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Tuesday Morning Man: Zachary Knighton!

http://www.malestarz.com/uploads/photos/0070891943360d31d02e260f310351971.jpgZachary Knighton was at the ABC party during TV Critics Assn. Press Tour a few weeks ago but I didn’t get the chance to chat with him.

But there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy this attractive actor as our Morning Man is there?

Zachary is part of the ensemble cast of the new ABC sitcom Happy Endings about a group of  friends whose little group will be rocked when the couple that brought them together, Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) and Dave (Knighton), break up. This leaves the group in an awkward position of either trying to stay together or choosing sides. Alex and Dave decide to stay friends but there are many more complications down the road.

The series looks promising but no doubt the 31-year-old actor is keeping his expectations in check: last fall he was one of the stars of ABC’s highly-touted FlashForward and also starred on the short-lived series Related and Life on a Stick.

If the TV thing doesn’t work out, Zachary can always find work in films it seems. His movie roles include Surfer Dude with Matthew McConaughay, The Hitcher, The Prince and Me and the terrific gay indie The Mudge Boy which stars Emile Hirsch.

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

The gay “Beverly Hills 90210″ hunk is …

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http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_R5LIFqwhDtE/SrS05bmBBUI/AAAAAAAAD_0/T0bKHJWNDjY/s400/trevor_donovan_5355355.jpg… absolutely smoking hot!

We already had it narrowed down to one of three characters on Beverly Hills 90210: Liam Court (Matt Lanter), Teddy Montgomery (Trevor Donovan) or Navid Shirazi (Michael Steger).

Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello has just confirmed that the gay character coming out this fall is (and for God’s sake quit reading if you want to remain in the dark!) is the tennis playing hunk Teddy!

Michael was prepared to sit on the confirmation until Montgomery’s messages via Twitter were just too revealing. The actor never comes out and says it’s his character but he does write: “I read all your tweets and know you are all curious about the ‘gay’ character this season. Let me say, gay or straight, relationships are relationships. Everyone goes through the same kind of troubles and joys. A gay storyline will have an added issue of dealing with judgment from others. Acceptance, by family, friends, society, and self is just one of the concerns the character will be going through. It is a part of life, and it should be portrayed. I was told, and am confident, [that] the storyline will be written very well and the change in the character will be organic, NOT overnight. It’s going to be a great season 3. I look forward to chatting with you all as we progress.

I think it is fabulous to have an actor who is not only extremely easy on the eyes in this role, but to have an actor who is embracing it so thoughtfully.

His Tweets echo some of what he told me when we chatted a few weeks ago about the gay character:

“It’s exciting because the way they’re explaining it, it’s going to be written in a way where it’s really going to focus on the struggle of coming to fruition of who he is – whoever he is,” Trevor said at the CBC/Showtime party during TV Critics Assn. Summer Press Tour. “To tell you the truth, I would be honored and flattered and excited if it was me. Because not only would it be a great opportunity to sort of display and showcase your acting chops, but it’s also a great opportunity to struggle of coming to that fruition, the realization.”

“From what I understand, it’s going to be a process, it’s going to be an arc just like it is in real life, coming to terms with it and coming out,” Trevor added. “It’s a struggle and they really want to show that struggle. It’s not just, ‘Oh, I’m gay’ and show like the shock value of two guys kissing on network TV. They are going to write it intelligently and it’s going to be interesting.”

We also know who is going to play his boyfriend: Kyle Riabko!

FILE UNDER: Television

Court ruling means no same-sex marriages can be performed in Calfornia while Prop. 8 case on appeal

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/069D05bbaOaM7/600x.jpgJust as we were ready to start throwing rice at our newly wed gay friends, the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals has granted Prop 8 proponents a stay on a judge’s ruling that makes same-sex marriage legal in California.

It is bitterly disappointing for those who are planning nuptials and for those of us who hope to someday be.

But the bright side is the appellate court has set a highly expedited schedule for briefing and argument of proponents’ appeal so hopefully the matter will be settled sooner than later and we will know whether or not the case will go before the US Supreme Court.

http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/225px-Theodore_Olsen_-_2010_-_David_Shankbone.jpg“We are very gratified that the Ninth Circuit has recognized the importance and pressing nature of this case and the need to resolve it as quickly as possible by issuing this extremely expedited briefing schedule,” said Attorney Theodore B. Olson, who argued on behalf of two same-sex couples who filed suit. “As Chief Judge Walker found, Proposition 8 harms gay and lesbian citizens each day it remains on the books.   We look forward to moving to the next stage of this case.”

