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“Six Feet Under” fans, take note: A new series about a family-run funeral business is in the works. Deadline reports that Jamie Lee Curtis has signed on to star, co-write, and executive produce “Quality of Life,” a multi-camera comedy that’s currently in development at CBS.
Described as a “multi-generational sitcom” about the family’s funeral home and “the unique perspective that growing up in a funeral home gives you,” the pilot will be co-written by Curtis and Janis Hirsch (“Will & Grace,” “Murphy Brown”).
While “Quality of Life” sounds like a lighter, more network-friendly take on the family biz than “Six Feet Under,” we can still expect some dark humor given its subject matter. It’s also great to see a series led by an actress who’s nearly 60 (Curtis is 58). As a recent study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film reported, “Few characters of either sex age into their 60s and beyond.” In the 2016–17 season, just four percent of male characters and two percent of females were 60 or above on broadcast network series.
Curtis starred in Ryan Murphy’s “Scream Queens” from 2015–16. The comedic horror anthology series ran on Fox for two seasons before being cancelled. She earned an Emmy nod in 1998 for her role in “Nicholas’ Gift,” a TV movie.
Less than a week ago Curtis made headlines with the news that she’ll be returning to the “Halloween” franchise, reprising her iconic role as Laurie Strode. The latest installment of the horror series will bow October 19, 2018.
Jamie Lee Curtis to Star in, Co-Write, and Produce CBS Funeral Home Comedy was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Jamie Lee Curtis will star in and executive produce a new multi-cam comedy in development at CBS, Variety has learned exclusively.
The project, titled “Quality of Life” is described as a multi-generational sitcom set at a family-run funeral home, tackling life through the unique perspective that growing up in a funeral home gives you. Curtis will play the family matriarch. She and Janis Hirsch came up with the story for the project, with Hirsch writing the script. Both Curtis and Hirsch will also executive produce, along with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum. CBS Television Studios will produce.
The news comes on the heels of the announcement that Curtis will reprise her iconic role as Laurie Strode in the upcoming “Halloween” film. Curtis’ character will have a final confrontation with Michael Myers, the ghoulish masked figure who has plagued her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. Franchise »
- Joe Otterson
Kidman won best lead actress in a limited series for “Big Little Lies”: CBS/YouTube
The 2017 Emmy Awards were a great night for women in television. Not only did the two biggest awards go to women-centric series — “The Handmaid’s Tale” took home the best drama series statuette and “Veep” was named best comedy — the ceremony marked several Emmys firsts for women. “Master of None’s” Lena Waithe is now the first black woman to win an Emmy for best comedy writing, for example. What’s more, winners like Waithe, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Elisabeth Moss used their speeches to honor women’s stories and the social issues women face every day.
Here are some of the highlights from last night’s ceremony:
Nicole Kidman Shines a Light on Domestic Abuse
Kidman, who won best lead actress in a limited series for portraying “Big Little Lies’” Celeste, a woman caught in an abusive marriage, took a moment from her speech to acknowledge the pervasiveness of domestic abuse in the real world. “Sometimes when you’re acting you get a chance to bring a bigger message,” the Oscar-winning actress observed. “We shine a light on domestic abuse [in “Bll”]. It is a complicated, insidious disease. It exists far more than we allow ourselves to know. It is filled with shame, secrecy, and by you acknowledging me with this award it shines a light on it even more.”
Lena Waithe Thanks Her Lgbtqia Family
Waithe and Aziz Ansari shared an Emmy for writing “Thanksgiving,” an episode of “Master of None” that traces the years-long coming out story of Waithe’s character, Denise. Waithe used her time at the podium to recognize her “Lgbtqia family.” “I see each and every one of you,” she gushed. “The things that make us different — those are superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there an conquer the world, because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”
As mentioned, last night’s ceremony saw many firsts for women in TV. Louis-Dreyfus became the first performer to win six consecutive Emmys for the same role. Until this year’s Emmy Awards, Louis-Dreyfus had been sharing the record with “Murphy Brown’s” Candice Bergen.
Perhaps most exciting is Reed Morano’s outstanding directing for a drama series victory for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The “Meadowland” helmer is the first woman in 22 years to take home the honor. The last time a woman was recognized in the category was in 1995, when Mimi Leder won an Emmy for directing an episode of “ER.” This honor couldn’t be more well-deserved, but damn, 22 years is a depressing amount of time to go without a woman winning this award, so as sweet as this victory is, it’s a powerful reminder of how little recognition women directors have received.
Women-Centric Series Dominate the Night
All three of the “best series” prizes went to women-driven shows: “The Handmaid’s Tale” won outstanding drama series, “Veep” outstanding comedy series, and “Big Little Lies” outstanding limited series. If that wasn’t exciting enough, “Handmaid’s Tale” also saw wins for Morano and stars Elisabeth Moss and Ann Dowd. Adding to “Bll’s” success was Kidman’s win and Laura Dern’s for best supporting actress in a limited series or movie.
