8 items from 2017
Nicole Kidman just revealed she was once engaged to rocker Lenny Kravitz, telling The Edit that she was quietly betrothed to the father of her Big Little Lies costar Zoë Kravitz years ago. The actress and musician dated in 2003, and People covered their under-the-radar romance in this vintage cover story below:
One thing you can say for Nicole Kidman: The woman knows how to keep a secret. Throughout the summer, the Oscar-winning actress dismissed inquiries of a romance with rocker Lenny Kravitz with “we’re-just-friends” denials. Yes, she was renting his apartment, but please don’t get the wrong idea. »
- Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Anna Maria Horsford (The Bold and the Beautiful) and 227 and The Jeffersons alumna Marla Gibbs are set to co-star opposite Jalen Rose in ABC’s single-camera comedy pilot Jalen vs. Everybody, from Nahnatchka Khan, creator/executive producer of ABC's family comedy Fresh Off the Boat, and the series' executive producer Jake Kasdan. Written by Khan, the comedy follows former NBA player and current Espn personality Rose as he juggles his career responsibilities with the… »
NBA star and ESPN host Jalen Rose has cast his mother and grandmother for his ABC comedy pilot, Variety has learned.
The half-hour follows Rose as he juggles his career responsibilities with the challenges of being a single dad. The project hails from the team behind ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat.” Nahnatchka Khan wrote the pilot and will executive produce with Jake Kasdan, Melvin Mar, and Mandy Summers. Aside from starring, Rose will also serve as a producer. Khan’s Fierce Baby banner is producing in association with 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios.
- Oriana Schwindt
Legendary television writer and producer Norman Lear is no stranger to the role of music in marketing, and defining, the message of his show’s central themes.
When you hear the nostalgic croon of All in the Family’s “Those Were the Days” or the catchy riff of The Jeffersons’ “Movin' On Up,” your mind almost automatically joins the song. As the worldwide audience of Lear’s work, you know the lyrics of his show’s theme songs just as well, or better, than you know his leading characters.
“Everybody knows 'Those Were the Days' and 'Movin' on Up,'" Lear tells Billboard. »
- Michelle Herrera Mulligan, Billboard
The question of whether serious juvenile offenders should be tried as adults stands at the heart of “They Call Us Monsters,” which concerns three teenagers facing life in prison for violent crimes. While Ben Lear’s documentary is reasonably clear about its own position on the issue, the film’s material is so thin that it provides few reasons to believe the conclusion it’s selling. The same holds true for its portrait of the role art plays in rehabilitating those in need, a perfunctory thread that leaves the film feeling like merely another drop in the enormous prison-documentary bucket.
In California, violent juveniles between the ages of 14 and 17 can be sentenced as adults, and inside Sylmar Juvenile Hall’s High Security Compound in Los Angeles, high-risk kids facing grave prison terms spend their days and nights waiting to learn their fate. Director Lear (son of legendary TV producer Norman) focuses on three such individuals, »
- Nick Schager
A year ago, “Black-ish” aired an episode that showed Rainbow and Dre Johnson talking to their children about incidents of police brutality. At the time, creator Kenya Barris said it was hard to balance the show’s aspirational tone with the difficult subject matter. Before that episode aired (to much critical acclaim, as it happened), Barris worried about whether he’d gotten that tricky mixture right.
The ABC comedy’s Jan. 11, 2017, installment was even scarier to write, says Barris. In the episode, Dre and his colleagues and family react to the election of Donald Trump — with stunned pain and confusion.
“I’m even more nervous with this one,” Barris tells Variety.
Barris locked himself away over the Thanksgiving weekend to knock out the script. For the first time, he’s both writing and directing an installment of the comedy — that’s how important this episode is to him. As is typical on “Black-ish,” the »
- Maureen Ryan and Daniel Holloway
Though President-elect Donald Trump wasn’t in attendance at the 74th annual Golden Globes on Sunday, his presence was surely felt.
In response, the president-elect told The New York Times that he “wasn’t surprised” by the attack orchestrated by “liberal movie people.” Later, through some early morning tweets, Trump dubbed Streep “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood.”
Though the 70-year-old may now have a grudge against the industry, he »
- Lindsay Kimble
In the 1970s, Norman Lear reigned as TV’s most prolific and influential comedy writer and producer — the person responsible for such landmark shows as “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times,” “Sanford and Son,” and “Maude.” This month, Lear will end his 22-year absence from series television with the premiere of “One Day at a Time,” a reboot of his classic comedy about a single mother raising two children.
His return to a TV landscape that has shifted radically in his absence could not be timelier.
Sony, which acquired rights to Lear’s library when it purchased Columbia in 1989, had long been toying with the idea of rebuilding one of Lear’s comedies around a Latino family. It was the idea of Lear’s producing partner Brent Miller to focus on “One Day at a Time,” but Lear’s involvement was never in question, even before the wheels were rolling on the project.
- Daniel Holloway
8 items from 2017
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