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Susan Lucci and Agnes Nixon discuss groundbreaking lesbian storyline on “All My Children” an All My Children panel Tuesday at the Television Critics Association gathering, All My Children creator Agnes Nixon and the show’s legendary star Susan Lucci (Erica Kane), both said one of their favorite storylines in four decades of doing the soap is Erica’s daughter Bianca being a lesbian.

“I am so proud to have been part of the storyline where Bianca came out to her mother Erica,” Lucci said. “When that was presented to me, I was told that there are a lot of gay kids in this country who commit suicide rather than tell their parents who they really are because they feel their parents won’t love them anymore.”

“In this medium, in these hands, we could tell the story in real time from everybody’s point of view with respect for the human beings out there who are actually going through this. I felt very proud to be a part of that. … I remember the conversations with the producer at the time and I was in tears thinking that we could have a storyline that could empower one teenager out there.”

Nixon revealed the behind-the-scenes complications when she first decided to add a gay character to the show: “We very much wanted to do a gay story of someone coming out but we knew because of prejudiced people, that we had to have it be part of a story of someone that the audience was so invested in that they’d keep watching even though they didn’t like what we were doing. So finally we were able to let it be Erica’s daughter. … At first there was such prejudice against the story from some people.”

Helping matters, according to Lucci, was the fact that Bianca was played by Eden Riegel who she describes “as such a brilliant young actress. … She really got in and then some and brought so much to the role.”

Bianca came out to her mother in 2000 and three years later shared the first lesbian kiss on an American daytime soap with the character of Lena Kundera. The actress won an Emmy in 2005 and left the show later that year. But she has returned several times for brief or extended stays including daytime’s first same-sex wedding last year when Bianca married Reese Williams (Tamara Braun).
FILE UNDER: Daytime TV, Lesbian

Why we should be extra happy ABC Family has renewed “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”

American Actor Brando EatonThis is so shameless!

So who is this shirtless hunk you ask?

His name is Brando Eaton and he is one of the stars of the hit ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

He plays the role of gay teen Griffin on the series which has officially been renewed for a third season.

The announcement was made today at the Television Critics Association press tour by ABC Family President Paul Lee.

Lee said the show returned to the air last week to record numbers.

Teenager focuses on the relationships between families and friends and how they deal with issues including teen pregnancy. Its cast also includes Shailene Woodley, Molly Ringwald, Mark Derwin and India Eisley, among others.

Here is a scene from the show featuring Brando:

FILE UNDER: Television

Conan won’t host “The Tonight Show” at 12:05 a.m., the situation between Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno and NBC is an unmitigated disaster.

You gotta feel badly for Conan who’s only been at the helm of The Tonight Show for seven months and is being put in a very difficult decision. He released a very personal statement today expressing his feelings about a proposal to move Tonight back to 12:05 a.m. so Leno can have an 11:35 p.m. half-hour show each night now that his prime time show has been yanked.

I write about it over at and Conan’s full statement is included. Here is a snippet:

“So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction.”

FILE UNDER: Television

Dustin Lance Black on Prop. 8 trial TV ban: “If Harvey Milk had been alive, he would have been furious” may be engrossed this week in the world known at the Television Critics Association press tour but I’ve been following what is happening up in San Francisco: Perry vs. Schwarzenegger.

San Francisco’s U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker will decide whether Proposition 8′s ban on same-sex marriage violates U.S. constitutional rights of equal protection and due process. The trial is expected to become a landmark case that eventually will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

I have a few friends, Frontiers IN La News Editor Karen Ocamb and Variety Managing Editor Ted Johnson, who have covered the first two days of the trial. You can read Karen’s coverage at her blog LGBT POV and Ted’s at Wilshire & Washington.

Karen has just posted about a quick conversation she had with Dustin Lance Black, who won the Oscar for his screenplay for Milk,  right after the court let out today.

Lance said that listening to the testimony by the plaintiffs Monday was “one of the most moving days” for him personally and for the LGBT movement because of the story-telling. He said it was “unfortunate” that the cameras did not broadcast their stories so more could hear “because that’s what changes hearts and minds.”

