2015: The Year Of Ethnic Castings – Great Blog By Nellie Andreeva

11:14PM, EST, March 24, 2015

According to Nellie Andreeva (@DeadlineNellie)

There was a noticeable shift toward minority castings last season, with more parts opening up to ethnic actors, a casting term used for non-Caucasian thesps. It was a concerted effort, with more than one instance where a family member role was rewritten as adopted to make them ethnic. Then, following the success of freshman series How To Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, Fresh Off The Boat, Jane the Virgin and especially Empire, which launched to huge ratings at the kickoff of pilot casting season, ethnic castings exploded this season.

Who are your Neighbors...?
Who are your Neighbors…?

While not a superfan of Empire, we are crazy fans of Black-ish, Jane The Virgin and Fresh Off The Boat. From 2012-2014 we were devout fans of the truly inspired “The Neighbors” which was unceremoniously pulled off the air after much lobbying of fan support.

We actually think credit should be given to “The Neighbors” for letting casting directors and TV execs know that ethnic casting is something to embrace and the results whether for dramatic or comedy, are that much more real experience for all viewers.

Who was this uptight British alien guy (Simon Templeman) with the fascinating, smart and sexy, black wife (Toks Olagundoye) and his sensitive, guitar playing fish-out-0f-water Chinese son (Tim Jo) with their genius red-headed younger son (Ian Patrick) who was maybe the most out of place. Why did race just mix and no one talked about it; but rather embraced it even when  Reginald VelJohnson (Family Matters) and Meredith Baxter (Family Ties) came to visit their daughter “Jackie Joyner-Kersee” on Thanks giving.

So thanks to casting directors Susan Vash and Melissa Ventura for getting Hollywood to look deeper into the casting pool and seeing a reflection of all of us…

To read more of Nellie’s Blog, Please Click Here.

2014 Primetime Emmy Awards – Monday – Not Sunday

by Shannonn Kelly
06:51AM, EST, August 25, 2014

I woke up this morning feeling a little weird. Happy that tonight’s the night for the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Yes, tonight, Monday. And not the usual Sunday.The live broadcast from the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, with host Seth Meyers starts 5:00PM PT, 8:00PM EST on NBC.

Also, I felt a little sad that this is the last time we’re going to see the gang from the stellar, innovative, TV crime drama series, Breaking Bad starring Bryan Cranston as Walter White,  Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Anna Gunn as Walter’s long-suffering wife Skyler, Skyler’s sister Marie Schrader played by Betsy Brandt and her husband Hank played to perfection by Dean Norris. And other series regulars such as Bob Odenkirk(who’s got his own spin-off called ‘You Better Call Saul“), Giancarlo Esposito, Jonathan Banks, Jesse Plemons and Scottish actress Laura Fraser.

In 2014, Breaking Bad entered the Guinness World Records as the highest rated show of all time.

The show took place in one of the most fitting cities Albuquerque, New Mexico and produced, sometimes written and directed by the darkly creative by Vince Gilligan, who paved the way for other ground-breaking series such as Sons of Anarchy (followed the same year in September 2008), Orange Is The New Black (eventhough, technically, IMHO the gritty series OZ paved the way for this series), American Horror Story and True Detective.

True Detective is up for Outstanding Drama Series against Breaking Bad. But since it will return for a 2nd season (albeit with a different story and cast), I hope Breaking Bad takes home this prize as it will never have another chance.

We shall see.  It’ll be hard to say Goodbye. Join me on Twitter for all the Emmy festivities and “selfie spoofs”.


Walter White Shoots Modern Family

by Shannonn Kelly
11:14 AM, EST, December 11, 2013

“Ho Ho Heisenberg” – Actor Eric Stonestreet with Director, Bryan Cranston on Set of the Modern Family Christmas Episode

I thought that headline would get your attention.

Don’t forget to tune in tonight to Modern Family on ABC to watch the Christmas episode directed by Bryan Cranston. It’s sure to deliver a lot of Ho-Ho-Ho’s for the Holiday with hopefully a little darkness like the video here uploaded by Jesse Tyler Ferguson who plays “Mitch” on Modern Family. Continue reading “Walter White Shoots Modern Family”

David Letterman Outlasts Leno and Celebrates As The Longest Running Late Night Host in TV

by Shannonn Kelly
06:19AM, EST, Friday August 30, 2013

The "Late Show with David Letterman" 20th Anniversary show with Bill Murray, Thursday August 29, 2013 on CBS.
The “Late Show with David Letterman” 20th Anniversary show with Bill Murray, Thursday August 29, 2013 on CBS.

Twenty years ago today, the “Late Show with David Letterman” premiered on CBS with dyspeptic yet fun loving host David Letterman.

A lot of cool things happened on Letterman’s first show including mega-watt star/actor/race car driver/philanthropist Paul Newman popping up out of an audience seat and asking: “Where the hell are the singing cats?

