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Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington & Robin Thede Join Support For #BlackWomenEqualPayDay(8/7/18) Today marks Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which goes beyond the confines of Hollywood. #BlackWomensEqualPayDay is set for Aug. 7 because black women had to work all of 2017 until this day in 2018 to catch up with what white men earned in 2017. Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, Robin Thede and other Hollywood insiders took to Twitter to voice their support for this day that recognizes the gender pay gap.
Rhimes and Washington posted a video of real-life conversations with black women and how the pay gap impacts them. The video comes from Lean In, an organization that empowers women to achieve their ambitions. According to the video and the website, black women in the U.S. are paid 38% less than white men and 21% less than white women.
In addition to Rhimes, Washington and comedian Thede, celebrities tweeted support for #BlackWomensEqualPayDay. Orange is the New Black actress Danielle Brooks tweeted, “This isn’t only about what I deserve but what so many hard working black women of all walks of life deserve.”
She was joined by allies including Common, DeRay Mckesson, Patricia Arquette, Chelsea Clinton, and Elizabeth Banks, who weighed in, “With the current pay gap, black women have to work an additional 219 days to make what white men earn in a year – that’s an extra eight months. I support equal pay because #38PercentCounts.”
Shonda Rhimes Unveils Eight (!) Netflix Series, Including White House Exposé(7/20/18) In case you’ve been wondering what Shonda Rhimes has been up to at Netflix… she’s been busy, OK?
The Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal mega-producer formally announced her first slate of productions for the streaming giant on Friday, with a whopping eight series currently in development, ranging from comedy to drama, and from fiction to documentary. Here, per Netflix, are the details on the eight Shondaland shows (all titles are tentative):
* Untitled Shonda Rhimes Project, created by Rhimes and based on the New York magazine article “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People.” “Manhattan makes a new friend like no other. But is she the stuff American dreams are made of, or is she New York’s biggest con woman? Is it a con if you enjoy being taken?” (Note: This project was previously reported last month.)
* The Residence, based on the nonfiction book by Kate Andersen Browder. It offers “a vividly accurate insider’s account of White House residence staffers and the upstairs/downstairs lives they share with the First Families at one of the most famous homes in history.”
* Untitled Bridgerton Project, adapted by Scandal executive producer Chris Van Dusen, who will serve as showrunner. “Based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling series of novels, this smart feminist take on Regency England romance unveils the glittering, wealthy, sexual, painful, funny and sometimes lonely lives of the women and men in London’s high society marriage mart as told through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family.”
* The Warmth of Other Suns, based on the award-winning book by Isabel Wilkerson. “This powerful groundbreaking series tracks the decades-long migration of African-Americans fleeing the Jim Crow South in search of a better life in the North and the West between 1916 and 1970.” Anna Deavere Smith (Nurse Jackie, The West Wing) will adapt.
* Pico & Sepulveda, from Janet Leahy (Mad Men). “Set in the 1840s against the surreal and sensual backdrop of the then-Mexican state of California, the series tracks the end of an idyllic era there as American forces threaten brutality and war at the border to claim this breathtaking land for its own.”
* Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change, based on Ellen Pao’s memoir “detailing her life and career, including the lawsuit she brought against her former employer that sparked intense media scrutiny, shook Silicon Valley to its boys’-club core and presaged the Time’s Up movement.”
* Sunshine Scouts, created by writer/actress Jill Alexander. “In this darkly comedic half-hour series, an apocalyptic disaster spares a ragtag group of teenage girls at sleepaway camp, who must then summon their moxie and survival skills to weather the fallout and ensure all that remains of humanity abides by the Sunshine Scout Law.”
* Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, a documentary that “offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s award-winning reimagining of the classic ballet The Nutcracker.”
“I wanted the new Shondaland to be a place where we expand the types of stories we tell, where my fellow talented creatives could thrive and make their best work and where we as a team come to the office each day filled with excitement,” Rhimes said in a statement. “Ted [Sarandos] and Cindy [Holland] and everyone at Netflix have been incredible partners in making that happen. This is Shondaland 2.0.”
Taye Diggs on The 100,000 Pyramid(7/10/18) The Pyramid is back! As part of ABC’s “Sunday Fun & Games,” the Emmy Award®-winning pop-culture phenomenon is reimagined and better than ever with a cast of all-star celebrities who take center stage and partner with contestants from across the country with hopes of making it to the winner’s circle and the ultimate prize of $100,000. “The $100,000 Pyramid” airs SUNDAY, JULY 29 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand.
This week’s hour-long episode features two separate celebrity couples. First up, Leslie Jones (“Saturday Night Live”) competes against actor Taye Diggs. Next, the stars of “Barely Famous,” Sara and Erin Foster, compete with hopes of making it to the winner’s circle and the ultimate prize of $100,000.
“The $100,000 Pyramid” is the timeless word association game in which two celebrities and their partners face off in a race against the clock to make it to the winner’s circle and take home $100,000. “Good Morning America”’s Michel Strahan hosts “The $100,000 Pyramid.”
GLOW Star Chris Lowell: Season 2 Wrestling Is Bigger, Bolder and 'Insane'(6/28/18) Ladies annnnnnd gentlemen! If you thought that GLOW‘s awesome ’80s wrestling moves were gnarly, series star Chris Lowell says, wait until you see what Season 2 throws up against the ropes.
The new episodes, which begin streaming Friday on Netflix, follow the titular Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling as they struggle to make their fledgling sports soap opera a success… or, at least, keep it from getting cancelled. A huge part of that? Bigger — and therefore, more dangerous — wrestling moves for the troupe led by Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin.
“There’s some s–t they do in Season 2 that I could not even wrap my head around, watching it,” Lowell tells TVLine. “It felt like Season 1 was a lot more, you know, ‘We’re going to do this two times and that’s it, so let’s make sure we get it,’ and Season 2 is like, ‘All right, after you back flip off Chavo [Guerrero Jr., fight coordinator], can you just jump into that pile of chairs?'”
He laughs. “And what’s insane is that all these women are just raising their hands to be the first one to do it,” Lowell adds. “They are so committed, and it shows.”
While Lowell isn’t at liberty to divulge much about his character’s Season 2 path, let’s just say that Bash has heretofore unexplored levels of both comedy and pathos that will become apparent over the course of the season. And, of course, he’ll continue as GLOW‘s enthusiastic ringside announcer, a process we discussed in detail when Lowell recently stopped by TVLine’s New York offices.
TVLINE | I read that while you’re announcing, you prepare by watching the women rehearse and then jot things down.
TVLINE | Have you ever said something that caused the director or someone to say, “Let’s tone it down a bit”?
[Laughs] Oh, absolutely.
TVLINE | Can you give me a for instance?
The way it typically works is, the writers have written these episodes weeks in advance, so they don’t exactly know what the fights are going to look like. They have an idea of the emotional battle that happens and the victories, and the failures, you know, and so they usually throw in a couple of zingers for me. But it’s not until we get there on the day [of shooting] and the fights actually been choreographed… That’s when they let me go on a roll… Usually the times that they reel me back in is when I’ll start just swearing profusely. [Laughs] I’ll start getting really graphic with my language, and they’re usually like, “No, Chris. None of this is going to make it.” That’ll happen occasionally, but you know, you have to be careful because so many of these characters are politically incorrect.
TVLINE | Right.
And so you have to really keep an eye on yourself too, to not let things go too far. But I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on it. And what’s great is that I have the confidence and the support of [series creators] Liz [Flahive] and Carly [Mensch], and all the other writers and the directors, and the cast, that it makes it feel like I know what I’m doing and that I can handle what they’re throwing at me.
TVLINE | I assume you’re not announcing while the fights are actually going on. They shoot you later?
It’s actually pretty crazy. Usually what happens is, they’ll do a full dress rehearsal for me so I’ll be able to see what the actual fight looks like… And then I’m usually not saying anything when the coverage is on them, and then when it comes around on me, either the actors if they’re still there will mark it just for their safety, or the stunt team will do the whole thing.
But usually by the time it gets to me — because I’m usually the last one to be shot for those sequences, which I prefer because it gives me time to really see what’s happening, get the pace and kind of brainstorm ideas. Typically, for me, I like it more when there is nothing going on behind the camera, because frankly I get so flipped out watching the fight and I get so nervous and distracted by what’s actually happening that it’s hard to do it to focus on anything else.
TVLINE | Bash has quite a hairdo. I’m wondering how long it takes you to get your hair done each day.
Oh, it’s a whole process. It’s a whole process. Yeah, usually what it is, is I go in in the morning. They soak my hair and then just massage a bottle of mousse into it, and they blow dry it back and then take this little curling iron and individually curl it all, and then they just blast it with hair spray throughout the day. I am the most flammable thing on set.
Family Feud: Jeff Dunham vs. Ming-Na Wen and Taye Diggs vs. Caroline Rhea (7/8)(6/15/18) “Jeff Dunham vs. Ming-Na Wen and Taye Diggs vs. Caroline Rhea” – The celebrity teams competing to win cash for their charities feature comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and actress Ming-Na Wen (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Mulan”). In a separate game, family members of actor Taye Diggs and actress Caroline Rhea (“Caroline and Friends”) will compete on an all-new episode, SUNDAY, JULY 8 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand.
Steve Harvey, the highly popular stand-up comedian, actor, author and Emmy® Award-winning game show host, will pit celebrities and their families against each other in a contest to name the most popular responses to a survey-type question posed to 100 people.
The celebrity teams who will try to guess what the “survey said” are:
Jeff Dunham – comedian and ventriloquist; playing for Baby2Baby
Makenna Paige Dunham – daughter
Ming-Na Wen – actress known for “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Mulan”; playing for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
Eric Zee – husband
In another game of “Celebrity Family Feud,” the two contesting teams are:
Taye Diggs – actor; playing for FosterMore
Marcia Berry – mother
Caroline Rhea – actress known for “Caroline and Friends”; playing for Hopeland
Cynthia Rhea – sister
Taye Diggs: I was wrongly fired for stealing from an ice cream parlor(6/14/18) Taye Diggs was once fired after he was wrongly accused of stealing — and he’s still mad about it.
Diggs, who stars in the comedy “Set It Up,” told Page Six: “I got fired from this ice cream place in Rochester, [NY].”
He added at the Netflix premiere, “[The owners] said I stole money from them. They knew I didn’t, but they fired me anyway. I wish I could remember their names. I was on the register and they blamed it on me.”
He fumed, “Damn, you made me mad just now!”
Taye Diggs’ son doesn’t want him to have a girlfriend(6/13/18) There might be no bond stronger than the one shared by father and son.
But Taye Diggs says his relationship with his and ex-wife Idina Menzel‘s 8-year-old son, Walker, is really unique.
“He is now getting kind of more candid and honest,” Diggs, 47, told People. “He said the other day that he doesn’t want me to have a girlfriend. He said, ‘I want you to myself.’”
“Then he said, ‘Is that okay to say dad?’” the actor recalled. “I was like, ‘Yeah man! I want you to be able to tell me anything. Okay I get that.’”
Diggs and Menzel, 47, split in 2014 after 11 years of marriage. In 2017, Menzel remarried to Aaron Lohr.
Shonda Rhimes' First Netflix Series to Center on Anna Delvey Fraud Scandal(6/10/18) Shonda Rhimes has set her first project at Netflix: The streaming service and Shondaland have acquired the rights to a magazine article about infamous New York society fraud Anna Delvey, TVLine has confirmed, and Rhimes is attached to pen a series for Netflix based on the scandal.
The New York magazine article, published last month, details how Delvey conned rich people and banks into giving her money by posing as a wealthy German heiress, using their cash to live a lavish, high-society lifestyle. Delvey’s con was eventually discovered, and she was arrested and charged with grand larceny; she is currently being held without bond at New York’s Rikers Island prison.
The project is the first in Rhimes’ new multi-year deal with Netflix, which was announced last August, after Rhimes spent more than a decade at ABC creating mega hit dramas like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Rhimes later explained the move by saying that “the constraints of network television tell you what kinds of stories you can tell… I’m excited to tell stories in different ways.”
‘The Umbrella Academy’: Kate Walsh Set To Recur In Netflix Series(5/9/18) Kate Walsh has been tapped for a recurring role in The Umbrella Academy, Netflix’s upcoming live-action series from Universal Cable Prods.
Written by Jeremy Slater based on the popular graphic novels penned by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, the story follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes known as the Umbrella Academy — Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Vanya (Ellen Page), Klaus (Robert Sheehan) and Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) — as they work together to solve their father’s mysterious death while coming apart at the seams due to their divergent personalities and abilities.
Walsh will play The Handler, a composed and confident leader of a mysterious, bureaucratic company. She’s always ready to manage any situation, big or small, but it’s best not to get on her bad side. That said, her charm is her greatest strength, and she uses it to her full advantage to complete the business of her organization.
She joins previously announced cast members Ellen Page, Mary J. Blige, Tom Hopper, Cameron Britton, Robert Sheehan, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Adam Godley, Aidan Gallagher, David Castañeda. John Magaro, Ashley Madekwe, and Colm Feore.
The Umbrella Academy is executive produced by Steve Blackman, who will serve as showrunner, as well as Bluegrass Television and Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg from Dark Horse Entertainment. Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá will serve as co-executive producers.
Walsh is best known for playing Dr. Addison Montgomery on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and toplining spinoff Private Practice which ran for six seasons. She currently co-stars as Olivia Baker in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, which launches its second season May 18. She also starred in the NBC comedy series Bad Judge and recurred on the first season of Fargo on FX. On the film side, she was most recently seen in Girls Trip.
Why Kate Walsh’s brain tumor almost went undiagnosed(4/28/18) Kate Walsh, who had a benign brain tumor removed in 2015, says she had to convince a doctor to give her the MRI that led to her diagnosis.
Describing the neurologist she consulted in 2015 as “condescending,” the 50-year-old actress recalled to Self magazine in an interview published Thursday that the doctor questioned her desire to have a brain scan.
“He’s like, ‘Why? What do you think you’re going to find?'” she said.
She says he implied that she was actually depressed, telling her, “You’re an actress, you’re in your 40s, you’re not working,” but she let him know that she already sees a therapist and did not want to be put on antidepressants instead of getting an MRI.
“To be fair to this physician, he didn’t know me, I had never gone to a neurologist before,” she said. “I’m sure he gets a lot of people who are reactive or thinking that they’re constantly dying or something, but I do feel like it was probably a little bit of sexism. I had a female [general practitioner] in LA and I know that she was enraged when I told her about this.”
According to the magazine, the “Grey’s Anatomy” star’s pre-MRI symptoms included exhaustion, cognitive difficulties and not being able to finish her sentences.
Walsh told Cosmopolitan in September that she “really had to advocate, because they don’t hand out MRIs so easily.”
“But I got an MRI and thank God I did,” she said, “because it turned out I had a very sizable brain tumor in my left frontal lobe. And three days later I was in surgery having it removed.”
Olivier Awards Nominations(3/7/18) BEST ACTRESS
Laura Donnelly for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre
Lesley Manville for Long Day’s Journey Into Night at Wyndham’s Theatre
Audra McDonald for Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill at Wyndham’s Theatre
Imelda Staunton for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? at Harold Pinter Theatre.
Sarayu Blue To Topline NBC Aseem Batra Comedy Pilot; Paul Adelstein Set As Male Lead(2/26/18) Sarayu Blue (the CW’s No Tomorrow) has landed the lead in NBC‘s half-hour single-camera from comedy Aseem Batra, Amy Poehler, Julie Anne Robinson and Universal TV. Paul Adelstein (Scandal) has been tapped as male lead opposite Blue in the pilot, written by Batra and directed by Robinson.
The untitled comedy, inspired by Orli Auslander’s book I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything, shows one woman’s (Blue) hilarious unfiltered take on the side effects of trying to have it all.
Blue’s Emet is a modern working mother who is in a constant battle between being a mom and still having some personal fulfillment. She works as a storyboard artist at a video game startup with a group of young guys, whom she often uses as sounding boards for her own personal issues.
Adelstein plays Emet’s husband David, who was raised as man’s man but is trying hard to be a modern and sensitive husband and father. He works at the customer complaints department of a major airline. He loves problems with concrete, simple solutions.
Batra executive produces with Poehler via her Paper Kite Productions, Robinson via her CannyLads Productions, 3 Arts’ Dave Becky and Josh Maurer. Kelly Pancho and Kim Lessing produce. Auslander is consulting producer.
Blue, who co-starred on the CW series No Tomorrow, next will be seen in the feature film Blockers, opposite John Cena and Leslie Mann. She is repped by D2 Management and Pakula King & Associates.
Adelstein recently was a series regular on Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce and Hulu’s Chance and reprised his role in the Prison Break reboot. He also has been recurring on ABC’s Scandal and has done arcs on Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Epix’s Get Shorty. He is repped by Gersh and Gotham Group.
Deadlier Than the Male(2/16/8) TNT has given a series order to Deadlier Than the Male, a thriller about three characters — played by Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Hamish Linklater (The New Adventures of Old Christine) and Amy Brenneman (Private Practice) — all with troubling pasts and now trying to start over.
The Good Fight Season 2 Trailer Touts Audra McDonald, Strange Bedfellows, Warns 'Death Is Everywhere'(2/6/8) (Video) Shakespeare’s “Kill all the lawyers!” is a theme in the Season 2 trailer for CBS All Access’ The Good Fight, which in part teases a storyline in which local litigators are being offed one by one.
Front-and-center in the uncensored trailer, meanwhile, is new cast member Audra McDonald, who is reprising her Good Wife role of Liz Reddick-Lawrence — aka Adrian Boseman’s estranged ex-wife. So of course she is surreptitiously invited by others to join his firm.
Guest stars on display include Gary Cole and Jane Lynch, returning as Kurt McVeigh and Madeline Starkey, while new recurring player Tim Matheson (The West Wing) can be spotted in the aftermath of bedding [Spoiler]. We also get perhaps a last (?) look at Barbara Kolstad, seeing as Erica Tazel is not returning as a series regular.
The Good Fight‘s bigger, 13-episode sophomore run kicks off Sunday, March 4. Read a synopsis below.
“In Season 2 of The Good Fight, the world is going insane, and the Chicago murder rate is on the rise. Amidst the insanity, Diane, Lucca, Maia and the rest of the firm find themselves under psychological assault when a client at another firm kills his lawyer for overcharging. After a copycat murder, the firm begins to look at its own clients suspiciously. Meanwhile, Diane battles with a new partner, Liz Reddick-Lawrence (new series regular Audra McDonald); Maia becomes tougher after her parents’ scandal puts her on trial; and Lucca is brought back into Colin’s orbit.”
‘CBS Sunday Morning’: Oprah Winfrey Time’s Up Panel Interview Includes Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes(1/13/18) (Video Preview) Oprah Winfrey this Sunday will interview a gathering of prominent Hollywood woman – Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Tracee Ellis Ross, Shonda Rhimes, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, attorney Nina Shaw – about the Time’s Up campaign that gained much attention at this year’s Golden Globes.
Winfrey’s taped interview, conducted earlier this week in Pasadena, will air on CBS Sunday Morning (CBS, 9 am ET). Watch a clip above.
In excerpts released by CBS, Witherspoon says about the movement to take on sexual harassment, “There’s moments that you have to evaluate whether silence is going to be your only option. And certain times that was our only option. But now is not that time.”
Witherspoon talks about her own sexual assault at 16 by a director.
“We’re humans. We’re all humans,” Portman says. “And I think it’s treating people as fellow humans and – and it’s not because you have a daughter that you respect a woman, it’s not because you have a wife or a sister, it’s because we’re human beings, whether we’re related to a man or not. We deserve the same respect.”
Ross of ABC’s Black-ish says, “At this moment it’s a campaign. “And we’re all sort of workers among workers and women among women, sort of rolling up our sleeves and doing whatever sort of comes to the forefront.”
Says Kennedy about speaking for women without public profiles, “We have to maintain the momentum of this conversation because they can’t.”
Hollywood women launch anti-sexual harassment initiative(1/1/18) A star-studded group of female Hollywood figures — including Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Natalie Portman and Kerry Washington — has launched a new initiative to combat workplace sexual discrimination and inequality.
The Time’s Up campaign — spearheaded by more than 300 actresses and executives — will push for a marked increase in women hires along with equal pay and benefits across professions both glamorous and otherwise.
“The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end,” the group said in a statement. “Time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly.”
The initiative will also feature a legal defense fund for both women and men who believe that they’ve been discriminated against or harassed in their workplace.
“Time’s up on silence,” tweeted producer and participant Shonda Rimes in support of the campaign. “Time’s up on waiting.”
A range of Hollywood boosters — including Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg — have already donated to the fund and have raised $13 million thus far.
“Unfortunately, too many centers of power — from legislatures to boardrooms to executive suites and management and academia — lack gender parity and women do not have equal decision-making authority,” the group said in an open letter released on New Year’s Day.
The coalition also demanded greater representation for minorities, immigrants, and those in the LGBTQ community whose “experiences in the workforce are often significantly worse that their white, cisgender, straight peers.”
The effort also counted Emma Stone, America Ferrera and Eva Longoria as supporters.
Noting recent disclosures of mistreatment by members of the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance, Time’s Up lobbied for more attention to gender-related problems in less prominent industries.
“We fervently urge the media covering the disclosures by people in Hollywood to spend equal time on the myriad experiences of individuals working in less glamorized and valorized trades,” the letter read.
In addition, the group will seek legislation that would penalize misbehaving companies as well as a specific push to achieve gender parity at Hollywood studios and talent agencies.
Hoping to generate momentum, Time’s Up called for women to wear black at the upcoming Golden Globes as a sign of solidarity to the victims of sexual harassment who have come out over the last few months.
Grey's Anatomy Star Caterina Scorsone Claims Director James Toback Sexually Harassed Her(10/31/17) Grey’s Anatomy actress Caterina Scorsone has come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against embattled director James Toback.
Scorsone joins numerous women, including actresses Selma Blair, Rachel McAdams, and Julianne Moore, in making such claims against the filmmaker. Toback has denied any wrongdoing and also issued a profanity-laced statement against his accusers to Rolling Stone.
“In response to James Toback’s crass denial in Rolling Stone, I feel I must corroborate the stories of these women. I want to be clear that the predatory director I wrote about in the article I posted a few days back, was James Toback,” she wrote on Instagram. “The article was written 17 years ago. Many industry people knew about it and encouraged me to stay silent. I didn’t, and it directly affected my career. I stand with all the women who were brave enough to tell their stories. I also stand with all the women who don’t feel that they can speak up, even now. Let’s shine light into all the darkest corners. #metoo @rollingstone”
caterinascorsone: In response to James Toback’s crass denial in Rolling Stone, I feel I must corroborate the stories of these women. I want to be clear that the predatory director I wrote about in the article I posted a few days back, was James Toback. The article was written 17 years ago. Many industry people knew about it and encouraged me to stay silent. I didn’t, and it directly affected my career. I stand with all the women who were brave enough to tell their stories. I also stand with all the women who don’t feel that they can speak up, even now. Let’s shine light into all the darkest corners. #metoo @rollingstone @hillelaron
A few days prior, Scorsone had shared an essay she wrote 17 years ago detailing her own experiences with sexual harassment as part of the “#metoo” movement online. She had not specified at the time that the “fairly prominent director” whom she described as making unwanted sexual advances toward her during an audition was allegedly Toback.
“I wrote this article 17 years ago. I was a teenager. After it was published, I quit the business in reaction to the veil of silence surrounding this issue,” she wrote in her previous post. “I eventually returned to acting as an adult, supported by show runners like Shonda Rhimes. She is an example of the good side of this industry. These examples exist. Let’s be done with the other kind. #metoo”
caterinascorsone: (Article) I wrote this article 17 years ago. I was a teenager. After it was published, I quit the business in reaction to the veil of silence surrounding this issue. I eventually returned to acting as an adult, supported by show runners like Shonda Rhimes. She is an example of the good side of this industry. These examples exist. Let’s be done with the other kind. #metoo
“He told me that I was repressed, and that, if I were a real actor like the half-dozen names he mentioned working with, I would be willing to trust him and just ‘go there.’” Scorsone wrote of her alleged experiences with Toback. After refusing his sexual advances, she lost the role and eventually quit the business over frustration at what she describes as “the veil of silence surrounding this issue.” She has since returned to acting, portraying Dr. Amelia Shepherd, sister of Patrick Dempsey’s deceased Derek Shepherd, on Grey’s Anatomy.
Toback has vehemently denied all of the allegations, including those made in an Oct. 22 Los Angeles Times article which has now risen to include more than 300 women. Toback told Rolling Stone reporter Hillel Aron, “I’ve struggled seriously to make movies with very little money, that I write, that I direct, that mean my life to me. The idea that I would offer a part to anyone for any other reason than that he or she was gonna be the best of anyone I could find is so disgusting to me.” Toback has since been dropped by his agent.
Shonda Rhimes on Her Move to Netflix: 'I'm Excited to Tell Other Stories'(10/31/17) Shondaland is moving to a new address — and its mayor is looking forward to the change in scenery.
“I’m really excited about the future on Netflix,” Shonda Rhimes said — in some of her first public comments since leaving ABC in August for a multi-year deal with the streaming giant — during a “TV Game Changers” panel hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. “There’s nothing wrong with having spent so many years telling network television,” the Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal veteran emphasized, but “the constraints of network television tell you what kinds of stories you can tell. Period. And that’s just the way it is.”
In fact, Rhimes says that the soapy, twist-heavy dramas she’s known for might be more a reflection of the confines of network television than her true passions: “There is a brand that people assume that I am, and the kinds of stories that I can tell, and they have nothing to do with me as a writer, but simply have to do with the fact that we were on ABC… I’m excited to tell other stories. I’m excited to tell stories in different ways. I’m excited to be able to just do things in a different way. It’s just time.”
Rhimes didn’t offer any details on what kinds of “other stories” she plans to tell at Netflix, but she’s confident that quality will win out, no matter what form her shows take: “Good stories are good stories, and people find them wherever they are.”
'Buffy' Star Nicholas Brendon Busted for Attacking Girlfriend(10/18/17) 'Buffy the Vampire' star Nicholas Brendon ended up back in handcuffs, and posing for yet another mug shot after an alleged drunken attack on his girlfriend ... TMZ has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Brendon and the woman were at a Palm Springs hotel bar on October 12 when she got up to go back to their room. We're told Nicholas sat her back down by yanking her arm.
She got up again, but this time Brendon -- who's had numerous arrests in recent years -- pulled her down by her hair ... according to law enforcement. We're told a hotel employee called cops, who arrested Brendon for felony domestic violence.
We've reached out to a rep for Nicholas, so far no word back.
Shonda Rhimes Is Fame-ous(10/13/17) The queen of Shondaland and the indigenous Not Ready for Primetime Players are among the Television Academy’s latest Hall of Fame inductees.
Shonda Rhimes and the original cast of Saturday Night Live — including Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, and John Belushi and Gilda Radner (posthumously) — will be inducted during a non-televised ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the Saban Media Center in Hollywood, Calif.
Additional 2017 honorees include TV producer John Wells (Shameless, The West Wing, ER), the late Joan Rivers and art director/production designer Roy Christopher (Frasier).
Shonda Rhimes On Netflix Move, Inclusion & Knowing Your Value(10/5/17) ABC’s maven of Thursday night primetime, Shonda Rhimes, was on hand at the 2017 Vanity Fair Summit to talk about the decision to strike a mega multi-year deal to move her Shondaland company to streaming giant Netflix after a long tenure at ABC Studios, among other topics.
The Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator cited that the ability to “put something out” all at once “that can be available all over the world” without having to platform the release informed her decision as well as the less restrictive environment.
“There no broadcast standard and practices” or length requirements,” Rhimes said. “I can make something that is an hour and a half and I can make something that is 15 minutes long. There’s no ‘we want to see more of this because that’s what you’ve done before.’ It’s an open road.” She insisted that it wasn’t the traditional network formula that drove the change. “It’s not like we left it behind,” Rhimes said. “I have six shows that are happening over at ABC. It really was about doing something new and trying something new. After being someplace for 15 years, she said, acknowledging her appreciation for network television, “I reached a point where I could solve problems in my sleep. There was nothing new in terms of the challenges. I thought when you reach that point where you’re that comfortable it’s time to try something new.”
Although Rhimes remained tight-lipped on her future Netflix projects, she said: “There’s a totally open road that Ted [Sarandos] has provided and an absolute clear lane to do whatever I want. They are very excited to go where I want to go.”
During the panel discussion, Rhimes talked about the importance of ownership and knowing your value.
“It’s important to have a stake in what you make,” she said. “I think that that’s been a problem since the beginning of time.” Rhimes noted that Grey’s Anatomy has made about $2 billion for Disney, adding. “I don’t have $2 billion.”
“I think of myself as more of a businesswoman, and I have had to learn what’s important and what is not in terms of not getting screwed financially,” she said. “There’s a lot of people in this town that don’t know what the value of their work. … What’s important is to plant a flag, get a stake and build that up.”
She also touched on the hot-bottom issue of inclusion and lack of the accurate representation in the world of Hollywood.
“It’s an obvious fact that the world looks like what it looks like, which is I don’t walk out and see a sea of white men,: Rhimes said. “That’s not how the world looks to me, and that’s certainly not interesting.”
She added: “There’s a problem with the idea that a movie that stars a white guy is a movie but if it stars a female then it’s a female-driven movie, or if it stars a black person, it’s a black film. There is something inherently ignorant about that.”
Kate Walsh Opens Up About Her Brain Tumor & How She Chose a Doctor Who Was Just Like Her Grey’s Anatomy Character(9/29/17) After receiving a devastating brain tumor diagnosis in 2015, it seemed like Kate Walsh needed to find a real life Dr. Addison Montgomery — the character she memorably played in ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice.
And, lucky for her, the actress found her real life match.
“I ended up finding this amazing doctor here in L.A. who is kind of a total Addison and I say that only because I’m like I can’t believe I kind of found an Addison,” she said during a recent episode of ABC Radio’s “No Limits With Rebecca Jarvis.”
“I love her so much and she’s so cool and so knowledgeable and so fierce and amazing,” Walsh said of her doctor.
Since her diagnosis, Walsh said she refers to her life as “before tumor” and “after tumor.”
“I think most people who go through, you know, a major health scare or crisis like that, it’s very cliche and trite but it forces you to really sort of assess your life if you haven’t already,” she said.
Walsh said her tumor, which was found to be benign, was removed three days after her doctors discovered it.
“When I was going into surgery and I didn’t know what was going to happen, I just had that real, I call it, like, a God moment or a very special moment,” she revealed. “Like, ‘Well this is it, I’ve had a great run and if not I just want to do stuff that I love.'”
The 13 Reasons Why actress admitted she didn’t talk about her experiences before because she wanted to recover in her own time.
“I really was always intent on wanting to partner with someone just to share and talk about my experience,” she said.
After a nine-month break from working, Walsh shot several projects including Girls Trip and 13 Reasons Why. Though long days of shooting are still in her schedule, she makes sure to get a good night’s sleep and not take too much on for herself.
“Find your Addison… I did… she’s awesome,” she said.
Shonda Rhimes says Emmys progress not enough(9/19/17) Shonda Rhimes was not impressed with the various historical wins at the Emmys on Sunday night.
“It’s embarrassing, frankly,” Rhimes told Vanity Fair in an interview published Tuesday. “To me, it feels embarrassing that we are still in a place in which we still have to note these moments.”
The “Scandal” creator added, “I’m hoping that it’s not a trend. I’m hoping that people don’t feel satisfied because they saw a lot of people win, and then think that we’re done.”
Some of the historic moments included Lena Waithe becoming the first black woman to win an Emmy for writing in a comedy series, Donald Glover the first black person to take home the win for directing in a comedy series and Riz Ahmed the first South Asian male to win an Emmy.
Despite her frustration, Rhimes praised Waithe, who, along with Aziz Ansari, won for writing the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None.”
“She’s so even-keeled and so grounded, and that episode was such an amazing episode of television,” she said.
Rhimes has created a slew of popular, long-running television series, including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How To Get Away with Murder,” for which Viola Davis made history as the first black woman to win the Emmy for lead actress in a drama series in 2015.
Shonda Rhimes launches Shondaland website(9/18/17) Ahead of the new seasons of her ABC #TGIT drama series “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder,” prolific producer Shonda Rhimes and her team at Shondaland have partnered with Hearst and launched a new website, aptly called shondaland.com, to expand their brand in the digital space.
Shondaland will be hosted by Hearst Magazines Digital Media’s proprietary content platform MediaOS and will also receive syndication opportunities across Heart’s properties like Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire. The two companies will also collaborate on creating custom programs for advertisers, as well as monetizing content on the new site.
Dove, for whom Rhimes acts as Creative Director on their Real Beauty Productions film series, will also be a collaborative content partner for the website. They will work together to create additional custom content, such as an interview series with Rhimes that currently lives on the site and features her sitting down with women like Fat Girls Dance founder Cathleen Meredith and barber Kylee Howell.
“We’re excited to partner with Shonda Rhimes to bring her unique voice and vision to our highly engaged audience of more than 200 million users a month,” said Troy Young, global president, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, in a statement. “As an empowering and inclusive platform for women, we know that Shondaland.com will become a must-read for her passionate and growing community of fans.”
Featuring sections on style, family, body, beauty, real women and inspiration, the site, which had a soft launch earlier this year, is designed to provide a home for “complex articles and honest conversations beyond the fictional space.” Rhimes has her own pages on the site with articles thus far on hair, politics, losing weight and a special Q&A with Maxine Waters, as well as a video interview section that includes her Dartmouth commencement speech.
“As we launch this new storytelling platform, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with one of the most prolific media companies in the world,” Rhimes said in a statement. “Hearst’s collection of brands is second to none and we look forward to Shondaland joining their iconic portfolio.”
shondaland.com launches just about a month after Rhimes inked a multi-year production deal with streaming giant Netflix. There, she will begin producing new scripted series for the digital space while still being involved in her current Alphabet network programs (which also includes the upcoming law drama “For The People”).
Kate Walsh reveals past brain tumor diagnosis(9/18/17) Kate Walsh revealed she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor two years ago.
The “Grey’s Anatomy” alum, 49, had felt exhausted but chalked it up to her “insane” working hours, but when her fatigue wasn’t lessening she started to worry, she says in a new interview with Cosmopolitan.
“My pilates instructor said, ‘Hey, your right side is dipping,’ and it didn’t feel like I was off, but I looked down and could see it. Then when I was driving, I started swerving into the right lane,” Walsh told Cosmopolitan. “The exhaustion got to the point where I could drink five cups of coffee and still not feel awake or clear. And then around April, I started having more cognitive difficulties. It felt like aphasia, but it wasn’t just not being able to find words; I would lose my train of thought, I wasn’t able to finish sentences, and that was when I got really alarmed.”
Walsh thought it might have been menopausal symptoms, but an “instinct” told her to see a neurologist.
“I had to really advocate, because they don’t hand out MRIs so easily, but I got an MRI and thank God I did,” she said, “because it turned out I had a very sizable brain tumor in my left frontal lobe. And three days later I was in surgery having it removed.”
After the doctors successfully removed the entire “lemon”-sized tumor from her head, Walsh took nine months off from work to focus on recovery.
“I love to work hard and do 800 things at once, and this was a really amazing lesson in just submitting to the process of healing,” she shared.
Fully recovered, Walsh dove into work again, shooting “Girls Trip” and “13 Reasons Why.”
Patrick Dempsey and Kate Walsh's Surprise Grey's Anatomy Reunion Is Just What the Doctor Ordered(9/16/17) (Video) And here you thought Dr. McDreamy would never see Dr. Addison again.
It's been nearly five years since Patrick Dempsey and Kate Walsh shared the small screen together in ABC's hit series Grey's Anatomy.
But in a brand-new ad campaign for Cigna, the TV doctors are coming together for an important cause.
Joined by Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Doogie Howser) and Donald Faison (Scrubs' Dr. Turk), the Hollywood stars express the importance of preventative care and yearly check-ups with your (real) doctors.
"We're partnering with Cigna to remind you to go see a real doctor," Kate shared in the ad. Patrick added, "Go, know and take control of your life."
So was it odd for Dr. McDreamy to run into his TV ex-wife? Not even in the slightest!
"Kate's fun and her comic timing is amazing," he shared with People. "We were always playful on set anyway, and then we would get serious, but this was fun just to be playful and to make each other laugh."
And while the video may provide some laughs for viewers at home, the Hollywood stars who participated know they are supporting a very important cause.
In fact, Patrick has proven to be passionate about the cause for quite some time as he opened up the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in 2008 for patients and families in need.
For those wondering when they can see Patrick and Kate on the small screen next, we have more good news to share.
The actor will appear in EPIX's 10-episode adaption of Joel Dicker's The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. As for Kate, she is set to continue her role as Olivia Baker in season 2 of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why.
ABC Titan Shonda Rhimes' Defection to Netflix: Your Burning Qs Answered(8/15/17) (tvline.com) Were the quake that shook up Hollywood late Sunday one of the literal rather than figurative variety, it would have measured at least a 7.0 on the Richter scale — it was that massive. Even now, days after the news broke that Shonda Rhimes was leaving her longtime home at ABC for the land of deep pockets and creative freedom known as Netflix, the television capitol is reeling from the aftershocks.
But, while insiders rushed to assess the long-term damage that the small-screen bigwig’s defection would inflict upon the embattled broadcast biz, Joe and Jane TV Fan were busy worrying about what Rhimes’ move meant not only for their favorite current Shondaland series — the one-two-three punch of her #TGIT hits, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder — but also possibly past ones (a Catch revival?!)
Will Greys Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder continue to air on ABC?
Yes. All of Rhimes current and in-the-pipeline ABC series are staying put on the Alphabet network, including midseason entries For the People and the still-untitled firefighter-themed Grey’s Anatomy spinoff.
Might Scandal now continue beyond Season 7, on Netflix?
Negatory. As Rhimes herself explained back in May, the decision to end Scandal after seven seasons was a creative one not a business one. “I turned to my producing partner Betsy Beers and said ‘What if we don’t let Scandal go on forever?'” Rhimes recalled in her Shondaland newsletter. “It had begun to occur to us that… shows written by me don’t seem to end. Every show I’ve created has gone more than 100 episodes. People keep watching. The network is happy. And that’s awesome. But what happens if we let all the shows go on and on without end? What if we just hang on so long that people don’t say why are you ending, but when? What if we don’t let anyone say when?”
Could The Catch or Still Star-Crossed get revived on Netflix?
In this day and age, pretty much any deceased TV show can — and probably will — be revived. But I’m told there are no current plans for Netflix to order additional seasons of any axed Shondaland series, including the one-and-done Still Star-Crossed and the two-and-done romantic caper The Catch.
Is Shondaland now 100-percent Netflix?
Not exactly. ABC Studios wisely secured overall deals with several showrunners from Shondaland series, including Pete Nowalk (How to Get Away With Murder), Krista Vernoff and Bill Harper (Grey’s Anatomy) and Mark Fish (Scandal).
Is Shonda already done at ABC?
Yes. Although her four-year pact with the network wasn’t set to expire until May 2018, Rhimes — clearly itching to get started at Netflix — negotiated an early exit. (We’re guessing that signing off on the forthcoming Grey’s spinoff was at the top of ABC’s list of conditions.)
How soon might we see the first new Shonda show on Netflix?
Probably not until 2018 at the earliest, but you can bet you’ll be hearing about it much sooner. In fact, it’s safe to say Netflix will hand Shondaland its first series pickup before year’s end. Also, keep in mind we haven’t witnessed the arrival of a true Shonda Rhimes series — one created and written by Rhimes herself — since Scandal launched nearly six years ago. So you better believe her little idea book is bursting at the seams.
Did anyone see this coming?
Not to toot our own horn, but we did. Back in January, I read the tea leaves (i.e. the key executive hires at Shondaland, Rhimes’ suspicious lack of output, etc.) and predicted the TV trailblazer was plotting something big and stream-y. So I’m pretty sure that entitles me to a pat on the back at least. I’m open to something more grandiose though.
Child Actor Griffin Gluck Hauls in $60k for Role on 'American Vandal'(8/14/17) Child actor Griffin Gluck is growing up and cashing checks ... scoring a sweet contract to play a high schooler on Netflix's new true crime satire, "American Vandal."
Griffin -- known for playing family son roles on movies like "Just Go With It" and "Why Him?" and the TV show "Private Practice" -- landed the series regular role of Sam on the upcoming mockumentary ... at a rate of $7,500 per episode.
Gluck's in all 8 eps ... so that comes out to $60k. Not bad for a 16-year-old.
It gets better -- if 'American Vandal' gets picked up for a second season, he gets a pay hike -- $10k an ep ... and $12,500 if there's a season 3.
You go, Griff.
The show premieres September 15.
Shonda Rhimes Inks Deal With Netflix, Leaving Longtime ABC Studios Home(8/14/17) In one of the biggest talent gets for Netflix yet that could shake up the drama series TV landscape, the streaming giant has landed one of the top drama showrunners on broadcast television, Shonda Rhimes. After a long tenure at ABC Studios, the Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator is leaving the studio for a multi-year rich deal at the streaming giant, Netflix announced Sunday night.
Heading to Netflix with Rhimes is her Shondaland, which over the past year she had built into a full-fledged production company with its own infrastructure. Shondaland, in which Rhimes is partnered with Betsy Beers, will function as a division of Netflix’s in-house studio.
Rhimes had one more year under her four-year deal at ABC Studios. I hear she negotiated an early exit so she can go to Netflix. I hear the deal with Netflix has a length similar to the four-year ABC Studios pact and is richer.
While Netflix has been very aggressive, bringing in series from A-list showrunners like Jenji Kohan, Marta Kauffman, and Chuck Lorre, this is one of the boldest moves by the streaming network, luring away from network television one of its top writer-producers at the top of her game.
Rhimes will continue to work on the ABC/ABC shows Shondaland has on the air, the returning Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal — heading into its final season — and How To Get Away with Murder, and the upcoming For The People and a Grey’s Anatomy spinoff. ABC Studios also has pilot Adult Behavior with Allan Heinberg, and several other projects in various stages of development. It also has the creators and showrunners of the non-Rhimes created Shondaland series under overall deals.
Word is that, after twelve years, Rhimes was getting restless, feeling that she had accomplished all she could on broadcast TV, and was looking for new creative opportunities to evolve as an artist and push the envelope.
“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix. “Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best. I’ve gotten the chance to know Shonda and she’s a true Netflixer at heart — she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience. We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”
Rhimes’ series already are among the most popular off-network titles on Netflix. Additionally, How to Get Away with Murder streams everywhere else in the world on Netflix, with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal available on Netflix in many regions as well.
“Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company,” said Rhimes. “Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix. He understood what I was looking for — the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities.”
Rhimes’ exit is a major hit to ABC and ABC Studios, where she had become the most prolific drama producer over the past decade, as well as to broadcast drama series as a whole.
“We’re so proud of the work we’ve done with Shonda and Betsy throughout our long and productive relationship, said Patrick Moran, president ABC Studios. From the worldwide success of Grey’s Anatomy to today, with five series (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, For the People, and the Grey’s spinoff), a pilot from Allan Heinberg and a number of projects in development, we will continue to shepherd that success together. The Shondaland imprint will always be an important part of ABC Studios and we wish them all the best in this new endeavor.”
Rhimes’ departure puts an end of a decade-and-a-half close relationship with Disney, going back to her writing The Princess Diaries sequel for the movie studio. She segued to TV series with a 2003 ABC/ABC Studios pilot about war correspondents and the 2005 Grey’s Anatomy, which, thirteen seasons in, continues to be ABC’s highest-rated drama series.
She steadily added more long-running drama series, including the Grey’s spinoff Private Practice and Scandal, which she created, and HTGAWM, which her company produces. Rhimes is one of only handful of producers to control an entire night on a broadcast network as she does on ABC with TGIT.
“Shonda, Betsy and I started working together with the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy and those early days will forever remain one of the highlights of my professional life,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “We are happy to continue working with Shonda and her team at Shondaland on Grey’s, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and the upcoming For the People and Grey’s spinoff. I’m proud to have given a home to what have become some of the most celebrated and talked about shows on television. With the launch of a new season upon us, fans can rest assured that TGIT remains intact and will be as buzzed about as ever.”
Rhimes is repped by ICM Partners and attorney Michael Gendler.
Amy Brenneman To Star In TNT Pilot ‘Deadlier Than The Male’(8/3/17) Amy Brenneman, coming off a starring turn on HBO’s The Leftovers, has been cast as a lead opposite Lily Rabe and Enrique Murciano in Deadlier Than the Male (working title), TNT’s drama pilot produced by Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories and Turner’s Studio T.
Written by Harriet Warner, Deadlier Than The Male follows a trio of characters, each with a mysterious and troubling past: a young woman who once looked into the eyes of a dangerous killer, a former serial predator desperate to find redemption and Mary, a grieving mother (Brenneman) obsessed with finding her missing daughter. As each of them is pushed to the edge, the truth about their pasts and motives grows ever murkier, blurring the lines between victim and perpetrator.
