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Lesley Goldberg’s Girl Talk! Our columnist previews Emmy categories featuring some lovely ladies

By Lesley Goldberg, columnist

Welcome to Girl Talk! So now that we’re getting to know each other a little better (see last week’s column) you know that I’m a TV junkie, which makes this weekend’s 62nd annual Emmy Awards pretty much a holiday for me.

I’ve been slaving away for the past few weeks copy editing The Hollywood Reporter’s big Emmy issue (on stands today!) and now that the hard work is over, I’m starting to get really excited about the actual awards being handed out, especially since THR has been kind enough to send me to be among its red carpet and backstage reporting team.

Since I’m sure Greg will have a look at all the categories at some point over the weekend, I’m going to focus on Emmy’s lovely ladies! So without further ado, here are a few of my picks for the Emmy pool I’m bound to join in. ACTRESS

I love Glee’s Lea Michele. Adore her. But as much as I love her voice and, well, everything else about her, I think this category will see a repeat of last year’s winner: Toni Collette in Showtime’s United States of Tara. In addition to playing a character with three multiple personalities, this year she added not one but two this season, which basically amounts to five different characters whose heads she had to get inside of. We journalists don’t tend to do well with math, but this sounds like a good formula to win to me: five characters, one show. (Also nominated in the category: Michele, The New Adventures of Old Christine’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nurse Jackie’s Edie Falco, Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler and 30 Rock’s Tina Fey.)

COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS words: Sue Sylvester. If there’s one no-brainer category this year among this year’s ceremony — think Mo’Nique at the Oscars — it’s that Jane Lynch will score her first Emmy victory for Glee’s snarky cheerleading coach. For all that is right in the world, let her unleash a stream of wonderful Sue-inspired one-liners. Or accept the statuette in a track suit. (Also nominated in the category are Modern Family’s Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara, Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig, 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski and Two and a Half Men’s Holland Taylor.)


It seems like 99.9 percent of the critics out there are calling this one for The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies (she did win the Golden Globe and SAG Award for the role already), but I’m going with clear eyes, full heart and hopefully I can’t lose on this one and opting for a big shocker:

Connie Britton of Friday Night Lights. Season 4 — which bowed this week on DVD and is now sitting happily on my coffee table — really is the Tami Taylor show. The season’s abortion story line was played out extremely well and she continues to be the heart and soul that makes this the best drama on TV. (The category also features Damages’ Glenn Close, Law & Order: SVU’s Mariska Hargitay and Mad Men’s January Jones.)


Honestly, I haven’t a clue. I don’t watch Mad Men, Burn Notice, Damages or The Good Wife. But from everything I’ve heard about The Good Wife from the lesbian community, Archie Panjabi is incredible. (And yes, it’s on my list of shows to catch up on as soon as baseball season is over.) If you’re the betting type, however, you might want to opt for Elisabeth Moss. From the season of Mad Men I did see, she was the one who most impressed me. (Other nominees include Burn Notice’s Sharon Gless, Damages’ Rose Byrne, The Good Wife’s Christine Baranski and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks.)


I honestly feel like any of the six nominated shows could really win in this category, but it seems like a two-show race: Glee vs. Modern Family. Will the newbies split the votes and allow 30 Rock to walk off with another Emmy? Who knows, but my pick … Glee. It’s the lesser of the two in terms of script but it’s the bigger of the two in what it has accomplished: rejuvenating the musical on the small screen plus making the masses care about arts education again. (Also nominated: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Nurse Jackie and The Office.)

DRAMA SERIES it were up to me, Friday Night Lights would win the prize, but it’s hard to win when the show isn’t even nominated. But I digress. … This has got to be the year that Showtime breaks through with a drama series win for Season 4 of Dexter. Michael C. Hall plus John Lithgow (who has already won for his guest turn as the creepy Trinity Killer) should spell victory. (Other nominees include Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, Lost, Mad Men and True Blood.)

