Good afternoon all.
I’ve been busy at the TV Critics Association Winter Press Tour all day so blogging has been a bit slow.
Luke Perry and Jason Priestley were just here chatting up a western they made for Hallmark called Goodnight for Justice.
Earlier today, Billy Campbell of Once and Again and Tales of the City fame was promoting the AMC series The Killing and Kellie Martin, who we all loved in Life Goes On, Christy and ER, was part of a panel for the Hallmark movie Smooch directed by the talented Ron Oliver.
Still to come this afternoon are the stars of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Torchwood: The Real World and Camelot (including Joseph Fiennes!). Here to talk about the HBO movie Cinema Verite will be Diane Lane, Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini.
Okay, so no one is surprised that Johnny Weir is gay. Even the People magazine article that sort of “officially” breaks the news starts this way: It’s not exactly a shocker.
Still, I think it’s always interesting, once someone has gone on the record about being gay, to see what they have to say about it.
Johnny is asked by People why he decided to come out now. Instead of saying the obvious – that he has a memoir (Welcome to My World) to promote, Johnny says: “I’ve never felt the need before. Why come out of the closet when you’ve never really lived in one? But I didn’t want a reporter to do it for me.”
The magazine features excerpts from the book and I’m plucked out some of the parts I found to be the most interesting.
He writes: By puberty, I knew I was gay. But I didn’t worry about it much. As a serious skater, I was way too busy. Then, when I was 16, I had my first kiss with a boy.
He came out to his mother at 18.
I waited until one night after my dad had gone to sleep (my dad is a cool guy but homosexuality is completely foreign to him and not something I was ready to throw in his face).
“Mom, adult to adult, I need to tell you something. I’m gay.” Suddenly it felt like I was sitting in the room with a stranger, and this was my mom, my best friend. She started to cry. I wasn’t angry. No mother wants to hear her son say he’s gay. Those two words rip the picture of a daughter-in-law and grandchildren into pieces. I felt sorry for my mom and wanted her to know everything was going to be all right.
“I really don’t care Johnny, as long as I know that you are happy,” she said.
Suddenly I felt this great freedom. It’s not an issue for the rest of my family and they don’t ask any questions which I consider a blessing.
Johnny had a serious relationship with another skater which they kept quiet. He writes:
Although everyone thinks of figure skating as the gayest sport in the universe, those who wield power within it rail against that image. Skaters are supposed to represent a sanitized ideal, like a figurine atop a child’s birthday cake. The result is that homosexual skaters are terrified of showing any signs of their sexual orientation since the judges will hold it against them. One had to act like a man. On skates and in sparkles.
On being pressured to come out publicly Johnny writes:
All the gay websites couldn’t figure out why I was such a jerk that I wouldn’t talk about it. A lot of gays got downright angry about my silence. But pressure is the last thing that would make me want to “join” a community.
My being gay is the smallest part of what makes me me. Yes, I have some stereotypical gay traits (I love flowers, fashion and I’m an ice skater for Christ’s sake). But I also have traits stereotypical of a Jewish mother (I’ll feed anyone I can get my hands on) and a regular ol’ rural male (I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty). The massive backlash against me in the gay community only made me dig my “closeted” heels in further.”
There are not very many early season one episodes of I Love Lucy that are among my very favorites.
The show was good from the start but it is as it went on that it became truly great.
Still, this is a funny clip from that first season when Lucy and Ricky go on a radio show. In order to win the prize money, Lucy must endure being doused with water, honey etc. and whatever else is in the lyrics of the songs Ricky sings.
Hey, I still like Regis Philbin just fine.
But a guy who’s pushing 80 deserves to take a Friday off from Live With Regis and Kelly whenever he wants to.
And what’s cool is his partner Kelly Ripa clicks so well with several guys who step in for Regis including her husband Mark Consuelos, CNN’s Silver Fox Anderson Cooper and the brilliant Neil Patrick Harris.
On today’s show, it will be Neil filling in as guest host and the first time, I believe, that he and Kelly will get to chat about his new twins with partner David Burtka.
Be sure to watch!
It wasn’t until he was 30 years old that John Terry decided to move to New York and try his luck at acting after appearing in a few local theater productions.
Before that, the man who currently plays Nora Walker’s boyfriend, Dr. Karl West, on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters had spent time building custom log homes in North Carolina then moved to Alaska where he helped to start a river rafting company.
The handsome actor, who turns 61 later this month, has worked steadily since the early 80s but has never seemed more in demand than now.
Before sweeping Sally Field’s character off her feet on Brothers & Sisters, John was best known for his recurring role on ABC’s Lost as Christian Shephard, father of the character played by series lead Matthew Fox.
