Gilles Marini, Reshma Shetty USA Network photos
PONDERS FUTURE OF ‘BROTHERS AND SISTERS’
The question of whether there’ll be a sixth season of ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters” has yet to be decided — but some are already starting a letter writing campaign. That’s gratifying news to the show’s Gilles Marini, who points out, “I think the word as we speak is very positive. You know, the network does not have to tell us tomorrow, ‘Oh, you guys are picked up.’ There is time. They’ll crunch the numbers and see what their options are.
“I thank ABC/Disney for bringing us back for five seasons. That is extremely rare,” he coninues. “I hope that the show goes on and on, but whenever it is the end, I’d like to hear, ‘Guys, this is the last season. Let’s ride it out the right way,’ and they allow us to close the storylines instead of abruptly stopping it.” The Frenchman, whose romantic Luc Laurent character, love of Rachel Giffiths’ Sarah Walker, has become a “Brothers & Sisters” mainstay, adds, “The fan base around the world is massive. The social network messages we get come from countries you’ve never even heard of before. It’s very rewarding, and all that much more reason you don’t want to make the fans feel somehow let down.”
He also points out, “We’ve been pretty steady in the ratings, even against monsters like the Grammys.”
Sexy Marini plays “a choreographer who is very hard-headed” — who comes down with a life-threatening illness — on the season finale episode of the USA Network’s “Royal Pains” Feb. 24. “Are they going to be able to save him?
Eh! We’ll see,” says Marini. He reports he’s going to have a big viewing party at home for the event. “I think I’m going to invite Cheryl Burke and all my ‘Dancing With the Stars’ friends to come and check out my dancing on the show. We are working on the tango for her wedding when my character gets extremely ill.”
Coincidentally, Marini was already friendly with “Royal Pains” lead Mark Feuerstein before his casting. They shop at the same market in Studio City, he says, and “I see him there all the time. I think he met my wife before I met him, talking about food. I think we were by the tamales,” he jokes. “He’s a very nice man. It was a great group of people, doing this show.”
The “Royal Pains” guesting is Marini’s second such busman’s holiday this season. He also played a magician involved in a murder case on “Castle” recently. “I had a month off ‘Brothers and Sisters,’ and as soon as a couple of producers heard that was the case, I got to do these other TV shows — two very good TV shows. ‘Castle’ was such an event for me — from the wardrobe to the character, it was completely different from ‘Brothers and Sisters.'”
Barbra Streisand Universal photo
HITTING THE HIGH NOTES: Besides “Glee’s” Lea Michelle getting to meet and interact with her idol, Barbra Streisand, behind the scenes at last Sunday’s Grammy show (wouldn’tcha love to see Streisand as Lea’s grandmother? Wouldn’t it be the all-time cameo?) Streisand was in another little piece of show biz history. While the audience showed its love with a standing ovation for Streisand’s performance of “Evergreen,” there was a love story in the orchestra behind her. The conductor for this rendition of the song she had written for “A Star Is Born” and for which she won the Oscar as composer (the first female composer ever to win an Oscar in one of the musical categories) was the noted Ian Freebairn-Smith, who had conducted her recording of her song for the film and the eventual album three and a half decades before. First violinist for the Grammy performance of the song was Sharon Freebairn-Smith who had filled the same position for the original recording session when she and Ian were first in love. For Sunday night’s Emmy rendition of the song, their daughter, Vanessa, was a cellist.
MYTH AS GOOD AS A MILE?: David E. Kelley’s much-talked-about “Wonder Woman” TV series reboot still needs its Wonder Woman/Diana Prince as this is being written, as well as her coworker and confidante, Mindy Mayer, and the acting CEO of Diana Prince’s company, Henry Demeter. This version has the Amazonian super heroine as a corporate executive who keeps her crime-fighting persona secret.
OUT OF THIS WORLD: While Stephen King fans are absorbed in the hot speculation over Ron Howard’s plans to adapt the novelist’s Dark Tower series for film AND television, Howard and co. are moving forward with casting for the first “Dark Tower” movie. A potentially career-making role for an under-11-year-old boy is that of Jake Chambers, described as “the only child of an upper middle class Manhattan family who has visions of another world and is convinced he has something of cosmic importance to do” — while his family believes he’s mentally unhinged. The flick is due to commence production in September in New York, with a 2013 release date already slated.
Still to be determined, of course, is who will fill the “Dark Tower” lead that will last through the feature and following mini-series. Howard recently addressed internet reports that Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen are prospects, noting that getting such a long commitment from such big names would be complicated to say the least.