Tag Archives: Janine Turner

Bill Engvall’s Latest Comedy Series Efforts Yield Mixed Results

bounty hunters animatedBill Engvall is enjoying the positive response he’s getting to his fun new CMT “Bounty Hunters” animated series with Blue Collar Comedy cohorts Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy – but he isn’t holding out much hope for his latest live action sitcom effort.   That’s Engvall’s “Do It Yourself” TBS pilot, and he says, “I’m counting it as out, because I haven’t heard anything.”  Adds the comic and actor, whose “Bill Engvall Show” ran on TBS for three years, “It’s kind of sad because it was a really fun pilot, and it came out really well.”

The pilot, shot this spring, could still get picked up elsewhere, he acknowledges, “which would be great.  It has a great cast and storyline, and I think it could really be successful.”  The premise has him and Ben Rappaport (“Outsourced”) playing a one-time Circuit City executive and a laid-off math teacher, respectively, who find themselves working side-by-side at a big box store – certainly a relatable situation for all too many in this downsized, post-recession economy.

“That’s what I thought, and everybody seemed to like it,” he says.  “But that’s just business.  You never know.  I never count the check until it’s in the bank.”

Bill EngvallMeanwhile, he’s got plenty on his plate.  There’s his ongoing string of stand-up commitments.  There’s another project he has in the works at TNT.  And there’s “Bounty Hunters,” which allowed him and Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy to work together again, despite the fact Jeff’s in Atlanta and Dan’s in Lincoln.”  (Larry the Cable Guy’s given name is Daniel Whitney.)  “We recorded them separately, but you’d never know it.  It would have been nice to have done it with all of us in the same room.  Maybe we can if we do more,” he says, and laughs.  “Try to get those guys out of their comfort zone.  It’s a fun little cartoon.  It came out funny.  You always worry about that – if the script is going to come across.  I think it did.”

Engvall would like to see “Bounty Hunters” springboard him into more voiceover work.  He’s done episodes of shows including “Family Guy” and says, “I enjoy the process.”

He’d really enjoy being back in the live action sitcom game.  “I love doing the stand-up but TV allows me to be home,” he says.  And as for whether he needed time away to recharge after “The Bill Engvall Show” ended, he says flatly, “No.  If they’d have said, ‘We’ve got another one for you starting next week,’ I’d have been there.  I love acting.”

SAD STORY:  As the “Glee” company struggles to come to grips with the heroin death of 31-year-old Cory Monteith, we can’t help remembering just four years ago when the charismatic young performer was new to fame and awash in excitement over his big break.  He could hardly believe he was getting the chance to sing on television, since, as he told this column, “I’ve had zero training whatsoever.  This is the first thing I ever did with singing.  I’ve been a drummer all my life, so I have played music,” he added.  Monteith admitted that the demands of his role – which included more acting than he had originally thought – were a little intimidating at first.  However, even a few weeks in, he said he could tell a big difference with his performing.  “What you feed grows.  What you work on improves,” he noted.  “It’s just gotten better and better….

“For me to now have this platform and to have the opportunities that this show is presenting me is a dream come true.”  What a tragedy that his dreams have been cut short.

janine turnerHELLO, AGAIN:  Janine Turner has wrapped work as Sir Anthony Hopkins’ wife in the 2014 supernatural thriller, “Solace” with Colin Farrell.  The actress, who rose to fame on “Northern Exposure,” has been pouring her energies into writing and political activities in recent years, so it’s nice to see her back before the cameras.  She loved working with Hopkins, whom she found “a brilliant and generous actor as well as a man of great character.”  He plays a retired civilian analyst for the FBI who has psychic abilities and who – of course – gets drawn back into his old world when called upon to help solve a string of murders.  Sharon Lawrence, Abbie Cornish and Jeffrey Dean Morgan also star.

Bryce Dallas Howard Braves Storm for PR, Janine & Juliette Turner Stick to Resolution

Bryce Dallas HowardWhat a whirlwind 2009 has been for Bryce Dallas Howard! The actress’ Tennessee Williams film, “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond,” opens tomorrow (12/30) in New York and L.A. with a roll-out national release starting next month. She’s been on a promotional charge for the feature. Last week, she rushed from production of Gus Van Sant’s untitled movie in Portland — she is producing it with her father, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer — to New York appearances on behalf of “Teardrop.”

And she took over the role of vampire Victoria from Rachelle Lefevre in the third “Twilight” film, “Eclipse,” headed for theaters in June.
And she has a date to join Matt Damon before the cameras in Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” just days from now.

And she has a two-year-old son at home.

How does she manage? “I have a wonderful husband, and I have a wonderful little boy who LOVES movie sets,” answers Howard with a laugh.

The 28-year-old actress tells us she actually did her “Teardrop Diamond” promo chores on one hour’s sleep. “I was one of the people parked in an airport for hours,” she says, explaining that her flight got rerouted from Oregon, “and I did back-to-back redeyes” due to last week’s ferocious Eastern storm.

But it was worth it, she feels. Howard’s been drawing critical kudos for her “Teardrop Diamond” performance as a rebellious Southern heiress who gets more than she bargains for when she pays a poor employee of her family’s (hunky Chris Evans) to take her to social events.

“It’s such a huge responsibility to originate a Tennessee Williams heroine, particularly a character so different from any I ever played before and so different from me,” she notes. “It’s a very juicy character. The story is just a roller coaster ride.”

Juliette and Janine Turner

Juliette and Janine Turner

A RESOLUTION THAT WORKED: With their “Mockingbird Hill” country album available on iTunes and Amazon.com, Janine Turner and her 12-year-old daughter Juliette are looking back at 2009 with a sense of accomplishment. She tells us, “My daughter and I had a New Year’s resolution we wrote last New Year’s Eve, to actually do this album. Between school and everything else, we finished writing it during spring break. She wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics.” They eventually got together with Mike McGuire of the group Shenandoah, and with him recorded their songs at his facility in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. “Photo shoot, copywriting – we did everything ourselves,” says the actress of “Northern Exposure” and “Strong Medicine” fame.

“I wanted to teach her that it’s one thing to sort of fool around – but to really do something takes a lot of effort and discipline,” she adds.

In fact, by the time they had completed the record, it was Juliette who pushed to go the distance. “She was the one who said, ‘Mom, we have to market it. We can’t just leave it sitting in the armoire.’” Now, in addition to its current online outlets (including Janine’s website), “Mockingbird Hill” will soon be featured in People, with songs available for free downloading on the magazine’s website.

THE BIG SCREEN SCENE: Laurence Fishburne may be busy with his “CSI” series chores, but that doesn’t mean the esteemed actor has forgotten his labor of love film project. Fishburne has rights to “The Alchemist,” the internationally beloved allegorical novel by Paulo Coelho that expresses the essence of what it is to go after one’s dreams. “I’m still developing it,” he says of the remarkable book – a great New Year’s read, by the way. His hope is to have the script prepared and begin preproduction in 2010.

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT: “Sonny With a Chance” Disney Channel cutie Tiffany Thornton says she had a blast participating in this year’s New Year’s countdown of favorites on the channel. “We have games we get people to watch and participate in…It’s a really cool thing, a new spin on the countdown.”

The singer/actress, seen as Tawni Hart, nemesis of Demi Lovato’s character on the series, will be back in her home town in Arkansas with family for the holiday. “I have a couple of weeks off to spend with family and friends in Arkansas and Texas. I feel so blessed, really. I’ve been in L.A. for six and a half years now. My family has invested a lot of finances and worry – the stress of having your baby out in California. Now they’re having fun. My grandparents like to show it off: ‘This is my granddaughter who’s on television.’”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster