Interview with Julian Works and Paulina Chávez

TV Interview!

 

Julian Works and Paulina Chávez star in the film "The Long Game."

Interview with Julian Works and Paulina Chávez of the film “The Long Game” by Suzanne 4/5/24

This is a really good movie, so you don’t want to miss it. It’s entertaining, it has great characters and acting, and it also has a lot of heart. It’s based on a true story, which gives it validity. Also, it resonates in today’s world, where there’s still a lot of prejudice against any immigrants, or any people with dark skin. I enjoyed speaking with stars Julian Works (who plays Joe Trevino) and Paulina Chávez (who plays his girlfriend, Daniela). You can also see Works in “9-1-1: Lone Star” – Season 5 premieres this Fall. I would have loved to speak to the other stars – Jay Hernandez, Dennis Quaid, Cheese Marin – as well. They all doing an outstanding job in the movie.

 

MORE INFO:

Key art for "The Long Game"THE LONG GAME 

Based On the Book “Mustang Miracle” By Humberto G. Garcia

Starring Jay Hernandez, Dennis Quaid, Cheech Marin

Executive Produced by Canelo Álvarez

WILL BE RELEASED IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE ON APRIL 12, 2024

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

SYNOPSIS

In 1956, JB Peña and his wife moved to the small town of Del Rio, TX, partly for a job as a school superintendent, but mostly to fulfill JB’s dream of joining the prestigious, all-white Del Rio Country Club. So when JB is rejected on the basis of his skin color, he is devastated. But his world soon collides with a group of young latino golf caddies who work at the country club, and JB is inspired by the handmade course the boys built in the country to teach themselves golf. With little experience and even fewer resources, JB convinces the boys to start their own high school golf team, starting them all on a journey where they learn that it takes more than just golf skills to make history. Based on Mustang Miracle by Humberto G. Garcia.

Julian Works most recently starred in the Blumhouse anthology series “Into The Dark: School Spirit,” and recurred in the cable drama “The Affair,” opposite Dominic West. His additional credits include the drama series “American Crime,” as well as the feature films “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” and the Sundance Film Festival Award nominee “All She Can.”

Mexican American Actress Paulina Chávez (“The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia”, “Fate: The Winx Saga”) will star opposite Eva Longoria, Cheech Marin, and Jesse Garcia in the Disney+ feature film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Chávez will play ‘Mia Garcia’, the 16-year-old sister to ‘Alexander’ who is every inch an independent minded, intelligent, eye-rolling teenager. Convinced that her 11-year-old brother Alexander has the worst luck in the entire world, Mia is frequently appalled and horrified as the family road trip disintegrates into disaster after disaster. But, oddly enough, when they’ve lost just about everything and it’s just the family and nature, Mia is the first one to appreciate the beauty of the world around them, which clearly touches her.From writer Matt Lopez and director Marvin Lemus, Alexander tells the story of 11-year-old Alexander Garcia who feels like he is the unluckiest kid in the world. The film is produced by Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, and Lisa Henson. Marisol Roncali and Chelsea Ellis Bloch serve as casting directors.

Chávez is best known for her breakthrough leading role as the titular ‘Ashley Garcia’, the world’s first and only 15-year-old robotics engineer and rocket scientist, in Netflix’s “The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia”. Most recently, she starred as the series regular ‘Flora’ in Netflix’s sci-fi/fantasy series “Fate: The Winx Saga.” A rising star in both film and television, her film THE LONG GAME is set to premiere at the upcoming SXSW Festival on March 12th, 2023. The film is based on the true story five young Mexican-American golf caddies who against the odds would go on and successfully compete against wealthy all-white golf teams in 1955 South Texas.

Born in El Paso, TX, at the age of six Paulina and her family moved to San Antonio, TX where she discovered her love of acting through her school’s theater program. She joined drama club in second grade and immersed herself in theatre, playing lead roles in Aladdin Jr., Beauty and the Beast Jr., The Little Mermaid Jr. among others. She began auditioning and booking roles for various short films, movies, voice-overs, regional commercials, as well as national TV commercials for Coca-Cola and ‘Food Feuds: Latin Food’ alongside award-winning chef Aarón Sánchez. She additionally landed co-starred as ‘Isabella’ in the thriller-series “Padre Pio” and landed the role of ‘Young Kim Kardashian’ in the TV series, “Scandal Made Me Famous”. 

In addition to acting, Paulina’s other passion is music and she began taking vocal lessons at a young age in preparation for musicals. She counts a wide range of musical influences including Shakira, Alejandro Fernandez, Luis Miguel, and Billie Eilish. Paulina also played the violin in a San Antonio-based mariachi group which she continually praises for helping maintain her connection to her Latin roots. 

When she is not acting or singing, animal lover Paulina enjoys spending time with her rescue cats Whiskey and Bublé. She is also an advocate for the Latinx community and focuses her attention on giving back. Paulina began offering a yearly scholarship for youth within her local San Antonio community in 2020. Is is currently working in partnership with The Salvation Army SA to select students for her scholarship ‘Be Your Own Kind of Genius’.

You can follow Paulina Chávez on Instagram at @PaulinafChavez

 

Directed by Julio Quintana

Written by  Julio Quintana, Jennifer C. Stetson & Paco Farias

Starring Jay Hernandez, Dennis Quaid, Cheech Marin, Julian Works, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Brett Cullen, Oscar Nunez,  Richard Robichaux, Paulina Chavez

Produced by Javier Chapa, Ben Howard, Dennis Quaid, Laura Quaid, Marla Quintana

Julian Works as Joe Trevino, Dennis Quaid as Frank Mitchell, and more, in the movie "The Long Game."Executive Produced by Canelo Álvarez, Jay Hernandez, Phillip Braun, Jason Michael Gerber, Sherrese Clarke Soares, Alexis Garcia, Humberto G. Garcia, Christian Sosa, John Williams, Veronica B. Jones, Jennifer Kuczaj, Simon Wise, Colleen Barshop, Vincent Cordero, Carlos Osorio, Juan Pablo Solano Vergara, Simón Beltrán Echeverri, Brian Eddy, Jeff Grossberg, Jack Shemtov, Ricky Joshi, Jeff Moseley, Julio M. Quintana, Jennifer Kuczaj, Michael E. Hollingsworth, Matthew Dwyer, David E. Campbell, Tim Mahler, Carter Pope, Jesse Mandujano

Running Time: 112 Minutes

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview with Barbara Niven

TV Interview!

 

Hannah meets a new side of law & order as she investigates a murder and crosses paths with by-the-books prosecuting attorney Chad Norton. Photo: Barbara Niven Credit: ©2024 Hallmark Media/Photographer: Pooya Nabei

Interview with Barbara Niven of “One Bad Apple A Hannah Swensen Mystery” on Hallmark Mystery by Suzanne 4/3/24

Barbara Niven seems very sweet, and it was a delight to chat with her. I had a friend sitting nearby listening, and after the interview, she said, “Wow, she sounds really nice!” While it’s true that actors are good at hiding their feelings, and they’re paid to pretend, I think that Barbara’s real-life kindness comes through in her roles and interviews. She clearly has so much fun playing Delores in these movies. Delores is a little kooky, but she means well.  Make sure you watch the movie because it’s fun, and it’s a good mystery! It airs tonight, 4/5/24, as the 9th film in the series.

MORE INFO: Official Site  Preview Sneak Peek

Premieres Friday, April 5, 9/8c - Hannah meets a new side of law & order as she investigates a murder and crosses paths with by-the-books prosecuting attorney Chad Norton. Meanwhile, Delores has a secret.

Summary: Hannah meets a new side of law & order as she investigates a murder and crosses paths with by the books prosecuting attorney Chad Norton. Meanwhile, Delores has a secret.

Press Release: ALISON SWEENEY STARS IN, WRITES AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCES
ONE BAD APPLE: A HANNAH SWENSEN MYSTERY
PREMIERING LATER THIS YEAR ON HALLMARK MYSTERY
Sweeney Reunites On-Screen with Victor Webster Who Joins the Cast of the
Long-Running, Fan-Favorite Franchise
Gabriel Hogan, Barbara Niven, Tess Atkins and Lisa Durupt Also Star
Alison Sweeney (Love & Jane, Days of Our Lives)
returns as everyone’s favorite baker-turned amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen and reunites with
her “The Wedding Veil” trilogy co-star Victor Webster (Mystery on Mistletoe Lane, A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe) for One Bad Apple: A Hannah Swensen Mystery, premiering Friday, April 5 (9 p.m. ET/PT), on Hallmark Mystery. Sweeney wrote the script, which is based on the novel Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke, and is executive producer on the movie. Gabriel Hogan (Tacoma FD) Barbara Niven (Ms. Christmas Comes to Town), Tess Atkins (The Flash), and Lisa Durupt (Heartland) reprise their roles.

 

Hannah Swensen (Sweeney) has been asked to teach a baking class at the college in town, but her equipment is tampered with causing an explosion that the fire department rules an accident. Soon, a colleague ends up dead and Hannah begins to put together the puzzle of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murder while being on the list of suspects herself. Hannah leans on her friends and family to collect the breadcrumbs of foul play and put them together, and meets a different side of law and order when she crosses paths with Lake Eden’s by-the book prosecuting attorney Chad Norton (Webster). “One Bad Apple: A Hannah Swensen Mystery” is from Lighthouse Pictures in association with Looking Glass Productions. Craig Baumgarten, Sweeney, Jamie Goehring and Shawn Williamson are executive producers. John J. Fluke serves as co-executive producer. The movie is produced by Kevin Leslie. B. F. Painter is associate producer. Shannon Kohli directed from a script by Sweeney, based on the book Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke. Hannah meets a new side of law & order as she investigates a murder and crosses paths with by-the-books prosecuting attorney Chad Norton. Photo: Alison Sweeney, Barbara Niven Credit: ©2024 Hallmark Media/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

BARBARA NIVEN (Delores) – Barbara Niven is an actor, producer and speaker. She’s also a fierce advocate for human and animal rights. As a mother and grandmother, she knows there is nothing more important than saving this planet and all the beings that live on it.

During her acting career, she has appeared in more than 100 film and TV roles and 2500 TV and radio commercials. She also served three years on the National Board of Directors for the Screen Actors Guild.

For six seasons, Niven starred in the Hallmark Channel original primetime series Chesapeake Shores. She has starred in the Hallmark movie original USS Christmas, four installments of Hallmark Channel’s Christmas in Evergreen movie franchise in addition to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ popular Crossword Mysteries, appearing in all installments. Niven starred with Alison Sweeney in the popular Murder She Baked franchise and reprised her role in Sweet Revenge: A Hannah Swensen Mystery in 2021 as well as Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery, and A Zest for Death: A Hannah Swensen Mystery, both of which premiered last year. She also was in Hallmark Channel’s first original primetime series, Cedar Cove. Most recently, Niven starred the 2023 original movie Ms. Christmas Comes to Town, which was part of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ Miracles of Christmas programming event. Other credits including starring roles in Christmas at the Golden Dragon, The Christmas Contest and North to Home for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Her performance as Marilyn Monroe in HBO’s The Rat Pack continues to garner praise as “one of the top three portrayals of the blonde icon on Film & TV.”

Niven has also gained international acclaim as Hollywood’s Top Media Trainer and Video Marketing Coach. She created her Unleash Your Star Power!™ system so she could teach people how to hone their message, overcome fear and, use video and public speaking to dominate their niche.

Niven is also a celebrity speaker and best-selling author. Business and motivational topics include Unleash Your Star Power!, Be a Video Marketing Superstar, ACT As If, Live Your Dreams! And Eating Disorders and Pressures to be Perfect.

Niven is a huge animal welfare advocate, a National Ambassador for American Humane and was a regular presenter for Hallmark Channel’s televised American Humane American Hero Dog Awards\ each year. She currently has two rescued dogs named Norma Jean and Brando, and two rescued feral cats named George and Henry (named after her father, George Henry).

Her motto? “Live your passion, connect to your purpose, make a difference. And don’t give up five minutes before the miracle.”

Hannah meets a new side of law & order as she investigates a murder and crosses paths with by-the-books prosecuting attorney Chad Norton. Photo: Barbara Niven Credit: ©2024 Hallmark Media/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

 

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview with George Lopez, Selenis Leyva and Al Madrigal

TV Interview!

 

LOPEZ VS LOPEZ — Season: 2 -- Pictured: George Lopez as George, Selenis Leyva as Rosie and Al Madrigal as Oscar -- (Photo by: Carlos Eric Lopez/NBC)

Interview with George Lopez, Selenis Leyva and Al Madrigal of “Lopez Vs. Lopez” on NBC by Suzanne 3/28/24

This was a short interview, but it was a lot of fun. I was embarrassed that I had noted the wrong name for Selenis’ character, but Al made me feel better about it.  Then Al gave a completely non-serious deadpan answer to the question I asked him! George then intervened with a comment about “Green Acres” (not really sure what the relevance was). After I thanked them for their time, George asked me if I had watched the new “Shogun” miniseries, so I replied, “No.”I should have said, “Not yet,” or “I would love to talk to you any time about TV shows, but they only gave me 5 minutes! Sorry!” I had to leave in the middle while he was talking because I didn’t want the NBC PR to be annoyed with me…

MORE INFO: Trailer

LOPEZ VS LOPEZ -- Pictured: "Lopez vs Lopez" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)Lopez vs Lopez

Season 2 premiere: Tuesday, April 2 with back-to-back episodes at 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. 

George Lopez and his daughter, Mayan, return to NBC to put the fun back in dysfunctional family comedy. This time there will be big life changes for Mayan and the whole Lopez familia while George takes his first step in sobriety. Get ready for another season of Lopez vs Lopez that will have you laughing, crying and shouting ‘ta loca!

 

George Lopez

LOPEZ VS. LOPEZ -- Season: Pilot -- Pictured: George Lopez as George -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

George Lopez/Executive Producer, “Lopez vs. Lopez”

George Lopez plays himself and serves as executive producer on the NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Lopez’s illustrious and multi-faceted career encompasses television, film, stand-up comedy and late-night television. Lopez has broken ground for Latino comics by embracing his ethnicity, confronting racial stereotypes, and fighting for his community on and off the stage.

Lopez can be seen in Snoop Dogg’s sports comedy “The Underdoggs” and the indie “How the Gringo Stole Christmas,” directed by Angel Gracia. Lopez joined the DC Extended Universe last summer in “Blue Beetle.”

He will release the third installment of his middle-grade novel series, “Chupacarter and the Screaming Sombrero,” in March and is currently performing stand-up in arenas across the country on his “ALLLRIIIIGHHTTT!” comedy tour.

Lopez has four HBO specials: “The Wall,” “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” Tall, Dark and Chicano,” which was nominated for a Best Comedy Album Grammy Award, and “America’s Mexican.” His acclaimed comedy concert “Why You Crying?” debuted on Showtime in 2004. He released his third stand-up CD, the Grammy-nominated “El Mas Chingon,” in 2006 and was nominated for his first Grammy two years earlier for “Team Leader.”

Lopez produced and starred in “Lopez,” a semi-autobiographical sitcom for two seasons on TV Land. In 2014, Lopez co-created and starred in the multi-camera ensemble comedy “Saint George” for FX. He hosted TBS’ inaugural late-night talk show, “Lopez Tonight,” for two seasons, marking his return to series television after co-creating, writing, producing and starring in the groundbreaking hit sitcom “George Lopez,” which ran for six seasons on ABC.

Lopez’s film credits include “Walking with Herb,” “No Man’s Land,” “The Tax Collector,” “El Chicano,” “Valentine’s Day,” “The Spy Next Door” and “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.” He starred in and produced the drama “Spare Parts,” based on a true story about four undocumented Mexican American teens who team up to build a robot for a national competition. Lopez was the focus of the award-winning documentary “Brown Is the New Green: George Lopez and the American Dream,” as he struggles to stand for Latinos in a manner true to their realities and aspirations.

Lopez has lent his voice to a string of animated hit films, including “Gnome Alone,” “Escape From Planet Earth,” “Rio,” “Smurfs,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and “Cats & Dogs.”

In 2004, Lopez’s autobiography “Why You Crying?” earned a spot on The New York Times bestseller List. Lopez released his second memoir in 2013, “I’m Not Gonna Lie and Other Lies You Tell When You Turn 50.”

Time magazine named him one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America in 2005 and the Harris Poll named him one of the Top Ten Favorite Television Personalities. The following year, Lopez received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Selenis Leyva

Rosie “Lopez vs. Lopez”

LOPEZ VS. LOPEZ -- Season: Pilot -- Pictured: Selenis Leyva as Rosie -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Selenis Leyva portrays Rosie on the NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Leyva is best known for her role as Gloria Mendoza on the Netflix critically acclaimed series “Orange Is the New Black.” She recently appeared alongside Michael B. Jordan in the hit film “Creed III.”

Leyva starred alongside John Boyega and Connie Britton in the film “Breaking,” which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award (Best Indie Film) and won the Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. She also won a 2021 Gracie Award for her work on the Disney+ original series “Diary of a Future President,” which honors standout women in entertainment and news that addressed timely topics and social issues.

Leyva is an outspoken activist for LGBTQ+ rights and often is invited to college campuses to speak on diversity and inclusion. Selenis most recently promoted the release of her memoir, “My Sister: How One Sibling’s Transition Changes Us Both.”

Leyva was awarded the Anti-Violence Project’s 2016 Courage Award and the Stonewall Community Foundation’s Vision Award for inspiring visibility, advocacy and outspoken support for the transgender community. She has been featured in publications such as the Huffington Post, Time magazine’s Motto, People magazine’s Latina Love Project Series and Splinter.LOPEZ VS LOPEZ — Season: 2 -- Pictured: Al Madrigal as Oscar -- (Photo by: Carlos Eric Lopez/NBC)

Al Madrigal

Oscar, “Lopez vs. Lopez”

Al Madrigal stars as Oscar on the NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Madrigal is best known as the senior Latino correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and whose film credits include “The Way Back,” starring Ben Affleck, and “Night School,” alongside Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish.

Madrigal has written for multiple series, including “I’m Dying Up Here” and “Broke,” and is currently developing multiple projects within his current deal at CBS Studios.

In 2022, Madrigal teamed up with AWA and former Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso to release “Primos.” As an entrepreneur, Madrigal and fellow comedian Bill Burr founded the podcast “All Things Comedy.” The ATC network is producing several films and series, including “Old Dads” for Netflix and “Drugstore June.”

