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13 Shows That Handled Sensitive Topics Gracefully

Television has a rich history of not only entertaining viewers but also helping them feel less alone.

Since the 1970s, television shows have addressed sensitive and controversial topics like death, abortion, and prejudice.

When it's done right, viewers feel even more connected to their favorite characters and can't get enough, even when the events on screen or tragic.

Related: Get Great Selection of New & Classic Movies with the Lifetime Movie Club via Prime Video Channels!  

They might even laugh at a well-timed joke on a comedy about a serious situation!

What's your favorite show that takes on serious issues without being a downer?

Check out our picks and then share yours in the comments! 

1. Maude Before Dorothy Zbornak, Bea Arthur was Maude Findlay, Edith Bunker's cousin and Archie's nemesis, who faced her own share of controversy on her own show. Most memorably, Maude decided to have an abortion at age
See full article at TVfanatic »

‘The Americans’ could join an elite group of shows that swept the drama lead Emmy categories

‘The Americans’ could join an elite group of shows that swept the drama lead Emmy categories
Could Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell take home his-and-her Emmys? The “Americans” stars (and real-life couple) have a decent shot, with Rhys sitting in second place in our Best Drama Actor Emmy odds and Russell lodged in fourth in our Best Drama Actress predictions. If they do pull off the wins, this would only be the seventh time in Emmy history that the drama lead races went to the same show.

The Emmys’ acting categories weren’t genre-specific in its nascent years, so we didn’t get separate comedy and drama acting races until 1966. Since then, only six times, across five shows, have co-stars won drama lead actor and actress. They are:

See Last chance, best chance? ‘The Americans’ could be latest show to win top Emmy for its final season

1973: Richard Thomas and Michael Learned, “The Waltons

1981: Daniel J. Travanti and Barbara Babcock, “Hill Street Blues

1993: Tom Skerritt and Kathy Baker,
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘Shot’ by Director Jeremy Kagan Reaches Out

Jeremy Kagan, filmmaker and USC professor is reaching out to educational institutions about his new film, Shot which tells the story of what one bullet does to many lives.

Called “profound…mesmerizing….powerful….moving” this movie is being used as a stimulating way to engage in the essential conversations we all must have about gun violence.

The movie is an intense first person journey of what happens when you get shot.

Noah Wyle in Shot (2017)

We want high school and college students to see the movie and discuss it, and we have created a balanced study guide to go along with the movie.

You can screen the 90min. dramatic movie in a local theater, or in any screening room or class room, or in homes on TVs. And depending on timing, the filmmakers are available to participate in post screening discussions.

Enclosed are information on ways to show the movie,
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

‘Killing Eve”s Best Drama Series snub won’t doom Sandra Oh’s Emmy chances

‘Killing Eve”s Best Drama Series snub won’t doom Sandra Oh’s Emmy chances
Killing Eve” didn’t exactly slay the Emmy nominations, nabbing just two, but they’re pretty big ones: Best Drama Actress for Sandra Oh and Best Drama Writing for Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The BBC America series, which is based on Luke Jennings‘ “Villanelle” novels, was surging as of late, but ultimately missed out on a Best Drama Series nomination. While a series nomination would’ve obviously been great, the snub doesn’t mean Oh — the show’s best shot at a win — is dead in the water.

Since 1990, 13 women have won Best Drama Actress without their show being nominated for Best Drama Series the same year, including three of the last four years. They are:

1992: Dana Delany, “China Beach

1994: Sela Ward, “Sisters

1995: Kathy Baker, “Picket Fences

1996: Kathy Baker, “Picket Fences

1998: Christine Lahti, “Chicago Hope

2000: Sela Ward, “Once and Again

2005: Patricia Arquette, “Medium

2006: Mariska Hargitay,
See full article at Gold Derby »

Emmys Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress interviews: 5 exclusive chats with Dakota Fanning, Merritt Wever and more [Watch]

Emmys Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress interviews: 5 exclusive chats with Dakota Fanning, Merritt Wever and more [Watch]
Who will contend for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress at the Emmys when nominations are announced on July 12? Gold Derby has hosted exclusive web chats with five of this year’s candidates, including past champs and young hopefuls aiming for their first recognition from the television academy. Click the links below to be taken to their full interviews.

Kathy Baker (“Paterno”): Baker plays Sue Paterno, wife of disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno (Al Pacino). She won three Emmys as Best Drama Actress for “Picket Fences” and was also nominated in 1994. Later she received bids for “Boston Public” (Best Drama Guest Actress in 2001) and “Door to Door” (Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress in 2003). (Click here to be taken to her full interview)

See Over 200 video interviews with 2018 Emmy contenders

Philippa Coulthard (“Howards End”): Coulthard plays Helen Schlegel, an independent, progressive woman making her way through turn-of-the-century England
See full article at Gold Derby »

Can John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf still earn Emmy love despite icky ‘Roseanne’ cancellation?

