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A preview of season 3 of “Downtown Abbey”

Okay Shirley MacLaine fans, the Oscar winning star of such faves as Terms of Endearment, Postcards from the Edge and Steel Magnolias has arrived in Downton Abbey and Maggie Smith is waiting for her!

Two new trailers for the new season of Downton Abbey featuring Miss MacLaine have arrived online and I have them for you here.

The videos – one from British channel ITV, the other from PBS  – also give us a glimpse of a new, and very tall, footman.

Downton Abbey returns in the U.K. on Sept. 16. Fans in the U.S. will have to wait until Jan. 6 to see it.

FILE UNDER: Television

Snapped! Andy Cohen in NYC cab!

Brad Goreski, star of Bravo’s It’s a Brad, Brad World, just posted this photo on Facebook of Bravo executive and television personality Andy Cohen with the caption “A very New York moment…”

I thought it was cool and wanted to quickly share with you all.

BTW, can’t wait until Andy hosts the RHNYC reunion because Aviva is all kinds of crazy. But I like her because she makes Romona’s eyes pop out even more.


Perez Hilton: “I don’t need gay people to like me; I just want them to no longer think that I’m a bad representation for gays”

I know that any time I decide to post an item about Perez Hilton, I’m going to get some comments about how he’s not worth writing about because of some of his past sins.

But I certainly think it’s noteworthy that he is set to make his off-Broadway debut this month in NEWSical the Musical as himself and some other characters including VP candidate Paul Ryan.

Hilton is aware of the mixed responses to his tackling the stage and talked recently to Huffington Post about that and other topics.

“I totally understand skepticism, cynicism and snarkiness (laughs) so it doesn’t surprise me, and I think it’s deserved. I haven’t proven myself in this arena yet,” he says. “I’m just here to have fun and work hard, and I know that if I work my hardest and try my best, I’ll be happy with the outcome even if I get bad reviews. Like everyone else, I would love to get great reviews, but that’s not why I’m doing this. I’m doing this because it’s a dream come true and it’s something new. I don’t take myself very seriously. I just like having fun and doing different things. I’m a hustler!”

A lot of the criticism seems to be coming from other gay men. Hilton was asked if he feels like he has any kind of a responsibility to the LGBT community at this point in his life and career.

“I used to not think so, but now I do,” he says. “I used to say that I wasn’t trying to represent anybody, that I wasn’t a spokesperson for the gay community just like I’m not a spokesperson for the Latino community. The difference is now, I definitely am mindful of the energy that I’m putting out there and my actions, and I don’t want to be perceived as somebody that the LGBT community should be ashamed of or embarrassed by in any way.”

He adds: “The comparison that I like to make is…a lot of LGBT people don’t like Rosie O’Donnell, but I don’t think they’re ashamed of her. I don’t think that they perceive Rosie as someone who is contributing to the corruption of society. I don’t need gay people to like me; I just want them to no longer think that I’m a bad representation for gays.”

FILE UNDER: Musicals, Newsmakers

Adam Lambert announces his next single!

Adam Lambert, one of the hardest working men in showbiz, has just announced the next single off his latest album, Trespassing.

That single is the title track,  Trespassing!

The album, released on May 15, 2012, skyrocketed into Billboards Top 200, debuting at #1 in it’s first week with nearly 78,000 copies sold.

But surprisingly, his first two singles, Better Than I Know Myself and Never Close Our Eyes have not cut fire the way past hits such as Whataya Want From Me from his first album did.

But it is thought by some that Trespassing may fare well with its broad dance appeal and cleverly constructed lyrics. The son was written by Lambert and mega-hit producer Pharrell Williams.


Thursday Morning Man: Bill Clinton!

That was some speech former President Bill Clinton gave last night at the Democratic National Convention.

One of my friends, Kate Cohen, tweeted that if he were teaching a 6am MWF class in college, ” I’d be in my seat at 5:30am and would never miss a class.” She added that she’d “even clean the erasers.”

Heck, I might be sitting there in class right next to her.

Not sure about the erasers though!

Clinton reminded us last night that being smart and passionate and articulate is very sexy!

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)

Celeb Tweets: Bill Clinton at DNC edition!