“If Harvey Milk had been alive, he would have been furious” and would have tried to get the stories out as reflective not only of the LGBT story, but the American story, as well,” Black said.

FILE UNDER: Politics

Lunch Break Video: Behind the scenes of “Girls vs. Suits” musical on “How I Met Your Mother”


Did you see the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother last night? I sure didn’t so am going to watch it online. Can’t yet find a full clip of the big musical number that features Neil Patrick Harris and the rest of the cast but these two videos of behind-the-scenes footage are a treat in themselves!


FILE UNDER: Lunch Break Video

ABC renews “Modern Family” for second season! day at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena. It’s ABC day so we’re seen the cast of Lost (minus Matthew Fox – drat!) and the cast of the new shows The Deep End and Happy Town.

ABC’s Entertainment President Steve McPherson announced that three comedies that debuted this fall have been renewed: Cougar Town, The Middle and, best of all, Modern Family!

The best part of Modern Family is there are two gay dads played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet.

Compared to the days when two men in bed on Thirtysomething caused threats of advertiser boycott 20 years ago, it’s amazing that there has been little or no controversy about a gay couple being part of this family comedy.

“We haven’t had much pushback on it,” creator Steve Levitan told me last month. “There’s always a fringe element that before the show came out, you know, ‘let’s boycott ABC,” and it was probably like 20 guys in a cellar someplace.”

Mitchell Pritchett (Ferguson) and Cameron Tucker (Stonestreet) were introduced to audiences in the first episode bringing home their adopted baby.  Mitchell’s dad, Jay Pritchett, is played by Married With Children alum Ed O’Neill.

Check out my ABC report over at

FILE UNDER: Television

Jane Lynch expresses her “huge disappointment” in President Obama when it comes to LGBT equality is a new interview with Glee star Jane Lynch in the UK’s The Guardian that reveals more about this gifted actress that I have read elsewhere.

Like this part where the woman who plays a terrifying high school physical ed teacher talks about her own high school experience:

Lynch described herself as a floater who coasted from group to group. Socialising on the fringe, she never made enough of an impression to warrant mockery, she says. It wasn’t until later in life that she discovered she was gay, so she missed out on the taunting experienced by the gay character on Glee. “I didn’t know what ‘gay’ was in high school,” she says. “We used the word ‘queer’ when someone was weird – when I finally heard what it really meant, my heart sank, and I thought, ‘Oh God, that’s me.’ ”

The actress, who has been active in various causes for years including being on the board of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, is clearly frustrated with the state of marriage equality in the US where states like California allow voters to pass bans on same-sex marriage:

“Shouldn’t there be safeguards against the majority voting on the rights of a minority?” Lynch wonders. “If people voted on civil rights in the 60s, it would have never happened. It took somebody like [President] Lyndon Johnson going, ‘F all of you! I’m going to do this.’” She pauses for a moment, then says, “[President Barack] Obama won’t do it. He’s a huge disappointment to me.”

FILE UNDER: Lesbian, Politics

Michael Urie of “Ugly Betty” has boyfriend off-screen; explains why calling himself gay never seemed right Urie , who plays the gay character of Marc St. James on Ugly Betty, acknowledges in a new interview with The Advocate that he has a boyfriend and explains why he had always been so coy about his sexuality.

Here are the excerpts from the article in the new issue:

“I’ve never been in,” Urie responds today. “I’ve never said I was straight, and I’m not saying I’m gay now. I never lie, and I’ve never shied away from the topic. I’ve certainly chosen through my work to do things that promote the rights of LGBTQ people. I am not a hypocrite—certainly not now.”

If you’re confused, read on:

“I’ve been in a relationship for a while now, and if you just met the two of us together we’d be ‘gay,’ ” he explains. “But that somehow means anything that happened before [we met] didn’t count—and I don’t feel that way. I know that some people feel that way. They were with women, but it always felt wrong. But it didn’t for me. It felt right at the time. It didn’t work out, but it also didn’t work out with other men—many times. That’s why ‘gay’ never seemed right.”

