Not content to let the world exist only with a show called Californication, Showtime has decided to completely drop all semblance of nuance and introduce a new show called Masters of Sex. In initially puzzling casting news, this show will star Hobbit-esque Michael Sheen, best known for being a fairly forthright, upstanding chap who starred as Tony Blair in The Queen, and also as a vampire in Twilight, but we won’t hold that against him. Continue reading
The charming and debonair George Clooney will be the subject of tonight’s Inside the Actor’s Studio with James Lipton. Most people think of him as a dashing international movie star, but some of us still think of him as our TV Boyfriend. Below are some of his dreamiest television roles:
Let’s all wish TV legend Betty White a very happy 90th birthday! Last night, NBC held a star-studded birthday bash where friends, fans and even the President celebrated the Nonagenarian actress. In honor of her birthday, we’re celebrating nine reasons why we love Betty White—one for every decade she’s lived through.
Pioneer for Women in Television
Betty helped pave the way for women in television today. She was one of the first women to have creative control behind the camera on the show “Life With Elizabeth.” In 1951, she was one of the first actresses to be nominated for Best Actress when the Emmy Awards first created the separate category for women. Then in 1983 she became the first female game show host to win an Emmy for “Just Men!”
A ‘Golden’ Rose
Most of us will always remember Betty as the lovable, naive Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.” This sitcom about four mature women enjoying their golden years continues to be a favorite in reruns for its timeless humor and provocative peek at the life of senior citizens.
The Happy Homemaker
Betty rose to fame in the 70s for her portrayal as Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Sue Ann was an innocent, soft-hearted homemaker on-screen and a sassy, man-crazed vixen off-screen—proving the perfect role for Betty, who is known for delivering risqué statements behind a sweet smile
Greatest Game Show Guest Ever
From “Password” to “Hollywood Squares,” Betty has been a staple guest for a number of celebrity-themed game shows. Betty is known for her feisty wit and taboo remarks, making her an absolute thrill as a game show guest.
Holds Record for Oldest ‘SNL’ Host
At age 88, Betty White became the oldest person ever to host “Saturday Night Live” and became an ‘SNL’ legend overnight. She appeared on the show thanks to a massive Internet fan campaign over Facebook—and delivered one of the most memorable episodes in recent history.
Accomplished Actress with an Abundance of Awards
Betty has received countless awards and accolades for her accomplishments in TV. She’s won seven Emmy awards for acting, hosting and even guest-starring in TV shows. Betty has won Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, multiple lifetime achievement awards and has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. On top of all of that, she also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Stands Up for Animals
In between all of her TV work, Betty still finds the time to take a stand for animal rights. She’s worked with the Los Angeles Zoo, served as trustee with the Morris Animal Foundation and is a continuing advocate for animal health and welfare.
She Keeps Us Laughing
The best part about Betty White is that she continues to keep us laughing, even in her 90th year. She’s just signed on for another year of the TV Land sitcom “Hot in Cleveland” and will also start hosting “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers,” – a prank show that pits elderly people against youngsters.
We’ve all heard a tragic tale of a former child star whose rise to fame ended in dimmed dreams and awkward endings. Such was the case with Danny Bonaduce who went from being an adored part of “The Partridge Family” to a struggling drug and alcohol addict who has lost his wife and much of his health and reputation due to his struggles.
His story is not uncommon among those who grew up in circumstances that are difficult for a child to adapt to. However, there are many child stars who grew up to lead surprisingly normal and well-adjusted lives. Despite the millions they may have made as mere children and the pressures of a Hollywood life or money-hungry parents and agents, they have shown us that maybe life out of the lime-light is not so bad. In some respects, many of these former child stars have grown up to be better adjusted that the average everyday American.
The former star of the hit TV sitcom, “Blossom” hasn’t been known for her wild partying or crazy shopping sprees since making the big bucks as a youth. Instead she’s focused her efforts and her brains towards obtaining a Ph.D in Neuroscience, getting married and having kids, and helping to support causes that she believes in.
New York Times Bestseller Danica McKellar, widely known for her role on “The Wonder Years” as Kevin’s truest love Winnie, not only conquered the acting scene but made a name for herself among mathmeticians as well. She studied mathematics at UCLA where she graduated summa cum laude and wrote books focused toward young women and encouraging them to not be afraid of math.
He played a bit of a smooth talkin’ charmer on “Growing Pains”, but since the popular sitcom ended, we never heard of Kirk Cameron partying it up with the ladies or throwing stashes of green towards expensive cars or in-your-face living. Instead, Cameron turned to Christianity and has used his famous face to promote beliefs that are close to his heart. Though his religion might not ring true with everyone, and others feel like he may not have put his handsome face and mounds of moola to fun use where other men can’t, at least he hasn’t had his face show up on celebrity mug shot sites.