 

LOPEZ VS LOPEZ — Season: 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Selenis Leyva as Rosie, Al Madrigal as Oscar, George Lopez as George, Mayan Lopez as Mayan, Matt Shively as Quinten, Brice Gonzalez as Chance -- (Photo by: Carlos Eric Lopez/NBC)

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview with actors from “Star Trek: Discovery”

TV Interview!

 

The cast of "Star Trek: Discovery" at NY Comic-Con 2019

Interview with actors Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, David Ajala, Wilson Cruz, Mary Wiseman, and Blu del Barrio; and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise of “Star Trek: Discovery” on Paramount+ by Suzanne 3/10/24

This was so much fun! I’m a huge Trekkie (since the 60s!), so it was great to speak to these actors on this press roundtable. I’m sad that the show is ending, but it’s an exciting last season. You don’t want to miss it. FINAL SEASON STREAMING APRIL 4!

One note: One of the interviewers is edited out because she kept asking spoiler questions. I might put her back in after the season is over, if I have time.

Sonequa Martin-Green (Captain Michael Burnham)

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Doug Jones (Saru) and David Ajala (Cleveland “Book” Booker)

Doug Jones (Saru) and David Ajala (Cleveland “Book” Booker) of "Star Trek" Discovery on Paramount+

Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly), and Blu del Barrio (Adira)

Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly), and Blu del Barrio (Adira)

Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise (co-showrunners/EPs)

Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise (co-showrunners/EPs)

 

MORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in season 5 key art of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Credit: James Dimmock/Paramount+

The fifth and final season of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY finds Captain Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery uncovering a mystery that will send them on an epic adventure across the galaxy to find an ancient power whose very existence has been deliberately hidden for centuries. But there are others on the hunt as well … dangerous foes who are desperate to claim the prize for themselves and will stop at nothing to get it.

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY season five stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Captain Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Saru, Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, David Ajala as Cleveland “Book” Booker, Blu del Barrio as Adira, and Callum Keith Rennie as Rayner. Season five also features recurring guest stars’ Elias Toufexis as L’ak and Eve Harlow as Moll.

The series is produced by CBS Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Michelle Paradise, Heather Kadin, Aaron Baiers, Olatunde Osunsanmi, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers. Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise serve as co-showrunners.

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY seasons one through four are currently streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and Austria. Seasons two and three are also available on the Pluto TV “Star Trek” channel in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel. STAR TREK: DISCOVERY is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

"Star Trek: Discovery" key art

AVAILABILITY:

Premieres April 2024 on Paramount+ in the U.S. and international territories.

FORMAT:

Action/Sci-Fi (Filmed in HD)

STARRING:

Sonequa Martin-Green

(Captain Michael Burnham)

Doug Jones (Saru)
Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets)
Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly)
Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber)
David Ajala (Cleveland “Book” Booker)
Blu del Barrio

 

Callum Keith Rennie

(Adira)

 

(Rayner)

RECURRING GUEST STARS: Elias Toufexis

 

Eve Harlow

 

Tig Notaro

 

David Cronenberg

(L’ak)

 

(Moll)

 

(Cmdr. Jett Reno)

 

(Kovich)

PRODUCED BY:

 

CBS Studios, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:

CO- SHOWRUNNERS:

Alex Kurtzman, Michelle Paradise, Heather Kadin, Aaron Baiers, Olatunde Osunsanmi, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth

 

Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise

 

Sonequa Martin-Green

Sonequa Martin-Green is a versatile actress who continues to evolve her impressive body of work with ground-breaking, complex roles and memorable performances across television, film and the stage.

Martin-Green will next be seen in Warner Brothers’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” starring alongside LeBron James and Don Cheadle. The film is a sequel to the 1996 film “Space Jam,” the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time.

Most recently, she starred in “The Outside Story,” a Brooklyn-based indie comedy-drama led by Brian Tyree Henry. “Billions” actor Asia Kate Dillon, Sunita Mani (“Glow”), Olivia Edward (“Better Things”) and Michael Cyril Creighton (“Spotlight”) also co-starred in the film, the directorial debut of writer/director Casimir Nozkowski. She also appeared in Netflix’s 2019 holiday film, “Holiday Rush.”

Martin-Green is widely known for her turn on AMC’s critically acclaimed, award-winning series “The Walking Dead,” where she captivated audiences in the role of the fierce and loyal Sasha Williams across five seasons. Additionally, she has taken many guest and recurring roles in fan-favorite television series. Most recently, she played prankster Rhonda on FOX’s “New Girl,” anti-magic Tamara on ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”and aspiring paralegal Courtney Wells on CBS’ Emmy and Golden Globe-winning drama “The Good Wife.” She has also been featured in the CBS cop drama “NYC 22,” Lifetime’s “Army Wives” and the CW’s “Gossip Girl.

Previously, Martin-Green received rave reviews for her starring role in Emily Abt’s Sundance hit “Toe To Toe,” in which she played Tosha Spinner, a highly driven inner-city high school teenager. She was also featured in Victoria Mahoney’s film “Yelling to the Sky”alongside Gabourey Sidibe and Zoe Kravitz.

On stage, she is best known for her critically acclaimed performances in Des McAnuff’s “Fetch Clay Make Man,” where she starred as Muhammad Ali’s first wife, Sonji Clay. She also starred in off-Broadway’s “Outside People” at New York City’s Vineyard Theatre.

Martin-Green currently resides in Los Angeles, Calif.

Doug Jones

While famous for working under prosthetics in iconic feature film roles, Doug Jones is also a versatile character actor who has performed as himself in guest star roles on shows like “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Teen Wolf,” “Z-Nation,” “The Neighbors,” “Criminal Minds,” “C.S.I.” and NBC’s horror anthology “Fear Itself.” A veteran of over 100 commercials, Doug was Mac Tonight, the moon-headed piano player in the long-running 1990s McDonald’s campaign. He also starred as the lead villain in “Hush,” an Emmy-winning episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” long considered a fan favorite. Doug was also a semi-regular guest judge on the hit SyFy Net reality series “Face Off.”

In 2005 he played the title role of Pan (as well as the nightmare character known as The Pale Man) in Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-winning Spanish language fantasy/horror feature “Pan’s Labyrinth.” But it was his sensitive and elegant performance as Abe Sapien in del Toro’s 2004 box office hit “Hellboy” that brought Doug’s unique work to a wider audience. He went on to voice that same character for the Emmy-nominated Cartoon Network animations “Hellboy: Sword of Storms” and “Hellboy: Blood and Iron.” In 2007 Doug’s title role performance in “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” was hailed by fans and critics alike. 2008 saw Doug reprise his starring role (as well as two other characters) in “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” once more under the direction of del Toro. He also starred in “Gainsbourg,” a stylized biopic of the famous French poet/singer/composer Serge Gainsbourg, in which he plays Gainsbourg’s dark alter ego. The film has won three Cesar Awards. Doug has also had prominent creature roles in “Crimson Peak,” “The Watch,” “The Bye Bye Man,” “Legion,” “Hocus Pocus” and many others.

Jones was a series regular on three seasons of TNT’s Spielberg-produced sci-fi series “Falling Skies” and recurred on Guillermo del Toro’s FX series “The Strain.” Upcoming, Jones will star opposite Sally Hawkins in del Toro’s “The Shape of Water.

David Ajala

David Ajala most recently recurred on the CW’s “Supergirl” as iconic DC character Manchester Black, and starred in Syfy’s TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s 1980 novella Nightflyers. Past film credits include “The Fast & The Furious,” “Jupiter Ascending,” and “Starred Up”; past television credits include ABC’s “Black Box” opposite Kelly Reilly and USA’s “Falling Water.”

Ajala also appeared in the indie film “Kill Command.” Additional notable credits include “One Day,” starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, “The Dark Knight,” starring Christian Bale and “Payback Season.”

Appearing in a wide range of television roles, Ajala was a rapper in the television series “Trexx and Flipside,” in addition to major guest roles in award-winning shows such as “Law & Order: UK,” “Death in Paradise,” “Silent Witness” and the wildly popular “Dr. Who.”

Ajala began his career performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Courtyard Theater in Stratford-upon-Avon. He’s performed in productions of “The Witness,” “Hamlet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” among others at The National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre and The Almeida Theatre.

Wilson Cruz

Triple threat, award-winning actor, activist, “actorvist” and humanitarian are just a few terms used to describe Wilson Cruz. He appeared on the Netflix series “Thirteen Reasons Why” and in Hulu’s breakthrough GLAAD Award-winning original animated kids’ series “The Bravest Knight.” He is also the executive producer of the critically lauded docuseries called “Visible: Out On Television” airing on Apple TV+.

In 1994 Cruz won the hearts of audiences across the world and forever changed the LBGT landscape playing the first openly gay teenager on network television in his award-winning performance as Rickie Vasquez on the hit ABC series “My So Called Life”. His seminal and critically acclaimed performance celebrated its 25th anniversary in August 2019. “My So Called Life” was honored with the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Drama, and Cruz received the Emery S. Hetrick Award from the Hetrick-Martin Institute for Outstanding Contributions to LGBTQ Youth for his contribution. Cruz is also known for starring as Angel in the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical “Rent” in its West Coast premiere which earned him both the Ovation and Drama Logue awards before his reprisal of the role on Broadway.

Always a trailblazer, Cruz is recognized for playing one of TVʼs first transgender characters in an Emmy-nominated episode of “Ally McBeal” and gave a heart-rendering performance as part of a gay couple fighting for marriage equality on “Greyʼs Anatomy.” Other TV credits include: “Red Band Society” starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, “Party of Five” (ALMA Award for Outstanding Emerging Actor), “Rick and Steve,” “The Happiest Gay Couple in the World,” “Shameless,” “The West Wing,” “Noahʼs Arc,” “Pushing Daisies” and more. Film credits include memorable roles in “Heʼs Just Not That into You,” “Nixon, Party Monster,” “Johns,” “All Over Me” and “After Louie,” with Alan Cumming. During the pandemic, he created a series called “What’s Up with Wilson Cruz” as a way to stay connected to fans and participated in numerous benefits to raise money for charity.

As an “actorvist,” Cruz has received the Rand Schrader Distinguished Achievement Award from the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center, the Liberty Award from Lambda Legal, the Visibilidad Award from GLAAD, the Fusion Achievement Award from Outfest, the Latino Spirit Award for Achievement in Entertainment and Advocacy from the California Latino Legislative Caucus, the Harvey Milk Equality Award, the Lincoln Aston Public Service Award, Aston-Brooks Award and the Advocate Award from AdColor. He served as the director of entertainment industry partnerships and national spokesperson for GLAAD, currently serves on the board of GLSEN and devotes considerable time supporting other LBGTQ organizations as well. Wilson is a first generation American of Puerto Rican descent.

Mary Wiseman

After graduating from Juilliard, Mary Wiseman quickly went on to star opposite Keira Knightley in the Broadway production of “Therese Raquin.”

She was recently seen in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” opposite Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson.

Other television credits include the Netflix series “Longmire” and “The Characters” as well as Hulu’s “Difficult People.” She also appeared opposite Zach Galifianakis in the first two seasons of the FX series “Baskets.”

Other theater credits include starring in the world premiere of “Romance Novels for Dummies” at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Prior to that, she starred in the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s production of “Off the Main Road” opposite Kyra Sedgwick, in the off-Broadway, Obie Award-winning production of “An Octoroon,” in which her performance was described as “delicious” and “comically inspired” and the off-Broadway production of “The Skin of Our Teeth” at the Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn.

Blu del Barrio

Blu del Barrio is a non-binary actor who uses they/them pronouns. Del Barrio was in their final year of studies at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) when they auditioned for and booked the role of Adira. Blu has been acting in theater and short films since the age of 7, and they’re incredibly excited to make their television acting debut in season three of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY.

"Star Trek: Discovery" Season 5 - final season premieres April 4th on Paramount+ key art

 

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Interview with Ryan Hansen

TV Interview!

 

Ryan Hansen, who guest-stars on "Night Court" as Judge Abby's boyfriend this week.

Interview with Ryan Hansen of “Night Court” on NBC by Suzanne 3/22/24

It was so much fun to speak with Ryan! I learned that he’s from San Diego, among other things. It was one of my best interviews, I think. I look forward to seeing him again on the show, 3/26/24, the season finale. It sounds like a great episode! Check out our cool video!

MORE INFO: Official Site Promo (Instagram) or Promo (Twitter)

NIGHT COURT -- "The Best Dan" Episode 213 -- Pictured: (l-r) Melissa Rauch as Abby Stone, Ryan Hansen as Jake -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)Ryan Hansen is an American actor. He was born in Fountain Valley, California, and raised in El Cajon, California, but has since moved with his wife, Amy Hansen, to Los Angeles. His wife is a former roommate of Kristen Bell (star of Veronica Mars (2004)). Hansen is involved in the campaign, “Invisible Children”, and has appeared in the online series, “The LXD”, of which 50% of the profits are going to the Invisible Children Campaign.

He is best known for starring as Dick Casablancas on the noir drama series Veronica Mars (2004–2019), as Kyle Bradway on the Starz comedy series Party Down (2009–2010, 2023–present), and as Nolan in the horror remake film Friday the 13th (2009). Hansen also had a recurring role on the comedy series 2 Broke Girls (2012–2017) and the web series Burning Love (2012–2013).

 

Night Court

The eternally optimistic Abby Stone (Melissa Rauch) follows in the footsteps of her revered late father, Judge Harry Stone, as she takes on the challenge of overseeing the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court.

Abby always sees the best in people and her passion for justice is undeniable. In her quest to bring order and dignity to the court and reign in its colorful crew of oddballs, she enlists former night court district attorney Dan Fielding (John Larroquette) to serve as the court’s public defender. Still exceedingly self-confident, Fielding must adjust to a new boss and a new job – defending the downtrodden. And, beneath his arrogant demeanor, there is an empathetic side to Fielding that Abby is determined to unearth.

They both must contend with Olivia (India de Beaufort), the court’s officious assistant district attorney. Driven and ambitious, she views the night court as a steppingstone on her way to bigger things. Donna “Gurgs” Gurganos (Lacretta) is the night court’s sharp-witted bailiff. Gurgs takes her job very seriously and is fiercely protective of her night court colleagues. Rounding out the staff is Wyatt Shaw (Nyambi Nyambi), the court’s new clerk. He’s a jack of all trades and devoted single dad trying to make it all work as a law student at the same time.

From executive producer and writer Dan Rubin (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), “Night Court” is based on the original hit series that ran for nine seasons on NBC. Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch executive produce through their After January Productions. Mona Garcea oversees for After January Productions and John Larroquette serves as a executive producer.

“Night Court” is produced by Rauch’s After January Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

NIGHT COURT -- "The Best Dan" Episode 213 -- Pictured: (l-r) Melissa Rauch as Abby Stone, Ryan Hansen as Jake -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)

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NIGHT COURT -- "The Best Dan" Episode 213 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ryan Hansen as Jake, Julia Duffy as Susan, Melissa Rauch as Abby Stone -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/NBC)

Interview with Victor Levin

TV Interview!

 

Victor Levin, writer/creator of "Alice & Jack" on PBS and writer for "Extended Family" on CBS. Photo from Facebook.

Interview with Victor Levin, writer/creator of “Alice & Jack” on PBS and writer for “Extended Family” on NBC by Suzanne 2/22/24

It was very interesting to speak with Victor, who has written for so many wonderful shows. Tonight is the premiere of his miniseries “Alice & Jack,” which he created and has been working on for many years. I can tell, from this interview, that it was a labor of love. It’s not really my kind of show, but I will be sure to finish watching it. I did start watching “Extended Family,” on his recommendation here, and it is a very funny sitcom.  Check them both out for yourselves and enjoy the interview!

 

MORE INFO:

Victor Levin, the creator, writer and executive producer of PBS/Masterpiece’s upcoming series Alice & Jack with star Andrea Riseborough at tonight’s CAA screening.Victor Levin was born in 1961 in New York, had a traditional upbringing in the suburbs, and attended Amherst College. In the 1980s, Levin worked at advertising agency Young & Rubicam, writing commercials for Jell-O and Dr Pepper before moving to Los Angeles at the urging of a friend. While writing ads, he had been practicing writing screenplays, so once he was west, he wasted no time breaking in to television. His first show was “Baby Talk” (ABC, 1991-92), based on the film “Look Who’s Talking” (1989). From there he moved to “Dream On” (HBO, 1990-96), then to “The Larry Sanders Show” (HBO, 1992-98), where he earned his first Emmy® nomination. “Mad About You” (NBC, 1992-99) was the show that Levin credited with really teaching him how a TV series is run. Levin worked on the series from 1994 to ’99, eventually working his way up to Executive Producer and earning two more Emmy nominations. His first produced feature film was “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton” (2004) starring Kate Bosworth and Josh Duhamel. He re-teamed with his “Mad About You” star Helen Hunt for her feature directorial debut, “Then She Found Me” (2007), which Levin co-wrote and which starred Hunt and Bette Midler. He earned another Emmy nomination as co-executive producer on “Mad Men” (AMC, 2007-2015) in 2012. Levin’s directorial debut, “5 to 7” (2014) premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival to favorable reviews. The film was released by IFC Films in 2015. Alice & Jack key art

Alice & Jack reveals how love plays out between two very different people over 15 years. The story explores the seminal question of whether the bonds between us are stronger than the forces that would tear us apart. “It’s more honest about human behavior than most romances allow,” says RogerEbert.com, and “[asks] audiences to think about subjects they think they know well and look at them from a different angle.”

The miniseries is created by Mad Men award-winning writer Victor Levin (Mad Men, Mad About You) and features moving performances Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie, Birdman) as Alice, a single woman invested in her career while grappling with a childhood trauma, and Domhnall Gleeson (The Revenant, About Time) as the scientist she meets in a bar. The cast also includes Aisling Bea (This Way Up), Aimee Lou Wood (Sex Education), and Sunil Patel (Love at First Sight).

Still from "Alice & Jack" on PBSAbout Extended Family: Jim and Julia, after an amicable divorce, decide to continue to raise their kids at the family home while taking turns on who gets to stay with them. Navigating the waters of divorce and child-sharing gets more complicated for Jim when Trey, the owner of the Boston Celtics, enters the picture and wins Julia’s heart. Also streaming on Peacock.

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Interview with Beau Bridges and Rob Mayes

TV Interview!

 

Beau Bridges, Rob Mayes, Stratton Leopold and William Wages of the film "The Neon Highway," which premieres March 15.