Brenneman’s Mary, who after years of searching for her missing daughter, has become a professional grieving mother. On one hand, her loss has made her a passionate advocate for vulnerable women, but on the other, the tragedy has given her new power and polish–as well as a ruthless streak that makes her a threat to anyone who stands in her way.
Deadlier Than the Male is executive produced by Warner, Papandrea and Casey Haver of Made Up Stories.
Judging Amy alum Brenneman toplined CBS’ drama pilot The Get this past season.
AUDRA MCDONALD JOINS THE CAST OF “THE GOOD FIGHT” AS A SERIES REGULAR ON CBS ALL ACCESS(8/1/17) Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald has joined the cast of THE GOOD FIGHT on CBS All Access, the CBS Television Network’s subscription video on-demand and live streaming service. The second season of CBS All Access’ first original drama series will premiere in early 2018.
McDonald will reprise her popular role of Liz Lawrence, the tough United States attorney she played on “The Good Wife.” Now, in THE GOOD FIGHT, it’s revealed that she is the ex-wife of Adrian Boseman (Delroy Lindo), and over the course of the season the two will have to deal with many of their unresolved issues.
“We're thrilled that Audra McDonald will return to the fictional Chicago of THE GOOD FIGHT,” said executive producers Robert and Michelle King. “After seeing her facility with both comedy and drama, we were dying for the chance to work with her again. Audra brings intelligence, strength, and wit to Liz Lawrence, the character she developed in the fourth season of ‘The Good Wife.’”
McDonald is the winner of a record six Tony Awards, making her the most decorated actor in Broadway history. She was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts.
In addition to her Tony-winning performances in “Carousel,” “Master Class,” “Ragtime,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” and “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” she appeared on Broadway in “The Secret Garden,” “Marie Christine” (Tony nomination), “Henry IV,” “110 in the Shade” (Tony nomination) and “Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All that Followed.”
McDonald’s television credits include “The Sound of Music Live!” and “Private Practice.” Her recent film credits include “Ricki and the Flash” and Disney’s 2017 live action remake of “Beauty and the Beast.”
McDonald joins the cast as a series regular alongside Emmy Award winner Christine Baranski, Cush Jumbo, Rose Leslie, Delroy Lindo, Sarah Steele and Justin Bartha.
Robert and Michelle King serve as showrunners and executive producers of the series, which they co-created with Phil Alden Robinson. Ridley Scott, David Zucker, Liz Glotzer and Brooke Kennedy also serve as executive producers. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions. The series is distributed worldwide by CBS Studios International.
THE GOOD FIGHT is available exclusively on the CBS All Access digital subscription service and accessible online at CBS.com, on mobile devices via the CBS App for iOS, Android and Windows 10, and on Roku Players, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation4 and Fire TV. The first season of THE GOOD FIGHT is now available to stream on CBS All Access.
Battle of the Network Stars: Doctors vs. Famous TV Families (7/27)(7/11/17) “Doctors vs. Famous TV Families” – The revival of “Battle of the Network Stars,” based on the ‘70s and ‘80s television pop-culture classic, will continue on THURSDAY, JULY 27 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. The original series from ABC Sports began in 1976 and continued for 13 years. The new “Battle of the Network Stars” will be a nostalgic throwback to the original series where TV celebrities blended athleticism with hilarious antics.
Here are the teams for this new episode (* = returning to “Battle of the Network Stars”):
Famous TV Families (Danny Bonaduce, Barry Williams, Beverley Mitchell, *Willie Aames, *Charlene Tilton)vs.
Doctors (Thomas Calabro, Taye Diggs, Rachelle Lefevre, *Deidre Hall, Benjamin Hollingsworth)
‘My Little Pony’ Trailer: There’s Trouble In Ponyville, But The Mane 6 Are On The Case(6/29/17) (Video) Hasbro already has been to the movies with its Ouija, G.I. Joe and, of course, Transformers properties, and now it’s moving from action and horror to, well, My Little Pony. Here’s the first trailer for the animated pic inspired by the popular 1980s toy line.
Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Sia, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba and Zoe Saldana headline the voice cast for the movie from director Jayson Thiessen, who has worked on a number of Pony projects in recent years. Logline? Glad you asked: A dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 – Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity – embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria, where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their home.
And if you think the target demo is young girls, consider the “Bronies” — men ages 13 to 30 who are obsessed with the franchise. There was even a documentary about them that played Tribeca a few years back. You can check out that trailer here.
Meanwhile, My Little Pony features songs by original music and songs performed by Sia, Diggs, Saldana, Aduba, Chenoweth and Blunt, if you’re scoring along at home. Lionsgate opens the film from Allspark Pictures and DHX Media in barns, er, theaters on October 6. Check out the trailer above, and tell us what you think.
Shonda Rhimes: People found me ‘valuable’ after losing 150 pounds(6/28/17) Shonda Rhimes could not believe how differently she was treated before and after losing 150 pounds.
“Women I barely knew gushed. And I mean GUSHED. Like I was holding-a-new-baby-gushed,” the “Grey’s Anatomy” creator wrote in her latest “Shondaland” newsletter. “Only there was no new baby. It was just me. In a dress. With makeup on and my hair all did, yes. But … still the same me.
“Women gushed anyway. And men? They spoke to me. THEY SPOKE TO ME. Like stood still and had long conversations with me about things,” the 47-year-old continued. “It was disconcerting. But even more disconcerting was that all these people suddenly felt completely comfortable talking to me about my body. Telling me I looked ‘pretty’ or that they were ‘proud of me’ or that ‘wow, you are so hot now’ or ‘you look amazing!'”
Rhimes wrote about her experience in reference to author Roxane Gay’s newly released memoir, “Hunger,” which focuses on body image, food and weight.
The award-winning producer was also puzzled because “after I lost weight, I discovered that people found me valuable. Worthy of a conversation. A person one could look at. A person one could compliment. A person one could admire.”
Rhimes questioned how people viewed her prior to losing weight.
“You heard me. I discovered that NOW people saw me as a PERSON,” she penned. “What the hell did they see me as before? … What words did they use to describe me? What value did they put on my presence at a party, a lunch, a discussion? When I was fat, I wasn’t a PERSON to these people. Like I had been the Invisible Woman who suddenly materialized in front of them. Poof! There I am. Thin and ready for a chat.”
As Rhimes pointed out, “being thinner doesn’t make you a different person. It just makes you thinner.”
‘Doomsday’: Sony TV Eyes Series Order For Ex-ABC Pilot, Extends Cast Options(6/26/17) It looks like thriller drama pilot Doomsday, from producer Carol Mendelsohn and Sony Pictures TV, will go to series after all. I’ve learned that Sony TV is exploring a series order for the project, originally set up at ABC this past development season where it did not go beyond the pilot stage. While pickup conversations are going on, Sony TV has moved to extend the options on the cast of Doomsday, which were set to expire June 30. The project stars Claire Holt, Jack Davenport, Rachelle Lefevre, Dan Byrd, Taye Diggs, Justin Chatwin and Rochelle Aytes.
I hear Sony TV is planning to produce Doomsday for global distribution based on oversees interest in the concept and auspices. I hear the studio would open a writers room and fund the production of the series, likely in the 13-episode range, before taking it out to domestic and international buyers.
I hear one of the potential options considered involves Sony Pictures Television Networks’ AXN set of international channels, which distributes Sony TV’s straight-to-series Stana Katic thriller drama Absentia that just had its world premiere at the Monte Carlo Television Festival.
Doomsday was one of the first big buys of the 2016-2017 broadcast development cycle, landing at ABC with a production commitment plus a series penalty behind it. It went to pilot but did not make the cut to series.
Written by Mark Bianculli & VJ Boyd and directed by Joachim Ronning, Doomsday starts in the aftermath of 9/11, when the U.S. government institutes a secret think tank featuring the most creative minds in science and entertainment that is tasked with dreaming up man-made disaster scenarios and their possible solutions. Because the hypothetical ideas are deemed extremely dangerous, the list is sealed and the program shut down. But when a catastrophe occurs that’s ripped from the pages of the missing doomsday book, the team is brought back years later to prevent the disasters of their own making.
Mendelsohn and Julie Weitz executive produce for Sony TV-based Carol Mendelsohn Productions alongside Boyd via Pernomium Pictures and Bianculli via Signal Hill Productions.
If the deals close and Doomsday goes to series, it would be the second broadcast pilot this season to score a series order after getting a pass by its original network. CBS TV Studios’ Insatiable, originally at the CW, has landed at Netflix. As for Sony TV, it would be the second save this season, following NBC’s un-cancellation of the studio’s drama Timeless.
Girls Trip Star Kate Walsh on How Humor Can Balance Out the Seriousness of Racial Tension: 'There's a Way to Do Both'(6/24/17) As Kate Walsh puts it — a little comedy can go a long way.
At a time rife with racial tension, the Girls Trip star says there’s a way to balance the seriousness of issues with humor in film — and hopes the upcoming movie accomplishes that.
“I think that [comedies] can concurrently get to the very serious business of solving problems with race in our culture and also laugh about it,” Walsh, 49, tells PEOPLE Now. “I think there’s a way to do both and be sensitive and actually do the work that needs to be done in our culture.”
She adds: “It’s a really interesting time in our culture but we’ve been here before and we will move forward and move forward together and be a better place.”
The Will Packer-produced comedy also stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish as the group travels to New Orleans for ESSENCE Festival. Along the way, they rekindle their sisterhood and rediscover their wild sides.
“Because of our history in this country and how we’ve been labeled, I think we, as Black women, tend to be a little hard on ourselves,” Pinkett-Smith told ESSENCE about letting go and having fun in the July 2017 issue. “That feeling of always having to be on point has prevented us from being expansive in how we see ourselves and how we allow ourselves to be entertained, but I think we’re getting to a place where we’re afforded the opportunity to kind of cut loose and see all the wonderful colors of who we are.”
Girls Trip hits theaters July 21.
Kate Walsh Talks Playing ''Wicked Bitch'' Addison Montgomery on Grey's Anatomy(6/23/17) Kate Walsh will always have a bit of Addison Montgomery in her.
The actress rose to fame on Grey's Anatomy starring as the girl every avid watcher loved to hate. After two seasons as a main character opposite Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey, Walsh parlayed Addison into her own spinoff, Private Practice. Now four years after the hit medical drama said goodbye to the infamous neonatal surgeon, Walsh is reflecting on the role that changed her life.
During a Q&A with Buzzfeed, Kate said she'll never forget her entrance at the end of season one. Grey's fans will vividly remember when she (and her fiery red locks) surprised estranged husband Derek Shepherd (Dempsey) and his new girlfriend, Meredith Grey, (Pompeo) at the hospital. She recalled, "I got more calls and attention from that 60-second scene than anything in my career before. Isn't that funny?"
Walsh continued, "Everyone hated me, but at that time there was no Twitter. There were chat rooms, but I never really went on them. I kind of liked being the Wicked Witch from the East. Or the wicked bitch. [Show creator] Shonda [Rhime's] really gifted at flipping every character that's seemingly awful. It's a great lesson in how to have compassion for people that you initially hate."
The 13 Reasons Why star also dished on-set secrets from the early days of Grey's... long before the critical acclaim, sky-high ratings and Emmy awards.
Walsh explained, "With Grey's, I remember because I came in at episode 8, at that time the morale was really low. They kept changing the name of the show. It was Doctors and then Surgeons and then Complications and I was like, 'What a bullshit show title!' Grey's Anatomy is the perfect title."
"To keep our morale up they started showing us episodes at Friday lunches that were already edited," she revealed. "And I was like, 'This is a really good show' and I was so excited to be a part of it. I was supposed to do a pilot for another sitcom on ABC, and it didn't end up getting picked up and then they called me to be a series regular on Grey's and the world changed. It was stunning, right? It was really phenomenal."
With such fond memories, does Kate ever reminisce with a Grey's Anatomy binge-watching sesh? "I don't!" she admitted, "Once in a while I'll see a gif somewhere online. It would be really interesting to go back and watch now—that would be really cool."
"It was funny, I was on The Today Show and I didn't know that Taye Diggs was guest-hosting and they showed a little clip of us when Sam and Addison were dating [on Private Practice] and I was like, 'Oh my god, who is that girl?' It's like watching someone else. I don't usually watch myself—I get a little freaked out. It's not good for me."
Walsh is evidently still a huge fan of the long-running series, and was just as shocked when producers killed off McDreamy in season 11. "Well, I was surprised when they killed off Patrick," she dished. "It had been so long and I was like, 'Oh, really?' And I tuned into that episode. It was like, 'Oh, I guess I should watch this.'
Hollywood Walk of Fame's Class of 2018 Revealed: Steve Irwin and More Set to Receive Stars(6/23/17) The Walk of Fame is getting even more star-studded.
On Thursday afternoon, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced the lucky honorees who will be receiving a star in 2018.
For the category of television, Anthony Anderson, Gillian Anderson, Lynda Carter, Simon Cowell, RuPaul, Taraji P. Henson, Eric McCormack, Ryan Murphy, Niecy Nash, Mandy Patinkin and Shonda Rhimes will all be celebrated.
In addition, the late Steve Irwin will also be recognized for his contributions.
"I am beyond excited to share with you all that we have just received the news that Dad will be honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame," Bindi Irwin shared on Instagram. "Dad changed the world by reaching out to people through their television screens to bring them on the adventure of a lifetime. To have his name on a Hollywood Star means the world as we carry on his important work."
Other Class of 2018 members include:
Motion Pictures: Jack Black, Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Goldblum, F. Gary Gray, Mark Hamill, Jennifer Lawrence, Gina Lollobrigida, Minnie Mouse, Nick Nolte and Zoe Saldana
Recording: Mary J. Blige, Sir Richard Branson, Petula Clark, Harry Connick Jr., Ice T, Snoop Dogg, Carrie Underwood and Weird Al Yankovic
Radio: Steve Jones
Live Theatre/Live Performance: Charles Aznavour, Lin-Manuel Miranda and the late Bernie Mac.
‘Hello Again’ Trailer: Rumer Willis, T.R. Knight, Martha Plimpton And Audra McDonald In A Rondelay Of Passion(6/21/17) (Video) Here’s a first look at Hello Again, the film adaptation by Tom Gustafson (Mariachi Gringo) of composer-lyricist Michael John LaChiusa’s acclaimed 1994 musical. A new riff on La Ronde, the scandal-causing Arthur Schnitzler play from 1897 (first filmed by Max Ophüls in 1950 and subsequently by Roger Vadim with 1964’s Circle of Love and Otto Schenk with Der Reigen in 1973) about series of sexual assignations across boundaries of class and status that seem unrelated, at first, only to be revealed as something far more surprising.
La Chiusa’s rendering, first presented by Lincoln Center Theater, follows 10 fleeting love affairs across 10 periods in New York City history. The pursued becomes pursuer as they spin through daisy-chained vignettes that come together in one soulful circle.
The ensemble cast features record-making six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, Emmy Award-winner and Tony nominee Martha Plimpton, Emmy and Drama Desk nominee T.R. Knight, Rumer Willis, Cheyenne Jackson, SAG Award-winner and Grammy nominee Jenna Ushkowitz, Teen Choice Award-winner Tyler Blackburn, Sam Underwood, Nolan Gerard Funk and Al Calderon. The screenplay is by Cory Krueckeberg.
The film was the closing night feature in Torino, Italy’s Lovers film Fest last night and will be making the rounds of film festivals through the summer. The film is repped by Ken DuBow. SPEAKproductions, in association with TBD Productions and Martian Entertainment. Let us know what you think.
‘Supergirl’: Jessica Queller & Robert Rovner Named Co-Showrunners On the CW Series(6/16/17) The CW superhero drama series Supergirl is beefing up its showrunner ranks heading into its third season with the promotion of Jessica Queller and Robert Rovner to co-showrunners alongside co-creator Andrew Kreisberg.
The move follows the departure of co-creator/co-showrunner Ali Adler, who has signed an overall deal at CBS TV Studios. She will remain an executive consultant on the CW series.
Both Queller and Rovner joined the Warner Bros. TV-produced Supergirl midway through the first season as co-executive producer and consulting producer, respectively. Rovner was elevated to executive producer at the beginning of Season two. Queller is now also being promoted to executive producer, joining fellow exec producers Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti, Rovner and Sarah Schechter.
Kreisberg, who co-developed the series with Berlanti and Adler based on the DC characters, will be joined on Supergirl’s showrunner team by Queller and Rovner, beginning with the 2017–18 season. The show hails from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Queller’s previous series credits include Felicity, Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl. Rovner previously worked on Private Practice, Crossing Jordan, Dallas and American Dreams, among others.
'Graves’: Matt Long & Lauren Weedman Join Season 2 Of Epix Series(6/13/17) Matt Long (Mad Men, Private Practice) and Lauren Weedman (Hung, Looking) have booked recurring roles opposite Nick Nolte of season 2 of Epix comedy series Graves, from Lionsgate TV.
After a year of public protests against his Presidential legacy, Season 2 finds former President Richard Graves (Nolte) turning inward in search of the man he used to be before he was President. This journey is compounded by the arrival of his first grandchild, thanks to daughter Olivia (Heléne Yorke) and a new revelation about his son, Jeremy (Chris Lowell). Graves’s journey coincides with wife Margaret’s (Sela Ward) Senate campaign, as the former First Lady attempts to build her own political legacy at the exact moment that her husband is tearing his down; and his assistant, Isaiah Miller’s (Skylar Astin) search for new direction after taking a bullet for the President in the Season 1 finale.
Long will play Jesse Enright, the movie star playing Richard Graves in the biopic of his life. Weedman is Bonnie Clegg, Maggie’s (Ward) white trash Texas cousin who comes out of the woodwork to badmouth Margaret to the press.
Season 2 is currently in production in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM.
Long’s most recent credits include a series regular roles on Syfy’s Helix and key recurring roles on ABC’s Private Practice and AMC’s Mad Men. He’s repped by UTA and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.
Weedman is known for her series regular role on HBO’s dramedy Looking and the recurring role of “Horny Patty” on Hung. Her other credits include True Blood, Curb Your Enthusiasm and New Girl, among others. She’s repped by UTA and Rise Management.
Battle of the Network Stars Full Cast Announced(6/12/17) This is either going to be really good or so bad, it’s great. But either way, ABC’s relaunch of Battle of the Network Stars (premiering Thursday, June 29 at 9/8c) is looking like the summer’s must-see — especially since on Tuesday the full list of competitors was released.
Here’s the full list of stars competing on the 20 teams that will, in different episodes, do their damnedest to avoid “the agony of defeat”:
TV Sitcoms (Bronson Pinchot, Tom Arnold, Dave Coulier, AJ Michalka, Tracey Gold) vs. TV Kids (Joey Lawrence, Corbin Bleu, Nolan Gould, Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields)
Primetime Soaps (Ian Ziering, Josh Henderson, Gabrielle Carteris, Donna Mills, Mischa Barton) vs. ABC Stars (Olivia d’Abo, Shari Belafonte, Michael Fishman, Jason Hervey, Anson Williams)
Variety (Joanna Krupa, Nick Lachey, Vanessa Lachey, Gilles Marini, Jack Osbourne) vs. TV Sex Symbols (Keegan Allen, Traci Bingham, Rosa Blasi, Brant Daugherty, Galen Gering)
Cops (Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox, Kelly Hu, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Lorenzo Lamas) vs. TV Sitcoms (Todd Bridges, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Dave Foley, Willie Garson, Jenna von Oy)
White House (Cornelius Smith Jr., Marlee Matlin, Joshua Malina, LaMonica Garrett, Mary McCormack) vs. Lawyers (Elisabeth Rohm, Corbin Bernsen, Matt McGorry, Romi Dias, Catherine Bell)
TV Moms & Dads (Chad Lowe, Greg Evigan, Ted McGinley, Lesley Fera, Jackee Harry) vs. TV Kids (Jimmie Walker, Mackenzie Phillips, Jonathan Lipnicki, Krista Marie Yu, Jeremy Miller)
Famous TV Families (Danny Bonaduce, Barry Williams, Beverley Mitchell, Willie Aames, Charlene Tilton) vs. Doctors (Thomas Calabro, Taye Diggs, Rachelle Lefevre, Deidre Hall, Benjamin Hollingsworth)
Troublemakers (Vivica A. Fox, Paul Johansson, John Barrowman, Julie Benz, Catherine Bach) vs. TV Lifeguards (David Chokachi, Brande Roderick, Parker Stevenson, Nicole Eggert, Gena Lee Nolin)
ABC Stars (Ted Lange, Troy Gentile, Jill Whelan, Denise Richards, Joely Fisher) vs. Variety (Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Adrienne Houghton, Cameron Mathison, Kelly Osbourne)
Cops (Marisol Nichols, Roma Maffia, Adrian Zmed, Fred Dryer, Ryan Paevey) vs. Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Lou Ferrigno, Vinnie Jones, Charisma Carpenter, Kevin Sorbo, Jill Wagner)
Shonda Rhimes, Susanne Daniels, Mark Gordon Join TV Academy Exec Committee(6/5/17) Veteran TV players Shonda Rhimes, Susanne Daniels, Mark Gordon, Richard Weitz and Carmi Zlotnik are joining the Television Academy’s executive committee.
In those committee roles, the five will help set policy for the Academy, which now is led by Hayma Washington, who became chairman and CEO in November, succeeding Bruce Rosenblum.
Daniels is now head of global content for YouTube, Rhimes produces shows including Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, Gordon is a producer of titles such as Criminal Minds and Designated Survivor, Weitz is co-head of WME’s scripted TV department, and Zlotnik is president of programming at Starz.
“We are exceptionally fortunate to have the opportunity to be advised and guided by five of the most insightful and ground-breaking executives in the television industry,” Washington said in a press release. “Individually they deliver a wealth of experience and knowledge across global television platforms. Collectively, they represent the future of the industry and will play a significant role in leading the Television Academy and our members as our medium continues to evolve.”
The board of governors has also elected the following representatives on the executive committee for the 2017 term: Jill Daniels, animation; Gail Mancuso, directors; Rickey Minor, music; and Mark Scott Spatny, special visual effects. Rounding out the executive committee membership for the 2017 term are Academy officers Frank Scherma, vice chair; Steve Venezia, second vice chair; Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg, secretary; Allison Binder, treasurer; and Mitch Waldow, Los Angeles Area vice chair; and Television Academy Foundation Chair, Madeline Di Nonno.
Madam Secretary Finale: Tim Daly Talks Dmitri's Return and the 'Spooky' Way 'Headlines Are Ripped From Our Show!'(5/20/17) (tvline.com) When Russia once more threatens to mess with international affairs in Madam Secretary‘s Season 3 finale on Sunday (CBS, 9/8c), Henry’s new governmental role puts him in a position to help Elizabeth with her latest geopolitical headache. And hey, doesn’t Dr. McCord have a special in with someone who might be able to help?
“Yes, little Dmitri comes back,” series star Tim Daly tells TVLine.
Dedicated viewers of the political drama will remember Dmitri as the Russian Army officer Henry recruited as an American spy. After the younger man’s capture by the Russians — and subsequent trade to the Americans — he’s been hanging out in witness protection, only having appeared once this season. So of course, Dmitri was the first thing we asked Daly about in advance of Sunday’s finale.
TVLINE | How’s Dmitri doing?
He’s doing a lot better. I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say, but f–k it, I’ll just say it: He’s coming back into the fold. It’s this weird thing where the intelligence community now has a need for him, and Henry finds a way to bring him back in. Of course, he’s been working at a TV repair store or as a cable guy, so he’s more than happy to return to at least part of what his whole life was, because he has some expertise on the Russians.
TVLINE | I know these things get mapped out months in advance, and your show often mirrors real life, but Russia?! Was that planned all along?
Listen, I think that our writers have a crystal ball and reality mirrors what the show does. It’s really weird. It’s honestly spooky. Sometimes people will say to me we’re ripped from the headlines, which is actually not true. The headlines are ripped from our show. Which means either the writers know something we don’t know, or they’re just really good at gaming out the problems that exist around the globe and making situations that then come true.
…When we started the show, it seemed like this adrenaline rush of these wild geopolitical problems that were being depicted on the show. Then after November, or maybe before, leading up to the election, the real politics has been so much weirder than anything on our show. Our show now is a nice, relaxing place to go where people can be comforted that things aren’t going to s–t. [Laughs] It’s very odd. We thought at one point, “That’s it. The show’s over. We’re not as interesting as real life.” But we’ve found people need to escape to the show for reassurance that the world’s not coming to an end.
TVLINE | Last week gave us some closure to this season’s terrorism arc. Does the finale set up next season? Is there a cliffhanger? What can you tell us?
This episode really wraps up with Henry embarking on this new job, which is the Special Activities Division or whatever it’s called. SAD. So he’s officially ensconced in his own little pod over in the intelligence community. It really wraps up with a moment where the family reconnects amidst all this chaos. So it doesn’t really launch much into the future. It is not a cliffhanger.
TVLINE | Have you had conversations about next season yet? Anything you can tease?
Not so much, not yet. There have been a few little things that I can’t tell you, because I would have to kill you and then myself. [Laughs] Not so much a bigger arc. Whenever I talk to the writers, I always push them to lean on the fact that Henry struggles so hard with the ethics of what he does and to make that complicated. Because he’s a patriotic guy, he’s a guy of faith, he wants to help his country, and yet he’s cool and he’s also someone who doesn’t see things in black and white, and he pays an emotional price whenever he has to do something that’s dubious. That’s what I always push towards, and they’re very good at it.
TVLINE | This should have been my first question — apologies, I’m a terrible human being — but how are you feeling?
I can walk like a big boy, so I’m good. I’m really getting good. It’s interesting, because I can walk and I’m not in pain anymore. But it’s funny how when you spend so much time healing, your body wears out. All your little soldiers are working really hard to get you better, and then you’re better, and then your soldiers are exhausted and need to go back to their tents and sleep. So I’m kind of tired. But I’m good. I have a whole new appreciation of being able to walk. I’ll never take that for granted again.
Amy Brenneman To Star In ‘Wendy And The Lost’ For Paulist Productions(5/11/17) Paulist Productions has optioned the script Wendy And The Lost, a debut feature film screenplay by TV writer-producer Carol Barbee, and has attached Amy Brenneman to star. The romantic comedy, to be directed by Iain B. MacDonald, marks a reteam of Barbee and Brenneman, who executive produced and toplined, respectively, CBS’ six-season series Judging Amy.
Paulist will provide equity financing for the pic and look to bring in other financing partners on the project. The plots centers on Wendy (Brenneman) as she tries to help her son, Will, fit into the world. As he tries to find his place among his socialization group filled with oddball peers, Wendy realizes she needs to begin her own journey of making friends — and maybe even finding love.
Paulist’s Chris Donahue and Marybeth Sprows will produce alongside Doug Draizin and Paul Schiff, with Barbee and Brenneman also producing.
It’s the latest project for Paulist’s growing film and TV slate that includes the recently announced Little Women movie starring Lea Thompson which shoots in Utah next month and The Innocence of Joan Little miniseries it is developing and producing with Will Packer Productions.
Brenneman (The Leftovers) is repped by CAA and Mosaic. Barbee, currently an executive producer on Lifetime’s UnReal, is with WME and Draizin. MacDonald is repped by WME, Independent Talent Group and 3 Arts.
62nd Annual Drama Desk Award Nominations(4/28/17) Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Jayne Houdyshell, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Randy Graff, The Babylon Line, Lincoln Center Theater
Marie Mullen, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, BAM
Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes, Manhattan Theatre Club
Emily Skinner, Picnic
Kate Walsh, If I Forget, Roundabout Theatre Company
Broadway legend Audra McDonald has slept on the streets(4/18/17) The most decorated star on Broadway regularly spends the night on the sidewalk.
For the last few years, six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald has joined Sleep Out: Broadway Edition, which invites hundreds of members of the New York theater community to pass an entire night on the street, regardless of weather. The annual event is a fundraiser for Covenant House, the organization that helps homeless teens in 30 cities across six countries.
McDonald first got to know Covenant House when she was working on “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” the 2014 Billie Holiday bio that earned her that sixth Tony. She’s since become a board member.
Although she was initially spurred by Holiday’s history (the blues singer was herself a homeless teen), McDonald’s connection to the organization runs much deeper.
“I’m trying to raise socially aware activists and feminists and citizens of the human race, and Covenant House really brought all of that more into focus,” says the mother of two, whose youngest, Sally James, was born last year. “Everything I bought for the baby, I’ve been like, ‘You get to borrow it for a minute, Sally James, but it’s for the Cov kids,’” referring to the organization’s programs for teen mothers.
Kevin Ryan, the president and CEO of Covenant House, says he regularly receives notes and checks from new donors who say they were inspired to become involved when they heard McDonald speak about the charity during one of her concerts. “What I love about [Audra],” Ryan says, “is she really understands that the least interesting thing about our kids is their homelessness. They’re students and interns and actors and rappers and poets.”
McDonald gets the chance to spend time with the kids when she visits local outposts of Covenant House on the down low, or serves them breakfast on Thanksgiving Day — or spends the night with them at the Sleep Out. “You wake up the next morning, if you slept at all, and you’re converted,” she says. “These kids, this is their life. It just changes you’re worldview. It can’t not.”
Pop TV Picks Up Keanu Reeves Sitcom, Announces Projects With Kate Walsh, Will Arnett and Sarah Jessica Parker(4/13/17) Keanu Reeves, P.I.?
Pop TV on Thursday announced a robust slate of new original programming, including Swedish Dicks, Private Detectives, a single-camera comedy series featuring Reeves in his first major TV role.
The Swedish import, which first premiered on the online streaming service Viaplay, also stars Peter Stormare (The Blacklist) and comedian Johan Glans as an aging ex-stuntman and a Swedish DJ who open an L.A.-based private detective firm; Reeves appears in a recurring capacity.
In addition to Swedish Dicks, Pop has ordered Clique, a BBC Three drama from the creative team behind the British phenomenon Skins. Per the network, the show “brings childhood soulmates Georgia (The Fall‘s Aisling Franciosi) and Holly (newcomer Synnove Karlsen) to a university, where a few weeks into the so-called best years of their lives, Georgia gets drawn into an elite clique of alpha girls, led by mysterious professor Jude Monroe (Sherlock‘s Louise Brealey).” Also ordered to series is Hot Date, a half-hour comedy based on the CollegeHumor web series of the same name, which counts Will Arnett as an executive producer. The latter is penciled in for a fall 2017 debut.
The cable network has also nabbed the off-network rights to The Goldbergs, currently in its fourth season on ABC. Reruns of the family sitcom will join the network’s nostalgic line-up — which already includes Baywatch, Beverly Hills, 90210, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek, ER and That ’70s Show — later this year.
Not yet ordered to series but already in development include the following programs, which feature the likes of Kate Walsh (13 Reasons Why) and Mary McCormack (House of Lies), and hail from EPs Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce), Rashida Jones (Angie Tribeca) Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones):
It’s A Date: A scripted anthology series described as an “irreverent, funny and no-holds-barred exploration of modern-day courtship,” from EP Sarah Jessica Parker.
The Demons of Dorian Gunn: A scripted drama about a “disgraced New York socialite” who “unwillingly abandons his life of leisure to protect humanity from monsters as they emerge from the gates of hell,” from EP Krysten Ritter.
Get In My Van: A travel show hosted by Kate Walsh and BFF Arden Myrin (Shameless), who travel the country in an RV and chat with both celebrity friends and regular folks.
You Take My Point: A pop culture panel show hosted by Mary McCormack from her Hollywood Hills home, featuring a rotating panel of celebrity guests including Rashida Jones (who serves as an EP) and Chelsea Handler.
Shonda Rhimes’ new gig: creative director for Dove campaign(3/31/17) Shonda Rhimes has a new soap in the works.
The television power player, 47, has signed on to be the creative director for Dove’s Real Beauty Productions initiative, reports People.
As part of the role, the “Scandal” creator will produce a series of short films for the brand focusing on the lives of real women.
“When I think about my storytelling, the shows are really about just portraying the lives of women as realistically as possible, as flawed as we are, as powerful as we can be, as ambitious and competitive [as we are], while also serving up a great story, obviously,” she told the magazine. “I love the idea that their mission is about showing women as they really are, so the idea of serving as creative director for a campaign such as this felt really natural.”
While other brands tend to look to celebrities to hawk their wares, Dove’s recent campaigns have focused on regular, everyday women. And while Rhimes’ shows – which also include “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Grey’s Anatomy — aren’t lacking when it comes to the extraordinary, they are built around strong and complex female characters who feel real.
“I think what makes each one of those women beautiful is being powerful, working at all cylinders, loving themselves, feeling really confident,” she said. “Beauty is greater than your hair or your eyes. It’s a bigger picture.”
As with her shows, Rhimes’ goal with the project is to help women find confidence within themselves.
“I don’t know if it is age. I don’t know if it is motherhood. I don’t know what it is, but at some point I just looked up and thought, ‘Oh I am not worried about any of that at all,’” the producer said. “Confidence carries you through. But I don’t know if any woman’s ever at the point where she is 100 percent accepting it.”
How 13 Reasons Why's Kate Walsh Got Into the Mindset of a Grieving Mother(3/31/17) 13 Reasons Why is not your typical teen drama. And Kate Walsh is not your typical mom in the atypical 13 Reasons Why.
Netflix's latest offering follows the tale of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a high schooler who kills herself with no explanation, devastating her parents (played by Walsh and Smash's Brian D'Arcy James). But, naturally there's a twist, and Hannah left 13 reasons why she killed herself on 13 tapes for her peers in high school to discover. Each episode of the series is a tape explaining how the other students and their actions affected Hannah. To get into the role of grieving mother, Walsh dove right in.
"I spoke to two parents that had a child that died by suicide and I spoke to a psychiatrist, who deals with family therapists, but particularly with families that lost someone in the family to suicide, so it was really helpful to talk to people from both areas and to get as specific as I could," Walsh told E! News during a recent interview.
But then she let all that information go.
"You want to do–obviously—the most honest and honorable job you can to those who have had to deal with that kind of tragedy, but at the same time I wanted to really kind of come at it from my own place and honor what [creator Brian Yorkey] had written in the script," Walsh explained.
The series is a heavy one, not quite an easy binge, and not quite easy to film. Walsh said she would go back and forth between filming in Northern California and Los Angeles and was able to let everything go when not on set. It's a show—and Walsh's performance—that will stick with you. And speaking of Walsh's memorably roles, is there any chance she'd return to the role of Dr. Addison Montgomery on Grey's Anatomy?
"I don't know," she said with a laugh. "It's always a possibility, I guess, for a very, very, very special episode."
13 Reasons Why drops on Netflix on Friday, March 31.
Amy Brenneman to Headline CBS' Journalism Drama Pilot The Get(3/21/17) Breaking news: Amy Brenneman will be chasing scoops as an investigative journalist in a CBS drama pilot.
The Leftovers actress has signed on to play the lead role in The Get, a potential drama series about a team of online journalists from writer Bridget Carpenter (11.22.63, Dexter), according to our sister site Deadline. Brenneman will play Ellen, an investigative reporter for the website who’s not afraid to bend a few rules in order to get the story.
She joins a cast that already includes Everybody Loves Raymond alum Brad Garrett, who’ll play the site’s executive producer Bill, and UnREAL‘s Michael Rady, who signed on last week to play embedded journalist Tom. James Strong (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) will direct the pilot.
Brenneman’s filming schedule is wide open, since The Leftovers wraps up a three-season run on HBO this spring; she plays Guilty Remnant member Laurie Garvey. Prior to that, she spent six seasons on CBS as judge Amy Gray on Judging Amy, earning three Emmy nominations for the role. She also had memorable stints on ABC’s NYPD Blue (as detective Janice Licalsi, earning two more Emmy nods) and Private Practice (as psychiatrist Violet Turner).
Shonda Rhimes Reaches A New Stage With Playwrights’ Grants(3/20/17) Shonda Rhimes announced today that she’s backing IAMA Theatre, an L.A.-based nonprofit with strong ties to Shondaland-produced shows including Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. The 9-year-old company named Rhimes its first “Patron of the Arts” and said her contribution (the amount was not specified) will fund, among other things, the Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission.
“I chose IAMA because attending their shows has brought me so much joy,” Rhimes said in the announcement of the endowment, which will come through the recently formed Rhimes Family Foundation. “Their productions made me finally feel the way one does when exploring the New York Off-Broadway world of theater. Fresh voices filled with creativity. And they’ve accomplished it all on a shoe-string budget. That ends now.”
The objective of the grant, according to a company spokesman, will be to “help grow and nourish the theater community in Los Angeles for budding playwrights and artists, allowing writers the chance to develop new plays with one of Los Angeles’s most exciting young theater companies. Funding will have special emphasis on cultural inclusion – all with the goal of showcasing fresh, creative, thought-provoking work.”
Nearly a decade ago, Scandal star and IAMA co-artistic director Katie Lowes arrived in LA from New York and met similar-minded actors hungry for stage experience to complement their work in film and television.
“When we all moved out to L.A., none of us had family here,” Lowes recently told BuzzFeed News. “But these people are my family, for sure. We’ve been able to do wonderful things that are important and give you a sense of purpose and sense of family. It’s the best thing I’ve done out here. I would be lost without it.”
IAMA is an ensemble promoting new artists and developing provocative new work. “We could not be more honored for Ms. Rhimes’s contribution to our company,” said Christian Durso, IAMA’s Co-Artistic Director. “She is a trailblazing storyteller in the 21st century and a champion for underrepresented voices. She fits perfectly with our mission to grow a new generation of theater artists and engage a passionate Los Angeles theater audience.”
IAMA won the 2014 Ovation Award for Best Intimate Theatre in Los Angeles for The Recommendation. Next up is the world premiere of Dorothy Fortenberry’s Species Native To California, directed by Eli Gonda (Husbands). It runs May 11 – June 11 at the Atwater Village Theater.
Empire's Taye Diggs to Star in ABC's End of Days-Themed Doomsday Pilot(3/1/17) Don’t tell Cookie Lyon, but it appears Angelo Dubois is moving on.
Taye Diggs — who’s currently recurring on Fox’s Empire as Taraji P. Henson’s love interest — is set to star in ABC’s apocalyptic drama pilot Doomsday, TVLine has learned.
Written by Justified vets Mark Bianculli and VJ Boyd and EPd’ by CSI vet Carol Mendelsohn, the hour-long thriller centers on a secret think tank that is tasked with dreaming up man-made disaster scenarios and their possible solutions. Because the hypothetical ideas are deemed extremely dangerous, the list is sealed and the program shut down.But when a catastrophe occurs that’s ripped from the pages of the missing doomsday book, the team is brought back years later to prevent the disasters of their own making.
Diggs will portray Dr. Davis, a celebrity at the Navy SEAL training base who’s dubbed he’s “Captain America by way of Harvard. He holds a PhD in anthropology and a masters in military strategy. But unlike your average soldier or sailor, Chris is not one to blindly follow orders — a trait that has gotten him benched by the SEALS despite a heroic act in combat. Chris is a devoted family man, tough and tenacious, but with a warm sense of humor, he, too, is a member of the former Doomsday Project think tank, and being summoned again to thwart an imminent attack is the first real military situation he’s been a part of since his suspension.
The Doomsday ensemble also includes Under the Dome‘s Rachelle Lefevre Smash‘s Jack Davenport and Cougar Town‘s Dan Byrd.
Grey's Anatomy's Kate Walsh Recalls Addison's Shocking, 'Seminal' Arrival(2/16/17) (tvline.com) “Meredith, I am so sorry.”
Those words, spoken by a very freaked-out McDreamy, were the only warning that Grey’s Anatomy‘s Meredith had before her entire world got upended by the arrival of the force of nature known as…
“Hi, I’m Addison Shepherd,” the redhead said, extending a hand. “And you must be the woman who’s screwing my husband.”
It was a ballsy entrance, an OMG moment and a hell of a way to end the freshman medical drama’s first season.
“It’s such a seminal moment,” Kate Walsh says of the final scene of the 2005 episode “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” It was her first day on the Grey’s set. “I feel like that may have been the only scene I was shooting that day. I remember, that scene got more attention, I got more calls and more attention from that 30 seconds on camera than probably anything up until that point, for sure.”
Addison would continue to be a major player at the hospital for two more seasons, leaving in 2007 to front the Grey’s spinoff Private Practice. Walsh, who is currently starring in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, has been back on the original series a few times since but tells TVLine she doesn’t have any unfinished business with her character: “I feel like we wrapped it up.”
“I’m not saying if [series creator] Shonda [Rhimes] was like, ‘We’re gonna do a very special episode of Grey’s where…,’ Walsh adds. “But she really consciously, we did it all. We had the spinoff, and we had all that. It was an amazing experience and journey.”
Shondaland To Develop Luvvie Ajayi’s Book ‘I’m Judging You’ As Cable Series(2/7/17) Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland, along with ABC Signature Studios, have acquired rights to Luvvie Ajayi’s debut book I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual to develop as a cable comedy series. The project falls under Shondaland’s overall deal at ABC Studios and its cable division, ABC Signature.
I’m Judging You is a humorous manual that instructs people on how to do better. Ajayi, creator of the AwesomeLuvvie.com blog, first gained the attention of Rhimes with her online Scandal recaps.
Ajayi is repped by ICM Partners, Diamond Brand Amplification and Frankfurt Kurnit.
With five drama series at ABC, Shondaland has been looking to expand its portfolio into comedy.
Madam Secretary Star Tim Daly Injured While Skiing — Will It Force a Rewrite?(1/24/17) A tumble on the slopes may lead to a scramble in the Madam Secretary writers’ room.
Tim Daly, who stars as Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord’s husband Henry on the CBS political drama, broke both of his legs in a skiing accident while on vacation in Sundance, our sister site Variety is reporting. And the injury might necessitate a rewrite for his character.
Madam Secretary is currently in production on Season 3, which airs Sundays at 9/8c, and the show has been told that Daly will need six to eight weeks of recovery time following surgery. (He’s scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday.) So the show’s writers are reportedly considering a number of options for Henry, including writing Daly’s injury into the show and shooting around it. (Does Henry have a nice, big desk he can hide two broken legs behind?)
Variety reports that Daly will continue to appear in every episode this season, and that it’s possible the show is far enough along in shooting that it won’t have to adjust much to accommodate Daly’s injury. This Sunday’s episode is the 13th of a 23-episode order.
Celebs show up to DC — to warn Trump against slashing arts(1/21/17) They may not have been here for the inauguration, but celebrities did show up in Washington Friday — and urged President Trump not to slash the budget for arts.
Actors strutting the red carpet at the Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball warned Trump’s reported attempts to slash the National Endowment for the Arts would hurt kids and the economy.
“It would be a huge mistake,” said “Madame Secretary” actor Tim Daly, president of the pro-arts non-profit, “to take away an organization that mostly funds art programs and seed money for art programs in small towns all around the country.”
Any cuts, he said, hurt “the very people who actually put him in office.”
The NEA gets $148 million in federal funds – a very small slice of the nearly $3.9 trillion federal budget.
The Hill newspaper reported Trump is planning dramatic cuts: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized and the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.
Actor Dean Norris from “Breaking Bad” stayed away from Trump’s inauguration [“didn’t want to get up that early,” he said] but attended the Creative Coalition gala at Washington’s Harman Center for the Arts to speak up for protecting any effort to cut arts funding.
“If you got a voice, it’s not only your obligation; it’s your duty to speak up,” Norris told The Post.
Celebrities in attendance included Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”), Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm), Tim Allen (“Last Man Standing”), Alia Shawkat (“Arrested Development”), Mae Whitman (“Parenthood”) and Geoffrey Arend (“Madame Secretary”).
The event was non-partisan but several actors dished up their concerns about the new president on the red carpet.
“I want to be unified more than anyone, but right now we’re not,” said actress Jackie Cruz from “Orange is the New Black”. “That’s the truth. He [Trump] is going against everything I believe it, the environment, immigration, women’s rights… What is the whole thing about make America great again? When was it so great?”
The Queens native intends to be on the front lines of the women’s march Saturday along with many of her cast members. “My best friends, all drove here, 10 girls!,” Cruz told The Post. “We’re staying at my aunt’s house in DC. We’re all staying in four blowup beds.”
Cruz said she’s spending the rest of her Friday night drinking wine and making posters with her friends for the march.
Another “Orange is the New Black” Actress Alysia Reiner will join her at women’s march, where she’ll think of her eight-year-old daughter, Livia.
When Trump won the election, it was Livia who comforted her tears with: “Mom, it’s OK. It’s only four years”
Livia marched Friday with classmates at her Bank Street school in Manhattan for peace and love, Reiner said, with a poster reading: “I vote for kindness.”
Reiner started inauguration day at a Soul Cycle class in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood where the instructor’s playlist was a President Obama hope speech. By the afternoon, Reiner said she was in full tears when she watched Trump become president on TV and the Obamas wave farewell.
“I cried,” Reiner admitted. “The Obamas were a very important part of my life. The intelligence, and wit and love and hope with which he led was integral to my life. ….I always felt like he led with love. That’s the goal with my own family. My goal the next four years is to continue to lead with love no matter what.”