His other recurring or regular roles on TV series include Trauma, Wildfire, Las Vegas, 24, ER, and Against the Grain. Film credits include Full Metal Jacket, A Killing in a Small Town, A Dangerous Woman, Blue Valley Songbird, and Zodiac.
Let’s hope Nora and Dr. Karl find lasting love!
There is only one Oprah Winfrey and she just finished holding court here at the TV Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena.
Everyone is buzzing about how when Oprah was asked what she dreamed about being when she was a little girl, she launched into an 18 minute answer.
Yes, it was a long-winded answer that at times seemed to be turning into a sermon, it was at the same time fascinating.
Oprah talked about how when she was a little girl in Mississippi, she had to watch TV at the Sears & Robuck store because she didn’t have one at home. When she asked her grandma if they could buy one,she was told no because “it’s the devil’s work.”
Now, after 25 years of the most successful daytime talk show in history, that granddaughter has launched her OWN cable network. She shared that her grandma’s greatest wish for Oprah was that when she grew up, she would find a “nice white family” to work for.
“I feel the spirit of her,” Oprah said of her grandmother. It was the only time during the session that she got a bit choked up.
Here are some of my Tweets from Oprah’s TCA session wit reporters:
A TCA reporter asked Oprah if she had brought us all cars. She didn’t but said: “I wish I’d brought something.”
Oprah says there is nothing on OWN “that causes you not to sleep at night.”
Oprah says even if some of the OWN shows tank in ratings, she will keep them on the air “because I can.”
Oprah wanted long ago agent to get her on GMA as a guest host & he said: “They’re aren’t going to be any more black people on TV. … They already have Bryant Gumbel [on morning television]“
Oprah the preacher at TCA: “I see myself as a messenger for a message that is greater then myself & the message is ‘Yes you can!”
‘ve enjoyed Oprah’s one-woman show here at TCA. She’s doing OWN because “it’s time to grow into the next phase and here we are w/OWN”
Oprah Winfrey: “Fame is not my impression of myself, it’s other people’s.”
Another Oprah gem: “Every mistake that I’ve made, I was listening.”
Oprah on if Anderson Cooper was going to be the next her: “The next Oprah? No. The next Anderson? Yes. … I will be rooting for him”
Oprah sez comparing Anderson Cooper 2 her is “like having said, ‘R U going to be the next Phil Donahue?I created my own way of doing it”
Oprah was just told it would have to be the last question during her TCA sesson: “I don’t want to go.”Wonder if anyone will make her go
Oprah has finished and is now surrounded by about 40 reporters with recorders. I’m wondering what is left to ask!
You didn’t seriously think that Little Fockers would be how Barbra Streisand wanted to wrap up her brilliant film career?
The great star is reportedly in talks to star in a new version of the classic musical Gypsy as Mama Rose who was played in the original 1962 film by Rosalind Russell and in a 1993 television version by Bette Midler.
Streisand has met with the play’s lyrics writer, Stephen Sondheim, and book writer, Arthur Laurents, to discuss the possible new movie. According to The New York Times, Warner Bros. and Joel Silver are attached as producers, but as of now, no director has been chosen.
Laurents told The Times that Streisand would not direct the film although she once wanted to.
“…Playing Rose is enough to make her happy,” he said adding that she has been interested in doing Gypsy for many years, “but now things are serious and a movie is truly in the works.”
He said that he had suggested Tom Hanks to play the role of Herbie, Rose’s love interest and the talent manager of her two daughters, Baby June and Louise.
“Barbra loved the idea,” Mr. Laurents said.
The play and movie is based on the memoir by Gypsy Rose Lee, a burlesque dancer, and the relationship with her mother, Rose, who has since become the prototype of a “stage mom” in pop culture.
The role has, of course, been one of the great showcases for a number of actresses on Broadway starting with Ethel Merman who originated it. Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and Patti LuPone won Tony Awards for their respective revivals of the show while Bernadette Peters was nominated for one.
Streisand won the Academy Award for her film debut in 1968′s Funny Girl and went on to headline the big-screen musicals Hello Dolly, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Funny Lady, A Star is Born and Yentl. She has not starred in a film since 1996′s The Mirror Has Two Faces but has taken supporting parts in 2004′s Meet the Fockers and this year’s sequel Little Fockers.
How great would it be to have the great Streisand taking on such a meaty role and also belting out such numbers as Some People, Everything’s Coming Up Roses and Rose’s Turn.
An exciting day at TV Critics Press Tour with Oprah and Mike Tyson appearing soon! Follow me live on Twitter!
It’s only day two of the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour in Pasadena and already so much has happened.
I am writing up-to-the-minute updates on Twitter so I suggest you check me out frequently at @greghernandez throughout the afternoon as still to come are Oprah Winfrey, Mike Tyson, Ricky Gervais, Gayle King, Carson Kressley, and Lisa Ling, among others.
