Thursday, September 30, 2010

GLAAD Bosses Applaud 'Gay-friendly' Shows

Gay rights campaigners have applauded the TV bosses behind hit shows including True Blood and Glee for bringing more homosexual characters to the small screen.

A report by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has found the number of gay, lesbian or bisexual characters appearing on TV has risen over the last year.

The study claims homosexual characters now make up 3.9 per cent of all those seen on U.S. TV.

Hit vampire show True Blood, which stars bisexual Anna Paquin and has featured six gay characters, was singled out for praise, along with musical show Glee and Modern Family.

GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios says, "The increase in lesbian, gay and bisexual characters on primetime television not only reflects the shift in American culture toward greater awareness and understanding of our community but also a new industry standard that a growing number of creators and networks are adopting.

"The recent critical and commercial success of shows like Modern Family and Glee clearly indicate that mainstream audiences embrace gay characters and want to see well-crafted stories about our lives."

Judge Reduces Charges Against Anna Nicole Smith's Former Boyfriend

The judge in the Anna Nicole Smith drug conspiracy trial tossed out two felony charges against Smith's former beau Howard K. Stern on Wednesday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry – who earlier this week accused prosecutors of overcharging the case because a celebrity death was involved – discarded two charges against Stern of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit.

The judge also dismissed part of a conspiracy count against Stern and one of the two physicians on trial, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, saying there wasn't enough proof that the men conspired to obtain controlled drugs through fraud and deceit.

Judge Perry allowed the rest of the conspiracy charge to stand and said the majority of the 11-count complaint can go to the jury for a decision.

Perry told prosecutors on Monday that he has presided over 622 felony jury trials in his career, but only in three cases had he been faced with "overzealous" prosecutors who "appeared to put winning above" fairness.

The rulings on the defense's motion to dismiss were made outside the presence of the jury, which returns to court Monday for closing arguments in the trial of Stern, Kapoor and Smith's psychiatrist, Khristine Eroshevich, who prescribed many of the drugs found in Smith’s body after her death in 2007 at age 39.

Screen Star Tony Curtis Dead at 85

Tony Curtis, one the beefcake screen stars of the 1950s who went on working for the next four decades, has died, his daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, told Entertainment Tonight. No further details were given.

He was 85 and had been admitted to a Las Vegas hospital for tests in mid-July after he had trouble breathing.

Curtis, who also suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, nearly died when he contracted pneumonia in December 2006 and remained in a coma for several days.

'Good-Looking Kid'

Unlike another pretty face of his generation, Marlon Brando, who at least took his early screen roles seriously, Tony Curtis wasn't entirely about the performance. "I was a good-looking kid," he admitted to People magazine in 2008. "That's the only reason I got into the movies."

In all, there were more than 150 movies, which took place along with an equally extravagant Hollywood high life: six wives, romances with starlets from Marilyn Monroe to Natalie Wood and six kids he candidly admitted he often failed – including Jamie Lee Curtis. Nor did he make a secret of his real name – Bernie Schwartz – or his onetime drug use, or his trips to the shrink to deal with debilitating depression.

Tragic Childhood

Born in Manhattan's tough Hell's Kitchen, Curtis grew up in the Bronx, the son of a Hungarian-Jewish immigrant tailor. Tragedy as well as poverty stalked the family. Older brother Julius was killed at 12 by a truck. Younger brother Robert was institutionalized as a schizophrenic. A high school dropout after one year, Curtis served a WWII Navy hitch, including two years aboard a submarine – experience he leaned on for one of his favorite movies, opposite his childhood hero Cary Grant, in 1959's Operation Petticoat.

Studying acting in New York on the GI Bill, Curtis (still as Schwartz) attracted the attention of a Universal Studios talent scout and landed a $50-a-week contract (and the new name) in Hollywood. Soon posing shirtless for fan magazines and adorning costume epics like 1951's The Prince Who Was a Thief, Curtis also showed off his pronounced Bronx accent. Still, he never quite uttered the famous line most quoted by nightclub mimics: "Yonda lies da castle of da caliph, my fodder."

The late '50s brought meaty roles and memorable movies: 1957's Sweet Smell of Success with Burt Lancaster, 1958's The Defiant Ones with Sidney Poitier, and the comedy rated No. 1 funniest by the American Film Institute: Billy Wilder's 1959 Some Like It Hot, with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon – with the two leading men playing 1920s musicians on the lam. In drag.

In 2002, Curtis said of his get-up for that romp, "Panties are easy, I find. Garter belts are not disruptive, I don't think. The shoulder pads in dresses can be a little obnoxious … but by and large, I would say the brassiere [is the worst]."

Uneasy Marriages

His first marriage, in 1951, to frequent costar Janet Leigh, was widely covered by the press as a favorite Hollywood couple. It was also bitter, even more so after they divorced after 12 years. The union produced two actress daughters – Kelly, now 54, and Jamie Lee, 51 – though Curtis was to blame Janet (who died in 2004) for his long estrangement from Jamie.

"She had heard that I was arrogant, uninterested, a rake, a womanizer, a drunk and a dope-taker," he told People magazine in 1980. For her part, Leigh denied the charge. "I never knocked Tony to Jamie," she said. As for Jamie, she said 30 years ago that she had achieved a fragile reconciliation with Tony Curtis. "I understand him better now," she said, "perhaps not as a father but as a man."

"Marriage is difficult," opined the experienced Curtis. "Very few of us are fortunate enough to marry multimillionaire girls who have 39-inch busts and have undergone frontal lobotomies." As for his reputation as a lady-killer, Tony humbly admitted it was deserved: "I've left my mark on thousands of girls across the country."

To say nothing of millions of movie fans around the world.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Will the Glee Super Bowl Episode Tackle the King of Pop...or the Boss?

Word on the street is that, in Glee‘s post-Super Bowl episode, the McKinley High kids will be singing either the songs of Michael Jackson or Bruce Springsteen. Which seems win/win, right? They’re both musical icons with back catalogs overflowing with hits.

But which would be the better choice? Figuring that out, as Sue Sylvester would say, is hard. Luckily, Michael Ausiello from Entertainment Weekly has a helpful handy-dandy list of the pros and cons of devoting an hour to one vs. the other. Here's what he had to say:


Pros: The diversity of his song styles would lend itself brilliantly to Glee‘s variety of singers. For instance, soft-spoken Kurt could whisper his way through “Billie Jean,” jocks Finn and Puck could muscle their way through “Beat It,” and powerhouses Rachel and Mercedes could—no, would—kill MJ’s once-upon-a-duet with sis Janet, “Scream.” Plus, you just know Mr. Schue would do a mean moonwalk.

Cons: Since the Super Bowl is in February, not October, chances are slim that we’d get “Thriller.” And I want “Thriller.” Badly. Also, since he’s passed on, do we forget about all the child-molestation allegations now? Is that, like, a rule?


Pros: Not only could a Bruce-centric episode possibly bring gridiron fans to the show in a way that (sorry) the football team getting down to “Single Ladies” never could, a “Born in the USA” cover could easily be 2011′s classic-rock answer to “Don’t Stop Believin’.” (And c’mon, Finn is pretty much made to fill out Springsteen’s jeans.) Moreover, Puck could show off his softer side on “I’m on Fire,” “Dancing in the Dark” could take on a whole new meaning with daffy Brittany performing it, and can’t you just picture the flashbacks to a teenage Will belting out “Glory Days”?

Cons: How many Springsteen songs do you really know? I mean, quick—can you hum “Streets of Philadelphia” or “Secret Garden” from his greatest-hits CD? I, um, can’t.