She was a star on the Disney Channel with her hit show, “Lizzie McGuire” and it pretty much only went up from there. Hilary Duff enjoyed success both on television and eventually in her teen years with various movie roles and recording artist opportunities. However, despite the fame and more money as a youth than most adults will ever have to responsibly handle, we never saw Duff with the likes of Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton flashing too much skin or getting wasted in public. She’s now grown and married and expecting her first child.
Jodie Foster began her claim to fame as a child in television shows series such as “Paper Moon” as well as in commercials as the “Coppertone Girl”. Even in taking on new roles that were mature for her young age, such as playing a young prostitute in “Taxi Driver”, Jodi kept a level head. She went on to graduate from Yale University magna cum laude with a degree in Literature.
These are just a few, though there aren’t many more than a few, of the child stars who seem to have grown up to be admirable adults. Many similar child stars have grown to support causes and organizations that they believe in with money they have made. Follow up with my next post where I review those child stars who didn’t handle their fame and fortune so well. We can all read it together and be angry that they didn’t just save time and trouble by handing their cash straight over to us to put to better use.
Movies can be cruel–they favor the young and the pretty. They shrink a star who was big on the small screen. They don’t reward slowly burning actors who can develop with a character.
That’s why cable shows have become the savior for a number of actors and actresses who weren’t hitting it big in film. Take James Gandolfini and Steve Buscemi–minor players in films, stars on HBO. Or Claire Danes–a relative nobody on the big screen, now a likely Emmy nominee for “Homeland.”
So who else could benefit from a good cable show? Here are a few people who should have their agents tracking down more TV offers and chasing fewer film scripts.
The Situation: She was America’s sweetheart on friends, but the only thing that’s saved her film career from being a complete flop is the low-budgets of her movies. Her string of bad romantic comedies can look like they turned a profit because they’re generally made for about $50 but the harsh truth is people only go to the as a last resort. No one says, “Let’s go see that Jennifer Anistorn movie,” but it may not be too late to hear people say, “I’m going to try that Jennifer Aniston show on Showtime.”
The Show: I see her as a pharmaceutical rep. If it’s a comedy, she can play a kind of personal disaster of a rep who sleeps with every doctor to make a sale, while also juggling other personal issues, including, perhaps a younger rival. If it’s a drama, she’s a rep who discovers that her company is involved in some kind of nefarious activity, like covering up the scary test results of a drug they pushed to market–and they’ll kill anyone who blows their cover.
The Situation: Hawke’s career is actually fine. He does some movies, and had a TV pilot last year that wasn’t picked up, but may not be completely dead yet. However, he loves the theater and has a bunch of kids and you need money to support both of those. A thirteen episode commitment on a quality cable show would allow him to bank some money to direct all the obscure plays he wants.
The Show: He plays a down on his luck actor who takes a job as a super in a building–pay, plus a free apartment. Then creepy things start happening in the building and he finds out that dealing with the supernatural is as much a part of the gig as fixing the occasional clogged drain.
The Situation: Audiences hate him.
The Show: He can’t be the star, but he could take on a good supporting role in a show starring another, well-liked actor. I see him as the best friend of the main character. I say he built a giant telecommunications company from nothing, then sold it for billions of dollars in order to retire, and now fills his days designing amusement park rides. Either that or he’s the main character’s psychologist.
The Situation: She’s always had a good grasp of who she is onscreen, and never embarrasses herself with a bad choice. Those choices are increasingly limited, though.
The Show: The all-powerful, tyrannical owner of a basketball team suddenly dies and Barrymore’s character, his only heir, is called back from her job in the fashion world to take control of the franchise. Should she sell it for a big payout or take it over herself?
Next time you visit The History Channel, you’re sure to notice an intriguing new trend. The History Channel is delving into the lives of the blue collar America and allowing us a peek into the dangerous, gritty, hard labor jobs of those who lead a a do-or-die career outside the walls of a cubicle. Though many Americans are currently frustrated with the job market and feel upset by the lack of career opportunities that match our hopes and qualifications, we realize we do not have to risk our lives in the Louisiana swamp lands hunting gators to feed our families such as those on “Swamp People” who call the bayou home.