Sundance Women’s March: Connie Britton, Aisha Tyler & Maria Bello Among Speakers(1/18/17) More details are emerging for the Chelsea Handler-organized Women’s March on Main, an event Saturday in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival coinciding with post-inauguration marches being held nationwide including the March on Washington.
On the list of speakers for the event, which will start at 9 AM local time at 220 Main St.: Aisha Tyler, Connie Britton, Mary McCormack, Dolores Huerta, Peter Bratt, Benjamin Bratt, Laurie David, Jessica Williams, Maria Bello and local officials including Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. Handler is an organizing committee member.
The event is not affiliated with the festival.
Handler announced plans for the march earlier this month. The march is set for two hours, usually before Park City really begins stirring during the festival. But just in case, the city has set up a text-messaging system for updates on transit, traffic and road closures.
ABC Gives Pilot Order To Legal Drama From Shondaland & ‘Scandal’ Writer(1/17/17) ABC continues to be ahead of the broadcast pack on pilot orders this season. The network has handed out its third 2017 pilot order to a legal drama from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland and ABC Studios. The project, written by a Shonaland writer-producer, Scandal’s Paul William Davies, was a lock for a pickup. Like another early ABC pilot order, comedy Malcolm & Libby, produced by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, the untitled Paul Davies drama too had a big production commitment and comes from a top talent on ABC Studios’ roster.
Set in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Federal Court, aka “The Mother Court,” the legal drama follows brand new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high profile and high stakes cases in the country – all as their personal lives intersect.
Davies wrote the script and executive produces with Rhimes and Beers.
Shondaland is ABC’s top supplier with five drama series — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder, The Catch and the upcoming Still Star-Crossed. With such a large drama portfolio, the company made comedy a focus in development this season and also has a single-camera half-hour comedy from Sex and the City alumna Liz Tuccillo in consideration at ABC.
This is the first pilot season for Shondaland since its dramatic expansion last summer and fall as the company transformed itself to a fully functioning pod with its own infrastructure via six executive hires and promotions.
In addition to the Paul Davies drama and comedy Malcolm & Libby, ABC has picked up a Marc Cherry Kentucky dramedy starring Reba McEntire and has the straight-to-series Marvel drama The Inhumans for next fall.
Taye Diggs Survives Crash, G Wagon Trashed(1/5/17) Taye Diggs got a wheel torn clear off his Mercedes SUV during what looks like a solo wreck Wednesday night in West Hollywood.
The photos from the rainy accident scene show Taye was lucky to walk away from the crash -- looks like he somehow ended up in a ditch on the side of Melrose Ave.
Taye seemed to be okay as he walked away from the scene, but his G-Wagon had to be towed.
We've reached out to Taye's camp, but no word back yet.
Shonda Rhimes selling her TV writing secrets for $90(12/20/16) (Video) You could be the next Shonda Rhimes … for a price.
The mastermind behind hit shows “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” is offering a TV writers masterclass for $90.
She promises to deliver tips on how to create characters, write a plot, pitch your idea and be a successful showrunner in five hours.
Rhimes, 46, is the latest veteran to share her wealth of knowledge with the masses.
Previous Masterclass teachers include Aaron Sorkin, who teaches screenwriting, Serena Williams, who teaches tennis and chef Gordon Ramsay who teaches cooking.
Chris Lowell Set To Recur On Netflix’s ‘GLOW’(12/16/16) Graves‘ Chris Lowell is set to recur opposite Alison Brie and Marc Maron in GLOW, Netflix’s straight-to-series comedy from Orange is the New Black E.P. Jenji Kohan.
Written by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, GLOW was inspired by the real story of a 1980s female wrestling league. Set in Los Angeles and showcasing big hair and body slams, the series tells the fictionalized story of Ruth (Brie), an out-of-work, struggling actress who finds one last attempt to live her dreams when she’s thrust into the glitter and spandex world of women’s wrestling via a weekly series about female wrestlers.
Lowell will play Sebastian “Bash” Howard, a wealthy playboy whose obsession with wrestling leads him to create and fund the first ever women’s wrestling television show.
Lowell plays the series regular role of Jeremy Graves on Epix’s Graves. His feature credits include The Help, Up in the Air and Veronica Mars. He’s repped by WME and Anonymous Content.
SAG Awards Nominations(12/14/16) The 2017 SAG Awards will be handed out January 29 live on TNT and TBS.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
NAACP Image Awards(12/14/16) 48th Image Awards ill be announced February 11 at ceremony airing live on TV One.
Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special
Int'l Emmys to honor prolific TV producer Shonda Rhimes(11/20/16) TV producer Shonda Rhimes didn't get the president she wanted in the recent election, but she'll be receiving a special honor from the president she created at the International Emmy Awards Gala.
"Scandal" star Tony Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant in the ABC TV drama, will be presenting the honorary International Emmy Founders Award to Rhimes Monday night at the Hilton New York.
Rhimes took time out from her television productions to help produce the short video biopic shown at the Democratic National Convention in July right before Hillary Clinton took the stage to accept the party's presidential nomination.
Bruce L. Paisner, president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, said Rhimes is a worthy recipient of the award because she "has truly made a global impact on television." Besides "Scandal," she is also the writer, executive producer and creator of such hit series as "Grey's Anatomy" and "How to Get Away with Murder."
"Shonda Rhimes is in a league of her own — not only does she have an entire night of primetime on ABC in the United States, but her groundbreaking shows and iconic characters are avidly followed by over 300 million viewers worldwide, in 67 languages," Paisner said. "And she repeatedly keeps surprising the industry and her audiences, with her new shows and story lines."
The presentation to Rhimes will be the centerpiece of the International Emmy Awards Gala in which 40 nominees from 15 countries will be competing in 10 categories. The awards show, hosted by "The Good Wife" star Alan Cumming, honors excellence in television programming outside the U.S.
Brazil had a leading seven nominations, followed by Britain with six.
Oscar-winners Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench were nominated in the acting categories for their roles in the BBC One TV movie "Roald Dahl's Esio Trot," based on Dahl's children's novel about a lonely aging bachelor who tries to woo the widow in the flat below, who is overly fond of her pet tortoise. The other British nominees are "Hoff the Record" (comedy), "My Son the Jihadi" (documentary), "Gogglebox" (non-scripted entertainment), and "Capital" (TV movie/miniseries).
Brazilian nominees include Alexandre Nero (best actor) for "A Regra do Jogo (Rules of the Game)" and Grazi Massafera (best actress) for "Verdades Secretas (Hidden Truths)," ''Zorra (The Mess)" in the comedy category and "Adotada" for non-scripted entertainment.
Germany had five nominations, including best TV movie/miniseries and best actor (Florian Stetter) for "Nackt Unter Wolfen (Naked Among Wolves)," an adaptation of the novel by East German author Bruno Apitz about prisoners in the Buchenwald concentration camp who risk their lives to hide a Polish-Jewish boy.
Paisner said the competition for best drama series includes two countries represented for the first time in this category: the United Arab Emirates for "Waiting for Jasmin" and Canada for "19-2."
The honorary International Emmy Directorate Award will be presented to Maria Rorbye Ronn, CEO and director general of the Danish Broadcasting Corp.
Kate Walsh Cast In Universal’s ‘Girls’ Trip’ & ‘#REALITYHIGH’ For Netflix(11/9/16) Grey’s Anatomy alum Kate Walsh has come aboard Girls Trip, from Universal/Will Packer Productions. The R-rated comedy stars Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah, Deborah Ayorinde and Mike Colter and follows college best friends who get together for their traditional trip to Essence magazine’s annual convention in New Orleans. Malcolm Lee is directing.
Walsh will play a crude and ballsy talent agent. Packer and James Lopez are producing the pic, which is scheduled for release July 21.
Walsh has also landed a role in the Fernando Lebrija-directed Netflix comedy #REALITYHIGH, written by Brandon Broussard, Hudson Obayuwana and Jana Savage. The film is about a nerdy girl who must learn how to handle the pitfalls of high school when a social media celebrity classmate becomes her enemy. Walsh will play a quirky doctor at an animal shelter who is single and always hunting for a man. Nesta Cooper, Alicia Sanz, Jake Borelli and Keith Powers co-star. Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky produce the film, which will debut on the streaming service July 17.
Walsh is perhaps best known for her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on the ABC’s Grey’s and its spinoff Private Practice. She also is in production on the Tom McCarthy-Selena Gomez Netflix series Thirteen Reasons Why. Her film credits include the supernatural thriller Legion and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
She is repped by Gersh and Luber Roklin.
Caterina Scorsone Gives Birth! Grey's Anatomy Star Welcomes Her Second Child(11/8/16) This year's election is going to be one to remember for Caterina Scorsone!
After casting her vote for Decision 2016, the Grey's Anatomy star shared some big news with her followers Tuesday afternoon.
Ladies and gentlemen, the actress is officially a mother of two!
"I'm with her," Caterina wrote on Twitter. "Introducing Paloma Michaela Giles. The future is female."
In the photo, the Hollywood star's baby is wearing an "I Voted" sticker on top of her polka-dot onesie. This is the second child for Caterina and her husband Rob Giles.
Back in August, news broke that the couple was expanding their family. In fact, the actress debuted her baby bump at the Disney ABC Television TCA Summer Press Tour.
Caterina later admitted that both mom and dad knew the sex of the baby. The public, however, would have to wait until their baby was born.
As for her final weeks of pregnancy, it certainly didn't stop the actress from working on the set of Grey's Anatomy and celebrating Halloween with her daughter.
"Hope your Halloween was magic," the pregnant star shared on Instagram while dressed as Tinkerbell. "#halloween2016."
Caterina isn't the only member of the Grey's family to have big family news to share. Just last month, Camilla Luddington announced that she was expecting her first child.
"Did you all head over and congratulate our newest Mama, @camilluddington on her pregnancy news??" she wrote on Twitter. "#greysbabies."
Congratulations to all!
Grey's Anatomy: Why Amelia's Private Practice Pregnancy Arc Should Be Mandatory Viewing(11/5/16) The sword may have fallen on Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Owen's (Kevin McKidd) relationship on Grey's Anatomy, but it's possible that not everyone understands why they're in such a rough spot.
After her pregnancy scare, Amelia's revelation to her new husband that she doesn't want to have a child might make many think she's simply being as adamantly child-free as his former flame Cristina (Sandra Oh). But like Owen, most Grey's Anatomy fans don't understand the full weight of Amelia's first traumatic pregnancy.
That's because, without watching Private Practice, the Grey's spin-off starring Kate Walsh, it's impossible to understand how Amelia's first attempt at motherhood played out. Even though Amelia explained the story to Alex (Justin Chambers) in last Thursday's episode, the full chilling effect of what she went through can't be appreciated unless you actually watch it happen. Her three-minute speech in the Grey Sloan Memorial break room only relays the bare facts of what happened. To fully comprehend the emotional impact, you must watch the four episodes that build the arc.
The good news? You can, because all of Private Practice is on Hulu and Netflix. The bad news? This is going to be an emotional train wreck for even the steeliest of Grey's fans.
Here's where to start:
Season 5, episode 8: "Who We Are"
Grey's fans know Amelia is an addict, but this episode shows her at her absolute worst. Finally at their breaking point, her friends and coworkers stage an intervention to try and get her off the prescription drugs she's been popping like candy. She's completely off the rails, but the one thing that is clear is that she loves Ryan (Wes Brown). After the intervention, they make a pact that they'll have one more binge night of drugs, then they'll check into rehab, get clean and start a family. They do a line of drugs, go to bed and Amelia wakes up to find Ryan dead of an overdose beside her.
This is important because when Amelia finds out she's pregnant later (and now on Grey's) we know it wasn't an accident. She and Ryan really wanted a family together, just like she wants with Owen, but then the worst possible thing happened.
Season 5, episode 19, "And Then There Was One"
Skip forward a bit and Amelia has successfully completed a stint at rehab. She's sober, pregnant and ready to meet her baby with her first ultrasound. However, it's only a few moments of joy before Addison (Walsh) drops a massive truth bomb about the baby's development, and Amelia must decide what she wants to do with the devastating information.
Season 5, episode 21, "Drifting Back"
Fast forward a little more and Amelia is getting closer and closer to carrying the baby to term. She's decided that she will donate her son's organs to help save other newborns in need. However, each passing day of the pregnancy gets harder and harder as all of her coworkers hover over her to make sure she isn't resorting to drugs to cope. The desperate lengths she goes to in order to maintain sanity without slipping back into addiction are heartbreaking and will make you marvel at how one person can withstand that amount of pain.
Season 5, episode 22, "Gone, Baby, Gone"
If you can only watch one of these episodes, make it this one. Amelia finally gives birth to her son and gets to hold him for a minute before making one of the most painful decisions that any mother could ever make. What's even more heart-wrenching is the speech she gives to Sam (Taye Diggs) to convince him to do the surgery she needs to complete the birth plan. Stock up on tissues, because this episode will not only help you understand Amelia in a whole new light, but will make you astounded that Scorsone doesn't have all the Emmys.
Grey's Anatomy's Caterina Scorsone breaks down Amelia's "emotional catatonia"
Only when you've seen the full scope of what Amelia went through on Private Practice can understand why it took a pregnancy scare to bring up these latent issues. She was able to move on after the death of her son, but in a lot of ways Amelia has been able to survive by not opening herself up to that kind of pain. Perhaps she believed that she had completely moved on from everything that happened, but is it humanly possible to ever completely heal yourself after an experience like that?
Yes, Amelia may have changed her mind about wanting a child with Owen, but this is a completely different situation from Cristina not wanting a family. Cristina has always been a surgeon first, everything else second. That made her and Owen fundamentally incompatible. Amelia's hesitance isn't about her values, but about fear, and a completely rational one at that. Addison promised that her son's condition wasn't caused by the drug usage, which means it could happen again for no reason. We saw what happened when April (Sarah Drew) got pregnant again after her and Jackson's (Jesse Williams) baby died -- could you expect Amelia to do that same?
However, it is as important for Owen to understand the full spectrum of what Amelia has been through. It's only once he knows the whole truth that he can find a way to help Amelia. Don't give up hope on them yet. With some counseling and some patience, it's entirely possible that Amelia and Owen can have the family they have always wanted, together and happy.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.
Audra McDonald and husband welcome baby girl(10/20/16) Audra McDonald and husband Will Swenson welcomed a brand-new addition to their family.
McDonald, 46, gave birth to a baby girl on Wednesday, according to a Twitter announcement.
The couple named their newborn Sally James McDonald-Swenson.
Although McDonald has a daughter, Zoe Madeline, 12, from a previous marriage, this is her first child with Swenson, 42, who is also known for his work on Broadway.
He also brings two children to the family — sons Sawyer, 12, and Bridger, 15.
Shonda Rhimes Talks Career Path; Being A “Dragon” & Why ‘Scandal’s Rowan Pope Is Not A Terrible Person – Mipcom(10/20/16) (deadline.com) Mipcom’s Personality of the Year, Shonda Rhimes, sat down for a walk through her career inside a packed Cannes Palais this afternoon, telling the audience how she became a storyteller; describing her role as “dragon” on some Shondaland shows; and why she doesn’t think Scandal’s Machiavellian Rowan Pope is a terrible person.
Rhimes, whose TV credits famously include Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder and The Catch, said, “I don’t think there was a time I ever thought of myself as anything but a writer.” But she became a screenwriter out of necessity. “I thought I was going to be the next Toni Morrison. She already had that job so you can’t get that job.” Telling her skeptical parents that getting into USC Film School was harder than getting into Harvard Law School, she set off on the path to Hollywood. But, she offered today, “I was mostly trying to find a way to stop working and go back to school.”
Toiling in film for a time, she realized there “wasn’t a lot of character development” and after spending countless hours in front of a TV with her newly-adopted baby, she thought, “That’s genius. That’s where you can really develop characters.”
Grey’s Anatomy came about after she wrote a pilot for the then-Touchstone (now ABC Studios) about war correspondents who were very competitive and having a lot of fun and sex. But, the country at the time was actually at war, “so it wasn’t really appropriate.” Asking “What does Bob Iger want?” she was told the Disney chief was after a medical show and essentially shifted the action to a hospital in Seattle.
The shift from being a movie writer was a frying-pan-to-fire experience. “You’re in your pajamas by yourself and type one script a year and suddenly you have to run a writers’ room. It was like going from 0 to 3000. I learned everything you could learn, as fast as possible.”
Rhimes considers that the long-running show is “not a procedural, it’s a character journey. I think I’ve been writing a novel for 13 years.”
With regard to the medical knowledge she’s picked up, Rhimes noted that she could probably now perform a C-section and an appendectomy, but should stay away from brain procedures. “I’m probably very dangerous. I know just enough to be scary but not enough to save anybody’s life.”
Turning to Scandal, she noted that many times things the writers come up with end up being real which can be eerie. In a clear reference to Donald Trump, she mentioned Hollis Doyle — the “outspoken, crazy Republican” character who’s “done some appalling things” — and just shook her head. “I really don’t know what happened,” she said.
The cast and crew on Scandal is a “close knit group” as evidenced by their weekly live tweets of the show. “They’re very bonded and creative things happen because everyone hangs out together in their free time.”
That doesn’t mean there’s not occasional discord. “We have big arguments,” she said, when the writers express their feelings towards the Rowan Pope and Cyrus Bean characters, calling them “terrible people.” Rhimes said, “I’m really offended. Cyrus is a patriot. He may go about it the wrong way but to him he’s doing (what he believes). Rowan is just a dad trying to take care of his kid. There may be a lot of murder going on, but he’s trying to take care of his kid the best way he knows how.”
For the popular series in the Shondaland stable which she does not showrun — How To Get Away With Murder and The Catch — her job is “really just to be a dragon in a cage” that can be released when HTGAWM’s Peter Nowalk or The Catch’s Allan Heinberg “need extra power to talk to the network or the studio.” She said she learned that role from Mark Gordon who acted as her dragon on Grey’s.
She works differently, however, from Nowalk on HTGAWM. That show’s star, Viola Davis, often pitches storylines – notably the one from Season 1 where her character, Annalise Keating, removes her wig and make-up to show the real woman behind the tough-as-steel lawyer. While she has great admiration for Davis, that kind of collaboration wouldn’t work for Rhimes. “It would make my hair stand on end because of the way my brain takes story in.”
Next up is Still Star-Crossed, created by Heather Mitchell — but according to Rhimes still untitled – a sequel to Romeo & Juliet which will explore the Montagues and Capulets after the two young lovers die. “It’s about what happens to the families left behind and how they cope” as well as the politics of Verona, she said. Based on the book by Melinda Taub, it’s currently filming for ABC.
Asked about any lessons her daughter has taken from Shondaland series, Rhimes closed out the chat saying, to great laughter, “My daughter thinks my shows suck.”
ABC Nabs Legal Drama From Shondaland & ‘Scandal’ Writer With Big Commitment(10/20/16) Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland, which has five drama series on the ABC schedule this season, is taking a step toward another hourlong series on the network next season with a pilot production commitment for a legal drama.
Once again, Shondaland has recruited a writer on one of its shows, Scandal’s Paul William Davies, who will pen the untitled project.
Set in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Federal Court, aka “The Mother Court,” the legal drama follows brand new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high profile and high stakes cases in the country – all as their personal lives intersect.
Davies will executive produce with Rhimes and Beers. ABC Studios, where Shondaland is based, is the studio.
With five drama series on ABC — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder, The Catch and the upcoming Still Star-Crossed — Shondaland made comedy a focus in development this season. It sold a single-camera half-hour comedy from Sex and the City alumna Liz Tuccillo to ABC with a script commitment plus penalty.
As its series portfolio grew over the last few years, Shondaland also dramatically expanded over the last few months, transforming itself a fully functioning pod with its own infrastructure via six executive hires and promotions.
Davies is repped by WME and attorneys Ken Richman and Robby Koch. Rhimes is repped by ICM Partners and Michael Gendler.
‘Murder In the First’ Canceled By TNT After 3 Seasons(10/11/16) TNT has opted not to pick up a fourth season of crime drama Murder in the First. The series, created by Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal, was a departure for TNT when it premiered in 2014 as it was an anthology — each season chronicling one murder investigation — instead of a standard procedural like The Closer or Rizzoli & Isles.
Murder In the First was set in San Francisco and starred Taye Diggs as a homicide inspector and Kathleen Robertson as his partner. Ian Anthony Dale, Raphael Sbarge, Lombardo Boyar, Currie Graham and Mimi Kirkland co-starred.
The third and now final season wrapped its run on Sept. 4. The show actually ended on a high note, with the Season 3 finale hitting a season high audience of 1.6 million viewers in Live+same day.
Shondaland Promotes Alison Eakle & Ghazal Moshfegh, Brings In Chris DiIorio(10/4/16) Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland continues to bolster its ranks as the company, responsible for five ABC Studios drama series for ABC, is transforming into a fully functioning pod with its own infrastructure.
Following the three executive hires in August, Shondaland has promoted Alison Eakle to Head of Comedy and Drama and Ghazal Moshfegh to Director of Development. Additionally, the company has hired veteran PMK*BNC PR executive Chris DiIorio, who had repped Rhimes for almost nine years, as VP of Strategy and Development.
The new appointments brings Shondaland’s staff of executives from 1, Eakle, to 6 in just three months.
“These two women have been instrumental in building Shondaland’s growing slate of programming,” Rhimes said of Eakle and Moshfegh, who is now getting executive stripes.
Added Beers, “They’re an asset to any company and we’re more than lucky to have them here. Plus I couldn’t pick more delightful people with whom to spend so much time!“
As Head of Comedy and Drama, Eakle is shepherding all Shondaland television projects, including overseeing development and managing the development team. She will continue to oversee staffing for all current shows, including the hiring of all directors and writers, and serve as a liaison between writers, directors, talent, and studio and network executives.
Eakle, who was most recently VP of Comedy and Drama, joined Shondaland in 2013. She has since developed the ABC dramas How to Get Away with Murder, The Catch, and the upcoming Still Star-Crossed (working title). Additionally, Eakle oversaw the company’s first produced comedy pilot, ABC’s Toast. Prior to Shondaland, Eakle worked as a coordinating manager at Ellen DeGeneres’ production company, A Very Good Production.
As Director of Development, Ghazal Moshfegh will work on development, including assessing possible project submissions, and well as oversee research and Shondaland’s continuing initiative to diversify the company’s director line-up for current shows.
In the newly created role as VP of Strategy and Development, DiIorio will work alongside the Shondaland team on business initiatives to create growth opportunities, on expanding the company’s creative storytelling offering beyond series television and increasing brand partnerships.
“Chris and I have worked together for many years,” said Rhimes. “I’m excited to have him join my enthusiasm for new ventures and new prospects.”
Rhimes is one of the showrunners who have fully embraced social media, harnessing its power to get the fans of her shows engaged in ways few others have been able to.
DiIorio joins the company from PMK*BNC where he had been for over 10 years overseeing the company’s television department.
In addition to Eakle, Moshfegh and DiIorio, Shondaland in August brought in Sara Fischer as Head of Production, Kristen Andersen as VP Marketing and Communications and Sandie Bailey as Director of Branding and Engagement.
ABC Studios-based Shondaland is forging its own way as a fully-staffed independent company within a major studio. That is different than the model employed by fellow prolific drama pods, Berlanti Prods and Dick Wolf Prods., which rely on the infrastructure of the studios they are based at.
Ilene Chaiken, Betsy Beers & More Set For Women In Entertainment Summit(9/29/16) Shondaland’s Betsy Beers, Empire executive producer Ilene Chaiken and Bad Moms producer Suzanne Todd, have been added to the list of speakers at the 2nd annual Women in Entertainment Summit presented by ArcLight Cinemas. They will be joined by other producers, execs, and filmmakers at the November 10 event at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles to address equality, diversity, and women’s leadership in Hollywood.
The event will include panel discussions, fireside chats, and keynotes to tackle topics including steps to ensure diversity and equality, inspiring the next generation of creatives to follow their passions, the need for female-led storytelling, and the building of strong female characters. More info here.
Below is the full list of recently added speakers:
Suzanne Todd, Producer of Bad Moms, Alice in Wonderland, and Across the Universe
Chiara Tilesi, Founder of We Do It Together
Haifaa al-Mansour, Director and Writer of Wadjda and Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker
Alexandra Patsavas, Founder of Chop Shop Music Supervision
Shohreh Aghdashloo, Actress, House of Saddam (HBO), The Expanse (Syfy)
Betsy Beers, ShondaLand partner and Co-Executive Producer
Dalia Ganz, Director of Digital & Partnership Marketing for Freeform
Linda Ong, CEO of TruthCo
Ilene Chaiken, Co-Creator, The L-Word and Executive Producer, Empire
Susan Wright, CEO of Criterion Group
Lydia Dean-Pilcher, Producers Guild of America Vice President, Motion Pictures
Amanda Hill, Chief Marketing Officer, A&E Networks
Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition
Allison Schroeder, Co-Chair of the WGA Committee of Women Writers
Jennifer Warren, Alliance of Women Directors Founder & Chairperson
Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media
Jessica Sharzer, Writer and Executive Producer, Dirty Dancing remake (ABC)
Tish Ciravolo, President and Founder of Daisy Rock Guitars
Kara Holden, Screenwriter
Kieran Medina from OutFest.
Shonda Rhimes on Raising ‘Stubborn,’ Confident Daughters: ‘I Don’t Want to Have a Nice Girl’(8/17/16) (Video) Shonda Rhimes is proud to be raising three headstrong daughters.
“They couldn’t be more different from one another, but they’re all stubborn — and I mean that in the best way,” the Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator, and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder and The Catch, told Good Housekeeping of her girls.
“No one will ever take advantage of them,” she explains of Beckett, 2½, Emerson, 4½, and Harper, 14. “They will always go their own way because they have decided they’re going to.”
The 46-year-old single parent says that as a child, she too shared similar traits to her daughters.
“That was definitely like me as a kid,” she admits.
Rhimes, who served as the guest editor for Good Housekeeping‘s first ever Awesome Women Awards issue, explains of raising stubborn children in the September 2016 publication, “It’s so much better than having a nice, pliable child who can be easily manipulated.”
“I don’t want to have a nice girl,” she believes. “I’d rather have a stubborn girl.”
It seems like the apples don’t fall far from the tree, as Rhimes’ opinion is that the only thing that separates awesome women from non-awesome women is believing in oneself.
“The only difference between a woman and an awesome woman is how a woman defines herself, frankly. And what you choose to do with your life,” she says. “Because I think if you believe yourself to be an awesome woman you are an awesome woman and, in general, you behave as an awesome woman.
“If you don’t believe yourself to be one, then you don’t,” she adds. “It’s really about what you believe about yourself.”
Rhimes admits that she doesn’t understand the hype around the fact that she writes such strong female characters — because women are not naturally weak people.
“I keep getting asked how I write about such smart, strong women, and my response is, ‘What’s the alternative? Weak, stupid women?’ ”
She also touches on the importance of being your own person, even if you are looking to any of her characters for inspiration on how to do that.
“They’re just normal people, not role models — if you’re aspiring to be like any of them, something’s a little bit wrong,” the author and producer says. “You may want to dress like one or have her job, but do not aspire to be her!
Empire EP Confirms Taye Diggs' Arrival in Season 3 'Is All About Cookie'(8/8/16) Just as we suspected, Taye Diggs’s new Empire character will quickly become obsessed with the C-word when he makes his debut in Season 3.
“His story is all about Cookie,” exec producer Ilene Chaiken confirmed Monday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “It starts as a Jamal story and then intersects [with Cookie].” Asked by TVLine if Diggs’ Obama-esque Angelo Dubois will be a love interest for Taraji P. Henson’s alter ego, Chaiken teased, “He certainly would like to be.”
In possibly related news, Chaiken also shared that this will be the season that Cookie will “try to leave Lucious,” adding, “She’s going to try to move on… She’s fighting for her life. She’s fighting for her opportunity to start over.”
Empire‘s third season premieres Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 9/8c on Fox.
Shondaland Expands With Executive Hires In Production, Marketing & Branding(8/4/16) With its portfolio growing to five series, Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland is staffing up in a big way, going from one staff executive to four with the hire of Sara Fischer as Head of Production, Kristen Andersen as VP Marketing and Communications and Sandie Bailey as Director of Branding and Engagement. This is the first time the ABC Studios-based Shondaland has had in-house executives in these areas. The trio, all of whom have worked on Shondaland shows, join the company’s VP Development Alison Eakle.
“Each of these women has truly made a huge impact on the success of our shows over the last several years,” said Rhimes. “As Shondaland continues to expand, I could not be more excited to officially welcome them into the family, where I know they will continue to help invent and invest in our brand.”
In her new role as Head of Production, Fischer will oversee all five series that are currently in production at Shondaland: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, The Catch and the upcoming Still Star-Crossed. She also will manage production for all development and special projects for the company.
Fischer comes from ABC Studios, where she managed production of Shondaland shows as well as several other ABC Studios’ series including American Crime, Of Kings and Prophets and multiple ABCS pilots.
In the newly created position of VP Marketing and Communications, Andersen will oversee the marketing and publicity campaigns for the Shondaland brand. She also will manage talent relations efforts and philanthropic initiatives for the company.
Andersen previously served as Director of Publicity at ABC, where she worked on the launches of Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, The Catch and The Muppets. She also managed publicity for several seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and Dancing with the Stars, among others.
As Director of Branding and Engagement, Bailey will manage the overall Shondaland brand. She will oversee all events and social media engagement for the company as well as the design, development and execution of all Shondaland merchandise.
Bailey spent the past five years working in the set-decorating department on Scandal. She has more than 20 years of experience managing events and interior decorating for multiple high-level clients.
Hillary Clinton 'Joins' #TGIT Thursdays in Shonda Rhimes-Produced DNC Video(7/28/16) Video.
Kristen Bell, Darren Criss, 'Cagney & Lacey' and More Pay Musical Tribute to Victims of Gun Violence at DNC(7/27/16) (Video) “What the world Needs Now Is Love,” that’s for sure. But who knew it also needed a powwow of stars from Cagney & Lacey, Veronica Mars, Ugly Betty, The Mysteries of Laura, My So Called Life, Private Practice, Glee and Law & Order: SVU (among others)?
Stars from those TV shows and the Broadway community teamed up to cover that Burt Bacharach chestnut on the Democratic National Convention stage “in tribute to the lives affected by gun violence.”
The pass-the-mic-(and-do-it-quickly) staging was a tad puzzling — surely Hillary Clinton’s party has deep enough pockets to cover adequate audio feeds, no? — but the eclectic and enthusiastic nature of the performance made it enjoyable nonetheless.
Among those belting/warbling for a cause: Idina Menzel (Glee), Audra McDonald (Private Practice), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Mr. Robot), Darren Criss (Glee), Richard Kind (Spin City), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey), Sharon Gless(Cagney & Lacey), Wilson Cruz (My So Called Life), Michelle Collins (The View), Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Ben Vereen (How I Met Your Mother), B.D. Wong (Law & Order: SVU), Rosie Perez (The View) and more.
More than 100 celebrities pledge to work against Trump(7/26/16) Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Kerry Washington, Mark Ruffalo, Neil Patrick Harris, Lena Dunham, Shonda Rhimes, and Macklemore are among more than 100 celebrities joining a campaign to urge Americans to deny Donald Trump the White House.
The campaign is part of MoveOn.org Political Action's #UnitedAgainstHate campaign.
"We believe it is our responsibility to use our platforms to bring attention to the dangers of a Trump presidency, and to the real and present threats of his candidacy," says an open letter signed by the celebrities.
"Donald Trump wants to take our country back to a time when fear excused violence, when greed fueled discrimination, and when the state wrote prejudice against marginalized communities into law .... Some of us come from the groups Trump has attacked. Some of us don't. But as history has shown, it's often only a matter of time before the 'other' becomes me."
Among the communities it says Trump has attacked are: Mexican and Latino people, black people, LGBTQ people, women and their health care providers, Asians, refugees, people with disabilities, working class people, American prisoners of war, and others.
"We call upon every American to join us," the letter says, "to stand together on the right side of history, to use the power of our voice and the power of our vote to defeat Donald Trump and the hateful ideology he represents."
Taye Diggs Joins Empire Season 3 in Major Barack Obama-Infused Role(7/18/16) Wait until Cookie gets a load of that million-watt smile.
Taye Diggs has signed on for a major recurring role on Fox’s Empire, TVLine has learned. The Private Practice vet will first appear in the Fox drama’s Sept. 21 Season 3 premiere as Angelo Dubois, a city councilman hailing from a respected and affluent New York family.
With his pedigree and a Harvard law diploma, Diggs’ Angelo could have made a fortune in the private sector. Instead, he is ruled by his sense of noblesse oblige, and focuses his energies on community organizing and local politics, inviting comparisons to Barack Obama.
Diggs, who is currently starring in TNT’s anthology drama Murder in the First, joins a Season 3 guest roster that also includes singer Sierra McClain, rapper French Montana and music mogul Birdman (as himself). As TVLine scooped last month, rapper-actor Xzibit — who joined Empire last season as Lucious’ drug-dealin’, music-makin’ adversary Shyne Johnson — has been promoted to a series regular.
Emmys 2016 Nominations(7/14/16) LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Billie Holiday: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson
Lili Taylor, American Crime
Kerry Washington, Confirmation
Shonda Rhimes: Hollywood Content Should “Look Like The World Looks” — White House ‘United State Of Women’ Summit(6/14/16) Shonda Rhimes hates the word “diversity.”
Participating in a panel that addressed the under-representation of women in the media at the White House summit, Rhimes said the word “suggests an ‘other-ness’ to me.”
When she gets a suggestion to “get a writer who is diverse,” she said, her response is, “A person is not diverse… Color of skin is not what makes people diverse.” Content should look to create the “actual world,” she said simply.
And yet, the TV industry still is predisposed to cast white straight males “unless otherwise stated,” which means spelling out, “I want a gay judge or female.” In a perfect world, Rhimes said she should be able to tell casting execs “I want a judge” and get a selection that reflects the real world.
Rhimes’ company Shondaland is behind five drama series on ABC. The recently picked up Romeo & Juliet sequel Still Star-Crossed joins returning series Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, which Rhimes created, as well as How To Get Away With Murder and The Catch.
This afternoon, she rejected the notion that what she is doing is “revolutionary.”
“I have a real problem with that concept of being revolutionary,” she said, describing what she does as creating a world “that looks like the world looks.”
“I don’t understand why that’s revolutionary.”
Content creators, she said, have “a responsibility to always be holding the door open behind you.”
“The best thing you can do is to not make someone the only one in the room,” she said of her writers’ rooms. If someone is the only person of color in the room, or the only woman in the room, they run a higher risk of being dismissed as “weird and wrong, and that person gets ejected.”
“That’s my solution to really keep that happening.”
Kate Walsh to Star in Selena Gomez Netflix Drama 13 Reasons Why(6/10/16) Kate Walsh will make her TV return with 13 Reasons Why, Netflix’s upcoming young adult drama from Selena Gomez.
Walsh will play the mother of Hannah, a teen who — before committing suicide — send a box of audiotapes to her classmates, telling them the roles they played in her death, our sister site Deadline reports.
Based on the 2007 young-adult novel by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why follows Clay (played by Dylan Minnette, Scandal) as he receives the box of tapes and instructions to pass them along to 12 other students. The project got a straight-to-series, 13-episode order from the streaming video service in October.
Gomez executive-produces the drama along with mom Mandy Teefey, Kristel Laiblin and Anonymous Content.
Derek Luke (Empire, Rogue) also joins the cast as guidance counselor Mr. Porter.
Walsh’s TV resume includes Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy, Fargo, Full Circle and Bad Judge.
Carpool Karaoke Goes Broadway With Jane Krakowski, Audra McDonald & more(6/7/16) Carpool Karaoke Goes Broadway With Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jane Krakowski, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Audra McDonald: Video.
Fox Trailer: Star(5/17/16) (Video) ‘Star’ - Drama
From Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Lee Daniels (“Empire”) and Tom Donaghy (“The Whole Truth”) comes “Star”, a new drama headlined by Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award, Grammy Award and Golden Globe winner Queen Latifah (“Bessie,” “Bringing Down The House”) and Emmy Award nominee Benjamin Bratt (“24: Live Another Day,” “Law & Order”). Three talented singers (newcomers Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O’Grady), desperate for a new start and with ambitions of stardom, navigate the cut-throat music business on their road to success. With a soundtrack of original music and stunning music performances, the series also features guest star and Grammy Award winner Lenny Kravitz (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “The Hunger Games”).
TV executive Rhimes catching NHL fever(5/13/16) One of television's most influential women may have a case of hockey fever.
Shonda Rhimes, who created ABC dramas such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," tweeted Friday she'd consider hockey fandom at the behest of her comedian friend, Retta.
@shondarhimes : Ha! @unfoRETTAble is so fab that she has me considering hockey. https://t.co/nt7sCiA1vS via @lennyletter
Retta posted a story Thursday called "How I Became a Hockey Fan" on Lena Dunham's Lenny Letters website. In the story, Retta cited how the Los Angeles Kings social-media account helped get the ball rolling on her hockey fandom.
After Rhimes' tweet, the Kings put the recruiting pitch on her too.
@unfoRETTAble : .@shondarhimes @lennyletter Oh man if you can find the time DO IT! Come with me! It's thrilling!! @LAKings are my boos.
@LAKings “ @unfoRETTAble @shondarhimes @lennyletter Shonda we'd love to have you!
There's been no word yet whether Rhimes will take the Kings up on their offer.
The Catch Renewed for Season 2, ABC Orders Shondaland's Romeo & Juliet Sequel Still Star-Crossed to Series(5/12/16) ABC is holding onto The Catch, while adding another Shondaland drama to its stable.
In addition to ordering Season 2 of the Mireille Enos/Peter Krause cat-and-mouse drama, ABC has ordered to series Still Star-Crossed, a Romeo & Juliet sequel from Shonda Rhimes’ production company.
Either of the above could help fill ABC’s #TGIT gap this fall, seeing as Scandal is quite possibly not returning until midseason.
Based on the book by Melinda Taub, Still Star-Crossed picks up where the famous story of Romeo and Juliet ends, charting the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate. The series stars Wade Briggs (Home and Away) as Benvolio Montague, Lashana Lynch as Rosaline and Sterling Sulieman as Prince Escalus (photo, l. to r.)
The cast also includes Anthony Head (Buffy) as Lord Silvestro Capulet, Grant Bowler (Defiance) as Damiano Montague, Torrance Coombs (Reign) as Paris, Zuleikha Robinson (Lost) as Lady Guiliana Capulet, Ebonee Noel as Livia, Medalion Rahimi as Princess Isabella, Susan Wooldrigde as Nurse and Dan Hildebrand as Friar Lawrence. Watch a teaser below: Video.
Pregnant Audra McDonald to temporarily leave 'Shuffle Along'(5/10/16) Audra McDonald will soon be stepping away from her new Broadway show for the best of reasons: The six-time Tony Award-winner is pregnant.
McDonald on Tuesday announced that she is expecting and will take maternity leave from "Shuffle Along" beginning July 24. She will return to the Tony Award-nominated musical this winter. McDonald also had to postpone taking her "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" to London.
In her absence, the role of Lottie Gee will be played by Grammy Award-winner Rhiannon Giddens. The production also said Savion Glover, the show's choreographer, will step into the show.
McDonald, 45, and her husband, actor Will Swenson, married in 2012. She has a daughter and he is a father to two sons from previous marriages.
Her show explores the groundbreaking 95-year-old musical "Shuffle Along," one of the first Broadway shows starring, written and directed by African-Americans and the first show with a jazz score.
"Who knew that tap dancing during perimenopause could lead to pregnancy? Will and I are completely surprised— and elated — to be expecting a new addition to our family," McDonald said.
She added that she looked "forward to setting up a 1920s-themed nursery in my dressing room when I return to the show."
White House Correspondents’ Dinner Guests(4/25/16) The final White House Correspondents’ Dinner of President Barack Obama’s administration takes place on Saturday but the star power of the guest list is only now truly coming together. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith may not have attended the Oscars this year but they’re coming to the WHCD as guests of ABC, I’ve learned.
And there will be a bit of a worldsavers throwback to the 1990s reunion as well – thanks to Fox News Channel.
Today FNC once again held on to their title as the tables to watch with the news that Independence Day: Resurgence cast members like Jeff Goldblum will be their guests along with AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. MPAA boss Chris Dodd will also be there breaking FNC bread on April 30 with megastar Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and other big names from Roger Ailes’ team. The 90th annual WHCD marks the debut of Comedy Central’s Larry Wilmore as host. While 1996’s Independence Day was a breakout role for Smith, the star does not appear in the sequel, which is out June 24 from 20th Century Fox. Smith’s supervillain team-up pic Suicide Squad opens on August 5 from Warner Bros.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton may be staying away this year to save their best lines for the marquee slot in 2017 but in typical DC manner of fact melding with fiction, Netflix’s political drama House of Cards and ABC’s Scandal are back in the room again. HoC’s Michael Kelly returns as a guest of Thomson Reuters at the nerd prom while Nerve Campbell is at one of TIME’s tables at the Washington Hilton.
While it feels like the overall star power is dimmed from past years, ABC has stacked the Shonda Rhimes deck for April 30 with the TGIT EP a guest of the Disney-owned net. Powerhouse producer Rhimes is joined by repeat attendee Kerry Washington, Scandal’s POTUS Tony Goldwyn and co-star Scott Foley. Pushing their breakout FBI drama, NBC News has Blindspot star Jaimie Alexander coming as well as Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski and a lot of other talking heads. Priyanka Chopra, the star of ABC’s new FBI drama Quantico, is a guest of TIME in her WHCD debut.
No doubt like the comedic remarks and audio visual gags expected from headliner Obama and host Wilmore, big media is still finessing who will be bringing their Hollywood to the ballroom. In the meantime, here is the Tinseltown guest list so far – we’ll add more as we get them
FOX NEWS CHANNEL
CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NEWORK
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
3rd Annual Location Managers Guild Award Winners: 'Game Of Thrones', 'Sicario' & More(4/24/16) The Revenant”, “Sicario, Game of Thrones, Bosch, and Sense8 all took home honors tonight at the third annual Location Managers Guild Awards, held tonight in Glendale, California at the Alex Theater. The awards honor outstanding and creative international contributions of location professionals and film commissions in seven categories under film, television and commercials.
In addition to the competition categories, Wes Anderson was given the Eva Monley Award, actress Amy Brenneman (The Leftovers, Private Practice, Judging Amy) and director/executive producer Brad Silberling (Reign, Jane the Virgin) received LMGI’s Humanitarian Award for their charity work. Meanwhile, Supervising Location Manager Janice Polley (Insurgent, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Collateral) received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to her by director Michael Mann, and Teamsters Local 399 head Steve Dayan (The Family Man, City of Angels, The Cable Guy, Volcano) received the Trailblazer Award from California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch and Location Manager Ilt Jones (Transformers, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises).
Here’s the full list of winners.
LMGI AWARDS HONOREES:
Eva Monley Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
LMGI AWARDS WINNERS:
Outstanding Locations in a Period Film
Outstanding Locations in a Contemporary Film
Outstanding Locations in a Period Television Series
Outstanding Locations in a Contemporary Television Series
Outstanding Film Commission
Outstanding Locations in a Commercial
Paul Adelstein To Co-Star In Hulu’s Hugh Laurie Drama Series ‘Chance’(4/8/16) Paul Adelstein (Girlfriend’s Guide To Divorce, Scandal ) is set to co-star opposite Hugh Laurie and Gretchen Mol in Hulu’s drama series Chance. The project is from author Kem Nunn, Room director Lenny Abrahamson, showrunner Alexandra Cunningham, producer Michael London and Fox 21 TV Studios.
Adelstein will film Chance concurrently with Fox’s Prison Break event series where he is reprising his role as Paul Kellerman from the original series.
Chance, which has a two-season, 20-episode straight-to-series order for a late 2016 premiere, is based on Nunn’s novel. It is described as a provocative psychological thriller that focuses on Eldon Chance (Laurie), a San Francisco-based forensic neuropsychiatrist who reluctantly gets sucked into a violent and dangerous world of mistaken identity, police corruption and mental illness. After an ill-advised decision regarding an alluring patient, Jaclyn Blackstone (Mol), who may or may not be struggling with a multiple personality disorder, Chance finds himself in the crosshairs of her abusive spouse Raymond Blackstone (Adelstein), who also happens to be a ruthless police detective.
Adelstein’s Blackstone is a crooked, ruthless, dangerously well-connected and surprisingly articulate Oakland homicide detective. His life is a balancing act — he works to solve murder cases while at the same time sex-trafficking young women through the massage parlors he runs with the help of thuggish Romanian henchmen. His greatest and maybe his only weakness is his wife. And the fact she knows his secrets is far from the only reason he will — and probably already has — killed for her.
Also co-starring in the series are LisaGay Hamilton, Greta Lee and Stefania LaVie Owen. Nunn and Cunningham wrote the TV adaption of Nunn’s novel and executive produce, with Cunningham serving as showrunner. Abrhamson will executive produce and direct several episodes.