Interviews with Beau Bridges, Rob Mayes, Stratton Leopold and William Wages of the film “The Neon Highway” by Suzanne 3/6/24

This is such a good movie, and the actors did an amazing job. It was really great to speak with them, and the writer/director and producer. I grew up watching Lloyd, Beau and Jeff Bridges, so it was an honor to speak to Beau. This is a role that seems meant for him, and he excels in it. I hope people remember it come Oscar time next year.  I can’t believe he hasn’t won one already! He should have won for “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” at least.  The focus of the movie is Rob’s character, Wayne, and then we meet Beau’s character, Claude, and the two carry the movie. I’m glad it was not too depressing, either, because so many indie movies are. I hope you can check it out because it’s a really inspiring and human story. It also has some outstanding music. Enjoy the videos!  Rob is much more handsome in real life than he is in the movie! “The Neon Highway” premieres tomorrow, March 15, 2024.

Rob Mayes stars in "The Neon Highway," premiering March 15 in select theaters.Beau Bridges stars in "The Neon Highway," premiering March 15 in select theaters.

Stars Rob Mayes and Beau Bridges

 

Lee Brice, Rob Mayes & Beau Bridges in THE NEON HIGHWAY (Credit: Daniel Delgado/ Mountain Movies)

Producer Stratton Leopold and writer/director William Wages

"The Neon Highway" key artMORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

THE NEON HIGHWAY, STARRING EMMY®, GOLDEN GLOBE AND GRAMMY® WINNER BEAU BRIDGES AND ROB MAYES SETS HEARTLAND THEATRICAL RELEASE ON MARCH 15, 2024

Presented by Mountain Movies and produced by veteran filmmaker Stratton Leopold (The Sum Of All Fears, Mission: Impossible II), THE NEON HIGHWAY will release theatrically on March 15. Directed by William Wages (Yellowstone, Lethal Weapon) and co-written by Wages and Phillip Rob Bellury (A Ride To Heaven, Remember This), the film stars Emmy®, Golden Globe and GRAMMY® winner Beau Bridges (The Fabulous Baker Boys, Eden), who was recently honored with the Icon Award from The Family Film & TV Awards, recognizing the significance of family entertainment.

THE NEON HIGHWAY also stars Rob Mayes (Legends, NCIS), Sam Hennings (The Work and the Glory franchise), Sandra Lee-Oian Thomas (Mr. Mercedes, Superstition), T.J. Power (Eat Pray Love, Offspring), Brett Gentile (We’re The Millers, The Walking Dead) and Ezekiel Bridges (Spiral, Mr. Mayor) along with GRAMMY® and CMA winner Pam Tillis as herself and Curb recording artist Lee Brice as Lamont Johnson.

About The Film: Twenty years ago, Wayne (Mayes), an aspiring singer/songwriter, was a heartbeat away from making it in Nashville when a car accident derailed his ambitions. Now working a 9-5 job and struggling to support his family, Wayne has a fateful encounter with waning country music great Claude Allen (Bridges) who reignites Claude’s musical dreams. Together they go to Nashville with one of Wayne’s songs, believing that with Claude’s fame and contacts, they can make it big. The problem is the industry has Rob Mayes and Beau Bridges star in "The Neon Highway," out March 14 in select theaters. changed and no one is interested in the song – or Claude. Devastated and out of options, Wayne creates a way to get the song out to the public; not for himself, but for Claude.

“I couldn’t be more excited to bring THE NEON HIGHWAY to audiences throughout the country,” said Producer Stratton Leopold. “This film means a great deal to me, and after spending so much time working on mass entertainment it is a privilege to bring this film to audiences across the American Heartland, and to share a story about the music that fills our lives.”

Arturo Sandoval – Cuban-American jazz legend and multiple GRAMMY winner – composed the movie’s score with Curb Records releasing. The performance scenes were captured live as performed on set by musicians including Mayes, Brice and rising country newcomer, Grace Asbury.

The film’s first song and title track, “The Neon Highway” was released January 26th. The track was written by Dallas Davidson (“I Don’t Dance,” “Crash My Party”) and performed by two-time ACM winner and GRAMMY and CMA nominee, Brice.

THE NEON HIGHWAY opens March 15th in Los Angeles and in select markets including Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Memphis, Nashville, Orlando, and San Antonio.

THE NEON HIGHWAY is a Mountain Movies production and is distributed by Freestyle Releasing. Stratton Leopold serves as producer with Lori Berlanga as Co-Producer. William Wages, Phillip Rob Bellury, and Craig Miller, Executive Produced.

Beau Bridges and Lloyd Bridges at the 44th Emmy Awards, August 1982 (photo credit Alan Light/Public domain)

From IMdB: Beau Bridges was born in Hollywood, and is the son of actor Lloyd Bridges and his wife, who was his college sweetheart, Dorothy Dean Bridges. Born just two days after the attack on Pearl Harbour, he was delivered by candlelight because of a power blackout. Named Lloyd Vernet Bridges III, his parents immediately started calling him Beau after Ashley Wilkes’ son in Gone with the Wind (1939), a book they were reading at the time. His younger brother, actor Jeff Bridges, was born in 1949 and a sister, Cindy Bridges, the following year.

Although only 5’10”, Beau played basketball for UCLA his freshman year. The following year he transferred to the University of Hawaii, but dropped out to pursue acting and got his first major role in 1967. During his first marriage to Julie Landifield, they adopted Casey Bridges and then had Jordan Bridges. He and his second wife, Wendy Treece Bridges, have three children from this marriage: Dylan Bridges (born 1985); Emily Bridges, (born 1987) and Ezekiel Jeffry Bridges.

Beau likes to play guitar and collects Native American percussion instruments. He also loves the ocean, including swimming and surfing. He is also active in environmental causes and handgun control.

From Wikipedia: Rob Mayes is an American actor, musician, and model. He is best known for starring as the title character in the 2012 horror comedy film John Dies at the End, as well as portraying Tommy Nutter in the short-lived comedy drama television series Jane by Design. He also played Barry in the 2019 film Maybe I’m FineVisit his website to hear and see more about this multi-talented actor/singer!

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Interviews with “Night Court” cast

TV Interview!

 

Nyambi Nyambi, India de Beaufort and Lacretta of "Night Court" on NBC

Interview with Nyambi Nyambi, India de Beaufort and Lacretta of “Night Court” on NBC by Suzanne 2/28Nyambi Nyambi, India de Beaufort and Lacretta of "Night Court" on NBC

It was great to speak with these actors. I never miss an episode of the show. I was a fan of the old series, too. I spoke with India before, and Lacretta not too long ago, but it was nice to catch up with them and meet Nyambi. Tomorrow night’s episode should be great fun! “Night Court” airs Tuesdays, 8/7c on NBC.

India de Beaufort (Olivia)

It was fun to speak with India again! She didn’t seem to have as much of a British accent as she did on our previous conversation. She is a great, multi-talented actress. We only had a few minutes, and she answered all of my questions very quickly.

Lacretta (Gurgs)

Lacretta is very sweet and fun!  We had a great chat, not only about her show but about “Star Trek!” She is down-to-earth, like talking to an old friend.

Nyambi Nyambi (Wyatt)

It was so nice to meet Nyambi, the “new guy,” and chat with him! They even let me go over the allotted time a little. He is a great addition to the cast.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site

New Photos for this week’s episode!

"Night Court" key art

The eternally optimistic Abby Stone (Melissa Rauch) follows in the footsteps of her revered late father, Judge Harry Stone, as she takes on the challenge of overseeing the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court.

Abby always sees the best in people and her passion for justice is undeniable. In her quest to bring order and dignity to the court and reign in its colorful crew of oddballs, she enlists former night court district attorney Dan Fielding (John Larroquette) to serve as the court’s public defender. Still exceedingly self-confident, Fielding must adjust to a new boss and a new job – defending the downtrodden. And, beneath his arrogant demeanor, there is an empathetic side to Fielding that Abby is determined to unearth.

They both must contend with Olivia (India de Beaufort), the court’s officious assistant district attorney. Driven and ambitious, she views the night court as a steppingstone on her way to bigger things. Donna “Gurgs” Gurganos (Lacretta) is the night court’s sharp-witted bailiff. Gurgs takes her job very seriously and is fiercely protective of her night court colleagues. Rounding out the staff is Wyatt Shaw (Nyambi Nyambi), the court’s new clerk. He’s a jack of all trades and devoted single dad trying to make it all work as a law student at the same time.

From executive producer and writer Dan Rubin (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), “Night Court” is based on the original hit series that ran for nine seasons on NBC. Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch executive produce through their After January Productions. Mona Garcea oversees for After January Productions and John Larroquette serves as a executive producer.

“Night Court” is produced by Rauch’s After January Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

 

India de Beaufort

Olivia, “Night Court”

NIGHT COURT -- Season 1 -- Pictured: India de Beaufort as Olivia -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC/Warner Bros. Television)

India de Beaufort plays Olivia in the NBC comedy “Night Court.”

De Beaufort’s TV credits include “One Day at a Time,” “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” “Younger,” “NCIS: LA,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Necessary Roughness” and “One Tree Hill.” Other projects include “Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire,” “Kevin Probably Saves the World,” “Blood & Oil” and “Jane by Design.”

Additionally, she will be seen recurring in Netflix’s hit series “Firefly Lane.”

Voice credits include series regular roles in “All Hail King Julien,” “It’s Pony” and Nickelodeon’s “Max & the Midknights.” Additional voice credits include an arc in “Fast & Furious: Spy Racers.”

Retaining her fashion influence, her jewelry line June Riot sold out. She continues to lean into her design education, having shown her first fashion collection at New York Fashion Week in 2012.

De Beaufort resides in Los Angeles with her husband actor, Todd Grinnell; their son, Crosby; and dog Kid.

Lacretta

Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous, “Night Court”

NIGHT COURT -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Lacretta as Gurgs -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC/Warner Bros. Television)

Lacretta stars as Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous on the NBC comedy “Night Court.”

Born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., Lacretta made her stage debut at 14 at the Coterie Theater – an institution in which she holds great affection. It was there where she starred in numerous performances throughout the ’90s, such as “A Wrinkle in Time” and “101 Dalmatians.”

In 2011, she appeared in “Hairspray” at Broadway Rose in Portland. She then originated the role of Levora Verona in the Off-Broadway run of “Disaster!” in 2012 at the Triad in New York, and made her Broadway debut with the same role in 2016.

Following her on-stage success, Lacretta guest starred on “Law & Order,” “30 Rock,” “Broad City” and “Gotham.”

In film, Lacretta appeared in the romantic comedy “Second Act” before making her return to the stage in “Avenue Q” in the closing cast of their Off-Broadway run at New World Stages. She was also featured in the first national tour of “The Book of Mormon.”

In her off time, Lacretta loves gaming and is very active on Twitch TV. In 2022, she helped announce the first Streamers for Education Scholarship for Black Women going into the fields of STEM, Digital Media and film. She is also an avid cook and often shares recipes from “Cretta’s Kitchen” on her Instagram.

She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Nyambi Nyambi (Wyatt) of "Night Court" on NBCNyambi Nyambi

Wyatt Shaw, “Night Court”

Nyambi Stars as Wyatt Shaw on the NBC comedy “Night Court.”

Nyambi Nyambi most recently co-starred as investigator Jay DiPersia in Paramount+’s “The Good Fight.” He also co-starred alongside Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy in the CBS sitcom “Mike & Molly,” portraying Senegalese waiter/café owner Samuel. Nyambi can be also seen in the recently released Billy Crystal and Alan Zweibel film “Here Today” as well as starring in the new indie film “The Sleepless,” available on Amazon Prime.

Nyambi’s TV resume includes “Mercy Street,” “Blindspot,” digital series “American Koko” and “Titans.” Additionally, Nyambi had voiceover roles in “The Death of Superman” and “Reign of the Supermen.”

Nyambi has participated in New York’s Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. Working alongside Al Pacino and Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Nyambi starred in “The Merchant of Venice” and “The Winter’s Tale.” His additional theater credits include the first Broadway revival of August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” and the Classic Stage Company’s “The Tempest,” opposite Mandy Patinkin. He has worked with the Classical Theatre of Harlem and the Williamstown Theater Festival. Nyambi is a proud member of the Labyrinth Theatre Company based in New York.

Alongside Danai Gurira, Nyambi serves on the board for Almasi Collaborative Arts, an organization dedicated to developing emerging African artists.

Nyambi is a first-generation Nigerian-American, born on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bucknell University before earning his Masters of Fine Arts from the Graduate Acting Program at New York University. He played basketball for four years at Bucknell and made the ESPN Dick Vitale “All-Name Team,” which honors the best names in college basketball. Post-college, Nyambi took on the role of coach and led basketball teams at teen camps.

More info about this week’s episode!

Melissa Rauch, Nyambi Nyambi, India de Beaufort and Lacretta of "Night Court" on NBC

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Interview with Don McLeod

TV Interview!

 

Actor Don McLeod - photo by Andrew Gerard on IMdB

Interview with actor/writer Don McLeod of “Fox and Hunter” and “Christmas Cab Ride” by Suzanne 2/21/24

This was kind of a funny interview because I had researched the wrong actor! There’s another actor with the same name, and I stupidly chose the wrong one. Fortunately, we had a good laugh about it. I hope you enjoy the interview! Besides being an actor and writer, he’s also a singer/songwriter and goes by the name Donny Mac.

Another good interview with Don McLeod

MORE INFO:

Actor Don McLeod - photo by Andrew Gerard on IMdBBiography

When asked “where did you grow up” Don McLeod usually answers “I haven’t yet, but I’ve been getting older in Vancouver BC”. Don admits that he fell into the film and TV industry simply by wanting to try it out. In 2010, for the winter Olympics in Vancouver, he was asked to put on a songwriting contest and the city brought in actor Graham Wardle (from CBC’s long running TV series Heartland). They became good friends and Don credits Graham for opening his mind and the door to acting as a career. Graham also introduced Don to fellow actor Jesse Hutch who would eventually become Don’s business partner.

Don soon signed with an agent and would go on to book notable roles on series such as CBC’s hit “Heartland”, The CW’s “Tomorrow People”, “Arrow” and “Frequency”, Hallmark Channel’s “When Calls the Heart”, and Netflix’s “Travelers”. Most recently, Don has appeared in NBC’s “The Irrational” and History Channel’s “Project Blue Book”.

Before becoming an actor Don had a prolific career as a recording artist, writer and record producer. As a producer and award-winning song-writer he has worked with many amazing writers and artists including; Jim Vallance, Jim Riley, Vincent DeGiorgio, Brian Howes, Sean Hosien, Dane DeViller, Dallas Smith, Danny Craig, Dale Russell, Shaun Verreault, Trevor Guthrie, and Chin Injeti, to name a few. Don has crossed over his song-writing abilities to other mediums such as commercials and Film and TV soundtracks for such popular series’ such as “Highlander”, “Heartland” and “So You Think You Can Dance”. He has shared his ability with up-and-coming artists through record production, mentoring, teaching song- writing, performance coaching & artist development.

In late 2023 he finished recording his album titled: Donny Mac “A Journey Through The Story” which was produced by Jim Riley (Rascal Flatts) and mixed by GRAMMY-winning engineer Sean Neff.

Since meeting in 2012, Don joined forces with Jesse Hutch to create Stone Rabbits Productions. Together they have written 24 film and TV scripts/concepts. Two notable projects include a feature film titled “Christmas Cab Ride” which has been green lit for production and an episodic called “Fox and Hunter”, an undercover buddy cop action comedy starring Don McLeod as John Hunter and Jesse Hutch as Blake Fox. Both are slated to film in 2024.

Project

SERIES: FOX AND HUNTER

ABOUT THE SERIES: FOX AND HUNTER follows

the daily life of high energy BLAKE FOX (Jesse Hutch), and his veteran partner JOHN HUNTER (Don McLeod), along with a full undercover unit as they are repeatedly detoured from their work by discussions, explosions, foot races, car chases, personal issues and evidence.

CHARACTER: John Hunter

CHARACTER DESCRIPTION: John is a hard-edged, focussed, calculating, and efficient lone wolf. He has a mysterious and physical presence and keeps to himself. No one seems to know where he came from. He has a moral code, keeps his private life private and is definitely NOT interested in making friends. To say he’s pissed off and feels disrespected when the BOSS forces him to take a partner is a massive understatement.

When I was younger I was on multiple track and field teams, was captain of the wrestling team and wanted to be a professional athlete. I had no interest in acting or being a musician.

As much as I enjoy food and consider myself a foodie. I’m an extremely picky eater. That said, garlic mashed potatoes can be devoured almost any day. And unprocessed, home style REAL chocolate peanut butter ice cream… YES PLEASE!

April 20th 1992 I was pronounced dead after a serious car accident, then a little over an hour later discovered alive.

I have a weekly video series called “Prayer Walks”. Where I go to different locations to walk in nature, ask questions about faith, discus various challenges life has and of course pray. There are currently 72 episodes that occur in trails from Vancouver BC to Key West Florida and in-between.

To prepare for a role, I once locked myself in a warehouse and fasted for two days.

For other films and general self improvement. I trained weapons, tactics, survival and combat with military special forces operators for over 5 years.

I’ve trained in Krav Maga, Jeet Kun Do, Jujitsu, Kempo, Kali, sword fighting and knife fighting.

I went over 10 years without cooking a meal at home.

I almost never get sick. I get a sniffle for a week once every couple years.

SOCIAL

IG @donnymaccountry

IMDB Don McLeod

YouTube @DonnyMacMusic

www.donnymac.com

Actor Don McLeod - photo by Andrew Gerard on IMdB

Photos credit: Andrew Gerard

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Interview with Maria Russell

TV Interview!

 

Maria Russell played Inez in the hit reality comedy "Jury Duty" on Freevee. (photo from her Instagram)

Interview with Maria Russell of “Jury Duty” on Freevee by Suzanne 1/25/24

It was lovely to speak with Maria. I binge-watched the show, which I hadn’t really heard of, for some reason, even though it was a big hit last spring. I’m so glad I did because it’s hilarious and unique. I hope you can watch it if you haven’t already. I really hope that they find a way to have a second season, too.  Please watch and enjoy the video, too. This is an audio-only video, but I’ve made it into  a video slideshow of photos of Maria.

This transcript still needs more editing!

Maria: Hi, Suzanne.

Suzanne: Hi, uh, I watched the show last night. I somehow missed it last spring when everyone else was, I don’t know. So many shows to watch,

Maria: I know,

Suzanne: but it was great. I loved it. I enjoyed it. So unique and it’s funny.

Maria: So funny. Thank you so much. It was a wild ride.

Suzanne: I’ll bet. uh, when the, the press release I got said, uh, docu series, similar to the office. I’m like, uh, not at all like that. It’s way back. Yeah, exactly. It’s very unique indeed. And who would have known it would become part of pop culture. It’s. Really bizarre and amazing. It’s really, the only thing I could think of that was similar is there was a reality show years ago.  I don’t think it lasted more. And it wasn’t that successful called Joe Schmo where it was like a reality show. But the joke, I was the only one who didn’t know that everyone else was actors. But it wasn’t.

Maria: Yes. I, I heard of it. I never got to see it though.

Suzanne: Yes. I never saw it. I never saw it either. I just saw like the ads for it and I thought,

Maria: Oh, got it.

Suzanne: This is again, way better. So, so, uh, tell us about your character, uh, Inez.

Maria: Yes. Inez de Leon is fabulous. She’s this self-proclaimed boss babe with a real passion for fashion. And when she finds out that, that there’s a position for, foreperson, that’s her goal. She wants to be foreperson. and then she sadly loses that role to Ronald, no hard feelings, but then she ends up finding her new purpose in this courtroom, this jury and being the lunch-ordering queen, and also, the point-person to coordinate all of the outings like going to Margaritaville.

Suzanne: Right. And, uh, but you’re not, I mean, you’re playing the character, but….

Maria: Yes, that’s what’s weird about this show.  It’s like you’re playing the character, but then you’re really you. So it’s strange.

It is strange. And, and honestly, we have, I have this conversation many times that I always say that we’re all kind of like our characters in a way. And the beautiful thing about this show and even starting out with it is that the producers and directors and everybody involved really gave us carte blanche to really, create this, these, give us creative freedom to create these, these characters from the ground up.

Suzanne: Well, that’s good.

Maria: Yeah, no, it was wonderful because, one thing that they did say was that be careful of going way too far off because then we’re going to have to remember everything because, this went on for three and a half weeks. So what I, I had to, what I did was every night I would go home and write down everything that Ronald and Inez spoke about because I had to keep track of the lies. Or the not truth or what I told him, so I had to just be very wary of that because he caught on, he was really smart, he was really sharp, so he would remember a lot of things.  And I was, Inez and Ronald were very close, so I had to remember everything, like, on the show at the time I was married and in real life, Maria. And on the show, I was divorced, but I still had my wedding ring on because I, Maria couldn’t get it off because Maria gained weight during COVID. So I kind of use that as also as part of my, uh, part of my backstory.

Suzanne: Well, that’s cool. I noticed that in the last episode when they did a lot of flashbacks and talking about stuff that there were scenes we didn’t get to see in the show, and I hope that maybe they’ll do a DVD if they haven’t already, so that we can see a lot of the stuff that they cut out, because I’m sure there’s lots they cut out, because it’s a lot.

Maria: Oh my gosh. I think we were, yeah, I think we were saying it’s probably like more than 50 hours.

Suzanne: Yeah, when he wants to see the boring courtroom scenes that you had just to throw off the scent,

Maria: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Suzanne: I read a good article yesterday. An interview with James Marsden.  So there was a lot of information there that I enjoyed reading. so was it, was it nerve wracking at all? Uh, I know you got to create your character and there was a lot of improv involved, right?

Maria: Oh, oh yeah. 90 percent of it was. Improvised because and then the rest of it, there were suggested lines or scenarios.  But again, we were, we were at the mercy of Ronald because we didn’t know what he was going to say or do. So, Ronald goes to the left, we have to go to the left, so a lot of it was the unknown.

Suzanne: Wow.

Maria: So. Yeah. It was, it was quite scary at moments because you didn’t want to be the one to, to blow them up.  Yes. To blow up the whole thing.

Suzanne: Oh my gosh. I can’t imagine what they would have done if you, if somebody had done that, it’s like, or what if Ronald had turned out not to be the, such a nice guy, that would have been all different.

Maria: Yes. Yes. I mean, literally at any given moment, the gig could have been up, the jig would be up.

Suzanne: Yeah. Well, you lucked out that it wasn’t. So had you done some improv before?

Maria: Yeah. So my, I’ve done a lot of, hidden camera shows. I did a lot of sketch. I had a Broadway show that it was, Thought of bright autobiographical called little Tina Christmas special. So I had improv in my background, but is as far as long form improv.  I didn’t, more of a comedic actress. That’s my, that’s my background really. But, sketch and creating characters.

Suzanne: Yes.

Maria: That’s my, that’s my, my, my space.

Suzanne: So, Are you all still keeping in touch? Good friends? You get together? What?

Maria: We do. I’m actually going to see Ronald over the weekend. Yeah. And, and Tricia, we’re going to go play pickleball.  So yes, we all very much love each other. We’re on different group text, uh, texting chains, and we all very much love and support one another. It’s, it’s like this little family. It’s like this little club too, because, doing the show. We had to have such a level of trust for one another and that we’re going to have each other’s back because it was scary.  Like, I think more than anything initially, it was scary because it was, everything was just the unknown and you really, the pressure of, of messing it up, of blowing it up, that was, scary, but at the same time there had to be. This, this part of yourself to surrender to the moment and just be in the moment.  And then that’s when the nerves would go away.

Suzanne: Oh, that’s, you sort of got lost in your character a little bit.

Maria: Yes, exactly. Exactly.

Suzanne: Yeah. You hear about all the time. Actors say, Oh, we were like a family. I don’t think it’s true most of the time, but you had such a unique experience that I think it probably is true.

Maria: Oh, it’s really true. Yeah, it’s like this club because this, we had to really have each other’s backs like completely and implicitly because like I said at any moment. Ronald would find out or, or, or be curious about something or question something. And so we were always, there for each other.  And yeah, that’s why, it’s a little bit different than any other show, because this one was like, we had to have this complete surrender to one another as well.

Suzanne: Yeah. Yeah, that’s it’d be kind of like making a movie, except you were on more and together more.

Maria: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Suzanne: So, besides the sort of working without a net aspect, what was the hardest part of working, uh, making the show?

Maria: Wow. I think there’s a few things I think. as much as I, it was. really one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I think the most difficult part was, is that what you guys don’t get to see is that, is that after the show, after I’m sorry, not after the show, after each day, after we wrapped each day, it’s exhausting because our call time, we would have to show up at the Huntington Park court at around five or six Hair and makeup ready.   Okay camera ready So you couldn’t get ready there. We had to be ready, ready to rock and roll. And we would end around five or six, but it was, there was never a cut. There was never a break. So, not like in a regular show film where, there’s a break. Okay. Now you guys have, two hours for a break or whatever it is.  There’s no cuts. So it’s like you had to be completely present at all times. So I think that was the difficult time. Cause I remember I would be like. I don’t want to talk to anybody. I don’t want to see anybody and the weekends. I just want to go to sleep. I just want to like veg out because we would have to take notes.  What did Ronald say? Is there something important that we should know for the next day or we’re not, we’re no longer doing the scene because Ronald, Ronald. So we’re cutting this out and adding this. So it was literally, I mean, day to day, it would change.

Suzanne: That sounds very stressful and exhausting, but at least work paid off and you got a big successful show.  Very funny. And I don’t say that lightly because, although I do like to laugh, a lot of today’s comedies, I don’t find very funny. I’m older, so I like the old ones. I agree with you though. Very funny.

Maria: Thank you. I appreciate that.

Suzanne: So besides the fact that it was successful and you made these friends, what was the best part of making the show?

Maria: Oh gosh. I think the best part of it was, I mean, it’s going to sound so like Pollyanna. The friendships made. With all these wonderful actors and I think it, it shows because there was such chemistry with all of us and we didn’t test together either, by the way.

Suzanne: Wow.

Maria: We didn’t, we didn’t test. We met for the first time during rehearsal day one.   So it was, we, we all connected on so many levels and I think it’s, it’s such a rarity to have that, I mean, at least for me and I get along with everybody, but it’s just such, it’s such a deeper connection with, with your, with your cast mates just because of the nature of the show and, and it’s special.  So I would, and, and also I have to say with, with our producers and directors, they had our backs at all times. I mean, we were so lucky to have them so lucky to have them because we never felt like we were going to fall. whenever, I mean, we may not have known what we were doing at times. They’re like, do you know what you’re doing?  And they’re like, no, I’m like me too. I don’t know what, what are we doing? So, but we never felt like we weren’t taken care of. So that was really important. We didn’t feel alone.

Suzanne: Yeah. When they showed the people on behind the scenes, behind the cameras and everything, it looked like they were really had a tough job, but they were on the ball looked like,

Maria: Oh, 100%.  They were with us. 100%. So that was nice to know that there was. there. that you weren’t, you weren’t alone.

Suzanne: Yeah. Have you ever been in jury duty in real life?

Maria: No.

Suzanne: Wow.

Maria: I almost did. But then, so I got picked, but then they settled. Oh, so I never got to experience it.

Suzanne: Uh, yeah, you’re not missing much.

Maria: Yeah.

Suzanne: Well, I was unfortunately in a really bad experience. But the good thing about it is that now if they call me for jury duty, I just talk about how horrible it was. And they’re like, okay, you don’t have to. There you go. See, now you use my trauma.

Maria: Yes, I love it. I love it.

Suzanne: Do you think you might get a second season? You think they’ll be able to come up with something to do it?

Maria: Listen, the optimistic Maria says absolutely a hundred percent, but who knows, I know, part of me is like, yes, let’s do a second season. That would be amazing. And then the other side, the other part of me is like, We have something so special. I don’t know if we’d be able to recreate that again.  And I don’t know if I would want to, because it was so special. It was one of a kind and I don’t know.

Suzanne: Yeah. Yeah. It’s almost like I think in order to do a second season, they’d have to wait a while and then have a completely new group of people, because otherwise people would know.

Maria: And see, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t want that.  I wouldn’t want that. I would want it to be me. No second season if it’s not all the same cast. Forget about it.

Suzanne: Well, it’s like an anthology show. Let’s call it that.

Maria: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Suzanne: So, are you, are you still in, Tacoma FD and are you working on season five yet?

Maria: So we did the fourth season. It’s now available on Netflix, which is really cool cause it was just on true TV.  Um, so fourth season we did. And is now airing and I didn’t, I haven’t heard anything about a season five yet. So I’m hoping, I’m hoping, but, I don’t know, right. Fingers crossed.

Suzanne: Yes. Now that’s a funny show, too. I haven’t had time to watch it very much, but the little bit I’ve seen of it, it’s been very good.

Maria: Oh, my God. It’s so fun. And it’s, oh, my God. Those guys are hilarious. My Lord.

Suzanne: So do you have anything else coming out that you’d like to tell us about?

Maria: Well, I can’t talk about it per se, but I am going to be working on a film in March, which is very exciting, but I’m not able to talk about it.

Suzanne: Yeah. But yeah, that’s good. I’m glad you have more, more to do.

Maria: Yes, it’s exciting. And, with the strike over, it’s kind of, it pushed everything. It kind of, with the award season too, it’s been, it’s been very busy on that front. So things are starting to pick up a little bit more now too, which is great because, the whole year basically was like,

Suzanne: Yeah, I know.  I didn’t have a lot of interviews. Yeah, you guys were all on strike.

Maria: We couldn’t talk about anything.

Suzanne: Yeah, no, I was, I had like directors and, and, uh, producers, writers. I mean, it was interesting. Don’t get me wrong, but I have very many. So, yeah. Okay. I’ve had enough of you. No, it’s just, I like, actually, I wish I got to speak with more writers because they’re the ones that like create the show and they know more about the stuff going on.  But, but I like to talk to actors. So it’s hard.

Maria: I know. I know. I know.

Suzanne: Well, I really appreciate you talking to me today

Maria: and of course it was so nice talking to you, Suzanne.

MORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

"Jury Duty" key artMaria Russell (Mexican/Lithuanian descent) stands out in the comedic realm, gaining prominence through her role as the self-proclaimed boss babe ‘Inez De Leon’ in the acclaimed series “Jury Duty” on Amazon Freevee/Amazon Prime. Vying for the role of foreperson, she sadly loses to Ronald, but finds her purpose as the lunch ordering queen and coordinating all the fun outings for the jury.

This documentary-style show, a runaway hit starring James Marsden, offers a behind-the-scenes look into the American jury trial system. The series has garnered significant acclaim, earning numerous award nominations, including recognition at the Golden Globes (Best Musical/Comedy Series), Emmys (4 nominations), Independent Spirit Awards (Best New Scripted Series), and the prestigious honor of Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series. Additionally, the AFI Awards have recognized “Jury Duty” by including it in their top 10 television series of 2023 and winner of a 2023 TV Critics Award.

Maria has built an illustrious career in both television and film, earning her international acclaim, while establishing a solid foundation in Hollywood. On the television front, her versatile talent has graced hit series such as MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” CBS’ “Criminal Minds,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and recurring roles in the award-winning soap operas “General Hospital” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” among others. Recently, Maria showcased her comedic prowess in HBO Max’s “Tacoma FD,” portraying the loveable, yet assertive ‘Lt. Salazar’

In the film realm, Maria is best known for her role in the Warner Bros. award-winning horror film “Lights Out,” produced by James Wan. In this chilling production, she shared the screen with acclaimed actors Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, and Maria Bello. Up next, Maria stars in the film “In Flight,” alongside Cristo Fernández (Ted Lasso) and Tiffany Smith (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3). Additionally, she has left her mark in the independent film circuit.

Annually, Maria graces the stage in the Off Broadway sensation, “The Latina Christmas Special,” a production she co-wrote and stars in at The Soho Playhouse in New York. Her captivating performance and the show itself have garnered widespread acclaim, earning Critics Choice recognition from the Los Angeles Times for five consecutive years.

Maria showcases a diverse array of talents, highlighting an acting range that spans from lighthearted and unconventional comedy to fearless, unapologetic humor, as well as compelling and intense dramatic performances. Throughout her career, Maria has consistently aimed to forge connections with people. Looking ahead, she aspires to extend her impact by venturing into producing and directing, driven by a passion for crafting characters intricately woven into meaningful stories, with a particular emphasis on narratives centered around redemption.

With a foundation in classical ballet, Maria brings a wealth of professional dancing experience that spans various genres, including ballet, jazz, Latin/salsa, and hip hop. Beyond the dance floor, she passionately engages in diverse forms of fitness, such as kickboxing, Bar Method, and pickleball. An avid globetrotter, Maria is on a mission to explore the world, having already visited 16 countries. As a bilingual (Spanish/English) actress, she not only expresses her love for the performing arts but also extends her affection to animals.

Maria currently calls Los Angeles home, sharing her space with her beloved Maltipoo and Schnoodle, affectionately named Boris and Natasha.

 

Transcript by Descript and video by Clideo

Maria Russell played Inez in the hit reality comedy "Jury Duty" on Freevee. (photo from her Instagram)

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview with Jon Lindstrom

TV Interview!

 

Jon Lindstrom, who plays Kevin on "General Hospital" on ABC (photo from his Instagram).

Interview with Jon Lindstrom of “General Hospital” on ABC by Suzanne 2/15/24

It was great to interview veteran actor Jon Lindstrom, who has his first novel, “Hollywood Hustle” out for only 10 days, and it’s already a best seller on USA Today’s Booklist! He’s most known for playing Kevin Collins, and his evil twin Ryan Chamberlain, on “General Hospital” since 1992 (off and on). He was on the soap “Santa Barbara” before that, and of course he also played Craig on “As The World Turns” (where he met his wife, Cady, who played Rosanna) and reprised his roles of Kevin and Ryan on “Port Charles,” the GH spinoff. He’s also been in quite a few films, and many primetime series, most notably “Bosch” on Prime Video and “True Detective” on HBO.

There are many more questions I could have asked him, but we were already on Zoom for a half an hour – I didn’t want to keep him longer. I felt that he was generous enough to speak to me as long as he did. I would have liked to have heard more about his working with Genie Francis (Laura); about playing Ryan; about working with Alley Mills (Heather); about those pitches he mentioned; about Cady; and more.  Buy his book here!  If you love detective novels, you should enjoy this one.  Of course, you can also watch him on “General Hospital” on ABC and HULU.

THIS TRANSCRIPT STILL NEEDS EDITING!

Suzanne: So, thanks for being here today.

Jon: It’s my pleasure to be here. Thanks for asking.

Suzanne: Are you feeling okay? I saw you had a cold….

Jon: Well, you can kind of hear it in my voice. I’m a little froggy, but I’m feeling better today than I did yesterday.

Suzanne: So, when did you, start writing your book and how long did it take you to finish it?

Jon: Oh boy, that’s kind of a loaded question. all in all, it took about four years, but I, I have to qualify that because I had written for about a year and was making good progress. And then all of a sudden the show I’m on being general hospital decided to bring back a dead twin. And suddenly I was working so hard I didn’t have time to write.

I was up every day at 530 to go to the studio and pull off double duty as Kevin and Ryan on GH. So I had to put it down for about a year. And then COVID hit and I was able to pick it up again for about six months. And then of course, the first shows to go back into production during COVID were soap operas.

Suzanne: Right.

Jon: I guess means we’re just a little bit expendable.

Suzanne: You did have strict COVID protocols and vaccine requirements, so..JOHN LINDSTROM GENERAL HOSPITAL – The Emmy-winning daytime drama “General Hospital” airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. GH18 (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Jon: We had very strict COVID protocols. Yeah, we, we were a lot of masks. Daily testing, a lot of swabs in the nose. but. We picked up right where we left off. So I had to put the book down again, and that was probably another six months.

And then it took me another year or so through several drafts, working with editors and getting it into shape to actually submit. So all in all, the writing process took about two years, but the entire span was about four.

Suzanne: Okay. And did you have any difficulties getting it published?

Jon: Amazingly, no. I mean, I look at my experience, and my experience really was much easier than I think most people.

Now, of course, I do have a little bit of a platform, in terms of followers and, at Insta and Twitter, and I, I just can’t seem to call it but, excuse me, I, I, I did go to at the behest of an author who I had narrated because I have this little side hustle narrating audio books, which is great for me because I just, I love books. JOHN LINDSTROM GENERAL HOSPITAL – The Emmy-winning daytime drama “General Hospital” airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. GH18 (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

But one of those authors was the great Alex Finlay he’s one of the best thriller writers, I’ve ever read. I wrote to him to thank him for. The inspiration to get me over that hump and start actually writing a book. And he wrote me right back within five minutes and we’ve since become good friends. but he told me flat out, John, if you’re serious about this, you have to go to the book conferences.

