NO SEASON LIKE TV PILOT SEASON: It’s true — Freddie Prinze Jr., Victor Garber, Judd Hirsch and Andrea Martin are all in the running for new series this fall. And they’re not alone. Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis
BARKIN: something new?
are exec-producing their new co-starring venture based on the true story of Ralph Lamb, the rodeo cowboy who ended up Sheriff of Las Vegas.
Carrie-Anne Moss is also in their pilot … John Corbett and Jennifer Beals are top-lining a new drama pilot called Widow Detective … Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman play the U.S, president and his missus in 1600 Penn, a Modern-Family type pilot set in the White House … Minnie Driver, Andrea Anders and Rachel Dratch are the funny girls featured in the comedy pilot Lady Friends … Dane Cook’s new pilot, Next Caller Please, casts him as a brash alpha male DJ on a satellite radio station … Sarah Silverman’s new pilot is about a woman readjusting to
SILVERMAN: something borrowed?
single life following a decade-long live-in relationship. A little bit autobiographical? You bet. Jeff Goldblum co-stars … Anne Heche is trying the small screen again with Save Me, playing a woman who survives a broken marriage by transforming into another version of herself … and Ellen Barkin heads the cast in The New Normal, about a blended family of a gay couple and the woman who becomes a surrogate for them as they grow their family. Which sorta maybe sounds like something we haven’t seen before.
NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Young Extemely Loud and Incredibly Close screen-stealer Thomas Horn has been set as the lead in not one but two new features — Space Warriors and Joe’s Mountain …
RHYS: something American
Welsh actor Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters) is set to star opposite Keri Russell in the FX pilot The Americans … Eddie Izzard has signed to star in and produce NBC’s Mockingbird Lane, a re-conceived version of The Munsters … Laz Alonso (Avatar) will play Meagan Good’s former flame and the detective who hires her to investigate a murder in her home town in NBC’s drama pilot Notorious … Oliver Cooper (Project X) has signed on for a lead role in the sequel to Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups … Golden Globe nominee Jaime Pressly is set to play the warden at a women’s federal prison in the NBC drama pilot Bad Girls … comic W. Kamau Bell is set to host a new variety show produced by Chris Rock for FX … Neil Patrick Harris will host the Tony Awards for the third consecutive year on Sunday June 10 and Jimmy Kimmel is set to host this
HYATT: something to cheer about
year’s Emmy Awards telecast on Sunday September 23.
OUR TOWN: Veteran crowd-pleaser Pam Hyatt serenades at the Green Door cabaret tonight in her one-woman concert Pamalot, with Peter Hill on the piano … sublime warbler Judy Marshak, dynamic duo Deb McGrath & Colin Mochrie and Canuck comedy legends The Frantics are among the sparkles gathering for the Autism Is A Pain In The Aspergers benefit on Wednesday April 18 at Hugh’s Room. For ticket info, click here … The Stampeders bring their greatest hits to us in concert at the
McGRATH: something else
Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Friday April 20 … it must be true that third time’s a charm, because Jeanne Beker & Barry Flatman are once again hosting the annual celebrity-laden PAL fund-raiser Scrabble With The Stars on Monday May 7 at the Arcadian Loft. For ticket info, click here … the Harry Potter spoof Potted Potter closes at the Panasonic this Sunday … and due to unforeseen circumstances concerning the road closure around the Royal Ontario Museum, the date for Toronto Taste has been bumped to Sunday May 27. Which should give us just enough time to diet before the event. For ticket info, click here. (And yes, I know you knew I was going to say that.)
PETERS: something CBC (twice!)
SEE/HEAR: Let’s start your long weekend with a smile. Four of ’em, in fact! First, it’s Russell Peters week on CBC, starting Sunday with his Toronto filmfest hockey comedy Breakaway with Rob Lowe (want a sneak peek? Click here!) Then there’s the Alberta Ballet’s dazzling tribute to Elton John, Love Lies Bleeding, on Monday night on CBC. (Click here for a splashy preview.) Also on Monday: Ken Finkleman returns to the newsroom (and The Movie Network) with a brand new predictably outrageous comedy series, aptly named Good God, and allegedly inspired by Quebecor’s struggling Sun News Network. Samantha Bee and Lolita Davidovich co-star, and the first episode is already viewable on line right here. Then Russell Peters returns to CBC with his own Just For Laughs special Russell Peters: Best Night Ever on Tuesday night (want a sneak peek? Ditto!) And that’s just for starters. So have fun, rest up, and enjoy!