And the winner is… Oh, I’m not touching this one. You guys can vote below. And something tells me you will…

CBS Wins First Week of New 2010-11 TV Season

Thanks to strong premieres by Hawaii Five-O and Blue Bloods and the return of Big Bang Theory, CBS won the first week of the TV season in viewers (12.5 million) and adults 18-49 (3.3 rating/10 share). CBS had 13 of the top 20 shows among viewers and adults for the week ending September 26th, more than on any other network. Hawaii Five-O (14.2 million) currently stands as the most-watched new program in viewers while $#*! My Dad Says is the No. 1 new comedy among adults 18-49 (4.0 rating). Each 18-49 ratings point represents 1.31 million viewers.

CBS won five nights of the week in viewers (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and three nights among adults 18-49 – more than any other network. The network is also up 6% in viewers, 3% in adults 18-49 and 10% among adults 18-34 versus the same period last year.

ABC finished second for the week in viewers (9.58 million), followed by NBC (8.15 million) and Fox (6.52 million). NBC and ABC tied for second place among adults 18-49 (2.8/8), while Fox came in third (2.6/7). Fox won the week among adults 18-34 with a 2.6/8.

Given how DVR usage by TV watchers is at 38% right now – up from 33% from last fall – the networks expect the playback rate to have an impact on ratings beyond same-day viewing. The results won’t be available for another week, however, so stay tuned to find out just how many of you delayed viewing of, say, Lone Star or The Event.

The Bold and the Beautiful Casts "Brenchel" from Big Brother 12

The latest Big Brother showmance will follow in the footsteps of Jeff Schroeder and Jordan Lloyd by making its debut in CBS daytime next month: Rachel Reilly and Brendon Villegas, a.k.a. Brenchel, will appear in two episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful on October 25th and 26th.

Reilly will play a waitress and Villegas, a bartender in a scene with Hope (Kim Matula), Liam (Scott Clifton), Bill (Don Diamont), Katie (Heather Tom), and Amber (Adrienne Frantz).

Entertainment Weekly spoke with Reilly who acknowledged that the role wasn’t much of a stretch — she worked as a VIP waitress in Las Vegas, after all, before joining Big Brother this summer. But the gig represented the opportunity of a lifetime because she’s been a longtime fan of the show.

But enough about the soap cameo: Has she followed through with her plans and actually moved to Los Angeles to be with her man? “I’m in the process! I’m going to make it happen!” she told Entertainment Weekly. She’ll miss Sin City, though — especially the folks who were nothing like BB 12′s Ragan and actually liked being around her. “Oh my gosh, everyone has been so supportive. I was shocked. Everyone hated me in the house and I was convinced everyone in America hated me. But coming back to Vegas, everyone was so welcoming and supportive.”

Even though her fellow houseguests expressed skepticism during the Big Brother finale that she and Villegas wouldn’t last, Reilly said she’s seen the opposite reaction in the real world. “Everyone wants to know when there will be a proposal and a wedding,” she gushes. “We are head over heels in love. I’m so lucky to be with him. I foresee a long future together. He is my missing puzzle piece!”

Fox Shelves Lone Star After Two Episodes

Fox has shelved Lone Star after just two episodes.

The network announced that Lie to Me -- which originally was scheduled to premiere in November — will take Lone Star's timeslot, beginning Monday.

Lone Star creator pleads for "stunning upset" from fans.

Lone Star is not officially canceled, but likely will be after two weeks of abysmal ratings. Network officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday about whether the series' remaining episodes will air.

The critically acclaimed drama, about a con man married to two women and leading two different lives, is the first freshman series of the 2010-2011 season to be removed from the air.

The show failed to connect with viewers despite a heavy promotional campaign from Fox. Lone Star premiered September 20th to 4.1 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in the 18-to-49 demographic. The series' episode this week dipped to just 3.8 million viewers — despite an open letter to fans from series creator/executive producer Kyle Killen.

"For us to survive we're going to have to pull off a minor miracle. Statistically, new shows tend to lose viewers in their second week. We're aiming to gain them," Killen wrote on his personal blog Thursday.

I'm personally sorry to see this show disappear from our televisions. It was truly a great show, with a great deal of support from the TV critics. Hopefully it get's picked up by another network.

Did Michael Bolton Survive Dancing's Elimination?

Michael Bolton started off his jive performance with Chelsie Hightower on Monday night Dancing with the Stars in a doghouse, a ballroom prop set up to go with their music selection, Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog."

By the end of the routine, Bolton was in the figurative doghouse with the judges for what Bruno Tonioli called "the worst jive I've ever seen." He gave him just three points, while Carrie Ann Inaba gave him four and Len Goodman gave him five for a total of just 12 out of 30, a season low.

Find out what happened on Tuesday's results show – and if Bolton survived or if he was the second sent home, after David Hasselhoff.

No surprises this time – Bolton is gone. But he didn't go quietly.

"Last night, Bruno was inappropriate and disrespectful," Bolton said. "Other than that, it was a phenomenal experience."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

George Michael Branded a Hermit

Pop star George Michael has according to reports begun to behave like a hermit during his jail sentence at Pentonville Prison in North London.

A prison source has revealed that "everyone calls him The Hermit, because he could mix but has chosen not to. He always watches the Jeremy Kyle Show – he's a big fan." The website reports that doesn't use the prison gym and rarely uses communal areas.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the star is having to take prescription medication in order to sleep.

The 47-year-old singer already has a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs and was found slumped over the wheel of his car when police found him on July 4th.

He had crashed the Range Rover into a branch of Snappy Snaps in north London.

He pleaded guilty to the offence and to possessing two cannabis joints.

Last month, he was handed an interim six-month driving ban.

His arrest came not long after the end of a two-year driving ban incurred in 2008 after he was caught in possession of crack cocaine and marijuana.

In 2007 he was given 100 hours of community service after being found unconscious at the wheel of his car by police.

Brad Womack Returning to The Bachelor

Few Bachelor fans will ever forget the night Brad Womack broke not one, but two hearts, on the Season 11 finale in 2007.

But now Womack is back to take another shot at finding love, it was announced Monday.

“At first I was skeptical,” Bachelor host Chris Harrison said to People magazine, “But the more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with the idea of him coming back, getting another shot.”

The Austin bar owner, 37, famously rejected his final two bachelorettes, DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft. He chose to be alone, a bold choice that no other Bachelor or Bachelorette has ever made in the show’s history. The fan and media backlash he suffered following his decision nearly caused him to go into hiding.

Womack resurfaced over the summer, making amends on ABC’s 20/20 with Pappas, who’s engaged to marry schoolteacher Stephen Stagliano next spring.

“I don’t think Brad deserved as much of the anger and resentment from the fans,” Harrison says of the way people responded to the finale’s unhappy ending. “He’s come out a better man and I think he’s ready to do this.”

Fall TV Premieres: Tuesday, September 28th

The introduction of the 2010-2011 new TV Fall season premieres tonight with one returning show, The Good Wife, and a new one, No Ordinary Family.

Today's Spotlight: No Ordinary Family

Dysfunctional families will try anything to become close again: Sunday dinners; TV hour; or even therapy. For the Powells, it's a simple matter of harnessing their respective superpowers. Of course, for Jim (Michael Chiklis), Stephanie (Julie Benz) and their two teenage kids, it takes a plane crash in the Amazon for these abilities to kick in, and in tonight's sci-fi drama series premiere, police sketch-artist Jim tests the limits of his immense strength, while his scientist wife measures her amazing speed.

Tonight's premiere schedule:

8:00 pm
ABC - No Ordinary Family (new)
CBS - The Good Wife

All times are based on Eastern Time zone.
(new) = new series premiere

New Release Tuesday!

Here is a list of this week's new releases on Blu-Ray, CD and DVD including Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky starring Anna Mouglalis & Mads Mikkelsen.

