Tag Archives: Fox

Geoff Stults Enjoying His Brand of Brothers on ‘Enlisted’

EnlistedIf the brotherly relationships at the core of Fox’s new “Enlisted” ring true,there is good reason. According to star Geoff Stults, not only are the show’s main three characters “based loosely — or, make that pretty directly” on creator Kevin Biegel and his brothers, but Stults and his on-screen freres, Chris Lowell and Parker Young, also each grew up with brothers.

Now, says Stults with a laugh, “I treat those guys like my brother treated me. I’m a little brother in real life, but I get to treat Chris and Parker like mylittle brothers. I always wanted a little brother, but I never got one until they handed me Chris and Parker.

“Chris and I have that interesting dynamic where we don’t have a ton of the
same interests, but we just like being around each other. Parker and I are a
little more similar, personality-wise, and Chris is like your typical middle
brother,” he adds. “It’s weird, but I wouldn’t love Parker half as much as I do
if it weren’t for Chris being there, and the same thing with Chris. Those guys,
to me, they’re like a package deal.”

“Enlisted” could be the series for Stults. The handsome and charming actor, who
was born in Detroit, raised in Green Mountain, Co., and cut his teeth as a
performer at California’s Whittier College, has certainly done the series number
before. He was a regular on “7th Heaven,” “October Road” and “Happy Town” and as
star of Fox’s short-lived 2012 “Bones” spin-off, “The Finder.” Now he has the
same network behind his new comedy, about a war veteran who finds himself on a
stateside base in charge of a unit that includes his siblings, a pair of
mess-ups.

They’re cute and funny enough to surmount obstacles including disbelief. Hey,
it’s a comedy. Make that a comedy that’s earning some laudatory reviews. While
Stults is not lighting celebratory fireworks or anything like that as yet, he
does have reason for optimism.

“I’ve been doing this enough now to realize that I have a pretty solid group
assembled around me — or, that I am one of a pretty solid group,” he says.
“Kevin Biegel was looking for a way to do a family story, and he also comes from
a military family — and it just kind of worked.” He’s enjoying working with
Biegel and fellow executive producer Mike Royce, “who are just about the nicest
guys in the business, which is great, but you need them to be talented, too, and
good at their jobs, and they are.”

“Enlisted” has also been termed a throwback to old school military sitcoms. Its
pilot engendered a certain amount of skepticism.

“You’re never going to make everyone happy.” Stults shrugs. “Critics are
critics and there are those that are particularly sensitive about the military
— and they should be. So should the military themselves. But the people who
were nervous about the pilot have seen subsequent episodes and realized that not
only have we not poked fun at the military, but we’ve gone out of our way to
show respect. I’ve heard people say they watched the trailer and hated it but
now that they’ve seen the episodes, they like it. This is a trend. It’s not just
a couple people.”

He goes on, “No. 1, we had to find the funny. Otherwise, we’re not talking
right now because we didn’t get picked up by Fox. And No. 2, we want to do right
by our servicemen and women, obviously. We wouldn’t be here talking if it wasn’t
for them, either.

“At the end of the day, it’s a family dramedy and it’s a workplace comedy set
at a military base. That’s a large workplace. There’s a lot of funny @#!$ that
happens in workplaces there are a lot of mundane silly things that happen in
workplaces, and a lot of relationship dynamics in workplaces — any workplaces.
As long as the military realizes that we’re not poking fun at them, they’re
going to enjoy it.”

He says, “I don’t worry about timeslots about lead-ins or anything like
that. We can only control what we can control — that’s what happened between
episode one and episode 13. We had a great time, we feel like we delivered a
great product. I love going to work and just laughing. Working with Parker and
Chris and Keith David and the rest of the cast, I feel like I hit the lottery.”

Kelly Rowland Talks ‘X Factor,’ Says She’ll Always Be Supportive of Simon Cowell

x factor 2013

Rubio, Lovato, Rowland, Cowell

Journalists on hand for last month’s “X Factor” panel during the Television Critics Association press tour saw Simon Cowell’s female posse of judges – Kelly Rowland, Demi Lovato and Paulina Rubio — spring to his defense when questions turned to the scandal involving Cowell fathering a baby by his former best friend’s wife.   Their protectiveness was almost family-like, Rowland agrees.

“I never thought I would say this, but I pretty much think Simon is a cool guy.  I’m just – I don’t know anything in detail, but I’m always going to be supportive of him,” she tells us.  “I mean, we’re friends, so I would tell him if I thought anything else.  Our bond is really interesting because it happened so fast.”

The one-time Destiny’s Child member is even more gung-ho about Demi and Paulina.  “I’m just sure Demi has been here on this earth before.  We probably talk every other day — myself and Demi.  I just adore her, and I knew it as soon as we started talking.  I don’t know if it’s Texas that binds us together, or just the fact we’re two southern girls singing.”  And of the hot Mexican songstress Rubio, she says, “The fact that she has this adorable little boy is so wonderful.  He’s so cute.  We had the chance to all hang out.  She brings him sometimes.  She’s a nice balance for the rest of us.  Everybody’s personalities fit.  We’re just having fun, that’s all we’re doing.”