So far this morning, we have had such stars as Megan Mullally, Henry Winkler, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Breckin Meyer, Malcolm McDowell, Noah Wyle, Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Dr. Drew Pinsky.
Also, Piers Morgan, who is taking over Larry King’s old timeslot on CNN, was just here and he was a hoot! Coming up later this afternoon is Miss Oprah herself who will be here promoting her OWN network.
Piers broke the news to us that Oprah will be his first guest when his show debuts later this month and that they taped their chat last night. They had scheduled 45 minutes but talked for two hours and now he says: “Oprah would be one of my top 2 or 3 interviews I’ve ever done. I think we had a connection.”
If you are not following along on Twitter, you are missing gems from me like this:
Dream threesome in a hotel just now: me, Mark-Paul Gosselaar & Breckin Meyer.Ok, just interview in lobby of the hotel but still pretty cool. about 1 hour ago via web
Piers Morgan recalls lunch with Princess Diana and Prince William when he was just 13. Future king of England ordered wine!
Piers Morgan now onstage at TCA jokes that he’s imposing a “lifetime ban” on Madonna and says Lady Gaga is “twice as hot”
Dr. Drew just referred to actor Tom Sizemore as “a male version of Lindsay [Lohan].”
ER was piece of cake! Noah Wyle says role on Falling Skies is “the most physically demanding work that I’ve ever done in my life.”
“Franlin&Bash” stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer had not worked together b4 but had met once at an airport 7 years ago
Children’s Hospital’s Malin Ackerman “It’s interesting at the end of the season 2 find out you are actually a man (played by Jon Hamm)”
Don’t miss any more live Tweet folks!!!
I have not yet had time to watch it all the way through but wanted to share with you Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas’s “It Gets Better” video. He’s one of the only openly gay professional athletes in the world and it is wonderful to see him getting an even bigger profile which included this week’s appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
It is very sweet to see Neil kiss partner David Burtka on the cheek before taking the stage and thanking him and their babies in his speech.
Watch it for yourself:
MTV’s Logo channel geared toward an LGBT audience and their families and friends, has announced three series that will be joining its line-up this year: Be Good Johnny Weir, Pretty Hurts and Setup Squad.
The announcement came at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena.
The Johnny Weir series, which explore the life of one of America’s most outspoken and colorful sports figures, had originally premiered on the Sundance Channel. Logo has acquired the first season’s episodes and will produce new episodes for a second season.
“Johnny Weir’s talent is as big as his irreverent personality,” says Dave Mace, Logo’s senior vice president of programming.
Also new: The workplace docu-soap Pretty Hurts which follows the staff and clients of a high-end Beverly Hills medical office that specializes in “liquid face lifts” and Setup Squad which focuses on a Manhattan-based matchmaking service that pairs up professional “wing people” with those who are unlucky in love.
Logo has also acquired episodes of Nip/Tuck which began airing this month and episodes of Will & Grace which will not air until 2013.
When Daniel Tosh faced us at the TV Critics Association Press Tour yesterday, I quickly noticed two things: He’s really cute and he’s really funny.
Between them, they have at least a dozen Emmys and in a few weeks time, will be a combined 190 years old.
But Betty White and Ed Asner, former co-stars on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, are still in rare form and appearing the TV sitcoms Hot in Cleveland and Working Class, respectively.
Both were the comedy highlights of a pair of morning panels Wednesday at the TV Critics Association Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.
Asner, who plays star Melissa Peterman’s neighbor in the new CMT sitcom Working Class, sat down and joked: “Did you hear Betty White is in the building? I hope I get to touch her!”
White and her Cleveland co-stars had just left the stage moments earlier.
He was also asked was if Miss White was still hot. He said he just had cataracts “but what I see is looking pretty good.”
Asner, a seven-time Emmy winner for Mary Tyler Moore Show and the spinoff Lou Grant as well the miniseries Roots and Rich Man, Poor Man, was asked where he kept all of his Emmys. He joked that they were on display in a vault near his front door then asked if it was true that another MTM alum, Cloris Leachman had won 8 Emmys.
When told it was true he said: “Bitch!”
Miss White was far more polite during her Cleveland session with co-stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick.
Betty turns 89 in two weeks but says she keeps working so hard because “it’s hard 4 me to say no to a job. You spend your career thinking if you say no, they’ll never ask you again. … I don’t think of it as work.”
She has been on a phenomenal role since last year’s Super Bowl when she was featured in a Snickers commercial which led to a successful Facebook campaign to get her on as host of Saturday Night Live.
“I was all set to say no,” she said of the SNL gig. “I thought I’d be like a fish out if water.”
Instead, she was a ratings smash and won an Emmy for her performance.
