Lea Michele goes on record, Fergie makes a movie, and Camilla Scott plays a Scarlett woman

DEFYING GRAVITY: Currently thrilling all “Gleeks” (as fans of the hit FOX-TV show are called: The new Sony CD, Glee: The Music, Volume 1. Series star

MICHELE: powerhouse

Matthew Morrison (aka Mr Schu) and Wicked alumnus Kristin Chenoweth deliver a powerhouse performance of Heart’s Alone. Spring Awakening star Lea Michele duets with Chenoweth on a dynamic version of Kander & Ebb’s Maybe This Time, pairs with series co-star Chris Colfer on a soaring version of Stephen Schwartz’s Defying Gravity, and joins co-star Cory Monteith on lead vocals for Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. Music lovers and Broadway show tune aficionados characterize this first Glee CD as “delectably youthful” and “electrifyingly fresh” — and who are we to argue? And here’s another one to add to your Christmas list. The all-star soundtrack for Rob

FERGIE: one of Nine

Marshall’s screen version of the Broadway hit Nine will be released digitally December 15 and available for purchase in stores on December 22, three days before the film opens here. Bonus material on the disc includes a new version of Quando Quando Quando, performed by Fergie, who also sings one of the show’s big hits, Be Italian. Other so-far unlikely warblers include a clutch of Oscar winners who star in the movie — Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard and Judi Dench, who gets to deliver the Follies Bergere showstopper. Can’t wait.

THE SHADOW OF HER STYLE: Supertalent Camilla  Scott always delivers the goods, in big stage musicals like Crazy For You, Mamma Mia and We Will Rock You, on U.S. soaps like Days Of Our Lives and The Guiding Light and

SCOTT: Larry's lady?

in intense TV dramas like Law And Order and This Is Wonderland. Now she’s playing another sublimely talented dame – the late, great Vivien Leigh – in Austin Pendleton’s wry behind-the-scenes comedy Orson’s Shadow. Set in 1960, it’s Pendleton’s version of what really happened when legendary London critic Kenneth Tynan brings Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier together to collaborate on the English language premiere of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. Olivier, deep in the throes of his affair with his young co-star Joan Plowright, is not yet separated from the mercurial, iconic and fatally unstable Ms Leigh, which makes backstage rehearsals very, very interesting. After previews start tomorrow, Orson’s Shadow opens next week at Theatre Passe Muraille, with Christopher Stanton as Kenneth Tynan, Paul Eves as Olivier, Janet Porter as Joan Plowright, and Steve Ross as Orson Welles. To order tickets, click here.

DICKINSON: dog show?

DRAGONS’ DEN GOES TO THE DOGS: Woofstock creator Marlene Cook, the brainy entrepreneur whose annual summer salute to Man’s Best Friend drew 300,000 participants to downtown T.O. this year, pitches the Dragons tonight with five look-alike dogs — one for each dragon. Would you be surprised to learn that Ms Cook matched Kevin O’Leary to an English bull terrier?  Probably not. But apparently finding an apricot poodle with a coat that was just the right shade of red to represent Arlene Dickinson was a far greater challenge. To catch all the Dragons and their canine cut-ups, tune in CBC-TV tonight at 8 pm.

TOMORROW:

Julia Roberts, The Frantics, and more Dragons!