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As Gay Athletes Take Field, Ross Katz Boards ‘Out At Home’, Story Of First Gay Ballplayer Glenn Burke

By | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 11:27am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ross Katz, who produced The Laramie Project and Glenn Burke Movie Gay Baseball Playerthe superb HBO pic Taking Chance, has signed on to write Out At Home: The Glenn Burke Story. He joins Juma Entertainment’s Jamie Lee Curtis and Robert Horowitz as producers of the film that tells the story of Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A’s player Burke, who was honest with his teammates and management that he was gay at a time in the 1970s when such a revelation was unheard of. It’s still perilous today, though the Brooklyn Nets’ Jason Collins just became the first openly gay player to play on a major pro sports roster, and 2013 SEC co-defensive player of the year Michael Sam is preparing to enter the NFL draft as football’s first openly gay player.

I have been surprised by the level of discussion on ESPN, where some ex-jocks expect Sam’s draft stock to fall simply because of the awkwardness in the locker room and the prospect that some athletes won’t accept him. Seems to me that skeptical players might want to watch the Jackie Robinson movie 42 before they decide whether they want to be on the right or wrong side of this issue when it is judged half a century down the road. I just don’t see much difference between Robinson’s struggle against racists and a player like Sam as they try to overcome bigotry to be accepted for their outsized athletic skills, and the right to be comfortable in their own skin.

gburAll this brings a timely context to Out At Home, which is based on a 1995 memoir Burke wrote with Erik Sherman. Drafted by the Dodgers in 1972 and hailed as baseball’s next superstar, Burke played in the majors from 1976-79. He was the only rookie to start in the 1977 World Series, when the Yankees defeated the Dodgers in 6 games. A larger-than-life character both on and off the field, Burke unexpectedly was traded to Oakland in 1978. He retired after his second season with the A’s. Although his teammates and management knew the truth, Burke didn’t go public with his sexuality until 1982, in an appearance on NBC’s Today with Bryant Gumbel. It was still an act of courage, because Burke was the first ballplayer to do so. Read More »

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Jamie Lee Curtis To Star In CBS’ David Marshall Grant Drama Pilot

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 7:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

curtisAfter years of trying, Jamie Lee Curtis has been lured to do a pilot. The True Lies and Halloween alumna is set to star in CBS’ untitled David Marshall Grant drama pilot, from CBS TV Studios and Timberman-Beverly. The soapy medical show, based on an Israeli format, revolves around quadruplets – three brothers and a sister – who grew up on a reality show. Curtis will play their mother, Caroline, a dynamic and distinguished physician who now runs the hospital. This marks Curtis’ first series regular role since 1989′s Anything But Love. It expands her relationship with CBS and CBS TV Studios, where she recently did an arc on NCIS. CAA-repped Curtis was recently attached to a horror drama project at ABC Family with her Halloween H20 director Steve Miner. She also has been recurring on Fox’s New Girl. Grant penned the script for the CBS pilot, which he exec produces with Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, the Israeli series creators  Giyora Yahalom and Oren Jakobi as well as Yona Wiesenthal, Avi Armoza, Eilon Ratzkovsky, Tariq Jalil and David Garrett.

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