When “Bll” was named best limited series, stars Kidman and Reese Witherspoon both called for more stories about women on the small screen. “Bring women to the front of their own stories, make them the hero of their own stories,” Witherspoon emphasized. Kidman added that her creative partnership with Witherspoon on “Bll” came from “a frustration because we weren’t getting great roles. So, now, more great roles for women, please.” (It must be noted, however, that “Bll” was written and directed by men. As important as it is for women to get great roles, we also need to ensure they get great roles behind-the-scenes too.)
During her speech Moss specifically thanked Margaret Atwood, who wrote “The Handmaid’s Tale” novel. “Thank you for you did in 1985 and thank you for what you continue to do for all of us,” Moss said. The author appeared onstage — and received a huge reaction from attendees — when “The Handmaid’s Tale” was named outstanding drama series. She’s credited as a supervising producer on the dystopian drama.
“Well, one take-away would be ‘never believe it can never happen here,’” Atwood herself told the La Times about the underlying message of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” About the series’ Emmy win, she said: “In a way, you can say the handmaids have escaped. They’re out there, and they’re coming to you again in Season 2!”
All of the female winners at the 2017 Emmy Awards are below. List adapted from CNN.
Outstanding drama series
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
Outstanding comedy series
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series
Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series
Outstanding limited series
Outstanding lead actress in a limited series
Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie
Outstanding writing for a comedy series
Outstanding directing for a drama series
Reed Morano, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Emmys 2017: “Big Little Lies,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and Lena Waithe Win Big was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
While every Emmy win is noteworthy, several this year were downright historical.
Take Atlanta auteur Donald Glover, who early in Sunday night’s ceremony became the first black person to win an Emmy for directing for a comedy. Ever. And this was the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony. (Later in the night, Glover claimed a second prize, for lead comedy actor.)
“I’m glad I was able to make history, but that’s not what I was trying to do. I’m trying to make the best product,” Glover said backstage after winning. “I believe the people deserve quality, and when they taste it, »
The streaming TV biz passed the ultimate Emmy threshold on Sunday night, as Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” made history.
“Handmaid’s Tale” picked up the win for outstanding drama series, which represents the first time a streaming service had one won of the top Emmy series prizes. It was just four years ago, in 2013, that Netflix became the first streaming platform to win an Emmy, as “House of Cards” picked up a handful of victories.
“Streaming has arrived, and we’re here to say what a wonderful journey,” said “Handmaid’s Tale” executive producer Warren Littlefield. Added exec producer Bruce Miller: “The way Hulu handled our show, they were bold and behind us and committed to making something interesting.”
The fact that Hulu was the first to land a top Emmy series prize, rather than Netflix, is a bit surprising, as Netflix came into this year’s »
- Michael Schneider
“Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her eighth Emmy award on Sunday, taking home her sixth straight trophy for her performance on “Veep.” The actress breaks the record for most primetime Emmy awards won by an actor for the same role, besting “Murphy Brown’s” Candice Bergen and “The Andy Griffith Show’s” Don Knotts. She also ties “Mary Tyler Moore Show” star Cloris Leachman for most acting trophies overall, with eight total (Louis-Dreyfus has two other wins for “Seinfeld” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”) The win came late in a show full of political statements, and Louis-Dreyfus kept it going by. »
- Reid Nakamura
Louis-Dreyfus began her acceptance speech by thanking the “fine, powerful, and funny ladies” in her category. “You are superb and I love you,” she said.
From the stage, she also took a jab at President Donald Trump. “We did have a whole storyline about an impeachment,” she said of the next season of “Veep,” “but we abandoned that because we were afraid someone else might get to it first.”
And with this win, it’s official that history has been made. This is Louis-Dreyfus’ sixth win for portraying former-Veep-turned-former-potus Selina Meyer on the HBO political comedy, which makes her the performer with the most Emmy awards for the same role. Last year she was tied for that title with Don Knotts and Candice Bergen, who had five Emmys for their roles on “The Andy Griffith Show »
- Danielle Turchiano
If awards were handed out for best worst dancing, Julia Louis-Dreyfus would have an extra Emmy to add to her mantle. But even without the bonus statuette for Elaine Benes's epic moves, the former Seinfeld star has plenty of statuettes to her name. Last September, Louis-Dreyfus actually broke a record by earning her sixth Emmy for lead actress in a comedy and her eighth overall (including one for producing). Prior to that win, the actress had maintained a three-way tie with Candice Bergen and Mary Tyler Moore for most lead actress wins. Louis-Dreyfus starting racking up Emmys in 1996, when she won outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for Seinfeld (she'd been nominated each year since 1992). Surprisingly, that was her only solo win for the sitcom; she was nominated seven times between 1992 and 1998. Her next win would be a full decade later for The New Adventures of Old Christine. That »
- Michelle Konstantinovsky
The 71-year-old Emmy winner appeared on the hit Bravo late night show wearing a navy cashmere sweatshirt with the words “Free Melania” sewn on the front — a phrase that has been circulating the internet since Donald Trump’s presidential campaign launched, implying that the Slovenian former fashion model is trapped in her marriage.