Rowland has been flying back and forth between “X Factor” auditions and her own performing dates, juggling her schedule and “just glad it’s all working out.”  She doesn’t have the Summer Jam 2013 tour to think about, though.  A couple of weeks after Chris Brown dropped out of the tour at the eleventh hour, it was canceled last week amid reports of slow ticket sales.

“You know what, as far as that’s concerned, I’d rather not speak on it because that all didn’t end well and I’m just going to be very professional and not talk about it,” says Rowland.  “I definitely wanted to do it, but between everybody not having everything together, it didn’t work out for my benefit and my team’s.  And it didn’t happen.”

kelly rowland closeBut she has plenty on her plate.  Not only is there “X Factor,” there’s also a follow-up to her 2011 collaboration with trainer Jeanette Jenkins, “Hollywood Trainer: Sexy Abs with Kelly Rowland.”  The new DVD, called ”Sexy Abs: Cardio Sculpt,” is due in October.

“Jeanette choreographed this great, great workout — I’m tired when I’m finished, but it’s one of the best things I’ve done since I started working out with her,” Rowland declares.  But it’s not just her abs; many envy Rowland’s toned and defined arms.

“I think anyone can have – I call them Michelle Obama arms.  She’s actually my inspiration,” says the singer with a laugh.

In fact, Rowland is out in L.A. having meetings on a number of work prospects – including more acting roles.  She would love more film and TV opportunities.  “X Factor” will certainly be getting her out in front of the public eye when the show has its two-night, three-hour season premiere Sept. 11 and 12.

Having already served as a judge for the British version of “X Factor,” Rowland is already well acquainted with what she considers the most difficult part of the judging job:  having to let favorite aspiring talents go.

“That was the hardest, hardest thing.  The hardest moment for me – it was over in the U.K.  I had the girls’ category and I had to pick between two of my girls and they were both so incredible.  I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh, my God.  I don’t want to make this decision.’   You don’t want to have to choose between your contestants, but sometimes you have to,” she notes.  “You find you have to think like an executive and ask the questions.  Who is going to work hard?  Who seems the most hungry for it?  You know what I mean?”

According to her, “The contestants this year are really strong.  We have about seven — at least– true stars.  Ones you kind of gawk over and lose your breath over.”

We’ll see.

 

‘House’ Finale Nostalgia Time for Hugh Laurie, David Shore

Hugh Laurie and David Shore

 Hugh Laurie has taken the lead in putting together the special hour-long “House M.D.” retrospective that will air on Fox Monday night (5/21) — the same night as the highly-anticipated series finale.  That’s the word from Emmy-winning show creator and executive producer David Shore, who tells us the star has been “locked up in a room trying to put it together….It’s very nostalgic, looking at the stuff.  And saying goodbye to everybody, that’s very nostalgic.”

Shore says he is enjoying the fan and media anticipation — and also feeling an enormous amount of pressure — as “House” followers try to figure out what’s going to happen  in the very last episode, provocatively titled “Everybody Dies.”

“It’s cool to go out while people are this excited about it,” he notes.  And of that finale:  “I think the fans will like it, but it is the type of thing that, no matter what you do, you’re going to have some people disappointed.  I think it’s an ending that’s consistent with what we’ve done and I’m very proud of it.”

Has there ever been talk of a feature?

“There really hasn’t been.  The ending is the ending; it’s designed as an ending,” he says.

Considering that misanthropic doctor Greg House is one of the most acclaimed and indelible characters ever to traipse around the TV landscape, will a “House” artifact be housed in the Smithsonian?

Shore replies:  “I would love to have something like that happen, and we’ve been discussing things like that.”

The cane with the flames?

“I think you could have a collection of canes, as far as I’m concerned.  It’s the defining feature of that character.”

Shore tells us that Laurie’s mood has been good in these final days leading to the last show.  He adds, however, “I always feel like the correct response is, ‘We’re all really sad.’  There is an element of that, but also, I feel by saying that I’m being an incredible ingrate.  From my personal point of view, and I think Hugh shares it, the success of this has been beyond our wildest dreams.  To be looking for more would be ungrateful.”

As far as his next projects,  Shore says, “I don’t know yet what I’m going to do.  I will not be looking to simply replicate ‘House,’ of course, but I am who I am.  There’s going to be some similarities.”

What he does know for sure is, he’ll view the finale with his wife and kids and his writers and their spouses.  “All the writers are going to get together and get drunk,” he says.

MAN OF MANY FACES:  With around 100 celebrity impressions in his repertoire (from Larry the Cable Guy to Lady Gaga), Jeff Tracta headlines with his “An Impressionable Journey Through The Decades” show at the Palms Casino Resort’s Pearl Theater in Las Vegas, Thursday through Sunday (5/17-20).  The mighty morphing man keeps upping the ante, so to speak, with the way he integrates multi-media technology into his act.  He used 57 different music tracks to blend instruments and vocals for his recording of LMFAO’s hit song “Party Rock” for a music video — in which he performed all the instruments using only his mouth.  Tracta’s also known for his Black Eyes Peas impression, “becoming” each member of the group — including Fergie — in his multi-media concerts.

