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October 21, 2014

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Gretchen Mol and Other "Almost It" Girls: Starlets Who Never Quite Made It Big

by Daynah Burnett, posted Nov 22nd 2009 6:36PM
Just this past week, HBO announced the addition of Gretchen Mol to the cast of its upcoming series 'Boardwalk Empire,' starring Steve Buscemi as Atlantic City gangster Nucky Thompson. With a string of respectable supporting roles, Mol's made a career out of not-quite making it, starting with her famous 1998 'Vanity Fair' cover that asked the entirely premature question: "Is Gretchen Mol Hollywood's New It Girl?"

But though Mol didn't exactly fade into obscurity (she earned kudos for her eye-opening turn in the indie 'The Notorious Bettie Page' and co-starred in ABC's short-lived 'Life on Mars'), neither did she become the huge success the industry predicted she would be. What happened? Was it luck, timing, bad choices or simply a case of too much hype? Whatever that case, Mol's casting got us thinking about other "Almost It" girls that Hollywood left behind about as quickly as it tried to make them mega-stars.

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Kath & Kim: Pilot (series premiere)

by Richard Keller, posted Oct 10th 2008 2:09AM

(S01E01) We're friends here, aren't we? So, I can be honest with you. I mean, some of you have been utterly, brutally honest with me to the point I cry into my pillow at nights. The least you can let me do is allow some truthiness spill over to you. Okay? Okay.

I went in blind to the premiere of Kath & Kim. Not blind in the sense that I didn't know who the stars were. My late 20s and early 30s were spent watching Molly Shannon on Saturday Night Live and I had knowledge of Selma Blair's work over the last few years. What I'm talking about is that I knew nothing about this NBC comedy or the Australian hit it was based on. The upside to this was that I was coming into the show like any other viewer. The downside was that I was coming into the show like any other viewer.

I probably should have come in a little more knowledgeable.

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NBC wrap-up: Slater's split personality, and Selma Blair's a wise-ass - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 22nd 2008 10:28PM
Kath & Kim panel
Today was the very last day of the press tour here in Beverly Hills. It was "TCA Day," with members of the association (including me) going to the Warner Brothers lot to visit the sets of ER, Pushing Daisies, and Chuck, where we spoke to cast members and producers (Oh, we went to the set of America's Best Dance Crew, but let's just forget I mentioned that one). Then we bused it over to the Fox lot, where Joss Whedon showed us around the set of Dollhouse, and the entire cast of King of the Hill gave a table read of their 250th episode. All this fun will be in upcoming posts later this summer.

Despite some of the griping you may have seen from me, it's been lots of fun. It's just a very tiring experience. Case in point: On Monday, NBC decided to close out the press conference portion of the tour by having us sit through ten panels, five of them after lunch. Here's a wrap-up post that goes over some of what went on yesterday that I haven't already covered.

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NBC shows confidence in Kath & Kim

by Jason Hughes, posted Jun 30th 2008 12:22PM
Molly ShannonIt looks like NBC thinks they have something worth giving a little more love to. Already airing in the cushy post-The Office slot when it premieres October 9th, now NBC has upped the order to thirteen on Molly Shannon and Selma Blair's Kath & Kim. In an era where shows can be yanked after one airing and episode commitments can never grow beyond six, this is a good sign for a new series.

K&K just finished filming their first episode, which tells me that someone must have liked what they saw. Personally, I think Molly Shannon is incredibly funny, in the right situation. Some of her bits on Saturday Night Live were classically brilliant while others were not so much. But her turn on Pushing Daisies last season was nothing short of brilliant. Blair, however, has a more limited TV resume, though she's done some awesome work in film. I'm guessing, based on her more dramatic background, that she's being set up as the straight (wo)man to Shannon's wackiness.

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Molly Shannon and Selma Blair are Kath & Kim

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 22nd 2008 3:04PM
Molly ShannonWith casting finally complete, NBC can begin to think about how nice it would be to start work on Kath & Kim if they had any writers. Based on an Australian hit by the same name, the series focuses on the relationship problems between a mother (Molly Shannon as "Kath") and her daughter (Selma Blair as "Kim"). The series was originally picked up a year ago but languished due to casting concerns. It was deemed that the main characters had to be cast perfectly for this to work.

Meanwhile, Molly Shannon has stayed busy with a brilliant turn on Pushing Daisies while Selma Blair wowed geeks across the world as Liz Sherman in Hellboy, a role she will reprise in the sequel. Now they'll be able to come together and try to be the most delightfully dysfunctional mother-daughter duo since Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Hell, if it can get half the critical acclaim that Gilmore Girls did, Kath & Kim will be off to a great start.

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