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (B)
Frozen (2010) (B)
Get Hime to the Greek (B)
Good (2009) (B)
Iron Man 2 (B)
The Killer Inside Me (B)
King Kong (1933) (B)
Nostradamus 2012 (B)
Perrier's Beauty

Doobie Brothers - World Gone Crazy
El DeBarge - Second Chance
Eric Clapton - Clapton
Gin Blossoms - No Chocolate Cake
Kaskade -
Kenny Chesney - Hemingway's Whiskey
La Cage Aux Foiles - New Broadway Cast Recording
Lil Wayne - I Am Not a Human Being
Phil Collins - Going Back
Seal - 6: Commitment
T.I. - King Uncaged

CSI - 10th Season
The Cleveland Show - 1st Season
Rich Man, Poor Man - Complete Collection (Mini-Series)
Saturday Night Live - Best of Adam Sandler & Best of Eddie Murphy
Scrubs - 9th & Final Season, and Complete Collection

(B) = Available on Blu-Ray

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spartacus May 'Close Up Shop' in Wake of Andy Whitfield's Cancer Relapse

Although Starz execs have yet to decide how Andy Whitfield’s cancer relapse will impact the future of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, exec producer Steven S. DeKnight reveals that one of two things will likely happen: a new actor will be brought in to replace Whitfield or the series will end.

“The two main options are to close up shop or recast,” says DeKnight. “I want to talk to Andy and find out how he feels about the options. That’s obviously very important to us.

“We’re still absorbing what’s happened,” adds DeKnight. “I think it’s going to be a little while before we reach any conclusions.”

DeKnight says his primary concern remains Whitfield, who bowed out of the show’s second season after doctors advised him to resume “aggressive treatment” for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. “He’s a trooper,” marvels DeKnight. “He has a very positive outlook.”

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, a prequel to the series, will still air as scheduled in January 2011.

Jennifer Lopez Keeps Her Ex, Ojani Noa, from Auditioning for American Idol

Jennifer Lopez's first husband Ojani Noa had planned to wait in line and serenade his former wife with one of her own songs when American Idol auditions opened in California last week.

However, J.Lo -- who was unveiled as a new member of the judging panel along with Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler -- told the show’s producers that the whole ordeal would make her uncomfortable. And ultimately, bosses told him he'd be arrested if he went through with his plans.

A friend of Ojani told “Jennifer got Fox to make sure the screeners would not let Ojani anywhere near the auditions. Fox made it clear that he was not welcome and that he could be arrested if he showed up, so he backed-out at the last minute. It was a shame because all he wanted to do was to showcase his voice and show people that he can really sing too.”

Ojani Noa, 36, married Jennifer in 1997 after meeting her while working as a waiter. Their marriage lasted less than a year and they initially parted on good terms, but the pair have fallen out in recent years, after Jennifer hired and subsequently fired Ojani as head chef of her now closed Latin restaurant Madre's in 2002.

He has since been banned from publishing a tell-all book he wrote about the 41-year-old star by one court, and last year a judge ruled he was also not allowed to commercially release footage from the couple's honeymoon.

The source added: “Whenever Ojani tries to do something Jennifer just tries to block it any way that she can -- nobody really knows what she’s so paranoid about.”

Since divorcing Ojani, Jennifer dated rapper P. Diddy, married and divorced dancer Cris Judd, got engaged to actor Ben Affleck and finally settled down and married singer Marc Anthony, with whom she has two-year-old twins Max and Emme.

Darren Criss Joins 'Glee' as Kurt's New Boyfriend?

The plot surrounding Kurt’s first boyfriend on Glee thickens. Actor-singer-songwriter Darren Criss—best known to TV audiences as Matt Dallas’ brother on Eastwick—has landed the much-talked-about new gay role on the Fox phenom.

But will he have eyes for Kurt? Maybe. Maybe not.

Per a Glee source, Criss’ character, Blaine—a cute and charismatic gay student from a rival Glee club named the Dalton Academy Warblers—will maintain a strictly platonic friendship with McKinley High’s most out and proud pupil. But could that change as the season progresses? Yes, it could.

Sounds like series creator Ryan Murphy is keeping his options open.

Ever since Murphy announced that Kurt would be getting a love interest in season 2, speculation about the identity of his suitor has run rampant. The casting of pretty boy Chord Overstreet led some to speculate that his quarterback character Sam would play that role, a theory Chris Colfer all but shot down when he said that there’s no sign of romantic tension between Sam and Kurt in the first four episodes. “Maybe it is too obvious,” he theorized. “Our writers have a way of avoiding the obvious and throwing curveballs.”

In addition to his TV work, Criss has built quite a web following as a member of the University of Michigan theater company Team StarKid. The group’s spoof, A Very Potter Musical, went viral and turned Criss (who plays the title role) into a bit of an internet star.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall TV Premieres: Sunday, September 26th

Well we've reached the final day of this Fall's TV premiere week, even though this does not mean that all new and returning shows have premiered their new episodes. We still have shows premiering through mid-October. Tonight's premieres include new episodes of Desperate Housewives, Dexter and Brothers & Sisters.

Today's Spotlight: Desperate Housewives

As we are welcomed back to Wisteria Lane for Desperate Housewives' seventh season, the Bolens have moved on, Orson's moving out, and Susan and Mike have already moved, although not far, because they cannot afford Wisteria Lane living.

In tonight's episode, Susan gets a job offer from their landlady (Lainie Kazan) that she really wants to refuse. Meanwhile, Paul Young (Mark Moses) is moving back in, and no one's happy about it. Plus, Lynette's barb-tossing college friend Renee (Vanessa Williams) shows up. She's just visiting, she says, but Williams has joined the regular cast. Where does that leave Gaby and (the clean-shaven) Carlos? Keeping secrets from each other.

It looks like it's going to be a very interesting season on Desperate Housewives.

Tonight's premiere schedule:

7:00 pm
ABC - America's Funniest Home Videos

7:30 pm
CBS - 60 Minutes

8:00 pm
ABC - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
FOX - The Simpsons

8:30 pm
CBS - The Amazing Race
FOX - The Cleveland Show

9:00 pm
ABC - Desperate Housewives
FOX - Family Guy

10:00 pm
ABC - Brothers & Sisters
CBS - Undercover Boss
HBO - Bored to Death
TLC - Sister Wives

10:30 pm
HBO - Eastbown & Down

All times are based on Eastern Time zone.

Broadway's Revival of "Angels in America" has Gone into Production

About a month ago rehearsals for the Broadway revival of Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia commenced. It is based on the former Tony Award winning Best Play by playwright Tony Kushner and stars Zachary Quinto, Bill Heck, Billy Porter, and Christian Borle.

Performances have already begun and because the shows are selling out so quickly, the show’s run has been extended again until February 20, 2011.

Angels in America opens September 14th at Signature Theatre Company. This play, shown in two parts — Millennium Approaches and Perestroika — is set in the mid-1980s, both the Reagan years and the height of the AIDS epidemic in America.

Among the many roles the eight actors take on are a young gay man with AIDS, his frightened, unfaithful lover, his former drag queen nurse, a troubled Mormon couple, a steel-winged angel, a rabbi; a Reagan politico and Ethel Rosenberg.

If you're in New York this Fall or Winter, make sure you catch this sure-to-be hit!

Portia de Rossi is Officially Mrs. DeGeneres

Portia de Rossi tied the knot with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in August 2008, and Friday a judge granted her request to officially become Mrs. DeGeneres.

Portia said in a statement: “I am thrilled to legally adopt my wife's name. I will continue to use Portia de Rossi for professional purposes.”

The actress initially signed documents requesting to take her spouse’s name in March, before officially filing a petition in a Los Angeles court in August.

Although the couple have now further cemented their six-year relationship, Ellen, 52, recently admitted she and Portia have no plans to start a family.

She explained: “I don't think we're going to have kids. We have animals, and we love them. And, you know, we are brand new aunts. Her brother and his wife just had a baby girl who's a month old now, and it's fun to be a part of that. It's just a huge responsibility, and I don't know if that's something we want to take on. We're very happily married without children."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vanessa William Chats with About Desperate Housewives & Ugly Betty

Want proof that someone over at ABC is really smart? Well, at least one person over there had the foresight to figure out the how the hell the network would keep Vanessa Williams (aka Wilhelmina Slater of Ugly Betty) from running off to another network where she would be the classiest, sexiest and funniest thing there.

