16 items from 2008
A trio of pilots have fleshed out their casts, with Charlie McDermott joining ABC's comedy "The Middle," Desi Lydic coming aboard CBS' comedy "The Karenskys" and Susan Ward and Zachary Burr Abel joining ABC Family's drama "Perfect 10."
"Middle," from Wbtv, tells the story of a middle-class Midwestern family through the eyes of the mother (Patricia Heaton). McDermott will play Axel, the oldest child. He is repped by Innovative Artists and Kritzer/Levine/Wilkins.
"Karenskys," from Ums and BermanBraun, centers on Emily Atwood (Sasha Alexander), who returns to her hometown and is reunited with her large, eccentric family. Lydic will play Emily's sister Bernadette. She is repped by Icm and Rigberg Entertainment Group.
"Perfect 10" is set in the world of competitive gymnastics. Ward will play Chloe, a young mother challenged by the talent and maturity of her gymnast daughter. Abel plays a nationally ranked high school gymnast.
Ward is repped »
- By Nellie Andreeva and Kimberly Nordyke
Catch up with favorites like Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica), Barry Bostwick (Spin City), John Rubinstein (Day Break), Richard Libertini (Soap), Tasha Smith (Boston Common), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Jason Bateman (Valerie's Family), Kristin Davis (Sex and the City), Carlos Ponce (Lipstick Jungle), Jon Huertas (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Tamala Jones (One on One), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Dear John), Susan Sullivan (The Nine), Joel Gretsch (The 4400), Laura Allen (The 4400), Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars), Esai Morales (Vanished), Brittany Robertson (Swingtown), Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), Charles S. Dutton (Threshold), Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers), Debbie Allen (Fame), Marisa Coughlan (Boston Legal), Kathleen Quinlan (Family Law), Rob Bogue (Oz), Josh Cooke (Big Day »
The star has signed to appear in new comedy The Middle, which centres around the lives of an American Midwestern family in the eyes of a mother - Heaton.
And the role won't be too much of a stretch for the 50-year-old, after she played Ray Romano's long-suffering wife Debra in the hit show, which ran for nearly ten years before ending in 2005.
Heaton, a two-time Emmy award winner, beat out competition from chat show host Ricki Lake, who in 2006 was originally eyed by TV bosses for the new role.
The Middle will start shooting in February 2009. »
It's a go for ABC's "The Middle."
Additionally, Robinson has landed a blind pilot directing commitment at ABC Studios to helm another pilot this development cycle.
ABC, which originally developed the project during the 2006-07 development cycle when it was picked up to pilot and starred Ricki Lake, resurrected it in the summer with a pilot order contingent on casting Heaton. Production on "Middle" is slated to begin in February.
It has been a busy two years for Robinson, who came to Los Angeles in 2006 from the U.K., where she directed the pilot and several episodes of the BBC's »
- By Nellie Andreeva
In a room full of television industry executives, no one seemed inclined to defend MSNBC on Monday for what some were calling its lopsidedly liberal coverage of the presidential election.
The cable news channel is "completely out of control," said writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat.
Olbermann was criticized by many who attended Monday's luncheon sponsored by the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The event was dubbed "Hollywood, America and Election '08."
Bloodworth-Thomason and others seemed especially critical of the way MSNBC -- and other media -- has attacked Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin while demeaning her supporters.
"We should stop the demonizing," she said, adding that Democrats have been worse than Republicans as far as personal attacks on candidates are concerned. »
- By Paul Bond
The drama is based on the true story of Brad Cohen (Wolk), who was challenged with Tourette syndrome from a young age but defied all odds to become a gifted teacher. He was ridiculed in school because of his condition, until the school principal used the school assembly to educate the faculty and students about Tourette syndrome.
Heaton and Williams play Brad's parents.
Emmy winner Heaton, who also has appeared in the CBS telefilms "A Town Without Christmas" and "Miracle in the Woods, »
- By Nellie Andreeva and Kimberly Nordyke
After Sarah Palin's much-remarked-upon appearance Wednesday at the Republican National Convention, imaginations have run wild on who might play her should a TV movie be made about her life. Among the possibilities (one of whom is a noted liberal Democrat, while another leans more along the lines of the Alaska governor herself) are these notable working moms: Annette Bening, Tina Fey and Patricia Heaton. Who gets your vote? »
The rebels claim union bosses have mishandled contract negotiations with movie studio bosses, prolonging the possibility of a crippling summer strike.
And now they have the backing of heavyweights like Hanks, Baldwin and Field, who have joined a faction calling itself Unite for Strength.
According to reports, more than 35 well-known actors are backing the rebels who are fighting for 11 Hollywood division seats on the 71-member national board in the upcoming 18 September union elections.
The stars backing the new movement also include Sarah Michelle Gellar and Patricia Heaton, who says, "The fighting within our union is weakening us at the bargaining table. We obviously need to chart a new course."