And being that you’re a crime writer, which falls under Thriller Mysteries, you need to go to Thriller Fest. Which is in New York every June. And it’s, it’s huge. Takes over the entire hotel, the Sheraton Hotel in New York City. And, so I went. And that’s where I actually pitched agents. About 12 of them.

Cause there’s a thing they’re called pitch fest. And I recommend anybody do this because there’s just something about sitting down in front of someone. And not only do they get a sense of you, you get a sense of who they are. And I met my agent there. I sat down with a woman named Liza Fleissig from the Liza Royce Agency.

And as soon as I sat down, I liked her. And I think she liked me because we sat and we talked for a few minutes before we even got to my pitch. And that’s who I eventually went with. And she was able to get a deal within a few months. And we had a few offers. Settled with Crooked Lane Books because they just Kind of totally got the book.

Suzanne: So it sounds more like what you do to pitch a series or a movie nowadays than the old time where you just sent in your manuscript.

Jon: Yeah, I, that’s where I had a bit of an advantage because I have pitched movies and TV show ideas and things. So I knew, I knew the basics of how to pitch. When they say five minutes, that means get it down to three because you need a couple of minutes for them to ask questions if they’re interested.

Suzanne: Sure.

Jon: I got my pitch down to one minute, 45 , . I, pardon me, I really wanted to be succinct and straightforward and really nail it. And, and fortunately that worked for me. I had, I pitched 12 agents. I had 12 or requests for the manuscript. So what made you wanna write a detective novel? Is that your favorite genre?

Yeah. Yeah. It’s just, one of my favorite writers was, was Elmore Leonard. I used to read his stuff all the time. and I, and I love the, the OGs of the genre, the Raymond Chandler’s, Dashiell Hammett’s, James Cain, those guys just invented something that’s very specific to Los Angeles.

About that darkness that that lurks underneath the sun and the palm trees and it’s a it’s a really to me. It’s just a really layered fascinating kind of. Setting for stories. So I’ve always loved it. So I just kind of, and right. But, I’ve been living most of my adult life here, except for a few years in New York.

I’ve been here in Los Angeles since I was 20.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Jon: And so I, I know it pretty well.

Suzanne: Oh, by the way, congratulations on getting on the USA Today bestseller list.

Jon: Thank you.

Suzanne: And also congratulations for being on General Hospital over 30 years. That’s amazing.

Jon: Going on 32…

Suzanne: Off and on, but still.

Jon: Yeah, Yeah. I, I go and I come back, but you know what, as long as they keep asking Right. , why not?

Suzanne: That’s right. Well, I, I been watching off and on since 84, mostly on, and so I remember when you started on the show, .

Jon: Wow. 84.

Suzanne: Yeah. I was in college.

Jon: So that’s when people get home.

Yeah. Yeah. If you don’t have grandma or mom watching, it’s college that doesn’t, it’s either college or I watched you with my grandma.

Suzanne: So, what are some other, favorite authors or influences on your writing that you haven’t mentioned yet?

Jon: Well, film noir, definitely. my, my favorite Saturday night now is to stay home and watch TCM. because it, You know, Eddie Muller and Noir Alley comes on every Saturday night. and he digs into a very deep library of, of film noir in that canon that, that was really unlike anything else that was ever made before or since.

You know, it was post war malaise. They were lower budget, so they often had to shoot at night when the rest of the studio was asleep. Wow. There was a lot of night shooting and a lot of use of light and shadow and, beautiful, uh Cinematography. So I, I just, I don’t know. There’s something about that genre where your main character is, is faced with a choice of Do it or don’t do it.

If I do it, whether it’s for love or lust or greed or whatever, even altruism. If I do this as a very good chance, it will end me.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Jon: And he does it anyway. So I, there’s something about having to make a choice like that, that I find very interesting.

Suzanne: And, you were in Bosch, one of my favorite shows. what about Michael Connolly? Did you read a lot of him?

Jon: Oh yeah, I was a big fan. I got turned on to Harry Bosch back in the 1980s, when he started writing them. And, so yeah, to get a season of Bosch as one of his bad guys, was, was, was a bit of a dream come true. And he’s a lovely man. He, he was on set all the time.

So sorry for this cold, but, he, he’s a, he’s a big guy, now I’m 6’1 and he’s, I gotta look up at him, he, but he was the crime writer for the L. A. Times for many years, and he, he’s another one who really gets this city, and really understands how to accurately portray crime here.

And how it gets just kind of somebody asked me the other night. We have our launch event at Book Soup up on Sunset Boulevard, and there was a woman there who I didn’t know, but she asked a really good question. She said, what’s the difference between L. A crime and New York crime? And I thought, wow, that’s, I never thought of that.

But when I, once I did, I remember being down in Soho and I lived in New York and I came out of a restaurant or something right across the street was an armored car that was waiting for the guys to come out and deliver the money. And I see him come out and this crowded street and the guy, has his hand on the handle of his sidearm.

And he looks both ways and looks all around and then signals the guy to come out and they quickly got into that car, that armored car and took off. and I thought that’s the difference. It’s like New York, it’s going to be in your face. If you’re going to hit that place, you’re going to hit it right in the middle of Soho on a Tuesday afternoon.

And it’s, it’s like crime in your face. Whereas here. It’s all it’s easier to kind of hide it under so it’s all spread out. It’s so spread out here that it can happen. And it’s like, if, if a crime falls in the forest, it’s anyone here,

Suzanne: I imagine it’s harder for them to find the culprit too, because if they’re staying in the area, because they have so much more land to cover. Whereas in New York, if they’re going to be in that area, it’s a lot easier.

Jon: And everybody knows you in New York.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s true.

Jon: Here, again, there’s another layer of this kind of hidden world. You know, I mean, fortunately, I know my neighbors. We all look after each other. But, that’s not always been the case in most places I’ve lived in LA.

Suzanne: No, in California, the whole thing is like that. I grew up there. I’m from San Diego. So we almost never knew my neighbors. Yeah, now that we’ve lived strange phenomenon and it’s, it’s, it was funny because to me that’s normal because that’s how I grew up. But we’ve lived in the South. I’m in Arkansas right now.

We, I know, and my husband just thinks it’s weird because California, but it is nice to know, especially during the pandemic when we were out walking the dog and. Everyone was like, oh, hi, because they were so happy to see, to see anybody, anybody, anybody, but their kids and their family. But, yeah, so that’s awesome.

I understand that completely. and we’re actually moving to New York in June. we, we lived there a long time ago, when I got into GH actually, when I was in college.

Jon: So, are you moving to the city?

Suzanne: No, but we’re going to be about half an hour from there.

Jon: I understand.

Suzanne: We don’t actually know what town we’re moving to yet. We have to find a place, but he’s going to work at SUNY Old Westbury. Oh, great. Congratulations. Thank you. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. I want to be in a city again, in a small town here. I won’t know my neighbors.

I read some of the book. I haven’t had time to finish it, but, to me, the description of when sounds a lot like Steve Burton, at least physically.

Jon: Steve was– no, no, no. Steve was not an inspiration at all. There was a Steve, but it was Steve McQueen.

Suzanne: Oh, okay. Well, then they have a lot in common [physically].

Jon: It’s not Steve Burton. Steve, Steve’s way too muscled for Win, Winston green. Now, my inspirations for Wynn were, were Steve McQueen, Kevin Costner, in terms of physicality. and I, I do describe him in there that a director that Winston had worked with described Winston Green as a landmine that’s been stepped on and you’re just waiting for you to step off before he blows, he’s wired tight.

There’s a, there’s an edge to him. but sadly, the other inspiration was, was really Tom Sizemore and some of the other people in my business who have, who came to town with just brilliant talent. I mean, just, you would take Tom Sizemore, just look at his work and Saving Private Ryan and Heat and, he was working with the very best of the best because they wanted him and, and his demons got him.

And, and it really sidelined his career and, yeah, it was very sad, but it’s, that’s, I’ve known a lot of guys like that, just their lives and careers have taken a hard left due to. Due to substance abuse and some made it and some didn’t. Yeah, well, I’d like to see Winston as somebody who made it and got himself together.

but he’s just hanging on. All he’s doing, he’s just hanging on to just trying to keep some stability. So now I hit, I’ll, I’ll let Steve. No, sorry, Steve.

Suzanne: Well, I think if I recall, it was the blue eyes and the buzz cut and I don’t remember what else, but it just sounded like him.

Jon: So I thought more of Steve McQueen in “Bullit.”

Suzanne: No, I can see that. Now that you say that. Just to touch on, you’re talking about sad things, the GH family set, whatever you want to call it, has had a lot of loss in the last year. has that really changed, how things run there or?

Jon: Well, no, it hasn’t changed how we run anything. It’s just, I think we’re all just really aware of how fragile and, and, How quickly something can end.

it’s too bad that people have to pass away before you’re reminded of these things. But yeah, we’ve taken some real hits this year behind the camera and in front of the camera and. You know, we miss them all. So, we just try to appreciate each other when we’re there, I noticed nobody, nobody raises their voice, nobody’s, popping off out of anger.

I noticed a lot, right?

Suzanne: Yeah. There’s a, the fans are very sad too.

Jon: Yeah. Yeah. There was a, there was a huge outpouring from, from people and, and we really, we all heard it and saw it and felt it, very of that. Yeah, I, I know .Jon Lindstrom has portrayed both Kevin and Ryan on "General Hospital" and "Port Charles" on ABC.

Suzanne: All right. so that wasn’t on my list, but I just had to mention that.

So as a first time author, would you say that you’re still learning?

Jon: Oh, definitely, definitely. Yeah. I’m, I’m struggling with book two.

Suzanne: I just, yeah, if you’re gonna, that was my next question. Are you planning to write more?

Jon: Yeah, I, I, book two and book three, I mean, I pitched this really as. a series, maybe all of which would have the word Hollywood in the title.

They’re all crime novels. But, and I tried to keep everything grounded the way Elmore Leonard did, that’s like, this is a real world, that you find these people walking through. but yeah, I, I’m, I’m hoping to, I, suddenly being a bestseller and seeing four stars from everywhere from Amazon to Barnes and Noble, gives you a nice kick of confidence.

So I’m looking back to, I’m getting ready to get back into it.

Suzanne: I bought two of them. I bought the–

Jon: Oh thank you

Suzanne: Kindle version and the, audio version.

Jon: Oh, alright. Which I recorded in my basement.

Suzanne: I know… Oh, in your basement?

Jon: In my basement. Yeah. I have a little collapsible frame with these acoustic blankets.

Suzanne: Wow.

Jon: It’s not a whisper room, which is like silent, but it is fine. But I still have to, I have to suffer helicopters and dogs and leaf blowers. Yeah. , things like that.

Suzanne: I’m torn between… I’m not a big books on tape, what they call, I don’t know what they call them now, audios, fan, because I read really fast, but I wanted to hear your voice and, and hear it that way while, while I was, doing other things.

Jon: So I, I keep going back and forth, but I really liked the accents that you do and the voices.

Oh, great. Thank you. Thanks.

Suzanne: You have a lot of practice from all the voiceovers.

Jon: Yeah, I had a little bit of a, an easy runway to get on that airfield.

Suzanne: I have a tough question. So you can feel free not to answer it. If you don’t like it. I’ve read many good reviews and a few bad ones. Some criticize you for being overly descriptive. Is that writing style or do you plan to cut back on some of the description in your future novels?

Jon: You know, I would say what’s the matter? You never read Stephen King because, if there’s anybody who knows how to, how to, describe a place and place is very important, listen, you got to take, you got to take the bad with the good and you’re not going to make everybody happy.

  There was one guy who, who took issue with my, my description of. Of firearms.

Suzanne: Oh, I saw that one.

Jon: Yeah. Yeah. and you know what? He’s fair enough. He can have his opinion, but I grew up around guns and his point was technically correct. Right? There are automatic weapons. But those are divided into semi automatic and fully automatic.

But when you discern between an automatic weapon or a revolver as in a single or double action revolver, you don’t need those descriptions. Everybody knows what you’re talking about. So, it’s funny. He knocked me off half a star for that, but you know what, Hey, listen, the guy’s got his opinion and that’s what he’d like to read.<br />
and that’s fine. That’s totally fine. the point is he, he still liked the book and the story, so, I say thank you , are you, you can’t, you can’t get bogged down in this, you know?

Suzanne: Yeah.

Jon: This thing of, I mean, that’s one guy, and, and he’s entitled to that opinion as is anybody who says, he overwrites the description.

Well, it is about la it’s also about Hollywood, so you don’t, you can gloss over.

Suzanne: You’re right.

Jon: Don’t have. You don’t have to get mired in it, it says you have to do that too. Yeah, that’s, it, they’re different writing styles and you can’t say one different styles and different tastes and that’s, that’s fine.

I mean, somebody who really knows LA, I can see why they would go, Oh man, this is really overwritten. You know, but somebody who doesn’t, and I hear this more than I hear the opposite there, they really appreciate the, the description of characters and backstory and setting and, and all that stuff. <br />
So, like I said, you can’t, you can’t please everybody.

Suzanne: And as an actor, as an actor, you’re used to people criticizing you and rejecting you and. Giving you bad reviews, all that stuff. So yeah, it’s over the average writer.

It just, yeah, it just comes with the, it just comes with the territory.

Suzanne: Now, talking about GH for a minute, do you, still enjoy playing Kevin even without Ryan?

JOHN LINDSTROM, GENIE FRANCIS GENERAL HOSPITAL – The Emmy-winning daytime drama “General Hospital” airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. GH18 (ABC/Craig Sjodin)Suzanne: NNow, talking about GH for a minute, do you, still enjoy playing Kevin even without Ryan? Jon: Yeah, well, I like Kevin very much. I think Kevin’s a really good guy. I think that there’s, there’s been kind of a, we, we’ve kind of lost a little bit of Kevin along the way, remember when Kevin was, was first around and we had first gotten rid of. Of Ryan. Kevin was an artist. He was a psychiatrist, but he was an artist who lived in a, in a lighthouse and painted all the time to paint out a demon and, and we’ve kind of, we’ve kind of veered away from that. And, we have some new writers coming in now. So I think that I, I think we’re going to have some, um. I think there’s going to be some changes, in how Kevin, but I mean, that’s a long answer, but to answer your question, I love playing Kevin. I love, I love playing Kevin. I love playing Ryan. I love, I love working with Genie. I love working with Lynn Herring and, and Ken Shriner and everybody that, that goes along in Kevin’s world. You know, he’s, to me, it’s just fun.

Suzanne: There’s so many great, stories that Kevin has had over the years. Although my favorite, I have to say, is on Port Charles. I believe it was the Miracles Happen, book, they called it, when he and Lucy got remarried and the little girl came, showed up. Yeah, but even though later, I think they took the little girl away and he got divorced and all that stuff, but that was my favorite because it was so Christmassy and so happy and, and like, we rarely get enough of those moments.

Jon: Yeah, that’s true. You know, I, I love doing, I love doing Port Charles. It was like, it was like the little half hour that could, and I’m, I know that there was somebody at the network paying attention, but it never felt like that. It always felt like we could. It was like our secret corner of daytime TV where we could do whatever we wanted.

I saw the, the executive producer the other day, Julie Hayden Carruthers, and she, she said the same thing. It goes, I, I know there was somebody at the network, but every time we said we’d like to do this, they just said, okay. You know, that’s great, and we got the vampires and we got the six week books that tell a novella style and really fun things. <br />
Suzanne: Oh, yeah. I’m such a huge fan of that show. but I just, I just occurred to me, didn’t Kevin write a novel, “General Homicide?” And it foretold your future.

Jon: There you go.

Suzanne: Let’s hope nobody gets killed in a way.

Jon: I, I, I wanted to, and it’s, they would never go for it. But, but I had this idea that Kevin could walk into the room and, and Laura is, is reading Hollywood hustle.

I said, Oh, what’s your reading? Oh, it’s Hollywood hustle. I said, Oh, how is it? Oh, it’s good. Oh yeah. Is it better than general homicide? And have her say, better.

Suzanne: That’s funny.

Jon: Kevin will take a double take.

Suzanne: Yeah, I guess the thing that most annoys me about it is that Kevin has a daughter out there that they never mention, Livvie. I mean, she might be dead. Vampire or something.

Jon: She looks just like Kelly Monaco.

Suzanne: II know. She could do a twin role, you know. You’re good.

Jon: Yeah. But it’s just. Yeah, there’s a lot of things that we left on the, on the floor. You know, with the. Yeah. With, General, General Homicide slash Port Charles.

Suzanne: So, how different is it now on GH as opposed to when you started over 30 years ago?

Jon: Well, the main thing that’s changed is the structure of production because, the, budgets everywhere have just been constricted to the point of not being choked. But, and this is true, I mean, virtually on every show that I work on because I do a lot of work outside of General Hospital.

Suzanne: Mm hmm.

Jon: You know, everything is just so damn expensive now that sometimes it can feel like if you cut 10 off the budget, you wouldn’t be able to make the week, but somehow they managed to do it. I think Frank Valentini is a terrific producer. You know, the, the shows themselves, the airtime has been cut down from, I think, 49 minutes and change the rest of being advertising during the hour down to about 36 minutes and change.

So, And yet, ABC keeps pumping money into it. You know, it was right before the pandemic. I think I went up to the editing bay and they were putting in a brand new Abbott system. So the, the network is still investing money into that show. They feel it’s, it’s viable for the future. So. You know, the main thing is, you have to show up with your track shoes on. You don’t get to kind of feel your way through scenes and rehearsals anymore. You need to, you need to show up and do your job quickly and efficiently.

Suzanne: And, so now that you’re a writer, is it, is it harder for you to say other writers lines?

Jon: No.

Suzanne: Oh, you don’t say, Oh, I wish they would have written it this way, or…?

Jon: No, but I mean, we have a lot of permission to just transpose or paraphrase things as long as you get the thought across because the writers in daytime are very good and they know the rule. If it doesn’t move the story forward or expose character, get rid of it.

And they’re pretty good at trimming things down to those two rules. So. There’s really not much you have to change. And if you were to change it, you might be messing up something that’s gonna happen tomorrow, so.

Suzanne: Right, right. And so you posted that you’re playing the president in a new movie. Can you tell us about the new movie?

Jon: Oh, it was a, what is, it’s called a Proof of concept Short.

