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October 13, 2015


Kelsey Grammer On Fame, Comedy, Chicago and His New Drama, 'Boss'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 13th 2011 4:20PM
Shooting a television show on location isn't a situation that offers actors much privacy, unless they're in a forest outside Vancouver or in the desert near Albuquerque or some remote place like that.

How about downtown Chicago on a bustling summer day? Last Friday, as he shot a pivotal scene from the upcoming Starz drama 'Boss' on the sidewalk outside Chicago's City Hall, Kelsey Grammer had almost no privacy. But the actor didn't appear to need a buffer, let alone a wall of bodyguards. He affably talked to passersby during breaks from the afternoon shoot, and genially posed for photos with anyone who asked.

After he'd wrapped for the day, he sat down for an interview in which he talked about the similarities between his own life as a public figure and the intensely scrutinized lives of politicians like Mayor Tom Kane, his character on 'Boss.'

"My life's been covered for the last 25 years -- everything, every moment, every single pitfall," Grammer said.

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Team Coco Goes Crazy at Conan O'Brien's Chicago Show

by Piet Levy, posted May 20th 2010 6:02PM
Conan O'Brien tour comes to Chicago
No city might be as Coco crazy as Chicago. Not only was there an actual protest in the city to support Conan O'Brien during that whole 'Tonight Show' debacle, students at Northwestern University gathered to collectively perform O'Brien's trademark string dance in solidarity. And when a pair of shows for the Chicago stop of his "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour" went on sale, the shows immediately sold out.

So the expectations for the show's first night in Chicago May 19th were naturally huge – legions of fans showed their support with Conan T-shirts, and some people even tried to sell their own Team Coco shirts outside the theater until the cops busted up the operation. But leave it to the hysterically self-deprecating O'Brien to try to lower those enormous expectations. "I want you people to leave here tonight thinking, 'That was sort of worth it,'" O'Brien said, of course, to laughter, cheers and applause. And for the die-hard Coco cuckoos, it most definitely was.

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Showtime Picks Up a New William H. Macy Drama

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 9th 2010 1:03PM
William H Macy stars as an alcoholic, blue-collar father in the Showtime drama 'Shameless.'William H. Macy is one of those unique actors who can adapt to any role he's given. Whether it be as Chief of Emergency Medicine on 'ER' or a salesman with cerebral palsy in the TV movie 'Door to Door'. Now, Macy will take on the role of father in a new Showtime drama series.

The subscriber movie channel (known more these days for its original programming) has picked up the series 'Shameless' from 'ER' and 'The West Wing' producer John Wells. A remake of an award-winning British drama, 'Shameless' will star Macy as an alcoholic, blue-collar father of a large Chicago family. The twist...after his wife leaves him, he ends up handing the parenting of the clan over to his eldest daughter, who will be played by actress Emmy Rosum.

For Wells, the production of 'Shameless' will be a reunion of sorts. Not only will he be reunited with Macy, whom he worked with when the actor played Dr. David Morgenstern on 'ER,' but he'll also work with former 'The West Wing' colleague Allison Janey, who will have a recurring role as Macy's wife.

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Fans Could Soon Find 'Glee' in Their Hometowns

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 2nd 2010 4:40PM
GleeTaking a page from the successful annual 'American Idol' concert tours, 'Glee' co-creator Ryan Murphy is taking his own group of talented kids on the road. 'Glee Live! In Concert!' is a seven-show, four-city tour that features all the members of the William McKinley High School glee club performing some of their most popular numbers from the hit FOX series.

"The response of the fans to our little show has been so immediate and so gratifying, we wanted to get out and thank them live and in person," said Murphy. "We can't wait to take this show on the road and the actors couldn't be more excited to perform live for audiences in these four cities." The mini-tour kicks off May 18 in Phoenix, and continues through Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

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A&E Gives Thumbs Up to One Drama, Thumbs Down to Another

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 8th 2010 11:27AM
A&E logoIt's great to see A&E getting into more scripted shows and not just concentrating on reality shows and documentaries. But they're not just taking everything. This week they're passing on one drama but going ahead with another one.

The drama 'Sugarloaf' has been given the green light. It's about a Chicago cop who gets accused of something he didn't do so he decides to move to a small Florida town and become an officer there.

The drama the network passed on? 'The Quickening.' No, it wasn't another version of 'Highlander,' it was actually about a homicide detective who is bipolar. Sounds a bit like 'Monk' only maybe a little bit more serious? Anyway, we probably won't be seeing that one.

Like a lot of people who live in New England, every single time I hear the name 'Sugarloaf' I'm going to think of a cold ski resort, not a warm small town in Florida.

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This Perfect Strangers fan is standing tall on the wings of his dream

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 12th 2010 3:00PM
I've always wanted to redo the opening of a TV show, though I can never really make up my mind which one it would be. Laverne and Shirley? Or how about T.J. Hooker? I think I could do Adrian Zmed's roll on the car hood.

This Pop Candy reader and his friend did the opening of Perfect Strangers, filming it in their city of Seattle instead of Chicago. The original is after the jump.

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Susan Boyle flying to Chicago just for Oprah

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 9th 2010 3:00PM
susan_boyle_hairbrushWhen Oprah made her tearful, but happy, announcement about the ending of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she committed to making 2010 something special. That was clearly in her mind as Oprah has reportedly booked Susan Boyle, the Scottish singing star who catapulted to fame in 2009 after appearing on Britain's Got Talent, for a sit down interview and musical interlude on Wednesday, January 14.