Check back next week for more Girl Talk when I’ll run down my favorite moments from covering the Showtime party, Emmy red carpet and backstage winners’ reactions. Oh, and if The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons doesn’t win for comedy actor, you’ll hear about that, too!

Want more Girl Talk? Tweet me, @Snoodit! (


“I Love Lucy” Friday: Lucy tries to hide the new furniture from Ricky by stashing it in the kitchen! has got to be the most exhausting dinner that Lucy Ricardo ever served.

She does not want that hot-headed Cuban, Ricky, to know that she went ahead and bought the new living room furniture that he did not want to her buy.

She hides the furniture in the kitchen until she gets the nerve to break the news to him and serves dinner in the living room. Problem is, the kitchen door won’t open so Lucy has to keep running out the front door, through the Mertz’s apartment into the backdoor of her kitchen and back again for things like salt and sharper steak knives.

Exhausted, when Ricky asks for butter, she has had her fill and this leads to a classic Lucy line and Lucille Ball delivery: “BUTTER on BREAD? I’ll never get used to your crazy Cuban ways.”

FILE UNDER: I Love Lucy Friday

Friday Morning Man: Kiptyn Locke!

Kiptyn Locke Bachelor Pad, shirtlessHere is the third in my three-part series of Morning Men from Bachelor Pad, my latest reality show guilty pleasure.

This is Kiptyn Locke who was the runner-up of  The Bachelorette 2009. He may have succeeded in winning the heart of Jillian Harris (she picked Ed Swiderski) but his washboard abs made him a winner among viewers.

Kiptyn is a 32-year-old business developer from Encinitas, California.

Kiptyn Locke Bachelor Pad

Kiptyn Locke Bachelor Pad

Kiptyn Locke The Bachelorette

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Dr. Reid Oliver realizes he is “powerless” as he falls in love with Luke Snyder on “As the World Turns”

Luke Snyder has got to be the most adorable, most loyal – and most meddlesome! – boyfriend around.

Now that he doesn’t have Noah Mayer’s life to get involved in, he has segued right into the life of his current boyfriend, Dr. Reid Oliver.

Reid confided in Luke that he was treating Chris for a serious illness and when Luke runs into Chris at the hospital, he starts to give unsolicited advice telling him he needs to stop keeping his illness a secret.

Back at the house, Reid and Luke talk about love and loss and as Reid is speaking about investing emotions in someone, it seems to dawn on him that he is indeed falling in love with Luke and he is powerless to stop it!

The couple start a hot and heavy make-out session (scandal!) bit it’s interrupted yet again.

Reid says to Luke: “To be continued.”

We’ll be holding him to that!

FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

New “Glee” portraits revealed! Check out Chris Colfer, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison and others!

The second season of Glee doesn’t premiere until Tuesday, Sept. 21 but fans like me are already whipping ourselves up into a frenzy of anticipation.

We. Can’t. Wait.

By the time of the premiere, we’ll know how many of its 19 Emmy nominations will have translated into victory with the awards being handed out on Sunday night at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

Chris Colfer (above) is competing in the outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series category. Two years ago he was an unknown high school kid! Now he has a realistic chance of beating such experienced pros as Neil Patrick Harris, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell in a category that includes three openly gay actors.

Jane Lynch (left) had long been one of the busiest and most respected actresses in Hollywood with her series of roles in Christopher Guest films and other comedies featuring the likes of Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell.

But her sensational turn as ruthless cheer coach Sue Sylvester has made her into a superstar. Jane competes in the outstanding supporting actress in a comedy category on Sunday and she just could win! If she does hear her name announced, I hope she gives a big, fat kiss to her new wife!

And finally, there is the delicious Matthew Morrison who has won our hearts as the dedicated and passionate and, well, totally hot Glee club advisor.

Matthew was well-known as a stage actor appearing on Broadway in Hairspray and The Light in the Piazza and off-Broadway in 10 Million Miles.

Will Schuester is our dream man and so is Matthew who is nominated for the Emmy in the outstanding lead actor in a comedy series category.

Here are some videos of the Glee cast shooting their season 2 promo photos. To see the full set, go to!