The American Foundation for Equal Rights and plaintiffs Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo (the two couples are pictured at top of page) challenged Proposition 8 in federal court for violating the U.S. Constitution. After a three-week trial (including the testimony of 17 plaintiffs’ witnesses, among them the foremost experts on the relevant issues, and thousands of pages of documents and a wealth of other evidence) the Court ruled last Wednesday, August 4, that Proposition 8 violated the rights to equal protection under the law and due process that the U.S. Constitution guarantees to every American.

http://www.lgbtpov.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Chad-and-the-plaintiffs-at-nc1-300x225.jpg“Today’s order from the Ninth Circuit for an expedited hearing schedule ensures that we will triumph over Prop. 8 as quickly as possible,” said Chad Griffin, Board President, American Foundation for Equal Rights. “This case is about fundamental constitutional rights and we at the American Foundation for Equal Rights, our Plaintiffs and our attorneys are ready to take this case all the way through the appeals court and to the United States Supreme Court.”

Here is a link to today’s ruling: Today’s order can be found here:  http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/legal-filings/9th-circuit-ruling-on-motion-for-stay-pending-appeal/

FILE UNDER: Gay Marriage

“Fifteen Minutes” PR guru Howard Bragman now repping Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater

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http://theyadig.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/howard-bragman-headshot.jpgHoward Bragman’s PR firm is called Fifteen Minutes and boy, is Steven Slater certainly enjoying his.

Howard could be just the person to help the Jet Blue flight attendant who lost his cool extend his time in the spotlight.

“I can officially confirm that I am now representing Steven Slater,” Bragman said in a statement. “While my work will include media relations, my team at Fifteen Minutes and I will be helping him sort out the scores of offers that have come through in the past week from media producers, brands and other interested parties.

“I very much believe that Steven touched a nerve with the American people and am proud to be helping him tell his story at the appropriate time in the appropriate way.”

Slater has been offered a job as host of a reality show featuring various disgruntled workers quitting their jobs in extravagant ways, according to TMZ.

The offer is said to have come from Stone and Company Entertainment, the reality show heavyweights behind such reality hits as Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style and Top Design, the website reported citing industry insiders.

Slater became an overnight internet folk hero after he got on the intercom of a packed JetBlue plane and cursed out an unruly passenger before quitting and allegedly grabbing two beers, deploying the emergency slide and sliding off the plane.

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Monday Briefs: Jesse Tyler Ferguson targets NY state senators; Steven Slater is a Fanilow; It’s Madonna’s birthday!

http://cinie.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/risky-business-cruise-400a0125071.jpgI do believe that our love affair with Tom Cruise began at this very moment back in 1983 when he slid across the floor, in his briefs, lip-sinking Old Time Rock and Roll in his breakthrough movie Risky Business.

Tom had 25 years or so of non-stop hits but Knight and Day proved that he is not the box office draw he once was. I think he’s a terrific actor and would love to see him do some more parts like Magnolia.

Anyway, here are some briefs for you. Sorry for the late start and early finish on the blogging front today but I’ve got my hands full on the family front. Thanks to all for your loyalty and patience!

Manilow_slater FLIGHT ATTENDANT FANILOW: The Jet Blue flight attendant who lost his marbles, exited a flight via emergency shoot with a beer in hand, and is now a folk hero, is now rubbing elbows with celebrities instead of unruly passengers.

Steven Slater attended Barry Manilow‘s “Symphony” concert with the New York Pops at Caesars Boardwalk Hall and met the ageless singing star backstage for a photo op.

FIGHTING BACK: I love that people are targeting the state senators in New York who so cowardly voted against approving same-sex marriage in their state. They are so afraid of offending certain segments of voters that they do not vote their conscience and end up offending another group – a group that is made as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore.

Emmy nominated Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson has taped the following Public Service Announcement for Fight Back New York, the political action committee targeting anti-gay state senators in New York. Jesse has some strong words for the politicians and also jokingly makes public his plans to marry Alec Baldwin – not sure he ran that proposal by the 30 Rock star!

http://twinkleboi.com/music/wp-content/uploads/madonna_01.jpgMADONNA’S BIRTHDAY: The Material Girl turns 52 years young today!

She has reinvented herself so many times over the years with new looks, new music, movies good and bad and a colorful love life. That has meant she has never been boring and I doubt she ever will be!

It will be interesting to see what she has in store for us next.

http://images.starpulse.com/Photos/Previews/Desperate-Housewives-6-09.jpgAND FINALLY: I have to confess to being more of a fan of actor Shawn Pyfrom than I am of Madonna. Strange for a gay man not to be enthralled by her but she does not strike me as authentic and leaves me cold. That said, I have much respect for her talent.

So why am I bringing up Shawn Pyfrom?

Because it’s his birthday too! The Desperate Housewives cast member turns 24 today. I’m damn glad that after a long stretch of being criminally underutilized, Shawn’s character of Andrew Van De Kamp, the gay son of Bree, had a nice comeback last season and is poised to continue to be prominent this year – the show’s seventh season.

Happy birthday Shawn!

FILE UNDER: Briefs

Meryl Monday: LA stage production “Streep Tease” nears its unexpected one-year anniversary

I love Streep Tease, I love the fact that this wonderful stage show was featured in the LA Times on Sunday and love that the cast photo was taken by my old Times pal Allen J. Schaben.

It was after seeing Streep Tease that I decided to start Meryl Mondays here on Greg In Hollywood so it seems only fitting to highlight them in this space today.

