Tag Archives: Glee
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ellen DeGeneres, who broke ground in 1997 as the first lead character on prime-time TV to reveal she was gay, is winning the nation’s top humor prize.
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Tuesday that DeGeneres will receive the 15th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. She will be honored Oct. 22 with a lineup of star performers in a tribute show that will be recorded for broadcast at a later date.
In a written statement, DeGeneres said receiving the same award as past honorees Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell makes her wonder, “Why didn’t I get this sooner?”
It was 15 years ago — just before the humor prize was created — when DeGeneres came out on Time magazine’s cover and as her character on the sitcom “Ellen,” to a record 46 million viewers. The popular show began losing viewers, though, and was canceled a year later. DeGeneres said at the time that ABC caved in to fear and abandoned the show. She faced tough questions over whether the sitcom was “too gay” and if she had torpedoed her career by pushing a “gay agenda.”
“When I’m accused of becoming political, I’m showing love,” DeGeneres told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in a 1998 interview. “How is that political to teach love and acceptance?”
The rejection was enough to send DeGeneres into a deep depression.
“Ellen” paved the way, though, for future shows to also break the taboo of showing gay characters. “Will and Grace” would follow, along with “Glee,” “Modern Family” and others.
DeGeneres bounced back with movie roles, including as the voice of a lead character in the animated film “Finding Nemo.” She also has a hit talk show now in its ninth season, best-selling books and had a stint as the fourth judge on “American Idol.”
Cappy McGarr, an executive producer for the Mark Twain Prize show and a Kennedy Center board member, said DeGeneres has a special style of observational humor in the tradition of Twain. She also makes people laugh across political lines.
“She’s not just a comedian,” he said. “She’s really a miracle worker. She got the president to dance, the first lady to do push-ups and (Republican) Tom Delay to laugh.”
The New Orleans native got her start as an emcee at a local comedy club in her hometown. In 1982, a videotape of her club performance won DeGeneres Showtime’s “Funniest Person in America.” By 1986, she appeared on “The Tonight Show” and became the first female comedian summoned to Johnny Carson’s desk to chat about her performance.
Tuesday evening wasn’t especially full of glee for Amber Riley.
At an Academy screening of “Glee” at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., he singer and actress, 26, fainted and collapsed on the red carpet, multiples outlets reported.
The star, who plays Mercedes on the musical show, assured fans after the incident that all is well. “Hey guys, I’m okay ,” she tweeted. “I got a little dizzy from all the photog flashes! You’d think I’s be used to it by now, still a red carpet amateur I guess. Gonna get checked out but I feel fine. Thank you for all the concern and well wishes.”
Riley added that she was grateful to red carpet photographers for not capturing her collapse.
“I’d also like to thank the photographers for being so professional and not taking photos of me on the ground. I truly truly appreciate it. Could have been super embarrassing.”
Remember when big-screen talent lining up work on television was big news? Now it’s frankly surprising if a Hollywood director or actor hasn’t got a project on TV. Here’s the latest list that will be working on pilots this year.
After the relative failure, both critically and commercially, of “Cowboys & Aliens,” and presumably before he gets to work on (*shudder*) Disney’s “Magic Kingdom”, Jon Favreau will direct the pilot for J.J. Abrams’ “Revolution” at NBC. Written by “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke, the show is described by Deadline as “high-octane action drama following a group of characters struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist.” Favreau also has a self-penned comedy pilot, “Tweaked,” lined up at CBS.
Hopefully Nick Nolte’s Oscar nomination for “Warrior” will finally get the film some of the attention it deserved (because heaven knows barely anyone saw it in theatres). Gavin O’Connor’s film had a tough time at the box office, but he’ll be hoping for more popular success for his latest project, a cold war period drama pilot he’ll direct for FX called “The Americans.” The project was created by Joe Weisberg (“Falling Skies”) and will focus on two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington, DC. “Justified” showrunner Graham Yost will exec produce, and we like the sound of this one.
After the success of “Limitless,” Neil Burger had his pick of future projects, and it looks like the one he settled on was “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune” after David O. Russell left the project. That project is still at the script stage though so Burger has plenty of time to go off and make a TV pilot, and that’s exactly what he’ll be doing over at Fox where he’ll direct Josh Friedman’s (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) spy drama pilot, “The Asset.”
Finally, Ellen Barkin looks set to star in the pilot for “The New Normal,” a comedy pilot over at NBC. The pilot was written by “Glee” duo Ryan Murphy (who will also direct) and Allison Adler, and is described by Deadline as “a heartwarming comedy about a blended family of a gay couple and the woman who becomes a surrogate to help them start a family.” Barkin will play the surrogate’s mother.
Billionaire bombshell heiress Tamara Ecclestone has sparked some controversy over a photo shoot in which she appears lying naked on a million pounds. Apparently, the amazingly beautiful daughter of billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, – president and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Administration – had the cash ‘lying around’ her London crib, according to the UK’s Sun newspaper.
What started out as a “normal” photo shoot, if you can ever call Hollywood photographer Tyler Sheilds normal, quickly morphed into “do you have any spare cash?” Tamara Ecclestone produced a wad of crisp fifty-pound notes and began posing naked on them. Her agent said, “Tyler asked if she could get hold of 1million and she said she already had it lying around. So he got her to lie in it naked”.
Shields is no stranger to controversy following controversial shoots with Lindsay Lohan, Glee star Heather Morris and his now infamous ‘meat’ shots of Mischa Barton.
Ecclestone, who will star in the Channel 5 show “Billion Dollar Girl”, explained, “I felt relaxed immediately. Tyler made me feel really comfortable. I enjoyed shooting with Tyler as he is so creative and this shoot was so different to anything I have ever done.
She continues “In my new TV show I am trying to come across as Tamara, rather than Bernie’s daughter, and I believe the shoot with Tyler will make me be seen in that way.”
The photograph is currently on display at the Imitate Modern Gallery in London’s West End until 13th November 2011.
Meanwhile, in an interview this week Tamara detailed her extravagant lifestyle, which involves three weekly hair appointments, a holiday every month and getting her dogs groomed at Harrods Pet Spa.
She told Grazia her mother Slavica was horrified by her spending on clothes, shoes and handbags.
Tamara states “My mum is always having a go at me about my spending – when she sees all the clothes in my dressing room she tells me I have mental problems.”
“But I can’t pretend this isn’t my life. OK, I feel bad about it sometimes, but it doesn’t make me a horrible person.”
“I’m not going to lie and say I don’t love clothes and bags. Actually I do a lot of charity work and give loads of my clothes, shoes and bag away.”
The biopic, which stars Brad Pitt, grossed a strong $20.6 million this weekend, according to studio estimates. That was good enough to beat “Moneyball’s” pre-release projections but came just short of catching the phenomenal $22.1 million weekend No. 2 performance of Disney’s “Lion King” 3D re-release.
Warner/Alcon Entertainment family film “Dolphin Tale” was a close third at $20.3 million, and could end up surpassing “Moneyball” once final revenue tallies are made Monday morning.
Lionsgate’s Taylor Lautner vehicle “Abduction” finished the weekend in fourth place with $11.2 million — within its pre-release projection range.
Open Road thriller “Killer Elite,” meanwhie, missed its mark with only $9.5 million for the weekend.
The domestic market was up 21 percent from the same weekend last year, putting overall revenue for 2011 almost flat with 2010 — a rather remarkable feat for a box office down more than 20 percent after the first quarter.
On the international side, Sony’s “Smurfs” continued its huge run, adding $12.9 million to its foreign total — the animated film has grossed $502.8 million worldwide.
Indeed, Sunday morning was a good one for Sony, with its marketing department able to attract an audience base that was 49 percent female to “Moneyball.”
Based on Michael Lewis’ best-selling 2003 book, “Moneyball” focuses on the front office of the mid-market Oakland A’s, which used new-age player statistics a decade back to produce an unlikely playoff run on a shoestring player payroll of just $41 million (i.e. meal money for Yankees star Derek Jeter).
“With baseball as a backdrop, we really needed to get out the fact that this is that underdog story with incredible performances and a few laughs along the way,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide theatrical distribution for Sony.
Starting with the Major League All Star game in July, Sony began running ads targeting men in the usual places you find men on cable television — ESPN, TNT, Comedy Central.
But the ads focused not so much on the baseball but the inspirational underdog themes — Pitt playing maverick A’s general manager Billy Beane, who in one TV spot, has his own daughter telling him that he’s about to be fired.
These ads also ran during “Dancing With the Stars” and “Glee.” Pitt even appeared on “Ellen” last week.
Not only was the audience composition balanced, reception was strong. The film garnered an “A” grade from movie customer-satisfaction ranker Cinemascore. It also received a 94 percent score from Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the best reviewed films of the year.
Shot for just over $50 million, the film’s arrival into 2,993 theaters Friday seems almost as unlikely as the A’s making the playoffs nine years ago on a payroll one fourth the size of the New York Yankees.
Steven Soderbergh was all set to direct the movie in 2009, but Sony yanked the plug over creative differences.
The picture was brought back to life with Bennett Miller in the director’s chair and the script in the hands of the fast-talking Aaron Sorkin.
“This is a really solid, solid opening,” Bruer added. “This film is going to be around for a while.”