Read my Frontiers story on Gaytime TV! did a little moonlighting this week and wrote a story for Frontiers IN LA which I have written for occasionally over the years.

Here are the first four paragraphs of the story on Gays and Daytime TV. You can go to the Frontiers site to read the rest. Enjoy!

By Greg Hernandez

Rosie O’Donnell spent nearly the entire six years of her syndicated daytime show as “The Queen of Nice,” emerging from the closet only in the final two months of its run in 2002. But by the time Rosie returned to daily daytime TV as moderator of The View in 2006, she was well-known as a lesbian activist and regularly talked about then-partner Kelli Carpenter and their four kids.

By the time The Ellen DeGeneres Show debuted in 2003, its host was already one of the most famous lesbians in America having come out six years earlier on her ABC sitcom and on the cover of Time magazine. Her 2008 wedding to Portia DeRossi was the focus of an entire episode of the syndicated talk show and made the cover of People magazine.

So it seems natural that in the fall of 2010, the road having been paved, that two new out talk show hosts, Nate Berkus and Sara Gilbert, would no longer have to dance around the gay thing for fear of turning off sponsors and viewers.

But neither seem very eager to wrap themselves up in a rainbow flag just yet.

If you watch the promos trumpeting the Sept. 13 launch of The Nate Berkus Show, they feature various women fawning the handsome design expert who made a name for himself during eight years of appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. There is no mention of the fact that history is being made here as The Nate Berkus Show will be the first nationally syndicated daytime talk show to be hosted by an openly gay man.

Continue Reading …


“I Love You Phillip Morris” starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as lovers gets new release date

A new release date has finally been set for I Love You Phillip Morris which premiered to raves at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 but has been stuck in a distribution nightmare all year. Deadline Hollywood reports that the film will hit theaters on Dec. 3.

The film focuses on a love affair between a con man (Jim Carrey) and his cellmate (Ewan McGregor). Carrey’s character commits all kinds of crazy misdeeds, like breaking out of Texas prisons four times, to be with his lover.

The two lead actors have been quite enthusiastic about their gay roles.

McGregor told the Los Angeles Times last year that not only did he not mind kissing Carrey, he “quite liked it.”

“It’s a love story, an escape movie and a comedy, all about this man who goes to incredible lengths to be with the man he loves,” he says. “I like it because it’s a gay film, which is to say it’s a film about two men in love, and I think that’s an important element of it. But it’s not a film about them being gay. They just happen to be gay. I also got to French kiss Jim Carrey a lot, and I quite like that too.”


Greg In Hollywood chats with “ER” alum Laura Innes about her return to TV in “The Event”


Anyone who saw Laura Innes as the skilled but abrasive – and later it turned out lesbian – Dr. Kerry Weaver on ER knows that she is a terrific actress.

But she’s also a terrific and very in-demand director who was nominated for directing an episode of The West Wing and has also directed House and Brothers & Sisters, among other shows.

This fall, Laura steps back in front of the camera in the NBC series The Event which also stars Jason Ritter and Blair Underwood. The action and unfolding mystery gives the show the feel of 24 and it was great to talk to Laura about it at the Television Critics Assn. Summer Press Tour earlier this month.

“I’ve been directing a lot and I read a lot of pilots, some of them very, very good, but a lot of things are very derivative,” she said. “This show is of a certain genre but I really loved how tightly it was structured, I loved the people they were starting to cast. When I met with them I really liked them. They were nice, smart people. And it’s a fun, fun job.”

After 12 years on ER, Laura enjoyed her time directing but points out that those opportunities are still all too rare for women – especially when it comes to directing feature films.

“I think it’s getting better and better but I think the DGA is still about 7 percent women so it’s a very small percentage,” she said. “It’s a complicated issue because the movie business is so much about relationships and there’s so much money at stake that I think the way that these younger female directors are going, directing independent movies, that’s the way to go. You’ve just got to do it and make your movie.”