Can John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf still earn Emmy love despite icky ‘Roseanne’ cancellation?
When Kristin Chenoweth won an Emmy in 2009 for the cancelled ABC comedy “Pushing Daisies,” she joked, “I’m unemployed now, so I’d like to be on ‘Mad Men'” (watch below). Chenoweth’s triumph was hardly the first time someone prevailed at the Emmys for a cancelled TV show, and that’s the one potential bright spot for “Roseanne” scene-stealers John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf following the show’s shocking cancellation. However, while Goodman and Metcalf are still in the running for Emmys, might the icky demise of “Roseanne” thanks to Roseanne Barr‘s racist tweets make the entire program toxic to voters?

Seeabc cancels ‘Roseanne’ following Roseanne Barr’s ‘repugnant’ tweet

Goodman is no stranger to prevailing at the Emmys for cancelled shows, doing just that for “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” a decade ago. He won Best Drama Guest Actor at the 2007 ceremony after NBC turned
See full article at Gold Derby »

Chuck Panama, Longtime Industry Publicist, Dies at 93

  • Variety
Longtime industry publicist and former journalist Chuck Panama died at the Motion Picture and Television Fund home in Woodland Hills on May 13. He was 93.

Before beginning his career as a journalist and later publicist, Panama served in WWII after being drafted, working as a radio man on a B-24 bomber in the Pacific. After returning home, he enrolled at UCLA on the G.I. Bill, where he became the sports editor of the Daily Bruin. Panama remained closely involved with UCLA athletics after graduation, working with the press on basketball and football games for over 50 years.

Panama began his professional career as a correspondent for the Los Angeles bureau of International News Service (Ins) before following his boss to the PR department at 20th Century Fox, where he worked with such celebrities as Elvis Presley and Jayne Mansfield. During this time, Panama became a voting member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
See full article at Variety »

Elizabeth Sung Dies: Actress Whose Scores Of Credits Include ‘Y&R’, ‘Sopranos’ & ‘Curb’ Was 63

Elizabeth Sung Dies: Actress Whose Scores Of Credits Include ‘Y&R’, ‘Sopranos’ & ‘Curb’ Was 63
Elizabeth Sung, a character actress whose 30-year career included such popular TV series as The Young and the Restless, The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm and films including Memoirs of a Geisha and The Joy Luck Club, has died. She was 63. The Associated Press reported that she died Tuesday but gave no other details.

A Hong King native, Sung also was a Juilliard-trained dancer and an acting coach/teacher. She did a stint in the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women in the mid-1990s, and her graduate thesis short film, The Water Ghost, earned her an Mba in directing from AFI.

But by then she already had been racking up credits as an actress, guesting on series including The Equalizer, China Beach, Murder, She Wrote and Knots Landing and appearing on the big screen in Tango & Cash and The Joy Luck Club. Perhaps her most high-profile
See full article at Deadline »

Kathy Baker (‘Paterno’): Wife was ‘unfortunately blindsided’ by Penn State sexual scandal [Exclusive Video Interview]

Kathy Baker (‘Paterno’): Wife was ‘unfortunately blindsided’ by Penn State sexual scandal [Exclusive Video Interview]
“She was unfortunately blindsided by this situation and was naive and ignorant about the whole situation. Think how confusing and how complicated and difficult for her,” reveals actress Kathy Baker about her role in the recent HBO TV movie “Paterno.” In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), she discusses the real-life character of Sue Paterno, who was the wife of disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, played by Al Pacino.

The film is directed by Oscar winner Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”) and depicts the fallout in 2011 of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, splitting its time with scenes featuring Oscar champ Pacino (“Scent of a Woman”) and others starring Riley Keough as Sara Ganim, the tough young reporter who would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the story.

See Riley Keough (‘Paterno’) on playing a tough young reporter against an ‘incredibly powerful group
See full article at Gold Derby »

Angela Lansbury: Finally an Emmy winner for ‘Little Women’ after 18 career losses?

Angela Lansbury: Finally an Emmy winner for ‘Little Women’ after 18 career losses?
Angela Lansbury, 2018 Emmy contender for Masterpiece Theater’s adaptation of “Little Women,” has one of the most unique awards histories of any performer. In her over 75-year career she has managed to amass a significant number of nominations for all three of the major acting awards: three Oscar noms, 18 Emmy bids and seven Tony citations. While she has sailed through the Tony Awards winning five times, the other awards have been more elusive.