Here is a few excerpts from the article:

“It’s not a drag show,” creator-producer-performer Roy Cruz said recently at the Fairfax District’s Bang Comedy Theatre, where the 65-minute sensation is closing in on a yearlong run.

“It’s not an offensive show, it’s not a showcase, and it’s not in any way disrespectful or a parody,” added director Ezra Weisz.

“What it is,” said David Dean Bottrell, one of the show’s eight cast members, “is a comic valentine to a great artist.”

Dispelling any misconceptions has been key to properly promoting the production. Case in point: When Bottrell, who embodies Streep’s Karen Blixen — Danish accent and all — for a show-stopping six-minute summation of “Out of Africa,” told a fellow churchgoer about his part in the show, she immediately asked, “Do you wear her clothes?”

Cruz, a Filipino-born comedian and actor, hatched the idea for “Streep Tease” after re-creating Streep’s icy “Devil Wears Prada” fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly as part of his stand-up routine. “When I ran out of material, the ‘Prada’ monologue was always reliable,” he said. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to turn those into an entire show?’ ”

Last summer, Cruz did just that, enlisting actors and other performers to pick a favorite Streep movie monologue to reenact for one night only. “I approached it like an open mike night,” said Cruz, “no director at that time, just come in and do your thing.”

“There was so little rehearsal, it was a little like being shot out of a cannon,” recalled Bottrell, an accomplished screenwriter (“Kingdom Come”) and actor (“Boston Legal”), of September’s opening night. “I thought, ‘This can either be fantastic or horribly embarrassing.’”

FILE UNDER: Meryl Monday

Monday Morning Man: Michael Stahl David!

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http://www.mtv.com/content/style/winter2005a/images/flipbooks/trl_guestbook/2008/jan_08/01_14_michael_stah_david_02.jpgOne of the more intriguing new series on the broadcast networks this fall looks to be ABC’s My Generation, a documentary-style ensenble dramedy about a group of high school students and their lives 10 years after graduation.

One of the stars is Michael Stahl David who plays the class “overachiever” Steven Foster who turns out to be anything but. He has turns out to be a surf bum living in Hawaii. When I chatted up the 27-year-old actor at the TV Critics Assn. Press Tour a few weeks ago, my first question was whether or not he ever surfs.

“I do surf a bit,” he said but made clear he wasn’t cast in the role for his surfing skills.

His acting skills have already been on display on the big screen in Cloverfield and on the short-lived NBC drama The Black Donnellys.

I asked him the compare the two series: “[Donnellys]  was a great show and I learned so much doing it. I think [Generation] is really different, it’s a really different tone. It’s not nearly as dark, it’s funny and I think it’s got much broader appeal and is shot in avery different style.”

Generation is filmed in location in Austin, Texas, and has a large ensemble cast of young people.

“It is like a lot of fun even on long days,” Michael says. “I get inspired watching other people. Everybody is fantastic and you feed off of that.”

I find Michael to be especially impressive because he has paid his dues as an actor over the past decade in a variety of stage roles. He was still a teen when he became very active in the Chicago theater scene. He appeared in plays at the Steppenwolf Theater (One Arm, Theater District), Victory Gardens Theater (Cider House Rules, Lost in Yonkers) and the Goodman (The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia?) Shortly after arriving in New York in 2005, he appeared as Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank at the Papermill Playhouse. In the winter of 2007 he enjoyed critical success in his role in The Overwhelming off Broadway.

In September 2008, Michael starred in and directed the web series Michael Stahl-David: Behind the Star.

“I was the creator and director and star of that show,” he told me. “I had to like make sandwiches for my friends for lunch and do a lot of other jobs besides acting which was fun. What it gave me was a sense of looking at the big picture. I really want to get to know the writers and be on set when I’m not called because I want to watch the scenes. I have ambitions to write and direct more.”

“The web show did make people see that I can do comedy and I realized that I could make my own material.”

I think the sky is the limit for this young talent who isn’t afraid to make things happen for himself.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Cher talks about her return to movies!

Cher Cher and Kristen Bell film a scene for their new film  'Burlesque' in downtown Los Angeles.
http://www.todayfm.com/Libraries/Breakfast%20Show/christina-cher-burlesque.sflbCher is finally ready for her close-up.

The icon may be an Oscar winning actress, but she’s only made a handful of movies since taking home the golden statuette for Moonstruck back in 1988. But on Nov. 24, the 64-year-old star will return to the big screen since the 2003 comedy Stuck On You. She has chosen the musical Burlesque to make her return to the big screen.

But Cher tells Entertainment Weekly that she had to be persuaded a bit.

“You don’t do a movie unless you read a script  and go, ‘I love this.’” she said. “In the beginning, I just didn’t see potential for me in it.”

She finally decided to take on the role of of Tess, a club owner coping with a volatile leading lady (Kristen Bell) while mentoring a newcomer played by Christina Aguilera.