Posted in Actors, Ballet, Comedy, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged . Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, 1600 Penn, ADAM SANDLER, Andrea Anders, ANDREA MARTIN, Anne Heche, Arcadian Loft, Autism Is A Pain In The Aspergers, Avatar, Bad Girls, BARRY FLATMAN, Bill Pullman, Breakaway, Brothers & Sisters, Carre-Anne Moss, CBC Television, CHRIS ROCK, COLIN MOCHRIE, Dane Cook, DEB McGRATH, DENNIS QUAID, Eddie Izzard, Ellen Barkin, Emmy Awards, Freddie Prinze Jr., FX, Golden Globe, Good God, Green Door Cabaret, Grown Ups, Hugh's Room, Jaime Pressley, JEANNE BEKER, Jeff Goldblum, Jenna Elfman, Jennifer Beals, JIMMY KIMMEL, Joe's Mountain, John Corbett, Judd Hirsch, Judy Marshak, Just For Laughs, KEN FINKLEMAN, Keri Russell, Lady Friends, Laz Alonso, Lolita Davidovitch, Love Lies Bleeding, Matthew Rhys, Meagan Good, Michael Chiklis, Minnie Driver, Mockingbird Lane, NBC, NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, Next Caller Please, Notorious, Oliver Cooper, PAL Toronto, PAM HYATT, Pamalot, Panasonic Theatre, Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) of Toronto, Peter Hill, Potted Potter, Project X, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Rachel Dratch, Royal Ontario Museum, RUSSELL PETERS, Russell Peters: Best Night Ever, Samantha Bee, Sarah Silverman, Save Me, Scrabble With The Stars, Space Warriors, Sun News Network, The Americans, The Frantics, The Movie Network, The Munsters, The New Normal, The Stampeders, Thomas Horn, Tony Awards, Torronto Taste, VICTOR GARBER., W. Kamau Bell, Widow Detective
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
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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Posted in Actors, Comedy, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged Allan Hawco, ALLISON JANNEY, Americana, Annette Savitch, Anthony LaPaglia, Arcadian Loft, Arlene Dickinson, Autism Is A Pain In The Aspergers, Banff World Media Festival, Brian Finley, Bruce Croxon, CORRINE KOSLO, Devious Maids, Dianne Buckner, Dragons' Den, Emmy Awards, Friday Night Dinner, Gerald Finley, Glen Mazzara, Hot Docs, Hugh's Room, International Co-Production Day, Jim Treliving, Judith Krantz, Karine Vanasse, Kevin O'Leary, L.A., Martin Gero, MIPtv, Monk, MuchMusic, NATALIE PORTMAN, OLIVER JONES, Pan Am, Pat Ferns, Quartetto Gelato, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Republic Of Doyle, Robert Herjavec, Royal Ontario Museum, Scrabble With The Stars, Scruples, Shaw Festival, Shirley Booth, Susan Lucci, The Big Band Theory, the Brian Barlow Big Band, The CW, The L.A. Complex, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, The Walking Dead, The West Wing, Tony Krantz, Tony Shaloub, Westben Arts Festival Theatre, Women Fully Clothed
OUR TOWN: Host-with-the-most Jian Ghomeshi returns to helm tomorrow night’s Hot Docs Festival awards at the Isabel Bader … after flying across the pond to premiere the new
PITRE: back to T.O.
Benny Andersson-Bjorn Ulvaeus musical Kristina at Royal Albert Hall, show-stopping stage diva Louise Pitre got ‘stuck’ in London for an extra three days due to that pesky cloud of volcanic ash. “London’s not a bad place to be stuck in!” she adds, especially since her hubby Joe Matheson had taken a week’s holiday from his on-stage gig with still-thriving Jersey Boys to join her. Mamma Mia alumnus Pitre’s now home again, safe and sound and shooting Season 2 of Star Portraits for Bravo! … popular public relations pro Shelagh O’Donnell is the ROM’s new Head Of Communications … George F. Walker’s hit comedy Featuring Loretta makes its second debut to the Factory Theatre tonight, officially kicking off the Factory’s 40th (!!!) Anniversary celebrations. Longtime Walker cheerleader Ken Gass directs Monica Dottor, Lesley Faulker, Kevin Hanchard and Brandon McGibbon in this brand new production … and the bad news is, Yorkville haunt Michelle’s Brasserie, the café in
FARMIGA: going outlaw
Renaissance Square just off Cumberland, has closed. Good news is, Crème, a new French bistro devised by Ricardo Sousa (Cibo, Lolo) and chef Ricardo Roque (Magna Golf Club, Bistro 990,) is now underway and is tentatively set to open June 1.
NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Young Lily Collins, so good as Sandra Bullock‘s daughter in The Blind Side, is set to co-star with Taylor Lautner in Abduction, a new thriller … Kevin Bacon has signed on to guest star in Steve Carrell’s next project … Pedro Almodovar alumnus Antonio Banderas is set to star in the director’s next opus, La piel que habito … Up In The Air seductress Vera Farmiga
AGRON: new sci-fi role?
is set to portray a wild west outlaw in A Thousand Guns … watch for an announcement linking about-to-depart Global TV anchor Kevin Newman with a major new digital platform initiative … and don’t bother inviting Phil Collins to your Canada Day BBQ this year. He’s already booked to open the 44th annual Monteux Jazz Festival with a special July 1 concert.
NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: Glee star Dianna Agron has signed on for a leading role in the sci-fi film I Am Number Four … living room favourites Peter Mansbridge, Brian Stewart and Adrienne Arsenault are in London today, continuing to deliver CBC’s in-depth play-by-play of today’s General Elections in the U.K. … Shia Labeouf is set to play Charlie in the dark comedy The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman … Mireille
JEAN-BAPTISTE: in Central Park
Enos (Big Love) is reportedly signed to star in AMC’s new series The Killing … bright young things Emma Roberts and Freddie Highmore are set to co-star in a new indie feature, Homework … Nurse Jackie scene-stealer Anna Deavere Smith is taking her New York solo show Let Me Down Easy on the road. Hope she brings it here … what becomes a legend most? Hard work. Which is howcum Ann Rhomer is still a household favourite after more than three decades on local TV. We’ll miss her after she exits CP24‘s morning show next month … and although you know her best from her role as an FBI agent in Without A Trace, did you know that Anthony LaPaglia sidekick Marianne Jean-Baptiste was the first British black actress nominated for an Oscar, for Mike Leigh‘s 1996 drama Secrets & Lies? Ah yes, how quickly we forget. The gifted Mme Jean-Baptiste is spending her summer vacation in rep with Al Pacino, performing Merchant Of Venice and The Winter’s Tale in Central Park..
All about Liona Boyd, Zero Mostel,
Piper Laurie (yes, Piper Laurie!) and more.
Posted in Actors, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged Abduction, Academy Award, Adrienne Arsenault, Al Pacino, ANN ROHMER, Anna Deavere Smith, Anthony LaPaglia, Antonio Banderas, Benny Andersson, Big Love, Bistro 990, Björn Ulvaeus, Brandon McGibbon, Bravo!, BRIAN STEWART, Canada Day, Central Park, Cibo, CP24, Crème, Dianna Agron, Emma Roberts, Factory Theatre, Featuring Loretta, Freddie Highmore, GEORGE F. WALKER, Glee, Global Television, Homework, Hot Docs, Isabel Bader Theatre, Jersey Boys, JIAN GHOMESHI, JOSEPH MATHESON, Ken Gass, KEVIN BACON, Kevin Hanchard, Kevin Newman, Kristina, La piel que habito, Lesley Faulker, Let Me Down Easy, LILY COLLINS, LOLO, LOUISE PITRE, Magna Golf Club, Mamma Mia, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Michelle's Brasserie, Mike Leigh, Mireille Enos, Monica Dottor, Montreux Jazz Festival, Nurse Jackie, Oscar, Pedro Almodovar, PETER MANSBRIDGE, Phil Collins, Ricardo Roque, Ricardo Sousa, ROM, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Ontario Museum, SANDRA BULLOCK, Secrets & Lies, Shakespeare In The Park, Shelagh O'Donnell, Shia LaBeouf, Star Portraits, Steve Carrell, Taylor Lautner, The Blind Side, The Merchant Of Venice, The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman, The Winter's Tale, Up In The Air, Vera Farmiga, Without A Trace
FOOTLIGHTS: Dynamic screen duo Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, who made history 25 years ago in Sophie’s Choice, will perform an evening of Shakespeare as a benefit for The Acting Company, the Juilliard offshoot that
KLINE: Meryl's choice
gave Kline his start. Conceived and directed by Kline, The Lover and the Poet: An Evening of Shakespeare will be held at the 400-seat Florence Gould Hall on November 2. Before that, however, they’ll team up with Daniel Craig, Maggie Gyllenhaal,Mike Nichols and Austin Pendleton in a one-night benefit performance of Courage in Concert at the Public Theatre on October 19. In the meantime some chosen few lucky ticket-buyers will get to see Ms Streep in person tonight at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, where she’ll participate in a Q&A with Globe & Mail film analyst Johanna Schneller.
ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, YES, BUT SUCH A PRETTY ONE: As a presenter she’s handed out hardware to her Star Wars mentor George Lucas and co-star Harrison Ford, but Carrie Fisher says she gave up on hoping for Acting awards a long time ago.
FISHER: wishful winning
She admits she still hoped that she might win “just a little one” for her writing – plaudits for Postcards From The Edge? prizes for The Best Awful or Surrender The Pink? — but alas, no awards have materialized so far.
“I now get awards all the time for being mentally ill,” the bi-polar Fisher notes. “I am apparently very good at it, and I get honoured for it regularly.”
She’s awfully good at writing, too. Which is one of the reasons writers ranging from playwright Terence McNally to novelist Salman Rushdie joined movie stars ranging from Jane Fonda to Harvey Keitel for the opening of Carrie’s one-woman tour-de-force Wishful Drinking last Sunday on Broadway. Fisher made her Broadway debut in 1973 (yessssss, 1973) as part of the chorus backing up her mother Debbie Reynolds in the revival of Irene, but had toured with her even earlier than that, in her mom’s glitzy road show. Those of you with
DEBBIE: still in harness
reeeeally long memories may recall Carrie, still a teenager, standing on stage at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto in 1970, singing her mom’s hit ballad Tammy while Debbie was backstage making a quick costume change. By the time she played in Irene, Carrie was a seasoned ‘road warrior’ who had seen her MGM-bred mother dump legendary British director Sir John Gielgud (who was still struggling with the musical when it played the Royal Alex for four weeks on its way to New York) for her old studio pal Gower Champion. Champion, a choreographer who lived up to his name, who had already staged a hit musical called Hello, Dolly and pulled Irene into such dazzling shape that it ran for more than 600 performances. (When Debbie grew weary of it, her MGM gal pal Jane Powell took over the rest of the run for her.) Ah yes, them were the days.
STREEP: in Toronto tonight
Debbie, of course, is still alive and high-kicking at 77. This month she and her personal musicians will take her show, An Evening With Debbie Reynolds, to the Julie Rogers Theatre in Beaumont, Texas for a breast cancer fund-raiser.
Meanwhile, there’s good news for those of us who hunger for more of Carrie’s wickedly witty prose. She’s working on a new book – a collection of stories from movie sets of “films I pretended to act in.” Hope she includes Shampoo.
And speaking of those writing honours that keep eluding her – considering those rave reviews, wouldn’t it be funny if she gets Tony-nominated as both the author of Wishful Drinking and as lead actress in a play?
Stranger things have happened.
Posted in Actors, BOOKS, Gossip, Movies, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Theatre
Tagged Austin Pendleton, BROADWAY, CARRIE FISHER, DANIEL CRAIG, DEBBIE REYNOLDS, George Lucas, Globe & Mail, Gower Champion, HARRISON FORD, Harvey Keitel, Irene, JANE FONDA, JANE POWELL, Johanna Schneller, Juilliard, Kevin Kline, Maggie Gyllenhaal, MERYL STREEP, MIKE NICHOLS, O'Keefe Centre, Public Theatre, Royal Alex, Royal Ontario Museum, Salman Rushdie, Shakespeare, Shampoo, Sir John Gielgud, Star Wars, Terence McNally, The Acting Company, Tony Awards, Toronto, Wishful Drinking