I had to talk to Laura about one of the most powerful scenes she ever played on ER and a scene that made me a fan of Kerry Weaver – and Laura Innes – forever. The character of Dr. Jeanie Boulet (played by Gloria Reuben) was trying to keep the fact that she had HIV quiet so she wouldn’t lose her job.

Weaver picked up on it though and one day, standing outside the hospital, she said to Jeanie something like: “It’s easier if you tell someone you know.”

“That was one of the first scenes that they gave my character that was really more multi-dimensional and I thought, ‘Oh, maybe they’re going to keep me,’” Laura told me. “You have to be able to have those moments with somebody’s heart connecting. I think the show was meaningful to us because it did those kinds of things in the midst of a very successful show and having some sort of social impact.”

FILE UNDER: Interviews

Out actor Thom Bierdz returns to Genoa City in today’s episode of “The Young and the Restless”

Greg In Hollywood broke the news exclusively back in June that Thom Bierdz would be reprising his role as Phillip Chancellor III on The Young and the Restless sometime this summer.

Today is the day.
Phillip was last seen late last year leaving for Australia. That exit came just six months after Thom made a dramatic return to the show after a 20 year absence. Not only was Phillip not dead – as had been presumed – but he was also gay. The actor himself, also closeted during his previous run on the show, had since come out very publicly in an outstanding memoir Forgiving Troy. what is in store for Phillip this time around?
Thom tells GayLifeMagazine: “We get to see more areas of Phillip that we haven’t seen before. We see more humor in him, more emotion as well and more vulnerability this time. When I went back last year after being away 20 years and I was a gay character and a gay man, I didn’t want to make Phillip vulnerable like he was 20 years ago, because we wanted the audience to realize gay men could be strong. Some of the fans thought I was a bit cold so I added more vulnerability this time. It just totally makes sense. Phillip is still a strong gay man, but he’s wounded and there are times he has to show that. There is some various serious stuff that comes up in the next month.”
As the openly gay actor in daytime these days (Scott Evans’ character of Fish was written off of One Life to Live), Thom was asked what he personally brings to the character of Phillip: “I try to bring in my whole self. I really don’t consider myself much of an actor/pretender. I’m more of an activist and I’m more of an artist, so I’m really trying to bring everything I am into the character. Sure, once in awhile there are words I wouldn’t say, but I gotta do it. I’m getting paid to say it. The other day there was this scene where I had something to say in a group and I’m really an introvert. I wanted to make Phillip awkward in that group speaking moment as well because I think it very much fit his character that he felt like an outsider. That’s just another thing I try to bring. I look at myself and think I have no qualms about exposing myself.
FILE UNDER: Daytime TV, Out Stars

Thursday Morning Man: Jesse Beck!’m not a big tattoo fan but as far as I’m concerned, Jesse Beck can have as many as he wants!

The hunky general contractor from Missouri didn’t make it as far as I thought he would on the recent Bachelorette with Ali Fedotowsky (he was eliminated in episode 4) but I was so glad to see him resurface as one of the contestants on the ABC summer series Bachelor Pad.

Jesse is 25 years old and is described as the sexy, strong and silent type. He is currently living in Kansas City, Missouri, but is originally from Peculiar, Missouri.

He says his greatest achievement to date is owning his own home, buying a truck and being happy where he lives.

When asked what his best date memory is, he says: “Having a food fight!”

Jesse says his three best attributes are being sincere, kind and having a good work ethic.

I can think of a few other attributes, can’t you?

Jesse Beck shirtless Bachelor Pad

Jesse Beck Bachelor Pad

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Jonathon Groff on Newsweek article: “You just have to take it like any good or bad review” of folks were outraged by a controversial Newsweek article in which writer Ramin Setoodeh stated that openly gay actors are unable to convincingly play straight characters.

To back up his point, he cited the performance of Sean Hayes in Broadway’s Promises, Promises and that of Jonathan Groff on TV’s Glee.

Groff, currently appearing in a revival of Deathtrap on London’s West End, had far less harsh words for the writer and his theory.