How did they do it? By moving her from Manhattan over to Wisteria Lane where she's going to bring New York sophistication to the suburbs as one Renee Perry. Michael Jensen from got to chat with Vanessa this week and found her to be funny, charming and, yes, snackable!

AfterElton: How long did you make Marc Cherry beg before you agreed to join Desperate Housewives?
Vanessa Williams: [laughs] Oh, I didn't make him beg at all. We had a meeting Thursday and the deal was signed by Monday noontime, so it came so quickly. It's the quickest deal I've ever done, so I think we were both, you know, excited and happy.

AE: I have to tell you, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives are two of my favorite shows, so having you on DH is like putting chocolate and peanut butter together. Wilhemina became such a gay icon — and so did you over the course of Ugly Betty — that she ended up having her own drag impersonators. Gay guys are obviously very into you and the character.
VW: Which my brother played, by the way.

AE: I remember that very well. Now tell me about Renee and what is going to appeal to us gay guys about this character.
VW: Well, I mean, she ain't no Wilhelmina. She's a New Yorker who comes into the lane and comments on the difference between New York and the suburban life often. Her dress is certainly not Wilhelmina as well, but she tries to do her best in terms of bringing style and flair to the lane. And she's a little bit passive-aggressive so she tends to ruffle some feathers.

She's certainly not creating the amount of fear and trepidation and the amount of scheming that Wilhelmina had on a weekly basis, but she's mixin' it up. We've shot... we're on episode seven now, so it's been kind of tasty. I've been able to work with each woman kind of one-on-one for at least an episode or so, so it's kind of nice to delve into each person's world and stir it up.

AE: Now when did you realize that you, Vanessa Williams, had become a gay icon?
VW: The first time was probably when I heard people saying, "Have you seen Priscilla, Queen of the Desert? They sing "Saved the Best for Last" at the end, you gotta see it!"- and that was years ago.

But in terms of Wilhelmina and Ugly Betty and that persona, I don't know. The thing about my career is, I've done so many things in terms of my recording career and Broadway, you know, I've performed in tons of different venues, doing "Running Back to You" at the AIDS Dance-A-Thon back in the day. I don't think there was one pivotal moment where I said, you know, I've made it as a gay icon. [laughs]

AE: It just sort of gradually dawned on you.
VW: Yeah.

AE: I've talked with Michael Urie quite a few times, and he tells a great story about how at the beginning of Ugly Betty he gives you credit for recognizing that Marc was going to be a great foil for Wilhelmina and you sort of said to the writers "We should beef this part up and bring Marc more into the story". Is that how you remember it?
VW: It was completely organic. It was our first conference room scene, and walking around the table and I was supposed to do the whole bit with Daniel and his whole crystal inscription mistake on his award, so I added the whole beckoning for Marc and he jumped to attention. You know, Michael and I had such a ... like, a symbiotic physical thing.

I remember another time where I was kind of defeated at the end of something at the conference table and I kind of sunk into my chair and Michael mirrored the exact same way I sunk into my chair, and I said wow. This guy is a fantastic actor 'cause he's aware, and he is like a part of me.

Then we did the Botox scene – that was the first thing we did that I was really thoroughly impressed with his joy and his energy and he just hit it. The [producers] said they wanted Wilhelmina to have a different assistant every week and she'd fire them, and I said "This guy is really, really good..."

Then I heard he was from Juilliard and I said okay. Not only is he fantastic, but he's got the training. I think we should definitely keep him on. He worked so well in the pilot, absolutely great, and there Michael Urie became the Marc that everybody knew and loved and we'd never get rid of, ever.

AE: It seemed like the last season of Ugly Betty really humanized Willie. How did you see that happening, if you saw it that way, and how did you feel about where Willie wound up?
VW: The fact that she got it all and the guy was wonderful. She didn't have it quite all because she didn't get her daughter back, but, you know. Unfortunately we had to wrap everything up within a few weeks after we got the notice that we were cancelled, so that was kind of unfortunate.

Especially unfortunate for the writers who have to scramble and wrap it all up in a few episodes. Again, it's one of those opportunities where if they called and said "Guess what? The gang's back on, we're all here and we're doing it again!" or "We're doing the movie!", I would jump to it in a second.

Desperate Housewives airs Sunday nights at 9:00 pm (ET) on ABC.

J.Lo Tells 'Extra' She'll Be Tough on 'Idol'

Newly crowned American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez won't be the next Simon Cowell, but she will be honest!" Extra's AJ Calloway caught up with Lopez right after the announcement that she, along with Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, would be judging the show's 10th season, and asked her about how she'll handle her duties.

"I'm not one to stand down when I have strong beliefs about something," said the superstar singer. Lopez is excited that this season will really concentrate on the music. "Randy, myself, Steven... we take music seriously. It's our life." See photos of Jennifer Lopez through the years!

J.Lo talked about Interscope Records exec Jimmy Iovine being one of this season's mentors. His label has been home to the Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige and Lady Gaga.

Lopez said of this season's contestants, "They're going to get to work with the people who work with artists all the time and who expect a certain level."

The other bonus of doing Idol for the singer/actress is being able to stay in one place for awhile. "It's a lot on the family, the babies, packing up and bringing them everywhere, making sure we're all together. You know how much we travel," laughing, "AJ travels with us sometimes. He's like our third triplet!"

The new American Idol season premieres January 2011 on FOX.

Leonardo DiCaprio to Star in J. Edgar Hoover Biopic

Leonardo DiCaprio is no stranger to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In "Catch Me If You Can" he was constantly one step ahead of the FBI as legendary scam artist Frank Abagnale Jr. He also earned the domestic intelligence agency's attention as industrialist Howard Hughes in "The Aviator." Now DiCaprio is set to lead the FBI, playing its very first director, J. Edgar Hoover.

Deadline Hollywood reports that the "Shutter Island" star will take on the challenging task of bringing the controversial Hoover's life to the big screen in a biopic to be directed by Clint Eastwood, who is also producing with Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment. The script comes from Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Milk." Deadline further reports that the film is untitled, though IMDb identifies it simply as "Hoover."

A great deal of controversy surrounds the life of the FBI's first director. Hoover served in a leadership role over the FBI and its precursor organizations for a total of 48 years. Although he is credited as being responsible for instituting many of the bureau's grand-scale crime-fighting techniques, he has also been accused of misusing his power for political purposes and employing illegal methods in evidence-gathering. Following Hoover's reign, the FBI instituted a 10-year maximum term for all directors.

As for Hoover's personal life, it is fraught with rumors that he was a closeted homosexual and cross-dresser. Many of these allegations come from untrustworthy sources and have been refuted, but it remains to be seen how Black chose to handle that aspect of the FBI director's life in his script.

DiCaprio teamed with filmmaker Martin Scorsese earlier in the year — their fourth collaboration — for an adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel "Shutter Island." The actor also has a major summer blockbuster coming next month, sci-fi action/thriller "Inception," from "The Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan.

Eastwood has shifted in his later years from grizzled cowboy actor to respected filmmaker. He picked up Oscar nominations for "Mystic River" and "Letters From Iwo Jima," and he took home Best Director and Best Picture awards in 2005 for "Million Dollar Baby," a film for which he also received a Best Actor nom.

Eastwood is set to release his latest directing effort, "Hereafter," later this year. The Peter Morgan-penned supernatural thriller stars Matt Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard. "Hoover" is tentatively scheduled for a 2012 release.

'Heroes' Zachary Quinto is Bummed About Cancelled Wrap-up Movie

Heroes fans aren’t the only folks miffed by NBC’s decision not to move forward with plans for a wrap-up movie. The show’s brain-eating baddie Zachary Quinto is also disheartened that closure won’t come to the Heroesverse.