Like those 2002 Oakland A’s, who eventually succumbed to playoff defeat at the hands of the Yankees and their $125 million payroll, “Moneyball” encountered rather stern opposition from Disney’s “Lion King” in the box office pennant race.
With Disney converting its 17-year-old handrawn classic to 3D for Blu-ray home viewing, and deciding to put it out into 2,330 theaters almost on a whim, the studio has now taken in $61.7 million after two weekends of release.
“Not every film is ‘The Lion King’ — there’s a judiciousness that has to be involved here,” said Disney theatrical distribution chief Dave Hollis, noting that the studio isn’t going to rush all of its hand-drawn classics into 3D conversion.
He did acknoweldge, however, that Disney is “looking for other films in the library that could work.”
Here’s a list of the top 10 flicks at the Box Office.
1. “The Lion King” ($22.1 million)
2. “Moneyball” ($20.6 million)
3. “Dolphin Tale” ($20.3 million)
4. “Abduction” ($11.2 million)
5. “Killer Elite” ($9.5 million)
6. “Contagion” ($8.6 million)
7. “Drive” ($5.8 million)
8. “The Help” ($4.4 million)
9. “Straw Dogs” ($2.1 million)
10. “I Don’t Know How She Does It” ($2.1 million)
“Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy took some time after a screening of the Fox series’ third-season premiere to explain to reporters why the new season will be an improvement over the second season, reports Deadline.com.
Season two, the story notes, was marked by complaints from the show’s fans, along with controversy over comments by Murphy about some of his stars.
With “Glee” becoming a hit so quickly, Murphy hinted the job became more than running a television show during the second season. “I’d run television shows before, but I’d never run a business before. It was a weird thing,” he said of the second season. But now, he added, “I have my passion back for it.”
The producers are focusing on “making this the best year we’ve ever done. And in fact, we think that’s exactly what we’re going to have. Part of the reason for that is we’ve figured out the best way to shoot the show, and a way to do it more economically for Fox.”
As far as the feelings of the show’s actors, Murphy said, “The actors I feel are really renewed and excited and are thrilled to be there.”
Asked about several of the show’s stars who play graduating seniors and have been reported to be leaving after the third season, Murphy suggested there could be other ways to keep them on air.
“They could become teachers. They could become college students. There are very organic ways you could keep them on the show, and keep them big, and keep the audience invested in them. … But the show is always going to be about that choir room,” he said, according to the article.
It’s been nine years since rapper Eve released her last album, but she’s set to climb the charts once again, when “Lip Lock” drops next year. Fans will get a preview of what’s to come at Gotham Organization’s Open A.I.R. Summer Concert Series on Wednesday, Aug. 24 in New York City. Fan’s outside the city can watch a live stream
of the concert at Eve’s new site, eve-360.com. Prior to the big show, Eve talked to Wonderwall about her world travels, hanging with the “Glee” cast, and how it feels so good to be in love.
What can fans expect from your upcoming album, “Lip Lock”?
People will recognize what they loved about me from the more hardcore, Ruff Ryder days as far lyrical contact goes, but I think there will also be a nice bridge to where I am musically, now. Because I travel so much overseas, I think there will be a big influence of world music and dance music; not crazy club dance, just a more up-tempo, mid-tempo record.
It’s been nine years since your last album. Why the long break?
I don’t think it was anything that was planned. There were other things that were happening in my life like TV shows, movies and traveling. Originally, after “Tambourine” came out, another record was supposed to come out, but I had issues with my record label at the
time, which was Interscope. We couldn’t agree on a record, so that took some time. I had to leave them and find a new label. None of it was something I wanted to do. It just happened that way.
You also did an episode of “Glee.” What was it like working with those guys?
It was the first season, so they were excited and just hoping the show would take off. They had already gained the buzz from a lot of people, but it hadn’t been out yet, so they were still kind of nervous about everything, but I had a good time.
Some musicians have come out and said they don’t want their music on “Glee.” Do you think that the show is good or bad for the music industry?
I think it celebrates music. At the end of the day, they’re not taking people’s singles that they just put out or getting leaked singles or taking catalogs from people that haven’t already sold. It would be different if they were
doing it that way, but they’re not stealing anyone’s music. They ask for permission. If anything, it helps.
With all the traveling, is it hard to date and have a social life?
Well I have a boyfriend, thankfully, so that’s taken care of. He travels as much as I do, so we meet up in different countries, so that keeps it a little exciting. I have to admit it is a bit annoying. I’m more of a hermit. When I’m able to chill, I just chill, and so sometimes stability becomes a
problem. But as long as I’m in love, I’m happy.
In love? Wow! Who is this lucky guy?
He’s not a celebrity, thank god. He’s also not American. He’s a good guy, though. We’ve been together for a little while, though, and it’s been really nice.
You perform all over, in places like Moscow, Lebanon, Australia. What’s your favorite spot to visit?
Out of all the places in the world, Jamaica is my favorite place. Reggae is my heart since I was a kid. I love Reggae music. The food there is out of control. It’s so good. It’s a great place to go.
In that time, you did some acting, like “Whip It” with Drew Barrymore. What was it like working with her?
It was cool. She’s bubbly and has a great attitude. She one of those people that you can’t believe she’s like that every single day, just happy and passionate. And she was, so it was a fun experience.
How did you get involved with Gotham Organization’s Open A.I.R Summer Concert Series, which is raising money for the National Breast Cancer Coalition?
Obviously, I’m a woman, and I do believe in getting the information out there, and getting women to get mammograms. My grandmother is actually a breast
cancer survivor, so that’s something that is close to home. I think it will be pretty energetic and exciting, so I’m looking forward to it.
What are the crowds like when you go to places like Moscow?
Honestly, it’s crazy. They love hip-hop. I always say, ‘Hip-hop takes me everywhere.’ It’s crazy when I step onstage, and people might not speak much English, but they know every word to your songs. It’s kind of freaky, but it’s really cool. They’re really into it.
There aren’t as many female voices in hip-hop at the moment. Why do you think that is?
I have no idea. People ask me that all the time. It’s weird. I don’t know where all the females are. By the way, I meet females all the time that tell me, “Yeah, I’m an MC,” and I’m always like, “Good luck, God bless. Make it happen. We need more females.”
You’ve done a lot of collaborating over the years. Who is out there that you’d like to work with?
I still have people on my list who I’ve been wanting to work with forever like OutKast. Andre 3000, I think is amazing. Adele is amazing. Drake is dope, as far as hip-hop goes. So there’s a lot of different people, but nobody I’m loving at the top of my list right now, though.
“Sons of Anarchy” creator and executive producer Kurt Sutter has lashed out at Primetime Emmy Awards voters after his show was overlooked in all the major categories when the nominations were announced on Thursday.
In a post on Twitter, he writes, “Best part of not getting an emmy nod. now i don’t have to pretend i give a s— about the profiteering d-bag academy. because you know if we were nominated i’d be all humble and blowing smoke up their a—-. now i can stay true to myself and just be a d—.”
“If my mom and dad were alive this emmy snub would kill them,” he added. “that’s not true, they were too old to understand my show. just like the academy.”
Sutter also slammed the cast of “Glee,” which earned a nom in the Outstanding Comedy Series category. He adds, “Hate those annoying, ‘please accept me for who i am’, singing brats. there, i said it. are you happy?”
Sutter’s profanity-laced rants filled his Twitter page yesterday, but the producer later tweeted that it was all in fun: “those who got the joke, laughed. those who didn’t, published a story. so sad that greedy media whores must turn good fun into nasty business.”
See who got nominated. If you’re favorite is on the list, send us your predictions. If not, send us your rant.
Friday Night Lights
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Walton Goggins, Justified
John Slattery, Mad Men
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Mirelle Enos, The Killing
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Margo Martindale, Justified
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
The Big Bang Theory
Parks and Recreation
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Louis C. K, Louie
Steve Carell, The Office
Johhny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Chris Colfer, Glee
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Jane Lynch, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Jeff Probst, Survivor
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
It’s approaching the end of May, which means its TV show season (or series) finale time! In the past couple weeks I’ve seen at least 10 finale episodes ranging anywhere from excellent (Parks & Recreation) to alright (Modern Family) to awful (Smallville). Quality final episodes are probably difficult to write, because the writers are in a bit of a corner in terms of what storylines and stories they can address. And as it’s the last episode of the show for the next 3 or 4 months, they need to not only wrap up any unfinished season arcs, but also tease the audience enough to keep them interested in returning next fall to continue the journey.
Here are a few suggestions:
- This may seem obvious, but a finale episode should be a good episode, even without the little twists or cliffhangers that prep the show for next fall. It should keep the audience engaged, without falling prey to the mistakes of too much exposition or out of character behavior, both of which are cheap ways to amp up drama or comedy.
- If you are going to tease the audience with the death of a character, don’t make it a principal cast member who still has a number of years on their contract. Viewers aren’t that dumb.
- The finale cliffhanger or twist should be engaging, but not ridiculous, exciting, but believable.
- Some good and fairly recent finales to watch: Alias Season 2, Parks & Recreation Season 3, Community Season 2, Lost Season 5, Mad Men Season 1, Battlestar Galactica Season 3.
- This year’s least awesome finales? Smallville, Bones, Castle, The Office, Glee
What are some of your favorites?