Chely Wright Chely Wright ‏@chelywright President Clinton is a wise teacher.
Andy Cohen Andy Cohen ‏@BravoAndy I just went to the church of Clinton and I’m saying AMEN! That was something. #RockStar
Zachary Quinto Zachary Quinto ‏@ZacharyQuinto there was more specificity in bill clinton’s speech tonight than in the entire three days of the RNC. so grateful for his intellect!
Don Lemon Don Lemon ‏@DonLemonCNN To all repubs, dems & in between. This is how you give a speech!! Love him or hate him #BillClinton commands attention. #dnc
Whoopi Goldberg Whoopi Goldberg ‏@WhoopiGoldberg Bill Clinton has given one of the best speeches of his life. Great great speech. He just made the single BEST argument for Barack Obama.
Darryl Stephens Darryl Stephens ‏@darrylstephens Bill Clinton breaks it down like no one else. I voted for him for my first election and I would vote him back into office in a heartbeat.
Sandra Bernhard Sandra Bernhard ‏@SandraBernhard “fuck it we’re staying all night long!” #billclinton #dnc2012

FILE UNDER: Celeb Tweets

US Open: Roger Federer upset in quarterfinals

I knew Thomas Berdych has beaten Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2010 but was convinced that he would never again upset this great champion at a grand slam tournament.

How wrong I was.

On a day that one of my favorite players, Andy Roddick, ended his pro career with a fourth-round loss, my all-time favorite player, Federer, fell in the quarterfinals to Berdych.

Federer was aiming for a sixth US Open crown just a few months after winning a seventh Wimbledon and returning to the number one ranking.

The 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 beating was Berdych’s fourth victory in his past seven meetings against Federer.

“I’m disappointed, you know,” said the 31-year-old Federer, who hadn’t lost here before the semifinals since 2003.

“I really expected myself to play better. Such an amazing summer I had, I really thought I was going to come out and play a solid match. I didn’t do that. Obviously, there is a bit of a letdown now.”

“So many moments I thought, ‘Man, it’s just not happening for me.’ It was just a very disappointing match,” he added.

Unlike Roddick, Federer plans to keep on playing so there’s always next year!


Andy Roddick loses and calls it a career

Gosh, this sure is bittersweet.

Andy Roddick told us last week that this US Open was going to be the last tournament of his career. So we wanted him to keep winning because we sure like having him around.

But he didn’t win today.

In the end, 2003 US Open champion Roddick could not get past 2009 US champion Juan Martin del Potro in the fourth round in an exciting match played over two days because of rain.

Roddick quickly took a first set tie-breaker when play resumed today but after he lost a second set tie-break, del Potro pulled away and won 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Del Potro was a classy winner hugging Roddick warmly at the net then quickly leaving the stadium to give the American star a chance to say goodbye to the crowd.

“Oh, wow. For the first time in my career, I’m not sure what to say,” Roddick began. “Since I was a kid, I’ve been coming to this tournament. I felt lucky just to sit where all of you are sitting today, to watch this game, to see the champions that have come and gone. I’ve loved every minute of it.”


Celeb Tweets: Michelle Obama at DNC Edition

Ricky Martin Ricky Martin ‏@ricky_martin Such a beautiful and powerful speech!!! Real! Honest! Emotional! Passionate! Thank you First Lady @MichelleObama
Anderson Cooper Anderson Cooper ‏@andersoncooper I’ve never heard such a well delivered speech by a first lady ever
Andrew Rannells Andrew Rannells ‏@AndrewRannells GD I love Michelle Obama! Well done, First Lady! Well done!
Cher Cher ‏@cher OMG! Just Watched Michelle Obama Speak & am Completely Overwhelmed!She Was Amazing! She is Truly a”FIRST LADY”! A Woman to Admire & Emulate!
Sandra Bernhard Sandra Bernhard ‏@SandraBernhard try and top that my friends she brought the love @MichelleObama #dnc2012
Rory O'Malley Rory O’Malley ‏@RoryOMalley My god #MichelleObama was amazing!!!!!!
octavia spencer octavia spencer ‏@octaviaspencer The #DNC2012 exemplified the diversity in our country. #FLOTUS speech spoke to all who dare to dream!
Wilson Cruz Wilson Cruz ‏@wcruz73 “…success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” – First Lady Michelle Obama
FILE UNDER: Celeb Tweets

Happy Birthday to Phillip P. Keene!

It’s a short list of actors who have played the same character in two different TV series.

There’s Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane in Cheers and Frasier, Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker in All in the Family and Archie Bunker’s Place, and Ed Asner in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant and, of course, Valerie Harper as Rhoda Morgenstern in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda.

Oh! One more! Delta Burke as Suzanne Sugarbaker in Designing Women and Women of the House (nobody bring up Jonie Loves Chachi, please!).