- Dave Quinn
Jay Thomas, Cheers and Murphy Brown actor, has died from complications with cancer. He was 69. Jay Thomas, Cheers Actor, Dead At 69 Thomas’ publicist confirmed the news. “Jay Thomas was one of the funniest and kindest men I have ahd the honor to call both client and friend for 25 years, plus,” he said. Thomas’ friend and […]
- Hillary Luehring-Jones
Cartoon Brew it turns out the new animated film Leap is actually a previously internationally released animated film named Ballerina, reworked by the Weinsteins for the Us with a new voice cast. The difference: the reviews are terrible this time
Variety... but naturally Patty Jenkins has fired back
IndieWire lots of female directors hitting the festivals this year. Here's a list of 20
Nerdist we haven't heard anything about that ill-advised movie remake of The Birds (1963) in a while. But now there's news that another adaptation of the source novella is aiming to be »
- NATHANIEL R
Police believe that they have found the body of New York City talent agent Mark Schlegel, who disappeared earlier this month, according to NJ.com. A body believed to be Schlegel’s was found in a wooded area on Thursday. Schlegel, 57, had been missing since Aug. 13, having left his Oradell, New Jersey, home without his wallet or cell phone. Also Read: Jay Thomas, Emmy-Winning 'Cheers' and 'Murphy Brown' Actor, Dies at 69 NorthJersey.com reported that no foul play is suspected. According to law enforcement, his body, which was decomposed, appeared to have been in the area “for some time. »
- Tim Kenneally
Dave Letterman is among the many Hollywood figures sharing his grief following the death of Emmy-winning actor Jay Thomas. Thomas, known for roles on “Cheers” and “Murphy Brown” and in films like “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” died Thursday after a battle with cancer. The comedian and radio personality was 69, and he is survived by his wife and three children. Thomas was a guest on CBS’ “The Late Show With David Letterman” during every holiday season, where he and the host would take turns tossing footballs at the show’s Christmas tree in an effort to knock down a meatball resting atop the. »
- Ryan Gajewski
Jay Thomas, the comic actor and radio host who died today of cancer, was remembered by his friend, actor Tom Arnold, for “the many inappropriate laughs every time we worked together.” Arnold was one of the first in the Hollywood community to offer remembrances of the late Cheers and Murphy Brown actor. Another was Diane English, creator of Murphy Brown and its “Jerry Gold” character that won Thomas two Emmy Awards. She wrote, “He was gifted. I would have loved to write… »
- Stephen Silver
Actor, comedian and radio host Jay Thomas has died at age 69 following a battle with cancer — a loss that has prompted many of Hollywood’s biggest names to fondly remember the late Cheers and Murphy Brown star.
Had the pleasure of casting »
- Lindsay Kimble
In a statement, Thomas' friend and agent Don Buchwald said, "Jay was one of a kind, never at a loss for words and filled with so much fun and wonderfully whacky thoughts and behavior." Thomas was reportedly surrounded by family at the time of his death.
Thomas amassed myriad credits over the course of his acting career, which began in the early Eighties. »
24 August 2017 1:36 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Shortly after getting the news, Dreyfuss told The Hollywood Reporter he was shocked and heartbroken, as Thomas was a special person in his life.
"He was a hell of a companion and easy to work with," Dreyfuss said. "He was light »
- Ryan Parker
Jay Thomas, the actor best known for his roles on the classic sitcoms “Murphy Brown” and “Cheers,” has died following a battle with cancer. He was 69. Celebrities are now reacting to his death on Twitter. See Hollywood stars’ tweets and tributes below. Thomas’ passing was announced Thursday by his agent, who said in a […] »
- Andrew Shuster
Actor and comedian Jay Thomas – best known for Cheers, Murphy Brown and his iconic Late Night story about the Lone Ranger – died at the age of 69 this week. Here, People takes a look back at a 2008 story on how Thomas reconnected with his long lost son, country songwriter J.T. Harding.
On a bright afternoon last November, more than 500 people gathered in Grosse Point, Michigan, for the funeral of Larry Harding, an ad executive and father of three who was beloved for his block parties and his big laugh. The speakers included two of Larry’s sons, his best friend, his »
- Oliver Jones
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