Kathy Griffin to “Fashion Police?”: Rumors started kicking up this week that Kathy Griffin was a frontrunner to take over for the recently deceased Joan Rivers on the E! series “Fashion Police.” Griffin replied on Twitter that it’s simply not true, at least at this point but it sounds like a good fit and I personally think Griffin would be perfect to take over for Joan. We’ll see if it happens in the near future.
Daryl Dixon ‘prison gay?’: We’ve been hearing rumors about Norman Reedus’s character on “The Walking Dead” being gay but the actor told GQ recently that there were very early conversations about Daryl’s sexuality with original showrunner Frank Darabont. Reedus said in the interview, “I remember Frank Darabont, after the first season, we were at a party in L.A. He said, “I’ve got an idea for Daryl. He’s gay. Would you be interested in that?” I was like, “Let me hear you out.” He said, “Well, he’s prison gay. Like, you’ll catch him looking at a member of the same sex, but if you mention it to him, he’ll just stab you and be like, What the f**k? He will never admit it.” I was like, “That’ll blow minds—let’s do that.” And he said, “I knew I hired you for a reason.” As a longtime viewer of the show, it definitely makes sense for the character if he did turn out to be gay. I don’t know that I love the ‘prison gay’ term but we’ll see if the show ever goes there.
Outfest Legacy Awards: Author/activist Armistead Maupin, actress Hillary Swank and the Levi Strauss & Co. will be honored with the 10th annual Legacy Awards by Outfest, Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization, for promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. The event, set for November 12th at the performing arts venue Vibiana in Los Angeles, according to a press release, “will honor legendary author Maupin on the 20th anniversary of the television adaptation of “Tales Of The City,” Swank on the 15th anniversary of “Boys Don’t Cry” and Levi Strauss & Co., a longtime ally in the fight for LGBT equality.”
“Armistead Maupin’s diverse, interconnected community of San Francisco bohemians, which shaped our collective fantasy of what LGBT life is and could be – may stand in stark contrast to Hilary Swank’s all-too-real portrayal of a trans man who is murdered in ‘Boys Don’t Cry,’” said Outfest Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer. “But the two have one important thing in common: They are stories that inspire change. For decades now, that change has been underway at Levi Strauss & Co., which has consistently taken a stand for equality by, for instance, granting employees domestic partner benefits long before other major corporations did the same. This is our legacy.” Tickets for the event go on sale on October 7th. For more information, visit theOutfest website.
Barbra Is Number One: There’s a reason why people still revere Barbra Streisand and that proof was evident when her latest album, “Partners” hit #1 on the Billboard charts, even beating contemporary (and controversial) artist Chris Brown. Billboard reports, “‘Partners’ opening sum is the largest sales week for a female artist in 2014, and Streisand’s biggest sales frame since Christmas week of 1997. Her last album to sell more in a week was Higher Ground, which shifted 402,000 in the frame ending Dec. 28, 1997.” The story also states, “‘Partners’ also starts with a higher sales figure than anticipated. On Sept. 17, industry forecasters initially pegged the set to start with 150,000. Two days later, that projection grew to 175,000. The larger-than-expected sales launch can be owed to publicity Streisand generated during the week, an attractive $7.99 price for the set at iTunes and Amazon MP3, and the album’s all-star guest list.” It didn’t hurt that Babs hit the talk show circuit including this fun stop at “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
DVR Alert: Make sure to catch the premiere of the new ABC drama “How To Get Away With Murder.” Created by Pete Nowalk (and exec produced by Shonda Rhimes), the engaging series starts out strong but notably features a gay law student, Connor Walsh, played by Jack Falahee, who I talked to here earlier this month. Note that the only full-on sex scene we see in the pilot is between Connor and another man and it’s not even made a big deal out of. I like that kind of progress. This is one is a don’t miss, for sure!
Nate Berkus Baby: Earlier this week, Nate Berkus announced on his Facebook page that he and husband Jeremiah Brent are expecting a baby! Here’s what he wrote: “We have had the most special year and its JUST become even more beautiful. We are happy to announce that we are expecting our first child! While we can’t share much, we can say that thanks to a surrogate and the support of those we love we will officially be a family in the spring of 2015!” — Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent. Congrats, guys!
“Nashville” Live Performances: Last night’s season premiere was a doozy! Not only did Rayna (Connie Britton) pick one of her two suitors (she went with Luke instead of her longtime love Deacon) but our gay country singer Will Lexington (Chris Carmack) found himself between a rock and hard place when the reality show that’s been following he and wife Layla (Aubrey Peeples) revealed they have footage of him admitting that he’s gay. Nothing like a little blackmail to keep a reality show afloat, huh?
Also, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) tried to get Avery (Jonathan Jackson) back but he skipped town with Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Scarlett (Clare Bowen). To top it all off, the episode featured two live performances that Charles Esten (Deacon) and Carmack performed for both East and West Coast. I watched the West Coast version and they seemed to go off without a hitch. Check out the episode for yourself to see what you think.
Oxygen’s New Brand: Yesterday, the Oxygen network announced in Variety that it will be starting its rebrand to start skewing towards a younger, female audience and one way to go that is by promoting openly gay TV exec Rod Aissa to prominent and highly visible role of Exec VP of Original Programming and Development.
“Rod has a remarkably intuitive touch for finding unique original content that is culturally relevant for our audience in this young, multicultural demo,” said Frances Berwick, president of Bravo and Oxygen Media. “His passion and creativity will be instrumental as we continue to expand our programming slate for the new Oxygen.” In other words, while the highly successful (and also NBC-owned) Bravo has openly gay Andy Cohen, Oxygen now has Rod Aissa.
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