Now we can add Phillip P. Keene as Buzz Watson to that list!

Okay, we can also add most of his castmates from TNT’s The Closer who have just begun appearing in the spinoff series Major Crimes.

But we single out because today is his birthday, because he’s super handsome and because he’s an openly gay actor who quietly goes about doing his job.

What’s really cool is that on Major Crimes, Phillip is getting more screen time as Buzz and that is something longtime fans of his have wanted to see.

Happy birthday to Phillip!

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Melissa Etheridge releases new album!

Melissa Etheridge’s career has spanned nearly 25 years and she is still going strong.

The Grammy and Oscar winning star released her latest album, 4th Street Feeling, this week.

Her signature smoky voice takes on such songs as Kansas City, Falling Up, and I Can Wait.

“This has been my favorite, most enjoyable time in the studio. I believed in myself more in this album than I ever have,” she told Rolling Stone in July.

Below is a behind the scenes look at Falling Up:

FILE UNDER: Lesbian, Music

Wednesday Morning Man: Patrick J. Adams!

If you are a fan of USA Network’s series Suits, then you are already aware of today’s Morning Man Patrick J. Adams who is best known for playing Mike Ross on the show.

Patrick is just 31 and was born and raised in Canada. He moved to Los Angeles to attend USC where he earned a theater degree.

He went on to land a series of guest spots on such TV series as Cold Case, Jack and Bobby, Lost, Friday Night Lights, Without a Trace, Commander in Chief, Heartland, Ghost Whisperer, NCIS, Cupid and Raising the Bar, among others.

Patrick has also done some films including the indie gem Weather Girl which I saw at the LA Film Festival a few years ago.

He juggled his Suits job for awhile with the recurring role of Nathan Israel on HBO’s Luck.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)

Actor Kal Penn describes President Obama as a boss who is “cool with people getting gay married”

We know him best from the Harold & Kumar movies and from the TV series House.

But Kal Penn took some time off from his acting career to work in The White House for the Obama administration as associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

So it was no big surprise to see him at the Democratic National Convention tonight. I loved his appearance – especially when he said “my favorite job was having a boss who gave the order to take out bin Laden, and who’s cool with all of us getting gay-married.”

He added: “So thank you, invisible man in the chair for that.”

FILE UNDER: Politics

See LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s NOH8 photo!

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in the spotlight this week at the Democratic National Convention of which he is the chairman.

It’s nice to have such a high-profile politician so firmly in favor of LGBT equality throughout the years.

Villaraigosa showed that again by posing for the NOH8 marriage equality campaign.

FILE UNDER: Gay Marriage, Politics

Ellen DeGeneres gets star on Walk of Fame!

A big congratulations to Ellen DeGeneres for receiving a much-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier today.

“It is amazing. I spent my entire career trying to conduct myself in a certain way making sure no one walks all over me only to get to a point where people are going to walk all over me,” she said during the ceremony. “It means so much to me that everyone showed up.”

Ellen was joined by her wife Portia de Rossi at the ceremony as well as her mother Betty DeGeneres.

Taking part in the ceremony were fellow television personalities Jimmy Kimmel and Ryan Seacrest.

Ellen’s was the 2,477th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of television and is located in front of the W Hollywood Hotel.


Hank Williams Jr. calls President Obama ‘Muslum president who loves gays’

This is pretty unbelievable.

Hank Williams Jr. launched into a tirade over the weekend while performing at the Stockyards Music Festival in Texas during which he maligned President Barack Obama and gays.

He said to the crowd: ‘We’ve got a Muslim for a president who hates cowboys, hates cowgirls, hates fishing, hates farming, loves gays, and we hate him!’

Alec Baldwin, incensed by the remarks, took to Twitter Tuesday to give the singer a piece of his mind: ‘If Hank Williams Jr. wasn’t such a pathetic, wheezing fossil, I’d have a talk with him.’

He later added: ‘I think we need to call Hank Williams Jr. what he is … A broken-down, senile, racist coot.’

According to the Dallas Morning News, Williams had earlier in the concert made fun of what he called ‘queer guitar pickers’ while performing the song All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down.

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu found not guilty of wrong-doing and wins primary election

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, whose messy split from an ex-boyfriend ended his campaign for US Congress, has had some major good news in recent days.

Babeu last week easily fended off three challengers in the Republican primary in his bid to retain his current job.

Babeu received 61 percent of the 11,208 votes cast. He will next face Democrat Kevin Taylor of Maricopa and independent Ty Morgan of Florence in the November 6 general election.