The characters featured on “Swamp People” work as hunters and trappers on Louisiana’s largest swamp and enjoy a historic Cajun culture. The show follows their endeavors during hunting season, but most of those involved on the show have off season jobs which are equally physically demanding such as repairing large boats and driving large 18-wheelers. Watching a man in overalls wrestle and rolling gator as he shouts obscenities through out the swamp couldn’t be more entertaining.
From the comfort of our living room we admire the brave women of “Ice Road Truckers” who skillfully maneuver trucks weighing tons through slippery terrain and winding roads. “Ice Road Truckers” shows how extreme weather conditions and heavy loads can endanger the lives of of each driver on nearly a daily basis. It’s nothing short of amazing to watch these women and men drive in conditions so dangerous and threatening.
The fishers on “Big Shrimpin’” nicknamed, “Bullfrog”, “Roundhead” and “Redbone” are boat captains who aim to make the most of shrimp season as they sail upon rough waters amongst tumultuous weather conditions to bring home large loads of shrimp to sell for a big price. Stakes are high with the pressure to reel in the pounds before the season ends.
The rise in popularity of such shows indicates an increased interest in lives and professions that most of us can’t relate to. Dealing with gators, stormy seas, and ice ridden roads for a living are not typical trails for the everyday American. The characters on the shows are colorful as well with accents and slang not heard on a typical day.
As 2011 comes to a close it’s important to take a moment and remember all of the TV stars we lost over the past year. Although we are going to miss seeing these actors and personalities gracing our television screens we can at least take comfort in the fact that they provided us with so many great TV memories.
Actor John Dye was best known for his role as Andrew, the Angel of Death, on the CBS series “Touched by an Angel.” He died on January 10th due to heart complications.
David Nelson played son to his real-life parents in the long-running “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” Nelson lost his battle with colon cancer on January 11th.
Fitness Guru Jack Lalanne helped pioneer fitness television and hosted the longest running fitness TV show. Lalanne died of pneumonia on January 23rd.
Character actor Len Lesser guest starred in several TV shows, but is best known as Uncle Leo on “Seinfeld.” Lesser died from cancer related pneumonia on February 16th.
British actress Elisabeth Sladen is best known for her role as the Doctor’s companion Sarah Jane Smith in “Doctor Who” and “The Sarah Jane Adventures.” Sladen died on April 19th after suffering from cancer.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage exploded onto television screens as a professional wrestler and later as a spokesman for Slim Jim. Savage suffered a heart attack while driving his car on May 20th.
Actor Jeff Conaway was known for his roles as Bobby on “Taxi” and Sergeant Zack Allan on “Babylon 5.” Conaway died from pneumonia and drug related complications on May 11th.
Actress Clarice Taylor portrayed Anna Huxtable, the mother of Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.” Taylor passed away from congestive heart failure on May 30th.
Television personality and daredevil Ryan Dunn is best remembered as a member of the “Jackass” crew and the host of “Proving Ground.” Dunn was killed in a car accident on June 20th.
Actor Peter Falk won five Emmy awards for his portrayal of police detective Columbo in the television series of the same name. Falk died from pneumonia on June 23rd.
Welsh actor Andy Whitfield played the lead role of Spartacus in the Starz original series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.” Whitfield passed away from non-Hodgkin lymphoma on September 11th.
Television personality Andy Rooney hosted “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney” on the television news magazine “60 Minutes” for 33 years. Rooney died on November 4th following complications from a surgery.
Comedian Patrice O’Neal was known for his reoccurring roles on “Chappelle’s Show” and “The Office.” O’Neal died on November 29th of complications from a recent stroke.
Actor Harry Morgan is best known as Office Gannon on “Dragnet” and Colonel Potter on “M*A*S*H.” Morgan died in his sleep on December 7th.
This Sunday marks the premiere of “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off” on Food Network. The new cooking competition features Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri coaching two teams of celebrities to see who the best coach is and which celebrity is the top chef. It’s essentially “Worst Cooks in America” with the regular folk replaced by D-List celebrities like Joey Fatone and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Although celebrity competitions and reality shows are commonplace on other cable networks like E! and VH1, it’s strange to see a specialty channel like Food Network getting into the game. If Food Network can pull it off, the response from fans might lead other specialty networks to create their own reality shows featuring celebrities. Here are just a few examples of celebrity reality shows we might see in the future.
Discovery Channel – Dirty Stars
If celebrities want to cash in on their last 15 minutes of fame, you might as well make them work for it. “Dirty Stars” would take a group of washed up celebrities and make them travel around the world doing the worst possible jobs. Who wouldn’t want to see Spencer Pratt slum in up at a water sewage plant or Lisa Rinna deliver a baby calf?