The starry faction claims the SAG majority has mismanaged ongoing contract negotiations because they are too busy waging a campaign to discredit the smaller actors union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, according to the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
AFTRA recently reached an agreement on a new three-year contract with the studios, similar to the one reached by the Writers Guild of America earlier this year, which ended a three-month Hollywood writers strike. »
"Kelsey Grammer is out of the hospital, feeling great and about to resume normal activities at home," says Rosenfield. "He and his wife Camille want to thank everyone who expressed concern. They appreciated the kind words."
The 53-year-old Emmy-winner suffered a mild heart attack last month while paddle-boarding with Camille during their vacation in Hawaii.
- Post Staff Report
ABC is back in "The Middle."
The network is bringing back the quirky Warner Bros. TV-produced single-camera comedy and eyeing Patricia Heaton for the lead.
"Middle," written by DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, tells the story of a middle-class Midwestern family seen through the eyes of the mother. It was developed during the 2006-07 development cycle when it was picked up to pilot starring Ricki Lake but narrowly missed the cut for a series order.
Now ABC is said to have given the project a new cast-contingent pilot order possibly tied to landing Heaton as the lead.
Heaton knows a thing or two about playing a harried mother, having won two Emmys for her role on "Everybody Loves Raymond." If she signs on, she will reunite at the network with her "Back to You" co-star Kelsey Grammer, who stars in another single-camera ABC comedy pilot, "Roman's Empire." »
- By Nellie Andreeva
Kelsey Grammer, who suffered a mild heart attack seven weeks ago, says pressure from his canceled sitcom Back to You contributed to his health problems. "It was a very stressful time for me, and a surprise to me [that it was canceled]," Grammer, 53, said Wednesday while promoting his drama-comedy, Swing Vote, in L.A. "But you know, everything that doesn't kill us – which it almost did – makes us stronger."Back to You, costarring Patricia Heaton, was canceled in May by Fox after one year, despite respectable ratings. "Not happy about it," says Grammer. "I had a heart attack, maybe you heard. I was not happy about it. »
- Nicholas White
Looking for something as shiny as it is meaningless to use as a doorstop? Want to impress your (very impressionable) friends? Like statues? Then you may want to think about getting yourself an Emmy. In the past, Emmys were only handed out to Patricia Heaton, the cast of The West Wing, and the rare individual who could climb to the top of the (purely metaphorical) ivory television tower (Fyi: that's a tower made out of working televisions carved from ivory, not a giant ivory television antenna or something). But the good news is, nowadays Emmys are easier to get than ever! You just have to land a guest starring role on 30 Rock and they'll practically throw them at you. Take a look at the nominations for this year: Guest Actor In A Comedy Series: Shelley Berman, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Rip Torn, "30 Rock" Will »
Fans of Fox's Back to You sitcom were shocked to learn that the Kelsey Grammer -- Patricia Heaton series had been snuffed out after only one season. Most industry insiders had expected Back to You to return next fall. In fact, executive producer Steven Levitan said that Fox had assured him of a renewal on the same day that it was ultimately cancelled. So, what happened? Could the series still return for season two?
Though Back to You had a decent premiere (9.44 million viewers), subsequent episodes fell to a low of 6.4 million. On the two occasions that Fox gave the sitcom the coveted timeslot following American Idol, viewership shot up to 12.15 million. Unfortunately, that number seems less impressive when you consider that's less than half of the Idol lead-in. What's more, when Back to You was moved out of that timeslot, the numbers fell back to six or seven million viewers. »
Though Fox has cancelled Back to You, TVWeek is reporting the series may find new life on another network. 20th Century Fox TV produces the series and is trying to find it a new home. They're reportedly delivered episodes of Back to You to CBS President and CEO, Leslie Moonves, to see if the network wants to take it on for season two.
In early 2007, CBS and other networks were involved in a bidding war for Back to You. Fox eventually won out and gave the series a 13-episode commitment without having seen a pilot. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake as it took awhile for the sitcom to find its groove. The sitcom didn't live up to ratings expectations and, coupled with production expenses, Fox cancelled the show.
CBS has been interested in both Grammer and Heaton for some time. Heaton, of course, co-starred on the popular »
Patricia Heaton was mortified when a sexy photoshoot for a photographer friend's portfolio ended up on the internet.
Heaton was stunned when a fan asked for an autograph on one of the images, which featured the actress wearing lingerie.
The 50-year-old star says, "I did some photos for my make-up artist and a photographer for their portfolio - like beauty shots. And because of the internet - people can hack into it - they get out. It got out."
But Heaton looked so good in the snaps, even her own attorney refused to believe it was really her body.
She adds, "I called my lawyer and he saw the photos and he said, 'Oh my God, I can't believe they put your head on somebody else's body.'
"I said, 'No, that's me.' And he's like, 'That's the best photoshop I've ever seen.'" »
Sitcom star Patricia Heaton has launched a stinging attack on Los Angeles' female news anchors, claiming they dress like "hookers".
Heaton studied newsreaders across the country to prepare for her role alongside Kelsey Grammar in new comedy show Back to You.
And she was stunned by what she found.
Heaton says, "The East Coast anchors are all a little staid and conservative. By the time you get to Los Angeles, I'm sorry, they look like hookers. A lot of big jewellery. Do you want to get the news from someone in big hoop earrings?" »
16 items from 2008
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