“It’s just one of those things,” the actor says in an interview with the UK’s Independent. “You just have to take it like any good or bad review, and try to let it roll off your back. I’ve played all kinds of characters, with all kinds of sexuality, and I hope to go on doing that.”

However, he doesn’t believe the article was homophobic, and compares it to a scathing review of an actor’s unconvincing accent. “It’s all pretty much the same. People will say, ‘so-and-so can’t play this role because of this or that’,” he muses.

Sitting in the Royal Retirement room at the theatre, Groff seems positively Zen. “As an actor, it is great if you can leave your personal life at the door, but it is inevitable that the public is going to come to know more about you.”

As his fame grows, so does the difficulty of separating his personal life from his work. Groff is regularly accosted by fans – known as “Gleeks” – but considers he has escaped lightly.

“For the first time in my life, people recognize me in the street, but it is not like the paparazzi are following me, so it is sort of nice,” he says. Groff seems unable to believe his luck. He cheerfully explains that just six years ago he was working as a waiter while getting up at 4am to queue for open auditions: “For every job I did get, there were 100 I didn’t. The rejection is pretty intense, so you have to have faith in yourself.”

FILE UNDER: Controversy, Glee

Christopher Gorham explains his family’s NOH8 photo during an appearance on “The Today Show.”
CHRIS GORHAM X390 (MSNBC GRAB) | ADVOCATE.COMEDUCATIONAL TV: The morning after his character’s most exciting Covert Affairs episode all season, Christopher Gorham appeared on The Today Show to chat up the new USA hit which I am positively hooked on.

Long a supporter of LGBT equality, a photo of the actor and his family (wife Anel Lopez Gorham, sons Lucas and Ethan and baby daughter Alondra) posing for the NOH8 campaign flashed on the screen – it’s a campaign that apparently has not registered on co-host Hoda Kotb or guest host Martina McBride’s radars.

“Why do they have tape over their mouths?” they wondered.

Chris explained to them that it was for the NOH8 campaign!

It has been Anel’s idea to participate and she explains why on the NOH8 site: “Years ago, Chris and I would never have been allowed to be married legally. I’m Mexican and Chris is white, and if the laws had never been changed to allow people of different races to marry then we never would have been allowed to be married, never been allowed to have this wonderful family, and that’s just heartbreaking.. so we really get it.”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Wednesday Briefs: Sean Penn a rock star? Sara Ramirez talks Callie and Arizona; Oprah doesn’t like surprises!

Sean Penn on set

Happy Wednesday!

You know, Sean Penn is so attractive as he is that I just never, not once, wondered what he would look like as a Gene Simmons-like rock star.

But now we know anyway thanks to a photos of Sean in bright red lipstick, long earrings, and big, teased hair that was snapped in Dublin as he shot a scene for his new movie This Must Be the Place.

Sean, who has spent much of the year in Haiti working tirelessly on earthquake relief, is back to work in film playing a wealthy rock star hunting for the man who killed his father, an ex-Nazi war criminal. LOVE: Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) survived the hospital shooting at the end of Gtey’s Anatomy and will, at least for awhile, enjoy some measure of bliss as a couple.
“At the end of last season, Callie and Arizona decided they would be together at any cost,” Sara tells TV Guide Magazine. “I think there’s a lot of people rooting for them to start building a family. So far this season, we are in a good place – together, happy and grateful to be alive.”

But Sara, whose doctor character has been romantically involved with both men and women, doesn’t expect it to be clear sailing ahead: “It’s a drama so they’ll need some conflict to come up.” MOORE SURPRISES: It’s well-known that Oprah Winfrey is a huge fan of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She has hosted a cast reunion on a replica of the show’s set and even filmed the famous opening of the show with her re-enacting Mary’s iconic moment of throwing her cap into the air.

But when Oprah’s staff came up with a surprise and invited Mary Tyler Moore herself onto the show without telling Oprah, she lost control: “I went into the ugly cry on the air.” Because of that, Oprah has made a rule that during the 25th and final year of her daytime show, she tells TV Guide Magazine must not be surprised like that again: “I don’t want to lose that kind of control. If you’ve ever looked at that tape, snot’s running out of my nose and I had such a headache that I couldn’t focus. I don’t handle surprise very well.”