Celebs who’ve enjoyed his impressions include Liza Minnelli, who liked Tracta enough to invite him to her birthday party, where he performed for her famous friends.  Last year, the former “Bold and the Beautiful” actor was a special guest on the bill with pal Liza during her stand at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.

Super Chef Gordon Ramsay the Happiest He’s Been in 10 Years

It’s a brighter day for superstar chef Gordon Ramsay since his long, painful legal battle with his father-in-law was resolved.  In fact, he tells us, “I feel so much better now than I have in the last 10 years.  If anything, I feel more creative.  And I totally understand the business top to bottom.”

The chef and his wife’s father – his former business partner and close friend Chris Hutcheson, whose scandalous double life with a secret second family has provided years of fodder for the British tabloids — reached a settlement worth in excess of $3.24 million in February.  “I don’t sit and dwell and start crying over spilled milk.  Coming to terms with an awkward position, my father-in-law squandering money after working so hard.  If you can’t trust family, who can you trust?  But, we’re over that hurdle now.  I’m in complete control.  We’ve repositioned, restructured,” Ramsay says.  And he adds, “I’ll never put myself in the position again.”

The dashing, famously volcanic chef-restaurateur-entrepreneur-producer-TV star has his time booked two years into the future.  He is all over Fox’s schedule this summer, with three prime-time shows:  Premiering May 29 are new seasons of his popular “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef” shows, and, come June 4, his new “Hotel Hell.”  As for the inevitable questions about over-exposure, he notes, “I’ve had those questions for the last 10 years, to be honest.  No one ever gets tired of quality.”  The shows are diverse, he stresses.  “‘Hell’s Kitchen’ is a professional format, providing aspiring wannabe chefs with a unique opportunity for success.  This year’s prize is just out of this world.  ‘MasterChef’ is completely amateur — a domestic theme.  The format is something quite unique.  And ‘Hotel Hell’ is, in many ways, the next step on from ‘Kitchen Nightmares.’  I always, you know — before anything gets canceled I want to move it up a notch and take it forward.”

Christian Slater Hangs in There Despite Show Frustrations

Christian Slater tells us he and the rest of the “Breaking In” team have all been “holding our breath” waiting to find out the fate of the Fox series — that was cancelled last May and then un-cancelled in August.  The comedy has been struggling, unable to hold onto the viewers of its lead-in, “New Girl.”  Having been around the cancellation block several times now, the star is bracing himself.

“It all comes down to ratings and people tuning in.  That’s what the networks care about.  It all comes down to America either saving it or killing it — and then having to deal with everybody saying, ‘Oh, I really loved that show.’  Definitely that’s what happens. I’ve done this three times now, and people say, ‘Oh, why’d they take it off?’” he imitates. Slater, of course, is referring to his 2008 series, “My Own Worst Enemy,” and 2009 drama show, “The Forgotten.”

You have to hand it to him.  Despite the frustrations, he’s certainly been doing his all to promote “Breaking In.”  He’s on Jimmy Fallon’s show tonight (3/23) and appeared on Ellen Degeneres’ show a few days ago, in addition to chatting with media.

“I enjoy it.  It’s a funny show, a funny premise,” he says of his comedy about a team of hackers and thieves that tests high-end security systems by breaking into them to find their flaws.  Asked if he hesitated to return when the show was “un-cancelled,” he says, “Only because I had just relocated to Miami, I was really kind of unsure of whether I wanted to come back to L.A..  That was really it.  There wasn’t any anger or sadness regarding the show in any way.  I basically had just moved.  That was the only issue for me.  I enjoyed doing it, and as long as I had the opportunity to do more work with those guys I was happy,” he says of creators Adam Goldberg and Seth Gordon.

As far as the revamp of the show, with Megan Mullally coming in to play the team’s unwanted new corporate boss, Slater says, “Certainly when they told me that’s who they were going after — and then when they got her — it was very exciting.  She’s great.  I’m a huge fan of her work on ‘Will & Grace.’  She is definitely a very funny woman, and she’s brought so much joy and really works very hard, very diligently to get all the material as good as it can possibly be.”

Ahead on the show are love triangle elements that have to be dealt with, Slater says, “And there’s a lot of sendups to movies from the past – ‘Indiana Jones,’ ‘Back to the Future.’”  The episode that just aired borrowed from the cult hit feature that started it all for Slater, “Heathers.”  Unfortunately, the show again sustained a post-“New Girl” viewer drop-off.  By the time you read this, Slater may well know whether or not he’ll be heading back to L.A. for more shooting – or not – as it’s decided whether this will be a 10 or 13 episode season.

Either way, he’s looking forward to settling in as a Miami resident, getting some sun, and going fishing.

Why the move?  Why Miami?  “I thought I’d like to have a little distance between myself and Los Angeles.  I started coming out here last year and was going down to the Florida Keys, which I really enjoyed, then I started migrating up north to Miami.  I just liked the size of it,” says Slater.  “It’s not all inundated with show business.  It’s just nice to have a little bit of normalcy.”