Urie acknowledges that he was more guarded about his personal life at the start of his career, but now that Ugly Betty has found its footing (it’s now in its fourth season) and he recognizes he’ll never be the kind of actor whose career relies on his sex appeal with women, he’s ready to loosen his grip.

“Certainly there was a point where I was like, I don’t know how long Ugly Betty is going to last and how well it’s going to do, and I might want some real anonymity if it ends quickly. I was also never one to seek out publicity or attention, and I basically didn’t want to be labeled. That kind of attention could turn ugly. I guess if I wasn’t in a relationship with a man and I tried to tell people I was queer, it would appear to be a lie or a cop-out—à la college 10 years ago, when people believed in that notion of ‘bi now, gay later.’ But things are different now. I’m much more comfortable, and I’m in a relationship now. I’m not as worried about a future for myself.”


Channing Tatum gives “Details” of his penis injury


Channing-Tatum-10519-7.jpg image by juOn1 Poor Channing Tatum!

The hunky star of GI Joe, Stop-Loss, Step Up and the upcoming Dear John, suffered a penis burn while filming a scene of The Eagle of the Ninth in Scotland.

So how the heck did THAT happen? He explains in the new issue of Details magazine that it happened after he had to wade into freezing water:

“The only way to keep warm was by pouring a mix of boiling water and river water down your [wet]suit. We were finally done shooting for the day, and one of the crew guys asks if I want to warm up before I go. I’m like, Nah, I’m good. And then I thought, Why not? Thing is, he’d forgotten to dilute the kettle water. So he poured scalding water down my suit. And I was trying to pull the suit away from my body to somehow get away from the boiling water, and the more I pulled the suit away, the lower the water went. It just went straight down and pretty much burned the skin off the head of my dick.”


He even showed photos of his scorched penis to the writer who describes it as looking like “a hot dog that’s been left too long on the grill. The tip is hot-pink, singed, and shriveled. It appears angry.”

Says Channing: “It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life,” he says, flipping through photos on his iPhone until he lands on a grainy snapshot of a scorched member. His scorched member. “I’m good . . . now,” he says with a grin. “Now my penis is fantastic! One hundred percent recovered. Put me back in the game, Coach.”


Tuesday Morning Man: Bill Paxton!

I got myself a big ol’ crush on Big Love star Bill Paxton.

It’s not a new development. I’ve had it since Apollo 13 and Twister, two films that catapulted this handsome actor to leading man status. But he had been working up to it for years with supporting roles in such films as Tombstone, True Lies, Indian Summer and Boxing Helena.

He also was one of the stars of The Titanic and directed and starred in the superb 2001 dramatic horror film Frailty that left me so creeped out I kept looking over my shoulder as I walked home from the movie theater.

Since 2006, he has starred on HBO’s Big Love as polygamist Bill Henrickon who has three wives and children from each of them. The show just began its fourth season this month and also stars Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevegny and Ginnifer Goodwin.

“It’s as big as anything I’ve ever been in,” Bill told me when we met at the GLAAD Media Awards last spring. “What’s interesting about it is it’s drawn every group of people, every age group, every demographic. It seems like they’re all really getting off on the show so that’s cool.”

And, I remark, all the women want him (he has three wives on Big Love).

“It’s not bad,” Paxton said. “Let’s hope the Viagra holds out.”

Then, I can’t resist: “Some of the guys like you too.”

Bill laughs and says, “Thank God! More in the old days though.”

Not so sure about that. At 54, he’s still a real cutie!

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

“24″ star Cherry Jones tells Greg In Hollywood she and Sarah Paulson “are very close”’s been a very interesting afternoon here in Pasadena at the Television Critics Association Press Tour which continues through next weekend.

Between sessions, I was surfing the net and saw an item on about Sarah Paulson who did a video interview with her sister Rachel Paulson. She discussed her relationship with two-time Tony winner Cherry Jones who won the Emmy last fall for her role as President Allison Taylor on 24.

Jones confirmed several months ago that the two had split up. Paulson says in this interview that they continue to be friends and their relationship is an “ongoing situation.”