For the past two seasons, Adelstein co-starred on Bravo’s first original scripted series Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce. He has fulfilled his obligation on the show, but his storyline was left open-ended, so he could potentially return for a guest-starring stint if the show is renewed for a third season.
While on Girlfriend’s Guide, Adelstein wrote two episodes of the dramedy toplined by Laurie’s House co-star Lisa Edelstein and went on to co-create and executive produce with Adam Brooks My So-Called Wife for Bravo, which was recently picked up to series. The Private Practice alum, who also has been recurring on ABC’s Scandal for Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice creator Shonda Rhimes, is repped by Gersh and Principal Entertainment LA.
Taye Diggs To Host ‘You’re Back In The Room’ Hypnosis Game Show On Fox(4/5/16) Taye Diggs (The Best Man Holiday) has been tapped to host You’re Back In The Room (working title), Fox’s new eight-episode hourlong comedy game show based on the hit UK format. In addition, hypnotist Keith Barry, who stars in the original UK show, will join as resident hypnotist.
You’re Back In The Room (wt) features physical comedy and unpredictable situations, as contestants work together in teams and are challenged to complete a variety of simple, everyday tasks, from frosting a cake to blowing up balloons…after being hypnotized. With big money at stake, the contestants need to work together as a team, but their entranced state causes hysterical hurdles that unwittingly sabotage their progress.
The series will begin production in July.
“The second I saw this show I knew I needed to be a part of it. It’s the most unique blend of comedy and competition I’ve seen in years,” said Diggs. “I’m also quite excited as this is a program I can watch and laugh at with my six-year-old son.”
Diggs currently stars as Detective Terry English in TNT drama series Murder in the First. He recently wrapped a multi-episode arc on Fox’s Rosewood, before ending his run in the title role of Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He also recently wrapped production on upcoming feature One Shot opposite Topher Grace. Diggs is repped by ICM, and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.
In addition to UK’s You’re Back in the Room, Barry also starred in cable’s Deception with Keith Barry and the Irish TV Studio series Brain Hacker. He’s also the Chief Magic and Mentalist Consultant on upcoming feature Now You See Me: The Second Act slated to premiere in June.
You’re Back In The Room, produced by Tuesday’s Child, debuted in the UK as the No. 1 new unscripted entertainment series in 2015, ending its first season as a Top 10 series overall. The series is currently airing its second season and the format has been produced in France, The Netherlands and Australia and optioned internationally in multiple territories, including Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Portugal and Spain.
You’re Back in the Room (wt) is executive-produced by Tuesday’s Child in association with BBC Worldwide Productions. Karen Smith and Joe Sungkur serve as executive producers.
Shonda Rhimes' 'Scandal' and 'Get Away with Murder' Stars Divorce(4/4/16) A couple of Shonda Rhimes' actors -- Liza Weil and Paul Adelstein -- are calling it quits, but their breakup is clearly NOT inspired by either of their juicy shows.
Liza, who stars on "How to Get Away with Murder," just filed for divorce from Paul -- a ShondaLand vet from "Private Practice," "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy."
They got married in October 2006, and separated in January of this year -- and, so far at least, the split seems to be free of any Shonda-esque drama.
According to the docs, Liza's requesting joint custody of their 5-year-old daughter ... and they're hashing out spousal support in mediation.
Shonda Rhimes To Receive International Emmy Founders Award – MIPTV(4/4/16) The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will present Shonda Rhimes with the 2016 International Emmy Founders Award at its ceremony in New York on November 21. The prolific writer, executive producer and creator behind such global hits as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice and How To Get Away With Murder is being honored for her “boundless creative artistry and unique production talent,” says Academy President & CEO, Bruce L Paisner.
Rhimes, who founded production company ShondaLand in 2004, counts over 300M viewers worldwide, in 67 languages. She says of the iEmmy, “I am continually amazed by the global reach of television and have been so fortunate to have fans of my shows around the world. To be recognized for this by the International Television Academy is truly an honor.”
Rhimes’ most recent series, The Catch, debuted on March 24 on ABC starring Mireille Enos and Peter Krause.
Previous Founders Award recipients have included Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes; Mad Men‘s Matthew Weiner; and JJ Abrams.
Rihanna, Shonda Rhimes, Clinton appear at Black Girls Rock!(4/2/16) Pop star Rihanna and TV mogul Shonda Rhimes were among the honorees at this year's Black Girls Rock! event, where Hillary Clinton made an appearance and told the audience "my life has been changed by strong black women leaders."
The Friday night event was taped at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. The special will air on BET on Tuesday.
The Democratic presidential candidate earned cheers when she called black women "change makers and pathmakers and ground shakers."
"There are still a lot of barriers holding back African Americans and black women in particular, so a gathering like this filled with so many powerful, strong women is a rebuke to every single one of those barriers," Clinton said. "All of our kids, no matter what zip code they live in, deserve a good teacher and a good school, a safe community and clean water to drink."
Clinton spoke before introducing Beverly Bond, who founded Black Girls Rock! in 2006.
Another who earned loud applause was Rihanna, the final honoree of the night.
"Thank you so much for celebrating us in a world that doesn't celebrate us enough," she said onstage.
"The minute you learn to love yourself you will not want to be anybody else," the Grammy-winning singer and fashion trendsetter added. "Role model is not the title they like to give me ... (but) I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle."
The Barbados-born singer also thanked her mother and grandmother for being strong black women and excellent role models.
"Hopefully one day I'll be raising my own little black girl who rocks," she said.
Others did just that: Rhimes, the creator behind TV hits "Grey's Anatomy," ''Scandal" and "How to Get Away with Murder," brought her daughter to the event "to sit in a room with you and feel the energy that's here."
"Because she and you are the ones who count, the ones who matter," said Rhimes. "It's the minute someone starts giving you awards, you are more history than future. But your slates are blank, your paths are clear and your stories are whatever you decide they're going to be."
Grammy-winning R&B singer Monica brought her daughter onstage at the end of her performance. Other performers include Brandy, Andra Day, Jazmine Sullivan, Marsha Ambrosius, Corinne Bailey Rae and Imani Uzuri.
Gladys Knight, who performed a medley of her hits as the audience stood up and danced, was also honored.
"It is the best award, the greatest trophy that I've ever received," she said. "More than a Grammy. More than so many other awards that I've gotten that I appreciate."
Other honorees included Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi; "The Hunger Games" actress Amandla Stenberg, who has received praise for being vocal about cultural appropriation; and Danai Gurira, the "Walking Dead" actress and playwright behind Broadway's "Eclipse," starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, who also attended Black Girls Rock!
Debbie Allen, Kelly Rowland, Cissy Houston, Erykah Badu, Tatyana Ali and Teyonah Parris also attended.
Tracee Ellis Ross, star of ABC's "black-ish," hosted the event and kicked it off with a hilarious and impressive dance number, channeling Rihanna, Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson and her mother, Diana Ross.
Celebrities urge world leaders to fight for girls and women(3/7/16) A number of high-profile entertainers — including Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige, Charlize Theron and Meryl Streep — have signed an open letter calling on world leaders to fight for gender equality across the globe.
The letter released Sunday states that some 62 million girls around the world are denied the right to education, 500 million women can't read and 155 countries have laws that discriminate against women.
"Nowhere on earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere," the letter states. "The fight for gender equality is global."
Signers also include Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Judd, Amy Poehler, Colin Farrell, Danai Gurira, Connie Britton, Elton John, Patricia Arquette, Muhammed Ali, Sheryl Sandberg and Sean Parker. The push is organized by the ONE Campaign, co-founded by Irish rocker Bono to end extreme poverty and disease.
"We still living in a time period where the most impoverished and disadvantaged people in the world are, without question, women and girls," said Gurira, the playwright of the Broadway show "Eclipsed," in an interview. "The light and the potential of women and girls in the world today is being blocked."
The letter comes a few days before International Women's Day, which is Tuesday. It calls on leaders to help girls and women fight HIV and malnutrition and support female economic empowerment.
Gurira, who also plays a sword-wielding zombie assassin on AMC's "The Walking Dead," has long been an advocate for women and will travel to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress on Tuesday.
"Enough is enough. We have to close this gap, and we have to make a concerted, focused effort and that requires speaking directly to the global leaders who have the power to make change," Gurira said. "It's an extension of myself to fight for and, as much as I can, give voice to those who are in systems of oppression based on their gender."
An accompanying report called "Poverty Is Sexist 2016" reads: "In too many countries, being born poor and female means a life sentence of inequality, oppression and poverty — and in too many cases also a death sentence."
Last year, Streep and singers Beyonce and Lady Gaga signed an open letter saying empowering women was the key to fighting the world's inequalities and poverty.
Madam Secretary's Tim Daly: Henry's New Gig Puts Him in a "Very Dangerous Situation"(3/5/16) After surviving a terrorist bombing in the most recent episode of Madam Secretary, Henry McCord (Tim Daly) is ready to get right back to work -- which is good, because he's been tapped to head up a special team to track down terrorist Jibral Disah (Bobak Bakhtiari).
Also part of that coalition is the State Department, meaning that for the first time, Henry and Bess (Tea Leoni) will not only get to discuss their professional lives openly with each other, but will actually be working together. But is that a good or a bad thing?
TVGuide.com chatted with Daly about how Henry's new gig will affect his relationship with Elizabeth, and whether he'll suffer lingering trauma from his brush with death, as well as his experience in Russia earlier in the season.
What impact does Henry's near-death experience have on him going forward, starting with his decision to accept this new job?
Tim Daly: It has an enormous impact on him personally, because he has sort of had a toe in the intelligence community, and he's had something that was on the one hand a success, and on the other hand, personally, very difficult for him. And now that he has this personal relationship with a terrorist attack, he feels strongly that if he can be a part of something that will help thwart that kind of thing, he's going to do it. So, having been a Marine pilot, I think that he's a strongly patriotic guy -- not in a hawkish way, but in a thoughtful way. I think that's interesting, that he can lend sort of his ethical and scholarly self to the pursuit of people who do very bad things.
How will Henry's new gig change his and Bess' relationship going forward?
Daly: First of all, they get to talk to each other. [Laughs] So, that sort of changes that dynamic. Honestly, it remains to be seen how that plays out. One of the things that I love about their relationship is that it's truly intimate. They show all of themselves to each other, the good and the bad. And they do it sort of without this threat of somebody walking out. They're totally in.
They've always been good at leaving professional conflicts at the office. Now that they're working so closely together, will we start to see tensions at work creep into their home life?
Daly: No. My feeling about them is that they are so strongly committed to each other and love each other so deeply that none of the noise will deeply damage their relationship.
Will we actually get to see them in professional scenes together?
Daly: We do see some of those scenes, because she comes into the newly established hub of this search for Jibral Disah. Because they now can actually speak about these things, and she as secretary of state has to know about it.
There were a few tense moments when he was thinking about going back to DIA. Can we expect more conflicts like that going forward?
Daly: They had a very difficult time about everything that's happened in Russia. So, there's the possibility that they could have another difference of opinion about the way things are being handled, in terms of the big picture government thing. Because it seems that Henry has a tendency to take things a little more personally than Elizabeth does, at least at this moment. The interesting thing is that she understands him, having once been a CIA field agent. So, she has a compassion for that. And yet, in her new job, she has to think about this enormous big picture.
Henry seems very eager to get back to work. Is he emotionally ready to jump right back into things?
Daly: Henry definitely has some PTSD. He's definitely dealing with it. ... Henry is not totally psychologically finished with his experience with his dealings in Russia and with Dmitri. And also, in his new position, he will find himself overseas in a very dangerous situation.
We know that only about a quarter of the uranium stolen byHizb al-Shahid was used to make the bomb. Does the rest of it come into play in later episodes?
Daly: It's important for them to keep it in mind because it poses a significant threat, but I don't know that it plays out. I haven't seen that yet.
On a lighter note, we get to meet Stevie's boyfriend inSunday's episode. What do Henry and Bess think of him?
Daly: I'll just say that he's age-appropriate and he's not a drug addict, so Henry and Elizabeth are overjoyed.
Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Ted Talk’ explains how playing with her children saved her job(2/17/16) Shonda Rhimes is a self-proclaimed Titan of TV, and she’s not afraid to tell you the why, what, when, where and how of her job in her amazing “Ted Talk.”
According to Rhimes, on a weekly basis, she handles 70 hours of programming, four TV programs, $20 million and 16 episodes at all times. She repeats these numbers over and over again so that the audience will understand that her job as a writer is not just writing. It’s a job, and it’s incredibly complex. It’s global.
“I tell you this so that all of you out there who work so hard, whether you run a country or a company or a classroom or a store or a home, take me seriously when I talk about working,” says Rhimes.
Rather than shake off the cheers of the crowd or blush and deny her accomplishments, Rhimes takes it in stride. She is fiercely proud of her achievements, and it’s clear that she will not play down her success, which is incredibly refreshing. Too often, women in her position make a play at false modesty, when it would send a much more powerful message to stand tall and proud.
Rhimes describes her job exactly as it is. “It is manning the troops, it is painting a canvas, it is hitting every high note, it is running a marathon, it is being Beyonce.”
She goes on to talk about how she realized she was a workaholic, and the part of work she became addicted to the most is something called “the hum.”
“The hum” is the indescribable feeling she gets when she’s in the midst of creating, and all the pieces are coming together during her 70 hours, four programs, $20 million and 16 episodes. It’s the joy of her work, and she admits that for the most part, she enjoys “the hum” of working more than she enjoys being at home. A fact that might catch most people by surprise since Rhimes has three wonderful daughters who play into this “Ted Talk” in a big way.
A few years ago, Rhimes says she lost “the hum.” It disappeared from her work, and she lost part of her identity in the process.
The remedy for a “humless” life? More play.
At some point during her identity crisis, Rhimes decided to say yes any time her daughters asked her to play, no matter how busy she was or what her work day was like. No matter the fact that she doesn’t particularly enjoying playing. She confesses to failing at this new resolution a lot of the time, but it did help her find a new “hum.”
“The hum is not work specific, the hum is joy specific,” says Rhimes. “The hum is love specific.”
She urges the audience to say yes to play, no matter what form it comes in. Find something you love that becomes play, and create a real “hum” from that, even if it’s just for 15 minutes every day.
Playing with her daughters saved her job, according to Rhimes, and it opened up a new door of realization in her life. “Work doesn’t work without play.”
Kate Walsh Gives the Prognosis on Whether Dr. Addison Montgomery Could Return to Grey's Anatomy(2/16/16) The doctor is not checking back in.
Season 12 of Grey's Anatomy picked up last Thursday where its midseason finale left off, but Kate Walsh says she will not be reprising her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on the show.
The 48-year-old actress told PEOPLE at a CocoaVia-sponsored event prior to the Woman's Day Red Dress Awards that "There are no plans for me to come back."
She continued, "I get that question a lot. As much as I love it, and I'm flattered and I'm so thrilled that people love the show, but for me, I did it for nine years, and it's had its run."
But the star is launching a new show this year that involves a van and people off the street.
The mobile talk show, backed by Magical Elves – the same team who produces Top Chef and Project Runway – will be called Get in My Van.
"It's basically where we drive around and interview people in a van," she explains. "It will be really fun, I'm excited about that."
Walsh, 48, says the show will be shot this summer with her comedian friend Arden Myrin.
"It will be actors, directors, writers – if we go around the country, it will be local people, like they're known for the best XYZ," she says. "We just want to get them in our van and take them hostage and amuse ourselves."
NCIS Episode 300 Casts Taye Diggs in Pivotal, Musical Role(2/8/16) NCIS has enlisted Broadway vet Taye Diggs for a pivotal, musical role in the series’ 300th episode.
In the landmark hour of TV’s most watched drama (airing March 15), Diggs will play Marine Gunnery Sergeant Aaron Davis, a Special Ops sniper who suffered traumatic injuries and PTSS after an ambush attack in Iraq. For the past six months, Davis has been at Walter Reed Medical Center, facing a slow but effective rehab that includes a cutting-edge music therapy program.
Once a free spirit and a gifted musician, Davis has spiraled into a shell of his former self When Gibbs (Mark Harmon) attempts to reach the wounded warrior, needing as he does an account of the aforementioned ambush to solve a murder.
Of the casting, NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg said in a statement, “For our 300th episode we needed a guest actor who could proudly portray one of our nation’s wounded warriors as well as participate in a very touching musical performance. This emotionally charged role is tailor-made for Taye Diggs and we are so thrilled and honored to have him join us.”
Well known for his Private Practice run (if not the woefully underappreciated Day Break), Diggs’ recent TV credits include a lead role on TNT’s Murder in the First (which has been renewed for a third season), Rosewood, The Good Wife and New Girl.
KaDee Strickland Set As Female Lead In Hulu Series ‘Shut Eye’(1/29/16) Kadee Strickland is set to co-star opposite Jeffrey Donovan in Hulu’s original drama series Shut Eye. The series, from creator Les Bohem, Tri-Star Television and Mark Johnson’s Gran Via Productions, takes a darkly comedic look at the underground world of Los Angeles storefront psychics and the organized crime syndicate that runs them. The story revolves around Charlie Haverford (Donovan)a disgruntled player in the organization who finds his cynical world view challenged when he starts to experience visions that may or may not be real.
Private Practice alumna Strickland plays Linda, a beautiful former dancer and Charlie’s wife. Struck with occasional bouts of manic depression, Linda is a self-described housewife who makes money on the side as a fortune teller entertaining at upscale parties, though what she truly desires is for Charlie to break away from his crooked and violent boss, Fonzo, so that they can make some real money running scams on their own.
Shut Eye is executive produced by showrunner Bohem and Gran Via Prods’ Johnson and Melissa Bernstein. The 10-epiisode series is set to shoot in Vancouver with Johan Renck directing. Strickland, who recently co-starred on the first installment of ABC’s Secrets & Lies, is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and attorney Neil Meyer.
ABC Pilot Order: Shondaland’s ‘Toast’(1/28/16) Toast marks the first half-hour pilot order for Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland, which had been looking to expand in comedy. Foley and Grunberg wrote the project, which was originally developed during the 2014-15 season and was rolled. The two executive produce with Shondaland’s Rhimes and Betsy Beers. None will act. Toast revolves around engaged couple Max and Paige who, over their wedding rehearsal dinner, have their eclectic family and friends give toasts recalling anecdotes about the couple — but flashbacks reveal that the toasts don’t always get it right, as we watch the true story of their complicated, funny and relatable road to marriage. Foley has recurred on Rhimes‘ Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. This marks Shondaland’s second pilot this season, joining drama Still Star-Crossed, also at ABC Studios.
Shonda Rhimes: I'm Not a Trailblazer(1/25/16) Don't try to tell Shonda Rhimes she's a trailblazer.
The Grey's Anatomy and Scandal boss, who has been praised for featuring diverse casts on her shows, accepted the Norman Lear Achievement Award at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, but insisted that "it's not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is."
Rhimes also gave credit to Lear, whom she says "had already done a bunch of trailblazing 40 years earlier." The two are collaborating on America Divided, a political documentary series about inequality that is scheduled to premiere on Epix this fall.
"I created what I know is normal. ... Basically, you are just giving me an award for being me, in which case I totally deserve this," Rhimes said. "Really, I am honored to receive it. The respect of this award does mean the world. It just makes me a little bit sad. First of all, [telling stories about] strong women and three-dimensional people of color is something Norman was doing 40 something years ago. So how come it has to be done all over again?"
Introduced by How to Get Away with Murder star Viola Davis, Rhimes said she faced little pushback from ABC when pitching the characters of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) on Scandal or Annalise Keating (Davis) on Murder.
"I have, against no odds, courageously pioneered the art of writing for people of color as if they were human beings," she said sarcastically. "I've bravely gone around just casting parts for actors who were the best ones. I fearlessly faced down ABC when they completely agreed with me that Olivia Pope should be black."
Added Rhimes: "The thing about all this trailblazing that everyone says I've been doing, it's not like I did things and then the studio or the network gasped with horror and fought me. ... They were perfectly happy to say yes. You know what the problem was? I don't think anyone else was asking them. I think it had been a very long time since anybody had thought to, or tried."
Elizabeth Banks, Bellamy Young and more tell real-life abortion stories for ‘Draw the Line’ campaign(1/21/16) Seven actresses — Elizabeth Banks, Amy Brenneman, Mercedes Mason, Mary McCormack, Dascha Polanco, Retta and Bellamy Young — have filmed videos for the Draw the Line campaign from the Center for Reproductive Rights where they share “real women’s stories about the impact of attacks on reproductive health care.”
The stories, released just days before the 43rd anniversary of landmark women’s reproductive rights case Roe v. Wade, range from life-threatening medical issues to becoming pregnant by an abusive boyfriend. The videos chronicle what it was actually like for the women who sought this medical procedure.
“I was made to feel like a criminal instead of a patient in need of care,” says Young in her video.
“One of the worst things about getting an abortion was actually have to say the word ‘abortion,'” says Banks. “When you love someone, you want the best for them and that means you would do anything to protect them from being forced to do something against their will. I think most women feel that way, but when it comes to abortion it can be hard to say the words.”
Read the real stories at the DrawtheLine.org website, which has launched this campaign in response to “the U.S. Supreme Court case that will determine whether Texas can shut down nearly all abortion care providers in the state, placing countless women at risk of serious harm.”
The decision in this case will be handed down in June.
Norman Lear & Shonda Rhimes To EP Epix Docu-Series ‘America Divided’(1/20/16) All In The Family maestro Norman Lear is being honored this year at NATPE as a Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award recipient, and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes is being given the 2016 Norman Lear Achievement Award from the PGA on January 23. However, today Epix said the powerhouse producers are teaming for the first time for the documentary series America Divided.
“Epix is committed to presenting thought-provoking documentaries that deal head-on with hot-button topics that affect our society,” said the cabler’s president and CEO Mark S. Greenberg in a statement about the upcoming series, timed to the NATPE shindig opening in Miami. “America Divided is a nonpartisan investigation of the key issues shaping the presidential campaign, and we are confident our viewers will find each episode compelling and accessible.”
Featuring docus fronted by Common, Superstore’s America Ferrera, Baskets’ Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler among others, America Divided is set to debut in the fall. In addition to his gig behind the camera, Lear will front one America Divided piece on the housing crisis in New York and the inequality at play. “Foremost among the Founding Fathers’ promises was equality under the law,” said Lear about the series and his on- and off-screen role in it. “It’s up to us to help them keep their promise.”
Besides Lear and Rhimes, executive producers include Oscar winner Common, Solly Granatstein, Lucian Read and Richard Rowley. The latter trio created the series and will also direct episodes. RadicalMedia’s Jon Kamen, Justin Wilkes and Dave O’Connor are also EPs. Nicole Dow and Derek Dudley of Freedom Road Productions, and Norman Lear: Just Another Version Of You’s Brent Miller are co-EPs. Rebecca Teitel and Jesse Williams are senior producers with Abby Ellis and Leah Thomas as producers.
Greenberg, Jocelyn Diaz, Ross Bernard and Jill Burkhart are EPing for Epix.
Amy Brenneman, Brad Silberling & Jill Gordon On How NBC’s ‘Heartbeat’ Sprung To Life – TCA(1/14/16) “I wasn’t looking to produce,” said actress Amy Brenneman about the upcoming NBC medical drama she’s executive producing, Heartbeat.
“But I know what makes a good role,” said the actress who couldn’t even consider the lead in Heartbeat as a female cardiothoracic surgeon given her obligations to HBO’s The Leftovers. Heartbeat sprung from Dr. Kathy Magliato’s book Heart Matters: A Memoir Of A Female Heart Surgeon. Upon coming away from a meeting with Magliato, Brenneman exclaimed to her filmmaker husband Brad Silberling, who also serves as EP, “That woman is a TV show.” The high stakes here: Magliato is one of only 200 female heart surgeons in the world.
What struck Brenneman, Silberling and EP Jill Gordon was Magliato’s -breaking-the-glass-ceiling story. “My mother became a female judge in Connecticut because of a man; a gatekeeper who let her in. So with Dr. Kathy we wondered who let her into her position? What is that relationship?” said Brenneman to the TCA press corps this afternoon. In the show, Grey’s Anatomy alum Melissa George plays the TV version of Dr. Magliato. as Dr. Alex Panttiere. “How this woman came to be was our north star,” explained Brenneman.
The pilot episode is inspired by a scenario Dr. Magliato found herself in when she was returning with her family from vacation; whereby her skills were urgently needed with a crisis on a plane. “Your life is being on call. You’re so specialized that you’re kicked to the front of the plane,” said Brenneman about what she found riveting in Magliato’s life. The phrase “full metal jacket” in Magliato’s book also struck Brenneman; how this surgeon has to wear and take off her full metal jacket depending on a certain situation.
Said Gordon, “We get the opportunity to explore unique areas of medicine. For example, there’s an episode where a chimpanzee is given a human heart transplant.”
Of course, creative medical licenses abound.
Exclaimed George, “Kathy doesn’t have as many lovers as I do on the show!”
“In regards to the people in my life and past, I never got that much action (as this character is getting) on the set,” said Dr. Magliato who also serves as co-EP, “I did ask my husband about love triangles (for the show).”
Private Practice Reunion! Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs and More Stars Come Together in Spain for Special Wedding(1/2/16) (Pic) Now this is how we like to start a brand-new year!
2015 had its fair share of star-studded and unexpected cast reunions. After all, how can anyone forget the Full House and Lizzie McGuire casts together again?
Lucky for us, it didn't take long for a group of castmembers to come together in 2016 and help us feel oh-so-nostalgic for the past. May we reintroduce the cast of Private Practice together again!
"Look, I've just spent the last week @ my pals wedding in Spain, surrounded by real, deep love, jamòn & some of the best cans in the business," Kate Walsh shared on Twitter after sharing several photos of her co-stars and friends. "Happy new year! We r in Spain & ate 12 grapes!"
So what brought the cast including Taye Diggs, Caterina Scorsone, Paul Adelstein and Amy Brenneman together again? As it turns out, the show's head makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera was celebrating a wedding by the ocean.
"Starting out 2016 surrounded by so much love, laughter and friendship. #keepitcoming," Scorsone shared on Instagram. "So, magic came to meet us at the beach. #spain #sergio #love."
Private Practice was a popular spin-off of ABC's Grey's Anatomy that centered on the life of neonatal surgeon Addison Montgomery (Walsh). The show ran from 2007 to 2013 with more than 100 episodes aired.
"It's heartbreaking to end," show creator Shonda Rhimes wrote online when the show was ending. "Truly. I feel so lucky to write for these characters and tell these stories and I truly feel this show has taught me so much as a writer. And there's a family here, of crew and cast, people who have bonded over these past five and a half seasons."
She continued, "It's rare for a show to go for more than 100 episodes, and we are incredibly proud to have been such a show. And we're grateful to all of you for spending time with us for an hour every week for the last 6 years. It's meant the world."
Something tell us a lot of people will be happy this TV family is still going strong away from the cameras.
Benjamin Bratt to Star in Lee Daniels' Empire Follow-Up(12/11/15) Benjamin Bratt has been cast in Lee Daniels' untitled Fox pilot.
The Miss Congeniality actor will co-star opposite Queen Latifah in the project about a girl group trying to make it big. Bratt will play Jahil, a talent manager with "a hidden life and a drive for redemption" who thinks this new girl group will revive his career. Latifah will play Carlotta, a former client (and former lover) of Jahil's who now owns an Atlanta beauty salon and acts as a surrogate mother to the girls.
Bratt is best known for starring in Law & Order in the '90s, and can be seen in the upcoming Ride Along 2.
Daniels will direct and executive-produce the pilot, along with Dear White People's Effie Brown. The untitled pilot, which was previously known as Star, will be Daniels' first follow-up to Empire under his development deal with Fox.
Madam Secretary's Tim Daly Is Crushing on a Kennedy (Sorry, Téa Leoni!)(12/10/15) Gorgeous Madam Secretary on-screen married couple Tim Daly and Téa Leoni outed themselves as a real-life item at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in April, but Daly admits he's had his eye on someone else for years.
PEOPLE caught up with him Tuesday night at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights' Ripple of Hope Awards gala in New York City, where several members of the Kennedy family gathered for a mini-reunion. Honorees included Georgia Congressman John Lewis, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Evercore co-founder Roger Altman and UNESCO Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis.
"I am friends with Kerry and Bobby Kennedy – and Ethel, who is sort of my crush ... my Kennedy crush," Daly told PEOPLE.
Daly revealed that his fondness for family matriarch Ethel Kennedy, 87, has endured "oh, for years. We've been pals, and I've spent some time with Waterkeeper, Bobby's organization, and Kerry's ... which does amazing work. I guess I'm a Kennedy type. I admire [their work] greatly."
Kerry is president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, which was founded in 1968 by Robert Kennedy's family and friends as a living memorial "to carry forward his vision of a more just and peaceful world." She told PEOPLE before the gala that she loves seeing so many of her family members on one night.
"This is always a family reunion, always. Every year," she said.
Her mother, Ethel, attended the event along with Kerry – who walked the red carpet with and proudly introduced her two daughters, Mariah and Michaela Kennedy Cuomo.
As for Daly, 59, he's generally avoided speaking publicly about his romance with Leoni but did let on that he enjoys working on the show with her and is more than game for season 3 should it be renewed.
"I love it – I absolutely love it," he said. "Right now might not be the best time to ask, because we do a long season and everybody's starting to get a little tired. After the winter break when I'm peppy and refreshed, I'd be more enthusiastic. But yes – I'm ready for season 3!"
He also commented on one eerie thing about Madam Secretary, the CBS drama that follows the life of a fictional secretary of state played by Leoni.
"I'm not hopefully psychotic. So I know that what I do is actually fictional," he said. "That said, it is sort of uncannily prescient about things that are happening in the world. I think it's kind of odd – sometimes I wonder, who IS [executive producer] Barbara Hall, and who does she know? Because it seems like we do a show and a couple months later it shows up in the headlines."
One such episode aired Nov. 8 and appeared to predict the later fatal drone strike on Jihadi John (the target was "Jihadi Judd" in the show).
In the end, Daly says he wants his work to have a positive impact on the world.
"I hope that we can inspire people to do better," he said. "And be kinder to each other and more empathetic; that would be a good thing to hope for."
NAACP Image Award Nominations(12/9/15) 47th annual Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in TV, music, literature and film and honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Winners will be announced February 5 during a ceremony airing live on TV One.
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
ANIMATED/CGI - Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – (Television or Film)
Nicholas Brendon Pleads Guilty to Criminal Mischief Misdemeanor Charge, Avoids Jail Time(12/6/15) Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Criminal Minds actor Nicholas Brendon pled guilty to criminal mischief – a misdemeanor – in a Saratoga Springs, New York, court on Friday, the Times Union reports.
In the incident in question, which took place on Sept. 30, Brendon allegedly grabbed his girlfriend by the throat, took her car keys and smashed her cell phone in an attempt to get her to stay, the Saratoga Springs Police Department previously confirmed to PEOPLE.
Brendon, 44, was offered a conditional discharge that will allow him to stay out of jail as long as he completes drug and alcohol counseling and stays out of trouble for one year, the Saratoga Springs District Attorney told the Times Union.
"I think everyone agrees it was a fair disposition, including Nicholas," Brendon's attorney Peter Coseo told the Times Union. (Brendon's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.) "He is in a much better place than he was when he was charged in September. He seemed to me very pleased with his progress, and hopes to get his life back together."
Brendon has had a very turbulent year: He was arrested four times, entered rehab in June for substance abuse, depression and alcoholism, and checked in to another treatment center in October for depression.
In an interview with Dr. Phil taped earlier this year and which aired last week, Brendon revealed details of a failed suicide attempt, revealed that he was allegedly molested by his teacher and talked about his arrests and subsequent stints in rehab.
"Maybe I'm just done," he said of entering rehab. "Maybe I'm ready to be happy now."
'Buffy' actor pleads guilty in NY after arrest over fight(12/5/15) An actor who starred in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" has pleaded guilty to criminal mischief after he was accused of choking his girlfriend in an upstate New York hotel room.
The Albany Times Union reports (http://bit.ly/1XJcI6A ) that Nicholas Brendon pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge Friday in Saratoga Springs.
Police said the 44-year-old Brendon grabbed his girlfriend by the throat, took her keys and tossed her cellphone during a Sept. 30 fight.
Prosecutors say he will not serve jail time in the latest case if he completes drug and alcohol counseling and stays out of trouble for one year. Defense attorney Peter Coseo tells the newspaper his client is working to "get his life back together."
Brendon played Xander on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." He also has appeared on "Criminal Minds."
Audra McDonald & Martha Plimpton Lead Ensemble Cast Of ‘Hello Again’ Pic(12/1/15) The cast is set for Hello Again, an indie feature adaptation of Michael John LaChiusa’s 1994 chamber musical. Audra McDonald, Martha Plimpton, T.R. Knight, Rumer Willis, Jenna Ushkowitz, Nolan Gerard Funk, Sam Underwood, Tyler Blackburn and Al Calderon will star in the pic for director Tom Gustafson. Cory Krueckeberg wrote the screenplay, with music and lyrics by LaChiusa.
The logline: Hello Again follows 10 lost souls who skip across 10 periods in New York history, slipping in and out of one another’s arms and beds in a daisy-chained exploration of lust’s bittersweet embrace of love. Its central characters are the Whore, the Nurse, the College Boy, the Young Wife, the Husband, the Young Thing, the Writer, the Actress and the Senator. Based on Arthur Schnitzler’s 1897 play La Ronde, the original off-Broadway production ran for 101 performances and earned eight Drama Desk noms including Best Musical.
The feature, which has started production in NYC, is produced by Ash Christian, Gustafson,? Krueckeberg and Hunter Arnold. Devon Schneider is co-producing. Gregory Rae and Carl D. White from Martian Entertainment are co-executive producers.
Nicholas Brendon Reveals He Tried to Kill Himself: 'I Cut My Wrists with a Steak Knife'(12/1/15) Nicholas Brendon is opening up about a suicide attempt spurred by his substance abuse.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Criminal Minds star tried to kill himself Sept. 22, he revealed Tuesday on The Dr. Phil Show.
"I cut my wrists with a steak knife," he told Dr. Phil McGaw, crying.
"Did you want to die that day?" McGraw asked.
"I think I wanted to be heard. I think I wanted to be helped, you know?" he said. "Because I think there's a lot of good life to live."
The actor said he mixed alcohol and sleeping pills he had been prescribed for 10 years (but is no longer taking) to deal with his crippling anxiety and depression.
Brendon was arrested four times in 2015, most recently in October after an alleged domestic altercation with his girlfriend in Saratoga Springs, New York. He entered rehab in June for depression and substance abuse after being arrested in South Carolina in May and in Florida in February and March for trashing hotel rooms and public intoxication.
Brendon told McGraw that he blacked out during most of these incidents.
As for the domestic violence arrest, Brendon admitted he was "inebriated" at the time but insisted he did not choke his girlfriend.
"I just felt at that time that my girlfriend shouldn't drive, so I tried to take her keys away," he explained. "I held her down to get the keys."
Brendon also delved into his childhood trauma of being molested by a music teacher, who went to jail in 1981, when he was about 10 years old.
After the teacher was caught, Brendon said he felt "numb, and then the betrayal kind of came to fruition after it all came out, and then anger."
"I think about it every day of my life and I wonder how it affected me … did I stop growing emotionally?" he added. "When you're molested for a couple years and you're blamed for it by the people who are supposed to be your protectors, there's going to be a lot of confusion and a lot of sadness."
At the end of the interview, Brendon checked into a dual diagnosis treatment center, HeadWaters at Origins.
"Maybe I'm just done," he said. "Maybe I'm ready to be happy now."
Buffy's Nicholas Brendon Returning to Dr. Phil After Storming Off Set in August(11/30/15) Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Nicholas Brendon will be returning to The Dr. Phil Show on Tuesday after walking off the set in August, Peoplereports.
During his original interview in August, he accused host Phil McGraw of going "for the jugular, talking about some of my recent mistakes, with no build up," when trying to discuss his history with substance abuse. "I felt that he wanted me to lay the darkest parts of myself on national TV right from the start, and I'm not willing to do that," the actor said at the time.
In a preview of the upcoming episode, Brendon seems to accept McGraw's intervention, saying that he "[feels] a lot better than I did last time...I think I need more help than I realized." Of course, McGraw then asks if Brendon had been drunk during his previous visit, but you'll have to tune in to find out how the actor reacts to the question.
Brendon has been arrested four times in 2015, most recently for an alleged domestic altercation in October. He has also been in rehab multiple times this year for issues stemming from alcoholism and substance abuse.
Amy Brenneman Talks Leftovers Episode 9, Justin Theroux After Marriage and More(11/19/15) The cast of The Leftovers may not be allowed to spill on upcoming episodes, but ya gotta hear what Amy Brenneman said to me just last night.
"When I read episode nine, I was like, 'Holy s--t!'" she said at artist Steven Janssen's one-night solo show at the De Re Gallery in West Hollywood. "I'm a cast member and I had that response so I could only imagine the pleasure you'll have.
"Episode nine was so satisfying in the ways things have been…nurtured from episode one," she continued. "So, it's not random. It's like, 'Oh, my god! That is perfect!'"
We also got an update on how her co-star Justin Theroux has been doing since marrying Jennifer Aniston in August.
"He's happy," Brenneman gushed. "I worked with him the week after he got married and he was a happy groom. He was relaxed. It's how you're supposed to be."
Like all of us, Brenneman has holidays on the brain. She and the family will spend Thanksgiving in L.A. and head to the east coast for Christmas.
"Both of my kids, they're blowing my mind," Brenneman said. "They've asked for two things each. I'm like, really? That's all you want? It's so beautiful."
The guest list at last night's event also included Scott Eastwood, Helen Hunt, Frank Grillo, Mary McCormack and Vanderpump Rules star Jax Taylor.
Private Practice Reunion? Amy Brenneman Reveals Cast Will Be Partying Together at Wedding in Spain(11/19/15) With Shondaland practically taking over the airwaves, could Private Practice be primed for a return?
Well, not quite.
And not even on this continent, but Amy Brenneman, who played Dr. Violet Turner on the series, recently told PEOPLE that there is a reunion of sorts in the works.
"I'm going actually to Spain, without my family for a wedding," the actress said of her holiday plans Tuesday while attending Steve Janssen's 'Brain Change' One Night Solo Exhibition in Los Angeles. "Actually, I don't want to say this because [people] are going to salivate, but it's for Sergio [Lopez-Rivera], our makeup artist."
Of course all it would take is the nuptials of the man that kept the cast looking great for six seasons to get the band back together, and Brenneman did little to hide her glee at the prospect of cutting loose with her former castmates.
"So it's me, and Kate [Walsh], and Taye [Diggs] and Paul [Adelstein], and there's a whole bunch of Private Practice folks that are going to be partying their asses off in Northern Spain," she said, before adding, "But don't say that if it's going to make people crazy, but it's going to be a really fun party."
As if there was any doubt about that.
Kate Walsh Reveals She Went Through Early Menopause: ‘I’m Not Going to Have Kids’(11/19/15) Kate Walsh is opening up about going through early menopause, which she says closed the door on her having children.
“I don’t have children. I’m not going to have kids. I went through early menopause. That happened,” Walsh said on SiriusXM’s Conversations with Maria Menounos Wednesday.
Walsh, 48, says going through early menopause is becoming “more and more common” for women.
“Who knows why. It could be a product of our environment. The pill, we don’t know,” she explains.
After Walsh’s older sister went through early menopause, she advised the actress to get checked. Although Walsh had her doubts, she agreed to make an appointment.
“It was bleak. But that was a great kind of experience and growth,” she says. “I’ve always felt I’ve been, at times in my life, indecisive or have hard times making decisions. I go for what I want and I also embrace what’s in front of me.”
The Grey’s Anatomy alum also spoke about the notion of a woman “having it all” — both career and children.
“I don’t know if you can actually have it all. I think that is actually this American myth. I wouldn’t call it a dream,” she says. “I think it’s a bit of a myth in that it’s this huge pressure. We’re like, ‘Wait a minute, am I less than if I’m not a mother? If I’m not a rock star in my career?’ I don’t know. I’m just rambling. This is what I ponder.”
In 2011, following her divorce from film exec Alex Young, Walsh opened up about wanting to have children.
“I feel like a loser [for not having kids]. I would definitely love to be a parent,” Walsh told More magazine at the time. “But I definitely don’t think I want to do it on my own.”
She added that she always imagined she’d “be married and have three or four kids.”
Conversations with Maria Menounos broadcasts weekedays (1 p.m. ET) on Stars channel 109.
Shonda Rhimes never wants to get married(11/19/15) Shonda Rhimes isn’t rushing to the altar, at least not in this lifetime.
“I was able to finally stand up and say, ‘I don’t want to get married.’ At all,” the “Grey’s Anatomy” creator revealed to Oprah Winfrey during an episode of “SuperSoul Sunday.” “I said it to my family. I said to my friends. I said it to anybody who asked. It’s never been a dream of mine.”
Rhimes, 45, who has helmed countless (not-so-) happy endings for her ABC dramas, including “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” further disclosed that though wedding vows weren’t a part of her long-term plans, having children was.
“I’m one of those people, since I was 5, I could tell you I was going to have kids. I could tell you I was going to have three. I could tell you they were going to be girls,” she continued. “But I never wanted to get married. I never played bride. I was never interested. I don’t know what it is; I never wanted to get married.”
A mother of three, the “Shondaland” mogul is hopeful that her daughters pave their own paths in life — including where matters of the bedroom are concerned.
“I feel like there are ways to represent women owning their sexuality and having a strong point of view about it and it not being this taboo thing that’s hidden in a closet somewhere,” Rhimes told Women’s Health of showing intimate scenes on television. “I hope my daughters grow up to have amazing sex. I really do. I do not hope they grow up to shoot someone in the face. You know what I mean?”
‘Murder In The First’ Renewed For Third Season By TNT(11/13/15) TNT has renewed Murder In The First for a third season to air in 2016. The crime drama, created by Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal, averaged an OK 2 million viewers in its second season, which wrapped its run on August 25. Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson star.
Murder In The First marked a departure from TNT’s procedural formula as it tracks one case for an entire season. It joins Rizzoli & Isles and The Last Ship, which also were renewed for next year. New Turner regime have been very selective in deciding which TNT and TBS series would stay on as both networks are undergoing a brand makeover.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Producers Mark Gordon And Shonda Rhimes Team On ‘My Husband’s Ex-Wife’ Film(11/11/15) After teaming on the hit series Grey’s Anatomy, the Mark Gordon Co’s Mark Gordon and Shondaland’s Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers are in talks to produce My Husband’s Ex-Wife. This would be Rhimes’ first feature as a producer, and it is a script by Michelle Lirtzman, who has been a writer on Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. The Mark Gordon Company will finance the movie, a comedy about a young woman who is married to an older man and is newly pregnant. She finds herself dealing with a host of issues new to her, including the impact of her husband’s ex-wife being diagnosed with cancer. Gordon, Rhimes and Beers will be the producers. The scribe is repped by UTA and Kaplan/Perrone.
Shonda Rhimes: I May Change My Mind About Never Getting Married(11/8/15) Shonda Rhimes made headlines in September when she publicly stated she doesn't want to get married.
But now the Grey's Anatomy and Scandal admits she reserves the right to change her mind.
"I don't know. As I said in the book, [Year of Yes], maybe when I'm 75 or when my youngest in graduating from college, who knows," says Rhimes, who is featured in the current issue of PEOPLE. "Maybe I'll change my mind but right now I don't see it."
That being said, the executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder, 45, isn't saying that she's against getting into a serious relationship. She just isn't looking to co-habitate with anyone other than her daughters Harper, 13, Emerson, 3, and Beckett, 2.
"I'm like, just live next door," says Rhimes. "Live across the street!"
Shonda Rhimes: Saying Yes Made Me a Happier Mom(11/7/15) Shonda Rhimes is a busy woman.
In addition to being the creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, the executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder is also mom to daughters Harper, 13, Emerson, 3, and Beckett, 2.
So, when Rhimes made the resolution to begin saying yes to opportunities she had previously avoided, an unintentional side effect was less time with her kids, she writes in her new book Year of Yes.
So Rhimes found a way to say yes to her daughters as well.
"The most significant thing that I think really changed my life was saying yes to playing with my kids and letting myself play," Rhimes says in the current issue of PEOPLE.
The writer now allows herself to be 15 minutes late to dinners and other events if one of her children asks her to play with them as she is headed out the door.
"That really changed the quality of my life. It's made me a happier person," she says. "It changes the quality of your day."
Rhimes says this practice has brought her even closer to her daughters, but she never explicitly told them of her resolution.
"I didn't tell [Harper] because she probably would have started asking for things if she knew it was the year of yes," Rhimes says with a laugh.
Shonda Rhimes to receive the 2016 Norman Lear Award in Television(11/5/15) Grey's Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes is set to be honoured with the 2016 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television.
Bosses at the Producers Guild of America will salute the TV mogul for her nearly 20 years as a producer and showrunner at the PGA Awards on Jan. 23.