Suzanne: Oh, okay. So it’s not yet a movie.

Jon: Yeah, I was asked to come down to, to Dallas and play the president for a day while they put together, um. A, essentially a proof of concept real that would show that this movie could work. On a as a film. So I spent the day. It was something. That’s why I have a cold right now because I pushed myself a little too hard over the last week or two. yeah, so I spent the day working with Jesse Metcalf. Who’s a lovely guy. I had worked with him on something before, 8 or 9 years ago. And, and, and then I had to deliver a page and a half monologue as the president and I did it in one take.

Suzanne: Wow, that’s great.

Jon: Well, that’s that. So daytime comes in handy.

Suzanne: Oh, yeah. I was going to mention when we were talking about Bosch…. They have a lot of former daytime stars on there.

Jon: Oh, sure. Yeah, they, that’s what was beautiful about Bosch. They, they didn’t there’s other places that will say, oh, they were on daytime. We don’t want to Bosch doesn’t care. Yeah, you’re either right for the part or you weren’t. And if you were right for it, they didn’t mind what your background was. As long as, as long as you could walk and talk and not trip over the furniture, they were happy. They wanted people who knew what they were doing.

Suzanne: II mean, it’s such a silly, prejudice to have because you guys usually are better actors and better prepared and know everything and can do so much than.

Jon: Yeah. I, listen, I liken it to, to people who knock country music usually don’t even listen to country music. And the same people would go, Oh, well they’re on soap opera.

They don’t, what do they know? They don’t know anything.

Suzanne: Or the people who say, Oh, rap.

Jon: Yeah, I think. Yeah, exactly. You know, the fact is you can dance to rap, may not be able to dance to a death metal, but you can dance to rap.

Suzanne: There’s a lot of people my age who are prejudiced against it because we didn’t grow up with it. And this new thing came along and took over the radio.

Jon: That’s it. Our parents hated the Beatles too.

Suzanne: Exactly. I think my mom loved the Beatles, but that was, I think she’s an outlier. So, is there anything else that you’d like to tell us about your book or GH or any other upcoming work that you have?

Jon: You know, I’m a, I’m a busy guy. I, I try to put everything up online. If you’re curious about what I’m doing, what book signings I’ll be doing, I’ll be doing one, actually. I don’t know when this goes up, but I’ve got one on the 17th of February in Glendale with Michael Easton. who is a terrific, in his own right. Yeah, and Michael’s just such a talented guy, but we’re going to sit down and talk at the Barnes and Noble over there.

Suzanne: Right.

Jon: Two o’clock, Saturday, February 17th. The Americana at Brand. Then I’m going to be flying to New York for the 27th, at the Mysterious Bookshop. I’ll be in Portland. Actually, technically, Beaverton at Powell’s bookstore, because it’s the Beaverton place they do their mystery and thriller events. And, and then we’re looking at, Petaluma, St. Louis, Raleigh, North Carolina, Phoenix.

Suzanne: Wow. You’re not home much.

Jon: I’m not home much. I, I’m a busy guy.

Suzanne: But I know your wife is not home much, either. She’s always flying somewhere.

Jon: she’s always flying somewhere. And I, I have to show the new cover. And the publisher sent that to me there where it says USA Today bestseller.

Suzanne: Oh, great. That’s great.

Jon: Was that backwards to you? Does it look?

Suzanne: No, it looks fine to me.

Jon: Oh, okay. It looks backward on my side, but that’s.

Suzanne: Technical stuff.

Jon: Oh, I’m very excited. I meant to mention that. yeah, I just happened.

Suzanne: I’m behind on about a little less than a month, but I happen to see that Kevin and Laura are going to, adopt ace.

Jon: Yes, yes.

Suzanne: Kevin got put in the hospital by aces by aces mother.

Jon: Yeah. You know, I do wish we had a little more Kevin as may time work out their stuff. But, cause I, and I love working with Avery Pohl. I think she’s just a. but yeah, I, I like that they decided to do that and based on what I’ve seen online, boy, there’s a lot of grandparents out there who are taking on their grandchildren to raise.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Jon: So if we’re going to do it, I hope we do it in a, in a real way. Where it’s, it’s a, it’s a huge undertaking for anybody to be a parent and, I’d like to see it. So, but, like I say, we’ve got new writers coming in. They’ve already started. So we’ll see what, yeah, see what they decide to do. You know, we’re all pretty excited.

Suzanne: II just don’t want the, Laura and Kevin to be stuck in the grandparent mode and not doing anything else.

Jon: No, we’ll try and avoid that.

Suzanne: Yeah, I hope so. All right. Well, thank you so much for talking to me. I really enjoyed it.

Jon Lindstrom taking a fan photo with the author, Suzanne, at the 1998 Port Charles Party.
Jon: My pleasure. Thanks. Thanks so much for having me today.

Suzanne: I’ll send you a

Jon: again, sorry about this froggy voice.

Suzanne: Oh, it doesn’t sound that bad, honestly.

Jon: okay.

Suzanne: II have to send you a picture. I have, that I took, years ago, like 99. I went to GH convention that they have the, fan club events and I have a picture with you, so…

Jon: Oh, great. Send that to me.

Suzanne: I’ll love to. Alright. I’m gonna try to get this out as soon as possible. I’ll let you know.

Jon: Okay. All thanks. Thank you so much.

Jon Lindstrom and Michael Easton event 2/17/24 in L.A.

MORE INFO:

Hollywood Hustle: A Thriller Hardcover – February 6, 2024 by Jon Lindstrom (Author) book cover

Hollywood Hustle: A Thriller Hardcover – February 6, 2024

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

From 4-time Emmy-nominated actor Jon Lindstrom of General Hospital, Bosch, and True Detective fame, comes a gripping debut thriller.

Set in the dark underbelly of the LA film industry, Hollywood Hustle is the perfect read for fans of Alex Finlay and Jeffery Deaver.

Winston Greene, a has-been film star, wakes one morning to find his six-year-old granddaughter at his bedside—traumatized, unattended, and gripping onto a thumb drive. She comes bearing video proof that her mother, Win’s troubled adult daughter, has been kidnapped by a murderous gang demanding all his “movie money” for her safe return. But what they don’t know is…his movie money is long gone.

Unable to go to the police for fear the kidnappers will make good on their promise to kill his daughter, Winston turns to two close friends—a legendary Hollywood stuntman and a disgraced former LAPD detective.

There’s no easy way out for Winston or his daughter—the gang is violent and willing to do anything to get the money they’re after, and Winston begins to realize that to get his daughter back, he’ll have to beat the kidnappers at their own game.

This propulsive and tense thriller will transport readers to the seedier side of LA, depicted in bold prose by a Hollywood insider.

Jon Lindstrom has portrayed both Kevin and Ryan on "General Hospital" and "Port Charles" on ABC.

Jon Robert Lindstrom is an American actor, writer, director, producer, and musician. He is well known for his roles of Kevin Collins and Ryan Chamberlain on the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital and its spin-off Port Charles.

Please visit Jon’s site or social to see his next book signing or other events!

Jon Lindstrom’s Web Site Instagram Twitter/X Facebook Cameo

IMdB Wikipedia

Fan pages: Joan’s Port Charles Archive Unofficial Jon Lindstrom Page

Fans of Jon Lindstrom

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, “General Hospital” continues its tradition of passion, intrigue and adventure that has depicted the ongoing lives of the diverse and evolving citizens of the fictional town of Port Charles set in upstate New York. The glamour and excitement of those who have come to find their destinies in this familiar seaport town intertwine with the lives, loves and fortunes of beloved, well-known faces. As always, love, danger and mind-blowing plot twists abound on “GH” with contemporary storylines and unforgettable characters.

JON LINDSTROM. GENERAL HOSPITAL – “General Hospital: 60 Years of Stars and Storytelling” – ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama “General Hospital” will celebrate its milestone 60th anniversary with a primetime special, “General Hospital: 60 Years of Stars and Storytelling,” airing THURSDAY, JAN. 4 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (Disney/Christine Bartolucci)

 

Jon Lindstrom, who plays Kevin on "General Hospital" on ABC (photo from his Instagram).

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Interview with Reza Diako

TV Interview!

 

Reza Diako of "The Chosen" on The CW

Interview with Reza Diako of “The Chosen” on The CW by Suzanne 2/2/24

It was great to speak with Reza. He’s got a lovely voice, and he’s very handsome, but he’s also an amazing actor, and I think we’ll see even bigger things from him in the future. I hope you enjoy this interview, and his new role as Philip in “The Chosen.” You can watch it in theaters, and later it will be streaming on the Angel Studios site, on this website, or other sites, and probably on The CW.

 

MORE INFO: Trailer Official Site

"The Chosen" season 3 key artMeet a fisherman struggling with debt, a woman wrestling with demons, and a gifted accountant ostracized from his family and people. See how Jesus changes lives, works His first miracles, and embarks on His ministry to change the world. See Jesus through the eyes of those who knew Him. The Chosen is the first-ever multi-season series about the life of Jesus and the highest crowd-funded TV series project of all time. Watch the show that millions of people won’t stop talking about.

Mission

The Chosen, the first multi-season show about Jesus’s life, hopes to take you deeper into gospel stories by retelling and expounding on the character and intentions of Jesus and those who knew Him.

Reza Diako is an English/Persian actor of Austrian nationality and Iranian origin. He has taken over the role of ‘Apostle Philip’ in the worldwide influential TV series “The Chosen.” A historical drama based on the life of Jesus and those who knew him, the popular series returns in February via its fourth season with a singular viewing experience releasing bi-weekly in theaters. On the big screen, Reza has two upcoming projects: the indie film “The Astronaut” (Kate Mara and Laurence Fishburne) as ‘Ethan Marshall’ the director of NASA and “Reading Lolita in Tehran” alongside award-winning actress Golshifteh Farahani and Zar Mir Ebrahimi. The film is based on the best-selling memoir, and Reza portrays ‘Bahri’, an intellectual literature student caught in the middle of his role as a leading member of the student Islamic society at the University of Allameh Tabatabei in Tehran, and his deep love and respect for both literature for his professor, Azar Nafisi (Golshifteh Farahani), under the backdrop of the early days of Iranian Revolution and the Iran/Iraq War in the early 1980s.

 

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Photo of Philip (Reza Diako) and another character of "The Chosen" from the official Facebook page.

 

Interview with the cast of “Resident Alien”

TV Interview!

 

Sara Tomko, Alice Wetterlund, Corey Reynolds, Levi Fiehler and Meredith Garretson of "Resident Alien" on Syfy

Interview with Sara Tomko, Alice Wetterlund, Corey Reynolds, Levi Fiehler and Meredith Garretson of “Resident Alien” on Syfy by Suzanne 2/6/24

It’s always wonderful to speak this cast. I love everything about this show, especially the actors and the writers. It’s been great to speak with them the last few years. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an opportunity to speak with Alan Tudyk this time, but it’s fine. I’ve spoken to him several times before.  All of the actors are very kind and enjoy talking about their characters and the show. I know you’ll enjoy this upcoming season 3 as much as I have, and these videos. I can’t wait for you to see them!

Meredith Garretson (“Kate Hawthorne”) and Levi Fiehler (“Ben Hawthorne”)

Collage of Levi Fiehler and Meredith Garretson of "Resident Alien" on Syfy

I was originally paired with another reporter, Allison Hazzlett-Rose, but she had technical problems. I haven’t edited these videos, so you will hear me just chatting with the actors at the beginning, before we get to the actual questions. It was a lot of fun to have these 10 minutes.

Corey Reynolds (“Sheriff Mike Thompson”)

NEW YORK COMIC CON -- "Resident Alien World Premiere Screening & Panel" -- Pictured: Corey Reynolds -- (Photo by: Astrid Stawiarz/SYFY)

Originally, I was supposed to speak to Elizabeth Bowen (“Deputy Liv Baker”) and Reynolds, but Elizabeth couldn’t make it. Allison was still having technical problems. This meant I had the full 10 minutes with him. It was pure joy, I admit.

 

Sara Tomko (“Asta Twelvetrees”) and Alice Wetterlund (“D’Arcy Bloom”)

Sara Tomko and Alice Wetterlund of "Resident Alien" on Syfy. Photo from Tomko's Instagram.

Finally, Allison was able to be included in our chat with Sara and Alice. It was an awesome conversation. Both women are so entertaining and love to talk. We had 11 minutes, and the moderator had to cut off the actors because they were running out of time.

Sara Tomko, Alice Wetterlund and Meredith Garretson of "Resident Alien" (from Syfy's Facebook page)

MORE INFO:  Official Site   Trailer

RESIDENT ALIEN -- Pictured: "Resident Alien" Key Art -- (Photo by: SYFY)

Based on the Dark Horse comics, SYFY’s “Resident Alien” follows a crash-landed alien named Harry (Alan Tudyk) whose secret mission is to kill all humans. In season three, Harry is vowing to work with General McCallister (Linda Hamilton) to rid the Earth of the Grey aliens – a task made more difficult when he discovers that the Grey Hybrid Joseph (Enver Gjokaj) has taken a job in town as the new Deputy. Joseph isn’t Harry’s only obstacle – Harry struggles to balance business and his personal life when he falls in love for the first time. Meanwhile, Asta (Sara Tomko) and D’arcy (Alice Wetterlund) move in together and struggle to discover their purpose in the world, Sheriff Mike (Corey Reynolds) and Deputy Liv (Elizabeth Bowen) continue their quest to find out who killed the Alien Tracker, and Ben (Levi Fiehler) and Kate (Meredith Garretson) are forced to deal with the subconscious repercussions of their alien abductions.

From UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Amblin TV and Dark Horse Entertainment, “Resident Alien” was adapted to television by executive producer Chris Sheridan. Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg of Dark Horse Entertainment, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank of Amblin TV, Robert Duncan McNeill, and Nastaran Dibai also executive produce.

NEW YORK COMIC CON -- "Resident Alien World Premiere Screening & Panel" -- Pictured: (l-r) Chris Sheridan, Executive Producer, Writer, Resident Alien; Alan Tudyk; Sara Tomko; Corey Reynolds -- (Photo by: Astrid Stawiarz/SYFY)

Sara Tomko

Asta Twelvetrees, “Resident Alien”

Sara Tomko stars in SYFY’s “Resident Alien” as Asta Twelvetrees. Strong and sarcastic, she works with Harry at the town’s health clinic.

Tomko is known for her recurring roles on “Sneaky Pete” and “Once Upon a Time,” as well as her appearances on “The Leftovers” and “The Son.”

She started her career in experimental theatre and musicals in Virginia, later moving to Los Angeles in 2007 to pursue film. Her first independent film roles aired on SYFY, and she is thrilled that her TV career has brought her full circle. She is an actor, singer, producer, poet an artist.

Tomko is represented by Bohemia Group and KMR Talent.

Alice Wetterlund

D’Arcy Bloom, “Resident Alien”

Alice Wetterlund stars in SYFY’s “Resident Alien” as “D’Arcy Bloom,” the charismatic bartender at the local pub who, as a former Olympic snowboarder, is also a part of the avalanche control team.

Wetterlund has performed her non-yelling brand of comedy nationally at colleges, clubs, and festivals such as Just for Laughs, Bridgetown, Moon Tower, Women in Comedy, SF Sketchfest, RIOT LA, Bonnaroo and more.

She is known for her character “Carla” on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and played “Kelly Grady” on TBS’ “People of Earth.” She can also be seen in the movie “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” as “Cousin Terry.” She has performed her stand up on “Conan” and currently co-hosts the popular podcast “Treks and the City” with Veronica Osorio. She recently wrapped “Search & Destroy” for Hulu, produced by Carrie Brownstein. Wetterlund can currently be seen on the latest season of Netflix’s “Glow.” Her hourlong stand-up special premiered on Amazon in August.

Corey Reynolds

Sheriff Mike Thompson, “Resident Alien”

Corey Reynolds stars in the SYFY drama “Resident Alien” as Mike Thompson, the local sheriff who runs the town with a chip on his shoulder, a cowboy hat on his head and an iron fist.

Reynolds is best known for his role on “The Closer,” which he starred on for six seasons. He will next be seen as a guest star in Apple’s “The Afterparty.” He’s recurred on “All American,” “Red Line,” “Criminal Minds,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Masters of Sex” and “Murder in the First.” He has guest starred on “Seal Team” and “Chicago P.D.”

On the film side, he was last seen on screen in “Straight Outta Compton” and also appeared in “Selma,” opposite David Oyelowo and Common.

Reynolds was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Broadway’s production of “Hairspray.”

Levi Fiehler

Mayor Ben Hawthorne, “Resident Alien”

Levi Fiehler stars in the SYFY drama “Resident Alien” as Ben Hawthorne, the naive town mayor whose 8-year-old son is suspicious that the new local doctor is an alien.

Fiehler was born in Juneau, Alaska where he trained as an actor at Perseverance Theatre. His career took off when he booked a lead role on “Fetching,” which was an original series for Michael Eisner’s company, Vuguru. Prior to “Fetching,” Fiehler was a series regular on Ron Howard’s series “Mars” for National Geographic. Other work includes “The Fosters,” “Ray Donovan,” “Murder in the First” and “CSI.”

Meredith Garretson is a theater, television and film actress based in New York and Los Angeles. She received her MFA from NYU’s prestigious Graduate Acting Program. She also trained for two years in Meisner Technique at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. In 2021, she starred as Ali MacGraw in the acclaimed limited series THE OFFER on Paramount Plus. She plays Kate Hawthorne in the hit series RESIDENT ALIEN on Syfy and Peacock. She is a founding member of SOCIETY Theatre Company in New York City.

 

Alan Tudyk, Sara Tomko, Corey Reynolds, Alice Wetterlund, Levi Fiehler, Elizabeth Bowen, and Chris Sheridan and San Diego Comic-Con (photo from Syfy's Facebook page)

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Interviews with creator and actors from “Hightown”

TV Interview!

Starz' "Hightown" creator Rebecca Cutter, and actors Atkins Estimond & Dohn Norwood

Interview with creator Rebecca Cutter, and actors Atkins Estimond & Dohn Norwood in “Hightown” on Starz by Suzanne 1/18/24

This is an action-packed drama with exciting characters. The new season starts January 26th. It was great to speak with the creator, Rebecca Cutter, and two of the actors who play such interesting people.  I didn’t have a lot of time with them, but it was fun.