The musical provides Cher with a chance to sing in a movie for the first time since 1999′s Tea With Mussolini in which she sang Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. In Burlesque, she gets to belt out the power ballad You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.

“It can only happen in a musical where you just start to sing out of the storyline,” she said.

Cher, whose other past film roles include Mask, Silkwood, The Witches of Eastwick, Suspect and Mermaids, told EW the reason she hadn’t made a movie in so long was because “I did a world tour for three and a half years. Then I was really tired and didn’t wanna work. After awhile I got bored. Movies are more difficult than singing. Singing is like going to a party at someone else’s house. Acting is like having the party at your house.”

Cher, an A-list star for 45 non-stop years, says of possibly retiring: “Well at some point you get too old. If people want to see you and you can do it, then you should do it. I like writing and directing.  At some point I think I would like to develop stuff and work with other people. You can kind of do that until you can’t move anymore.”

FILE UNDER: Icons

It’s going to be a boy and a girl for expectant parents Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka!

http://images1.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/NPH-David-Burtka-neil-patrick-harris-936654_450_338.jpgA few days after Neil Patrick Harris revealed via Twitter that he and love David Burtka are going to be parents of twins, we learn that one baby is a boy and the other a girl, according to E! News.

I am loving how much coverage this is getting in the mainstream press. It’s been nearly four years ago that Neil had one of the classier public coming outs ever when he issued a statement that he is gay then simply got on with his life – a life that seems to have gotten even more extraordinary since then.

He’s up for three Emmys this month, directed a successful staging of Rent at Hollywood Bowl last weekend and now he’s going to be a daddy with the love of his life.

I wish he and David all the best!

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Weekend Briefs: Radio’s Stephanie Miller comes out; 90210 gay love interest cast; Eddie McClintock on his pecs!

Happy Saturday all! Just posting a few things before I get back to my weekend.

AN IMPECCABLE MAN: Eddie McClintock, who plays the role of Secret Service agent Peter Lattimer on the Syfy series Warehouse 13, was a Greg In Hollywood Morning Man earlier this month and a series of shirtless photos of him recently appeared on AfterElton.com. The studly actor weighed in on those pics with this humorous comment: Eddie McClintock Working hard to make sure my “pecs” don’t slip dangerously into “man boobism!” Don’t you just love conscientious TV stars?

OUT ON THE RADIO: Country music star Chely Wright’s coming out a few months ago was deeply moving and very inspiring. So much so that it inspired radio personality Stephanie Miller to come out over the airwaves this week. Miller, the host of her own syndicated radio program, The Stephanie Miller Show, told her listeners on Friday, “I am a gay woman,” and a few moments later added: “I got the gay on me.” Miller and Wright have become such good friends in recent months that Miller introduced her as “my coming out coach” on Friday and Chely said:  “You’re saving lives and changing lives by stepping into your truth and I’m so proud of you.” The 48-year-old Miller said she wanted to be able to speak out more authentically on such issues as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and marriage equality.

http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/arts/photos/2009/04/07/riabko-kyle-cp-4835525.jpgFROM HAIR TO 90210: Actor Kyle Riabko, who succeeded Glee’s Jonathan Groff as the male lead in Spring Awakening and then Gavin Creel in Hair, will have a new zip code this fall: Beverly Hills 90210.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Kyle has been cast as the lost interest of one of the show’s male regulars who will come out of the closet this fall.

It’s a safe bet that it will be one of three characters: Liam Court (Matt Lanter), Teddy Montgomery (Trevor Donovan) or Navid Shirazi (Michael Steger). I chatted with all three actors at the CW/CBS/Showtime party in Beverly Hills recently and point-black asked each of them if their character was the one. Nobody’s talking but I’m betting on Teddy!

AND FINALLY … The photo below of NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Tom Brady was just too adorable to ignore. Drew, who led the New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl title earlier this year, was the Feb. 8 Morning Man. Brady was Morning Man way back in May 29, 2009 and has since grown his hair out long (very sexy!) so it may be time for an encore!

FILE UNDER: Briefs

Supercouple Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka are set to become parents of twins due in October!

Neil Patrick Harris has broken this big news himself via Twitter: So, get this: David and I are expecting twins this fall. We’re super excited/nervous/thrilled. Hoping the press can respect our privacy

Neil and David Burtka (pictured above at David’s surprise birthday party in June) have been together for six years and David has twin children born by surrogate, from a previous relationship.

Congratulations to them!

Neil Patrick Harris, David BurtkaE! News reports that the babies will be born via surrogate in October.

Last year, the couple denied a report in The Star that they had gone through “a rigorous screening process … to find the right woman to carry their child.” AfterElton.com checked it out and debunked The Star report got this statement from the couple: “If Star says it, then it must be true!  No, we are not currently expecting a baby.  Maybe someday…”

It seems that someday has arrived.

Related posts: Neil Patrick Harris throws a surprise birthday party in NYC for David Burtka *** Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka say “maybe someday” they’ll have a baby but not yet! *** Morning Man: David Burtka!