"Shonda Rhimes is one of the most passionate and insightful storytellers in entertainment today," Producers Guild Awards co-chairs Michael DeLuca and Jennifer Todd said in a joint statement. "Her pioneering work on Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder has redefined the role of women in media and spurred the debate about diversity in television.
"Like the intelligent, strong, and fearless characters she creates, Shonda is a true force to be reckoned with and we are privileged to honor her with this year'€™s Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television."
Previous recipients of the PGA prize include Aaron Spelling, David E. Kelley, J.J. Abrams and Jerry Bruckheimer.
How One Word Changed Shonda Rhimes' Life(11/4/15) Shonda Rhimes doesn't have a problem telling people no.
The creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal used to turn down gala invites, interview requests and even playdates for her daughters – anything that could put even the smallest spotlight on her, really – without batting an eye.
But that all changed after Thanksgiving 2013 when one of her older sisters pointed out that Rhimes "never" said yes to "anything."
Letting those words sink in, the executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder decided to spend a year saying yes to the social and professional opportunities she had spent years shying away from.
"Doing something you're afraid of makes it stop being something you're afraid of," says Rhimes, 45, in the current issue of PEOPLE.
Her challenge to resulted in her new book Year of Yes (excerpted in the magazine's latest edition), a weight loss of more than 100 lbs., a smaller but tighter-knit group of friends and closer relationships with her daughters Harper, 13, Emerson, 3, and Beckett, 2.
Though her "year of yes" is technically long over, Rhimes says her resolution has changed her for good.
"There is no real finish line," she says. "There is no way for there to be one because now everything feels possible now. Now that I know what happens when you say yes, how could I possibly go back to saying no?"
For more about Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS 2016 Nominees(11/3/15) Winners will be revealed during the live broadcast of PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS 2016 from the Microsoft Theatre L.A. Live, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Fans can vote now at http://vote.peopleschoice.com.
Favorite Cable TV Actor
Nicholas Brendon in treatment for depression(10/27/15) Nicholas Brendon has checked into a treatment center for depression.
“Well my beautiful people I’m off to florida for 90 days of trearment [sic],” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I love you all so much and I truly do appreciate all of your love and support. We’re going to beat this #?kickingdepressionintheballsack? ?#?loveyou? ?#?huglife?”
The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” actor has had a tough year beginning in February when he was arrested at a Florida hotel for allegedly trashing his room and refusing to pay his tab.
At the time his rep said, “Nicholas is, unfortunately, battling a disease that many of us don’t understand. We are working with him to improve upon that situation at hand and look toward the future.”
In March, the 44-year-old faced more charges at a separate hotel for property damage and criminal mischief after allegedly damaging his room.
“I’ve been dealing with depression for a while,” he told the Tallahassee Democrat after the second arrest. “I stopped taking my meds a while ago, which was a mistake.”
“It’s up to me to take care of me seeing my doctor again and getting back on the proper medicine and not cheating myself.”
Earlier this month Brendon was arrested yet again in upstate New York after a fight with his girlfriend.
Nicholas Brendon to Check into 90-Day Treatment Program, Reveals Suicide Attempts: I Need 'to Fix Myself'(10/19/15) Nicholas Brendon is seeking help after being arrested four times in one year.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum is checking into a 90-day treatment program "to fix myself and to understand the traumas of my mind," he announced Saturday on Facebook.
"I love and appreciate you all so much," he added in the message to his fans. "Again thank you for having my back. Life is worth living for let's f---ing live it!!"
Brendon, 44, was charged with criminal mischief, obstruction of breathing and robbery in the third degree earlier this month after an alleged domestic altercation with his girlfriend in Saratoga Springs, New York. He entered rehab in June for depression and substance abuse after being arrested in South Carolina in May and in Florida in February and March for trashing hotel rooms and public intoxication.
The Criminal Minds actor also revealed that he had attempted suicide in another Facebook post over the weekend, thanking his followers for sticking by him throughout his struggles.
"I can't tell you how much your support and kind comments mean to me. I love you all so much and if I can help just one person by sharing my struggles and how I'm battling them than its all completely worth it It's been bad for me the last three years and I've had failed attempts at suicide," he wrote. "I really just want to live and love and be filled with Joy. I'm on the long and arduous path to find such things. I'm here for any and all that are struggling through the same issues and I read every post good and bad."
"I'm not perfect and I'm the first to admit that I've made mistakes but I'm trying and will continue to try until I'm not walking this earth anymore," he added. "I love you all so much. Even the naysayers."
Shondaland Rule No. 1: ‘Only one of us gets to be crazy at a time’(10/15/15) It is the day after Viola Davis won the lead actress drama Emmy for her role as a brilliant law professor on “How to Get Away With Murder,” and executive producer Betsy Beers is sitting in her wood-paneled office at Shondaland headquarters inside Sunset Gower Studios. It was originally built for Columbia Pictures honcho Harry Cohn.
“He was a big fan of despots,” Beers quips, “so he built this room in the shape of Mussolini’s office.” She points out a secret door in the bathroom where you can see old wooden steps Cohn once covertly used to usher out showgirls.
“I like to think that ol’ Harry is rolling over in his grave because a lady with a white shag rug is sitting in his office,” she says — not to mention the “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” and “Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp” lunchboxes on display.
Shonda Rhimes may be the face and voice of a television empire, but inside Shondaland, there is another woman sharing the white shag throne. Beers is Rhimes’ partner in crime, serving as executive producer on all of the company’s series. Their production company is responsible for three of broadcast TV’s most popular shows — “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” on ABC; a fourth, “The Catch,” is scheduled for midseason.
In an industry where fewer than a quarter of television shows are run by female executive producers, Beers and Rhimes are gleefully tipping the balance. Alison Eakle, Shondaland’s senior development executive, calls her workplace “a Shondaland bubble where I am surrounded by women department heads, women writers — and Betsy and Shonda, of course.”
Beers is steering the ever-expanding empire into the future with nine series currently in development, including something very new in a company known for plot-twisted, emotionally intense drama: a comedy slate.
Her own background is in comedy: After growing up on the margins of showbiz (her father was a New York theatrical agent) and trying her luck as a serious actress in New York theater, Beers created her own improv company. She eventually moved to L.A., where she traded her hopes of being cast as “a wacky next-door neighbor on a sitcom” for a job writing story reports for the studios.
One of the movies she recommended — Keenen Ivory Wayans’ blaxploitation parody “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” — got made, offering her a first taste of working in production. Beers went on to produce such movies as “200 Cigarettes” and “Casanova” — the latter while also working on the first season of “Grey’s Anatomy.” After commuting between the movie set in Venice, Italy, and the TV set in Los Angeles, she says, “I got my wits about me,” and she threw in her lot with Rhimes.
“When we started, neither one of us had worked in television,” says Rhimes. “We were very tightly wound around each other just to do that job of working on one show.” They quickly forged a close friendship, a habit of finishing each other’s sentences and a respect for each other’s limits.
“We always say that only one of us gets to be crazy at a time,” Rhimes says. “Only one of us gets to be ready to quit at a time.”
With no TV experience between them, it was a little like the blind leading the blind into prime time. “We didn’t know what you aren’t supposed to do … we were just trying to figure out the best way to tell the stories so it ended up working out,” Beers says, shaking her mass of blond wavy hair. “It was great not knowing.”
One of the results of “not knowing” was colorblind casting — that is, opening up every role to actors of every ethnicity. “We found out later it was very unusual,” Beers says. “But [casting director] Linda Lowy thought it was great because hey … the entire world of actors is open to us.” That decision gave birth to the justly celebrated diversity of Shondaland, where doctors, lawyers and politicians come in every racial, sexual and gender stripe.
Beers and Rhimes believe there is nothing radical about the array of talent they put on camera and behind it. The fact that Davis is the first African-American woman to win a lead actress Emmy for drama in the awards’ 67-year run suggests otherwise. Yet Beers says that in Shondaland, the central requirement is just that characters be “complicated and fascinating and dark and twisty and funny.”
“How to Get Away With Murder” creator Peter Nowalk recalls Beers pushing him to create a different kind of heroine in Annalise Keating, the role that won Davis her Emmy. “There is an instinct of expecting likable things from your main character,” Nowalk says. “Betsy encouraged me to not make her perfect.”
Nowalk thinks Annalise was, in some subconscious way, inspired by Beers. Not the part about coaching her students to cover up murders, but “in terms of her protective maternal nature,” he says. “Annalise is protective of her students. That is exactly how I feel about Betsy — she is out to protect my voice, my vision of the show.”
Last season, Nowalk says he would regularly lie down on Beers’ couch in a panic. “I didn’t know if it would all fall apart at every second … . But Betsy can instantly pick up on what the story is supposed to be and where it went wrong.”
Call her the Shondaland whisperer: Beers enables Rhimes to focus on the creative elements, with Rhimes knowing that Beers is keeping their many shows running smoothly. Not an easy task with multiple writers rooms and production offices and sets spread around town (Beers can reel off the drive time between sets to the minute), as well as all those development projects in different stages of readiness.
Beers says she approaches new Shondaland series ideas from the perspective of “What is bothering people?” She gives as an example a sense a few years ago that “culturally and societally, nobody trusted authority anymore … so a lot of our development revolved around the idea of taking the law into your own hands.” That loosely led, she says, to the political series “Scandal” and the legal roguishness of “Murder.” (It doesn’t hurt that she’s married to criminal defense attorney Bruce Cormicle; he consults on both shows.)
Among the series they’re developing are a drama about millennial nuns by writer Alison Schapker, a romantic comedy from “Scandal” star Scott Foley and actor Greg Grunberg, and a divorce comedy with “Trophy Wife” creators Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins. Comedy is a new focus for Shondaland, but Rhimes and Beers hope to take their loyal fans with them into fresh territory.
“Thinking about who doesn’t get represented is important to us in comedy as well,” says Shondaland exec Eakle. “We are still always gravitating toward the untraditional families — the ones you make — and the weird workplace situations.”
If Shondaland were the setting for a workplace comedy, Beers would be the character in perpetual motion yet completely present and attentive when she’s in front of you. This day alone holds a newspaper interview, meetings with writers, phone calls trying to close deals, check-ins in with Nowalk and Rhimes, and the recording of her “Shondaland: Revealed” podcast, in which she plays a quick game of “Six Degrees of Shondaland” with “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jason George.
Beers thinks her improv background comes in handy at Shondaland. “In a world where shows have to keep going while the priorities change, I have to stay flexible,” she says, ignoring a ringing phone. “We take the suggestions people give us and build the best reality we can for them.”
Taye Diggs Joins Fox Drama ‘Rosewood’(10/12/15) Taye Diggs (The Best Man Holiday) has landed a recurring role on Fox freshman drama series Rosewood. Created by Todd Harthan, Rosewood stars Morris Chestnut as Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr., a private pathologist in Miami who partners with Detective Annalise Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz). Diggs will play Mike Boyce, a world-renowned infectious disease doctor based in Miami and the longtime best friend of Dr. Beaumont Rosewood (Morris Chestnut), who is brought in to consult on a case and catches the eye of Detective Villa, much to Rosewood’s surprise. It’s a reunion for Diggs and Chestnut, who starred in the hit feature The Best Man and sequel The Best Man Holiday. Diggs is repped by ICM, Authentic Management, Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo, and Burt Goldstein and Co.
‘Buffy’ actor arrested after fight with girlfriend(10/1/15) Police say an actor known for his role in the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” has been arrested in upstate New York after a fight with a girlfriend.
Saratoga Spring Police Lt. Bob Jillson says Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander Harris in the show, faces charges of felony third-degree robbery, misdemeanor obstruction of breathing and two criminal mischief counts.
Jillson says the woman told officers called to a downtown hotel around 11 p.m. Wednesday that she had gone to return property to Brendon and intended to leave. Jillson says Brendon objected, took her car keys and cell phone and started choking her.
Brendon was arrested nearby. Authorities say they don’t know if he has a lawyer. He was released from jail Thursday after posting a $20,000 bond.
The arrest is the latest in a string for the 44-year-old Sherman Oaks, California, resident over the past year.
How Shonda Rhimes Lost 117 Lbs.: 'I Want to Be Around' for My Kids(9/30/15) (Video) With an entire night dedicated to her deliciously dramatic shows and her first book set to hit shelves in November, Shonda Rhimes is living her best life.
The Grey's Anatomy and Scandal creator is also at her healthiest after dropping 117 lbs.
"I just decided I was going to get it together and get healthy," she told Extra on Saturday at PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly and Essence's Shondaland #TGIT Party in Los Angeles. "I have some little kids, and I want to be around them." (Rhimes has three daughters).
What's her secret? Rhimes, 45, credits eating better and regular exercise with giving her a slimmer figure, though she says she "hated it the whole time."
"Once I decided it wasn't going to be fun, I lowered my expectations," she explained. "It got kind of easier."
As for her diet, Rhimes says she hasn't put any strict restrictions on her food.
"I actually eat everything I want to eat. I tried to make it much less and smaller portions, but what's happened is you change what your palate wants. I'm suddenly craving fish and salad," she said, laughing. "It's upsetting! I'm like, where's my cake?"
Grey's Anatomy (8 p.m.), Scandal (9 p.m.) and How to Get Away with Murder (10 p.m.) air Thursday on ABC.
Kate Walsh Splits from Boyfriend Chris Case: 'It Wasn't Working,' Source Says(9/23/15) Kate Walsh and her boyfriend Chris Case have split, PEOPLE confirms.
"It wasn't working," a source tells PEOPLE. "They just needed to go their separate ways."
The former couple started dating in the summer of 2011. Case is a writer-producer.
"They're both doing okay," added the source of Walsh and Case.
The Bad Judge star, 47, divorced Alex Young in 2008.
She then dated film executive Neil Young, and the duo later split after over a year together.
Though the Grey's Anatomy alum kept mostly mum about her relationship with Case, she mentioned him on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show in April when talking about her cats.
"My boyfriend's highly allergic. I mean, you don't want to bring up the previous boyfriend, like, 'Well, for Neil it wasn't a problem…' " she quipped.
She also revealed that she and Case were developing an animated series called "Cat Stories," joking, "Finally, we'll put those cats to work!"
Bravo Greenlights 2 Hourlong Scripted Pilots From Universal Cable Prods(9/22/15) Bravo Media continues its push into scripted programming, ordering pilots My So Called Wife (working title) from Adam Brooks (Definitely) and Paul Adelstein (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) and True Fiction from Brian Dannelly and Michael Urban (Saved). Both hail from Bravo sibling Universal Cable Prods. My So Called Wife and True Fiction will be looking to join Bravo’s first two original scripted series, Girlfriends Guide To Divorce, also from UCP, and Odd Mom Out, both already renewed for a second season.
My So Called Wife is written and executive produced by Brooks and Adelstein, with Brooks set to direct. The dark comedy follows Ava, a master-of-disguise con-artist who gets men and women to fall in love with her, marries them and then disappears with their money and just enough dirty inside information to guarantee they will never go to the police. But things get complicated when she falls in love with her latest mark, and three of her last victims join together to track her down.
True Fiction is written and executive produced by Dannelly and Urban, with Dannelly set to direct. It centers on a once best-selling novelist turned prestigious East Coast college professor who has been struggling with her much anticipated, and embarrassingly belated follow-up book. But the sudden death of her most arrogant and hated student creates an opportunity for her to claim his manuscript as her own. She is haunted by whether to take credit for his work and finally get her career back on track or come forward with a rapidly unraveling truth that is juicier and more scandalous than any work of fiction.
“As Bravo expands in the scripted space, we are committed to exploring worlds and characters that are distinctly different from our established slate,” said Lara Spotts, SVP of Development for Bravo Media. “My So Called Wife and True Fiction take us on wild rides as dramatic as they are funny — with one being a quest to uncover the truth and the other a mission to hide it at all costs.”
Nicholas Brendon Blasts Dr. Phil for Comments About Mother: 'It Hurt Me'(9/16/15) Buffy the Vampire star Nicholas Brendon says he is unhappy over the way he was treated during a recent taping of Dr. Phil.
Brendon, 44, walked off the episode, which aired Wednesday, after Dr. Phil questioned him about his sobriety. Dr. Phil said he smelled liquor on Brendon's breath, and after some prodding, Brendon admitted he'd had a few beers the night before.
Brendon, who has been arrested three times this year and entered rehab in June, released a statement after the episode aired Wednesday to say he did not appreciate "hard words" Dr. Phil had for his mother, who did not put Brendon in therapy after he was sexually abused as a child.
"Dr. Phil had some hard words for my mother, who I love dearly and who I have caused more heartache than I care to remember. When I was molested as a child, it was 1982. Therapy wasn’t talked about and accepted the way it is today," Brenden wrote on Facebook Wednesday. "Going to therapy in 1982 would be similar to getting a divorce in 1950. It wasn’t done, and if it was, it wasn’t supported by those around you. There certainly were not the kind of resources that fortunately exist for abused children today."
Brendon went on to write that his mother was a victim of child abuse, and she was convinced by those around her that they should put her son's abuse behind them.
"My mother regrets this deeply, and it hurt me that Dr. Phil took her to task for not forcing me into treatment at the time," Brendon wrote."
Following the taping in July, a rep for Dr. Phil told PEOPLE that Brendon "chose to disengage before a dialogue with Dr. Phil ever began."
"There was no drama, he simply chose to leave and did so in a respectful manner. His family and associates remained and participated fully and productively," the rep said. "Dr. Phil has nothing but the highest respect for Nicholas and wishes him the best in his quest for physical/mental health and sobriety, and stands ready to assist him in any way possible."
Brendon is best known for playing Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1996 to 2003. He split from his wife, Moonda Tee in February.
Shonda Rhimes on Her Decision to Never Marry: 'As Soon as I Said It Out Loud to My Family, It Was Fantastic'(9/8/15) Shonda Rhimes's upcoming memoir is titled Year of Yes, but there is one important question that the revered show runner will always answer with a no: "Will you marry me?"
"I was seriously dating somebody and I was like, 'I don't want to do this,' " Rhimes, 45, tells Entertainment Weekly for its latest cover story. "We're all so conditioned to want it, I felt like there must be something wrong with me. But the minute I said it out loud to my family, it was fantastic."
The creator of Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal says she ultimately realized that she had been channeling those deeply held feelings into one of her characters.
"I guess I had been secretly feeling that way and writing it for Cristina," she explains, referring to Cristina Yang on Grey's (played by Sandra Oh).
Making the personal decision to remain unwed has come as a huge relief for the Illinois native, who says she's direct when people ask her whether she's looking for a relationship.
"Now if somebody says, 'Are you looking for that?' I say, 'Nope, looking for a boyfriend, not a husband,' " she says. "And there's a freedom to that. There's no pressure if you're not looking for it."
But there are plenty of things to which Rhimes has said yes recently, and she'll chronicle those positive developments in her book.
Out in November, the memoir will recount the year she challenged herself to say yes to every invitation, and Rhimes says the first two invites brought her face-to-face with one of her greatest fears – public speaking. She addressed that fear head-on when she agreed to deliver the commencement address at her alma mater, Dartmouth College, and appear as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
"My panic was always really huge. I had so much social anxiety," said Rhimes, who credits her Year of Yes challenge with helping her overcome that fear.
Skylar Astin, Chris Lowell & Angelica Maria Join Epix’s ‘Graves’(9/2/15) Pitch Perfect‘s Skylar Astin, Chris Lowell (The Help, Veronica Mars) and Angelica Maria (Qué Bonito Amor, Sea Of Dreams) have been cast opposite Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon in the Epix original series Graves, a single-camera half-hour political satire produced by Lionsgate. Production is scheduled to begin this fall for premiere on Epix in autumn 2016.
In Graves, 25 years after his presidency, former Commander in Chief Richard Graves (Nolte) has the epiphany that his policies have damaged the country for decades and so, with his young assistant (Astin), he goes on a Don Quixote-like journey to right his administration’s wrongs just as his wife (Sarandon), the former First Lady, decides to follow her own political ambitions.
Astin will play Isaiah Miller, a neurotic, over-eager assistant who goes to work for his political hero President Graves at the very moment that the ex-POTUS is tearing down his own legacy. WME-repped Lowell is Jeremy Graves, an underachiever who returns from the war in Afghanistan to face the real challenge of finding his life’s direction amid the everyday chaos of living with his presidential parents and self-destructive sister. María, repped by Crossover Entertainment, will play Ramona Alvarez, the wry housekeeper who has worked for President Graves since before he was elected and, as a result, grown comically desensitized to the daily dramas unfolding in the Graves household.
Astin, repped by Principal Entertainment LA, Authentic Talent and Literary Management and UTA, is known for his role as Jesse in the Pitch Perfect films. He also led the cast of TBS’ Ground Floor, which ran for two seasons, and starred in this season’s untitled NBA comedy pilot for ABC.
Graves was created by Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote) who will write, direct and executive produce the series. Oscar winner Greg Shapiro, Keith Eisner and Eric Weinberg also executive produce.
Nicholas Brendon Walks Off Set During Dr. Phil Interview(8/28/15) Troubled Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Nicholas Brendon, who recently entered rehab after being arrested three times this year, walked out of his scheduled interview with Dr. Phil on Wednesday. His family and associates did participate, and the episode will still air as planned, a spokesperson for the show tells TVGuide.com.
In a Facebook post, Brendon explained why he cut the interview short, noting that he felt ambushed by Dr. Phil's questions. "When I was in that seat, I felt that Dr. Phil went for the jugular, talking about some of my recent mistakes, with no build up," the actor wrote. "I felt that he wanted me to lay the darkest parts of myself on national TV right from the start, and I'm not willing to do that."
Added Brendon: "My illnesses and addictions are a daily struggle for me, and I am committed to working on them for the rest of my life. A big part of that is focusing on positivity. I'm the first to admit I've messed up, a lot, and I've hurt people I care about and who care about me."
Brendon entered rehab in June for depression, alcoholism and substance abuse, after his third arrest in three months. The charges against him include public intoxication, grand theft and criminal mischief, after multiple incidents in which he caused disturbances in hotel rooms at fan conventions. He also divorced his wife in February, less than five months after they were married in Las Vegas.
In his Facebook post addressing the Dr. Phil interview, Brendon revealed that he is still receiving private treatment for his addictions and apologized to fans "who are disappointed by the events of the past week or the past year."
"There are a few things I want to set straight, but per contractual obligations to Dr. Phil, I cannot at this time," he noted. "Things about my recent conduct, and more importantly, my family, that I will address when I am able. I may be down, but I'm still a professional."
It appears that there's no ill will between Brendon and Dr. Phil, however. Brendon began his post by writing, "First and foremost, I want to acknowledge all the good Dr. Phil has done for people, famous or not. His production has spent millions on helping people turn their lives around."
A spokesperson for The Dr. Phil Show told TVGuide.com in a statement: "Nicholas Brendon appeared on Dr. Phil today. Unfortunately, he chose to disengage before a dialogue with Dr. Phil ever began. There was no drama, he simply chose to leave and did so in a respectful manner. His family and associates remained and participated fully and productively. Dr. Phil has nothing but the highest respect for Nicholas and wishes him the best in his quest for physical/mental health and sobriety, and stands ready to assist him in any way possible. The episode was completed as scheduled. An airdate will be announced in the future."
ABC Buys Convent Drama From Shondaland & Writer Alison Schapker(8/25/15) Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland has sold its first drama project this season, and it’s very much in the company’s wheelhouse of soapy, twisty shows. The untiled one-hour is written by former Lost and Fringe writer-producer Alison Schapker. It revolves around a group of Catholic nuns fighting the closure of their Bronx-based convent who must suddenly deal with three young novices whose arrival unearths long-buried secrets. Schapker, Rhimas and Beers executive produce. ABC Studios, where Shondaland is based, is the studio.
This marks Schapker’s return to ABC and ABC Studios where she, alongside former writing partner Monica Breen, worked on Lost and JJ Abrams’ Alias and served as showrunners on the Greg Berlanti-produced Brothers & Sisters. Schapker and Breen then followed Abrams to Warner Bros. TV with a gig on his Fox sch-fi drama Fringe. Schapker and Breen subsequently went their separate ways, with Schapker staying at WBTV where she worked on the Abrams-produced Almost Human and Berlanti’s The Flash. She is repped by WME and attorney Matt Johnson. Rhimes is with ICM Partners; Beers is with UTA.
Shondaland has four drama series on ABC this coming season, the TGIT lineup of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder and new series The Catch. The company opened its 2015 development season with a comedy sale at ABC for Splitsville, written by Trophy Wife creators Emily Halpern & Sarah Haskins. Shondaland also has a half-hour ABC comedy written by Scandal co-star Scott Foley and Greg Grunberg, Felicity alums and longtime friends. The single-camera project, about an engaged couple, has been rolled from last season.
Taye Diggs played matchmaker for Misty Copeland and her fiancé(8/21/15) Misty Copeland has Taye Diggs and hospitality guru David Rabin to thank for introducing her to her lawyer fiancé, Olu Evans.
Diggs pointed out Copeland to his cousin Evans on the dance floor at Rabin’s former hot spot Lotus 11 years ago.
So it was fitting for Rabin to host their engagement party Thursday at his bar Jimmy at the James.
Copeland told us she was planning a party to toast her ABT promotion, but it became a double celebration after Evans proposed. Diggs, starring in Broadway’s “Hedwig”, celebrated with the couple.
Troubled Buffy the Vampire Star Nicholas Brendon to Appear on Dr. Phil(8/19/15) Former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Nicholas Brendon is set to appear on Dr. Phil on Aug. 26.
The news about the troubled actor's upcoming appearance came in a statement on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
"Nick is doing well and sends his love to you all," the post reads. "If you happen to be in the LA area on Aug. 26, why not go to a Dr. Phil taping and show some support to Nick? Tickets are free."
Brendon, 44, has had a tough year, which has included a stint in rehab to treat depression, alcoholism and substance abuse issues, as well as multiple run-ins with the law – he was arrested three times this year on charges including public intoxication, grand theft and criminal mischief.
Brendon also split with his wife of five months, Moonda Tee, in February.
Last month the actor sent out a public appeal on Twitter asking for Dr. Drew Pinsky of HLN's Dr. Drew on Call to give him a call as he battled depression. "Could sure use a pep talk," he wrote.
Audra McDonald raises money for charity with special gifts(8/7/15) Grabbing a hot chocolate at the theater-district restaurant Sardi's usually costs only a few bucks, but when you add one special ingredient, it soars to $2,250. What's that ingredient? Audra McDonald.
The six-time Tony Award winner is offering to join you and a guest over cocoa as part of her effort to raise money for homeless young people. The get-together — which also later includes a short private performance — is one of several prizes she's offering to raise $25,000 for Covenant House by Aug. 12.
McDonald got involved in the effort last year when she watched Covenant House staff welcome a homeless youth into their shelter. She found out more about the group and "my heart broke open," she said Friday. "All of a sudden, I felt like, 'I need to be a part of it.'"
For $1,000, she'll deliver a singing telegraph over the phone. For $250, you get a signed copy of McDonald's CD "Go Back Home." For $100, she'll tweet her thanks and for $50, she'll recognize you on her Facebook page.
A $500 donation gets you a video message and McDonald is offering to play Cupid. "If you want help proposing to someone, maybe I'll send the proposal for you," she said. "Or if there's someone special you always wanted to ask out, maybe I can help."
All money goes to Covenant House International. On Nov. 19, McDonald will join a candlelight vigil in Times Square and join members of the theatrical community in sleeping on the streets in solidarity. The hot chocolate meetup happens then, followed by a tour of Covenant House and a private performance.
In the meantime, McDonald is very busy. She and her husband, Will Swenson, are starring in "A Moon for the Misbegotten" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.
She also has filmed her Tony-winning performance as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill" for HBO. The special was shot with a live audience over three shows in an abandoned club in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
In the fall, she'll join workshops of the Broadway-bound "Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed," which will be choreographed by Savion Glover and be written and directed by Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe.
To goose interest in the charity fundraiser, McDonald and Swenson are recording theme songs for various iconic TV shows. Last week they posted on Vimeo the song from "Laverne & Shirley." This week is "Diff'rent Strokes," posted Friday.
"I know 'The Jeffersons' will make their way in there at some point. 'Maude.' 'All in the Family.' We got lots," McDonald said, laughing.
Castle Season 8: Ann Cusack Cast as Mystery Woman With Ties to [Spoiler](7/31/15) Private Practice alum Ann Cusack has landed a provocative guest-starring role in Castle‘s Season 8 premiere.
TVLine has learned exclusively that the actress will appear in the second half of the two-part season opener as Rita, a member of a top-secret organization who drops into Beckett’s life with a unique set of skills… and an unexpected connection to Castle.
In addition to her Private Practice arc as the wife of Addison’s mother Bizzy, Cusack’s recent TV credits include episodes of Backstrom, Masters of Sex, Scandal and Hart of Dixie.
Previously this summer, Castle added Toks Olagundoye (The Neighbors) in the series regular role of onetime Scotland Yard officer Hayley Vargas, while Sunkrish Bala (The Walking Dead) will recur as a high-strung tech analyst.
Castle opens its eighth season on Monday, Sept. 21.
Kate Walsh Signs With WME(7/29/15) Kate Walsh has signed with WME. She was previously at CAA. Walsh is probably best known for playing Dr. Addison Montgomery on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and toplining spinoff Private Practice which ran for six seasons. She is coming off a starring role on the short-lived NBC comedy series Bad Judge and a recurring role on the first season of Fargo on FX. On the film side, she can currently be seen in Lorne Michaels’ Staten Island Summer. Her other feature credits include Kicking And Screaming, Under The Tuscan Sun and The Perks Of Being a Wallflower.
Taye Diggs’ ‘Hedwig’ debut thrills Broadway(7/23/15) (Pic) A toned Taye Diggs beamed during his debut as the eponymous character in “Hedwig and the Angry Itch.”
The 44-year-old actor’s much anticipated first performance as the transgender rocker took place at the Belasco Theater on Broadway on Wednesday night and ended with a standing ovation from the sold out crowd.
In May, it was announced that Diggs would take on the gender-bending role.
Earlier this week, the actor told the New York Times that while he had seen the play several times, he never thought he’d get the chance to star in it.
‘‘Since I was a kid, I’ve been trying to wean myself off of seeing things as right and wrong and black and white and good and bad. And Hedwig was a mixture of all that stuff … But I didn’t think it would ever happen,’’ he said. ‘‘I assumed that nobody would ever have the open-mindedness to cast this character black.’’
Diggs is the latest famous face to step into the role, which, in recent years, has been filled by Neil Patrick Harris, Michael C. Hall, and the character’s creator, John Cameron Mitchell, among others.
The actor is no stranger to Broadway. He got his big break as part of the cast of “Rent,” and also appeared in “Chicago.”
See the First Photos of Taye Diggs Onstage in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway!(7/23/15) (Pic1, Pic2, Pic3) Hedwig Robinson's shimmering golden boots and flowing blond mane have arrived in the hands of her newest portrayer.
PEOPLE, in a joint exclusive look with Entertainment Weekly, has the first photos of Taye Diggs as the titular character, a troubled transgender rocker from East Berlin, in the glittering Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
In a profile of Diggs on the brink of his Hedwig debut, The New York Times reports that Diggs had hoped to appear as Hedwig for many years. "But I didn't think it would ever happen," Diggs tells the newspaper. "I assumed that nobody would ever have the open-mindedness to cast this character black."
Now that he has taken over the part, Diggs is making the most of his turn on the Great White Way. "[The role is] everything I've ever wished for," Diggs notes. "This is me telling myself, 'O.K....put your money where your mouth is. You've been telling agents and your best friends – I told [ex-wife] Idina [Menzel] – 'I want a chance to show everybody everything. I can dance and I can sing, and everybody knows I can act.' "
The demanding role of Hedwig has been passed from celebrity to celebrity since the show, which won the Tony Award for best revival of a musical, opened in 2014. Neil Patrick Harris opened the show on Broadway and nabbed a Tony for it. Since Harris left the production, Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, co-creator John Cameron Mitchell (who originated the role Off-Broadway in 1998) and Darren Criss have channeled the titular diva.
Outside of the theater, Diggs has starred in movies such as Chicago and television shows including Private Practice. He shares son Walker with Menzel, whom he met during their time in Broadway's Rent.
Taye Diggs keeps Idina Menzel line in ‘Hedwig’(7/23/15) When Taye Diggs was cast in Broadway’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” some wondered whether a line about his real-life ex-wife, Idina Menzel, would stay in the script.
Before Diggs’ debut in the show on Wednesday night, spies pointed out that his character in the musical quips to another, smack in the middle of their song: “Idina sang it better.”
We hear that at a Tuesday dress rehearsal, Diggs not only delivered the line but ad-libbed afterward in a reference to Mendel’s hit tune from the movie “Frozen” — “Oh, let it go.” Audiences should look out for the laugh line during Diggs’ run.
He took over the role from Darren Criss.
Former Buffy Star Nicholas Brendon Publicly Asks Dr. Drew for Help with His Depression(7/4/15) Nicholas Brendon wants Dr. Drew of HLN's Dr. Drew On Call and former host of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew to help him with his depression.
The former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star sent a Tweet to Dr. Drew on Friday night. "If anyone sees @drdrew, have him give a call. Could sure use a pep talk :/ #depressionisreal #helpisoutthere #keepfighting," he wrote.
Brendon, 44, checked himself into a California rehab facility on June 1 to "to treat his depression, alcoholism and substance abuse problems," according to a past statement on his Facebook page.
The actor has been arrested three times this year on different charges, including public intoxication, grand theft and criminal mischief. He says he's tried tackling his problems with therapy and outpatient services but realized he needed to "take an extended break and treat the underlying issues of his illnesses," the statement read.
Brendon split from wife Moonda Tee in February after five months of marriage. In an interview in March he said his substance abuse issues stem from an ongoing battle with depression and difficulty dealing with memories of being molested as a child.
On June 26 his Facebook page had an update posted by a woman named Andrea, presumably his spokesperon Andrea Albin. She writes how Brendon's 30-day treatment was almost up and the actor would be "accepting sobriety as one of the most amazing gifts in his life."
There has been no public response on social media yet from Dr. Drew.
Taye Diggs on Starring in Hedwig and the Angry Inch: 'I Like Wearing Nail Polish'(6/24/15) (Pic) Taye Diggs is about to make a stylish return to the Great White Way.
The actor and Broadway alum will take over the titular role in the smash revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at Diggs glammed up in glittery makeup as the character.
"Hedwig is the role of a lifetime. I'm looking forward to being challenged performance-wise on many levels, as well as being humbled by the musical's social implications," Diggs says in the new issue of PEOPLE, adding: "I also like wearing nail polish."
The actor will start his 12-week run as Hedwig – a transgender rocker who sings about her botched surgery – in N.Y.C. on July 22, replacing Glee star Darren Criss. And Diggs is actually the sixth actor to take on the role since its Broadway return last year. Neil Patrick Harris scored a Tony as the revival's original star, while Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, John Cameron Mitchell (the musical's co-writer) and Criss all donned high heels and fishnets as well.
His turn in Hedwig marks Diggs' first time on a Broadway stage in over a decade: He last appeared in Wicked in 2004.
CBS Drama 'Doubt' Recasting Leads Ahead Of Potential New Pilot(6/21/15) As we reported last month, CBS left its legal drama pilot Doubt, which narrowly missed the cut to series, in contention with the intention to shoot a new pilot after some recastings.
The changes have now come into focus, and I hear the project is looking to recast both lead roles, played in the original pilot by KaDee Strickland and Teddy Sears.
Written by longtime Grey’s Anatomy executive producers Tony Phelan and Joan Rater and directed by Adam Bernstein, Doubt, from CBS Studios and Timberman/Beverly, centers on Sadie (Srickland), a smart, chic, successful defense lawyer at a boutique firm who shockingly gets involved romantically with one of her clients, Billy (Sears), who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime. The cast of the pilot also included Laverne Cox, Dule Hill, Dreama Walker, Elliott Gould and Kobi Libii.
Taye Diggs is already prepping for his 'Hedwig' takeover(6/12/15) Taye Diggs is already getting into character to star in gender-bending “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Broadway.
The actor, who starred in “Rent” in 1996, was spotted at the Alvin Ailey Spirit Gala in black, sparkly nail polish that was left on from a “costume fitting earlier in the day.”
Diggs is taking over for Darren Criss in the show starting July 22.
He brought his 5-year-old son to the Ailey event at the David H. Koch Theater, where guests included Tyson Beckford and “SNL” comic Jay Pharoah.
Shonda Rhimes Sets November Street Date For 'Year Of Yes' Memoir(6/2/15) The Grey’s Anatomy/Scandal/How To Get Away With Murder topper will publish her first book with Simon & Schuster in November, according to an announcement today by VP/editor-in-chief Marysue Rucci. That sets up a date after the original rights deal was signed in November 2013.
In December of that year, Rhimes accepted a challenge to say “Yes” to the unexpected invitations that come her way for one year. In Year Of Yes she chronicles the powerful impact saying “Yes” had on every aspect of her life.
“It’s mind-boggling that the mega-talented Shonda Rhimes, one of the most admired and accomplished women in Hollywood, would feel the need to challenge her status quo,” Ruccis said ion the announcement. “But by saying yes for a year, she truly transformed her life for the better in every way. Year Of Yes is surprising, hilarious, poignant, and accessible. It’s easy to imagine this book inspiring a movement and we couldn’t be more excited to publish it at Simon & Schuster.”
Rucci acquired world English rights from Jennifer Joel, partner at ICM Partners. Simultaneous with hardcover edition and eBook, Simon & Schuster Audio will publish an unabridged audiobook.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Nicholas Brendon Enters Rehab for Depression, Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Problems(6/2/15) Nicholas Brendon has entered rehab.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer star released an official statement via his Facebook page to let fans know that he's chosen to go to a rehabilitation center today, following an arrest for public intoxication last month.
Written by his manager, Andrea Albin, the post states: "Earlier today, with the support of his professional team, his friends, and his family, Nicky entered a rehabilitation facility in California to treat his depression, alcoholism, and substance abuse problems. He's taking the steps necessary to better his health and give himself, and his fans, the gift of a healthy lifestyle.
"He has been aware of his problems for some time- and with each new challenge, he gained a greater understanding of what needed to be done to overcome these obstacles and move forward with his life. Since his arrest last October, Nicky had tried several treatment methods- from therapy, to outpatient services- only to realize recently that he needed to take an extended break and treat the underlying issues of his illnesses."
She continues, "Nicky will not be attending any events during the months of June and July- but has plans to return to the circuit in late summer after he has successfully completed his treatment program. We ask that this page be filled with positive messages as we support Nicky on his road to recovery. Words of encouragement can be emailed to us at email@example.com so that we may forward them to him during his time away."
Albin concludes with, "We ask that all members of the press respect Nicholas' privacy during this time."
In mid-May, Brendon was arrested on public intoxication charges in Myrtle Beach, S.C. That marked Brendon's third arrest this year alone.
In October, Brendon was arrested in Idaho for allegedly damaging property and resisting arrest. He later apologized, admitted to being under the influence of prescription medication and alcohol. Four months later, in February, Brendon was arrested for grant theft and criminal mischief after allegedly causing damages in a hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and then skipping out on the bill. He was also in town for a fan convention at the time.
He was then detained in Tallahassee, Fla., nearly a month later, where he had traveled to attend the pop culture convention ALT*Con in March for allegedly trashing a hotel room.
Taye Diggs: Being a Good Father Starts with Showing Up(6/1/15) Being a fabulous father starts with one easy step, says Taye Diggs.
“Be there. How about that? Show up,” the actor, who has teamed up with Dockers to star in their Father’s Day #DadJam video, tells PEOPLE.
And the benefits go both ways: Diggs, who is dad to Walker Nathaniel, admits there is nothing better in life than spending time with his 5½-year-old son.
“For me, the greatest thing about being a dad is a tie between when I haven’t seen my son in awhile and he runs to me and says, ‘Daddy’ and when he’s asleep and I’m carrying him to the bed,” he explains.
The Murder in the First star jokingly adds, “Ah, he’s so cute when he’s asleep.”
Although the 44-year-old is known for his impeccable sense of style, balancing his fashion-forward ensembles with daddy duty has its challenges.
“I love dressing, but when you’re a pops you gotta get dressed quick, and you have to be comfortable, and you gotta be ready to have stuff spilled on,” he says.
Fortunately, he’s found the perfect go-to pair of pants that go hand-in-hand with parenthood.
“Every dad should own … cargo pants because they have a lot of pockets,” he shares with a laugh. “Pacifiers and bottles and diapers and wet wipes and crackers and little toy dinosaurs and candy for treats for any child that has behaved or when you’re trying to bribe them. Yeah, cargo pants.”
Benjamin Bratt Joins Bold Films' 'Shot Caller' & Netflix's 'Special Correspondent'(5/28/15) Benjamin Bratt has lined up a pair projects — one for Netflix and the other for Bold Films/Participant/Relativity. First, Bratt has been cast in Ricky Gervais’ satirical comedy Special Correspondent about a New York based radio journalist (Eric Bana) whose arrogance and decadent lifestyle has hindered his career. With his job on the line, he fakes frontline war reports from the comfort of his hideout above a Spanish restaurant in the heart of Manhattan. Bratt will portray Bana’s nemesis — a TV anchor — in the Netflix s comedy, which was written and is being directed by Gervais. The project is scheduled to air in 2016. Next year also will see the actor appear opposite Ice Cube and Kevin Hart in the sequel Ride Along 2.
Bratt, who has worked in film, TV and voice-over, also was just cast in Shot Caller, which reunites him with his Snitch director (and co-writer) Ric Roman Waugh. The actor will star as Sanchez, a member of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Gang unit who is determined to make a career bust. He tracks a newly released prison gangster forced by gang leaders to orchestrate a major crime with a rival gang on Southern California streets. Shot Caller is being financed by Bold Films, Participant and distributed by Relativity. It started shooting this week in New Mexico. Bratt joins Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lake Bell and Jon Bernthal in the action drama.
Bold’s Michel Litvak and Matthew Rhodes will serve as producers on Shot Caller along with Waugh and Participant Media’s Jonathan King, who developed the project. Bold’s Gary Michael Walters will executive produce with Participant’s Jeff Skoll.
For Netflix’s Special Correspondent, Bron Studios and Unanimous Entertainment are producing with Gervais, Unanimous’ Chris Coen, Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Manuel Munz and Larry Sanitsky.
Bratt most recently filmed The Infiltrator starring with Bryan Cranston. He also voiced the villain Eduardo in Universal’s worldwide smash Despicable Me 2 and Manny in the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs films. He also recently starred and produced the A&E drama series The Cleaner for A&E and starred in the limited event series 24: Live Another Day on Fox Bratt also recurs as Sofia Vergara’s ex-husband on Modern Family. He is repped by WME, Circle of Confusion and attorney Bob Myman.
Taye Diggs is heading back to Broadway in 'Hedwig'(5/19/15) Taye Diggs is about to get a little freaky onstage — as the next transsexual singer Hedwig.
Producers of the Tony-winning show said Monday that the “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” star will take over the title role in Broadway’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” starting July 22.
The show opened last season with Neil Patrick Harris starting off the Hedwigs — and winning a Tony Award. He was replaced by Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, co-creator John Cameron Mitchell and currently Darren Criss.
Diggs, who has been onstage in “Chicago” and “Rent,” was on David E. Kelley’s “Ally McBeal” as attorney Jackson Duper and played Dr. Sam Bennett on Shonda Rhimes’ “Private Practice.” His films include “The Best Man Holiday” and “Brown Sugar.”
Buffy Star Nicholas Brendon Arrested for Third Time This Year(5/17/15) It's been a rough past few months for actor Nicholas Brendon.
The former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star was arrested (for the third time this year) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Saturday. He was charged with public intoxication and impairment, according to the Myrtle Beach Police Department's website.
Brendon did not directly address the arrest on his social media accounts, but he did make a reference to his run-in with the law in a Tweet on Sunday.
"Twatters I love you all," he wrote along with a shirtless selfie. "Healing waters of Myrtle Beach. We are all human."
In addition, a warrant was also issued for Brendon's arrest last month for failing to submit urine samples to authorities in Tallahassee, Florida, who accused him of trashing a hotel room in March.
In that case, Brendon was arrested on March 13 for flipping a hotel bed, smashing a porcelain figure, pulling the phone out of the wall and clogging the toilet, which caused water to spill out onto the room's carpet. Damages were estimated up to $1,000.
When the arrest warrant was issued, the actor's spokesperson posted a statement on Facebook that the warrant had resulted from a "misunderstanding." The spokesperson also claimed that the actor had been drug- and alcohol-free since the Tallahassee incident.
After he was released, Brendon told the Tallahassee Democrat that he was trying to come to terms with "a lot of the stuff I'm having to deal with in my life, inside of my head, which is not fun and it's not funny." He also revealed in the interview that he was sexually abused as a child.
In February, the Criminal Minds star was also arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for trashing a different hotel room – just days after he and wife Moonda Tee called it quits after five months of marriage.
Brendon's rep did not respond to a request for comment.
Shonda Rhimes on FX(5/8/15) Shonda Rhimes‘ sphere of influence now extends to basic cable.
