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16 items from 2008


Casts grow for three pilots

18 December 2008 6:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

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

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Where Are They Now? Some Greenroom Chatter for December 1, 2008

1 December 2008 5:13 PM, PST | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Did you see any stars from old TV shows while you were out holiday shopping? If not, it could be because they're on the sets of series (like The Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, and Bones) or movies.

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 »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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Heaton Returns To TV In Familiar Role

18 November 2008 11:08 PM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Patricia Heaton is set to return to a familiar role - the Everybody Loves Raymond star will play a stressed-out mum in a new U.S. TV sitcom.

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 actress made an unsuccessful return to TV earlier this year, starring opposite Kelsey Grammer in Back To You. The show was cancelled in May.

The Middle will start shooting in February 2009. »

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Patricia Heaton pilot greenlighted at ABC

18 November 2008 6:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

It's a go for ABC's "The Middle."

After closing a deal with Patricia Heaton for the lead, the network has greenlighted the comedy pilot, tapping Julie Anne Robinson to direct.

Additionally, Robinson has landed a blind pilot directing commitment at ABC Studios to helm another pilot this development cycle.

The Warner Bros. TV-produced "Middle," written by DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, tells the story of a middle-class Midwestern family through the eyes of the mother (Heaton).

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

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Both sides of aisle rip MSNBC

27 October 2008 12:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

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.

She added that she would prefer a lunch date with right-leaning Fox News star Sean Hannity over left-leaning MSNBC star Keith Olbermann.

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

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Three take seats in 'Class' telepic

8 September 2008 7:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Patricia Heaton, Treat Williams and Jimmy Wolk have been tapped to star in "Front of the Class," a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation for CBS.

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.

Peter Werner is directing the telefilm, which has begun production in Shreveport, La. The script was written by Tom Rickman based on the book by Cohen with Lisa Wysocky.

Brent Shields and Tim Shriver are the exec producers; Andrew Gottlieb is the producer.

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

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Poll: Who Should Play Sarah Palin Onscreen?

4 September 2008 11:55 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

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? »

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Hollywood Rebels Back Union Dissidents

14 August 2008 6:56 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Tom Hanks, Sally Field and Alec Baldwin have joined a group of high-profile stars supporting rebels keen on taking charge of the Screen Actors Guild union.

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. »

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Kelsey Grammer Released From Hospital

5 August 2008 11:52 AM, PDT | NYPost.com | See recent New York Post news »

Kelsey Grammer has been released from the hospital after checking in last week when the actor felt faint, according to publicist Stan Rosenfield

"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.

Grammer, best known as pompous psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on "Frasier," later blamed »

- Post Staff Report

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Patricia Heaton on deck for 'Middle'

23 July 2008 7:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

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.

Picking up a pilot contingent on a specific actor is rare but not unprecedented. Five years ago, CBS picked up the pilot for "Two and a Half Men" contingent on the producers securing Charlie Sheen.

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

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Kelsey Grammer: Work Stress Led to Heart Attack

23 July 2008 4:00 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

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

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If You Want An Emmy, Guest Star On 30 Rock

17 July 2008 12:08 PM, PDT | avclub.com | See recent The AV Club news »

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 »

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Back to You: Why Was It Cancelled? Is It Gone for Good?

27 May 2008 12:53 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

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. »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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Back to You: Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton Sitcom May Not Be Dead

11 May 2008 9:56 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

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 »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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Heaton's Saucy Photo Shock

6 May 2008 6:18 PM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

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.'" »

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Heaton Slams 'Hooker' News Anchors

5 May 2008 12:08 PM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

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?" »

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16 items from 2008


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