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Happy Birthday to Christopher Gorham!

Christopher Gorham: Shirtless Shots for 'Covert Affairs'!Covert Affairs star Christopher Gorham turns 36 today and I hope one of the coolest TV stars in the business is having a wonderful day with his loved ones.
It’s Chris who will be giving us a present on Tuesday when we get a glimpse of ripped bod in a new episode of Covert Affairs on USA network.
The episode, Communications Breakdown, puts Chris’s character of Auggie in the field to obtain the code for the CIA. But his excitement to be doing field work is tempered when he learns that the hacker responsible for the breakdown is Natasha Petrova (guest star Liane Balaban)…who happens to be his ex-girlfriend.
Fans of Ugly Betty are already well aware of how good Chris looks without a shirt on in this photo from a few years back:

Christopher Gorham as Henry on Ugly Betty -- looking SEXY without  his shirt!




FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Saturday Morning Man: Finn Wittrick!

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http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_sFLBhevCpnQ/TDIeQS3-HgI/AAAAAAAADQA/BFcmvs4ctWg/s1600/Finn+Wittrock.jpgI noticed this handsome young guy while flipping through the latest issue of Soap Opera Weekly. He’s 25-year-old Finn Wittrock and he plays Damon Miller on ABC’s All My Children.

He tells the mag that if he were not an actor, he’d be a journalist for The New York Times or a professional baseball pitcher.

But acting it is and is seems that he’s pretty darn good at it. He joined the soap last year and had a handful of TV guest credits prior on Cold Case, ER and CSI Miami.

Last month, Finn appeared on stage in The Mechanicals Theatre Group’s limited run of Matt and Ben, a play about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and their writing the screenplay of Good Will Hunting.

Finn’s fame is growing to the point where he is starting to have some strange fan encounters: “a lady at the car rental agency said: ‘You the bad boy!’ as I walked in. She hooked me up with a nice ride though.”

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Greg In Hollywood is snubbed by the Emmys!!!

It seems that Kate Gosselin is going to be at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday,. August 29 but I will not be.

In the waiting room at St. Joseph’s Hospital on Monday, my mom undergoing hip replacement surgery, I stepped outside to check email on my iPhone and there it was under the heading: Regrets: 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards.

We apologize, however regretfully we are not able to accommodate your media credential request for the 62nd Primetime Emmy® Awards on August 29th.  We have tried as best we could and know many of you had covered the event in the past, but due to a few new elements,we have less space to work with and do not have room for all of the amazing media we would like to have on-site. Thank you so much for your interest and support in the Emmys.

Gee, thanks a lot Emmys! Did schlepping to Las Vegas to cover the heck out of the Daytime Emmys this year not matter one iota? Guess not.

http://www.bartcop.com/kathy-griffin-emmy-2007.jpgOkay, the letter only said the actual Emmy ceremony. Since I’ve covered the Creative Arts Emmys (Kathy Griffin nicknamed them the Schmemmys) the past three years – even on years when no one really cares about them – maybe I’d still get into those? I sent an email asking about that and got this reply a few days ago under the headline: Regrets – Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Hello ~ We apologize, however regretfully we are not able to accommodate your media credential request for 2010 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards on August 21.  Unfortunately we do not have room for all of the amazing media we would like to have on-site. Thank you so much for your interest and support in the Creative Arts Emmys.

They don’t make it easy for independent sites to do their jobs with this kind of impersonal brush off. It’s additionally frustrating as an LGBT site to not be able to cover the awards this year when so many openly gay performers (Jane Lynch, Neil Patrick Harris, Chris Colfer,Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Wanda Sykes, Sir. Ian McKellen and more) are nominated and openly gay Glee creator-director-producer Ryan Murphy is up for multiple awards.

I’m not sure what I’ll doing on Emmy night or on Schmemmy night the weekend before but you can count on a round-up of coverage even if it’s just me taking notes while sitting in front of the TV!

I just wish the folks representing the TV academy on credentialing could have been more thoughtful.

Related posts:

*** Gays and the 2010 Emmy Nominations *** Prime-Time Emmy Nominations: Glee gets 19 nods in comedy categories while Modern Family gets 14 *** Out Stars Neil Patrick Harris, Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Chris Colfer get nods! *** On the Red Carpet at the Daytime Emmys *** Backstage at the 2010 Daytime Emmys ***

FILE UNDER: Awards, Controversy

Friday Briefs: Ryan Murphy to direct “Normal Heart,” Oprah on courting Rosie; Federer still hungry!

http://www.scotthermanfitness.com/admin/sAlbum/images/0_3_1234981346.jpgHappy Friday everyone!

Let’s ease into the weekend with some briefs illustrated by fitness guru and The Real World: Brooklyn alum Scott Herman who, dammit, I just can’t seem to get tired of looking at!

MURPHY’S HEART: I can understand that Larry Kramer was bitterly frustrated that Barbra Streisand optioned his play The Normal Heart to make a film then sat on it forever. But his public rant last week against the the Oscar-winning star was way over-the-top and best reserved for close friends at a dinner party or something.