The always hilarious and just as cantankerous, SNL alum and comedian, actor Bill Murray was the first guest to sit with Letterman.

Sadly, Paul Newman has since died, but who better to stop by to commemorate the anniversary than Murray?

In the silliest and most hilarious appearance yet, last night (Thursday August 29), Murray enters on stage in a vintage white Rolls-Royce, sporting a Trump-esque pompadour, outfitted in an OTT Liberace white sparkling, feathered outfit complete with cape and a tiny white toy poodle. Continue reading “David Letterman Outlasts Leno and Celebrates As The Longest Running Late Night Host in TV”

Did Miley Cyrus Go Too Far at The MTV Video Music Awards…?

by Shannonn Kelly
01:22AM, EST, Monday August 26,2013

Miley Cyrus 'Twerks' with Robin thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards
Miley Cyrus ‘Twerks’ with Robin thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards

Updated 2:04PM, EST, Monday August 26,2013

If you’re reading this blog, that means you just finished watching the MTV Video Music Awards 2013 and you, the little ‘MoonMan” and a whole lot of folks may be having a meltdown after witnessing the shenanigans of 20 year-old ex-Disney mega-star Miley Cyrus.

Dan Isett, PTC’s Director of Public Policy, The Parents Television Council (PTC)

“MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials — while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14. This is unacceptable.”

Also stating the Lady Gaga ‘bikini-strip-tease, commercials for an R-rated movie and condoms all within the first commercial break, PTC charges that MTV is marketing sex to minors. Continue reading “Did Miley Cyrus Go Too Far at The MTV Video Music Awards…?”

Breaking Bad Talks Bad With Guests Bob Odenkirk and Samuel L. Jackson

by Shannonn Kelly
06:31AM, EST, August 24, 2013

If you are like me – – an Addict to Blue Sky, you tune into EVERYTHING that is BAD! Each Breaking Bad is all I live for throughout the week. I can barely wait out Sunday nights right now.

Samuel L. Jackson and Bob Odenkirk Talk Bad
Samuel L. Jackson and Bob Odenkirk Talk Bad

I’ve been a fan of the weekly Breaking Bad ‘Insider Podcast‘ with editor Kelley Dixon and show creator Vince Gilligan since day one. And now with the new and sadly finale season, it’s fun to tune into AMC’s “Talking Bad” after each episode.

This week’s guests are Bob Odenkirk who plays ‘Saul Goodman’ and the original “”bad ass mother fucker” himself, Mr. Samuel L. Jackson.

The episode this Sunday is at 11:00PM, EST. The live after show for the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad is hosted by actor Chris Hardwick. They take questions LIVE during the broadcast. If you want to log on to AMCTalkingBad.com to submit your questions, please Click Here.

My question is – – What will the focus of the ‘Saul’ spin-off be – Weekly look at wacky clients a’la Boston Legal or focus on one case at a time per season a’la Murder One.

AMC says after you watch Talking Bad on-air, and then come back to AMC.com the next day, you’ll get to watch an exclusive bonus segment of the show.

Breaking Bad – Season 5 Returns – All Good Things ‘Bad’ Come to An End

by Shannonn Kelly
4:02AM, EST August 11, 2013

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) have different perspectives in Season 6 of Breaking Bad
Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) have different perspectives in Season 6 of Breaking Bad

I just finished ‘binge watching’ all the episodes of the 1st part of “Breaking Bad“, Season 5 to get ready for tonight’s much anticipated premiere of the “return” of Season 5.

I re-learned a lot of things. Saul is a poet, Marie is obsessed with ‘purple’, Mike was scary mofo, Skylar is a ball buster, Jesse is a soft touch and the voice of reason, Hank is pretty smart and Walt is in for a shit storm as the ’empire builder’…

Creator Vince Gilligan said in an interview in Huffington Post last season that:

…the prospect of guiding the show towards its endgame had him in a state of “terror“. He compared the writing process to a “chess game” and stressed that although his writing staff had an idea about where the show was going and certain signposts established to guide them there, they were still filling in plot developments and were “always open to something better that may come along“.

The critically-acclaimed series Breaking Bad is one of those rare things that turned TV upside down. It showed stodgy TV execs what audiences craved. Complex characters. Real tension in every episode. Real believable crisis for every character. And all this stuff that could happen in your own backyard. Possibly the greatest program in television history – is Breaking Bad. And all that good badness is about to come to an end, as Season 6 spells the end for chemistry teacher turned meth-making kingpin “Walter White”.