The Grey’s Anatomy/Scandal/How to Get Away With Murder producer is teaming with writer/director Dee Rees (Pariah) and FX to develop a limited series of The Warmth of Other Suns, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Based on Isabel Wilkerson’s 2010 historical study, The Warmth of Other Suns chronicles the migration of black citizens who fled the South from 1915 to 1970, told through the eyes of three denizens.
Rees will write the script, with Rhimes and Betsy Beers executive-producing under their Shondaland banner.
Warrant for Nicholas Brendon's Arrest Issued in Florida(4/30/15) A warrant has reportedly been issued for the arrest of actor Nicholas Brendon for failing to submit urine samples to authorities in Tallahassee, Florida.
Brendon, best known for playing Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was arrested in Tallahassee in March on charges stemming from his trashing of a hotel room. He was released from jail provided he avoided alcohol and drugs and submitted random urine analysis and alcohol checks on a weekly basis, but according to the Tallahassee Democrat, Florida authorities say the 44-year-old failed to submit one between March 25 and 30, resulting in the warrant being issued on April 8.
On his Facebook page, Brendon's spokesperson posted a statement that said the warrant had resulted from a misunderstanding.
"Nicholas was unaware of the warrant that was issued for his arrest. This is a huge misunderstanding, and he's working with his legal team to correct the situation," the statement read. "He was receiving treatment during this time and also followed the conditions of his pre-trial release to the best of his knowledge."
The statement also claimed Brendon has been drug- and alcohol-free since the Tallahassee incident.
"He's looking forward to clearing up this situation and continuing his path to recovery," the statement concluded.
Brendon was arrested on March 13 after he flipped his hotel room's bed, smashed a porcelain figure, pulled the phone out of the wall and clogged the toilet, causing water to spill out onto the room's carpet. Damages to the room were estimated at $1,000.
Speaking to the Tallahassee Democrat after his release, Brendon explained that he was trying to come to terms with "a lot of the stuff I'm having to deal with in my life, inside of my head, which is not fun and it's not funny."
Brendon then revealed to the paper that he'd been sexually abused as a child, although he did not say that his past trauma excused his behavior. "When I was a kid I was molested for two years by a teacher," he said. "From that moment my life changed immensely, and I haven't talked about it because I didn't want to use it as a crutch, but I'm seeing as I get older that it did have a huge effect on me."
In February, just days after announcing the end of his marriage, Brendon was also arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for trashing a hotel room. In October, he was arrested in Boise, Idaho, on charges of damaging property and resisting arrest.
Tea Leoni and Tim Daly Are 'Really Good Together,' Madam Secretary Costar Says(4/29/15) Tea Leoni and Tim Daly made their stunning public debut as a couple at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last week, and even the cast of their hit CBS show Madam Secretary say their romance came as a surprise.
"I heard a rumor about it and everyone was like, 'no, no way!' And I'm like, 'maybe…' " Geoffrey Arend, who plays a staffer on Leoni's character's team, told PEOPLE on Tuesday at a special New York screening of Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron presented by Cinema Society and Audi.
Arend, who in a twist was having his own fictional secret relationship onscreen with co-star Patina Miller, added of the real-life pair, "Nobody really knew. You don't want to go to your boss and be like, 'Hey, so who are you dating?' So now I think we're all really protective."
The actor, who's married to Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks, approves of the coupling.
"He couldn't be a nicer guy," he said. "Tim's the best – they're really good together."
When PEOPLE pointed out that Leoni, 49 and Daly, 59 have sizzling chemistry on-screen, which might mean it's not a stretch for fans to have imagined an off-screen romance all along, he laughed.
"It's like, 'They're actually really kissing!' I felt that way sometimes," Arend said.
As for the show being renewed for another season, "I'm excited," Arend said. "We've got our season finale coming up this week. ... We're gonna conclude the whole Vincent Marsh storyline. It's been hanging over everyone's head like a dark cloud."
But he wouldn't spill all the details on the finale.
It's really cool. I think everybody's gonna really dig it," he teased. "I can't tell you why!"
Téa Leoni and Tim Daly Make It Red Carpet Official at the White House Correspondents' Dinner(4/26/15) (Pic) Actress Téa Leoni and boyfriend Tim Daly made their first red carpet appearance as a couple on Saturday at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington D.C., hitting the event with veteran journalist Bob Schieffer and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Leoni, 49, and Daly, 59, play the United States Secretary of State, and her professor husband on CBS's Madam Secretary.
The foursome attended the dinner together, posing for pictures as a group on the red carpet. Leoni looked classy in a form-fitting black dress with a sheer black cape, modest slit and nice silver pin. Daly, dressed in a bow tie and black suit, was photographed sweetly holding hands with Albright, who wore a red gown and a large brooch.
"We're gonna be a hot table," joked Daly to Bloomberg TV, about his famous dates for the evening.
"I called Téa and said, 'How would you like to come?' " said Schieffer, 78, the longtime host CBS's Face the Nation. "And I said, you know, we'd love to have you bring Tim along."
PEOPLE confirmed Daly and Leoni's relationship back in December 2014.
Both Daly and Leoni were previously married. Leoni divorced husband, actor David Duchovny, after 17 years of marriage in August 2014. Daly and his wife, Amy Van Nostrand, divorced after 26 years in 2010.
White House Correspondents' Dinner Guests(4/23/15) CBS/CBS News: Tim Daly – Madam Secretary
Cat lady indeed! Kate Walsh has fun with baby lions(4/15/15) (Videos: 1, 2, 3) Kate Walsh got to play with baby lions — and it was adorable.
The “Private Practice” alum took some time off from her acting schedule and headed to the Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation in Mexico City to show her support for saving big cats.
A self-proclaimed cat lady herself, Walsh took a series of photos playing with and feeding lions, pumas and a black jaguar.
In one of the photos, the 47-year-old actress pets larger 250-pound lions with the foundation’s founder, Eduardo Serio.
Walsh also overloaded her Instagram account with pics and videos from her lion adventure. One video shows her feeding “baby Julio” and in another she burps a baby lion named Tulum.
The Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation saves mistreated big cats from illegal breeders, zoos and circuses.
Walsh is an avid animal supporter who often encourages pet adoption and isn’t shy about showing off her own cats, Billy and Pablo.
Sighting(4/5/15) Audra McDonald being honored by Purchase College at the New-York Historical Society
Audra McDonald Joining Disney's Live-Action Beauty and the Beast? Get the Scoop and See Who She'd Play!(3/27/15) "Well now, what shall we dress you in?"
It looks like Broadway actress Audra McDonald may be taking over the lovable role of the singing wardrobe in Disney's live- action adaption of Beauty and the Beast.
The 44-year-old is in talks to join an impressive cast including Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (The Beast), Luke Evans as the narcassistic Gaston and Josh Gad who will be playing Gaston's witty sidekick Le Fou.
Bill Condon will direct the live-action film and base it closely on the 1991 animated classic that many hold near and dear to their hearts.
For those who have forgotten, Wardrobe first meets Belle in the after she is imprisoned in the Beast's castle. Jo Anne Worley voiced the animated character.
McDonald has already won six Tonys, three of which by the age of 28, for her work in A Raisin in the Sun, Ragtime and Carousel, among other roles.
Her recent Tony wins include Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical for Porgy and Bess in 2012, as well as Best Performance by an Actress in a Play for her 2014 role in Emerson's Bar and Grill.
Hollywood Reporter first broke the news that if McDonald does get cast in Beauty, she will be playing Garderobe, which is a French translation of the word wardrobe.
Production for the film is set to begin in May at the Shepperton Studios in London.
When it's completed, the cast is surely to say, "Be our guest, be our guest, be our guest!"
Shonda Rhimes Slams "Ignorant" Article Criticizing Push for More Ethnic Actors on TV(3/25/15) Shonda Rhimes has joined the many voices speaking out against the Deadline article, "Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings - About Time Or Too Much of Good Thing?" The tone-deaf column argued that the push to feature non-Caucasian actors has gone too far, particularly since "the talent pool of experienced minority performers ... is pretty limited."
Rhimes tweeted her outrage at the article Tuesday night.
@shondarhimes : 1st Reaction:: HELL NO. Lemme take off my earrings, somebody hold my purse! 2nd Reaction: Article is so ignorant I can't even be bothered.
The Deadline article is a sad, but unsurprising reaction to what really was a breakthrough year for diversity on television, seeing the success of freshmen shows Empire, Jane the Virgin, Fresh Off the Boat, Black-ish and How to Get Away with Murder. But rather than understanding the appeal of these shows, the article refers to them as "ethnic programming," completely ignoring any qualities they possess beyond featuring minority actors.
The article proceeds to go through every time a pilot role was originally designated as white, but ended up going to a minority actor. It paints this as a trend that victimizes white actors and completely ignores the systemic racism that has allowed such a white-washed Hollywood to exist in the first place.
"Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal," Deadline writes. "Many pilot characters this year were listed as open to all ethnicities, but when reps would call to inquire about an actor submission, they frequently have been told that only non-Caucasian actors would be considered. 'Basically 50% of the roles in a pilot have to be ethnic, and the mandate goes all the way down to guest parts,' one talent representative said."
Deadline even goes so far as to imply that now that there are a handful of shows aimed to serve black audiences, the African-American community might be garnering too much attention from TV networks. "While they are among the most voracious and loyal TV viewers, African-Americans still represent only 13% of the U.S. population," the article says. "They were grossly underserved, but now, with shows as Empire, Black-ish, Scandal and HTGAWM on broadcast, Tyler Perry's fare on OWN and Mara Brock Akil's series on BET, they have scripted choices, so the growth in that fraction of the TV audience might have reached its peak."
This argument seems rooted in the idea that shows featuring black people can only succeed in limited qualities, as though only minority viewers watch shows featuring minority casts and never tune into shows featuring majority white casts. "Empire and Black-ish have managed to successfully to co-exist in the same time slot this midseason," Deadline marvels.
"Was I just wasting my time watching #GameOfThrones and #OrphanBlack and #BreakingBad, @Deadline? Were those shows not for me?" tweeted Eric Haywood, a writer on Empire. "'Pilots 2015: Haven't We Done Enough For You People Already?' - future @Deadline article" he wrote in another post.
The Deadline article comes only a week after Rhimes gave a powerful speech while accepting an award at the Human Rights Campaign about the way Hollywood makes "others" of minority actors. "I really hate the word 'diversity.' It suggests something ... other. As if it is something special, or rare. Diversity! As if there is something unusual about telling stories involving women and people of color and LGBTQ characters on TV," Rhimes said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I have a different word: normalizing. I'm normalizing TV. I am making TV look like the world looks. Women, people of color, LGBTQ people equal way more than 50 percent of the population. Which means it ain't out of the ordinary."
KaDee Strickland: Secrets and Lies Shot Multiple Endings to Snuff Spoilsports(3/21/15) On ABC’s Secrets and Lies (Sunday, 9/8c), Private Practice alum KaDee Strickland plays Christy Crawford, a successful real estate agent whose marriage is on an ever-shaky foun- dation, especially since husband Ben (Ryan Phillippe) emerged as the prime suspect in the murder of a neighbor boy who turned out to be his son.
As Ben’s intrepid mission to clear his name only digs him in deeper and deeper, Christy’s stance as supportive spouse if increasingly tested. But maybe she has sordid secrets and lies of her own?
Strickland spoke with TVLine about the closed-ended murder mystery – including the measures being taken to keep the big reveal spoiler-proof – as well as the sexy/dangerous drama pilot she currently is filming.
TVLINE | Secrets and Lies is obviously some dark, intense material. And it has some not exactly likeable characters. What drew you in?
I’d never done a character like Christy Crawford, and I just thought the story was so compelling. I found it to be completely relatable from an audience standpoint, because it feels like such a normal neighborhood where this tragedy strikes. Of course when I signed on, I had no idea that it was going to become so interesting for the audience, but now, having completed it, knowing that it’s going to be resolved by the end… you can really get caught up in the story all over again, which has been really fun for me.
TVLINE | Ben and Christy’s marriage was already in a shaky place when we first met them. Will the root of their rift be revealed?
You are going to absolutely revisit a time and space where Ben and Christy took a turn, and you’ll learn in this week’s episode where Christy stands with everything.
TVLINE | Is the cause of that splintering anything predictable, or is there a unique twist on it?
Are rifts in marriages ever that predictable? [Laughs] There’s a lot going on. There’s a lot fueling the fire. You’re going to learn a lot about who Christy is, what her needs are, and where she’s at in this Sunday’s episode.
TVLINE | How would you describe her relationship with Ben right now? Supportive? Privately hateful? Because they’ll, like, have it out, and the next thing you know she’s cradling her head on his shoulder on the couch.
They gave us a real opportunity, not just in the writing, but on the day when we were filming, to explore many different options. We were very encouraged on set to paint different pictures. I will often be a bit surprised to see who we’re communicating in this week’s episode, but I know the bones of what happens. Because I think it does run the gamut — and given the circumstances, that makes perfect sense. There’s no way you’re publicly humiliated like that and you feel great about it. There’s no way you ignore that he’s a wonderful, loving father, and cast him off. Maybe I want to throttle [Tommy’s mother] Jess, and maybe I want to throttle Ben, but by the same token you can’t deny when someone’s in that kind of deep pain and that kind of incredibly difficult situation. Every episode feels like something unimaginable.
TVLINE | I’m often like, “Ben can’t get out of his own way.” Like, “You know what? Don’t go for a run this morning. Nothing ever good seems to come out of you going for a run.”
“Perhaps you should take up cycling?”
TVLINE | Is it safe to say that Christy is keeping other secrets, as she did with Natalie’s pregnancy test?
Ab-so-lutely. Everybody’s got a multi-layered tier of secrets.
TVLINE | Will the nature of her conspicuous “Victoria’s Secret run” be revisited?
I mean, a gal always needs a good pair of undergarments….
TVLINE | That’s your story and you’re sticking to it?
Christy has a reason to feel like a woman right now. I’ll leave it at that. Christy has many reasons to need to revisit who she is and her powers and prowess as a woman.
TVLINE | Will we have the opportunity to learn something private about Christy, seeing as the conceit of this series is it’s all from Ben’s point of view? It’s tricky that way.
It is tricky that way, but the hope is that all of those underpinnings of a character get exposed on some level, and you will see Christy go through a lot of ebb and flow in the coming weeks. A lot happens. Trust me, a lot happens. You’re going to learn week to week something new about these people. And I really love the design of unveiling the neighbors, and who they all show up as.
TVLINE | Are the people who’ve seen the original Australian version not necessarily spoiled for the ABC series?
Absolutely, absolutely. We have four more episodes [to air], and I don’t know who did it. We shot alternate endings, so it’s definitely something I’m excited to find out as well. For an actor, it was a lot of fun to be caught up in the same web that the audience is finding themselves in, because I won’t know [who the killer is] until the final episode airs.
TVLINE | So come the finale night, KaDee doesn’t necessarily knew who did it?
That’s right. I know some things that happen that lead up to an answer, but I don’t know what the answer is.
TVLINE | Since Private Practice wrapped, have there been any opportunities for you to pop up on Scandal or cross over to Grey’s? Or did you purposely want to have a bit more distance from the last time you played Charlotte?
No, that’s not been asked of me. That’s something that is beyond my control, but I love, love, love, love the land of Shondaland. I love that all my wonderful cohorts have been a part of it, and I absolutely would be open to anything Shonda asked of me.
TVLINE | Have you by chance seen what Paul [Adelstein] is up to on Scandal?
I’m not 100-percent caught up, but I certainly know that Paul has carved out yet another awesome, indelible Shondaland character. I was just talking with him the other day, and I’m so proud of him. I’m so proud that all of the aspects of his talent are getting utilized right now, because he’s such an incredible talent. Paul is like nobody else I’ve worked with, and I adore him.
TVLINE | Lastly, and most simply said, how would you compare the character you’re playing in CBS’ Doubt pilot to Charlotte and Christy? [Strickland stars as a defense lawyer who gets romantically involved with a client who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime.]
You know, she’s crackerjack smart, though the other two women definitely have a real savvy and a survival and an intelligence. And all of them have predictable love lives….
TVLINE | Your Doubt character is wrapped up in a funky situation, right?
Honey, it’s great, and this cast is remarkable. I cannot tell you what it was like to walk into the first table read and, “Hey, there’s Bill Irwin, there’s Kathleen Chalfant, Elliott Gould, Dule Hill.” It’s incredible. Dreama [Walker], Laverne [Cox]…. This cast is truly exceptional, and we’re super-happy to get Teddy [Sears], who is such an interesting choice for this [male lead]. I can’t tell you too much about anything, but the whole thing is phenomenal. Shooting it in New York….
TVLINE | Will it shoot in New York if it goes to series, you think?
Yeah, yeah. New York is a character. It has been glorious. It’s been glorious. Everything about it.
'Buffy' actor blames hotel rage on depression, sexual abuse(3/17/15) Days after being arrested for causing a ruckus in a Tallahassee, Fla., hotel, Nicholas Brendon is blaming the outburst on depression and sexual abuse.
“I’ve been dealing with depression for a while,” the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” alum, 43, told the Tallahassee Democrat over the weekend, when he was in town for an ALT*Con event. “I stopped taking my meds a while ago, which was a mistake. And it culminated [Friday] into my taking some sleeping pills (nine to be exact) and then going into a blackout.”
On Friday, Brendon was arrested and charged with damaging hotel property and criminal mischief. He flipped over furniture, including the bed, clogged the toilet, smashed a porcelain figurine and ripped the phone out of the wall. Total damage is estimated at up to $1,000.
He plans on seeking help.
“It’s up to me to take care of me seeing my doctor again and getting back on the proper medicine and not cheating myself,” he elaborated.
Brendon also revealed a childhood horror that he’s still dealing with in his adult life.
“When I was a kid, I was molested for two years by a teacher,” Brendon detailed. “And that’s never been talked about anywhere. From that moment, my life changed immensely. I haven’t talked about it because I didn’t want to use it as a crutch. I’m seeing as I get older that it did have a huge, huge effect on me. I always thought it was something I could brush aside, and it’s something I can’t brush aside.”
He was released from jail Saturday after posting $1,000 bond.
His next court appearance is set for March 30. This is his second hotel disturbance in recent weeks.
Shonda Rhimes Reveals Her Dream Showrunner Dinner Party Guest List and We Want to Go to There(3/17/15) Best. Dinner. Party. Ever.
Before she was honored with the "Ally for Equality Award at the 2015 HRC Los Angeles Gala Dinner by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), we chatted with Shonda Rhimes, the mastermind behind Scandal and Grey's Anatomy, as well as a producer on How to Get Away With Murder, on the red carpet and had one burning question: which showrunners she would want to share a great meal and a bottle (or two) of red wine with at a dinner party. You know, when she's not busy dominating the TV world.
Her answers, of course, were perfect, and we're now convinced heaven might just be landing a seat at this epic gathering. Hey, we'd even settle for being one of the servers.
And the five lucky showrunners invited to Shonda's dream showrunner dinner party are:
Mara Brock Akil, Girlfriends, The Game, Being Mary Jane
Lena Dunham, Girls
Jenji Kohan, Orange Is the New Black, Weeds
Damon Lindelof, Lost, The Leftovers
Joss Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firely, Angel, Dollhouse
Best dinner party ever or best dinner party ever?! And Shonda, just know we'd be more than happy to host this party on your behalf any time you'd like!
Guess Which 'Crazy Amazing Spectacle' Is Shonda Rhimes's Favorite TV Show?(3/15/15) Despite working on three shows at once, Shonda Rhimes makes sure to find the time to watch other TV shows as well.
"I'm a very serious Empire watcher," Rhimes told PEOPLE at the Human Rights Campaign gala in Los Angeles on Saturday. "I think it's a crazy amazing spectacle. You can't turn away. The music's amazing. Cookie is like everything. It's a great show."
Rhimes, whose other favorites these days include Orange Is The New Black and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, is currently dominating the world of television with her shows Scandal, Grey's Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder, but according to the writer, it's still not enough.
"I think I would like to take over television," said Rhimes, laughing. "We're trying to expand now and go into different places, so we'll see."
With her husband and daughter at her side, Rhimes, 45, received the Ally for Equality award for the diverse LGBT storylines on her shows at the event. "I hate the word diversity," Rhimes said in her speech. "I have a different word. I call it 'normalizing.' I am making TV look like the way the world looks."
Also on hand to support Rhimes was Lena Dunham, who had a bit role in Scandal herself. So how did that come about?
"The right story happened. It made sense. And she was available," Rhimes told PEOPLE. "She's the most fun person in the world. She was such a great energy to have on set. And she was even a little star-struck."
'Criminal Minds' Nicholas Brendon arrested for criminal mischief(3/14/15) Only one month after "Criminal Minds" and "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" star Nicholas Brendon was arrested for trashing a hotel room, the actor has been picked up again for almost the same crime. TMZ reports Brendon was arrested March 13 for drunkenly causing a scene in a Fla. hotel room.
According to the police report, Brendon who was in town for the ALTCon geek convention called officers to his Tallahassee hotel room to report his phone and wallet had been stolen. When they arrived at the scene they observed Brendon had flipped his bed, smashed a mirror and over-flowed the toilet in his room.
Hotel employees told police the actor had been mixing pills and alcohol earlier that day. The investigating officers found a nearly empty pill bottle along with Brendon's wallet at the scene. Brendon was later charged with criminal mischief.
If this news sounds familiar it might be because the actor was arrested in Feb. for a similar incident where he trashed a Fla. hotel room and refused to pay his food bill, while attending a similar comic fan convention.
Audra McDonald returning to Broadway in 2016(3/13/15) Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald is returning to Broadway next year in a show that reaches back over 90 years.
Producer Scott Rudin said Thursday that McDonald will star next March in a show that looks at the making of the 1921 hit “Shuffle Along,” one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African-Americans.
The show — to be called “Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed” — will have a story by George C. Wolfe and be choreographed by Savion Glover. The duo last worked together on “1996 hit Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk.”
Previews are to begin March 14, 2016, at the Music Box Theatre.
“Shuffle Along,” with music and lyrics by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, has a score that includes the songs “(I’m Just) Wild About Harry,” ”Love Will Find a Way,” ”Bandana Days” and “Shuffle Along.” The cast featured Paul Robeson and Florence Mills, and Josephine Baker joined the tour.
The dance-heavy show centers on a three-way mayoralty race in a small Southern town. It played some 500 performances and attracted the likes of George Gershwin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson and Langston Hughes.
McDonald won a Tony the last time she was on Broadway in 2014, playing Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” She also won Tonys for “Carousel,” “Master Class,” “Ragtime,” “A Raisin in the Sun” and “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.”
Benjamin Bratt Joins Bryan Cranston In 'The Infiltrator'(3/6/15) Benjamin Bratt has been set to star alongside Bryan Cranston and Diane Kruger in The Infiltrator, a fact-based thriller that will be directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer). Pic’s produced by Good Films’ Miriam Segal and production begins shortly. Based on the Robert Mazur autobiography with a script by Ellen Brown Furman, The Infiltrator revolves around a customs and excise agent (Cranston), who went undercover as a money launderer and infiltrated the bankers behind the Medellin drug cartel. Bratt plays Roberto Alcanio, the agent’s direct contact who dealt directly with cartel board members including Escobar. Bratt next stars in Ride Along 2 with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. The film opens January 15, 2016. He’s repped by WME, Circle of Confusion, Attorney Bob Myman.
KaDee Strickland To Topline CBS Pilot 'Doubt'(3/2/15) Private Practice alumna KaDee Strickland is set as the lead in Doubt, CBS’ hourlong pilot from Timberman/Beverly and CBS TV Studios. Written by longtime Grey’s Anatomy executive producers Tony Phelan and Joan Rater and directed by Adam Bernstein, the project centers on Sadie (Srickland), a smart, chic, successful defense lawyer at a boutique firm who shockingly gets involved romantically with one of her clients who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime.
Strickland, repped by WME, Anonymous Content and attorney Neil Meyer, co-stars on ABC’s new Secrets & Lies in a one-season arc as the mystery series is designed to tackle a new case each season. In Doubt, she joins Elliott Gould, Laverne Cox, Dule Hill and Kobi Libii.
Taye Diggs: Why 'Let It Go' Has Become My Mantra in Life(2/25/15) If there were any hard feelings following their split in 2013, Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel have let them go — all for the sake of their son Walker Nathaniel.
“We were friends to start out with, but especially when you have a kid in the mix, there’s no time for any negativity,” the Murder in the First actor, 44, tells PEOPLE.
“He’s our main objective, he’s what’s most important for us, so we’re still there as a family.”
Recently, being there for each other has meant that the father-son duo have supported Menzel’s incredible success with the phenomenon “Let It Go,” the hit song from Disney’s Frozen.
“Watching Walker watch her [sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl] and seeing the pride in his face is cool,” Diggs shares of the couple’s 5-year-old son. “He was at some playdate with a bunch of kids and the song came on. The kids said, ‘Oh, my mother is always singing this song,’ and he said, ‘No, my mother really sings this song!”
And although the unforgettable tune is a favorite among the kiddie crowd, Diggs — who finalized his divorce from Menzel in December — admits the track has played a big role in his life, too. “I use it more of a mantra these days,” he explains.
“Last year was a tough year for many reasons and I think all of us could use that lesson to release and keep moving on and not hold on to stuff.”
Idina Menzel And Taye Diggs -- We're So Rich, Divorce is Easy(2/23/15) Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs have made it clear in their divorce settlement ... they're both so loaded they can live nicely on their own without bleeding the other dry.
The settlement makes it clear ... each has accrued earnings and earning capacity that makes spousal support irrelevant. You don't see that much in divorces.
Their parting of the ways seems completely amicable ... they agreed to share custody of their 5-year-old son, Walker.
Not amicable enough for you? They're also splitting all parenting costs right down the middle, so no child support either.
As previously reported, the couple has lived apart since 2013 but recently decided to pull the plug and end their 10 year marriage.
Kinda makes you want to get a divorce ... kinda.
Shonda Rhimes: 'I Knew I Really Wanted to Try This Business When...'(2/21/15) (essence.com) Before she was the queen of primetime, before she had three hit television shows, Shonda Rhimes was simply a young woman with a dream. And you'll never believe what gave her the push she needed to pursue her dreams.
"For me, the moment I really knew that I wanted to try this business was when I saw Whoopi Goldberg live on Broadway," Rhimes said, referring to her special, Direct from Broadway. "I taped it on my VHS. I watched it a thousand times. When my dad accidentally taped over it with a football game, I must've cried for days."
You could say that Whoopi's portrayal inspired the Olivia Pope that we've come to know and love.
"It was a really pivotal moment for me," she said. "It was the first time I had seen an African-American woman play that many characters and be that complex, and it felt very possible."
Reign First Look: Mary's Mother Returns to Attend [Spoiler]'s Funeral(2/18/15) (Pic) She’s baaaack!
Amy Brenneman returns to Reign this Thursday (The CW, 9/8c) as the ever-opinionated Marie de Guise, but her mother-daughter reunion with Mary is far from a joyous occasion.
Per the episode’s official description, Marie “returns to advise Mary that her throne is in jeopardy,” and as you can see from TVLine’s exclusive first-look photo below, it seems that conversation will have to happen mid-mourning:
Before you get too worried about losing another one of your French Court favorites, know that this funeral is for the Duke of Guise. (Of course, on this show, that doesn’t mean anyone else is out of the woods quite yet.)
Buffy's Nicholas Brendon Arrested for Trashing Hotel Room and Skipping Out on the Bill, Reps Says He's ''Battling a Disease''(2/17/15) It may be a new year but Nicholas Brendon is still looking for his fresh start.
In town for Shock Pop Comiccon, the Criminal Minds actor was arrested on suspicion of grand theft Monday after, according to police, he drunkenly trashed his hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and then skipped out on his bill. Per the police report obtained by TMZ, he did $450 worth of damage and racked up a $380 tab for food and beverages.
And Brendon is very sorry.
"Nicholas is, unfortunately, battling a disease that many of us don't understand," a rep for the former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star told TMZ. "We are working with him to improve upon the situation at hand and look toward the future. He's sorry for his actions and takes what happened last night very seriously. We will take great care to ensure his safety in the future."
Brendon checked into rehab last October after he admitted to being under the influence of prescription meds and alcohol when he was arrested in Boise, Idaho, for allegedly damaging property and resisting arrest.
Also this evening, Bloody Bombshell Entertainment spokeswoman Andrea Albin posted on Brendon's Facebook: "We're aware of the arrest. We appreciate the love. We want nothing more than for Nick to focus on his health and personal well being at this time. Please note that discussion is welcome, but I cannot promote negativity in any form. Trolls are NOT welcome. Everyone makes mistakes- and we hope to help him succeed at life in every possible way."
Just days ago, the 43-year-old actor also announced on Facebook, via Albin, that he and wife Moonda Tee were splitting up after just four months of marriage.
Nicholas Brendon and Wife Split Less Than 5 Months After Getting Married(2/14/15) Less than five months after tying the knot, Criminal Minds star Nicholas Brendon and wife Moonda Tee are calling it quits.
"I am officially announcing that Nicholas and his wife, Moonda Tee, have parted ways," a rep for the actor wrote in a statement posted to the actor's Facebook page Thursday. "Nicholas expressed that Moonda is truly a 'beautiful person' and that he 'wishes her the best that life has to offer.' "
"We know that there will be rumors and gossip, but we ask that Nick's privacy be respected during this difficult time," the statement continued. "Things like this are never easy."
"Every experience we have builds who we become," the statement also said.
Tee also seemingly confirmed the split on her Facebook page earlier in the month, when someone asked whether the duo indeed separated.
"It seems to be true. He couldn't see just what an amazing thing he had in a girl like me," she wrote.
Brendon, 43, popped the question just one week before the duo wed in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, according to his Twitter page.
"AND WERE MARRIED!!! ##tildeathdouspart," he Tweeted along with a photo of the newly married couple standing beneath the famed "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign.
But 'til death apparently only equated to a few months.
News of the split caps off a difficult few months for the former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, who was arrested in Boise, Idaho, less than three weeks after the wedding and charged with malicious injury to property and resisting or obstructing officers.
Two days later, Brendon, who appeared disheveled and red-eyed in his mug shot, issued an apology for the incident, explaining he regrettably mixed alcohol and prescription drugs he received for a cyst behind his knee cap.
The actor also said he was seeking treatment for "medical ailments" and "emotional demons." In 2004, the actor spent time in a rehab clinic for alcohol abuse.
On Friday, a member of Brendon's team shared a photo on the actor's Facebook page, showing him striking the "thinking man" pose next to a hotel pool in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is in town for Shock Pop Comic Con.
This was a second marriage for Brendon, who was previously married to actress Tressa DiFiglia from 2001 to 2006.
ABC ANNOUNCES FIRST GROUP OF CELEBRITY PARTICIPANTS ON NEW SHOW "REPEAT AFTER ME"(2/14/15) ABC’s new show “Repeat After Me” has enlisted a wide variety of stars from music, film, sports and television to follow Wendi McLendon-Covey’s (“The Goldberg”) instructions as she asks them to “repeat after me.” The first group of celebrity participants is Kristen Bell (“Frozen”), Justin Bieber, Michael Bolton, Jeff Garlin (“The Goldbergs”), Lauren Graham (“Parenthood”), Chris Harrison (“The Bachelor” franchise), Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR), Olivia Munn (“The Newsroom”), and Bellamy Young (“Scandal”). These celebrities join the previously announced group that includes Harry Connick Jr. (“American Idol”), Taye Diggs (“Private Practice”), Scott Foley (“Scandal”), Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”), Randy Jackson (“American Idol”), and Ellen Pompeo (“Grey’s Anatomy”).
The celebrities will be given instructions by McLendon-Covey via a remote ear piece, to interact with everyday people in high-energy, comedic hidden-camera situations. “Repeat After Me” airs TUESDAYS at 8:30 p.m., EST/PST on the ABC Television Network.
SECRETS AND LIES: The Trail / The Father - SERIES PREMIERE(2/10/15) Ryan Phillippe portrays Ben Crawford, a handsome and decent family man, who will never be the same after he discovers the body of his neighbor’s young son in the woods. Even as Detective Andrea Cornell, played by Juliette Lewis, digs for the truth in her investigation and pegs Ben as a “person of interest,” the case unfolds from Ben’s unique perspective -- whether he is guilty or not. In trying to clear his name, it is Ben who peels back the layers of these suburbanites’ lives in their quiet cul de sac, revealing their dirty little deceptions and all-too-crowded closets overflowing with skeletons in this 10-episode thrilling who-done-it.
In the first hour, in the pilot entitled “The Trail,” Ben is out for his usual morning jog when he comes upon the body of young Tom Murphy. After the news begins to spread throughout town, Detective Cornell, who’s been assigned to the case, pays Ben a visit for routine questioning. In the blink of an eye, Ben quickly turns from Good Samaritan to murder suspect. As the formidable detective searches for the facts, the media hone in on Ben and his family, and he struggles to escape from the pressure. From that point on, Ben’s life is turned upside down as he sets out on a complicated journey to prove his innocence, on the two-hour premiere of “Secrets and Lies,” SUNDAY, MARCH 1 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
In the second hour, in the episode entitled “The Father,” Ben decides to take matters into his own hands by investigating those that were closest to Tom after receiving shocking information about the case from Detective Cornell. Jess, Tom’s mother, propels Ben in the direction of her estranged husband, Scott, who she believes may be his killer. At home, Ben’s family continues to drift apart when he overhears his oldest daughter, Natalie, on a suspicious phone call. Later, the family attends Tom’s funeral where the media continues to harass Ben and he is the focus of excruciating attention by the community. When the Crawford family returns home, one of Ben’s dark secrets is revealed in stunning fashion.
Editor’s note: “Secrets and Lies” will air in its regular time period beginning Sunday, March 8 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Is Ben innocent or guilty? He is fighting to keep his marriage, kids, job and reputation, and he is barely clinging to his sanity. As the investigation progresses, the close knit community starts to come apart at the seams, unraveling until the jaw-dropping conclusion.
“Secrets and Lies” stars Ryan Phillippe as Ben Crawford, Juliette Lewis as Detective Cornell, KaDee Strickland as Christy Crawford, Natalie Martinez as Jess Murphy, Dan Fogler as Dave Lindsey, Indiana Evans as Natalie Crawford and Belle Shouse as Abby Crawford.
Guest stars in “The Trail” include Melissa Gilbert as Lisa Daly, GregAlan Williams as Kevin Williams, Denise Dowse as Elaine Williams, Kate Ashfield as Vanessa Richardson, Steven Brand as Dr. Joseph Richardson and Eric Lange as Danny Pierce.
Guest stars in “The Father” include Melissa Gilbert as Lisa Daly, GregAlan Williams as Kevin Williams, Denise Dowse as Elaine Williams, Kate Ashfield as Vanessa Richardson, Steven Brand as Dr. Joseph Richardson, Benjamin Ciaramello as Scott Murphy, Tad Cooley as Matt Daly, Eric Lange as Danny Pierce, Meaghan Rath as Nicole and Timothy Busfield as John Garner.
“The Trail” was written by Barbie Kligman and directed by Charles McDougall. “The Father” was written by Barbie Kligman and directed by Timothy Busfield.
Kate Walsh Settles Commissions Lawsuit With Ex-Managers(2/5/15) Just days after her NBC legal sitcom was canceled, the actress also ended her own real life courtroom drama against Evolution Entertainment. Kate Walsh and her ex-managers have come to a settlement in their 5-month battle over commissions from Bad Judge and other projects. Well, kind of – it’s conditional.
“The settlement agreement conditions dismissal of this matter on the satisfactory completion of specific terms that are not to be performed within 45 days of the date of the settlement,” says the January 27 filing (read it here). An order from Judge Ruth Ann Kwan has set a dismissal hearing on the matter for March 11 (read it here) though that could be pulled if both sides say everything is OK or not. However, I hear that all sides are happy with how things have been worked out. No details on what the settlement entails or what the so-called specific terms are, but with the dismally rated Bad Judge canceled by NBC back in October and having finished its 13-episode run on January 22, it’s not like there is going to be a ton of commission cash for the two sides to fight over. Likely this will all be over for sure in the spring.
Walsh first sued Evolution over their demands for commissions on her projects back on September 29 last year in LA Superior Court. Having left Evolution over a year beforehand for “failure to provide the promised services,” the ex-Private Practice actress didn’t think they had a right to 10% of her dough. “Ms. Walsh believes that she should not be responsible to pay Evolution all, or any part, of the commissions demanded, and seeks guidance from this Court to determine the proper amount, if any, that she should pay to Evolution,” said the 4-page filing last fall. Responding on January 13, Evolution’s lawyers argued that the whole thing should be tossed out.
Guess those conflicting positions are all worked out now – at least conditionally.
Now repped by Untitled Management and CAA, Walsh was repped legally by attorneys Bryan Freedman and Steven Stiglitz of LA’s Freedman & Taitelman. (Freedman also is the attorney for Deadline’s parent company, PMC.) Edwin McPherson and Pierre Pine of McPherson Rane LLP represented Evolution Entertainment Partners in the matter.
Sightings(1/14/15) Taye Diggs and Maxwell at Omar’s in the West Village
SVU Nabs Paul Adelstein for Guest Gig(1/7/15) Law & Order: SVU‘s latest bold-faced name? Private Practice alum Paul Adelstein. Chung! Chung!
Adelstein will guest-star on the Feb. 4 episode of NBC’s long-running procedural, TVLine has confirmed.
The actor, currently starring opposite Lisa Edelstein in Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce on Bravo and recurring as Scandal spinmeister Leo, will play the uncle of an SVU rape victim. The episode is titled “Decaying Morality.”
The appearance actually will be a return to the series: Adelstein had a role in a Season 4 episode called “Mercy.”
Sightings(1/4/15) Taye Diggs at Le Cirque as Neil Sedaka performed.
Taye Diggs & Idina Menzel -- Finally Let It Go for Real ... Secretly Divorced(1/3/15) Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel took their sweet time pulling the plug on their marriage -- nearly a year after separating no divorce papers were filed -- but the couple finally, and secretly, did the deed.
Diggs and Menzel announced their split in December 2013, but according to court docs obtained by TMZ ... there was no further action until November, when Taye filed the divorce petition in New York.
Looks like they hammered out all their issues -- child custody and divvying up assets -- during the delay ... because the divorce was quickly finalized on December 3.
Diggs and Menzel were married for 10 years and have a five-year-old son named Walker.
A source connected to the couple says the break-up has been as amicable as these things can be ... and they've both remained committed to raising their son together and peacefully.
Shonda Rhimes To Receive WGA West's 2015 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award For TV(12/17/14) Prolific television writer-producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder), will receive the Writers Guild of America, West’s 2015 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement, honoring lifetime achievement in outstanding television writing. Rhimes’ contributions to entertainment will be recognized at the upcoming 2015 Writers Guild Awards’ West Coast ceremony to be held on Saturday, February 14 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in LA.
“Few writers in television have had the impact on the medium that Shonda Rhimes has. Her ability to create, consistently, television that is, at once, excellent, provocative and crowd-pleasing is almost the least of it. She is a breaker of barriers. On screen, she has taken us places that were previously off limits, giving voice to characters who had been voiceless and tackling issues and touching nerves without fear. Off screen, she has been a mentor to a generation of writers – some of whom are women, some of whom are writers of color – all of whom will look to her as a pioneer in a business that is now more diverse and more vibrant because she played her part. She is, in every way, the embodiment of the qualities that the Television Laurel celebrates, and her Guild is proud welcome her into the select group of writers so honored,” said WGAW President Chris Keyser.
From today’s release:
Rhimes is the prolific writer, executive producer and creator of the hit ABC series Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, in addition to creating the hit Grey’s Anatomy spinoff series Private Practice, which ran for six seasons on ABC. Rhimes is also Executive Producer of the ABC series How to Get Away with Murder, which premiered in 2014 as the number one new show of the Fall in adults 18-49.
As an EP on Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, Rhimes has scored the rare feat of having three drama series currently airing consecutively on a Thursday night primetime programming block on ABC.
For her work on Grey’s Anatomy, now entering its eleventh season, Rhimes shared a 2007 Producers Guild Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama (having also been nominated in 2006 and 2008), the 2007 Golden Globe for Outstanding Television Drama, the 2007 Lucy Award for Excellence in Television from Women in Film, consecutive wins from 2007 – 2011 for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series, as well as five wins for Outstanding Drama Series.
Along with her Grey’s Anatomy writers, Rhimes shared a 2006 Writers Guild Award for New Series, as well as received WGA nominations for Dramatic Series in 2006 and 2007. Rhimes also shared Emmy nominations for Outstanding Drama Series in 2006 and 2007 for her work on Grey’s, as well as earned an Emmy nomination for penning Grey’s 2006 episodes, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It, Parts I & II.”
For her work on Scandal, Rhimes was the 2013 winner of the AFI Award, Peabody Award and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series, as well as received a nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. Rhimes was the recipient of the 2012 GLAAD Golden Gate Award, 2010 RAINN Hope Award, and a 2009 GLSEN Respect Awards Honoree. Additionally, for her work on Private Practice, Rhimes received the Television Academy Honors award in 2010 and 2011, as well as the Prism Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in 2011.
Rhimes has twice been included in Time Magazine’s 100 list of the most influential people along with Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” Variety’s “Power of Women,” and Glamour’s “Women of the Year.” In 2013, Rhimes was appointed by President Obama to serve as Trustee for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2014, Rhimes and her Shondaland producing partner Betsy Beers received the Directors Guild of America’s Diversity Award. Rhimes was also a 2014 recipient of the W. E. B. Du Bois Medal from Harvard and was named to both Vanity Fair’s 2014 New Establishment list and Marie Claire’s New Guard List for the most connected women in America.
On December 10, Rhimes received The Hollywood Reporter’s Sherry Lansing Leadership Award presented at THR’s 2014 Women in Entertainment gala, recognizing a woman who continues to be both pioneer and leader in her industry. In March, Rhimes is set to receive Human Rights Campaign’s Ally for Equality Award for creating some of the most ground-breaking portrayals of LGBT people on television, as well as being a longtime advocate for LGBT equality. This April, Rhimes will also be inducted into the National Association of Broadcaster’s NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Beyond her success with network television, Rhimes’ screenwriting credits include the feature films The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) and Crossroads (2002). Her other television writing credits include the telefilm biopic, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, produced by HBO and nominated for numerous awards, for which Halle Berry won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for Best Actress in a miniseries for her portrayal of Dandridge. Rhimes created her production company Shondaland in 2004.
Rhimes holds a BA from Dartmouth College in English Literature with Creative Writing. As director of Dartmouth’s Black Underground Theatre and Arts Association, her work earned her numerous awards for excellence. She received her MFA from the USC School of Cinema-Television, where she was awarded the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship. Rhimes returned to Dartmouth in June of 2014 to deliver the commencement address.
One of the industry’s most vocal advocates for diversity within the entertainment industry, Rhimes currently serves as Co-Chair of the WGAW’s Diversity Advisory Group, which helps strategize and consult with the Guild on its ongoing effort to enhance employment opportunities for diverse writers.
The child of educators, Rhimes blames her parents for her rampant addiction to books. The youngest of six, she was born and raised outside of Chicago, IL, and now resides in Los Angeles with her three daughters.
Named after one of the most influential writers in entertainment history, the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement is the WGAW’s highest award for television writing, given to writers who have advanced the literature of television throughout the years and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the television writer. Past Television Laurel Award recipients include Steven Bochco, Susan Harris, Stephen J. Cannell, David Chase, Larry David, Diane English, Marshall Herskovitz & Ed Zwick, Joshua Brand & John Falsey, and, most recently, Garry Marshall.
Shonda Rhimes, Al Sharpton Weigh In on "Racist" Sony Emails(12/14/14) The hits just keep coming for Hollywood executives Scott Rudin and Amy Pascal in the wake of Sony's servers being hacked.
Leaked emails, as reported by BuzzFeed, show producer Rudin and Sony Pictures co-chair Pascal joking about whether President Obama is a fan of Django Unchained, 12 Years a Slave and Kevin Hart.
"What should I ask the president at this stupid Jeffrey breakfast?" Pascal wrote to Rudin, referring to a breakfast hosted by DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg.
"Would he like to finance some movies," Rudin responds, to which Pascal replies, "I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?"
The two proceed to go back and forth, quipping about 12 Years a Slave, Think Like a Man, Ride Along and The Butler.
Their comments have sparked outrage among some Hollywood figures, including Shonda Rhimes, who took issue with media outlets referring to the messages as merely "racially insensitive."
@shondarhimes: Calling Sony comments"racially insensitive remarks" instead of "racist"? U can put a cherry on a pile of sh*t but it don't make it a sundae.
Rev. Al Sharpton also slammed the emails as "offensive" and "insulting," according to the New York Times. And Lisa Kudrow told The Huffington Post, "Don't write anything you don't want broadcast in an email. ... Everything is broadcast and published."
This is the latest in a series of embarrassing incidents for Rudin and Pascal in the wake of the Sony hacking. Other leaked emails between them refer to Angelina Jolie as a "minimally talented spoiled brat."