I hope that Mr. Kramer, whose outspokenness I usually find admirable, can enjoy the fact that the film version of The Normal Heart will be helmed by one of the hottest properties in showbiz these days: openly gay Glee creator Ryan Murphy.

Mark Ruffalo, currently appearing in the hit The Kids Are All Right, will star.

“I’m directing it from Larry Kramer’s beautiful script and we’re going to shoot that in June of next year,” Murphy told MTV. “I think it’s an important story and I think Mark Ruffalo is just beyond brilliant so I’m very excited to be directing him.”

The story of the play closely follows Kramer’s life, with Ned Weeks representing Kramer during the period in 1981 and 1982 when he co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Other characters represent his brother Arthur Kramer and his other close associates.

Ryan, who also created television’s Nip/Tuck and cult fave Popular, directed Julia Roberts in the feature Eat, Pray Love which opened in theaters today.

http://tvbythenumbers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/rosie_oprah.jpgOPRAH CALLING: Rosie O’Donnell has not been on television on a regular basis since she ended her turbulent year on The View back in 2007. But she’s been plenty busy with her daily radio show on Sirius and did the HBO special A Family is a Family is a Family (I love Rosie so I did not mention the disastrous variety special from a few years ago!).

Anyway, Rosie, who won gobs of Emmys for her syndicated daytime talk show over six seasons, will be launching a new daily talk show next year on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

Oprah Winfrey told TV Guide Magazine how it all happened explaining that she “reached out to Rosie, went to her house, sat at her table and had a conversation about partnering. I always thought she was one of the best television talents in terms of being authentic and real and fun and presenting her genuine self.”

FOUR MORE FOR FEDERER?: He’s already the greatest male player in the history of professional tennis so what does Roger Federer want to do for an encore?

Win more!

After quarterfinal losses at this year’s French Open and Wimbledon, we Roger groupies were left wondering if our fave was ready to ease into retirement after winning a record 16 grand slam titles including this year’s Australian Open. He has not won a tournament since January and has slipped to number three in the world for the first time since 2003.

But Roger, who turned 29 this summer, tells the BBC that he badly wants to win next month’s US Open, a tournament that he has won five times and narrowly lost last year in a five-set final.

“I believe that having won three Grand Slams per season three times, and two per year a couple of times, it’s something doable for me,” he said. “I only play 16-20 tournaments per year, so I’m not overplaying, and that keeps the fire burning. …  I’m giving 100 percent for each and every tournament that I play because I don’t play a ton of tournaments,” he said. “Tournaments like Toronto this week and Cincinnati next week are important to me, too. The motivation is huge for the next few years. And obviously if I can win Grand Slams that’s fantastic, but they are not the only motivation over the next few years.”

FILE UNDER: Briefs

Margaret Cho on living and working in Atlanta

http://www.highergroundmusic.com/u/shows/3/cho1.jpgOne of my all-time faves Margaret Cho has moved to Atlanta because that is where her new hit TV series Drop Dead Diva is filmed. She’s come a long way since ABC’s All American Girl thanks to her overall fabulousness and a strong of hit stand-up DVDs and CDs. The release of her latest album, Cho Dependent, marks the Grammy-nominated comedian’s first full-on foray into music.

She talked to OUT.com about all that and more. Here is an excerpt:

Q. I heard you had an interesting experience at the gym you frequented in Peachtree City.
A. OK, this is the problem of Peachtree City: I would go work out every single day. And at the gym, I would be confronted with a stack of Focus on Family magazines, which offended me to no end. This is the organization that defeated gay marriage all over the country. This is the organization that is routinely responsible for this kind of institutionalized homophobia. Focus on Family is the worst thing to happen to America. In so many ways it is really terrible. So I would go to the gym, a bad thing in itself, going to the gym, and then have to be faced with a stack of Focus on Family magazines. So to combat this I would bring a stack of Advocates and Outs and Genre sometimes, and leave them out and put them on top of the Focus on Family. I would start my workout by putting Out, The Advocate, all of my favorite things to read on top. And then by the end of my workout, somebody would come by and put the Focus on Familys on top of the Outs and Advocates, and so it was just like this magazine fight. And I would escalate by bringing even gayer magazines. So that’s when I’d just pull out the Unzipped and all the porn, which, you http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/06/18/alg_brooke.jpgknow what, they asked for it. Since then, I have canceled my membership, but I left my magazines there. I think that that really was a good way to protest, but it was alarming how quickly the Focus on Familys would go back on top — like they were really on to it. I think I brought a fresh breath of gay air to the town, but now I’ve moved to the gayest part of Atlanta, so I feel much better now.