Catching up with Jensen Atwood on his birthday!

Jensen Atwood is not only one of the best looking actors in Hollywood, he’s also one of the nicest.

So I hope the man best known for his role of sexy Wade Robinson on the Noah’s Arc television series and feature film is having a wonderful birthday today. Jensen also played Griffin during the third season of Dante’s Cove.

While a fourth season of Dante’s was announced last year, no further details have emerged and production never began. As for more Noah’s Arc stories, Jensen would jump at the chance.

“Noah’s Arc seems to never die,” he told me recently. “Every year there seems to be new life to breathe back into it. They’ve been playing the reruns on Logo and they just played the movie for the first time on television. It’s still alive and kicking.”

Whatever happens with Noah’s or Dante’s, Jensen is keeping busy. He currently appears in a commercial for Coors Light that is airing nationally, he appears in the Toni Braxton video Hands Tied and his 2011 calendar is out now on It’s called Jensen Atwood on Black (2009 was Jensen Atwood on White)

“We skipped 2010, maybe we’ll do it every other year,” he said, laughing. “It depends on how the demand goes. This time around, [the calendar] is a lot more me. I was a producer on it so most of the decisions that needed to be made were mine. You’ll get a little more personal Jensen.” is a straight actor who has had his greatest exposure in a gay role. So I wondered what he thought of the infamous Newsweek article from earlier this summer that maintained that openly gay actors were unable to convincingly play straight roles.

“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “As actors, we’re all individuals and we play characters, we play roles and hopefully we’re convincing in doing that. If you’re entertained, if you’re moved and feel things you weren’t expecting to feel, the actor’s doing his job, he’s telling a story. Who cares what his sexual orientation is or what religion they are, any of those things. When an actor steps outside of himself, he’s doing his best work. As an artist and an actor, if you’re able to do that, do it.”

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Nate Berkus on the Sept. 13 debut of his new daytime talk show: “I’m really ready” Berkus shares the cover of the news issue of TV Guide Magazine with his television mentor Oprah Winfrey and two more of Oprah’s most successful proteges: Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz.

The design expert turned talk show host (The Nate Berkus Show premieres Sept. 13) appeared on Oprah’s show frequently over an eight-year span and in the process, did 127 makeovers.

He says of stepping out on his own: “I’m really ready. Oprah asked me if I was nervous and I said no. She said, ‘That’s a really great place to be. I wasn’t nervous the day my show went national either.”

What he learned from Oprah: “I learned to always speak my truth, even if it was uncomfortable, to always listen to my inner voice and when people show you who they are, believe them.”

His favorite Oprah moment: “My farewell show. Oprah gave me an album that included photos and letters from all the people I met along the way. It brought me back to the people and makeovers and reunions that I was able to be a part of.”


“Will & Grace” Wednesday: When Ellen DeGeneres guest-starred on the show – as a nun! its eight seasons on the air, Will & Grace was the Glee of its day in terms of high-profile guest stars.

Just about every big star around appeared on the show for a one-time shot or in a recurring role. Just off the top of my head: Cher, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Douglas, Tracy Ullman, Matt Damon, Britney Spears, Kevin Bacon, Minnie Driver, Rosie O’Donnell, Woody Harrelson, Joan Collins, Janet Jackson, Glenn Close, Debbie Reynolds, Blythe Danner, Luke Perry, Gregory Hines, Harry Connick Jr., John Cleese, Taye Diggs, Sandra Bernhart, Jeff Goldblum and on and on and on!

So, of course, you had to have Ellen DeGeneres come on! The thing is, until I came across this clip, I had completely forgotten Ellen’s appearance as Sister Louise, a nun (a cheesecake business on the side) who bought Grace’s Uncle Jerry’s  car and doesn’t want to sell it back unless Will and Grace can come up with $3,000 (she paid $400).