 

 

MORE INFO: Official site   Trailer

"Hightown" key art“Hightown” – Season 3 – Debuting Friday, January 26

Fishery Service Agent Jackie Quiñones is off the wagon and off the force in the final season of “Hightown,” but that doesn’t stop her from careening into the dark underbelly of picture-perfect Cape Cod to save a missing woman and a murdered sex worker. Meanwhile, her former colleagues Ray Abruzzo and Alan Saintille are focused on taking down drug syndicates, but despite their best efforts, the drugs keep flowing. This attracts Shane Frawley, a gangster from Boston looking to cut himself in on the Cape’s drug trade – and making an enemy of Osito while he’s at it. Alliances are made and old loyalties are questioned in this beautiful but corrupt place where nothing is as it seems.

Monica Raymund (“Chicago Fire,” “The Good Wife”), James Badge Dale (“24,” The Departed), Riley Voelkel (“Roswell, New Mexico,” “The Originals”), Amaury Nolasco (“Prison Break,” “Deception”), Atkins Estimond (“The Resident,” “Lodge 49”) and Dohn Norwood (“Mindhunter,” “The Sinner”) return in their previous roles. Imani Lewis (Eighth Grade, “First Kill”) Mark Boone Junior (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Paradise City”) and Mike Pnniewski (“Madam Secretary”) return in recurring roles while Ana Nogueira (“The Vampire Diaries”), Taja V. Simpson (“The Oval”), Michael Drayer (“Mr. Robot,” “Sneaky Pete”), Garret Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave, “Deadwood”), and Jeanine Serralles (Inside Llewyn Davis, The Woman in the Window) all guest star.

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Dohn Norwood, Monica Raymund and Dohn Norwood in "Hightown" on Starz

 

Interview with Diego Tinoco

TV Interview!

Actor Diego Tinoco of the film "Bad Hombres"

Interview with Diego Tinoco of the film “Bad Hombres” by Suzanne 1/17/24

I enjoyed watching this movie, and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t exceedingly violent nor gory, and it wasn’t depressing or sad. There was a lot of humor in it, as well. Diego is a remarkable young man, who plays Felix, the main protagonist of the film, even though he’s surrounded by much bigger stars (such as Luke Hemsworth) and other interesting characters. I think we’ll see even bigger things from Diego in the future. I hope you can enjoy this movie, which premieres today in theaters and On Demand, and is on VOD tomorrow.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

BAD HOMBRES | Crime Thriller Starring Tyrese Gibson, Luke Hemsworth, & Diego Tinoco | In Theaters and On Demand 1/26

Falco Ink. and Screen Media Presents

"Bad Hombres" movie key artBAD HOMBRES

Crime Thriller Starring Thomas Jane, Tyrese Gibson, Luke Hemsworth, & Diego Tinoco

In Theaters & On Demand January 26, 2024 Available on DVD March 12, 2024
*Grand Jury Award – Mammoth Film Festival 2023*
*Achievement in Screenwriting – Mammoth Film Festival 2023*

Directed by John Stahlberg Jr. (Crypto, Muzzle)
Written by Rex NewNick Turner, Story by John Stahlberg Jr.
Produced by John Stahlberg Jr.David FrigerioScott MacfarlandOliver Hudson and Wyatt Russell

Starring:
Luke Hemsworth (“Westworld”)
Thomas Jane (The Punisher)
Nick Cassavetes (Face/Off)
Tyrese Gibson (The Fast and The Furious)
Diego Tinoco (“On My Block”)
Hemky Madera (“Queen of the South”)
and Paul Johansson (“One Tree Hill”)

Two undocumented immigrants who take a job digging a hole then learn their employers are criminals. They become embroiled in a blood bath with one revealing a secret past that might save them.

RT: 92 Minutes

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Diego Tinoco stars as Felix in "Bad Hombres"

 

Interview with Lacretta

TV Interview!

 

Lacretta of "Night Court" on NBC

Interview with Lacretta of “Night Court” on NBC by Suzanne 1/16/24

I was very pleased to speak with this actress. I never miss an episode of the show and love all of the characters. It’s gotten even funnier in the second season, IMHO.

 

MORE INFO:

Lacretta

Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous, “Night Court”

NIGHT COURT -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Lacretta as Gurgs -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC/Warner Bros. Television)

Lacretta stars as Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous on the NBC comedy “Night Court.”

Born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., Lacretta made her stage debut at 14 at the Coterie Theater – an institution in which she holds great affection. It was there where she starred in numerous performances throughout the ’90s, such as “A Wrinkle in Time” and “101 Dalmatians.”

In 2011, she appeared in “Hairspray” at Broadway Rose in Portland. She then originated the role of Levora Verona in the Off-Broadway run of “Disaster!” in 2012 at the Triad in New York, and made her Broadway debut with the same role in 2016.

Following her on-stage success, Lacretta guest starred on “Law & Order,” “30 Rock,” “Broad City” and “Gotham.”

In film, Lacretta appeared in the romantic comedy “Second Act” before making her return to the stage in “Avenue Q” in the closing cast of their Off-Broadway run at New World Stages. She was also featured in the first national tour of “The Book of Mormon.”

In her off time, Lacretta loves gaming and is very active on Twitch TV. In 2022, she helped announce the first Streamers for Education Scholarship for Black Women going into the fields of STEM, Digital Media and film. She is also an avid cook and often shares recipes from “Cretta’s Kitchen” on her Instagram.

She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Night Court

New Season Coming Soon to NBC

The eternally optimistic Abby Stone follows in the footsteps of her revered late father, Judge Harry Stone, as she takes on the challenge of overseeing the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court.

Abby always sees the best in people and her passion for justice is undeniable. In her quest to bring order and dignity to the court and reign in its colorful crew of oddballs, she enlists former night court district attorney Dan Fielding to serve as the court’s public defender. Still exceedingly self-confident, Fielding must adjust to a new boss and a new job – defending the downtrodden. And, beneath his arrogant demeanor, there is an empathetic side to Fielding that Abby is determined to unearth.

They both must contend with Olivia, the court’s officious assistant district attorney. Driven and ambitious, she views the night court as a steppingstone on her way to bigger things. Neil is the court’s neurotic clerk who loved that his job came with low expectations. That is until a new idealistic judge showed up looking to push him out of his comfort zone.

Rounding out the staff is Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous, the night court’s sharp-witted bailiff. Gurgs takes her job very seriously and is fiercely protective of her night court colleagues.

From executive producer and writer Dan Rubin (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), “Night Court” is based on the original hit series that ran for nine seasons on NBC. Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch executive produce through their After January Productions. Mona Garcea oversees for After January Productions and John Larroquette serves as a producer.

“Night Court” is produced by Rauch’s After January Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

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Lacretta plays bailiff "Gurgs" on "Night Court on NBC Tuesday nights.

 

Interview with “La Brea” actors and creator

TV Interview!

 

"La Brea" Season 3 Cast banner

Interview with actors Eoin Macken, Zyra Gorecki, Nicholas Gonzalez, Jon Seda, Chiké Okonkwo, Lily Santiago, Josh McKenzie, Rohan Mirchandaney, Jack Martin and Veronica St. Clair, and creator/EP David Appelbaum of “La Brea” on NBC by Suzanne 12/18/23

It was really wonderful to speak with these actors once again, even though it may be the last time. I’m sad that the show is ending. They really packed a lot into each episode, though.

I do have to apologize a bit because I was having a very hectic week, so I didn’t prepare as well as I usually do, and this made nervous, so I was a little off my game. The cast and showrunner were excellent at answering some of my off-the-wall questions and comments, anyway.

Fellow journalist and friend Sammi Turano  of TV Grapevine was in two of the roundtables and then had to leave. I hope you enjoy the interviews, and the show, which premieres tomorrow, Tuesday, January 9th on NBC!

Here’s a scene that we mentioned in two of the interviews, just FYI…

LA BREA -- "Sierra" Episode 301 -- Pictured: (l-r) Eoin Macken as Gavin, Zyra Gorecki as Izzy -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)

Video #1 with Eoin Macken, Zyra Gorecki & Nicholas Gonzalez

Video #2 with Eoin Macken, Zyra Gorecki and  Nicholas Gonzalez

Video #3 with Jon Seda and Chiké Okonkwo

Video #4 with Jack Martin and Veronica St. Clair

Video #5 with creator/showrunner David Appelbaum

MORE INFO: Trailer  Official Site

LA BREA -- Pictured: "La Brea" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBC)La Brea

Season 3 Premiere January 9 on NBC (9-10pm ET/PT). Streaming next day on Peacock.

“La Brea” follows an epic family adventure after a massive sinkhole opens in Los Angeles pulling people and buildings into a mysterious and dangerous primeval land where they have no choice but to band together to survive.

The cast includes Eoin Macken, Zyra Gorecki, Chiké Okonkwo, Rohan Mirchandaney, Lily Santiago, Josh Mckenzie, and Jon Seda, with Nicholas Gonzalez, Jack Martin, Veronica St. Clair, Tonantzin Carmelo, and Natalie Zea

Creator/Showrunner David Appelbaum executive produces with Chris Hollier, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan, Avi Nir, and Alon Shtruzman,

“La Brea” is produced by Universal Television and Australia’s Matchbox Pictures, both divisions of Universal Studio Group in association with Keshet Studios.

Hashtag: #LaBrea

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LA BREA -- "Sierra" Episode 301 -- Pictured: (l-r) Nicholas Gonzalez as Levi, Asmara Feik as Petra, Eoin Macken as Gavin, Rohan Mirchandaney as Scott, Chiké Okonkwo as Ty -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)

 

My favorite Top 20 TV Shows of 2023

Blog Post #213

 

striking actors from 'Supernatural"The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes made 2023 a particularly weird year in television. The strikes were important and needed to happen (and it was so amazing that the writers and actors actually won!), but they were hard on anyone even remotely connected to the TV and movie industry, as well as viewers. It made for a very strange Fall season, from which we’re still recovering. I’ve never seen a worse Fall season, and I’ve been watching them since the 1960’s. Back then, we used to get the TV Guide Fall Preview issue every year. I really enjoyed reading their descriptions of the new shows and looking at the new schedule.  Now I make my own schedule, but sadly, this year most of the new series were reality shows, game shows or foreign imports, and quite a bit of the schedule was filled with reruns.

Many series were suspended or canceled due to the strike (some of which had previously been announced as renewed). It was a difficult time to be a TV fan or journalist because we didn’t have as many shows to watch, or as many people to interview. We had to create content from very little news.

Still, there were many enjoyable series that aired before and after the strike. I can’t watch all TV shows that come out (I used to, but The alien from "Resident Alien" on Syfythere are just too many now). I prefer superhero, scifi and fantasy series. I also love some British shows, some regular dramas, some comedies, etc. I admit that sometimes I’ll watch a show just because I really like the actors in it. That doesn’t mean it’s my favorite, though, or even close (sorry, “Night Court” and “Gotham Knights”). Sometimes I’ll just watch a show for nostalgia’s sake (like “CSI“) or because it’s scifi, even though it’s ridiculous (like “La Brea.”).  Some of my absolute favorite current shows didn’t air this year at all, like “Resident Alien” on Syfy, “Acapulco” on AppleTV+ or “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO/Max. Some good shows that I want to watch premiered, but I just haven’t gotten around to watching them yet (“The Gilded Age” season 2). There are quite a few shows that haven’t been renewed yet (come on, Hulu/Disney, renew “The Orville” already!).

I’ve chosen shows here that I really enjoyed watching.  I don’t watch many non-fiction shows, so they’re not included. I also don’t like shows with unlikable or irredeemable characters, actors with no chemistry, depressing stories, overly complicated plots, storylines that go too slow, unfunny comedies, too much violence, or highly predictable plots. Also, all of the shows on this list have very uplifting or hopeful stories.  I just can’t watch shows like “Succession” (full of jerks) or “The Walking Dead” (too depressing and gross), even though they are very well-written and popular shows. Of course, these are all MY opinions, so yours may vary. What I consider “too violent” or “not funny” varies from show to show.

My Favorite 20 shows, roughly in order:

"Ghosts" airs on CBS1. “Ghosts” on CBS Married New Yorkers Samantha (Rose McIver) and Jay Arondekar (Utkarsh Ambudkar) believe that their dreams have come true when they inherit a beautiful country house from Sophie Woodstone, Sam’s great aunt, only to find that it is falling apart and inhabited by ghosts who died on the property and are now bound to the area, appearing as they did at the times of their deaths, until they can reach the afterlife. Jay cannot see or hear the ghosts, but Sam can after a near-death experience.

I don’t like most of today’s sitcoms, but this is one of the exceptions because it has a wonderful cast, smart scripts and lovable characters. It doesn’t make me laugh out loud very often, but it does make me giggle consistently. It definitely got better as the show progressed and made me more interested in the story and characters. They’re all fun, but my favorite is Sasappis (Román Zaragoza) because he;s usually smarter than the others, but then he can sometimes be dumb, too, which shows that he’s not quite as smart as he thinks he is. He has the funniest lines, in my opinion. The fact that it’s a fantasy show as well as a sitcom is undeniably another reason that I love it.  The original UK version (which they’ve been showing on The CW) is good, too, but it’s very different. The USA version returns Feb. 15, and I can hardly wait!

Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short star in "Only Murders in the Building" on HULU2. “Only Murders in the Building” on HULUThree strangers –  washed-up actor Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin),  hasbeen Broadway director Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) and  directionless young woman Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) – share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. When a grisly death occurs inside their exclusive Upper West Side apartment building, the trio suspects murder and employs their precise knowledge of true crime to investigate the truth. Perhaps even more explosive are the lies they tell one another. Soon, the endangered trio comes to realize a killer might be living among them as they race to decipher the mounting clues before it’s too late.

This is one of my favorite shows of all time, and I’m so glad that it’s popular as well (at least I assume it is, since they’re going into season 4). Everyone involved with this show deserves all the accolades they have received. Who would have thought that two aging stars that I loved so much in high school (Martin and Short) would have a big hit comedy series nearly 50 years later?  Its subject matter is timely, it’s funny, it has quirky characters, and it’s a good mystery. I can’t imagine anyone not liking this show.

However, I do feel bad for the Slate journalist that posted an article back in November about how Short was annoying (and then was blasted by the internet). First, it was his opinion, which he was entitled to. Comedy is subjective. Second, I agree that he definitely can be annoying, and many of his characters lean heavily into that. Traditionally, he’s one of those love-him-or-hate-him kind of comedians. On this show, though, he skirts along the edge of annoying, never quite going too far. He makes for perfect contrast to Martin, who is the perennial straight man. They’re a legendary comedy team.

Gomez, who is also a fantastic singer, fits in well with the other two with her deadpan lines and expressions. The casting director for this show must be phenomenal, or perhaps the two stars just get their friends to join the show.  You can’t argue with their roster of guest stars: Nathan Lane, Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Meryl Streep, Jane Lynch, Andrea Martin, Jesse Martin, and Matthew Broderick fill out an already impressive lineup. I’m really looking forward to season 4, even though it may or may not air this year. Check it out on HULU. Also, ABC is running the first season starting this week.

Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez of “Only Murders in the Building” on HULU TCA 8/6/21

"Loki" season one and two can be season Disney+3. “Loki” on Disney+Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the God of Mischief, steps out of his brother Thor’s shadow to embark on an adventure that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” when he’ s seemingly plucked out of existence by the Time Variance Authority. Loki Season 2 picks up in the aftermath of the shocking season finale when Loki finds himself in a battle for the soul of the TVA. Along with Mobius (Owen Wilson), Hunter B-15, and a team of new and returning characters, Loki navigates an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous Multiverse in search of Sylvie, Judge Renslayer, Miss Minutes, and the truth of what it means to possess free will and glorious purpose.

Season 1 was mind-blowing, and I just didn’t see how they could create more head-spinning story in season 2. However, they did make a season 2 in the case of Loki…and the show became even better. I was surprised because Marvel doesn’t seem to care whether their TV shows survive or not. I was very disappointed that WandaVision, Hawkeye and all of their other shows didn’t get a second season. Sure, it helps if you’ve seen the “Thor” and “Avengers” movies, but it’s not necessary. This is another show with an amazing cast, led by the talented bromance duo of Loki and Mobius. Season 2 seemed to have a definite ending, but comic book characters seldom end for good. We may see more of the series, or we may see Loki (or one of his variants) turn up in a future Marvel movie.

"The Flash" can be seen on The CW's site, Netflix and many other places online.4. “The Flash” on The CWBased on the Barry Allen incarnation of DC Comics character the Flash – a costumed superhero crime-fighter with the power to move at superhuman speeds. It is a spin-off of “Arrow”, existing in the same fictional universe known as the Arrowverse.

I was very sad when they announced that they were canceling “The Flash” after season 9, but they really pulled out all of the stops for the last season, writing-wise. I just wish they had written the show this well during its entire run; perhaps it would have gotten at least another season.  I loved the cast and the characters, but the writing was uneven throughout the series. The constant cast changes didn’t help, either (although it wasn’t as bad as sister show “Legends of Tomorrow.”).  Cisco and Joe in particular were missed by fans after their departures.  One thing I really loved about season 9, besides how they neatly wrapped up most of the storylines and propelled everything forward, was how they had frequent guest-stars from other Arrowverse shows, especially Oliver. I was elated to see Batgirl, Diggle, and Dreamer, as well as many past “Flash” villains and heroes. I really miss all of the CW superhero shows, but Flash was always my favorite.

The cast of "Quantum Leap" on NBC5. “Quantum Leap” on NBC This science fiction series is a revival of the original 1989–1993 show created by Donald P. Bellisario. It takes place in 2022: 27 years after Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and 22 years after the Season 5 finale where the show left off. 

I was a huge fan of the original series, so I was dubious about a reboot, but this series has won me over.  They’ve done a fresh take on the older series without sacrificing what made it so awesome. The lead actor, Raymond Lee, plays Dr. Ben Song, who leaps into various people in time to “put right what went wrong.” He is a fine actor who has unbelievable chemistry with everyone on the show. Yet, he is also laid back in a similar way to Scott Bakula. who played Sam Beckett in the original show. All of the characters fit together very well. I think what makes the show so special is that it features some of the same team that worked on the 1989 series, especially EP Deborah Pratt. They no doubt guide the talented younger writers and producers who bring new blood to this franchise. The shows this season have been particularly exciting as they keep introducing new elements to keep us off-balance. I can’t wait to see what happens next! Season 2 returns sometimes this year (hopefully in the late winter).

"Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" on Paramount+6. “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” on Paramount+Based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise, the series features fan favorites Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock. The series follows them in the years before Captain Kirk boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy. 