Q. You’re in Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime. What can you tell us about the evolution of Teri’s character this season?
A. I am on the show for the second season, and my character’s Teri Lee, who is the assistant of the lead character, Jane Bingum. So in my evolution this year, I just found out that I’m a private eye, which is really exciting. I don’t know what that means — we’re right in the middle of shooting right now — but we get our scripts in the next day or so, so we don’t even know what’s going on. So I can’t really tell you what’s going to happen. But I’m a private eye, which I’m very excited about.

http://www.margaretcho.com/chodependent/images/cover.jpgQ. You also have Cho Dependent” coming out this month. Why a music album now?
A. Yes. My album Cho Dependent is coming out August 24. It’s this project that I have been working on now for two years. And it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s really exciting to do music. I have a voice, actually. I was on tour with Cyndi Lauper, and I was singing with her, and she said, “Oh, you’re a singer. You’re a singer.” And I was like, “Wow. If Cyndi Lauper’s telling you that you’re a singer, you must be a singer.” So I was so inspired by that, and I went and collaborated with some of the greatest artists around. People like Fiona Apple, and Jon Brion, and Patty Griffin, and Ani DiFranco, and Grant Lee Phillips, and Tegan and Sara, and Rachael Yamagata, just incredible artists. I was really fortunate to be able to collaborate with the best of the best of the best. Especially big queer superstars like Garrison Starr and Tegan and Sara, which is, to me, so exciting, and Andrew Bird, and I’m really proud of it. It’s all comedy songs, so it’s all comedy, but in music form. I’m very excited because I’m kind of pulling out of stand-up comedy, but then the show that accompanies it, that I’ll be touring with, is all stand-up comedy and some songs. So it’s a combination of both, but it’s a lot of fun. I want to do sort of like an older diva thing, like you get into a Bette Midler mode, where, you know, you’re doing jokes, and then you’re singing songs, and then everybody cries. It’s just fabulous.

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FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Lesley Goldberg’s Girl Talk: Portia’s new name; Jane Lynch’s SNL gig; and Anna Paquin’s new movie!

By Lesley Goldberg, columnist

Welcome back to Girl Talk! Thank you, Greg, and all of your loyal — and friendly — readers for such a warm welcome! Now let’s get down to business …

First up, it’s another good week where it’s good to be gay! Can you stand it?! Technically, it’s always a good week to be gay, but I was referring to my new BFF, Judge Walker’s latest decision about Prop. 8. Anyway, my favorite person this week was Portia de Rossi, who took yet another huge leap for lezzies everywhere and officially filed papers this week to legally change her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_RVu4WRBotm0/SyNqYaEezsI/AAAAAAAABKY/ovi-3wCdfE4/s400/ellen_portia8.jpgI don’t think it’s possible for me to love them more than I already do. After nearly two years fighting Prop. 8, it’s incredibly fulfilling to hear such heartwarming stories like this. It’s especially meaningful considering Portia has a career and name recognition on her own. Can you see Angelina Jolie taking Brad Pitt’s last name? I can’t either. Hopefully the more time that goes by — and the more Judge Walker has to say on the subject in California — stories like this won’t really be news anymore.

http://www.gaelick.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Jane-Lynch.jpgSecond, I’m wicked excited about the upcoming fall TV season and news broke this week that everyone’s favorite snarky cheerleading coach will be hosting NBC’s Saturday Night Live. It’s actually surprising when you consider how long Jane Lynch has been stealing scenes that she hasn’t already hosted the landmark show. Set your DVRs for Oct. 9 and let’s hope the two-time Emmy nominee will treat us to another homage to Madonna. Personally, I’d love to see a Best in Show sketch with Jennifer Coolidge making a nice cameo. Or better yet, let’s put my two favorite celebrgays on at once and get Neil Patrick Harris to make it a gay ol’ time — and Glee reunion.

Third, since lesbians know what to do after the second date (cough, U-haul, cough) Autostraddle.com decided this week that it was time to coach the ladies on how to actually get to the U-haul stage. Their How to Date Girls: 10 Simple Rules for Properly Courting a Lesbian was absolutely amazeballs. I admit it: I’ve been out for 16 years and pointers like these still come in handy, plus guides on what not to do in the Internet overshare age are beyond helpful. (No, ladies, don’t tweet about your date!) It really can be simple: Pay attention, plan ahead, be clear that you’re making a date. But really, be cute. And don’t say, “Let’s hang out.” Nuts, there went my best move.

Finally, I’m going to confess to my new friends here that I’m a complete sucker for chick flicks. Why am I sharing this? Because my Queen of the Chick Flick, Julia Roberts, has this tiny little movie opening this weekend called Eat Pray Love. But more important than that — OK, maybe a little less important — is the trailer for The Romantics that debuted this week. Take a look at the cast: Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin, Malin Akerman, Candice Bergen, Elijah Wood, Josh Duhamel and Glee’s Dianna Agron. Check it out.

I know. I had you at Katie Holmes and Anna Paquin.

That’s all for me this week. Wish me luck, I have a date with my DVR to marathon Pretty Little Liars! Come back next week for more Girl Talk!

Want more Girl Talk? Tweet me, @Snoodit!

FILE UNDER: Girl Talk

“I Love Lucy” Friday: A Teensy, Weensy dance at the jailhouse with the Borden twins!