Rudin and Pascal have both since apologized for their remarks about President Obama.
"Private emails between friends and colleagues written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity, even when the content of them is meant to be in jest, can result in offense where none was intended," Rudin told Deadline. "I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny, but in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive — and not funny at all. To anybody I've offended, I'm profoundly and deeply sorry, and I regret and apologize for any injury they might have caused."
Added Pascal, in a statement to Variety: "The content of my emails were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am. Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended."
What do you think of Pascal and Rudin's comments?
Speech! Speech! Shonda Rhimes gives another amazing one(12/10/14) Shonda Rhimes is an amazing writer, and anyone who's watched an episode of one of her TV shows knows that she really knows how to write a speech. Whether it's "Pick me, choose me, love me" or "Standing in the sun," Rhimes always has managed to find the right words to emotionally capture any moment. And now she's written her most important speech yet.
The "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy" creator attended The Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast where she accepted the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award. In her speech, via Buzzfeed, she explains that she was confused why she was being honored for "breaking through the industry's glass ceiling as a woman and an African-American" when there are so many others who came before her.
Read the entirety of the empowering speech below:
"When my publicist called to tell me that I was receiving this honor, I screwed up my face and I said, 'Are you sure? Me?' And he said, 'Yes.' And I said, 'Why?' And then I said, 'No really, WHY?'
"And I made him call and ask for some written reason why I was getting this award. Because I really and truly was worried that there might have been some kind of mistake.
"I want to pause for a beat here to say that I don't say these things to be self-deprecating and humble. I am not a self-deprecating, humble person. I think I'm pretty fantastic bada**. But I also think that The Hollywood Reporter Sherry Lansing Award is extraordinary -- as is Sherry Lansing herself. So ... no, really, WHY?
"They sent a written reason why I was getting this award. It said many nice things, but the main thing that it was said was that I was getting the award in recognition of my breaking through the industry's glass ceiling as a woman and an African-American.
"Well. I call my publicist back. Because I just don't know about this. I mean, I'm concerned now.
"I come from a very large, very competitive family. Extremely competitive. And by competitive, I mean, my mother says we're not allowed to play Scrabble anymore when we get together because of the injuries and the tears. One of the rules in my family is you don't ever get a trophy for participation, you don't get a trophy for just being you. So getting an award today BECAUSE I'm a woman and an African-American feels ... I was born with an awesome vagina and really gorgeous brown skin. I didn't do anything to make either of those things happen. To get all BeyoncÃ© about it, people: 'I woke up like this.'
"Seriously. I know this isn't an award because I'm a woman or BECAUSE I'm African-American. I know that it's really about breaking the glass ceiling that exists in the face of being a woman and being black in this very male, very white town.
"But I haven't broken through any glass ceilings.
"'Do they know I haven't broken through any glass ceilings?' I ask my publicist. He assures me that I have. I assure him that I have not. I have not broken through any glass ceilings. If I had broken through any glass ceilings, I would know. If I had broken through a glass ceiling, I would have felt some cuts, I would have some bruises. There'd be shards of glass in my hair. I'd be bleeding, I'd have wounds.
"If I'd broken the glass ceiling, that would mean I would have made it through to the other side where the air is rare. I would feel the wind on my face. The view from here -- way up here where the glass ceiling is broken -- would be incredible, right? So how come I don't remember the moment when me with my woman-ness and my brown skin went running full speed, gravity be damned, into that thick layer of glass and smashed right through it? How come I don't remember that happening?
"It's 2014. This moment right here, me standing up here all brown with my boobs and my Thursday night of network television full of women of color, competitive women, strong women, women who own their bodies and whose lives revolve around their work instead of their men, women who are big dogs, that could only be happening right now.
"Think about it.
"Look around this room. It's filled with women of all colors in Hollywood who are executives and heads of studios and VPs and show creators and directors. There are a lot of women in Hollywood in this room who have the game-changing ability to say yes or no to something. Fifteen years ago, that would not have been as true. There'd have been maybe a few women in Hollywood who could say yes or no. And a lot of D girls and assistants who were gritting their teeth and working really hard. And for someone like me, if I was very very, VERY lucky, there'd have been maybe one small show. One small shot. And that shot would not have involved a leading actress of color, any three-dimensional LGBT characters, any women characters with high powered jobs AND families, and no more than two characters of color in any scene at one time -- because that only happened in sitcoms.
"Thirty years ago, I'd think maybe there'd be a thousand secretaries fending off their handsy bosses back at the office and about two women in Hollywood in this room. And if I were here, I would serving those two women breakfast.
"Fifty years ago, if women wanted to gather in a room, well, it had better be about babies or charity work. And the brown women were in one room over there and the white women were in a room over here.
"From then to now, we've all made such an incredible leap. Think of all of them. Fifty years ago trying to get out of separate rooms, 30 years ago trying to not serve breakfast or be groped by their bosses, 15 years ago trying to make clear that they could run a department as well as that guy over there.
"All the women, white, black, or brown who woke up like this, who came before me in this town.
"Think of them. Heads up, eyes on the target. Running. Full speed. Gravity be damned.
"Towards that thick layer of glass that is the ceiling. Running, full speed and crashing.
"Crashing into that ceiling and falling back. Crashing into it and falling back. Into it and falling back. Woman after woman. Each one running and each one crashing. And everyone falling. How many women had to hit that glass before the first crack appeared? How many cuts did they get, how many bruises? How hard did they have to hit the ceiling? How many women had to hit that glass to ripple it, to send out a thousand hairline fractures? How many women had to hit that glass before the pressure of their effort caused it to evolve from a thick pane of glass into just a thin sheet of splintered ice?
"So that when it was my turn to run, it didn't even look like a ceiling anymore. I mean, the wind was already whistling through -- I could always feel it on my face. And there were all these holes giving me a perfect view to other side. I didn't even notice the gravity, I think it had worn itself away. So I didn't have to fight as hard, I had time to study the cracks. I had time to decide where the air felt the rarest, where the wind was the coolest, where the view was the most soaring. I picked my spot in the glass and called it my target. And I ran. And when I hit finally that ceiling, it just exploded into dust.
"My sisters who went before me had already handled it.
"No cuts. No bruises. No bleeding.
"Making it through the glass ceiling to the other side was simply a matter of running on a path created by every other woman's footprints.
"I just hit at exactly the right time in exactly the right spot.
"So I'm breaking my family's rule today. This is a trophy for participation. And I am beyond honored and proud to receive it. Because this was a group effort.
"Thank you to all the women in this room. Thank you to all the women who never made it to this room. And thank you to all the women who will hopefully fill a room 100 times this size when we are all gone. You are all an inspiration."
Sony Studios Hack Reveals Celebs' Secret Aliases (Jessica Alba's Is Cash Money!)(12/9/14) Ever wonder what secret aliases celebs like Tom Hanks, Jessica Alba and Natalie Portman go by when trying to fly under the radar at swanky hotels?!
The hacking of Sony Studios' private information has revealed the fake names used by some of Hollywood's biggest stars. According to Fusion, the recently leak Sony info contains a list of aliases A-listers use to protect their privacy.
Hanks, for example, supposedly goes by the moniker Johnny Madrid (how worldly!), while Alba goes by Cash Money, a nod to her husband Cash Warren. Portman's alias is apparently Laura Brown while Tobey Maguire goes by Neil Deep (get the joke?).
Other celebs listed in the leak include Ice Cube (Darius Stone and his actual given name, O'Shea Jackson), Debra Messing (Ava Harper), Daniel Craig (Olwen Williams), Juda Law (Mr. Perry), Taye Diggs (Scott Diggs, his real name), Clive Owen (Robert Fenton) and Rob Schneider (Nazzo Good, ha!).
In addition to stars' aliases, the recent Sony hacking has also made lots of other confidential information public, including the Social Security numbers of actors, execs and other Sony employees.
NAACP Image Award Nominations(12/9/14) Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
LL Cool J – “NCIS: LA” (CBS)
Omar Epps – “Resurrection” (ABC)
Omari Hardwick – “Being Mary Jane” (BET)
Shemar Moore – “Criminal Minds” (CBS)
Taye Diggs – “Murder in the First” (TNT)
'Leftovers' Shakes Up Supporting Cast For Season 2 As Series Moves To New Locale(12/6/14) The Sudden Departure event at the heart of the mythology of freshman HBO drama The Leftovers is spreading to the cast. I have learned that a large portion of the fourteen regular cast members in Season 1 — virtually all in supporting roles — won’t be returning in Season 2 as the series is undergoing a creative reboot, moving the setting from the fictional town of Mapleton, New York to a new location.
I hear locked in to come back are most of the leads — star Justin Theroux, his onscreen family, estranged wife, played by Amy Brenneman, and children Margaret Qualley and Chris Zylka, as well as Carrie Coon, who plays Theroux’s love interest, and Christopher Eccleston, who portrays former reverand Matt Jamison. As Season 2 is still being mapped out, I hear things are still in flux and there is a possibility for a couple of more regulars to come back, with others potentially making appearances as guest stars. Leftovers‘ Season 1 regular cast also included Liv Tyler, Emily Meade, Amanda Warren, Ann Dowd, Michael Gaston, Max & Carver and Annie Q.
Created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, Leftovers was based on Perrotta’s book about the aftermath of a Rapture-type event that causes the sudden disappearance of 2% of the world’s population. With the series burning through all of the source material in the first season, I hear the producers liked the story opportunities that would come from exploring the world beyond Mapleton.
Téa Leoni Is Dating Madam Secretary Costar (and On-Screen Husband) Tim Daly(12/3/14) It's official. Newly divorced Téa Leoni, 48, is back off the market.
PEOPLE confirms she is dating her Madam Secretary costar and onscreen husband, Tim Daly, 58 – and that they've quietly been an item since the summer.
Leoni was spotted at his show when he performed Red at the Dorset Theatre in Dorset, Vermont, over July 4 weekend. The stars were already taping Madam Secretary at the time.
Leoni, who plays the secretary of state on the show, officially divorced her husband of 17 years, David Duchovny, in August of this year.
Daly divorced his ex-wife of 26 years, Amy Van Nostrand, in 2010.
Taye Diggs Joins Topher Grace Musical Comedy 'One Shot'(11/20/14) Topher Grace’s backstage musical comedy One Shot is getting a Broadway vet in Taye Diggs. The singer-actor has joined the cast of the indie film, about a failed star turned stage manager (Grace) who must wrangle the eccentric cast and crew of a new production to save the show’s opening night. Isaac Rentz is directing from a script by Gerry De Leon and Greg Lisi; Grace, who’s currently in theaters in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, is also producing.
Diggs will play Malcolm, a flamboyant member of the production. Diggs of course got his start originating the character of Benny in 1996's Tony-winning Rent, a role he reprised in 2005 when the musical was adapted into a film by Sony and Chris Columbus. By then he was well into a film and TV career with How Stella Got Her Groove Back, The Wood, The Best Man, and a run on Ally McBeal under his belt. He’s now coming off Private Practice, Murder in the First, The Good Wife, and last year’s hit sequel The Best Man Holiday, which has another installment in the works for 2016.
Daniel Posada and Jason Tamasco are also producing One Shot for Mexico-based Dark Factory Entertainment (100 Cries, Reversal) with Alex Garcia of AG Studio (Demian Bichir’s Refugio, Paul Schrader’s The Jesuit, Jonas Cuaron’s Forsaken). Filming is set to begin next month in Mexico City. Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ Jai Khanna packaged the film, which is being financed by Dark Factory and AG Studios. Annapurna is repping international rights and ICM Partners will co-rep North American rights with Brillstein.
Grace next appears in Truth opposite Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, American Ultra opposite Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, and the Jason Blum-produced Home. He’s repped by ICM Partners, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Ziffren Brittenham.
Diggs is represented by ICM Partners, Management 360 and Franklin Weinrib.
Shonda Rhimes To Be Honored By Human Rights Campaign(11/18/14) The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today announced Shonda Rhimes will be given the group’s Ally For Equality Award at its Los Angeles gala dinner on Saturday, March 14. Rhimes, creator and/or exec producer of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder, previously was named as one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
“Shonda Rhimes is not only politically outspoken on issues of equality, but has also created some of the most groundbreaking portrayals of LGBT people ever seen on television, helping to change hearts and minds around the world,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in today’s news.
Sighting(11/13/14) Keanu Reeves, Naomi Watts, Taye Diggs and Steven Pasquale all dropping into healthy organic eatery Mulberry & Vine in Tribeca.
Sighting(11/10/14) Taye Diggs at Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival “Kinfolk”
Sighting(11/5/14) Taye Diggs at Tiny’s and the Bar Upstairs in Tribeca.
'Bad Judge' and 'A to Z' canceled by NBC but will get to play out the string(10/31/14) NBC is pulling the plug on its Thursday-night comedies "Bad Judge" and "A to Z" after several weeks of declining ratings.
On the (minor) upside, both shows will get to complete their 13-episode orders, meaning they'll be on the air through the remainder of 2014. That could allow the producers of both shows to bring some sort of closure -- which would be more important in the case of "A to Z," which is telling a serialized love story about its two main characters.
The cancellation news comes after both shows fell below a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 in Thursday's (Oct. 30) same-day ratings, with "Bad Judge" coming in at 0.9 and "A to Z" at 0.7. Even had ratings been better, they would have had to move early next year when "The Blacklist" moves to Thursdays.
The two shows join ABC's "Manhattan Love Story" as the only series to get the axe thus far in the fall. It's been a rough fall for new comedies in general, with only ABC's "Black-ish" averaging above a 2.0 same-day rating in adults 18-49.
Sightings(10/29/14) Ciara and Taye Diggs at VIP Room for Net Jarrett Jack’s 31st birthday.
Julie Anne Robinson Sells Drama With Shondaland, 'No Angels' Comedy Adaptation With Amblin To ABC(10/21/14) Director-producer Julie Anne Robinson (Suburgatory) has set up two projects at ABC through her pod deal with ABC Studios — drama The Long Game, for which Robinson’s Canny Lads Productions has teamed with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ ABC Studios-based Shondaland; and a single-camera comedy adaptation of the praised British dramedy No Angels, on which Robinson has partnered with Amblin TV. Robinson is directing and executive producing.
The Long Game is written by Jennifer Schuur (Hannibal) based on a treatment written by novelist Kate Atkinson (the Jackson Brodie series) and her producing partner, former Channel 4 drama commissioner Helen Gregory. Described as a mix of sharp-edged wit and ever-deepening suspense, it centers on a gutsy female forensic accountant who exposes fraud for a living and has finally found fulfillment both at work and in love until a case comes along that threatens to turn her world upside down. Schuur, Rhimes, Beers and Robinson executive produce, while Atkinson and Gregory co-executive produce.
Robinson’s collaboration with Shondaland stems from Robinson’s directing work on several of Rhimes’ series, including Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.
Written by Stacy Traub (Glee), No Angels, is about a group of nurses who work together and live together. Work issues become home issues. Home issues become work issues. And eventually it’s hard to tell which is which.
British-born Robinson helmed two episodes of the original series, which premiered on Channel 4 in 2004 and ran for two seasons, with Gregory as one of the executive producers. It was created by Toby Whitehouse for World Productions, whose Roderick Seligman and Simon Heath executive produce the ABC version alongside Robinson, Traub and Amblin’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. Robinson, Amblin, ABC and ABC Studios first took a stab at adapting No Angels last season with different writers, Kat Likkel & John Hoberg.
UTA-repped Robinson, an award-winning director in her native Great Britain, has helmed a number of U.S. pilots that have gone to series, including Selfie, The Middle and How To Live With Your parents (For the Rest Of Your Life), all at ABC.
Schuur and Beers are repped by UTA; Rhimes is with ICM Partners; Atkinson, whose latest novel, Life after Life, has been optioned by Lionsgate, is with Casarotto Ramsay and Assoc.; Grebory with Independent Talent Group; Traub is with UTA and Hansen Jacobson; Amblin TV with WME.
Nicholas Brendon Admits He Mixed Prescription Meds With Alcohol Before Arrest, Plans to ''Pursue Rehabilitation''(10/20/14) Nicholas Brendon wants to clear the air after the Buffy the Vampire Slayer star was detained in Boise, Idaho on Friday night on suspicion of damaging property and resisting arrest, blaming his outburst on a combination of prescription medication and alcohol.
The 43-year-old actor, who was in town for an appearance at Tree City Comic Con, spent several hours in jail following a disturbance at a hotel lobby where police found the thesp showing "signs of intoxication" and said he "repeatedly refused officers' commands to stay seated while officers tried to speak with witnesses." Authorities also said hotel staff reported that he had broken a decorative dish.
Brendon was then booked into a local jail on charges of malicious injury to property and resisting or obstructing officers, which are both misdemeanors. He was later released on $600 bond the following day.
And now, he wants to come clean about his "unacceptable behavior."
"I apologize," the actor began in a statement. "Usually those words end a message like this but I am beginning with them to emphasize how much I regret disappointing my family, my fans, and myself. I can offer an explanation but I make no excuse for my unacceptable behavior."
He continued, admitting he mixed his prescription medication with alcohol on Friday night and said the effects caused him to lash out.
"For the past 5 days, I have been taking prescription pain medication to help me manage a cyst behind my knee cap, which is scheduled for corrective surgery on Monday morning. I made the poor decision to mix this prescribed medication with alcohol. The result was embarrassing and unacceptable," he confessed.
Brendon, who was previously arrested in March 2010 on suspicion of damaging property, as well as disorderly conduct, also said he plans to seek treatment for his behavior.
"I intend to seek appropriate treatment and therapy for my medical ailments as well as my emotional demons," he said. "Again: I apologize. Those two small words don't begin to express my regrets, but they do mark the beginning of my recovery. During this difficult time, I appreciate understanding as I pursue rehabilitation -- and I value support as I earn redemption with my family, friends, and fans."
The actor's arrest comes just one week after he tied the knot with girlfriend Moonda Tee in Las Vegas.
Brendon is most famous for starring opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar on the popular CW series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which aired from 1997 to 2003. He has since gone on to appear on shows such as Private Practice as well as Criminal Minds, in which he still plays the recurring role of Kevin Lynch.
'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Star Nicholas Brendon -- ARRESTED ... Snaps Gnarly Mugshot(10/18/14) (Pic) "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star Nicholas Brendon was arrested Friday night in Idaho ... and his mugshot looks like Xander got into it with one of the bloodsuckers his co-star famously fought.
Brendon was in Boise for a Comic Con event when he got busted around 10PM for allegedly causing "malicious injury to a property" ... according to police -- but so far it's unclear what he was actually doing to get arrested.
Nicholas was hit with 2 misdemeanor counts -- including one for resisting/obstructing officers.
We reached out to Nicholas' rep ... so far, no word back.
Shonda Rhimes Producing ABC Comedy From Scott Foley & Greg Grunberg(10/10/14) Scandal co-star Scott Foley and Greg Grunberg, Felicity alums and longtime friends, have teamed for a relationship TV comedy project. It is backed by Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland, which also is behind Scandal as well as Grey’s Anatomy and ABC’s new hit drama How To Get Away With Murder. Foley and Grunberg will write the story together, with Foley set to write the teleplay. The two executive produce with Shondaland’s Rhimes and Betsy Beers. The untitled comedy revolves around engaged couple Max and Paige who, over their wedding rehearsal dinner, have their eclectic family and friends give toasts recalling anecdotes about the couple — but flashbacks reveal that the toasts don’t always get it right, as we watch the true story of their complicated, funny and relatable road to marriage. Foley, who did a major arc on Rhimes‘ Grey’s Anatomy before joining Scandal, is with ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment; Grunberg is with Paradigm and SC Management. Shondaland is with ICM Partners.
The 4 Most Revealing Quotes From Shonda Rhimes' Hollywood Reporter Profile(10/9/14) Will Shonda Rhimes ever get to a point where she doesn't have qualifiers as part of her resume?
In a lengthy interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Grey's Anatomy and Scandal showrunner responds to the infamous New York Times article that described her as an "angry black woman." Rhimes says she's been trying for years to remove the words "black" and "female" from her description as a showrunner.
"They wouldn't say that someone is 'the most powerful white male showrunner in Hollywood,'" Rhimes tells THR. "I find race and gender to be terribly important; they're terribly important to who I am. But there's something about the need for everybody else to spend time talking about it ... that pisses me off."
At the same time, Rhimes says she doesn't support what many have requested — that the article be retracted. "In this world in which we all feel we're so full of gender equality and we're a post-racial [society] and Obama is president, it's a very good reminder to see the casual racial bias and odd misogyny from a woman written in a paper that we all think of as being so liberal," she notes.
Here are four more revealing quotes from Rhimes' Hollywood Reporter interview, about her woes on the early years ofGrey's Anatomy, her "No Heigls" policy and more:
1. On how she balances her career with raising three children as a single mother: "I don't. ... If I am at home sewing my kids' Halloween costumes, I'm probably blowing off a rewrite I was supposed to turn in. If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing my baby's first swim lesson. If I am at my daughter's debut in her school musical, I am missing Sandra Oh's last scene ever being filmed at Grey's Anatomy. If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the trade-off." (Also, she notes, that question "drives me nuts.")
2. On ABC executives' numerous edits to early episodes of Grey's Anatomy: "I think the term that was used to describe me to my face was, 'If you think you're funny, you're sick.' I was stunned."
3. On butting heads with former ABC President Steve McPherson, who left the company amid a sexual harassment inquiry: "He said really horrible things to me," she says, declining to reveal anything more than: "I literally started keeping a list of how many times he said a certain swear word to me."
4. On the camaraderie among the Scandal cast members: "There are no Heigls in this situation. ...I don't put up with bullsh-- or nasty people. I don't have time for it."
Read Rhimes' full interview here.
Kate Walsh Shares One of Her Most 'Unfortunate' Haircuts Ever(10/7/14) (Pic) Kate Walsh is starting off her week with a serious sense of humor. The actress shared a bold throwback photo of herself sporting a truly bad haircut. Seriously, she admits it too.
“An unfortunate hair choice in the late 90’s,” she captioned the above photo on Twitter, revealing a brassy blonde bob style with a center part and a whole lot of side volume that couldn’t be more opposite than the rich auburn color the actress is sporting today.
Aside from the unfortunate hair, her makeup choice was definitely a very ’90s move — purple liner and shadow teamed with frosty pink lips is makeup straight out of an early ’90s music video. And we have a feeling this will be a look that will stay in the past.
Nicholas Brendon Guest-Starring on Faking It Season Finale(10/6/14) Nicholas Brendon is going back to high school.
The Buffy grad will guest-star on the season finale of MTV’s Faking It, TVLine has learned, playing professional artist Jackson Lee. Also an alum of Hestor High, Jackson eventually becomes an artistic mentor to Liam (Gregg Sulkin) after interviewing art students for a prestigious fellowship.
Other major Season 2 guest stars include Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black) and Fifth Harmony.
Faking It airs Tuesdays at 10:30/9:30c on MTV.
Nicholas Brendon Gets Married One Week After Proposing(10/4/14) Nicholas Brendon is a married man!
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, who had a crush on Sarah Michelle Gellar's character in the beloved series, said "I Do" to his girlfriend Moonda Tee late last week.
"AND WERE MARRIED!!!" Brendon revealed on Twitter while posing with his wife in front of the iconic "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign.
Tee donned a short white dress, veil and sheer black gloves while holding red roses. In comparison, Brendon went casual with a brown blazer, denim jeans and a navy blue sweater.
"I just got married under the Welcome to Las Vegas sign," the new bride shared on Facebook with even more photos from the big day.
The ceremony comes one short week after the actor popped the question to his girlfriend in Colorado. On his Twitter page, Brendon shared a photo of when he got down on one knee while holding an engagement ring in a hair salon.
As it turns out, she said yes and they didn't waste any time in getting hitched. In an added romantic twist, the couple's dog was able to be with the twosome for all the special occasions.
Fans will always remember Brendon's character named Xander Harris in the popular WB and UPN series. From 1996 all the way to 2003, the Buffy actor made quite the impression on loyal fans.
Just last month, he was able to reunite with co-star Emma Caulfield in Australia at a comic book convention.
Since the show wrapped, Brendon has still been able to find success with recurring roles on shows like Private Practice and Criminal Minds.
Congratulations to the happy couple on their exciting news!
'Bad Judge's Kate Walsh: 'That's all the candy'(10/2/14) It's a "bad" time in television sitcoms for some respected professions.
After CBS' recent "Bad Teacher" comes NBC's "Bad Judge," premiering Thursday (Oct. 2), marking "Private Practice" alum Kate Walsh's return to series work. She plays Rebecca Wright, who oversees cases in the Los Angeles County judicial system with a tough demeanor ... but off the bench, anything goes for her.
Change may be in the offing, though, thanks to the young son (Theodore Barnes) of a couple she sentenced. He looks to her for guidance, which may prompt her to rethink her lifestyle -- or not.
An executive producer on "Bad Judge" as well, the lively Walsh told reporters that from reading the first few pages of the pilot script, she knew that "I want to be this lady, who wakes up with a hangover and stumbles around getting a pregnancy test. And then the reveal is that she's a judge was just awesome to me, and she drums and she's dealing with guys and a kid from the system.
"There was so much there for me that it was just super-appealing," adds Walsh. "I think I felt like I had my nose pressed up against the candy store, and that was like, 'That's all the candy. All the candy is "Bad Judge." ' "
Along with frequent collaborators Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, another notable executive producer of "Bad Judge" is Anne Heche, who's done her own share of comedy acting on TV including a recurring role on NBC's "The Michael J. Fox Show" last season.
"I did not think that I would be in this show," Heche says of staying behind the scenes on it, though a guest shot certainly is possible. "I've always dreamed of being a person who could create great roles for complicated, beautiful, strong women, and 'Bad Judge' came to me because I've always been a little bit fascinated by judgment. I don't know if you know any of my history, but I've been a bit of a rule breaker.
"The idea that people judge and they obviously are human as well, who are they? And then we put them in a position of power, and what happens when [they] take off their robe? I was like, 'Wow, that's really fun. I love that idea. What if there was a bad judge?' And then, voila: She appeared."
With the title character appearing in the persona of Walsh, one of the makers of "Bad Judge" gets something of a constant shout-out in the show.
"There was this stunted adolescent part of her that I feel like we celebrate in men," Walsh reasons, "and certainly, I have. It's one of the reasons why I love Will Ferrell, but I want to see a female doing that."
Kate Walsh Plays an "Unapologetic" Mess in Her New NBC Comedy Bad Judge(10/2/14) An intelligent, hard-working and successful woman whose professional life is perfect, but whose personal life is, well, less so? Yes, Kate Walsh's new gig starring on NBC's Bad Judge may not sound like a huge stretch from her days on Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice as Dr. Addison Montgomery, but Judge Rebecca Wright makes Addison look like pretty tame.
"It's two different beasts," Walsh tells TVGuide.com. "I think Addison is probably more sophisticated for sure. [Rebecca]'s a little more edgy."
That's a serious understatement. In the new comedy, premiering Thursday at 9/8c, Walsh stars as Rebecca, who is a tough judge by day and a fun-loving party girl by night. "She's a mess but she's unapologetic. She's figuring out life as she goes along," Walsh says. "She's not looking to be a mom. She's not looking for a relationship. She's obsessed with her work. She's super proficient at it and super smart and everything else falls by the wayside. We get to see her stumble around and make mistakes."
Although motherhood or romance don't particularly interest Rebecca, both seem to find her in unusual ways. For one, she happens to be hooking up with a frequent expert witness in her court, Dr. Gary Boyd (Ryan Hansen). Secondly, in the premiere episode, she finds herself an unexpected pseudo caretaker for an 8-year-old boy, Robby Shoemaker, whose parents she sent to jail. But they don't necessarily make a huge difference.
"As soon as I read the first page, I had a vision of how she's passed out on her bed. I was like, 'Oh, OK, I know exactly what I'd want to do with that," Walsh says. "I felt like I immediately knew who this girl or this woman is."
And it's not just Rebecca's carefree, and sometimes reckless, personal life that makes Bad Judge great escapism from all those romantic and family comedies debuting this fall. "There's also a real fantasy element to it in the sense that she kind of dispenses vigilante justice," Walsh says. "I think it's really satisfying and funny for the audience to see, well, what would you do if you were a judge and you had that badge and you were in traffic and somebody's annoying you, what could you get away with? If you could dispense any kind of sentencing that you want, what would you do if you got creative?"
'Bad Judge' series premiere review: Kate Walsh shines but plot needs work(10/2/14) If "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" fans are looking for Addison Shepherd in Kate Walsh's new comedy "Bad Judge," they won't find her -- and that's actually the saving grace of the show.
"Bad Judge," from executive producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, follows Judge Rebecca Wright (Walsh) as she parties all night and judges all day. Her personal life is a complete mess but don't think that you're going to get one by her in the courtroom.
As Walsh admits, most people know her from drama -- aka the Shonda Rhimes tear fests mentioned above -- but audiences will see a whole new side of her when they tune in. Walsh fully embraces the character and Wright's less-than-kosher habits. She's having fun, which in turn makes the show fun to watch.
However, the pilot episode seems a bit confused with whether Wright is a laughable mess or a savior of the underdog with a heart of gold. Case in point: Wright feels morally responsible for a temporarily orphaned little boy after she sends both of his parents to prison for their offenses. While Wright's interactions with the kid are humorous, the situation is rife with cliches. It too closely resembles the films with similar titles -- "Bad Teacher" and "Bad Santa" -- where seemingly irredeemable characters find a little color in their black hearts by developing a kinship with wayward youths. It's been done.
Luckily, it seems that the kid is a plot device for only the first episode. Wright's best friendship with her bailiff Tedward has a gold mine of potential and her romantic entanglement with Gary is fun to play with -- though the show has done itself a favor by not making a romantic storyline the be-all and end-all of its premise.
Overall, "Bad Judge" is a lot of fun. There's something for everyone to enjoy and could be the perfect date-night comedy. The jokes and comedy are there and the cast has great chemistry. It's definitely worth a watch past the pilot and hopefully it's given a few episodes to really explore who Rebecca is and convince the world to love her.
Oprah Winfrey, Harry Belafonte honored by Harvard(10/1/14) Oprah Winfrey and songwriter Harry Belafonte are among those honored at Harvard University for their contributions to African-American culture.
Winfrey also accepted a posthumous award at Tuesday's ceremony for poet Maya Angelou (MY'-uh AN'-juh-loh), who died this year.
The university's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research presented its annual W.E.B. Du Bois Medals to eight honorees, including British architect David Adjaye, congressman John Lewis, "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen, "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" creator Shonda Rhimes and movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
The medal has been awarded since 2000 and is Harvard's highest honor in the field of African and African American Studies.
Du Bois was a Massachusetts native and Harvard graduate and scholar who founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
'Bad Judge's Kate Walsh Blasts Ex-Managers Over Commissions From New NBC Series(9/29/14) Just days before her new NBC series Bad Judge is set to debut, former Private Practice star Kate Walsh is headed to court herself. Today, Walsh filed a complaint against Evolution Entertainment over commissions her ex-mangers are demanding from the new show. Walsh says they’re out of order, to quote And Justice For All.
“More than a year ago, Ms. Walsh terminated the management relationship because Evolution failed to provide the services that it promised,” says the short declaratory relief filing in LA Superior Court. “Notwithstanding Evolution’s failure to provide the promised services, Evolution has demanded that Ms. Walsh pay commissions on her income from various projects, including, but not limited to, commissions on Ms. Walsh’s income for the life of Ms. Walsh’s work on the television Bad Judge,” the filing adds. “Ms. Walsh believes that she should not be responsible to pay Evolution all, or any part, of the commissions demanded, and seeks guidance from this Court to determine the proper amount, if any, that she should pay to Evolution.”
“Ms. Walsh is happy to pay what is truly owed however, there is a significant dispute over that issue which requires court intervention,” says her lawyer Bryan Freeman. Maybe like a lot of these commission battles, this one will end with a settlement, or maybeWalsh, now repped by Untitled Management and CAA, will take it all the way to a real judge.
Walsh is repped legally by attorneys Freedman and Steven Stieglitz of LA’s Freedman & Taitelman. (Freedman also is the attorney for Deadline’s parent company, PMC.) THR first reported the legal action.
Shonda Rhimes bought 'The Mindy Project' cast and crew Umami Burger(9/17/14) Now this is the way you say thank you to your temporary coworkers -- by purchasing hundreds of what some claim to be the best hamburgers in Los Angeles. That's what Shonda Rhimes did for "The Mindy Project" after guest-starring in an episode of the FOX comedy.
Rhimes will appear in an upcoming Season 3 episode as herself, a Dartmouth grad who also happens to be one of the school's most talented beer pong players ever.
To show her appreciation for allowing her to make her big acting debut, she brought the Umami Burger truck to the "Mindy Project" set on Tuesday (Sept. 16). "Thank you for enduring my incredibly horrible acting. You are all amazing to work with," she said on the adorable note Mindy Kaling tweeted.
Proof Shonda is even cooler than you already thought she was is below. And now we are hungry for burgers: Photo.
Scandal Adds Private Practice Star in Top-Secret Season 4 Role(9/17/14) Shonda Rhimes is continuing to populate Scandal with old favorites.
Private Practice regular Brian Benben will guest-star in a Season 4 episode of the hit ABC series, EW.com reports, but as per usual with Scandal, no details about Benben’s character are available.
Other Shondaland players who appeared on either Grey’s Anatomy or Private Practice prior to joining Rhimes’ political drama include Jeff Perry, Kate Burton, Bellamy Young, Darby Stanchfield and Katie Lowes.
Scandal returns Thursday, Sept. 25 at 9/8c.
Mindy Project Casts Shonda Rhimes (Yes, Shonda Rhimes) to Play [Spoiler](8/27/14) The Mindy Project is taking a trip to Shondaland.
TVLine has learned exclusively that the A-list creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal is set to make her acting debut in a fall episode of the Fox comedy.
I’m told Rhimes, a self-proclaimed super-fan of both The Mindy Project and its star Mindy Kaling, will play herself on the show. Specifics about her storyline are being kept under wraps.
Rhimes’ episode is slated to shoot in early September and air later this fall.
The Mindy Project kicks off its third season on Sept. 16.
Enlisted Officially Discharged as Yahoo Passes on a Second Season(8/22/14) Enlisted is now on permanent leave.
After weeks of negotiations, Yahoo Screen has abandoned talks to produce a second season of beloved-but-little-seen military comedy, which was cancelled by Fox back in May after one season. And, according to sources, there are no other suitors in play.
Created by Kevin Biegel, the show starred Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell and Parker Young as brothers assigned to rear detachment at the fictional Fort McGee.
Audra McDonald helps 'Lady Day' turn a profit(7/29/14) Audra McDonald has propelled her new Broadway show into profitability.
Producers of the play "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" said Tuesday that they have recouped their $2.6 million initial investment.
In the show, McDonald portrays Billie Holiday in one of her last concerts, offering stories and performing about a dozen of Holiday's best-known songs, including "God Bless the Child," ''What a Little Moonlight Can Do" and "Strange Fruit."
In June, McDonald won her sixth Tony Award for the role, making her the awards' most decorated actress and the only woman to win a Tony in all four acting categories.
Other recent Broadway shows that have recouped include "Of Mice and Men," ''All the Way" and "The Glass Menagerie."
Kate Walsh Boob Grab -- Grabs Friend's Boobs ... Makes A Splash At Disneyland(7/29/14) (Photo) Kate Walsh went to Disneyland, but it's hooters that ended up making her day -- as she cupped a pair of boobs on Splash Mountain.
The "Private Practice" actress kept her hands well inside the log flume over the weekend -- and showed full support for the knockers seated in front of her during the ride's signature drop.
Kate seemed unimpressed with the rack, but maybe she's just felt 'em before. Turns out the chick is a friend of hers.
Caution: Riders may get wet.
Audra McDonald reveals past suicide attempt(7/25/14) Highly respected and decorated actress Audra McDonald has opened up about a shocking past suicide attempt.
The 44-year-old told ABC’s “Popcorn with Peter Travers” that she had a rocky time while at Juilliard.
“When I was [in college] at Juilliard, I had a suicide attempt,” said the six-time Tony winner. “I tried to slit my wrist.”
“When someone is suicidal, one of the first things you have to do is to protect them from themselves,” said the mother of a 14-year-old daughter. “They had a mental health facilitator there, a therapist there and they checked me into a mental health hospital where I was for a month and got me the help I needed.”
She’s thankful she received the support and proper attention from professionals, who recognized the rising star was better off taking a role in the traveling tour of “The Secret Garden.”
“Julliard was like… ‘We think that that musical theater thing is more for you anyway. That seems to be where you’re the happiest,’” explained McDonald, who’s currently playing Billie Holiday in “Lady at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.”
“I went out and did ‘Secret Garden’ and then I came back and finished Julliard,” she continued.
McDonald is the most decorated Broadway actress of all time with six Tony wins. Her most recent award for “Lady” pushed her ahead of Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris. She caused a stir when she thanked her parents for not medicating their hyperactive girl.
Audra McDonald and Jimmy Fallon Sing Yahoo! Answers(7/24/14) (Video) Art is everywhere, people—even in most nonsensical Yahoo! Answers responses!
On Wednesday's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the late-night host and Broadway superstar Audra McDonald theatrically sang actual questions and answers from the community-driven site.
While the crowd-sourced advice probably shouldn't be taken literally, it certainly is entertaining to hear as sung by a six-time Tony Award winner! Jimmy Fallon's vocals were on point, too, although he struggled to keep a straight face as he sang lyrical gems like, "I swallowed an ice cube last night and then it disappeared, and I'm wondering if it's stuck."
But Audra, a consummate professional, stayed true to character in her hilarious response, singing, "Swallow a bunch of other cubes at once; that way it will knock down the one that is stuck."
The songstress relayed other sage Yahoo! Answers wisdom, too, like how to "be the life of the party." She made lyrics from Eminem's "My Name Is" sound like they belonged on the Great White Way and answered the pressing question of whether vodka kills bees and wasps.
Perhaps most impressively, though, Audra beautifully sang the top Yahoo! Answer for how to become president of the United States—this one might surprise you! Watch the Tonight Show clip above to find out the answer and see all of Jimmy and Audra's Yahoo! Answers performance.
Cancelled Fox Comedy 'Enlisted' Eyes Revival At Yahoo(7/14/14) Having just revived NBC’s Community, Yahoo might be looking to do the same with another recently cancelled cult broadcast comedy series, Fox’s Enlisted. I hear talks are under way between the online giant and Enlisted producer 20th Century Fox TV for a second season of the military series, created by Kevin Biegel, on Yahoo’s streaming service Yahoo screen. Sources cautioned that the conversations are preliminary and it its unclear whether they would result in a deal.
Much like Community, Enlisted has a passionate and loyal following, something that is attractive to digital platforms which crave core groups of passionate fans. Interestingly, following the news of Yahoo’s deal for another season of Community, Enlisted fans targeted Yahoo Screen with a major save-our-show campaign, pitching the service a Community/Enlisted double feature.
Enlisted – a slapstick single-camera comedy revolving around three brothers and a group of misfits on a small Army base — was well received but mired in low ratings. It never got a fair shake at Fox, slated on the low-traficked Friday nights. Although then-Fox chairman Kevin Reilly vowed to stick with the show for its 13-episode order, it was pulled prematurely. Biegel rallied the fans to recruit more viewers for the final four burn-off episodes but that didn’t help clinch a renewal at Fox for the series starring Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell and Parker Young.
20th TV has experience in successfully bringing back cancelled cult comedies on a digital platform, teaming with Netflix for a new season of Arrested Development last year.
Yahoo has been investing aggressively in original content, signing deals with Katie Couric and former New York Times tech columnist David Pogue to create original programming that could draw in regular viewers. But unlike subscription-based Netflix and Amazon, Yahoo has been betting on advertising to generate most of the revenues for its programming of all kinds.
Kate Walsh Comes To Defense Of NBC's 'Bad Judge'(7/13/14) TV critics seem to have reservations about NBC’s new comedy series Bad Judge. The single-camera comedy stars Kate Walsh as Rebecca Wright, a tough judge serving in the Los Angeles County courts, whose private life is pretty wild. In the comedy, created by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, Wright meets an eight-year-old boy whose parents she’d put in the hoosegow.
Walsh said she loved the idea of playing a character who, in the first four pages of the script, wakes up with a hangover, gets a pregnancy test and is revealed to be a judge. “It was super appealing,” she said, describing her initial reaction to the role as the sensation of having her nose pressed up to a candy-store window.
But there did not seem to be fusion of super appealing good fellowship between TV critics and this show during the Bad Judge Q&A session at Summer TV Press Tour 2014. TV critics did not actually suggest NBC slap a chastity belt on Rebecca Wright, but when you said that you had said everything.
While Walsh talked happily about what she loves most about the character (She’s Peter Pan,” Walsh explained), one critic wondered if she thought her character was having sex in her chambers and whether she thought that would be reckless behavior. “At the end of the day, it’s a comedy,” Walsh responded. “We’re trying to make people laugh… We’re not doing Law & Order. … Are you going to arrest me? Is that what this is about?”
Later, Walsh said, more spunkily, that she’s playing a party girl who “happens to be really good at her job” and that “in the series we will see how proficient she is.” She then pointed out that in the Fox doctor series House, viewers “were never waiting for that guy to get married and have kids.”
TAYE DIGGS TO GUEST STAR ON "THE GOOD WIFE" IN SEASON SIX(7/7/14) Taye Diggs will guest star on the critically acclaimed drama THE GOOD WIFE during the show’s upcoming sixth season. Diggs will appear in multiple episodes as Dean Levine-Wilkins, a meticulous and talented equity partner at Lockhart/Gardner who decides to throw in his lot with Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and accompany her to Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Cary’s (Matt Czuchry) company, Florrick/Agos.
“We couldn't be more excited to have Taye on the show,” said Executive Producers/Showrunners Robert and Michelle King. “We’ve been huge fans for years, and love his ability to play comedy and drama with equal ease.”
THE GOOD WIFE returns for its sixth season Sunday, Sept. 21 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network.
Taye Diggs Makes First Official Red Carpet Appearance With Girlfriend Amanza Smith Brown at 2014 BET Awards(6/30/14) (Photo) Taye Diggs introduced the world to his girlfriend at the 2014 BET Awards this afternoon in Los Angeles.
The actor paraded his leading love, Amanza Smith Brown, and gushed about the new lady in his life.
The two exchanged a bit of PDA on the red carpet and looked dressed to the nines in their respective ensembles.
Brown was sporting a white gown with a metallic belt, while Diggs opted for a gray suit and patterned tie.
Just four months after it was announced that he and Broadway star Idina Menzel had split up after nearly 11 years of marriage, E! News learned of the actor's new relationship with the model.
"They are 100 percent in love," a source told E! News at the time. "They have been dating for a while."
Back in December of last year, reps for Diggs and Menzel told E! News in a statement, "Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs have jointly decided to separate at this time. Their primary focus and concern is for their son. We ask that you respect their privacy during this time."
Diggs and Menzel, who met as members of the original Broadway cast of Rent in 1995, tied the knot on Jan. 11, 2003.
The couple has one child together, a son named Walker, who is 4-years-old.
What Makes Taye Diggs Cry?(6/29/14) Taye Diggs, who can't resist ice cream or sneakers, chatted with PEOPLE this week about "one last thing" ...
Ben & Jerry's cookie-dough ice cream. Of course I ate the whole thing. I tell myself not to, but it never happens. When I was 23, I could eat one every night, but those days are over.
Last thing I took from a set
A pair of sneakers. My sneakers proliferate. But I take them, so that's not really borrowing. I don't know how many I have, but I'm a big fan of the old-school Jordans.
Last time I cried
I cry at commercials now. There's one with a bunch of wheelchair basketball players, and you hear something about friendship, and at the end they all get up out of the chairs except for one dude. It's great.
Last time I was starstruck
It's not that difficult for me. I played basketball with [Leonardo] DiCaprio, and I was just reminded of how cool some of these people are in real life. He was just very gracious.
'The Leftovers' series premiere: Amy Brenneman and Liv Tyler bonded by Guilty Remnant(6/29/14) What has happened to the world?
The question can be asked generally, but it has a more specific application in the case of "The Leftovers," HBO's series adaptation of Tom Perrotta's novel about the aftermath of the so-called Sudden Departure, a possible Rapture that has taken 2 percent of the population -- or 140 million people -- from the planet. Developed for television by executive producers Perrotta and Damon Lindelof ("Lost"), the drama premieres Sunday (June 29).
Also an executive producer of the show, Peter Berg ("Friday Night Lights") directed the pilot. It introduces the fictional town of Mapleton, N.Y., where police chief Kevin Garvey (played by Justin Theroux) worries about his children (Margaret Qualley, Chris Zylka) while also maintaining concerns about the cultish and literally silent Guilty Remnant, a group that preys upon the remaining residents who search for meaning and a return to normalcy. Actually, make that "relative normalcy."