So following a panel with the entire cast of 24 this afternoon, I made my way over to Miss Jones and was one of a handful of reporters chatting with her about various topics. I’ll share that later this week.

But after everyone cleared away, I became what felt like a reporter for In Touch magazine or something. I quietly relayed to her what Miss Paulson had said and wondered if she had any comment. Cherry did not skip a beat. She laughed and said: “I will say we are very close.”

She laughed again and said: “I think that’s the best way to do it at this point. We are very close.”

I remarked that I have loved Sarah since I saw her steal Down With Love from Renee Zellweger and Cherry said: “Wasn’t she fabulous in that? She was just 25 or 26 and she played that Eve Arden part. You’re going to keep seeing her a lot, she’s got a few things coming up.”

Their romance became very public when Jones won the Tony for Doubt and before taking the stage, gave Paulson a big kiss on the lips.

“I had never, prior to Cherry, been in a proper, serious relationship … drunken make-outs with chicks don’t count,” Paulson said in the video interview. “Cherry was the first person. I was just so dizzyingly, insanely, madly in love with her that the consequences, if there were to be some, weren’t a part of the fabric of my thoughts.”

FILE UNDER: Lesbian, Television

Simon Cowell leaving “American Idol” new coming out of the Fox TV critics Assn. day but this is the biggest: Simon Cowell leaving American Idol!

The session was billed as an executive chat with Fox Television Chairman Peter Rice and Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly but a few minutes into it, the American Idol music began to play and out walked Simon! He personally announced to us that he was leaving Idol at the end of this season and be launching a US version of the UK talent show The X Factor in fall 2011.

“It was a great gig,” Cowell told us.” “I’ve had the best 8-9 years of my life doing this job. .. “I was offered a lot of money to stay on but that wasn’t the reason behind it. I felt like doing something different.”

He will be executive producer of that show and be one of the judges. He did not rule out the possibility that Paula Abdul might be rejoining him as a fellow judge: “I adore Paula. Whatever happens, I will be working with her in some capacity because I miss her.”

Here is a link to my story on Simon Cowell posted on

FILE UNDER: Music, Reality

AfterElton chats with “Southland” star Michael Cudlitz about his gay character on the TNT drama

When NBC inexplicably canceled the cop drama Southland before airing a single episode this season, I felt deep disappointment because I loved the show and was very eager to see how the storyline for the character of gay cop John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) would unfold. editor Michael Jensen chatted with the outspoken Cudlitz at the Television Critics Assn. press tour this week about his role and about the show shifting over to TNT after it was dumped by NBC.

Here is an excerpt:

Did you know at that point that he was a gay character?
Absolutely. I knew from day one. That was the heterosexual joke. When I thought I was playing Russell, I was like, “Yes! I get to play a detective and wear great shoes and nice suits and I get the girl, a different girl in every episode.”

And then they say, “You’re playing John.” I’m in a car all day with another dude, in a vest, in the uniform all day in the middle of summer, and I don’t get the girl. [laughs] And not only do I not get the girl, I get the guy! [laughs] I was like, “Come on! That’s not fair! That’s not what I signed up for!” But all that being said, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I hope that they continue in the way they are advancing. I hope that they use a very realistic moment of confidence or something that happens, so that when it does come out to the audience that he’s in a relationship or there’s some issue with that, I hope it comes across in a very natural way, and not contrived. “Tonight we’ve got a very special Southland, where we find out about John Cooper. John Cooper’s past catches up with him.”

And I don’t think they will. From everything I’ve been told, we’ll find out about the thing that made him who he is as a person, and the things that got in the way of him realizing what his sexuality was, the things that stopped him from not even exploring, the things that didn’t allow him to deal with it. The things every kid dealing with his sexuality deals with in Middle America. The feelings he was having, not knowing what those things were, having such an abusive father, and having that aggression in the house, and what it meant to be a man in his house. So much of his emotional world had to be shut down. The two things folks are most curious about are your relationship with Ben and what we might learn about your personal life in the new episodes.
MC: What I can tell is that obviously our relationship grows and deepens and we learn more about each other. My sexuality is nothing that we’ve been hiding from, but we just haven’t gone in that direction. They do go a little more and it really does unfold like it did in the first season.