Wednesday Morning Man: Jesse Kovacs! just can’t quit The Bachelor franchise this summer. On Monday night, I sat through a two-hour episode of ABC’s  Bachelor House and was just hooked. Yeah, it had something to do with the guy candy because there is plenty of it!

Starting today and through Friday, I’m going to feature guys from the Bachelor House starting today with Jesse Kovaks.

The 28-year-old from Los Angeles appeared on The Bachelorette starring Jillian Harris. He is a former professional baseball player-turned-wine maker who has a company with his brother Jacob. He heads Kovacs Brothers’ sales, marketing and public relations efforts.

Jesse was a professional baseball player before joining the family wine business. An all-state player at Carmel High School, he received a full scholarship to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., where he majored in Broadcast Communications and minored in Sociology.

He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies organization in 2004, and ultimately played four years of professional baseball before giving himself over to wine full time. Since then, he’s traveled across the country spreading the word, the wine, the fun and the Kovacs Brothers brand.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Citing “Glee” and “Modern Family,” article claims Hollywood opening arms to gay characters and families journalism, three is a trend. So with Modern Family and Glee ratings hits on television and The Kids Are All Right an art house hit in theaters, USA Today in an article in today’s paper proclaims: When it comes to gay marriage and gay families, politicians are still bickering and courts are still deliberating. But in entertainment, it’s all over but the shouting.

Instead of being depicted gay people as miserable, dysfunctional or tragic, gay relationships and gay families are portrayed as just like other families — normal, unremarkable, no big deal.

Modern Family creator Steve Levitan said of his decision to include a gay couple (played by Emmy nominees Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson) raising a baby as character:  “We set out to do a family show with different kinds of families because it seemed to us that families are changing and (a gay family) was a logical type to explore. We didn’t think it was the most commercial choice. We thought it might marginalize our audience a bit, but much to our surprise, it hasn’t.”

The article wonders: Is Hollywood following the culture, or is the culture following Hollywood?

TheKidsAreAllRight_still.jpg image by saskiaj1984

Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk) points to Kids – which stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a couple – as particularly valuable in its portrayal of a family with two women as a couple raising their kids:  “It shows how regular our families are; it goes a long way toward gay and lesbian families introducing ourselves to straight families as not that much different. And unlike in Milk and so many (past) gay movies, the lead characters don’t die.”

There’s not much in there that isn’t covered on a more incremental basis by Greg In Hollywood (except for the anti-gay types who I have no time or energy for) but I will say this: these depictions are so important to the culture. They are especially important to queer kids who think they are alone and to people to see that gay and lesbian folks aren’t all that different from straight folks a lot of the time.

FILE UNDER: Newsmakers

Tuesday Briefs: John Barrowman has garage sale; Fantasia update; US Open women’s seedings! MUCH? One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. At least I’m sure that’s how a lot of shoppers felt while browsing at John Barrowman’s recent garage sale in Wales.

The Torchwood stud said he wanted to “clear out a load of old junk” but that he is not moving from his five-bed home in the seaside village of Sully, in the Vale of Glamorgan even though Torchwood will be filming its next season in Los Angeles.

“I’m not moving, I love Wales too much,” John told WalesOnline.

Flyers advertising the sale offered “great deals” on furniture, collectibles and ornaments. “Everything must go – spread the word,” urged the flyer, decorated with Welsh flags as well as the Stars and Stripes.

Barrowman – wearing rimless specs, red checked trousers and a tight blue T-shirt – said: “I’m having a garage sale like any other citizen of South Wales! I’m just a regular citizen holding a normal garage sale to clear out a load of old junk and raise money for charity.”

Tables were piled high with kitchen equipment from expensive Denby dining sets to silver table-top candelabras. Hordes of locals squeezed round several clothes racks crammed full of the star’s old clothes.

Oh, what I would pay for just one used John Barrowman T-shirt!

Fantasia Barrino on Good Morning AmericaTURNING PAIN INTO GAIN: I’m glad Fantasia Barrino didn’t succeed in killing herself a few weeks ago but I have to wonder: what the hell is she doing on television talking about it already?

