It’s nice to start the week off with some excellent news: TNT has picked up the cop drama Southland and will air it on Tuesday nights starting in January.
The drama stars Ben McKenzie, Regina King and Tom Everett Scott, among others and, best of all, has the prominent gay character of officer John Cooper played by Michael Cudlitz (pictured, left).
As you recall, NBC produced 13 episodes of the series (seven aired last spring) then in a bizarre move, canceled the series before it even made its scheduled season premiere this fall.
TNT, already home to such terrific dramas as The Closer, Saving Grace and Raising the Bar, will air all of the completed episodes of Southland. If the ratings are strong, the cable channel will produce new ones.
“This is a perfect opportunity for us to introduce the series to new viewers,” Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, said in a statement.
NEW SINGLE: Pop star Adam Lambert is in the headlines again only this time it has nothing to do with his new album.
The American Idol sensation and his boyfriend, interior designer Drake LaBry, have broken up.
The news was broken over the weekend on the blog Just Jared which quotes a source as saying: “The relationship just ran its course. The break-up was mutual and amicable. They remain friends and still care for each other.”
The blog also reported that Adam celebrated Halloween by dressing up as a glammed-out vampire and partying with pal Katy Perry.
Adam’s debut album, For Your Entertainment, will be out Nov. 22 and is expected to be a huge seller.
Since Adam is doing a lot of media right now in advance of the album’s release, no doubt we will get some kind of comment from him on the break-up.
BROADWAY BABY: The oh-so talented (and oh-so hunky!) Cheyenne Jackson officially opened on Broadway last Thursday in Finian’s Rainbow at the St. James Theatre.
The show is set in the mythical southern state of Missitucky and pits a charming Irish dreamer (Jim Norton) and his headstrong daughter (Kate Baldwin) against the host of complications that await them in their newly adopted land: a bigoted southern Senator, a credit crisis, a pesky leprechaun and, of course, a complicated love affair – that’s where Cheyenne comes in!
Finian’s Rainbow is the latest in a string of Broadway roles for Cheyenne who became a star as the leading man in Xanadu. He’s also appeared in Aida, Thoroughly Modern Millie, On the Twentieth Century, and The 24 Hour Plays.
Here are some highlights from the show:
SISTER ACT: I don’t know how they manage to do it but Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams continued one of the most remarkable rivalries in the history of tennis on Sunday when they squared off against each other in the final of the year-end championships in Doha.
Serena beat defending champion Venus and ends the year with the number one ranking as well as the Wimbledon and Australian Open crowns.
The problem is, those are the only three titles Serena won all year and her lack of motivation and preparation for the tour’s smaller events has been detrimental to the game because it has resulted in less accomplished players taking over the top ranking.
So, here’s hoping that both sisters will be able to rest during the too-short two month off-season and come back strong in 2010 when they will have to compete against a revitalized Kim Clisters who won the US Open in September as well as an un-retired Justine Henin who is returning to the tour after a 1.5 year absence.
The Ricardos and the Mertzes spent a large chunk of the fourth season of I Love Lucy in Hollywood while Ricky tried to become a movie star.
They encountered John Wayne, William Holden, Richard Widmark, Hedda Hopper, Harpo Marx, Rock Hudson and others. But my favorite episode from their Hollywood adventures is when Lucy danced with Van Johnson. He was performing at the hotel where the gang was staying and Lucy lied to her visiting friend Carolyn Applebee that she was pals with Van.
When Van’s regular dance partner gets sick, he asks Lucy to fill in. This clip shows what happened:
It’s been three days in a row featuring British guys in this space – really just a coincidence.
I’ve been hanging out with some friends in Newport Beach and last night I asked my friend Lorna Harris – who does the terrific CalifLorna blog – if she had any requests for Morning Man. She suggested British race care driver Jenson Button.
I had not heard of Jenson but once I looked up his photos, I decided Lorna’s choice was excellent.
The 29-year-old is having a career year in 2009 winning six of his first seven races and amassing enough points over his rivals to secure the 2009 World Drivers’ Championship.
Jenson has written a book about his 2009 season entitled My Championship Year which will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on Nov. 19.
The superstar is reportedly in a London hospital being treated for E-coli bacterial infection and influenza. This has forced him to postpone the Seattle and Portland, Ore. dates of his concert tour with Billy Joel. The Pacific Northwest gigs are likely to be rescheduled for December.
Elton, 62, also postponed a Dublin performance on Thursday after earlier calling off concerts in London, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle on the advice of doctors..