You’ll see. I think the one thing that will happen that you’ll see, it will be very clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that John is gay. Because there are apparently some people out there that are still unaware that John Cooper is gay. Which is pretty hilarious that they think. Because yeah, that’s a cop bar and that’s John’s buddy.

FILE UNDER: Television

Katharine McPhee’s celebrity girl crush: Megan Fox do you think of Katharine McPhee with blond hair? I love it!

Brandon Voss recently had a chat with the beautiful American Idol alum for Night Timez. Here is a portion of it:

When did you first become conscious of your gay following?
I grew up in a very theatrical family, and my mom was a cabaret singer who trained a lot of gay students, so I was always around gay people, and it was a very natural thing for me. I also went to a musical theater program at Boston Conservatory, and all us girls had little gay followings even then. The musical theater boys had girls they called “fierce,” but they’d call me and my sister “McPhierce.” And when I performed at the gay club TigerHeat in L.A., the crowd was so awesome and high-energy that you would’ve thought I was Britney Spears! you have a celebrity girl-crush?
Oh, yeah. It might be kind of cliché, and it’s taken me some time to fully admit it, but Megan Fox is definitely my female crush just for physical appearances. Sometimes she’s a little too vulgar for me with the things she says, but she’s a gorgeous woman.

Since your debut album was released, two other American Idol runners-up have come out of the closet. Do you think gay contestants will feel more comfortable coming out during the competition now that there’s an openly lesbian judge?
First of all, I love Ellen and think she’s going to be great on the show, but that’s a tricky thing I can only compare to someone who’s really spiritual or religious: You don’t need to wear your religion on your sleeve. The competition is not about your faith or your sexuality but about you as an artist. Look, I think everyone knew Adam Lambert was gay. I don’t feel it was a big surprise, and I think Adam did the right thing by coming out with that Rolling Stone cover. He was just as flamboyant on the show as he is now, but anytime you say too much about your personal stuff, it can hinder you in the competition. If people saw the pictures of me being crazy in college with my gay friends and my girlfriends, they’d probably think differently of me on the show. So it’s a fine line you have to follow on a reality show competition when all of America is voting.


Lunch Break Video: It’s finally here! The debut of Mary Tyler Moore Show Mondays!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,mtm.jpgThe first thing to need to know is that during the first season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary wore a wig!

Just a little trivia to kick off this new Greg In Hollywood weekly feature: Mary Tyler Moore Mondays!

It seems like a natural to start with a clip from the very first episode of this great comedy classic that ran on CBS from 1970-77.

The premiere has Mary, new to Minneapolis after surviving a broken engagement.

She finds herself in the WJM newsroom interviewing for a job with the station’s gruff producer Lou Grant played by the great Ed Asner.

FILE UNDER: Lunch Break Video

Jesus Christ! David Beckham has a new tattoo

I try not to judge.
If David Beckham wants to ruin his beautiful body with way too many tattoos, that’s his damned business!
I know plenty of people love tattoos so I’m posting some pics of Beckham’s latest body art: a tattoo of Jesus on his gorgeous torso.
The first pic isn’t really about the tats but I just thought it was extremely homoerotic don’t ya think? I am very envious of Mr. Antonini!
FILE UNDER: Guy Candy, Sports

“Glee” has been renewed for second season!

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts so far today. I had to head out to Pasadena this morning for the Television Critics Association press tour where I will be reporting from most days this week for one outlet or another.

Great news out of the Fox session first thing this morning: Glee has been renewed for a second season!

This is a happy day for all of us “Gleeks” out there!

Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said: “We loved Glee ever since it was a pilot script so it’s been an incredible thrill to watch the show take root and see audiences embrace these characters in such a huge way this season. The show is a true and rare gem in television. We couldn’t be more proud of what Ryan Murphy and the Glee team have created so far, and can’t wait to see what they come up with for season two.”

I’ve written a story for Check it out!

FILE UNDER: Television

Monday Morning Man: Zachary Levi!