Oh yeah, I know why: Her new album Back to Me is out today!

Fantasia appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America this morning and tearfully explained that it was much more than claims that she broke up a relationship by having an affair with a married man that drove her to attempt suicide.

“I think everybody feels like I tried to harm myself over a man, but you know I’ve been in a lot of bad relationships,” she said. “I think that had somewhat to do with it because it was so heavy, it was brand new information, I was already going through so much. But I think it was just six years of everything, of me holding all that stuff on the inside and not letting it out…I got very, very tired.”

“I was tired of people doing me wrong, constantly, over and over again, dealing with my family, my father, dealing with men and their [expletive],” she continued. “My head was hurting me. I was over it.”

She took an overdose of aspirin and sleeping aids on August 9. She was found in her closet by agent Brian Dickens. Fantasia told GMA’s Robin Roberts that when she found herself in hospital, she knew she couldn’t keep her problems a secret any more.

She said: ‘When I woke up, I figured out, “Oh God, this is going to be more drama. I know all these nurses they know me, they probably voted for me.”‘

All i can say is this: Get this woman off of the GMA couch and onto the couch of a good shrink!’S SHADOWS: Since Serena Williams will not be competing in next week’s US Open, word, number two Caroline Wozniacki (pictured, left) will be the top seed of the women’s field. She has the distinction of being the first number one seed in the history of the tournament to have never won a grand slam tournament.

But there are a trio of former number ones and past US Open champions in the field: Defending champion Kim Clijsters is seeded second (she also won in 2005) while 2000 and 2001 champion Venus Williams is seeded third. Maria Sharapova, the 2006 US Open champion, is coming back from injury and is seeded 14th.

Also in the field is 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova who is seeded 11th and been playing well in recent weeks after a mostly disastrous season.

Seeded fourth is the 2008 runner-up Jelena Jankovic who was briefly-ranked number one a few years back and wilted under the pressure. Rounding out the top five an Australian player Samantha Stosur who was the runner-up at this year’s French Open.

It’s hard to predict a winner. No one has the killer instinct that Serena has in grand slam tournaments so there’s a lot of choking that goes on in the women’s game. I’d love to see Venus step up and win and she certainly has the ability. You just never know when the wheels are going to come off her game.

I’m going to predict Clijsters as the winner with Sharapova my second pick. But, I’m rooting for Venus.


George Michael loses driver’s license for six months!

Good afternoon everyone!

I’m so disgusted with George Michael.

He pleaded guilty earlier today to driving under the influence of drugs and being in possession of cannabis. He may face jail time after driving his car into a London photo shop while under the influence of drugs.

“Mr. Michael looked at the officer with his eyes wide open and the officers could see his pupils were dilated,” said prosecutor Penny Fergusson. “They opened the door and could see he was dripping with sweat.”

Prosecutors said Michael acknowledged smoking marijuana and taking a prescription sedative.

It was the latest in a string of bizarre automotive and drug-related mishaps that have raised fears for Michael’s safety – and the safety of others! The dude is lucky he hasn’t hurt anyone or himself.

I’m sure he has plenty of money so to George I would say this: “Hire a driver!”

Judge Robin McPhee banned Michael from driving for six months, and warned he could face jail time when he is sentenced Sept. 14.

“It is a serious matter. Your driving was extremely poor and there was an accident,” McPhee said, adding that Michael has already had one conviction. “I make it clear all options in respect of sentencing remain open, including powers to imprison.”

According to the Associated Press, George was mobbed by several dozen photographers Tuesday as he arrived at London’s Highbury Corner Magistrates Court.

He was charged after plowing his Range Rover into a branch of Snappy Snaps in Hampstead, north London, in the wee hours of July 4. The dent in the wall is still visible, and someone has added one word of graffiti: Wham.

The car’s engine was still running when police arrived, but Michael had to be roused, police said. They described Michael as appearing “spaced out.”

George, grow up.

FILE UNDER: Controversy, Out Stars