That's right, the six million CD selling Boyle will actually be in Chicago's Harpo Studios. No satellite feed this time. Nope, Susan Boyle will be able to jump up and down on the couch just like Tom Cruise. Or maybe she can bring her kitty cat, Pebbles, on the set and introduce her to American audiences?

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A tribute to Siskel & Ebert

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 14th 2009 2:03PM
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert can probably be credited with really getting everyone interested in movie criticism. Before Sneak Previews, people would read movie reviews, sure, but they brought intelligent film criticism to television and became a huge part of pop culture.

This is a tribute from The Nostalgia Critic, and he covers the history of the show, from the start on PBS to the death of Siskel in 1999 to the hosts that eventually replaced them. He probably needs to get a better microphone, but it's well-done.(Slightly NSFW.)

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Willam H. Macy is getting Shameless for Showtime

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 15th 2009 8:08PM
William H. MacySince January 2004, the UK's Shameless has been bringing to life the story of a drunken working-class father and his nine children. Snippets of this long-running hit; going into its seventh season; have aired in the US on BBC America and Sundance. And for five years, it's been in development hell.

The show has been tied to NBC, with Woody Harrelson in consideration for the lead role of Frank Gallagher, and more recently at HBO. Now, finally, original creator Paul Abbott and John Wells Prod. have signed a deal to bring Shameless to Showtime with William H. Macy in the lead.

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Colbert on the people who didn't want the Olympics in Chicago

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 6th 2009 4:27PM
I don't usually watch the Olympics, so it wasn't too devastating to me that Chicago lost out to Rio De Janiero in the bid to host the 2016 games. But that doesn't mean I was rooting against Chicago, like some people were, as this clip from last night's Colbert Report shows.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Americans for Prosperity Cheer Chicago's Failure

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Oprah IS Chicago

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 2nd 2009 9:02AM
Oprah WinfreyMichigan Avenue, also known as the "Magnificent Mile" in Chicago will be closing down part of the street so Chicago's own Oprah Winfrey can do a live location taping to open her 24th season. It will no doubt be a show so ostentatious and so grand that it could only be Oprah. Naturally, since Oprah is generous to her people, the show and its accompanying performance by the Black Eyed Peas is free and open to the public.

It's hard to believe that Oprah is going into her 24th season. Actually, it's not that hard, as it feels like Oprah has always been around. Oprah is likely such a big part of the economy of Chicago that she probably has the Mayor in twice a week to clean her apartment.

If this is how the Queen of Daytime Television is starting her 24th season, how is she going to top it when she starts her Silver Anniversary season? Will she simply given a thousand bucks to every person in Chicago?

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What You Missed Last Night: Birthday Sex

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 7th 2009 2:28PM
I don't understand the decisions that public school systems make sometimes, like the Chicago Public Schools deciding that the guy who sings the song "Birthday Sex" would be a good choice for a back-to-school promotion. Stephen Colbert doesn't get it either.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Back to School With Jeremih

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Ellen's Bigger, Longer & Wider Show features acts big and small

by Nick Zaino, posted Jun 17th 2009 2:32PM
Ellen DeGeneresThere are some big names on the bill for Ellen DeGeneres's variety show, Ellen's Bigger, Longer & Wider Show, which airs June 27 on TBS. Kanye West will be a big part of it, and magician David Blaine and comedian Nick Cannon will also appear.

Even the Chicago Cubs will make an appearance, as DeGeneres tapes a segment at Wrigley Field, singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch June 16 (the rest of the show will be taped June 17 at the Chicago Theatre).

But the thing DeGeneres seems most excited about is comedian Joe Wong, whom we first wrote about in April when he made his network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman. She'd love to see more comedians like Wong on television.

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Is it possible to hate Family Guy but still like Seth MacFarlane?

by Danny Gallagher, posted May 25th 2009 12:02PM
Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy
When it comes to Family Guy, I really tried. I honestly gave it my best shot. I watched the Sunday episodes, the late night reruns on Adult Swim, and even some of the DVDs from my college-aged brother's collection, including the famed feature-length Star Wars parody. I watched until my eyes started planning a prison break from my skull.

I wanted to like it. It's goofy, occasionally satirical and completely unafraid to be silly and bat#*$& crazy. Alas, I couldn't take it. I didn't find it funny or entertaining. The jumps to the pop culture flashbacks made the whole thing disjointed and screwed up the continuity. The characters are as two-dimensional as the paper the Korean sweatshop animators draw on for each episode. The way the show just drags on certain jokes is downright irritating. We get it. Peter hurt his knee jumping out of The A-Team van. A prom night dumpster baby musical number would be hilariously tragic. It's the one and only time I ever rooted for Cartman in an episode of South Park.

That doesn't mean the show's creator deserves the same contempt.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: My Boys, season three

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 14th 2009 6:03PM
Reid Scott, Jamie Kaler, Michael Bunin, and Jordana Spiro
Let's just get this out of the way: My Boys isn't a very good show. Calling it mediocre is even going too far. However, I can't be the only one that's watching it, because the TBS sitcom is already a few episodes into its third season. That's right - My Boys has actually been somewhat of a minor success for TBS, partially due to some wise scheduling. Save for the first half of season one, My Boys is always on during the spring and summer months when - surprise - there isn't much else to compete with. The show might not be great, but hey, new TV is better than no TV.

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