Babeu was first elected sheriff in 2008 and was a rising Republican star on a national level and was even chairman the Mitt Romney’s presidential effort in Arizona.

Then in February, Phoenix New Times ran a story in which Babeau’s ex-boyfriend, Jose Orozco, accused the lawman of asking him to sign an agreement not to publicly discuss their relationship. When the offer was refused, he said Babeu, and his lawyer, allegedly threatened him with deportation.

He has been cleared of the allegations. Arizona Solicitor General Dave Cole states that Orozco’s allegations ‘are not supported by the facts.’

Babeu was propelled into the national spotlight after the accusations from Orozco surfaced. He said an interview with CNN in February: ‘Political consultants told me ‘Paul, this could come out.’ I said, ‘You know what? People have threatened me my whole life. I’m not motivated by negativity and threats. I’m motivated by the positive.’

In March, Orozco filed a legal claim against Babeu and the Pinal County Board of Supervisors indicating that he intends to seek $1 million in damages alleging abuse of power, malicious prosecution, conspiracy, defamation and other civil-rights violations.

Orozco has said he is in the US on a 10-year tourist visa and that Babeu never asked him his legal status despite the lawman’s strong political stance against illegal immigration.

FILE UNDER: Politics

Wilson Cruz joins the staff of GLAAD!

This sounds like a great fit!

Wilson Cruz is joining the staff of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation as its Strategic Giving Officer.

Cruz begins work today  as part of GLAAD’s development team as he works to help to fund the organization’s work amplifying LGBT stories.

‘From Spanish-language media to sports, Hollywood to the newsroom, GLAAD shares the stories and sparks the discussions that make the world a better place for LGBT people everywhere,’ he said in a statement. ‘I am proud and excited to grow this culture-changing work.’

Wilson first came to fame in his teens as one of the stars of the 1994-95 ABC series My S0-Called Life. He went on to recurring roles on series Party of Five, Noah’s Arc and Raising the Bar and appeared in the films johns, All Over Me, Party Monster, Coffee Date, The Ode, Bam Bam and Celeste, He’s Just Not That Into You and new romantic comedy The People I’ve Slept With.

Wilson also is one of the lead voices in the animated series Rick and Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in the World and played Angel early in the run of the original Broadway production of Rent as well as in the Los Angeles production of that show.

GLAAD President Herndon Graddick said of Cruz: ‘Throughout his career, [he] has been a strong advocate for LGBT Americans. His work in film and television, as well as his commitment to supporting local and national LGBT organizations exemplifies GLAAD’s mission to move LGBT equality forward.’

Cruz’s involvement in GLAAD dates back 17 years. In 1995, he accepted the GLAAD Media Award on behalf of My So-Called Life. Two years later, he joined GLAAD’s Board of Directors and in 2008, GLAAD honored him with its Visibilidad Award.


Celeb Tweets: Ellen getting her star on Walk of Fame; Chris Colfer’s book news and more!

Ellen DeGeneres Ellen DeGeneres ‏@TheEllenShow I’m getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today at 11am. Come watch me! Also, I’d love a ride home. 6270 Hollywood Blvd.
Chris Colfer Chris Colfer ‏@chriscolfer I’m happy to report #TheLandofStories will be translated into many languages for several countries around the world! Super exciting!
Cheyenne Jackson Cheyenne Jackson ‏@cheyennejackson I just tipped my baseball hat to a well-dressed older lady. It was completely involuntary. What am I, a cowboy?
Naya Rivera Naya Rivera ‏@NayaRivera Early morning back at McKinley for some sweet serenade time with Brittany.
Bette Midler Bette Midler ‏@BetteMidler I think it may be time for a national juice cleanse. Can we get any fuller of shit??

I still can’t get over that Clint Eastwood talked to a chair!

FILE UNDER: Celeb Tweets

Tuesday Morning Men: Bob and Mike Bryan!

If Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan can win the doubles title at this year’s US Open, it will be the 12th grand slam crown of their hall of fame careers.

These amazing twins are 34 and have already established themselves as one of the greatest doubles teams of all time – of not the best. By winning the gold medal at the 2012 London Games, they achieved the career golden slam because they had already won the French Open (2003), five Australian Opens, three US Opens and two Wimbledons.

The Bryans have been ranked number one longer than anyone else in doubles history, have won a record 78 titles, have finished as the ATP year-end number 1 doubles team a record 7 times, and have won more matches than any other team in history.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)