Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
John Stamos dropped by a TCA panel discussion today for NBC‘s The New Normal held on the set at Paramount featuring the cast and executive producer Ali Adler (co-creator with Ryan Murphy). Stamos is guesting in an episode in which he plays a character of ambiguous sexual orientation (to explore the fallacy of “gay-dar”). Stamos was asked to compare today’s TV sitcom world — which can accommodate the “new normal” of a gay couple who are expectant parents via a surrogate — to his days on Full House. “It was three men living together in San Francisco raising a couple of kids. It’s the same thing,” Stamos quipped.
Ellen Barkin, who portrays the bigoted mother of the pregnant surrogate (Georgia King), said she was not surprised by the controversy surrounding the show (a Utah TV station has refused to air it). “It’s part of the reason why many of us got involved in the show, it was saying something that is not always said in a sitcom,” she said. Barkin last summer told Deadline she believes an affiliate has the right to ban something, but considers it censorship. Read More »
Ellen Barkin came out swinging again against the NBC Utah affiliate that decided not to show The New Normal. “Yes, it’s an affiliate’s right to ban something but I think it is censorship,” the actress told Deadline today of the KSL-TV decision. “For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time,” announced Jeff Simpson, CEO of the station’s parent company, Bonneville International last week. Soon afterwards Barkin took to her Twitter account, calling the affiliate’s decision “blatantly homophic.” On a conference call today, Barkin, after some initial hesitation, reiterated her position and asked why KSL-TV would air a violent show like Law & Order: SVU but not a show about “a same sex couple that want to have a child.” Created by Glee boss Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler, The New Normal is about a gay couple that is having a baby through a surrogate. Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha play the couple, Barkin plays June the bigoted 58-year old grandmother of their surrogate Goldie, played by Georgia King. Calling the series “a show full of love, sensitivity and more fun than a barrel of monkeys,” Barkin said that she thought it dealt with a “very important issue” of “what makes a family” in “a very divisive county.” The actress, who called herself “overly opinionated,” added, “controversy is a good thing.” The action last week by the Mormon Church owned station, which also … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Ellen Barkin is in final negotiations to co-star in The New Normal, NBC’s comedy pilot from the Glee duo of Ryan Murphy and Allison Adler. The single-camera project, co-written by Glee co-creator Murphy and Adler and to be directed by Murphy, is described as a heartwarming comedy about a blended family of a gay couple, with Andrew Rannells playing one of the guys, and the woman who becomes a surrogate to help them start a family. Barkin will play the splashy role of the surrogate’s mother. 20th Century Fox TV is producing the project, with Murphy, Adler and Dante Di Loreto executive producing. Barkin was most recently seen in the indie Another Happy Day and making her Broadway debut in The Normal Heart, which earned her her a Tony Award last year.
Phase 4 has released a new red-band trailer for Another Happy Day, the film written and directed by Sam Levinson that won him the Waldo Salt Screenwriting award at Sundance. High-strung Lynn (Ellen Barkin) and her three troubled children (Ezra Miller, Kate Bosworth, Daniel Yelsky) are hurled deep into the heart of domestic darkness and primal family dynamics when they attend the wedding of her eldest son. While a long-simmering feud rages with her ex-husband (Thomas Haden Church) and his hot-tempered wife (Demi Moore), Lynn struggles against her cold, disdainful mother (Ellen Burstyn) and her distant father (George Kennedy). With an apathetic husband , (Jeffrey DuMunn) at her side, Lynn is left to wander in a generational emotional minefield. The film opens November 18.
BREAKING: Barry Levinson’s 1982 film Diner is headed for Broadway in fall 2012. Base Entertainment’s Scott Zeiger and Brian Becker have announced a musical adaptation with book by Levinson and music and lyrics by Sheryl Crow. The musical marks the Broadway debut of both Levinson and Crow, the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter. Kathleen Marshall will direct and choreograph. It follows the storyline of Levinson’s breakthrough film, which was set in 1959 Baltimore and revolved around the misadventures of six high school buddies who reunite when one of them gets married. It was a launching point for young actors Kevin Bacon, Ellen Barkin, Tim Daly, Steve Guttenberg, Paul Reiser, Mickey Rourke and Daniel Stern. “Diner was a pivotal moment in my career, and since then I have continued to live with the characters, realizing there is is much more to their story,” Levinson said. “I’m excited to be embarking on this stage version, which affords me the opportunity as a storyteller to expand on my original vision and let the characters express their innermost feeling and thoughts through song.” Levinson has been working with screenwriter James Toback on a movie about the relationship between mob boss John Gotti and his son John Jr, a film that will star John Travolta and Ben Foster.
Phase 4 Films has acquired domestic rights to Another Happy Day, writer-director Sam Levinson’s dark comedy about a dysfunctional family that won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film — starring Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth, Thomas Haden Church, Ezra Miller and Ellen Burstyn — is set to go out in the fall, with the theatrical release spearheaded by industry veteran David Dinerstein. In the film, high-strung Lynn (Barkin) and her troubled grown children (Bosworth, Miller) journey deep into the heart of domestic darkness to attend the wedding of her estranged eldest son. “Another Happy Day had Sundance audiences both laughing and crying in equal proportions,” said Phase 4 president and CEO Berry Meyerowitz. “The film marks Sam Levinson’s bold arrival as a filmmaker and Ellen Barkin delivers a remarkable performance. People will connect with this insightful look into the messy dynamics of the modern family.” Barkin produced with Mandalay Vision’s Celine Rattray, Todd Traina, Johnny Lin, Michael Nardelli, Salli Newman, and Pamela Fielder. The deal was negotiated by Larry Greenberg, SVP Acquisitions for Phase 4 Films, and Michelle Hastings at Mandalay with CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.
In her first series gig, Ellen Barkin is set to co-star opposite Don Johnson in Michael Patrick King’s drama pilot A Mann’s World. The Warner Bros. TV-produced project stars Don Johnson as Allan Mann, a fiftysomething handsome and sexy straight Beverly Hills hairdresser struggling to stay young and relevant in a place where looks are everything. Barkin will play Allan’s forgiving, funny ex-wife and the mother of their three children. She and Allen built his beauty empire together before she removed herself from the day-to-day operation and now serves as his financial and, occasionally, emotional adviser. On TV, Barkin has done several movies, winning an Emmy for one of them, 1997′s When Women Had Wings.