Her Oscar nominations all came early in her career and she came up empty handed all three times (the Academy did remedy that with an honorary Oscar in 2013). Lansbury’s Emmy history has been downright infuriating for her fans since she has lost a staggering 18 times. That streak may come to an end this year if Lansbury is able to achieve the award for her work in PBS’s “Little Women.”

SEEEmmys 2018 exclusive: PBS ‘Masterpiece’ categories for ‘Little Women,
See full article at Gold Derby »

Chuck Panama Dies: Longtime Fox Publicist Who Worked With Liz Taylor & Henry Fonda Was 93

Chuck Panama, a journalist-turned-publicist who worked with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Henry Fonda, died Sunday at the Motion Picture and Television Fund home in Woodland Hills, CA. He was 93.

After serving in the Army Air Corps as a radio man on a B-24 bomber, Panama moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA. He became sports editor of The Daily Bruin and would go on to work with the press on the school’s football and basketball programs for more than a half-century.

He launched his career with the L.A. bureau of International News Service before moving to the PR department at 20th Century Fox. There, Panama worked with such celebrities as Elvis Presley and Jane Mansfield and became a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Television Academy.

After a dozen years in the motion picture division at Fox, he moved
See full article at Deadline »

"I Love You, Alice B. Toklas" 50th Anniversary Screening, April 25, Los Angeles

  • CinemaRetro
Laemmle’s Royal Theatre in Los Angeles will be presenting a 50th anniversary screening of Hy Averback’s 1968 film I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! The 92-minute film, which stars the late, great Peter Sellers, Jo Van Fleet, Leigh Taylor-Young, and Joyce Van Patten, will be screened on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

Please Note: At press time, Actress Leigh Taylor-Young is scheduled to appear in person for a discussion about the film following the screening.

From the press release:

Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit: laemmle.com/ac.

I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968)

50th Anniversary Screening

Followed by Q&A with Actress Leigh Taylor-Young

Wednesday, April 25, at 7:30 Pm at the Royal Theatre

Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present a 50th anniversary screening of the hit Peter Sellers comedy from 1968, 'I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!' The Establishment meets the counterculture
See full article at CinemaRetro »

‘Paterno’ reviews: Al Pacino ‘at his best’ in ‘remarkable’ performance as disgraced football coach Joe Paterno

‘Paterno’ reviews: Al Pacino ‘at his best’ in ‘remarkable’ performance as disgraced football coach Joe Paterno
Al Pacino is the king of HBO, winning Emmys for “You Don’t Know Jack” in 2010 and “Angels in America” in 2004. Both of these trophies came for playing real-life characters, so might his latest performance in “Paterno” as disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno seal the deal for Emmy #3?

Television critics, as you’d expect, are raving about Pacino’s latest performance in the HBO telefilm. See some of their reviews below about the 1992 Oscar winner (“Scent of a Woman”), and then be sure to give us your Emmy predictions for Best Movie/Mini Actor.

SEEAl Pacino movies: 25 greatest films ranked from worst to best, including ‘The Godfather,’ ‘Dog Day Afternoon,’ ‘Scent of a Woman

“Al Pacino is at his best,” praises Robert Lloyd (La Times). “Pacino’s performance is interesting in its smallest gestures and unusually interior and contained. And contained Pacino is the best Pacino, your love of ‘Scarface’ notwithstanding.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Josh Charles To Make Broadway Debut In ‘Straight White Men’ With Armie Hammer

Josh Charles To Make Broadway Debut In ‘Straight White Men’ With Armie Hammer
Josh Charles will make his Broadway debut this summer in Straight White Men, Young Jean Lee’s dark comedy also featuring the previously announced Armie Hammer and Tom Skerritt.

Charles’ casting was announced today, along with co-stars Kate Bornstein and Ty Defoe. The play begins previews at the Hayes Theater on Friday, June 29, with an official opening date of Monday, July 23.

The Second Stage Theater production will be directed by Anna D. Shapiro, the artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre who won a 2008 Tony Award for her direction of August: Osage County.

The production marks the Broadway debuts of Charles, Hammer, Bornstein and DeFoe. Skerritt made his Broadway debut in the 2013 production of A Time to Kill.

The play – which will be a Broadway first by an Asian-American female playwright – is set on Christmas Eve, when Ed (Skerritt) has gathered his three adult sons to celebrate with matching pajamas, trash-talking, and Chinese takeout.
See full article at Deadline »

Law & Order: Svu Season 19 Episode 15 Review: Dare

I love ethical dilemma stories.

Back in the late 1990s, I couldn't get enough of Picket Fences and later The Practice, both of which featured questions with no easy answers on a regular basis.