It is so fantastic to have Joy Behar on every night and to have her chatting with Wanda Sykes for some funny, candid and smart conversation about politics, her work, her sexuality, her marriage and gender equality in comedy.
Wanda has been making a lot of appearances in advance of the premiere of her new late-night show on Fox that debuts on Saturday: “The last woman to have a late-night show was Joan Rivers 25 years ago,” said Joy. “Dick Cheney was on his first pacemaker.”
Wanda tells Joy that she is not coming down hard on the president when it comes to LGBT equality: “Would I like for him to step it up? Yes. But I’m being patient because when he took over, this country was in the dumper.”
Last night I took my niece and nephew trick-or-treating then we watched Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus, the perfect Halloween night film.
It got me thinking of some of my other favorite movies with the Divine Miss M including Beaches, First Fives Club, Ruthless People, Outrageous Fortune and her 1993 TV remake of Gypsy. Then there is my all-time favorite Midler performance as USO entertainer Dixie Leonard in 1991′s For the Boys.
Dixie and Eddie Sparks (James Caan) travel and perform together through World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The story of their adventures together, filled with love, laughter and tears, is related in flashbacks by Dixie on the eve of being awarded a medal by the President.
Even though the film was a box office disappointment, Bette’s performance was a real tour-de-force earning her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award.
Here are a few musical numbers from the movie starting with Bette’s lovely version of The Beatles’ In My Life.
This is Bette, as Dixie, singing a dramatic version of Come Rain or Shine to the soldiers during a power outage.
HAIRDRESSING SECRETS: By the time Andre Agassi won the Olympic Gold Medal at the Atlanta Games in 1996 (pictured, left), he had been shaving his head for more than a year.
But that was not the case six years earlier when Andre was about to compete in his first grand slam final: the 1990 French Open against Andres Gomez. What was not known until recently was that Agassi played that final wearing a wig (pictured above) that he was afraid would fall apart.
Agassi writes in his new memoir Open that the wig began to disintegrate as he took a shower the night before the Paris final – “probably I used the wrong hair rinse,” Agassi writes.
He panicked and called his brother Philly into the room. Together, they managed to clamp the wig together using clips and pins.
“Of course I could have played without my hairpiece, but what would all the journalists have written if they knew that all the time I was really wearing a wig?
“During the warming-up training before play I prayed. Not for victory, but that my hairpiece would not fall off.
“With each leap, I imagine it falling into the sand. I imagine millions of spectators move closer to their TV sets, their eyes widening and, in dozens of dialects and languages, ask how Andre Agassi’s hair has fallen from his head.”
It was Brooke Shields, who Andre was married to for a few years in the 90s, who persuaded him to cut off all his remaining hair.
“She said I should shave my head,” he writes. “It was like suggesting I should have all my teeth out. Nevertheless, I thought for a few days about it, about the agonies it caused me, the hypocrisy and lies. My wig was like a chain and the ridiculously long strands in three colours like an iron ball which hung on it.”
As evil Major Zod on Smallville, Callum Blue is giving the show about the early life of Superman a real jolt in its ninth season.
The 32-year-old British actor had previously been best known for his role as Mason on Dead Like Me and also played Alex in Secret Diary of a Call Girl.
Smallville seems to be providing him with another memorable role: “I’m always playing crazy, edgy, off-the-wall characters,” Callum says in the current issue of TV Guide. “On Diary of a Call Girl, I was playing the nice, normal guy, and that didn’t really sit right with me. I found it the hardest role I’ve ever played.”
He says of Major Zod who chopped off an underling’s head earlier this season: “I like that they’re protecting his villainous ways. There are no redeeming qualities about him.”
Dorian (Robin Strasser) vows that once she is elected mayor, her first act is going to be to issue marriage licenses to each couple in the symbolic group wedding so they can be legally married in the eyes of the law. This causes Kyle (Brett Claywell) to freak out a little bit with symbolic hubby-to-be Nick (Nicolas Rodriguez).
Meanwhile, Cristian (David Fumero) and Laya (Tika Sumpter), aware that Oliver has been assigned to work the event, they both show up to support their friend so he won’t have to watch Kyle marry Nick alone.
At one point, a woman protester says to one of the grooms: “Didn’t you take a girl to the prom? Was she your beard? Do you parents know you’re out here making a spectacle of yourself? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got no problems with gays. But marriage is between a man and a woman.” She later refers to the group as “perverts” and starts a chant: “Pervs on parade!”