Betty is excited that her former boss, Mary Tyler Moore, is guesting on the first new episode of the second season on Cleveland when it returns on Jan. 19.
“We haven’t worked together in 33 years,” she said of her longtime friend. “She’s a dynamite lady.”
When her co-stars went on and on about how iconic Betty is, she wondered aloud: “Which Betty White are you talking about? Oh my dears, I have you fooled!” She then added that the public “has had such an overdose of me lately.”
You don’t get to be just shy of 89 without some hard-earned wisdom and Betty had this advice to younger stars (who would include just about everybody!): “Don’t believe your own publicity and don’t abuse your priveledges.”
Armie Hammer has been making the pulses of gay men and straight women race since his breakthrough role in The Social Network as twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
Armie, who next stars in J. Edgar with Leonardo DiCaprio, guested last night on E!’s Chelsea Lately. Host Chelsea Handler was, of course, a riot, as she shared how one of her “straight” male staffers got all dressed up in a suit because the hunky Armie was on the show.
Just 24, Armie is on the fast track to stardom. I interviewed just a few years ago when he was starring as a young Billy Graham in Billy: The Early Years and the most interesting thing to ask him then, other than questions about the movie, was about him being the grandson of Armand Hammer.
So much more to chat about now as you can see in this interview with Chelsea:
When a gay couple becomes parents via surrogate, there’s the question of which guy is the kid’s biological dad.
We recently found out in the case of Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, each is the father of one of their fratneral twins.
Now it is being reported that in the case of the baby recently born to Elton John and partner David Furnish, the famous singer is the biological father.
“Elton really wanted the child to have his genes,” a friend of John and partner David Furnish reveals to the website Popeater. “He has a God-given talent and wanted to pass that on to a child. And after years of discussion and thought, Elton and David decided together that Elton’s sperm would be used.”
Son Zachary was born weighing 7 lbs., 15 oz. via a surrogate mother in California on Christmas Day. This is the first child for John, 62, and Furnish, 48.
James Franco explains to Entertainment Weekly why he’s played so many gay roles then adds: “Maybe I’m just gay.”
James Franco may be getting Oscar buzz for his performance in the film 127 Hours but it is his willingness to take on a variety of gay roles that people always seem to want to talk about.
He addresses this in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on which he is on the cover. Here is an excerpt:
“It’s funny because the way that kind of stuff is talked about on blogs is so black-and-white…It’s all cut-and-dry identity politics. ‘Is he straight or is he gay?’ Or, ‘This is your third gay movie — come out already!’ And all based on, gay or straight, based on the idea that your object of affection decides your sexuality…
…There are lots of other reasons to be interested in gay characters than wanting myself to go out and have sex with guys. And there are also lots of other aspects about these characters that I’m interested in, in addition to their sexuality. So, in some ways it’s coincidental, in other ways it’s not. I mean, I’ve played a gay man who’s living in the ’60s and ’70s, a gay man who we depicted in the ‘50s, and one being in the ‘20s. And those were all periods when to be gay, at least being gay in public, was much more difficult. Part of what I’m interested in is how these people who were living anti-normative lifestyles contended with opposition. Or, you know what, maybe I’m just gay.”
Kathy Griffin says “Life on the D-List” over: “Now it’s time to spread my wings and show that I’m a little different than Kate Gosselin.”
She has been far from the D-List for an awfully long time by now what with her Emmys, selling out the biggest arenas in the country and being BFFs with the likes of Cher and Joan Rivers.
“It was a really tough decision because I think of ‘The D-List’ as pretty much my baby for the last six seasons and I also think it was really time to stop doing it,” she told People.com. “Reality is great, but I really didn’t set out to be a reality star. So now it’s time to spread my wings and show that I’m a little different than Kate Gosselin… I’m not saying better, but maybe separate myself from the pack a little bit.”
She might be ending her hit reality series, but she’s slated to remain on Bravo with a series of new comedy specials airing in 2011.
“I just cannot get enough or do enough stand-up,” she told the mag. “And there’s so much fun stuff going on – from Oprah’s launch of [cable network] OWN … not to mention the new Paula Abdul show [‘Live to Dance’] or who knows what celebrity run-in I’ve had myself. … [I’m] trying to keep the material as up-to-the-minute as possible,” she explained. “Audiences know when they come to see me live, they’re going to see new stuff. [And] as long as there’s a show called ‘My Strange Addiction’ about a woman who only eats toilet paper … then I have to do stand up.”
Fans might also still see some of their “D-List” favorites in an improvised sitcom that Kathy is hoping to get off the ground.
”[It will feature] some characters from the ‘D-List’ that you’ve come to love, and then maybe I’ll have actors play a couple other characters that are from my real life,” she told the People.