If Ricky, Lucy, Fred and Ethel had decided to just fly to Hollywood from New York when Ricky landed a movie role, we would have missed out on a series of wonderful “road trip”episodes like this one.

The gang turns to “Cousin Ernie” (Tennessee Ernie Ford) to get them out of jail in a small town. The sheriff has arrested them on trumped up charges and won’t release them unless Ricky agrees to take his twin daughters, Teensy and Weensy to Hollywood so they can find fame and fortune.

Roz and Marilyn Borden, aka the Borden Twins, made an indelible impression as the twins in this 1955 episode. They started their showbiz careers at the age of 3 and worked with the likes of Jimmy Durante, Jerry Lewis and Bob Newhart. They were also a part of the I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary television special. Entertaining on cruise ships led them to their current avocation, as cruise ship tour leaders and cruise-travel agents through their company, The Borden Twins Cruise Tours.

FILE UNDER: I Love Lucy Friday

Friday Morning Man: Cole Hauser!

http://k-ville.edogo.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/cole_hauser300.jpgCole Hauser is one of the stars of the promising new NBC action series Chase which, judging from what I’ve seen so far, has the potential to be a big hit!

That was not the case with Cole’s most recent series K-Ville which was canceled by Fox after just 10 episodes. It was set in and filmed in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina.

The 35-year-old actor has had more film credits than television roles starting with such well-regarded flicks as School Ties and Dazed and Confused as well as a role in 1997′s Good Will Hunting. He went on to have roles in Hart’s War and Tears of the Sun both with Bruce Willis, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys.

It’s nice that Cole has built such a nice career for himself so that he won’t be best known the guy who was in the company of Dazed and Confused co-star Matthew McConaughey in 1999 on the night McConaughey was arrested for playing the bongos in the nude and pot possession!

Cole’s Hollywood pedigree was already set though: His paternal grandfather was Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dwight Hauser and his maternal great grandfather was Harry Warner, founding partner of Warner Bros.

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Breaking News: Judge rules that same-sex marriages can resume in California next week! [Updated]

http://the44diaries.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/alg_gay_marriage.jpgHow can anyone who believes in love be anything but overjoyed by this news: US District Judge Vaughn Walker today lifted the temporary stay in the Prop. 8. case, paving the way for same-sex couples to begin marrying as of August 18.

Couples had already begun lining up at city halls and courthouses across the state to apply for marriage licenses.

Now they can firm up their plans to exchange vows and to celebrate after! Let the champagne (or the Martinellis) flow!

My friend Ted Johnson writes on his Wilshire & Washington blog:

Walker’s order does give supporters of California’s same-sex marriage ban time to appeal his decision, so it is still uncertain whether ceremonies will actually begin on that date. The proponents have vowed to take this aspect of the case to the Supreme Court if necessary.

However in his 11-page order, Walker raised doubts that the proponents will even have standing to appeal.

One complicating factor for the proponents, which include those who ran the Yes on 8 campaign, is that they are not actually the defendants in the case. Official defendants Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown said last week that the marriages should resume, meaning that the proponents “will need to show standing” at the Court of Appeals, Walker wrote in his 11-page order.

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The American Foundation for Equal Rights and plaintiffs Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo challenged Proposition 8 in federal court for violating the U.S. Constitution. After a three-week trial (including the testimony of 17 plaintiffs’ witnesses, among them the foremost experts on the relevant issues, and thousands of pages of documents and a wealth of other evidence) the Court ruled last Wednesday, August 4, that Proposition 8 violated the rights to equal protection under the law and due process that the U.S. Constitution guarantees to every American.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_p-PJEmSln-A/TCyJg2xReaI/AAAAAAAADoQ/Fp2ZKdz2bX8/s400/David+Boies+and+Ted+Olsen+opening.jpgTheodore B. Olson, who together with David Boies led the legal team in this lawsuit, said in a just-released statement: “The overwhelming evidence at trial established beyond any doubt that Proposition 8 denies gay men and lesbians the fundamental right to marry and treats them unequally, without any rational basis for doing so, and that it causes them irreparable and immediate harm. The Court’s decision today recognizes that there is no reason to delay allowing gay men and lesbians to enjoy the same rights that virtually all other citizens already enjoy.”

http://www.4seasons-photography.com/files/hillary_clinton_chad_griffin.jpgChad Griffin, the Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, added: “The unconstitutionality of Proposition 8 is comprehensively and unequivocally demonstrated by the Court’s 136-page ruling, and so we are confident that we will continue to prevail. Our nation was founded on the principle that every American is equal in the eyes of the law. This case is about affirming that principle.”

Here is an excerpt from the judge’s original ruling which I never get tired of reading: “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite- sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

Please see the comprehensive, 136-page decision here: http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/legal-filings/district-court-decision/ A summary of the trial is available here: http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/press-releases/perry-v-schwarzenegger-trial-summary/ Video evidence and other court filings are available here: http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/our-work/legal-filings/

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FILE UNDER: Gay Marriage