My favorite stories were the ones where I thought I knew where I stood but was forced to question my beliefs throughout the hour.

So when Law & Order: Svu Season 19 Episode 15 tackled the question of illegal organ harvesting, I was riveted.

I knew from the promo that this story was about someone stealing organs, but I didn't expect it to play out exactly the way it did.

When Zoe was found alive behind the bleachers and her friends confessed to playing a prank on her and then keeping it secret that she had fallen and hit her head, I expected something more to happen to them than did.

It was early in the hour and it
See full article at TVfanatic »

2018 WGA Awards predictions: David E. Kelley (‘Big Little Lies’) will finally score his first win

2018 WGA Awards predictions: David E. Kelley (‘Big Little Lies’) will finally score his first win
Big Little Lies” will bring David E. Kelley one big award he’s missing from his trophy case: the Writers Guild Award. The 11-time Emmy winner is the 1/10-odd favorite to win Best TV Long Form Adapted at Sunday’s ceremony, according to our latest predictions. “Fargo” (20/1 odds), “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” (66/1 odds) and “The Wizard of Lies” (66/1 odds) round out the four-nominee field.

A previous eight-time nominee, including five for “L.A. Law,” Kelley has never won a competitive WGA Award, but he has received two honorary awards: the Paul Selvin Award for “Picket Fences” in 1996 and the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award in 2003.

See Meryl Streep joins ‘Big Little Lies’ season 2 — will she win her fourth Emmy?

Kelley has already garnered an Emmy, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award as a producer on “Big Little Lies.” Kelley received an Emmy nomination for his scripts as well but lost to “Black Mirror.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Touched by an Angel's Della Reese Dies

Touched by an Angel's Della Reese Dies
Della Reese, who played Touched By an Angel‘s Tess for the CBS drama’s entire run, died Sunday at home in California, our sister site Variety reports. She was 86.

Reese was a gospel and R&B singer who hosted an eponymous daytime talk show from 1969-1970. She later moved to television, with a long career that included roles on Chico and the Man, MacGyver, The Royal Family, Designing Women, Picket Fences, That’s So Raven and The Young and the Restless.

Her most notable small screen gig was likely Touched by an Angel, the family series starring Roma Downey as Monica,
See full article at TVLine.com »

Suburbicon's Julianne Moore and George Clooney on bringing a twisted suburban tale to life

  • Cineplex
Suburbicon's Julianne Moore and George Clooney on bringing a twisted suburban tale to lifeSuburbicon's Julianne Moore and George Clooney on bringing a twisted suburban tale to lifeMichael Kennedy10/25/2017 9:47:00 Am

Picket fences once symbolized all that was right with the American Dream. Not anymore.

Director George Clooney’s dark dramedy Suburbicon takes place in a seemingly idyllic 1950s town that turns out to be anything but when thugs invade the home of Gardner and Rose Lodge (Matt Damon, Julianne Moore), killing Rose and setting Gardner on a very dark path. Enter Rose’s twin sister, Margaret (also Moore), who moves in with the grieving family and gets caught up in a violent whirlwind.

Clooney and Moore were at CinemaCon in Las Vegas when they sat down to talk about the film.

Tell us about the journey of this movie, how it got to the big screen.

Clooney: “Mmm.
See full article at Cineplex »

Game of Thrones Actor, Audiobook Narrator Roy Dotrice Dead at 94

Game of Thrones Actor, Audiobook Narrator Roy Dotrice Dead at 94
Roy Dotrice, who played Game of Thrones‘ pyromancer Hallyne, has died, EW.com reports. He was 94.

Appearing in two Season 2 episodes, Dotrice portrayed one of the men charged with creating King’s Landing’s stores of wildfire. He helped inform audiences about what Mad King Aerys did with the substance, and Hallyne also was involved in Tyrion’s plan to use wildfire at the Battle of Blackwater.

Dotrice also was the voice behind all of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire audiobooks. Performing that duty for the first novel, A Game of Thrones, earned him a
See full article at TVLine.com »

Nicole Kidman: Our intimate chat about ‘Big Little Lies’ at Emmys, emotions of ‘Lion,’ and her big year in 2017 [Full interview transcript]

Nicole Kidman: Our intimate chat about ‘Big Little Lies’ at Emmys, emotions of ‘Lion,’ and her big year in 2017 [Full interview transcript]
Nicole Kidman hopes to match her Oscar with an Emmy (or two) at this month’s awards ceremony. She is nominated as a producer and lead actress for “Big Little Lies,” the limited series with 16 nominations that was written by TV legend David E. Kelley (“Picket Fences,” “The Practice”) and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (“Dallas Buyers […]
See full article at Gold Derby »
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