Tag Archives: Mark Steines

Mark Steines Loves Taking ‘Home and Family’ Prime Time

HF-Thanksgiving-spec-320x300_41107Mark Steines of “Home and Family” admits that this week’s first prime time special edition of the show he cohosts with Cristina Ferrare was “a daunting task” to pull off — but more than worth it.  “We’re happy about the vote of confidence this prime time outing represents,” he says, especially since he has been told that the Hallmark higher-ups expect some 80 million viewers to sample at least some of their 1200 hours of Countdown to Christmas programming.

The “Home and Family” holiday special has everything from such Hallmark Channel movie faves as Nicolette Sheridan, Naomi Judd, Alan Thicke and Candace Cameron Bure guesting, to a high school choir, a turkey cooking, and even an ice skating rink at the show’s highly-decorated house on the Universal Studios lot in Hollywood.  “It’s like the Griswold’s house, every inch of it is lit,” he says.

Steines is proud of the show that is making it in the hotly-contested daytime world, where many a star has been vanquished by season two.  The veteran of 17 years of “Entertainment Tonight” now finds that doing “Home and Family” is changing him.

“I’ve completely revamped decisions in life about what food I eat, raising kids, what to feed kids  — all that stuff based on what we’ve had on our show.  I never thought a guy from Dubuque, Iowa would be juicing, but I do my own juicing.”  Best of all, his 10 and 11-year-old sons are “starting to take care of themselves, starting to work out and watch what they eat, which is great.”

ALSO:  Candace Cameron Bure, who plays the daughter of Alan Thicke on the Nov. 30-debuting “Let It Snow” Hallmark Channel Movie, tells us that “everyone has different thoughts” when it comes to her former cast mates talking about the idea of a “Full House” reunion.  In case you weren’t aware, a recent posting had it that there was a series in the works that would have the daughters from that 90’s sitcom now grown up and living together.  It provoked a storm of excitement on the internet.  But it was a joke.  Bure says she and her former cast mates have talked about the phenomenon, and they’re amazed by the response, but she doesn’t expect such an idea to ever bear fruit.

CandaceCameronBureAs for herself, right now she’s focused on “Let it Snow,” in which she plays a hard-charging executive determined to modernize an old fashioned holiday ski lodge.

Hallmark did not come to her about the project, she says.  “I actually asked them.  I was talking to Hallmark and I love being part of the Hallmark family, and I said, ‘okay, for my next movie, I would really like to do a Christmas movie,’ because those are my favorite.  I’m the target demographic, because I sit and watch them all.  Then they sent me this script and it was perfect.”

Celebrities Celebrate Beastie Besties at Hero Dog Awards

Dogs have always been man’s best friend, but it’s only been in the last few decades that we have started behaving as if it works both ways.  That’s an encapsulation of an idea that Betty White expressed last night, when she was honored at the Second Annual American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards — and Betty is one who would know.

The 90-year-old national treasure has been an animal lover throughout her lifetime, of course, going back to the days that, according to her, animal advocates were viewed as “a bunch of zealots” and our beastie besties were strictly considered beneath us.  Now, though, every year we’re discovering more capabilities of these wonderful creatures, Betty enthused.

Kristin Chenoweth presents a new line of greeting cards for dogs — not too seriously — at the Hero Dog Awards

At the Hero Dog Awards, many of these remarkable capabilities were celebrated, as eight Hero Dog honorees and their stories were introduced with the help of emcee Kristin Chenoweth (and her own dog, Madeline Kahn Chenoweth), Joey Lawrence, Jewel, Pauley Perette, Kellie Martin, Denise Richards, Naomi Judd, Mark Steines, Jake T. Austin and other celebs.

For instance, there’s Jynx, the Law Enforcement/Arson Dog honoree.  He was on duty with his handler, Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly of the Berks County Sheriff’s Department, and other officers in rough terrain — and the German Shepherd alone detected a bad guy lying in wait, ready to ambush the law men with a sub machine gun and a cache of other weapons.  Jynx alerted the deputies to the gunman’s presence, attacked the gunman — who nevertheless managed to fire several shots at Pagerly — and then attempted to pull his wounded master to safety.    Pagerly died at the hospital, but the other officers on the scene that day feel they owe the hero dog their lives.   Jynx now lives with Pagerly’s widow and baby daughter.   It was Mrs. Pagerly, only a few weeks pregnant when she lost her 28-year-old husband,  who tearfully accepted Jynx’ award — and a heartfelt standing ovation from the crowd.