“It’s disappointing that there was such a lack of resolution,” sighs the actor. “But unfortunately that’s just the nature of network television….Nothing really surprises me in terms of network and studio bureaucracy. It’s the way it goes.

“If it was in their best interest I’m sure they would have done it,” he adds. “And for whatever reason, they didn’t think it was. So that’s a bummer. But we have to just accept it and move on.”

Quinto—who’s currently headlining an Off-Broadway revival of Angels in America—isn’t allowing the show’s unhappy ending to taint an otherwise “phenomenal” experience. “I have nothing but fond memories and fondness for the people who gave me that opportunity,” he says. “I miss everybody, but I’m also glad to know that everybody is moving forward with as much momentum as possible.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall TV Premieres: Friday, September 24th

It's TGIF and the fifth day of the 2010/2011 Fall TV Premiere week. Several favorite series including Smallville and CSI: NY return with their season premiere, along with a new show starring Tom Selleck, Blue Bloods.

Today's Spotlight: Blue Bloods

­Blue Bloods is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) is the New York City Police Commissioner and heads both the police force and the Reagan brood. He runs his department as diplomatically as he runs his family, even when dealing with the politics that plagued his unapologetically bold father, Henry (Len Cariou), during his stint as Chief.

The show stars: Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Will Estes, and Len Cariou.

Tonight's premiere schedule:

8:00 pm
CBS - Medium
CW - Smallville

9:00 pm
CW - Supernatural
FOX - The Good Guys

NBC - Dateline

10:00 pm
ABC - 20/20
CBS - Blue Bloods (new)

All times are based on Eastern Time zone.

(new) = new series premiere

10 'Glee' Spoilers Revealed by the Creator Himself

When it comes to must-see TV, Glee is no Lost. While Lost writers went to famously great lengths to keep the smallest of details leaking from the show, Glee creator Ryan Murphy and the rest of the show's cast have been downright forthcoming with revelations from future episodes.

Based solely on what Ryan and the cast have told the press, here are 10 spoilers from the show's second season that may or may not come as a surprise.

1. Rachel and Finn are staying together (All Season)

Ryan Murphy says he wants to give fans what they want on this one. He explains that "they're united" in season two and "every other scene they're telling each other how much they love each other and kissing inappropriately in the hall." He also likes seeing them as leaders in the Glee group, but warns they will be tested.

“The thing about that is that Rachel did not sleep with Jesse,” Ryan said. “She lied that she did, but she didn’t go through with it. Finn did [go through with it], but the whole point of that was for a guy to say ‘I wish I had waited,’ as opposed to “Yeah!!” That discussion will certainly come up because [Rachel] does not know that, but that’s a whole episode right there. … When she finds out, what will she do?”

2. Britney Spears will start a 'sex riot' (Episode 2)

Glee fans know that the Britney Spears tribute episode is coming up for the second episode, but it sounds like Britney's arrival will play on some surging teen hormones.

Hilariously vapid cheerleader Brittany (Heather Morris) will finally get her first solo. Based on pictures Britney Spears herself posted to Twitter, the two will be recreating Britney's girl-on-girl action with Madonna in the video for "Me Against the Music." While it hasn't been confirmed, this may set things in motion for Brittany to come out as lesbian.

Jane Lynch previously told TV Week of the Britney episode: "Sue Sylvester is of the opinion that Britney Spears is basically the anti-Christ. How does she put it? 'A pop-culture provocateur and responsible for every out-of-control impulse ever created.' So she fears that if Britney Spears' music is played, it will create a sex riot — and it does."

3. Paging Dr. Stamos (Episode 2)

John Stamos will join the show as Emma's love interest in the second episode. He's a dentist and when Will brings him in to talk to the kids about dental hygiene (but really to get a better look at him), The doctor finds the Glee kids have been lax with their teeth. He ends up administering the anesthetic that makes the Britney Spears dream sequences possible.

Get used to John. He'll be wrecking Mr. Schuester's chances with Emma all season as he plays the hunky dentist. It turns out he used to be in a boy band and as an added bonus, he'll likely be wearing a mullet wig in the flashbacks.

4. 'Glee' gets religion (Episode 3)

In the third episode, the show will follow Mercedes (Amber Riley) to church with Kurt tagging along in choir robes. The episode is said to address the issue of teens questioning their faith. Cory Monteith says he's very excited for Finn to sing "Losing My Religion," but more importantly Mercedes gets a real solo.

5. Kurt + Sam 4ever (All Season)

Ryan Murphy, Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel) and Jane Lynch have all confirmed that Kurt will find himself involved with a hunky new love interest in season two. Chord Overstreet made his debut as Sam Evans while singing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" in the shower on Tuesday night. He's said he hasn't seen a script pairing him with Kurt yet, but on Tuesday he had a bawdy bit of innuendo foreshadowing things to come.

Puck (remarking on the size of Sam's mouth): "How many tennis balls can you fit in that thing?"
Sam: "I don’t know — I’ve never had balls in my mouth. Have you?"

Ryan Murphy revealed an even bigger spoiler over the summer at Comic-Con: "I want [Kurt] to have a boyfriend and for them to be prom king and king. I think that’s something important to put out into the world."

6. There will be a Rocky Horror Picture Show tribute (Episode 5)

Ryan Murphy has confirmed that he'll be directing the season's fifth episode, a Halloween episode paying tribute to the campiest of campy musicals, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Says Ryan: "My favorite thing to do is to torture the boys and claim that I don’t know who’s wearing those gold lamé briefs because now they’re all on diets and are all in terror that I’m going to be the one to tell them that they’re the one to do it."

And yes, they will definitely do the "Time Warp."

7. Terri will make Will's life Hell

We haven't seen the end of Will's fiendish ex, Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig). Ryan Murphy says she'll be back to terrorize her estranged husband in the second season.

“We love writing for [Terri],” Ryan said. “I think what she needs to do is date somebody who would make Will puke green with jealousy. She needs to figure out who that person is – it’s not the school principal, for one. We’re making a very narrow list of candidates.”

8. Kristin Chenoweth is coming back... as a stripper

In the first season, Kristin Chenoweth played April Rhodes, a drunk with a heart of gold and the voice of an angel. This season she's confirmed to E! Online that April will be back, and she'll be trying to make ends meet by any means possible.

"I'm going back in two weeks to do Glee. I did hear April will be stripping and it made me nervous—made me not want to eat." Just don't expect any smooth moves on the stripper pole. Says Kristin: "I'm not going to practice it either because I don't think April would know how!"

9. Gwyneth Paltrow will sub for Mr. Schuester

Ryan Murphy has confirmed that Gwyneth Paltrow will be playing a teacher substituting for Mr. Schuester in two upcoming episodes. No word on whether or not she'll do any rap, but she can definitely sing.

"Gwyneth is a great singer. She's done it a little bit but I really want to show it off and show everyone how great she is," he said.

10. Javier Bardem will play a Spanish rock 'n' roll singer

According to Ryan, he found out Javier Bardem is a big fan of the show while the two were working together on Eat, Pray, Love. While Javier's guest spot has been reported and un-reported a couple of times so far, Ryan makes it sound like it's going to happen. And it turns out the whole thing was Javier's idea.

"Let me set the record straight - I didn't have to convince him, he begged!" Ryan said. "He loves the show and wants to play a crazy Spanish rock and roll singer so I'm going to do that."

Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress Turning Into Beef Jerky

One of the obvious problems with a dress made entirely out of meat is that it’s perishable.

So, after Lady Gaga premiered her fleshy outfit at last week’s MTV Video Music Awards, fans had to wonder: What would become of the famous meaty fashion after the show? No, it wasn’t grilled up and served with a case of red wine.

“The dress will go through a process where it becomes a sort of ‘jerky,’ ” the designer, Franc Fernandez, tells E! Online. But before you start salivating, be apprised that the jerky will not be available for tastings.

It will be “archived” for posterity, Fernandez says, telling MTV Style that he bought 50 pounds of meat and designed the dress over three days, refrigerating it in between sessions. Over time, the metamorphosis into jerky is natural, he adds. “The meat dries out, rather than rotting,” he says. “But it shouldn’t be worn again.”

And he’s not planning on designing another one. “There’s not going to be meat dresses in the future,” he says. “This was made for a specific purpose. It’s what it is.”

Madonna Happy to Let Daughter Lourdes Take the Lead in Material Girl Line

It was a night of lace tights, skirts, and mother-daughter bonding for Madonna and daughter Lourdes Leon, 13, as they celebrated the launch of their Material Girl clothing line Wednesday night at Macy’s Herald Square in New York City.

Despite being a fashion icon, Madonna was content to take a backseat when it came to choosing the items for the Material Girl girl.

“Lola did most of the work. I just kind of hung out in the background and went, ‘That’s nice,’ but she pretty much did all of the work. I was just overseeing it,” she said.

But when your mom is Madonna and you’re creating a fashion line for teenage girls, it isn’t always that simple. “There are some definite pieces [inspired by my mom]. The tulle skirt because that’s like her thing—she made that. The necklaces, the gloves, the lace tights, the combat boots…that tough girly thing,” Lourdes told People Magazine.

As for the items in Mom’s closet that she covets most? “All of her shoes are ridiculous! I love to try on her [Christian] Louboutins,” she said.

Also on hand for the celebration was Material Girl face Taylor Momsen. “It was such an honor to be chosen by Madonna and Lola. They’re such talented people and I’m just ecstatic,” gushed the Gossip Girl star.

The night concluded with the three ladies gathering on the fourth floor of Macy’s, as dancers performed and a DJ spun many of Madonna’s songs.

“Lola has been so inspiring and it’s been so great to watch her focus, her determination.” Madonna said. “I’ve achieved many things in my life, but I have to say watching my daughter make her dreams come true and achieve her goals is more exciting than anything I’ve ever done

Jennifer Lopez: Why American Idol is Right for Me

Jennifer Lopez is "excited" about her new gig as a judge on American Idol's 10th season, especially since it will allow more time at home with her family in L.A.

"We're really happy that we get to be in one place with the babies [2-year-old twins Max and Emme] for a while," she says. "This is going to put us here for like six months. It's unheard of for us. The babies can do dance class and soccer practice. We're excited about being a little bit of a normal family for a little while."

The move to Idol also demonstrates how Lopez, 40, and husband Marc Anthony, 42, make big life-decisions – like taking a new high-profile job – together.

"I don't know that we ever thought I'd do something like this," says Lopez. "But when I was a dancer, was I going to be an actress? Yeah. When I was an actress, was I going to be a singer? Yes. I just think this is another evolution of that – and [Marc] explained it to me like that."

Now that the announcement is official, Lopez is eager to get started on her new gig. "I'm going to give it my whole heart, soul and passion like I do with everything that I do," she said. "I'm looking forward to such a fun year."

Cher's Saying Good-Bye to Vegas!

Remember how Cher’s farewell tour went on and on and on?

Sadly, her Las Vegas run will not last as long. The great star has announced that she will end her three-year run at Caesars Palace on February 5, 2011.

Cher will have performed approximately 200 shows during the course of her three years at The Colosseum at Ceasars Palace. Her schedule includes concerts from September 25th through the end of October, followed by a two-month break before the final round of shows get underway. The legendary performer will then perform 16 shows from January 11th through February 5th.

Cher debuted at The Colosseum in May 2008, after Celine Dion fulfilled her contract at the venue. Dion is set to return there on March 15th, with more than 50 shows booked through August.

Tickets will be on sale on September 25th beginning at 1:00 pm (ET). Prices are $95, $140, $175, and $250.

Florida Ends Ban on Gays and Lesbians Adopting

The state of Florida has overturned its ban on gays and lesbians adopting children.

Governor Charlie Crist announced the 3rd District Court of Appeal ruling this week and said the ban would end immediately, although the decision can be appealed.

The 1977 law made Florida the only US state to ban gay adoption, despite permitting gays and lesbians to foster children.

This week, the court upheld a 2008 ruling by a Miami-Dade judge who approved the adoption of two young brothers by Martin Gill and his male partner.

The boys were neglected by their biological parents and were placed with Mr Gill and his partner in 2004.

Writing on behalf of the three judges on the appeal court panel, Judge Gerald Cope pointed out the disparity of allowing gays and lesbians to foster but not adopt children.

"It is difficult to see any rational basis in utilising homosexual persons as foster parents or guardians on a temporary or permanent basis, while imposing a blanket prohibition on those same persons," he wrote.

"All other persons are eligible to be considered case-by-case to be adoptive parents."

Gay rights campaigners in Florida have warned that gay adoption opponents may seek to place a measure in the state constitution barring gay people from adopting.

Speaking after the ruling, Mr Gill said: “This is just the news that we have been waiting so anxiously for here.

“This is a giant step toward being able to give our sons the stability and permanency that they are being denied.”

Leslie Cooper, a senior staff attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union, which supported Mr Gill, said: “Florida’s law unconstitutionally singles out gay people and the children in their care for unequal treatment, denying many children the long-term security that comes with adoption.

"We are grateful that the court saw the cruel consequences this law has on children, especially those in foster care who may never know the security of a permanent home.”

Catching Up With Maroon 5's Adam Levine & His Friendship with Jake Gyllenhaal...Nope! They're not Gay!

Last year, Maroon 5 escaped to Switzerland with legendary producer Mutt Lange in tow to record their new album, Hands All Over. OUT magazine caught up with the band’s pretty boy frontman Adam Levine to chat about their particular brand of pop music, Lady Gaga, and buddy Jake Gyllenhaal’s sexuality.

Out: Critics have likened the band’s sound to everyone from Huey Lewis and the News to Journey. How would you describe Maroon 5’s sound?

Adam Levine: We’ve been a band for so long. You know Maroon 5’s sound has always been changing because I think we’re not necessarily interested in fitting into a category. We love pop music. I grew up listening to rock 'n' roll music. My parents raised me on the Beatles and the Stones and folk music -- Simon and Garfunkel and Dylan and all this stuff. I was a teenager in the '90s so I got into the Nirvanas and the Pearl Jams and the Soundgardens and all these bands and rebelled against pop music and hated it. Then when I was 19 or 20, I started getting into Stevie Wonder and Al Green and Bill Withers and all this other stuff so I treat music the way I treat everything in life, which is there’s so much variety in music, it’s silly to belong to a specific club and try to sound a certain way. Hence, our sound has changed because we just like everything. It’s maybe a little poppier than when we started. It was more R&B in the beginning. I don’t know what we are. Journey is funny, though. That’s a weird one.

Out: I read your first record was heavily influenced by Stevie Wonder and on the second one you invoked the Police and Prince. Who were you channeling for Hands All Over?

Adam: Sometimes you wear your influences on your sleeve and you think Man, I want to be Sting right now, or I want to be Prince, or you want to be something and so you emulate it to a point where you can totally tell what you’re doing. And I’ve done that in the past, especially with Stevie Wonder on that first record, but it’s kind of better to try -- it’s almost like in the beginning you do that and then you figure out a way to meld what you do into something new and unique. First of all, we’re a band, which is really weird that we played R&B-infused music in the beginning. There wasn’t really anyone doing that. For this record, I had nothing on my mind that was specifically that. I didn’t want to be anyone other than myself on this record, so that came through. I feel like this record -- I mean, I said this about the second record, but I was wrong -- I think that this album is free of any hyper-emulization. And also, I was in Switzerland, so geographically I was really isolated from everything, so I was letting it all go, and I just wanted to see what happened.

Out: Earlier this year you said “Maroon 5 is the most Mutt Lange-friendly band out there.” How did you end up working with him and were you looking for more Shania Twain-style Mutt Lange or more Def Leppard-style Mutt Lange?

Adam: Mutt Lange is one of those guys who’s done everything. He’s produced AC/DC records, Def Leppard records, Shania Twain records, wrote songs you never would have imagined he had ever written -- he did a lot of stuff with Bryan Adams -- and his thing is that, like us, he’s neither here nor there. He doesn’t really care what something is or where it comes from. He cares much more about the quality of the music he’s making, and that’s how we felt too. We’ve never been genre snobs or anything like that, so it’s kind of the best possible idea for collaboration. Because when you think about his track record and our track record, it’s kind of similar in that no one really knows where to place us or put us. And he was really good at helping us figure out who we actually were and going with that and not being inhibited by anything, especially being as far from reality as we were. We were in Geneva for four months in like lala land, so I’m surprised we didn’t make a record that sounded like fucking Snow White. It was so idyllic.

Out: Now that you’re putting out a new album, does your wild success with the earlier albums make it easier, or are you intimidated by trying to achieve that level of success again?

Adam: I feel older for sure. It’s kind of weird. The band released our first record when we were all 22. That’s young. We started succeeding when we were 23, 24, and I’m 31 now. A) It’s crazy that we’ve been around this long and B) I start to feel -- not insecure or self-conscious -- but definitely start to feel slightly more disconnected from that youth-based, kind of pop culture. I’m figuring out how to deal with it because I think we still make really poppy music. You know, once you turn 30 you start tripping about that kind of shit too. I see it as a positive because I’m like, “Fuck everything. Fuck all you guys” -- not you guys -- but it’s like I’m just going to do my own thing now. I’m cool, and I have ownership of who I am and what I do, so what everyone else thinks doesn’t matter to me. And that’s a cool way of making music too, because I feel totally unself-conscious about it. But it’s weird, you’re competing with these kids, 19-, 20-year-old kids, where you’re like, “You guys don’t even know -- about anything. You’re kids!” I don’t even know where the music comes from. I was just talking to my manager outside -- I’m so disconnected. If you gave me the top 10 artists right now in the country, I’d be like, “Who are you?” I’m so dissociated from it. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I see it as a good thing because then you have the potential to bring something new and unaffected by other things in pop culture. I think that’s great. I think that’s going to make us stand out and live forever in the universe.

Out: Since the last record came out, the musical landscape has changed so much. A name that comes up a lot in the Out studio is Lady Gaga, and I really think she’s changed the musical landscape in a lot of ways -- especially in America. But you’re saying that you guys really didn't take into account what's trendy or popular and just concentrated on doing what you do?

Adam: Gaga is the perfect example because people are definitely saying things like, “changed the face of music” and “avant-garde.” And I love what she does. I love the fact that she exists. It’s almost like, finally there’s a pop star who brings a little bit more weight to it. She’s weird. She’s a weird chick. She does weird shit. She dresses weird. Her music is slightly off. That’s awesome. I think that’s great for pop music because it’s been so safe up to this point, and I like that she’s nude all the time and weird and awesome and cool. Madonna was that way too. I know she gets that comparison a lot, but it’s true. She was pushing the envelope back in the day. She was doing the same thing that Gaga’s doing to a large extent. She has her own spin on it. That’s fantastic. I love subverting the new generation of pop music and all these really safe Disney kids. But no, I’m not going to try to sound like that because that would be weird. That would be even weirder than Lady Gaga herself if we just all of a sudden got really strange -- because we’re not, that’s just not who we are. But she’s great, and there are very few things these days that are truly innovative and forward-thinking or at least different. Goddamn, everything’s just so generic. I like things that shake shit up.

Out: So many of the articles I read while doing research on you mentioned how attractive you are. But some of the articles argued that your good looks might be doing the band a disservice…

Adam: Yeah.

Out: …because Maroon 5 might not be seen as credible musicians because of that. How do you feel about being cast as a sex symbol?

Adam: I don’t know. It’s weird. I once said in an article, I think, if we were overweight, middle-aged dudes, we ‘d be taken very seriously, and our music would be considered ironic and cool and we’d be hipsters. Same music, different look. And it’s probably true. Maybe it has hurt a little, but this is also assuming that I find myself attractive, which is funny, but the fact that I’ve been considered that is very flattering but also maybe somewhat detrimental to what I’m trying to do. But also really helpful, so it’s a double-edged sword. It’s great. It’s propelled me to a place that I enjoy, mostly, so I’m not mad at that. I’ve also been perceived as a womanizing whoremonger or whatever, some sort of weird dude – Lothario is a word I’ve heard a couple of times -- and that’s just weird. I’m young, successful. I’ve been having fun and hooking up with girls. It’s like, Leave me alone. What, do you not want me to do that? So I’m cool with all of it. Yeah, sometimes it sucks because I would like to be – we are taken seriously, that’s another thing. Sometimes I am hypersensitive to the fact that we’re not taken seriously, but I don’t realize, Well, wait a minute. We’ve won awards that are really prestigious and Grammys and all this stuff. What am I complaining about? I’ve got all that shit too. It’s kind of awesome. I’m really stoked, to be honest.

Out: You’ve also gotten a lot of attention for hanging out with Jake Gyllenhaal.

Adam: Will everyone stop thinking that dude is gay? Seriously guys. How immature is it of the media to perceive this guy -- it has to be because of Brokeback, right? I’ve known this dude forever. He’s one of my oldest friends, and it’s very weird that they have this -- it’s very immature and infantile the way they treat his whole situation. If him hanging out with his bros means he’s gay, it’s like further perpetuating that weird homophobia that exists in our culture, which is just stupid. So, yeah, he’s my buddy. I fuckin’ love the guy.

Out: Do you read your own press?

Adam: No. My press always gets regurgitated to me at some point and I’m like, Ugh, this is so silly. So, yeah, God bless ‘em.

Out: Lastly, Perez Hilton was talking about your comeback and the question he posed was, “In 2010, is Maroon 5 still relevant?”

Adam: I didn’t read it.

Out: How would you respond to that question?

Adam: Scoreboard. We’ll see. Who knows? Being relevant doesn’t have anything to do with anything other than quality and good music. And as long as I go out there and play good music and play for our constituency and our fan base, I don’t see us going anywhere. That’s another thing that’s really exciting, we’ve been doing this a long time and our first record came out almost a decade ago and we’re still here. We’re not trying to push the envelope, but we’re definitely interested in quality and making good records and continuing to do that as time goes on and let people say what they say, it doesn’t really matter. Like I said, scoreboard. Look and see. You always have that little fear in your mind and think, Shit, what if no one cares anymore? But I like to stay positive through all this shit. Because that’s the one crappy thing about all of this: unwanted attention. The only thing I ever want attention for is music. Nothing about my personal life, friends, or family, who I’m dating and all that shit -- that’s an unfortunate byproduct of what we do. But it’s very important to a lot of people. I wish it weren’t because things are a lot more important than that, guys, so start focusing on that a little bit.

Hands All Over is now in stores and available for download. For more info on Maroon 5, visit the band's official website.

Real People: America's Top Tupperware Salesman Works – and Burps – in Drag

Back in college when he was a musical-theater major, Kevin Farrell always figured he'd have a career singing and dancing – just not quite like this.

Donning a dress and a big wig, Farrell transforms himself from an unassuming journeyman actor to a tipsy, raunchy Jack Daniels heir known as Dee W. Ieye, then goes to work selling plastic.

Lots of plastic

Farrell is the nation's top-ranking solo Tupperware salesman four years running. He has a six-figure income and a fan base of Southern California women who clamor to watch him primp and pose and do his lively song and dance act as his flamboyant alter-ego.