Oliver (Scott Evans) overhears one of his fellow cops agreeing with the lady and loses it: “What is wrong with you people? What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of me? Because guess what? I’m one of those pervs! That’s right everybody, I’m one of those queers. I’m gay. I’d rather be over here (gestures toward gay couples) than over there with you who thrive on hate.”
“I used to be just like you, I used to be afraid. But you know what? I’m not afraid anymore. I’m proud. And I’m proud of these people who love each other so much that they’re willing to stand up and fight for their right to marry. … Someday, I want to marry the person that I love and I hope, no, I pray, that I’ll be able to do that.”
Later, we see Kyle and Fish talking when Nick walks up and says, “Kyle, time to get married.”
Halloween seems like the perfect time to revisit this little gem of a movie: 1993′s Hocus Pocus which stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as three sisters – who also happen to be witches!
They return to Earth after 300 years and it is Halloween night. People assume they are in costume and don’t realize the real agenda of this evil but very funny trio led by Midler’s Winifred (Don’t ya just love the teeth?).
The movie was directed by Kenny Ortega who helmed the Michael Jackson movie This is It as well as the High School Musical flicks.
Barbara Walters must be gnashing her teeth that Mary Hart landed the first interview with Chaz Bono since he made public his decision to live his life as a man.
Barbara, after all, is not only the queen of these kinds of “gets,” she also won several aswards, includiing one from GLAAD, for her superb report on transgender children a few years back.
Anyway, Chaz talked to Mary about her relationship with her girlfriend of four years Jennifer Elia.
“She’s been amazing,” says Chaz of Jennifer’s support. “I feel really grateful to be going through this with a partner.”
Chaz says Jennifer knew about his intentions from the beginning: “I didn’t just spring this on Jennifer recently. This was something she knew about shortly after we met. … Our relationship always modeled a heterosexual relationship, emotionally and intellectually. So now it does physically as well.”
Don’t know about you, but it seemed like no one would ever be able to fill Sam Wasterston’s shoes as the trial prosecutor on Law & Order once his character got promoted to District Attorney.
But then came along the sexy and smart Linus Roache as assistant DA Michael Cutter and the show remains as strong as ever.
You wouldn’t know it by watching the show, but Linus is a British actor who is a past member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and spent much of the first part of his career on the stage.
The 45-year-old star was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance as Robert Kennedy in the miniseries RFK and in the 1994 film Priest, he played a man torn between his call as a conservative Catholic priest and his secret life as a gay man.
After Prierst and starring in the BBC wartime drama Seaforth, Roache gave up acting for awhile and spent 18 months in India where he discovered spiritual meditation, according to his IMDB profile.
But he eventually returned and has been quite busy. His credits include the short-lived NBC series Kidnapped and the feature films Pandaemonium, The Wings of the Dove, Beyond Borders, The Chronicles of Riddick, Batman Begins, Hart’s War, The Forgotten, Broken Thread and last year’s Yonkers Joe.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, one of the great straight allies in the LGBT movement for equality, has just announced that he is dropping out of the race for California governor.
“It is with great regret I announce today that I am withdrawing from the race for governor of California,” Newsom said in a statement. “With a young family and responsibilities at City Hall, I have found it impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to — and should be — done. This is not an easy decision. But it is one made with the best intentions for my wife, my daughter, the residents of the city and county of San Francisco, and California Democrats.”
The LA Times reports that Newsom is quitting the race for the Democratic nomination amid lackluster poll numbers and meager fund-raising receipts. This leaves the door wide open for former Gov. Jerry Brown, the current Attorney General, who is seen as the front-runner for the nomination. Brown has had a huge fundraising advantage. At the end of June, Brown reported $7.4 million in the bank; Newsom had $1.2 million.
Newsom is wildly popular in the LGBT community for leading the fight for gay marriage over the last five years going so far as to order San Francisco’s city clerk in 2004 to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. While the marriages ultimately did not stand up in court, they did lead to the CA Supreme Court ruling legalized gay marriage last year – before voters passed Proposition 8.
Below is a photo I snapped of Newsom at this year’s Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood.
Matt Bomer is the star of one of the fall season’s highest-rated and critically praised new shows: White Collar on USA network.
He also happens to be a fine actor and one of the best looking men currently walking the Earth.