The NBC series Chuck finally had its third season premire last night which is good news for fans of the show and of its star, Zachary Levi.

He plays Chuck Bartowski, a computer whiz whose life suddenly gets far more interesting – and complicated – when a college friend who is now a rogue CIA agent sends him an encoded e-mail with all of the world’s big spy secrets. It’s the only remaining copy and it gets imbedded into Chuck’s brain!

The 29-year-old actor landed the part of Chuck after spending four seasons on the ABC sitcom Less than Perfect. Right now, he can also be seen on the big screen in the film Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeaquel.

I met Zachary during the Television Critics Assn. Summer Press Tour in 2008 and here’s what he had to say about what he hoped to achieve in his career: “I want to do everything. I want to do action movies, I want to do comedies, I want to do romantic comedies, I want to do drama. I just think the world that I get to work in is such an amazing place. I hope I get to do it for the rest of my life.”

zachery2.jpg image by squarehippies

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Matt Ross talks to The Advocate about tonight’s debut of his gay love interest on HBO’s “Big Love” is the fourth season premiere of HBO’s Big Love and the character of Alby Grant, whose struggle with his sexuality has just been glimpsed at in past years, gets a boyfriend!

Matt Ross, who plays Alby, talked to Brandon Voss of The Advocate about what is happening with his character. Here is a portion of the interview:

When you found out that Alby would have a love interest this season, did you as a straight actor see that as a challenge?
No, because love is love. The challenge for me was just making the emotional adjustment to being more emotionally present. He has many wives and he has children, but he’s obviously not heterosexual, so he’s clearly suffering a great deal. I always thought of Alby as this sort of junkyard dog who’s been kicked and beaten for his whole life by his father, so I had this idea of him as this emotionally disturbed, soul-deadened individual until I learned that he was living this secret life. To open that up and actually feel love was difficult for me to navigate.

The gay community appreciates representation on TV, but not so much when the gay character’s a ruthless villain like Alby. Will having a love interest make Alby a more sympathetic character?

That’s an excellent point, and I hope so. I’m clearly built as an antagonist on the show, so when his homosexuality began to be sketched in, I worried about that too, because you don’t want to portray a community’s negative characteristics. But then I also thought, Well, we’re not a public service announcement; we’re a narrative drama and people are complex. I applaud what we’re doing because it’s more truthful not to worry so much about creating a positive image of a gay man, but instead try to create a complex image of a man who happens to be gay. That’s at the heart of what we’re doing here. Alby’s not defined by his homosexuality, and I think that’s a very mature, evolved way to write drama.

Tell me about working with Ben Koldyke, who plays Dale. Was it easy to be intimate with him on camera?
Well, we didn’t know each other before, but I was very fortunate to have Ben, because you never know who you’re going to get. Ben is just a very open, present, serious actor who’s really game for anything, which is what the role required. Frankly, intimate scenes are no less awkward if it’s with a man or woman, but it can be awkward when you view the other person as a close friend, so I was happy I didn’t know him. You just sort of show up, do the work, and let go. It was very comfortable. We both just wanted to do justice to the relationship and make it real. mentioned the truck stop restroom scene in season 3, but that wasn’t the first time in your career that you’d played a closeted gay man getting attacked from behind in a bathroom.
Oh, in American Psycho? I think I was attacking Christian Bale! [Laughs] No, you’re right. He came in the bathroom to kill me and I turned around and kissed him. So it was sort of the same, only last time I was singing Les Misérables.

FILE UNDER: Television

Wanda Sykes has broken her foot! Sykes is such a trouper!

The smart and funny star struggled but finished the taping of her weekly late-nite show on Fox on Saturday night despite the fact that she had broken her foot.

Wanda is a very busy woman. In addition to her late night show, she c0-stars on the CBS sitcom New Adventures of Old Christine. She also found time last week to help announce the nominees for the 2010 NAACP Image Awards.

Here’s wishing Wanda a speedy recovery!

Earlier post: Wanda Sykes chats with Greg In Hollywood: “I still feel like me, maybe more free, a little more liberated.”