The final season of Breaking Bad returns tonight, August 11 at 9:00PM EST, followed by AMC’s new original series “Low Winter Sun” at 10:00PM which stars Mark Strong in his dark journey as a Detroit cop. (Which I’ll be watching) Continue reading “Breaking Bad – Season 5 Returns – All Good Things ‘Bad’ Come to An End”

One of Canada’s Bright Lights Goes Dark – Actor Cory Monteith Dies of Heroin and Alcohol…

by Shannonn Kelly
02:44AM, EST, July 16, 2013

One of Canada's Bright Lights Goes Out... Actor Cory Monteith
One of Canada’s Bright Lights Goes Out… Actor Cory Monteith

It’s always sad when anyone dies. When it’s a young, good looking celebrity, it’s felt around the world.

Canadian born actor Cory Monteith was found dead this past Saturday sadly, at the age of 31. Monteith was found dead by cleaning staff who came to his room when he missed check-out at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Cause of Death: An autopsy and toxicological analysis show the actor died on from a “mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol.” A lethal combination of Alcohol and Heroin.

Best known as ‘Finn Hudson’ on the Fox television series “GLEE“, Monteith was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and then raised in Victoria only 43 miles from Vancouver.

What non-fans of Glee, might not know is that Monteith had issues with drugs and substance abuse since he was in junior high. Continue reading “One of Canada’s Bright Lights Goes Dark – Actor Cory Monteith Dies of Heroin and Alcohol…”

Warner Bros. Greenlights “Veronica Mars” – Here’s How They’ll Make It

by Shannonn Kelly
5:24AM, EST, Friday March 15, 2013

The Veronica Mars 'Kickstarter' Campaign
The Veronica Mars ‘Kickstarter’ Campaign

Everybody’s talking about it and here’s how it all happened:
Two days ago, Rob Thomas creator and writer of “Veronika Mars” (2004–2007) started a campaign on Kickstarter, a crowd source funding tool for creative projects.

Thomas Said in the Campaign:

Of course, Warner Bros. still owns Veronica Mars and we would need their blessing and cooperation to pull this off. Kristen and I met with the Warner Bros. brass, and they agreed to allow us to take this shot. They were extremely cool about it, as a matter of fact. Their reaction was, if you can show there’s enough fan interest to warrant a movie, we’re on board. So this is it. This is our shot.

Thanks to the news of the campaign first blowing up on the hyper-geek early adopter social networking site Reddit, then followed quickly by Twitter and FaceBook – in less than 12 hours, with pledges ranging from $1. – $10,000., Thomas raised his $2 million target in less than 12 hours from VM loyal fan base.

And now with (at time of writing) 28 days left to go in the campaign, Thomas and key creatives like Kristen Bell, has 49,427 Backers and $3,273,558 raised which far exceeds Thomas’s $2,000,000 goal.

I pledged $35 and the image below shows what my perks are:

ShannonnKelly.com Veronica Mars Pledge Confirmation
ShannonnKelly.com Veronica Mars Pledge Confirmation

So now, with the permission to proceed from Warner Bros. arriving just 24 hours the Kickstarter campaign, Warner Bros. has decided they will fund the cost of distributing the film and the marketing campaign as well. The entire production budget however, will come solely from the Kickstarter campaign.

According to Brent Lang at TheWrap.com:

The noirish “Veronica Mars” followed an aspiring private investigator through high school and later college as she was tutored in the art of deduction by her detective father. It was never a ratings blockbuster, but it did inspire a passionate following — something the intense response to the Kickstarter campaign demonstrated.

Thomas said on Kickstarter that the movie will be shot over the summer and post-production will happen in the fall. The film will get a limited theatrical release in 2014 before debuting on video-on-demand and electronic sell through.

Feisty Actress Valerie Harper Diagnosed with Terminal Brain Cancer

by Shannonn Kelly
10:16AM, EST, March 06, 2013

Actress Valerie Harper - 'Always every awkward girl's mentor'...
Actress Valerie Harper – ‘Always every awkward girl’s mentor’…

Such sad news around the celebrity world as we learn that feisty actress Valerie Harper was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer – – leptomeningeal carcinomatosis on January 15, 2013.

The sad news was announced this morning on the NBCThe Today Show“.

She says doctors advise her she may have as little as three months to live. This is such sad news as is comes on the heels after Harper, a 73-year-old nonsmoker, battled lung cancer in 2009.

Harper, best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spin-off “Rhoda“, received tweets that poured in for her from her acting community admirers:

“Valerie Harper, please know you will always be every awkward girl’s mentor. Love, Toula,” ~Nia Vardalos

“You were the ultimate comedy role model to me when I was growing up – the quintessential ‘best friend!’ Sending you love…” ~ Rachel Dratch

“My longtime friendship w/ @ValerieHarper has been 1 of the gr8est gifts of my life. I’m here 4 any/everything she may need one day at a time.” ~ Cloris Leachman

In an interview from 2002 with Larry King, Harper recounts how she was cast as Rhoda. Continue reading “Feisty Actress Valerie Harper Diagnosed with Terminal Brain Cancer”