EXCLUSIVE: Cheers was once a staple on TV Land. Now the cable network, which has shifted its focus from classic sitcom reruns to original comedy series, is reuniting two of the stars of iconic the NBC series. Rhea Perlman is set to co-star opposite Kirstie Alley in the TV Land pilot Giant Baby. Created by Marco Pennette, the project revolves around Madison “Maddie” Banks (Alley), a Broadway star who finds her life turned upside down when Arlo, her long-lost son, turns up looking to connect after his adopted mother has died. Perlman will play Thelma, Maddie’s long-suffering assistant and best friend, who encourages her boss to form a relationship with her son. “We’ve hit the jackpot getting Kirstie and Rhea back together,” said Keith Cox, TV Land’s EVP Development and Original Programming. “It’s a dream to work with such talented comedic actors like these ladies and create a show for them that’s funny and has interesting characters — Giant Baby hits all of those notes.”
EXCLUSIVE: Rebecca and Carla together again! Rhea Perlman is reuniting with her Cheers co-star Kirstie Alley on a potential new multi-camera comedy series, this time on ABC. Perlman has closed a deal to co-star opposite Alley in Alley’s ABC comedy pilot The Manzanis. The family comedy written by sitcom veterans Marco Pennette and Dave Flebotte stars Alley as Angela Manzani, an opinionated wife/mother who, along with her Italian American family, moves to a quiet New Jersey neighborhood where they clash with their new, WASPy neighbors. Perlman will play Angela’s mother in law Camille Manzani. ABC Studios and studio-based Brillstein Entertainment Partners are producing, with Pennette, Flebotte, JoAnn Alfano, Aaron Kaplan and Jason Weinberg executive producing. Since their six-season stint together on Cheers, Perlman and Alley have appeared together only once — when Perlman played herself in an episode of Alley’s Showtime docu-series Fat Actress.
“We were discussing the new season of Glee,” tweeted Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson about what he and President Obama said to one another last night at the Sunset Strip’s House of Blues. It’s where the actor emceed one of two Hollywood fundraisers for Obama’s re-election campaign Monday. According to a White House pool report, Obama greeted Ferguson, turned to the microphone, and said, “I was telling him that Michelle and the girls love them some Modern Family.” Some in the crowd chanted “Four more years”. Roughly 900 people paid ticket prices starting at $250 and as much as $10,000 (to secure a photo with the president).
The second fundraiser cost $17,900 for each of the 120 people in attendance at Melrose Avenue’s Fig & Olive restaurant. The private event’s co-hosts included Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, his longtime political adviser Andy Spahn, and Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon. “I’m going to need your help, so don’t get tired on me now,” Obama was quoted by a pool report as telling showbiz attendees like Judd Apatow, Aaron Sorkin, Jamie Foxx, Jack Black, Eva Longoria, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, and Jon Landau (producer of Avatar and Titanic). “I urge some of you to watch the Republican debates,” Obama added.
Obama received a standing ovation from the industry types seated at round tables with white table linens. But news of the president’s impending Hollywood fundraising was punctuated by several media articles proclaiming that Tinseltown support for him had eroded greatly since 2008. Recently Democratic activists like Robert Redford, Matt Damon, and Michael Moore have criticized Obama’s inability to stay the liberal course. Katzenberg seemed to address that disappointment when he introduced Obama by saying, “We must keep fighting for him so he can keep fighting for us.” Katzenberg also noted, “I have a dependency on President Obama. He inherited a crashing economy and two wars and opponents who questioned if he was even born (in the U.S.). Yet he kept us moving forward. He was dealt adversity on all fronts, but he maintained his stature.”