There are stories of therapy dogs who’ve saved lives and brought troubled humans out of their shells, stories of courageous canines on the battlefield, dogs who’ve given people with disabilities ways to live normal lives.   Yes, have the hankies handy if you watch the Hero Dog Awards on The Hallmark Channel November 8.  Each honoree is loveable and deserving, unlike other awards shows we could name.

The Beverly Hilton Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, where such galas as the Golden Globes take place, was again the setting for the Hero Dog Awards, with quite a few canines, large and small, there to enjoy the event first-paw.  (Whatever must those doggies have thought of being applauded by a ballroom full of people?)  The crowd feasted upon sauteed tenderloin of beef and seared citrus olive marinated filet of sea bass — and a dessert of espresso almond tiramisu in a chocolate cup, complete with white chocolate hero dog medallions.   For those who watched the first Hero Dogs Awards last year, with Carson Kressley as host — expect a more even program this year.



Mark Steines Happy to Trade Black Tie for Blue Jeans with ‘Home & Family’

Mark Steines seems to be adapting quickly to his new role as co-host of the Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” lifestyle show debuting this week.  Says the Emmy-winning personality who was a mainstay of “Entertainment Tonight” for 17 years, “’ET’ gifted me with all my suits from the show, but if I’m lucky, I’ll never have to wear one of them again.  I’m much happier in my jeans.  Some days I may not even shave.”
Steines, along with Paige Davis, is presiding over the series that combines the building of a 2,446-square-foot New England Colonial-style house – on the backlot of Universal Studios in California – with talk segments about all things domestic, from parenting to kitchen cabinetry.  It’s a big change for Steines after the red carpet/celebrity whirl, and that’s perfect, he says, because “part of what the show is about is how to embrace change.”
He’s getting to know his sassy cohost.  “I’ve realized I have to be careful about what I reveal about myself, because with Paige, you never know what will happen.”  Viewers can expect to see Davis’ husband, Broadway performer Patrick Page, and Steines’ wife, Miss America 1993 Leanza Cornett, turn up to sing with their mates.  Steines hasn’t forsaken the celebrity beat completely – he says he relishes the idea of doing some longer-form interviews.
“One of my last assignment with ‘ET’ was covering Les Miz, and I sat with Hugh Jackman for 20-25 minutes and we aired maybe a minute of it.  Here, we’ll have the chance to do maybe six, seven-minute pieces with guests.”
Steines relates to the family topics that will be covered on “Home & Family.”  He and his wife have two young sons, and among his current concerns is whether or not to let his 10-year-old have the air rifle he wants.  “The harder I push, the harder he’ll push.”  The host, who has been among People Magazine’s Sexiest Men, admits he’s also into such subjects as whether one is better off weighing every day.  He admits, “I weigh myself every day – sometimes two times a day.  I don’t want to let any weight gain get out of control.  I know women deal with that a lot” – and “Home & Family’s” audience will be primarily women.
FAREWELL:  The passing of Andy Williams last week marked the end of an era, and brought back myriad memories for those of us who wrote about him and interviewed him and admired his clear, soaring voice.  He was a gentleman whose personal style was widely copied — behaviorally and sartorially — in his 1960’s heyday and later years, too.  He once gave all the members of his “Andy Williams Show” crew (including Stacy’s father) custom-fitted Andy Williams-style sweaters for Christmas.  They could have been the envy of any natty dresser on “Mad Men.”
Outside of his voice, the most unforgettable thing about Andy has to have been his devotion to former wife Claudine Longet.  In the happier years of their marriage, he brought her a rose every day.  Later, when she was on trial for shooting her lover, skier Spider Sabich, Andy stayed loyally by her side to show support.  His fame spanned through the Kennedy Camelot years, the golden era of network variety shows, through the establishment of Branson, MO as an entertainment destination and beyond.  Few could match his longevity — or class.  RIP, Andy.
SPREADING HER WINGS:  “Clearly, there’s a theme going on in my life,” says Roma Downey, who of course rose to fame as angel Monica on “Touched by an Angel.”  Not only does she have a Bible mini series on its way to the History Channel next year —  she co-produced with husband Mark Burnett and plays Mary at the crucifixion — she also recently came out with a storybook Bible.  It’s part of her Little Angels kids’ series of DVDs and books.  She reports that they’re “doing great — the Little Angels brand continues to expand.”
With her own career success in addition to her husband’s, “I don’t have to work.  I’m very blessed, very fortunate.  So my passion, my purpose is to be involved with things that uplift and open people’s hearts and raise their consciousness,” she says.  “And the message, ultimately, of the Bible, the message of Jesus, is, ‘Can’t we all see that spark of light in each other which is God — respect each other and love each other and get along together?'”