This next part is a little tricky because I don’t believe in outing people and think any gay person has the absolute right to come out on their own terms. But photos are photos and there was one of Mr. Bomer kissing another man posted on this and other sites yesterday.
So why is it gone now?
The photo is several years old and since the actor is out and in a committed relationship, I’ve decided to take it down. The request was made very politely by Bomer through friends.
It would be great if he were to decide to be more open like Luke Macfarlane, Neil Patrick Harris, B.D. Wong, T.R. Knight, John Barrowman, Bryan Batt and Jesse Tyler Fergeson, all openly gay actors starring in hit television shows playing gay or straight characters.
The choice of how much to discuss and when is up to him. I wish Matt well personally and professionally.
Not only is Glee’s Matt Morrisonstarring in one of the most wonderful new shows on television, but it’s also his birthday!
The handsome and talented actor turns 31 today and it seemed like a really good excuse to post all kinds of photos of him with and without many clothes on!
I got to meet Matthew this summer and talk about his Glee character. Initially, it seems like Will is kind of one of those perfect handsome guys with good intentions and the pretty wife at home.
“I like him,” he said. “Honestly, if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing, I would probably be teaching. I’m modeling him after the positive teachers that I’ve had in my life.”
We soon learned that Will’s life is not perfect and that he’s got his flaws.
“I love it that he’s a regular guy and that he has moments where he fails and things just don’t go right,” Matthew said. “He has to kind of dig himself out of a hole but he always tries to keep a positive attitude.”
Dynasty was such a guilty pleasure when I was in college.
We’d all gather in the TV room of Zura Hall and just lap up all the goings-on with Blake Carrington (John Forsythe), his sweet wife Krystal (Linda Evans), his sometimes gay son Steven (Al Corley then Jack Coleman), his tumultuous daughter Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin then Emma Samms) his long-lost son Adam (Gordon Thompson), his long-lost daughter Amanda (Catherine Oxenberg then Karen Cellini) and his tacky former daughter-in-law Sammy Jo (Heather Locklear).
But, let’s face it, the best part about Dynsasty was the glamour and no two cast members had more of it than Joan Collins as evil bitch Alexis Carrington Colby and the greatDiahann Carroll as good bitch Dominique Deveraux.
These women hated each other almost as much as Alexis and Krystal and that led to some really juicy confrontations that often involved Alexis getting slapped across the face. Alexis was so loathsome that I kinda feel like Dominique was slapping her for all of us!
Enjoy the bitchfest!
The first meeting between the two glamour queens was icy – and delicious! I love Dominique’s line about the caviar.
This is another terrific confrontation which culminates with the line: “Alexis, I didn’t thank you for your present.” SLAP!
And finally, a real brawl! Dominique snarls: “Retract this or I’ll cram it down your throat!” SLAP! This time Alexis fights back!
This has been a most superb and news-filled week and I’m looking forward to a really fun weekend too.
Remember several years back when Out Magazine caused such a stir with its “Glass Closet” Out 100 cover featuring Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster? Well, I don’t know if there will be any reluctant gay folks on the list this year (it doesn’t seem so) but I do kn0w at least one person who is: Chaz Bono.
Chaz, now 40, is the only child of Cher and Sonny Bono and is transitioning into life as a man.
He is the first name to be released of a list that includes 100 gay men, women, and trans people who have made 2009 a year to remember. Chaz was photographed by Jason Bell and the shot inside a men’s room has the title “Most Likely To Reinvent.”
Out writes: Chaz has a long history in queer activism. After coming out in the April 1995 issue of The Advocate, he went on to write for the magazine, serve as a high-profile spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, became entertainment media director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and penned two books centered on LGBT issues. After several years under the radar, Bono broke news in June that he had begun FTM gender reassignment surgery.
In the coming days, Out will reveal the rest of the honorees, including the directors, writers, Broadway producers, musicians and stars who have shaped popular art and culture; the bravest young voices, the dedicated campaigners, the openly gay politicians and lobbyists who’ve brought us this far; and the ordinary LGBT people who have inspired with their extraordinary actions. RUMER HAS IT: I want to like Rumer Willis.
For some reason, just the sight of her just makes me want to slam my magazine shut or turn my laptop off. It’s not rational, I’m sure she’s quite nice. She has just had that “famous for being famous” quality as the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore and never seemed to really be doing anything to justify the attention.
That could be about to change as Rumer is about to embark on what could be a very exciting lesbian storyline on 90210.
Rumer is a recurring guest star playing the lesbian character of Gia and she will become involved with Jessica Lowndes’ character of Adrianna. We will begin to see the unfolding of this relationship in January.
Executive Producer Rebecca Sinclair tells Entertainment Weekly: “This isn’t a fling. We’re coming at this from a genuine place and not going, ‘Let’s do a titillating story that will grab some promotion.’ This is a real aspect of teenager life that’s interesting … And there’s been a real void in the 90210 universe in terms of gay and bisexual characters.”
WEDDING BELLS FOR BARNEY? Who would’ve thought that the womanizing Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother would ever even think about settling down?
Well, everyone has to grow up sometime, even the wildman Barney who is played with such delicious gusto by three-time Emmy nominee Neil Patrick Harris.
Barney has been dating Robin (Cobie Smulders) and things are going to become a lot more serious – quickly – as they get engaged!
According to the show’s co-creator Carter Bays: “It happens spontaneously. It’s a pretty snap decision, but it has consequences for them and for the rest of the group.”
Bays also tells TV Guide: “We’re seeing what basically boils down to a new Barney and a new Robin. This is the culmination….Everything they feared about relationships changing them is going to come to fruition in a much bigger way than they could have imagined.”
Out Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson is a busy man these days with a new album of duets and solos with Michael Feinstein coming out Nov. 3. It’s called The Power of Two, the same title as their engagement earlier this year in Feinstein’s NYC cabaret club.
He stars in the upcoming Broadway revival of Finian’s Rainbow and also has a recurring role on NBC’s 30 Rock. But he still managed to find the time to chat with Brandon Voss of The Advocate. Here is some of their interview:
More high-profile Broadway stars like Gavin Creel and Jonathan Groff have officially come out in recent months. Creel told Advocate.com that he’d been inspired by you. Are you aware that you’ve become a role model for young gays on Broadway?
I definitely feel that when I see everybody at events and stuff. Gavin in particular has been a friend for a long time — my first show after I moved to New York was with him — so I was very proud of him. It was a big step and I’m happy that he credits me as an inspiration, but the challenge I gave to him was, “OK, you’ve come out, but now you have to do something about it.” And he is. He’s working hard, giving back, and setting an example for the other young people coming up, which is the best thing you can do. But I still feel like everybody has their own journey and path. Yes, it’s great when a David Hyde Pierce or a Cynthia Nixon publicly comes out and puts a face to the cause, but no one should be forced to come out for the sake of politics and moving forward.
You were scheduled to appear on an episode of Glee in September. What happened?
Ryan Murphy wrote the part of the choreographer the glee club hires with me in mind. When I got off the plane, they took me right to the set for some costume fittings, but I felt totally miserable. They took me back to the hotel and the doctor came and said I had a fever of 103. I’m kind of a tank and I don’t normally get sick, but it turns out I had the flu, so I stayed in California for two days watching $14 movies in my hotel room. I didn’t even see that episode because it was too painful for me, but they went a totally different way and hired a funny character-looking guy for the part. It was pretty heartbreaking because I love the show, but hopefully I’ll be on it at some point in a different part.
30 Rock writer and executive producer Robert Carlock has confirmed that you’ll appear on the series this season as the guy Liz Lemon hires as a new TGS cast member to appeal to a more mainstream audience. What else can you tell me about the role? Is he a love interest for Jenna? Does he turn out to be gay? Will you sing? How many episodes have you shot so far?
You know I would tell you everything and shout it from the rooftops if I could, but I can’t divulge too much. They really thrive on the element of surprise over there. I can tell you that I’ve already been filming and the part will pop up throughout the year. 30 Rock is really like the holy grail of comedy — the subversive, urbane humor that I respond to. That’s why I was so excited when I got a call that Tina Fey and Robert wanted to talk to me about a part on the show. I feel like I’m at the cool kids table.
None of your photo shoots in recent years have quite compared to the revealing pictures from your 2007 reFRESH magazine spread. When are you going to treat fans to more beefcake pics? You’re not going to have that body forever, you know.
That’s true. I actually did a shoot less than a year ago for Vanity Fair with Bruce Weber, and you know his stuff is always sexy and shows some skin. They had shot a bunch of theater people like Liev Schreiber and Stockard Channing, but my section was cut. Then they were going to run them in German Vanity Fair, but that went out of business. So I never even got to see those photos. They’re still floating around somewhere. I’d do another beefcake shoot, but I’m 34, so at this point there’d have to be a really good reason for me to just lie around on a bed in my underpants.