Amy Brenneman, Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston, Carrie Coon, Amanda Warren, Ann Dowd and Michael Gaston are among other members of the ensemble cast of "The Leftovers." Perrotta tells Zap2it he appreciates the series' "interesting, and deeper, take on my book. Having Damon Lindelof as a collaborator has added a jolt of energy, and a visual medium requires that."
Perrotta also knows that from the movie versions of his novels "Election" and "Little Children," but he says, "The great thing about TV is that it affords the writer an opportunity to be involved on the production end, and to have an ongoing involvement in the show. Usually, once the script is written your job is done. Before long, we're going to move beyond the confines of the book, and then we're creating something new."
After movies including "Armageddon," "That Thing You Do!" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Tyler makes her series debut in "The Leftovers." She says she's been happy to help keep a sense of mystery about the show, to the degree that when she shows up for work, "I usually just get in the van and don't even ask where we're going. It's usually 25 to 45 minutes outside the city (New York), and it's always different. Which is strange, because you'd think there is one town that is the town of Mapleton."
"The Leftovers" is such a unique TV venture, Tyler notes that fact has heightened her adjustment to doing series television. "When you watch all the shows, you think it's just like making a movie -- the episodes are like little mini-movies -- but the truth is that it's really quite different. I suppose the hardest thing is accepting being comfortable with the unknown, because we're always waiting for the next script to see what's going to happen to our characters.
"I didn't realize what a control freak I am," Tyler adds with a laugh. "I consider myself 'quietly organized' in my own little weird way, but I'm also pretty relaxed and spontaneous. I'm adaptable, but we started filming this in the dead of winter, and it was just really cold. And It was this strange feeling of not knowing what we were doing, ever. Now it's a few months in, and our characters are starting to flourish, and we're like a family."
Tyler's Meg gets Brenneman's wordless Laurie as her guide into the Guilty Remnant. For the typically lively veteran of such other shows as "NYPD Blue," "Judging Amy" and "Private Practice," conveying thoughts and emotions without speaking is a fresh challenge.
"When I met with Damon Lindelof about a year ago," Brenneman recalls. "He said. 'OK, here's why you shouldn't take this job.' I said, 'OK, lay it on me.' He said, 'You don't wear any makeup, you don't talk, and it shoots in New York.' (The actress resides in California.) And I was like, 'All right. I'm in.' "
Brenneman allows she's been "incredibly lucky in the shows I've done. I've been able to do all that contemporary stuff reflecting modern life, and this is sort of epic and mythic. I keep saying that it's more like a theater piece, really, in what I get to do. I've felt very supported, but I've felt very much in the wilderness with it. I'm pretty self-sufficient and an actor and I like that, but I truly am very vulnerable here emotionally, and I also have no way to gauge what I'm doing."
That's based not only on Brenneman's touchstones from her previous work, but also on "The Leftovers" being very much its own creature
"There's no template," she confirms. "I can't look to a procedural show or a performer. I'm kind of on my own, but there were two things I've done in the past that I thought about a lot: (the 1995 movie) 'Heat,' in terms of it being an epic tapestry and me being one piece of it, and (the 1998 film) 'Your Friends & Neighbors,' in which I played a very repressed person. It's interesting for me, as someone who has a lot to express, to not express it."
Though he hasn't had a hand in writing all the "Leftovers" episodes, Perrotta likes the quality control his executive-producer role affords him even when his name isn't on a script.
"One of the things that has appealed to me about TV," he reasons, "as it's come to be defined in the past decade or so, is the fact that audiences are just so interested in living with characters over long periods. Those become very powerful relationships. Even the novel doesn't have that kind of staying power."
Grey's Anatomy Promotes Caterina Scorsone to Series Regular(6/23/14) As expected, Amelia Shepherd is sticking around Seattle!
Caterina Scorsone has been promoted to series regular for Grey's Anatomy's upcoming 11th season, TVGuide.com has learned.
During Season 10, Scorsone reprised her Private Practice role as Amelia Shepherd, the younger sister of Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey). Amelia decided to call things off with Los Angeles-based fiancé James (Matt Long) so she could stay in Seattle.
Are you happy that Amelia will be sticking around?
Kate Walsh sizzles in teeny bikini(6/16/14) (Photo) Look what Walshed up on shore.
Kate Walsh showed off her figure in a yellow bikini while splashing around on Miami Beach on Sunday.
The “Fargo” actress was joined by boyfriend Chris Case (not pictured). The 46-year-old and her beau couldn’t hide their affection for each other as they kissed in the warm, blue water.
Although she was soaking up the sun, Walsh made time to wish family and friends a happy Father’s Day.
@katewalsh : Happy Father's Day to Chris, Joe Walsh sr., Hal and @DylanMcDermott ..."dad??"
Watch Shonda Rhimes' Dartmouth Commencement Address: 'Ditch the dream and be a doer'(6/10/14) Shonda Rhimes, scribe of "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal," "How To Get Away With Murder" ... and now, one of Dartmouth's best commencement addresses ever.
The ABC queen of drama gave one of the most inspiring and unique graduation speeches when she gave a 20-minute address at Dartmouth College's graduation ceremony on Sunday (June 8). The best part? When Rhimes told graduates to "ditch the dream."
"Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change," Rhimes says in her speech. "So, lesson one, I guess is: Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer. Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of being, or maybe you're paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn't matter. You don't have to know. You just have to keep moving forward."
Skip ahead to 1:41:20 to watch Rhimes's full speech here: video.
'Murder in the First' series premiere: Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson pursue Tom Felton(6/10/14) Having made "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue," the producer who has given television some of its most memorable police teams is attempting it again.
Steven Bochco gets back in the series game with "Murder in the First," a TNT drama that -- not unlike his 1995-97 ABC show "Murder One" -- tracks one case over an entire season starting Monday (June 9). Taye Diggs ("Private Practice") and Kathleen Robertson ("Boss") play San Francisco homicide partners who determine two killings have links to an aggressively self-assured young Silicon Valley tycoon (Tom Felton, alias Draco Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" movies).
"We spent a lot of time hanging with homicide detectives in San Francisco," says Bochco, who's associated with writer-producer Eric Lodal on the project, "and it's a different world than it was 15 or 20 years ago.
"The gender lines have blurred enormously," Bochco tells Zap2it. "There's a lot of easy back-and-forth between the men and women, and there's not that sort of old-school mistrust that older male detectives had for women. That's very refreshing, and there's also more of an informality in the environment, which is nice."
Those aspects clearly inform the professional partnership of Terry English (Diggs) and Hildy Mulligan (Robertson) as each struggles with personal dilemmas. She's a single mother trying to keep bill collectors at bay, while he has a critically ill wife at home. When it comes to doing their jobs, they try to be of one mind -- though that doesn't always work, as "Murder in the First" proves right from the opening episode.
"Steven explained to me that it's very important for him to know the person" who's playing a role, says Robertson, also seen recently on A&E Network's "Bates Motel" and well remembered as the willful Clare Arnold on "Beverly Hills, 90210."
"Then he can write to them, and he has the true essence of who they are. I'm sure when he met with me and Taye separately, that was part of the decision ... like, 'These two would be an very interesting combination.'
"I approach things in a very specific way," Robertson allows. "My energy is very different from Taye's, since he's very much a quiet observer. I'm much more the person who asks 101 questions. I'm a writer as well, so I kind of come at everything from that brain."
After six seasons on ABC's "Private Practice," Diggs agrees he's playing Terry on "Murder in the First" as moody, with the occasional outburst. "I've always come from the school of 'less is more,' " he reasons, "so it's been great to sink into the stillness of this character, even though he can fly off the handle when a situation taunts him. Generally speaking, this guy is deliberate and slow and concentrated, and it's been a refreshing departure."
So has the premise of a single story that spans one season. "It allows us to really take advantage of the opportunity to live and move in a character, without the broad strokes you have to have in a closed-end episode," Diggs reflects.
Previously a Broadway star in "Rent" and "Carousel," Diggs is glad to be back in San Francisco, which he calls "definitely a friend of mine. I love working there, and it's always good to go there to shoot exteriors for this."
Bochco confirms he finds it "really wonderful to watch" Diggs and Robertson together. "Kathleen is so forward, you can read her face; every moment, stuff is going on there, but Taye is kind of laid-back. Emotionally, he plays his cards closer to the vest and doesn't reveal as much of himself as easily. To explore the way two cops learn to be intimate with each other when they have such different personalities is really interesting."
Another of Bochco's joys in assembling the "Murder in the First" cast lies in re-enlisting familiar faces he's employed in other series, including Richard Schiff ("Brooklyn South"), Peter Onorati ("Civil Wars") and Currie Graham (an "NYPD Blue" alum who returned for Bochco's previous TNT show, "Raising the Bar"). James Cromwell ("Betrayal") and Steven Weber ("Wings") also are among the major players.
"One of the things that's so great about doing a show like 'Murder in the First,' " Bochco reasons, "where you have a single story arc for one season, is that you can access actors who normally aren't going to sign up for five years."
By the same token, Bochco says devising a 10-episode cable season instead of a 22-episode broadcast order "eliminates pretty much all the bagel dough. Sustaining 22 can be really hard, especially when you don't know where you're going to end. I didn't figure out the ending of 'Murder One' until I was about 15 episodes in."
While Bochco allows "there are certain similarities" to that earlier show in following one main story through one season, "What's different -- and what I like so much about this one -- is that it starts out as a police-driven murder mystery, and as it develops, it becomes a legal drama. And then, it circles back and becomes a police drama again.
"One of the things that's so terrific about San Francisco for us, conceptually," adds Bochco, "is that the entire criminal justice system is housed in one building: the police department, the court system, the D.A.'s office the jail, the medical examiner. The way you can cross-pollinate and have everybody accessing everybody, pretty much at a moment's notice, makes it really fun. San Francisco is unique that way."
Sightings(6/10/14) Tony winner Bryan Cranston and the cast of “All the Way” partying at Redeye Grill on Sunday with Audra McDonald and Harvey Weinstein.
Taye Diggs: 'It Was Easy for People to Root for' Me and Idina Menzel(6/9/14) When Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel broke up, so did the hearts of Broadway fans.
And Diggs, 43, knows people are rooting for them to get back together after separating in December, he tells Redbook magazine.
"I'd be lying if I said there weren't times when I thought, Oh, man, people are going to trip out [if we split]. Maybe they thought it was cute that we met in Rent," he says. "There weren't a lot of couples like us in the theater community – and I know there aren't a lot of performers as talented as she is … and then you have the whole mixed [race] thing."
Regardless of the status of their relationship, the star of TNT's new show Murder in the First says he and Menzel – who entertained a whole new generation of musical lovers as the voice of Elsa in Disney's Frozen – are committed to their son Walker, 4.
"It was easy for people to root for us," he says. "Right now, we're still trying to figure out a lot of stuff because we're on different coasts and our son is getting older."
'Murder In The First's' Taye Diggs: Will he be dancing nude in 'Magic Mike 2'?(6/9/14) Taye Diggs ("Private Practice") is back in a role like you've never seen him before in TNT's "Murder In The First." The new series is a crime drama set in San Francisco that follows a single case across the length of a 10-episode season.
In "Murder In The First" Diggs plays homicide detective Terry English, who he describes to Zap2it as being "complicated and struggling with his inner demons."
In the 10 episodes, English and his partner Hildy Mulligan, played by "Beverly Hills 90210" star Kathleen Robertson, investigate two seemingly unrelated murders. However things start to get crazy when the two find out both murders have a common thread in Silicon Valley phenom Erich Blunt (Tom Felton).
Although the dramatic new series shoots both in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Diggs tells Zap2it he will always hang his hat on the east coast, "New York will always be my home base. That's another benefit of having the 10 episode season; it allows me to spend the time that I need to with my son and to work on other projects and just get back to the city living that I love."
Broadway fans fear not, Diggs says he plans to return to the stage, "I'm getting older, but I definitely know I want to sing and go back to doing the stuff I started in the business doing--the triple threat sing, dance and act. I don't know how many roles they have for a 43-year-old with bad knees, so I gotta try to find that. Whether it's on stage or a Broadway movie,I definitely want to do that again before I call it quits."
When asked if there were any truth to the rumors Diggs would be joining the cast of the sexy male stripper film "Magic Mike 2" ,the actor seemed hopeful, "I want there to be. Maybe if I start saying yes it will happen, but I don't want to jinx it. I'm a fan of Channing (Tatum)'s and I would love to be invited to the party. I had an issue with the fact there were no black people in the first one. That upset me. So I would love to be the first."
Make sure to catch "Murder In The First" Monday, June 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Audra McDonald makes Tony history(6/9/14) A veteran and a newbie made history Sunday at the Tony Awards.
Audra McDonald became the show's most decorated actress while Bryan Cranston won a best actor trophy for his Broadway debut.
McDonald won her sixth Tony for portraying Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill," putting her ahead of five-time winners Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for the most competitive wins by an actress.
The latest win — for best lead actress in a play — also makes McDonald the first grand-slam performance winner. She previously won as best featured actress in a play ("A Raisin in the Sun" and "Master Class"), best lead actress in a musical ("The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess") and best featured actress in a musical ("Ragtime" and "Carousel").
Cranston — in a role far from TV's chemistry teacher-turned-meth kingpin Walter White — won the best lead actor in a play Tony on Sunday for playing former President Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan's "All the Way."
Hugh Jackman kicked off the Tony Awards with a bounce, hopping up and down like a kangaroo during his opening number Sunday. Big, high-kicking musical numbers from "After Midnight," ''Aladdin," ''Rocky" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" kept the energy level up during the Tonys' first hour but no clear overall winning show had yet emerged.
The bearded Australian, back as host after a nine-year absence, greeted many of the night's featured performers as he cheerfully bounded past them backstage. He then joined the cast of the musical "After Midnight" for a rousing rendition of "It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got that Swing)."
The first award of the night was for best featured actor in a play and it went to Mark Rylance, who won his third Tony for playing the countess Olivia in "Twelfth Night." Rylance, who previously won for "Jerusalem" and "Boeing-Boeing," is also nominated for best lead actor honors for his evil title character in "Richard III."
The best featured actress in a musical Tony went to Lena Hall in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," playing a woman who dresses as a man and plays Neil Patrick Harris' boyfriend. Hall wished her dad a happy birthday and gave a shout-out to her soon-to-be-born niece. "Friendship is magic," she said.
Darko Tresnjak won for directing the musical "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" and thanked his mother, a skydiver during World War II now too frail to be there. The musical also won for best book of a musical and costumes for a musical. Away from the cameras, the now-closed musical "The Bridges of Madison County" won for best score and best orchestration.
Kenny Leon won his first Tony for directing the revival of "A Raisin in the Sun." He thanked, among other, his star Denzel Washington, and the women in his life. He even managed to plug his next work, "Holler If Ya Hear Me."
One of his "Raisin" stars, Sophie Okonedo, won for best featured actress in a play. "I am loving it on Broadway," she said. She thanked producer Scott Rudin for believing that a "Jewish, Nigerian Brit" could play the iconic role of Ruth Younger.
James Monroe Iglehart, who plays the manic Genie in "Aladdin," won for best featured actor in a musical and could barely contain his glee as he thanked a long list of people that included God and his wife.
Jackman has lost none of his style, affability and humor in the nine years since he last hosted. He will be singing several songs — including all the parts from the first song in "The Music Man" — and will tease the nominees goodheartedly.
Stars helping present awards included Bradley Cooper, Kevin Bacon, Clint Eastwood, Leighton Meester, Kenneth Branagh, Kate Mara, Emmy Rossum, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Zachary Quinto.
Some 870 Tony voters — members of professional groups such as the Wing, the League, Actors' Equity Association, the Dramatists Guild and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society — decided the final 26 competitive awards. Only Broadway shows that opened in the 12 months ending April 24 are eligible.
A music-heavy lineup has been promised that includes all the best new musical nominees — "Aladdin," ''After Midnight," ''Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" and "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" — and some overlooked ones, including "Rocky," ''Bullets Over Broadway," and Idina Menzel's show "If/Then."
Three revivals — "Les Miserables," ''Violet" and "Cabaret" — will be featured. "Wicked," which is celebrating a decade on Broadway, will have its current Glinda and Elphaba sing "For Good," and there will be songs from two shows that have yet to arrive: Sting will perform from his musical "The Last Ship" and Jennifer Hudson sings from "Finding Neverland," the musical about Peter Pan.
For best play candidates, the playwrights of "Act One," ''All The Way," ''Casa Valentina," ''Mothers and Sons" and "Outside Mullingar" will each take turns introducing video snippets of their works.
This year, Broadway producers have a reason to party. The season's box offices hit a record total gross of $1.27 billion — up from $1.13 billion the previous season — and attendance was up 5.6 percent to 12.2 million.
Taye Diggs plays it tough, tender in new TV drama(6/6/14) Taye Diggs can claim an actor's version of scoring a hat trick: He's worked with a trio of television's most innovative writer-producers.
Diggs, who visited David E. Kelley's "Ally McBeal" as attorney Jackson Duper and played Dr. Sam Bennett on Shonda Rhimes' "Private Practice," is starring in a new drama, "Murder in the First," co-created by veteran Steven Bochco.
"There's something to be said for putting out in the universe that which you want to claim. It's happened to me three times," he said.
In the latest instance, he was eager to be part of a project "where it's about relationships and not just catching crooks and jumping over buses and whatnot," said Diggs, who's casual and candid in a phone interview.
"Murder in the First," despite the procedural-sounding title, turned out to be just such an opportunity. It debuts at 10 p.m. EDT Monday on TNT.
Diggs' character is San Francisco police homicide Detective Terry English, who's paired with fellow detective Hildy Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson). The officers are admirably dedicated but have more to their lives than work.
Terry's burden is a tragic one, the terminal illness of his wife (Anne-Marie Johnson). Hildy is a single mom who, at least in episode one, appears to have a limited network of support to raise her bright daughter.
The series crisscrosses between the detectives' off-duty lives and their efforts to crack two killings with a high-profile link, a Silicon Valley whiz kid who takes arrogance to a new level. He's played by Tom Felton, of Draco Malfoy fame from the "Harry Potter" film franchise.
Richard Schiff, Nicole Ari Parker, James Cromwell and Steven Weber are among the co-stars.
"Murder in the First," created by Bochco and Eric Lodal, will wrap its investigation within the 10-episode season. If viewers are hooked, the drama will be back with another case to solve.
Bochco took a similar approach with his 1990s series "Murder One," which focused in its freshman year on a single crime. The ABC series was critically lauded but was ahead of its time, and its low ratings prompted a switch to a multiple-murder story line for its second and final season.
In the new TNT drama, the case focus is narrow but the approach is ambitiously multilayered, said Bochco, whose groundbreaking series include "Hill Street Blues," ''L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue."
"Murder in the First" is a "cop show, it's a legal drama, and then it's a courtroom drama. And so what we've tried to do is to pretty much encompass the whole of the criminal justice system," he said.
Diggs, for one, was quickly sold on the concept of "Murder in the First" and agreed to temporarily pull up stakes from New York City.
"Bochco and Lodal were so excited about it they got me excited. I was not excited about the fact it was shot in Los Angeles," Diggs, 43, said, with exteriors taped in San Francisco. "But hearing their ideas and the future of the character, Terry, I couldn't help but get drawn in."
He's back in New York for the summer, spending time with his son (with "Frozen" star Idina Menzel; the couple separated in 2013) and weighing how to get back to his stage roots. Although his resume includes "Rent" and other Broadway productions, he's toying with the idea of something other than a musical.
"I want to get together a group of other concert singer-actors and see if we can put together a kind of Rat Pack-ish crew," he said. "Something that harkens back to Sinatra and his friends."
Would Diggs be Frank, the main man? No, he replied. He has a more modern, inclusive approach in mind.
"It would be a new take, where we're all a mixture of everybody," Diggs said.
'All the Way,' 'Gentleman's Guide' win Drama Desk(6/2/14) The Drama Desk Awards have been handed out to Robert Schenkkan's "All the Way" for outstanding play and to "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" for outstanding musical.
"Twelfth Night' won for outstanding play revival on Sunday and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" won for most outstanding musical.
Bryan Cranston won best actor in a play, Audra McDonald won best actress in a play, Jessie Mueller won best actress in a musical, and Neil Patrick Harris from "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and Jefferson Mays from "A Gentleman's Guide" tied for best actor in a musical.
Overall, "A Gentleman's Guide" won a leading six awards and "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" won a next-best three awards. Seven other productions shared two awards each.
Shonda Rhimes Inks New Four-Year Deal With ABC Studios(5/13/14) After lengthy negotiations, ABC Studios/Disney has closed a new mega deal with ABC’s most important drama producer, Shonda Rhimes. The four-year extension, valued at eight figures, will keep Rhimes at ABC Studios through May 2018. Rhimes has created three series for ABC and its sister studio, all of which have gone the distance: Grey’s Anatomy, which is going into its 11th season, sizzling DC drama Scandal, which is heading into Season 4, and Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Private Practice, which ran for six seasons. Additionally, though her ABC Studios-based company ShondaLand with producing partner Betsy Beers, Rhimes has produced a number of projects for the studio. The latest, drama How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis, was ABC’s hottest pilot this season, easily landing a series order and a spot on ABC’s fall schedule. Rhimes is with ICM Partners.
Shonda Rhimes owns ABC's 2014-15 Thursdays with 'Grey's,' 'Scandal' and 'How to Get Away With Murder'(5/13/14) ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee calls Shonda Rhimes, creator of the network's hits "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," "one of the greatest voices on television." That's probably why the network is betting on the veteran writer to take over ABC's Thursday nights, adding her new drama, "How to Get Away With Murder," to the lineup at 10 p.m. ET/PT after her two existing hits.
"I couldn't be more pleased to have that clean flow to the night. Three really powerful dramas," Lee says on a call with reporters to announce the network's 2014-15 TV schedule.
"Scandal" will now go up against NBC's big hit "The Blacklist" beginning in February, but Lee says the schedule was set before NBC announced its move. "We had already landed this lineup," he says, but ABC isn't worried. "We're very confident with 'Scandal.' It's a truly great show."
Lee is similarly enthusiastic about "Grey's Anatomy." "'Grey's' is [going into] its 11th season and still a very powerful show," he says, later adding that the network is "confident" in the show's staying power. "We're really happy for the 'Grey's'/'Scandal' combination to stay together."
Rhimes is an executive producer of "How to Get Away With Murder," which was created by "Scandal" and "Grey's" writer-producer Peter Nowalk.
Shonda Rhimes -- Sued for Medical Malpractice ... TV Style(5/11/14) "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes has fake doctors in her life, but now she's about to get close to real lawyers ... because she's being sued for allegedly ripping off a struggling writer.
Debra Feldman claims in her lawsuit ... Rhimes got hold of her manuscript, "The Red Tattoo," and used it as a template for her doomed series, "Off the Map" -- about U.S. doctors working in a remote South American village.
Feldman says no one on Rhimes team knew squat about medical treatment on a third-world island, so she must have lifted it from "The Red Tattoo."
Shonda's rep tells TMZ, “It is our policy not to comment on frivolous claims”
Fall TV 2014: NBC adds 'Bad Judge'(5/9/14) "Bad Judge" stars Kate Walsh ("Fargo," "Private Practice") as the title character, a respected judge who lives an unapologetically wild life outside the coutroom. That may have to change, though, when she takes in an 8-year-old boy whose parents she put in jail. Chad Kultgen ("The Incredible Burt Wonderstone") created the show and executive produces with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, via their Gary Sanchez Productions.
Caterina Scorsone reveals Amelia will finally get to know Meredith(5/1/14) After a couple of years, Caterina Scorsone is making her way back to "Grey's Anatomy" to reprise her role as Derek's sister Amelia. The "Private Practice" alum spoke with Zap2it about how much Amelia has changed since her time on the spinoff series, and what her presence on "Grey's Anatomy" now means for her future.
Zap2it: It was so great seeing you back on "Grey's Anatomy" last week. What was it like coming back to the show to reprise your role?
Caterina Scorsone: It was surprisingly easy regardless of the gap in between. I just know everyone over there really well and I have friends both in front of the camera and behind the camera. I love the writing and I love the character of Amelia.
Viewers saw Amelia in a really vulnerable place after her disastrous day of taking care of Derek and Meredith's kids. Where is her head at now?
She's at a real important period in her life. She's finally gotten herself together enough that she's been in a long-term relationship with somebody who's not a drug addict. [laughs] He's popped the big question and she's suddenly forced to consider her life and what she wants going into the future. For someone who has a past like Amelia does, she has a lot of questions about herself and a lot of doubts about what she can handle and what she really wants. She's seeking wisdom from her big brother Derek.
So what does this mean for Amelia's future?
We'll have to see what happens with what she ends up deciding to do. She's freaked out! She has this great guy who's been there for her and he wants to get married and have kids. If fans remember him from "Private Practice," he's a little more traditional in the way he was raised. But hey, Amelia was raised pretty traditionally too. He's just a really solid guy and she doesn't know if she can be his wife and the mother of his children was also being a surgeon, because that's what she's really passionate about. That's what kept her sober and sane.
How long will we see Amelia on "Grey's Anatomy?"
Amelia is in three more this season, all the episodes left this season. And in the next episode, she gets tapped to participate in a very complicated surgery that Derek is working on involving conjoined twins. Amelia is asked to help since there are two brains at stake. So you'll see her in the hospital, and she has privileges at Grey Sloan Memorial.
Wow, I didn't realize Amelia was here for the rest of the season! That's awesome. Is there any chance you'll be sticking around past this season, too?
I sure hope so. I honestly do not know what is going to happen. The hiatus is coming and upfronts are coming, writers are sitting down in the writers room starting to plan next year, so I don't know what they have in store. But I'm absolutely game for whatever it might be!
What are you most excited for fans to see from Amelia's return?
I'm just glad that she's still standing. On "Private Practice" she endured such an unthinkable tragedy and time has passed, and she was able to weather those storms and overcome them and she's still herself. She's learned a lot and has a lot of wisdom from what's happened. It didn't kill her. It made her stronger. And she's still got her humor intact which is important for.
What can you tease about Thursday's (May 1) episode, "We Are Never Getting Back Together?"
She'll start to get closer to Meredith, and she's never really had that opportunity before. She'll get to build a real relationship with her for the first time, since Amelia was always closer to Addison. Now Amelia can get to know Meredith in a grown-up way.
Grey's Anatomy: Will Amelia Stay in Seattle?(4/30/14) With Sandra Oh leaving Grey's Anatomy, the new vacancy at Grey Sloan could be quickly filled by Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone).
Derek's lil sis returned last week to test out what family life is like now that James (Matt Long) has proposed to her. Unfortunately, Amelia's babysitting experiment ended with disastrous results, as she realized that being a stay-at-home mom isn't nearly as easy as it appears, and she decides to stay in Seattle for the foreseeable future. "She's going to be hanging out in Seattle at least until the end of the season and grappling with questions both personal and professional," Scorsone tells TVGuide.com.
Naturally, James will be pretty miffed about his new fiancée running away, especially when she starts to see Seattle as a permanent solution. "We see that James is not happy with the fact that Amelia has abandoned ship a little bit and hitched over to Seattle to freak out," Scorsone says, also (unfortunately) revealing that Long will not pop up. "There's a lot of discussion and Amelia is talking to James very actively, but we don't actually see Matt's lovely face."
After years apart from her brother, Derek (Patrick Dempsey), Amelia will be especially enticed by the possibility of forging a bond with him. "He seems to have eased up on her a little in terms of her status as the black sheep of the family," she says. "He's forgiven her for some of her past behavior as he's seen her mature and deal with her own tragedies and come through them with grace. She's back in the hospital in the next episode and they're working on this very complicated neurology case involving conjoined twins that he has actually asked her to participate on because he needs another skilled neurosurgeon because they're dealing with two brains. He's reluctantly pretty impressed with her as a surgeon."
Staying at the Dream House will also provide Amelia the opportunity to connect with her sister-in-law Meredith (Ellen Pompeo). "Amelia was very close to Addison on Private Practice, but because Derek was in Seattle, she never really got a chance to know Meredith very well," Scorsone says. "Meredith is leaning on her for a little bit of help with the childcare now that Derek is shuttling back and forth to Washington. Amelia starts to lean on Meredith a little as she's struggling with her questions on engagement, marriage, children and her career."
As for those left behind in Los Angeles, don't expect to learn too much about what's been going on with the gang at Seaside Wellness, though there will be a few hints. "She definitely talks about the dynamic of Seaside Wellness versus the dynamic at Grey Sloan Memorial," Scorsone says. "You get a sense of the different tones of the hospital and the practice, but also of the two shows."
So, will Scorsone be sticking around full time next season? "There's always a chance," she says. "I leave my fate in Shonda [Rhimes]' capable hands. I know the writers are going to be getting together with Shonda at the helm to figure out what the story is going to be next year pretty soon, so hopefully Amelia will get to stick around and play. Both Shonda and I talked about, when Private Practice ended, that Amelia's story wasn't done yet. I'm happy to be back for at least a few episodes to explore where Amelia ends up after going through all the wonderful and terrible things that she went through a couple years ago."
Are you excited to see what happens with Amelia?
Grey's Anatomy's Caterina Scorsone: Will Amelia 'Betray' Addison By Joining Team Meredith?(4/30/14) (tvline.com) Shonda Rhimes has resurrected a bit of Private Practice by bringing Grey’s Anatomy doc Derek Shepherd’s recovering addict sister Amelia back to Seattle. As Caterina Scorsone‘s recurring run continues this Thursday (ABC, 9/8c), Amelia will back pocket her loyalty to Addison to consider joining Team Meredith, reveal some truths about her complicated personal life and, yes, work some medical magic. Here, Scorsone previews all that and an “explosive” season finale.
TVLINE | How did this return come about? What were you up to when you got the call?
I’d been talking to Shonda [Rhimes] on and off ever since Private Practice ended — I love her and we have a great relationship. She has always liked the character of Amelia, so it was kind of always in the back of I think both of our minds that it would be possible that Amelia would come over. But in between Private Practice and now, two big things happened. One, I did a sort of action movie, The November Man, with Pierce Brosnan, and I had my baby, so I’ve been home with her breastfeeding in between. That’s pretty much what I was doing in the interim.
TVLINE | What did Shonda tell you up front about the “why” of Amelia’s return, what she wanted to do with you this time around?
She stays very tight-lipped, as you know, so all she told me was that Amelia would come to Seattle and there would be stuff with Derek and the babies, and that she was “mulling.” That’s a key term for her, she was like, “I’m mulling…. I’m not sure exactly where it’s going to go, but I’m mulling.”
TVLINE | From those first couple scenes, Amelia almost seems a little bipolar. I mean, she arrives all chipper and by the end of the episode she’s ready to “check out.”
Well, I think if anyone has experienced spending an entire day with two small children, it can make anybody feel bipolar. You’re laughing and thrilled one minute and close to tears the next. It’s a long day with toddlers.
TVLINE | I was looking at my first interview with you, from 2010, and I asked you for three words to describe Amelia. You said “wild card,” “black sheep” and “lovable.” Do all of those still apply?
Absolutely. I think now she’s also got some wisdom that comes with pain.
TVLINE | And maybe now she’s more of a “gray” sheep.
She may be more of a gray sheep. I mean, it’s all contained within her.
TVLINE | Is she still battling any demons?
Absolutely. Amelia is not an uncomplicated character. She’s endured enough traumas that she’ll be working it out for the rest of her life. So, I’m sure there’s plenty to plumb in the coming episodes.
TVLINE | Tell me about the case that Derek and Amelia work on in this week’s episode.
It’s a very complicated neurology case involving conjoined twins, so we need two neurosurgeons working in tandem, because you’ve got two brains as one. Luckily, both Shepherd siblings are brilliant neurosurgeons.
TVLINE | And then in the May 8 episode, Meredith becomes privy to Amelia’s true feelings about being in Seattle. Is there more to what’s going on with James than we’ve heard thus far?
Again, I think like everything in Amelia’s life is a complicated situation. One of the nice things that starts to happen in the next episode is there starts to be a bit of a bond formed between Amelia and Meredith. Amelia was always very, very close to Addison, Derek’s ex-wife, so she hasn’t really had an opportunity to get close to Meredith – it was almost like a “conflict of interest.” But as it turns out, Derek knows how to pick them, so she starts getting closer to Meredith.
TVLINE | What can you tease about the May 15 season finale? We know that there’s some sort of terrorist event that floods the hospital with patients.
Yes, it’s an explosive episode. It’s going to be “all hands on deck,” absolutely. It’s chaos. It’s Shondaland!
TVLINE | Do you think Shonda might want you back for, at the very least, the start of Season 11?
I sure hope so. To the very last second, we don’t know what’s happening as the actors on the front line. But there are so many complicated aspects to where this story could go in the future. I would absolutely be game to play in this world as long as she wanted me there.
TVLINE | By then, maybe Amelia will be single and ready to mingle?
Who knows. We’ll have to find out. Whatever happens, there will be drama!
2014 Tony Award nominations(4/29/14) Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play
Tyne Daly, Mothers and Sons
Has Taye Diggs Moved on from Idina Menzel?(4/16/14) (Photo) It appears Taye Diggs is ready for another shot at romance.
The actor, 43, was spotted out with a former model four months after announcing his separation from estranged wife Idina Menzel.
A source says Diggs and the woman, whose name is Amanda, enjoyed a date night at Hooray Henry's nightclub in West Hollywood on April 9 and appeared to be very much an item.
"They are fully dating. They're telling friends they're in love," said the source.
The couple were spotted two days later canoodling in business class on a red eye to New York City on Friday.
A rep for Diggs has yet to comment.
Audra McDonald watches husband star in 'Les Miserables'(3/25/14) Five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald began rehearsals this month for her latest Broadway show, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.”
But she was an audience member Sunday at the Imperial Theatre to see her husband Will Swenson star in the opening of Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of “Les Misérables,” with Nikki M. James and Ramin Karimloo.
Also at the performance and a Metropolitan Club after-party were Neil Patrick Harris, Colm Wilkinson and Meredith Vieira.
Private Practice's Caterina Scorsone Returning to Grey's Anatomy(3/18/14) Who's ready for a Shepherd family reunion?
Caterina Scorsone will reprise her Private Practice role as Amelia Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively.
Scorsone joined Private Practice's third season as Derek Shepherd's (Patrick Dempsey) younger neurosurgeon sister who previously struggled with drugs and alcohol after the death of their father.
Scorsone will return to Grey's —Amelia previously made her way to Seattle during Season 7 — in an episode slated for the beginning of May and will recur through the rest of Season 10. Details on why she makes her way back to Grey Sloan Memorial are being kept under wraps.
As Private Practice came to an end, Scorsone said she'd love to return to Grey's Anatomy in some capacity. "That would be wonderful," she told TVGuide.com at the time. "They have been so good to me here in Shondaland, if they ever wanted me to come and do a guest spot or anything — cook a soufflé — I would do anything."
Are you excited to see more of Amelia Shepherd?
'Reign': Amy Brenneman's mother to Mary Queen of Scots arrives to 'whip everyone into shape'(3/7/14) Mary Queen of Scots has let Queen Catherine's fear of Nostradamus' prophecies steer her away from marrying Francis -- the man she's been betrothed to ever since they were children -- right into his half-brother Bash's arms, changing the line of succession for the French crown along the way. The King, angered by all of Catherine's plotting and scheming, found her guilty of adultery and treason, and her execution is looming. Basically, everything's a mess at the French Court on The CW's "Reign."
That's why mama's coming to town.
On Thursday (March 6) night's all-new episode, "Consummation," Mary's mother Marie de Guise (guest star Amy Brenneman) arrives at the French Court to clean up Catherine's mess and get her daughter married to the next king of France -- but will that be Bash or Francis?
Brenneman isn't spilling. "Mary looks super pretty in the episode," Brenneman tells Zap2it coyly. "I can't tell you, I'm not supposed to tell you, I can't tell you who she marries! But the wedding is beautiful. And I also get to wear a killer dress."
Marie de Guise is a strong force in Thursday's episode, driven by her motivations and simply by her personality. "I would describe her as really smart, really competent, very strong. She's been running Scotland basically for 15 years waiting for Mary to grow up," Brenneman says. "Very few women, including Catherine de Medici, didn't actually run their country solo. So she is very impatient with what she sees is the hocus pocus going on in French court with Nostradamus and letting fortune tellers determine the course of nations."
The former "Private Practice" star reveals that Marie's arrival has a major impact on the rest of Court. "I sweep into court because it seems to me that Catherine has lost control," Brenneman says. "She's about to be beheaded. It's just absolutely ridiculous. So I come in to whip everybody into shape. And I do."
The fact that everything has changed due to a supernatural prophecy motivates Marie to get everything back to normal. "To Marie, the idea that decisions have been made because of a prophecy of Nostradamus' is absolutely ridiculous. That's what I'm most impatient with," Brenneman says. "This process of Bash becoming legitimate, honestly she doesn't have much patience for that either. But more, my beef is with Catherine. She's let this court go to hell. She literally lost it."
Marie isn't all too upset with her daughter for falling under the spell of Catherine's fear. "She's just a child. My beef is more with Catherine and how she influenced Mary and the whole court in this ridiculous way," Brenneman says. "My attitude with my own daughter is, 'Yes, you're young. You're going to believe in this and that, fall in love with such and such. You're a young passionate girl. That's why mama's here, because somebody needs to steer the ship.'"
Don't expect Catherine and Marie to be enemies. Quite the opposite, in fact. "We're of the same generation and really nobody understands what it's like to be in this position except one another, so they have this bond," Brenneman says. "And she's known Catherine for a long time and they have betrothed their children together and essentially been in business together. But also there's that added layer of how she has also been raising my daughter. I would say there is some rivalry in some ways but there's a lot of camaraderie as well."
Unfortunately we won't get to see Marie and Catherine's past in flashbacks, but Brenneman would love to see that in the future. "That's an awesome idea!" Brenneman says. "Marie may show up again in the future, so that would be actually super fun."
Marie and Catherine's complicated relationship has nothing on Marie and Mary's mother-daughter relationship.
"It's beyond complicated. Mary desperately wants her mother's love and Marie would like to give it to her but doesn't really know how," Brenneman says. "Although there is tenderness too and I think there is awareness of what has been lost with the way they've had to live since Mary was sent away at a young age for her safety. But I'm on her side, too. In some ways Mary is like the typical adolescent and there are moments where she is bucking and chafing."
While Brenneman knows the most shocking moment of the episode is "the fact that there is a wedding at all" and which brother Mary ends up with, she is most excited to see how Francis and Bash's brotherly relationship continues to decay.
"It's written very organically and performed so beautifully how messed up the relationship of the brothers gets," Brenneman says. "It gets really twisted and they both come to a place of hate. A lot of stuff that has been building, people have been taking off to not come to fisticuffs, it all boils up into this pretty, pretty messed up relationship that they now have."
"Reign" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
Reign's Wedding Day Is Here! Amy Brenneman Previews Her Debut: "French Court Has Gone to Hell"(3/6/14) Here comes the mother of the bride!
Reign fans will finally get to meet Mary's (Adelaide Kane) mother, Marie de Guise, played by Private Practice star Amy Brenneman, in tonight's epic wedding episode of the CW hit drama. After all, a girl can't get married without her mother beside her, right?
And Marie, who has been the acting regent of Scotland while waiting for her daughter to come of age, will have quite the entrance when she makes her debut in "Consummation," as Brenneman tells E! News, "My first thing that I say is 'French court has gone to hell,' and it goes on from there."
Talk about making an entrance!
So what can fans expect from Mary and Marie's reunion after a 10-year separation?
"There's a real formality. Mary is shy. I think probably Marie is shy too, but she has to cover up. But there's also real warmth, and I say to her privately, ‘I wish I could spend more time with you, but I couldn't, I was running a country,'" Brenneman explains. "It's not one note by any stretch."
But Marie will have no issue with expressing her opinion to Mary, especially regarding her daughter's belief in Nostradamus' (Rossif Sutherland) prophecy about Francis' (Toby Regbo) death and letting it cloud her decision-making.
"It's almost like she sweeps in and she finds them all addicted to opium or something," Brenneman laughs. "It's like ‘Wake up, what are we doing, what's happening, what's going on?' So she sort of just wakes them all up."
Brenneman continues, "She basically reams Catherine for listening to fortune tellers and literally changing the course of nations based on what Nostradamus says."
And while you'd think Marie and Catherine (Megan Follows) would be at each other's throats, Brenneman previews "a real camaraderie" between the two mothers, as well "as genuine concern on Marie's part when I see how beaten down Catherine is. I want her to be feistier actually. It's like, ‘Where did you go, what's happening to you?'"
Viewers can expect Marie's brief time at French court will have quite the lasting impact on Mary, with Brenneman teasing, "Mary stands on her own two feet a little bit more at the end versus the beginning, like being in contact with me has sort of forced her to grow up."
Hey, what else are mothers for?
For now, Brenneman says she just appears in the one episode, but she's hoping to return if she can squeeze it into her filming schedule for HBO's The Leftovers. "That's going to be tough, but no door was shut."
Reign airs tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW.
51st annual ICG Publicists Awards Winners Announced(3/1/14) Television Showmanship Award
Tim Daly Joins CBS' Madam Secretary(2/26/14) Private Practice alum Tim Daly has joined CBS' Madam Secretary, TVGuide.com.
Secretary stars Tea Leoni as Elizabeth McGill, a maverick Secretary of State who oversees the nation's foreign policy while trying to raise a family. Daly will play Elizabeth's husband Henry, a tweedy academic type who is an expert on medieval religious history.
Joan of Arcadia creator Barbara Hall wrote the pilot and will executive-produce with Oscar winner Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary (Invictus) and Tracy Mercer (Through the Wormhole).
Daly recently recurred on TV Land's Hot in Cleveland and will play a love interest to Mindy Kaling's character on The Mindy Project when the Fox comedy returns from hiatus.
The Mindy Project Recruits Tim Daly(2/19/14) Might Tim Daly hang his TV shingle once more?
The former Private Practice doc will guest-star on Fox’s The Mindy Project this season.
Daly retweeted the news Wednesday.
No details are available on whether Daly’s character will be another physician — the show is set in an OB-GYN office, after all — or someone else completely.
Regardless, given Mindy’s predilection for good-looking flings (see also: Timothy Olyphant, BJ Novak, etc.), maybe Danny should be worried…
Daly’s credits include Wings, The Sopranos and The Nine. He recently played a Texas Ranger on an episode of CBS’ Hawaii Five-0.
KaDee Strickland Joins 'Secrets & Lies'(2/19/14) Private Practice alumna KaDee Strickland is returning to ABC with a co-starring role opposite Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis in the network’s drama pilot Secrets & Lies, which has a series penalty. An adaptation of the upcoming Australian crime mystery series, Secrets & Lies centers on Ben (Phillippe), a family man who becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a young boy when he finds the body. Strickland will play Ben’s wife Christy whose feelings towards Ben are complicated by the discovery of the neighbor boy’s body. Also cast in the project is young actress Belle Shouse as Ben and Christy’s younger daughter Abby. Charles McDougall is directing Secrets & Lies, from ABC Studios, Hoodlum and Kapital Entertainment.
Surprise! Kate Walsh Was Supposed to Play the Mom on This Amazing CW Show(2/5/14) Forget How I Met Your Mother, we're more interested in how Reign cast Mary's (Adelaide Kane) mother, Marie de Guise, the acting regent of Scotland.
Private Practice star Amy Brenneman landed the part that has history buffs nerding out on the CW royal drama and is set to make her highly anticipated debut in the breakout hit's March 6 outing. And after Brenneman was cast in the pivotal role, executive producer Laurie McCarthy gushed, "We've been waiting for just the right moment, and the actor, to introduce Mary's mother...Amy Brenneman's talent, strength and beauty illuminate even the darker corners of Marie de Guise." And when we chatted with McCarthy, she said her first thought when they started talking about the Marie de Guise storyline was, "When is Amy going to be available?"
Seems like Brenneman was their first and only choice, right? (Especially when you consider the fact that her husband Brad Silberling is an executive producer on the series!) Not so much, at least according to Brenneman, who spills to E! News that she wasn't the first actor in mind for the role—her Private Practice co-star and friend Kate Walsh was!
"Kate Walsh was going to do it. It wasn't really on my radar much, and then Kate, Brad and I all went out, like maybe the end of the summer, beginning of the fall, and she was like, ‘I love the show.,'" Brenneman explains. "They didn't get very far with it because she's involved with some projects that they wouldn't let her out essentially. So I called her up, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I'm sloppy seconds!'"
There's no bad blood between the BFFs though as Walsh recently retweeted one of Silberling's tweets about Brenneman's Reign debut, saying, "Go Amy!"
Given their similar features and gorgeous dark locks, you'd think Brenneman would be an obvious choice to play Kane's mother, but Brenneman, who will star in Damon Lindelof's highly anticipated HBO series The Leftovers, tells us she only recently could see a resemblance between herself and her on-screen daughter.
"It's so funny, I was just at a looping today and I had seen the episode, but then I was doing these moments and Adelaide and I really do look alike," she explains. "It's similar colorings and you really do buy it as that dark-haired mother-daughter thing."
Reign airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on the CW, with Brenneman making her debut in the episode airing on Thursday, March 6.