Not bad for a guy who just a few years ago toiled as a waiter between occasional day player gigs on Frasier, Friends and My Name is Earl.

Best Acting Job

"I get more joy out of performing live than any soundstage I ever worked on," says Farrell, a Columbus, Ohio, native who attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Farrell created Dee to perform in the 2004 Aid for AIDS Best In Drag Show, and a year later, urged on by a fellow Tupperware salesman (also doing it in drag), was playing to small parties in living rooms across Southern California.

"An Orange County housewife gave a party for me, and it's been nonstop ever since," he says.

Dee became the breakout star among what is actually a handful of salesman hawking their products in drag.

"He's everybody's favorite drag queen," laughs Barbara Venezia, an AIDS Services Foundation Orange County board member who credits Farrell's act at fundraisers for helping raise $400,000 for the organization. "You forget he's a man; he doesn't think he's a woman; he's not bitchy; he's just a funny entity."

Dee arrives as Farrell to each gig and spends an hour becoming Dee, drawing 30 to 50 patrons a party to his 50-minute show/sales pitch. Between tips on how to close Tupperware lids with a "burp" to make the container airtight, Farrell sings his own R-rated rendition of "9 to 5" and delivers enough off-color jokes to keep his crowd howling.

Six-Figure Income

"Dee's very Dolly Parton," he says. "Big blonde hair, Tennessee accent, Daisy Dukes, red platforms, red Gingham shirt tied at the waist, lives in a trailer – she's not the sharpest tool in the shed."

Dee's so hot that Farrell's got a Hollywood publicist and, during a nine-stop tour through his hometown of Columbus last month, he made headlines and drew hundreds of fans, grossing $24,000 in sales (he keeps 25 percent).

Tupperware recently gave him a bonus – a Pontiac G-6 convertible. "Kevin's done a great job, as you can see by his successful business," says Tupperware spokeswoman Elinor Steele, who confirms Farrell's No. 1 ranking. Tupperware won't disclose his total sales figures for privacy reasons, but Farrell says his income is in the "six figures."

Even his dad, a retired military serviceman, is impressed. "He's amazed how I turned this into a business," says a beaming Farrell.

Farrell's only pet peeve about his popularity: "Some people come for the show and don't buy anything."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jennifer Lopez: I Won't Be a Diva on American Idol

Will having Jenny on the block drag down the neighborhood?

No way, says Jennifer Lopez, who laughed off reports of outrageous diva-like demands during negotiations to become a new judge on American Idol.

"After as many years as I've been in this business, I'm used to that kind of stuff," Lopez said Wednesday at an Idol press conference in Inglewood, California. "I'm used to speculation."

If anything, Lopez says, she felt she was dragging FOX into negative headlines.

"I was calming the FOX people down," she explained. "I was like, 'Listen, it'll be gone tomorrow. Once they hear who we are and what we're doing, it's going to be fine. Don't worry about it.' I was just looking forward to getting started."

Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe even poked fun at her reputation.

"I said to Jennifer today, we heard that she only likes yellow M&Ms," he said. "I'm thinking, 'Who's going to pick them all out for her?' She said, 'No, where did that come from?'"

Adds Mike Darnell, head of alternative programming on FOX: "I can tell you from the Fox standpoint, the deal was not tough. There were no diva demands. It was a really easy, comfortable deal with both parties."

Fall TV Premieres: Thursday, September 23rd

Well, we're now on day four of the 2010/2011 Fall TV premiere week and tonight we have the new episodes on returning favorites like Grey's Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory, and The Mentalist. Plus, we have some new shows joining the Thursday line-up including My Generation.

Today's Spotlight: My Generation

What a difference ten years can make. In 2000, a documentary crew followed a disparate group of high schoolers from Greenbelt High School in Austin, Texas as they prepared for graduation. They were then revisited ten years later as they return home to rediscover that just because they're not where they planned does not mean they sre not right where they need to be.

My Generation stars Michael Stahl-David as Steven, Kelli Garner as Dawn, Jaime King as Jacqueline, Keir O'Donnell as Kenneth, Sebastian Sozzi as the Falcon, Mechad Brooks as Rolly, Anne Son as Caroline, Daniella Alonso as Brenda and Julian Morris as Anders.

Tonight's premiere schedule:

8:00 pm
ABC - My Generation (new)
CBS - The Big Bang Theory
FOX - Bones
NBC - Community

8:30 pm
CBS - S#*! My Dad Says (new)
NBC - 30 Rock

9:00 pm
ABC - Grey;s Anatomy
FOX - Fringe
NBC - The Office

9:30 pm
NBC - Outsourced (new)

10:00 pm
ABC - Private Practice
CBS - The Mentalist

Times based on Eastern Time zone.

(new) = New Series Premiere

Chord Overstreet Talks to Vanity Fair About Glee

Did everyone enjoy the season premiere of Glee on Wednesday night? If you watched it, then you had the pleasure of meeting their newest student, played by Chord Overstreet.

He plays transfer student Sam Evans and he has replaced Finn (Cory Monteith) as starting quarterback at McKinley High and is rumored to be the new love interest for Kurt (Chris Colfer who was barely seen this episode).

Vanity Fair has a new Q&A with the young actor which helps us get to know him a bit better. Here are some excerpts:

Q. Tell me about how you got the part on Glee. Every cast member I’ve talked to has a crazy story about auditioning for some other part, or starting out as background scenery and ending up earning a role. Please tell me you have a really exciting anecdote where you were auditioning to be a Cheerio or Sue’s spectacularly handsome son.

A. I was actually auditioning to be Sue’s (Jane Lynch’s) stand-in—because we have the same color hair. I’m kidding. I auditioned for my part. I got a call from my agent one day and he asked if I could do an audition for Glee in like 30 minutes. So I grabbed my guitar and ran over there. There were so many people in the casting office they weren’t even having anyone read the sides, they were just having people play a song. So I played one, and they asked me to come back and talk to the casting agent. Then I played again. Then they asked me to walk out and “discreetely” get my sides, and come back and read. I was there for, like, five hours. Then I went home and they called and asked me to come back and sing two songs a capella. And then I sang two songs for the studio test and two for the network test. This was like at 9:30 at night. A week later I found out I got the part.

One thing I did discover on the internet is your online resume in which you are described as being six feet tall, 160 pounds, and having an “Athletic” build. Having (repeatedly) watched your shower scene in the Glee season premiere, this all seems quite accurate. Do you have a rather intense workout routine, or do you just do a lot of choreographed dancing, jazzercise, and the like?

Well, I do like two or three hours at a time in the gym. I was there last night. I just did chest and abs and triceps. Flat bench for two sets of 100 reps each on a light weight, then fifteen reps of four sets of really heavy weight. Then I did my push ups. Then I did this thing with pulleys and the weights attached, which is like an exercise for your chest. Then running. Then an hour of abs.

An hour of abs?!

You got to look good for the ladies. And for all those guys who want to see your body. If I’m going to be on national T.V. without my shirt on, I’ve got to look good.

Well, Chord. You succeeded.

Thank you.

Now, of course, the question everyone wants to know is if the rumors that you will become Kurt’s boyfriend on the show are accurate?

I actually don’t know that yet. We get everything an episode at a time. As of what we’ve shot now, they haven’t revealed anything about my character in a relationship way. But I think we’ll find out soon enough.

There is rumored to be man-on-man kissing. You’d be down with that?

I don’t know if I would be totally down with that outside of work. I’ve never kissed a guy before. But it’s acting. It’s kind of one of those things. Currently you have to kiss a bunch of strange people in the world of film and television.

You have to kiss a bunch of strange people?

Throughout your whole career, there’s a bunch of people you might have to kiss. Say there’s this character opposite you, and you might not be into her—or him, personally. You just gotta’ do it. That’s your job.

And beyond? You’re willing to go full Brokeback?

I have no idea. I’m going to say, no comment. I’m going to dig myself in a hole.