I’m a huge Trekkie from way back, so I’m going to love ANY Star Trek series or movies, to a certain extent (although I’m not a huge fan of the Chris Pine movies, especially the second one). I watch all of Paramount’s Trek series religiously. Unfortunately, they’ve started canceling them now, so I’m just trying to enjoy them while I can.  This one appears to be a hit (we can only guess, since streaming services don’t share their ratings). It resonates with older fans because it’s episodic (like the older Trek shows), but it’s not afraid to change facts and divert from “canon,” so it doesn’t entirely pander to us. Also, it’s exciting and explores ideas in a way not done by the older series.  Mostly, though, it’s just very fun, with a superb cast and stellar writing.  In this past season, we got to know all of the characters more, and they built a delightful romance between Spock and Nurse Chapel. This is a story about romantic yearning that we never knew we needed.

Since it takes place before the original “Star Trek,” with characters we saw in that show, any fans who are sticklers for canon probably don’t watch it anymore, but that’s their loss. I hope that it is successful and will run for many years to come. The show is expected to return for season 3 sometime later this year.

The Phelps family of "Shining Vale" on Starz7. “Shining Vale” on StarzA dysfunctional family moves from the city to a small town after Patricia “Pat” Phelps (Courtney Cox), a former “wild child” who became famous through writing a raunchy female empowerment novel, is caught cheating on her husband, Terry (Greg Kinnear). In an attempt to rebuild their family, they move into a house where terrible atrocities have taken place. Nobody seems to suspect anything odd except for Pat, who is convinced she is either depressed or possessed. But soon, the demons haunting the family’s new home (featuring the ever-luminescent Mira Sorvino) begin to appear much more real.

The only problem with this show is that it airs on Starz, which doesn’t have nearly as many subscribers as other pay networks (and thus won’t get as many viewers for their shows). That’s a shame because they have some good shows. This one is a first-rate horror/comedy. It would be outstanding as a horror show alone, but with this cast and the excellent script, it’s a hilarious parody as well.  The show has many fun allusions to horror movies and television shows. Season 1 was based largely on “The Shining,” while Season 2 is based more on “Rosemary’s Baby.” Unfortunately, Starz canceled the show, so I hope they can find a home for season 3!

Shining Vale” on Starz  2/7/22: Mira Sorvino, Judith Light, Merrin Dungey, Dylan Gage and Gus Birney, and Jeff Astroff

Interview with EP Jeff Astrof of “Shining Vale” on Starz 10/10/23

"Secret Invasion" on Disney+ stars Samuel L. Jackson8. “Secret Invasion” on Disney+Nick Fury learns of a secret invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls; Fury joins his allies, and together they race against time to thwart an imminent Skrull invasion and save humanity.

I enjoyed this show, but the beginning had really slow pacing, so I think that may have turned some fans off. Still, it was worth watching Samuel L. Jackson reprise his role of Nick Fury. I didn’t think it was possible, but he actually improved the role. This show was not just a comic book story about the Skrulls taking over the Earth. Much like the variant’s journey and redemption in “Loki,” it was about a beaten, weary hero who had to prove who he is to himself and the rest of the world. It was also largely a spy story with a tiny bit of action and almost no superheroes, so that may be why it wasn’t as beloved as “Loki” or “WandaVision.”

Jackson would have been good enough to carry any show, but they had many other great actors in the cast, especially Ben Mendelsohn, Olivia Colman, Don Cheadle, Emilia Clarke and Martin Freeman. I grew up reading comics, so I remember the Skrulls very well. It was exciting to see a show about them. I would love it if they made a Skulls TV series (even an animated one).  Unfortunately, there’s no news so far about any future seasons of the show, which had some pretty bad reviews. We can only hope that they decide to bring it back. I’m sure that, either way, we’ll see Jackson’s Nick Fury in some future Marvel film.

"Found" airs Tuesdays on NBC9. “Found” on NBCIn a riveting new drama, brilliant recovery specialist Gabi Mosely (Shanola Hampton) and her team are dedicated to finding America’s missing and forgotten people. They’ll stop at nothing to solve these cases because for them, it’s personal – every member of the team has firsthand experience with a mysterious disappearance. But Gabi has a chilling secret of her own that could unravel everything… she’s got her childhood kidnapper locked up in the basement, helping her crack every case.

When I first watched this show, I wrote it off as a standard broadcast network drama. It is reminiscent of “Without a Trace” (2002) or the less successful series, “Ransom (2017),” both of which I enjoyed.  However, broadcast networks are now having to compete with the hundreds of shows on streaming networks, so their shows are becoming more more complex. Sometimes it works, and sometimes the shows are overly complicated or boring because “complex” isn’t always handled so well. This one works. In fact, it was the surprise hit of the Fall season.

In each episode, Gabi and her crew of four have to find a missing person. It helps that one of them comes from a rich family that underwrites the business.  They also work with a police officer, Mark Trent (Brett Dalton). He and Gabi have an on-again, off-again romance.  The big secret that we learn at the end of the first episode is that Gabi has her former abductor (who goes by the name “Sir”) locked in the basement.  This is the weird twist we didn’t see coming, and it’s the sort of thing makes you want to keep watching. Over the course of the season, we learn about the characters’ backstories, especially those of Gabi and Sir (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). They have amazing chemistry, and their interactions are fascinating to watch. Gabi wrestles with her conscience about whether Sir has turned her into the same kind of monster that he is. It’s worth watching on Peacock or On Demand and returns January 9 for the rest of its first season. It’s already been renewed for season 2, which will probably debut in the Fall.

The cast of "Upload" on Prime Video10. “Upload” on Prime VideoScience fiction comedy-drama television series created by Greg Daniels, set in 2033, where humans can “upload” themselves into a virtual afterlife of their choosing. When computer programmer Nathan Brown (Robbie Amell) dies prematurely, he is uploaded to the very expensive Lakeview, but then finds himself under the thumb of his possessive, still-living girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards). As Nathan adjusts to the pros and cons of digital heaven, he bonds with Nora (Andy Allo), his living customer service rep. Nora struggles with the pressures of her job, her dying father who does not want to be uploaded, and her growing feelings for Nathan while slowly coming to believe that Nathan was murdered.

Season 3 just finished in November, and it looks like there will be a season 4. I sure hope so because they left on a weird cliffhanger. In case you don’t know, this is a scifi show, but it’s also social satire and has a lot of comedy. Somehow it all works. Throughout the series, we see a warped version of the future that is somehow both shocking and completely believable because the writers take what is going on now with people, technology, politicians, corporations, etc., and project them into a corrupt future. This is not a depressing series, though. The show is very witty and engrossing. You want to root for Nathan and his family against the evil corporations. William B. Davis, who was so memorable as the Cigarette Smoking Man in “The X Files,” is brilliant here as David Choak, the embodiment of everything bad in the world.  You don’t want to miss this series because it’s not only highly entertaining, but also thought-provoking.

"Ahsoka" poster11. “Ahsoka” on Disney+Former Jedi knight Ahsoka Tano investigates an emerging threat to a vulnerable galaxy.

I love the Star Wars franchise almost as much as I do Star Trek, so I enjoy most of the newer movies and series.  “Andor” (2022) was arguably the best of all of the Star Wars TV series, but this one is also of high quality. “Ahsoka” is a character we saw briefly in “The Mandalorian” in 2020 and in “The Book of Boba Fett” last year, but she had an even larger role in many Star Wars animated series broadcast since 2008.  She’s played in this series by fan favorite Rosario Dawson.  Dawson has appeared in many scifi roles for animated series and movies (including voicing Wonder Woman), and as Claire Temple in all of the Marvel Netflix series, as well as many other dramas and comedies. She lends a gravitas and character to the role of seasoned Jedi warrior Ahsoka Tano.

This series is a spinoff from “The Mandalorian,” but many of the characters come from earlier animated Star Wars series. Although there are only eight episodes, it feels like more because there are so many characters and so much action. The story starts slowly but soon speeds up. Ahsoka suspects that evil Empire General Thrawn is returning to fight against the New Republic. Her former apprentice, Sabine Wren, aids her in tracking down leads to find Thrawn, and to fight against the remnants of the Empire.  If you’re a Star Wars fan, you will definitely enjoy it. If you’re not, you should give it a try. If you’ve never seen any Star Wars cartoons before, you shouldn’t be lost (I wasn’t). It’s a worthwhile addition to the Jediverse.

"Star Trek: Lower Decks" on Paramount+12. “Star Trek: Lower Decks” on Paramount+This series focuses on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships, the USS Cerritos, in 2380. Ensigns Mariner, (Tawny Newsome) Boimler (Jack Quaid), Rutherford  (Eugene Cordero) and Tendi  (Noël Wells) must keep up with their duties and their social lives, often while the ship is being rocked by a multitude of sci-fi anomalies. The ship’s bridge crew includes Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis), Commander Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell), Lieutenant Shaxs (Fred Tatasciore) and Doctor T’Ana (Gillian Vigman). This is the second animated spin-off in the franchise after 1973-74’s “Star Trek: The Animated Series,” but has a decidedly more adult tone and humor.

I didn’t like this show at first (it took me a while to get used to their style of humor), but it’s really improved over the years. It’s very funny, and they’ve found their niche in the Star Trek universe. This past season was even better than the past three, as they had a season-long story arc about a mysterious ship that was eliminating ships from various races. The villain behind that was a fun surprise for long-time fans. As a bonus, they did an episode of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” which featured the “Lower Decks” characters – the actors who voice the characters in the animated series crossed over to the live action series. It was a real hoot!  The episode was directed by Star Trek veteran Jonathan Frakes (Riker on TNG), and he did a super job with it.

"Star Trek: Picard" season three on Paramount+13. “Star Trek: Picard” on Paramount+Set at the end of the 24th century, 18 years after the events of `Star Trek: Nemesis’, with Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role, `Star Trek: Picard’ revolves around retired admiral Jean-Luc Picard. He is still deeply affected by the loss of Lieutenant Commander Data, portrayed by Brent Spiner, and the destruction of Romulus, and steps into the next chapter of his life.

I read online that many fans complained about the first two seasons of this show, but I loved all three seasons. The third season pandered heavily to the fans, and that’s why, I think, a lot of them loved that season the best. I mean, how could you not love seeing most of the original TNG cast reunited on the bridge of their old Enterprise D? I enjoyed all of the action of season 1, the Romulans, the new crew (especially Agnes and Captain Rios), and the return of Trek characters Riker, Troi and Seven of Nine!  Season 2 had time travel, Guinan, the Borg Queen and Q, as well as Picard exploring his childhood.  Then, in season 3 we saw Crusher, Riker, Troi, Worf, Data and Geordi, among many others, as well as Picard and Crusher’s son, Jack, and a tremendous new villain Vadic (Amanda Plummer). It was the perfect ending for the entire series.  I did miss Agnes and Captain Rios, though, in the third season. Anyway, the joy of all of the new Star Trek series is that no matter what kind of Trek fan you are, you should love at least one of them. Each one is a little different.  “Picard” has probably ended at three seasons, but it hasn’t been officially canceled yet, so I’m holding out hope for more.

Max and Oskar of "Vienna Blood" on PBS14. “Vienna Blood” on PBS1900s Vienna is a hotbed of philosophy, science and art. Dr. Max Liebermann’s extraordinary skills of perception and Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt’s determination lead them to some of the city’s most mysterious and deadly cases.

I love this fun little detective show from the UK. Matthew Beard is perfect as a young Freudian psychiatrist in 1908 Vienna, Max Liebermann.  His teachings and methods are doubted by other doctors, but he’s convinced Police Detective Oskar Rheinhardt that he knows what he’s talking about, so Max assists him in solving murders. Max is handsome and endearing, but he’s also single-minded when it comes to work, and clueless about almost everything else. He has trouble with relationships with women and his family, for instance. In that regard, Rheinhardt serves as a fine contrast. It’s a good buddy cop procedural, set in an unusual place and time. It also addresses issues such as antisemitism, police corruption, feminism, and more. There’s a lot more action than you might expect, too. This compelling series returns for season four, probably late this year.

The Kent family on "Superman and Lois" on The CW15. “Superman and Lois” on The CWAfter years of facing supervillains, monsters and alien invaders, the world’s most famous superhero, The Man of Steel aka Clark Kent, and famed journalist Lois Lane come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever — dealing with being working parents in today’s society. Complicating the already daunting job of raising two boys, Clark and Lois worry about whether their sons, Jonathan and Jordan, could inherit their father’s Kryptonian superpowers as they grow older. Returning to Smallville to handle some Kent family business, Clark and Lois are reacquainted with Lana Lang and her Fire Chief husband, Kyle Cushing. The adults aren’t the only ones rediscovering old friendships in Smallville as the Kent sons are reacquainted with Lana and Kyle’s rebellious daughter, Sarah. Of course, there’s never a dull moment in the life of a superhero, especially with Lois’ father, Gen. Samuel Lane looking for Superman to vanquish a villain or save the day at a moment’s notice.

Superman has always been my favorite superhero. I grew up reading his comics, and I’ve loved most Superman series, such as ‘Smallville” and “Lois and Clark“.  Some of the characters from this series got their start on “Supergirl,” which I also enjoyed. They’ve done a very good job with this show by making it completely separate and different from the rest of the Arrowverse.

I enjoyed season 1, but I thought season 2 was too dark, slow, and depressing. They got back on track in season 3. The show returns for a fourth season sometime later this year, but that will be the last. It got top ratings on The CW, but that network has been taken over, and they’re rebranding, which means they’ve canceled a lot of shows. Still, that’s a good run for most shows on network television today, but it’s sad because not only is it a good show, but most of the other superhero series on The CW were all renewed for far more seasons–Smallville: 10; Flash: 9; Arrow: 8; Legends of Tomorrow: 7; and Supergirl: 6. I think that if “Superman and Lois” had premiered five years earlier, it would have enjoyed a much longer run.  It has a fabulous cast, good writing, and a lot of action. It’s not only a superhero show, but a family drama. This last season, they had an honest and moving story about Lois having breast cancer. The show has carved out its own distinct place in Superman TV history. I hope the last season will be as strong as the last season of “Flash.”

Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of "Dark Winds" on AMC/AMC+16. “Dark Winds” on AMC/AMC+Based on the Leaphorn & Chee book series by Tony Hillerman, the year is 1971 on a remote outpost of the Navajo Nation near Monument Valley. Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Tribal Police is besieged by a series of seemingly unrelated crimes. The closer he digs to the truth, the more he exposes the wounds of his past. He is joined on this journey by his new deputy, Jim Chee. Chee, too, has old scores to settle from his youth on the reservation. Together, the two men battle the forces of evil, each other and their own personal demons on the path to salvation. Starring: Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten, Deanna Allison, Rainn Wilson, Elva Guerra, Jeremiah Bitsui, Eugene Brave Rock, Noah Emmerich. Directed by: Chris Eyre, Sanford Bookstaver

This is a relatively new drama series, but it’s been sensational in both of its seasons. It reminds me a little bit of “Fargo,” but it’s not quite as offbeat or dark as that show can be. It’s simply one of the best shows on TV right now. Each season is only six episodes long, but they pack a lot into each episode: drama, action, and even a little comedy and romance.  Season 3 returns sometime in 2025, so that’s a long time to wait, but this show is worth it. If you don’t have AMC or AMC+, you can watch it on Prime Video. The free Roku Channel has the first two episodes available for free.

Jessica Matten and Kiowa Gordon of “Dark Winds” on AMC/AMC+ 7/10/23

FIRE COUNTRY stars Max Thieriot (SEAL TEAM) as Bode Donovan, a young convict seeking redemption and a shortened prison sentence by joining an unconventional prison release firefighting program in Northern California, where he and other inmates are partnered with elite firefighters to extinguish massive, unpredictable wildfires across the region. It’s a high-risk, high-reward assignment, and the heat is turned up when Bode is assigned to the program in his rural hometown, where he was once a golden all-American son until his troubles began. Inspired by series star Max Thieriot’s experiences growing up in Northern California fire country. FIRE COUNTRY airs this fall on Fridays (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.17. “Fire Country” on CBSBode Donovan, a young convict seeking redemption, joins an unconventional prison release firefighting program in Northern California, where he and other inmates are partnered with elite firefighters to extinguish massive, unpredictable wildfires. It’s a high-risk, high-reward assignment, and the heat is turned up when Bode is assigned to the program in his rural hometown, where he was once a golden all-American son until his troubles began. Five years ago, Bode burned down everything in his life, leaving town with a big secret. Now he’s back, with the rap sheet of a criminal and the audacity to believe in a chance for redemption.

Who would have thought that CBS, which has a long history of being the old people’s network, with its many uninteresting procedurals and sitcoms, could have such an original and authentic show? I guess that sometimes it takes one actor to shake things up. Star Max Thieriot (Bode) created this show, based on the area where he was raised (Northern California) and the firefighters he knew growing up. This show has exciting characters, some of my favorite actors, and thrilling stories. It’s one part action show and one part soapy drama (but in a good way).  It’s reinvigorated Friday nights and returns 2/16 for season 2.

The Doctor, Donna, The new Doctor and Ruby in "Doctor Who" on Disney+18. “Doctor Who” on Disney+ – A British science fiction series broadcast by the BBC since 1963. The series depicts the adventures of an extraterrestrial being called the Doctor, part of a humanoid species called Time Lords. The Doctor travels in the universe and in time using a time travelling spaceship called the TARDIS, which externally appears as a British police box. While traveling, the Doctor works to save lives and liberate oppressed peoples by combating foes. The Doctor often travels with companions. Beginning with William Hartnell, fourteen actors have headlined the series as the Doctor; as of 2023, Ncuti Gatwa leads the series as the Fifteenth Doctor. The transition from one actor to another is written into the plot of the series with the concept of regeneration into a new incarnation, a plot device in which, when a Time Lord is fatally injured, their cells regenerate and they are reincarnated. Each actor’s portrayal is distinct, but all represent stages in the life of the same character and, together, they form a single lifetime with a single narrative.

I didn’t watch the original “Doctor Who” series growing up (it didn’t air in San Diego), but I’ve really enjoyed the newer version that started in 2005.  At its base, it’s a fantasy show for kids, but its themes and drama are often very adult-oriented. This can make the scripts uneven at times. I just like to sit back and enjoy it, whether it makes sense or not.

The show moved this year from BBC America to Disney+, and new episodes premiered this past November as a part of the show’s 60th anniversary. These episodes served to bridge the long gap between the end of season 13 (with Jodie Whittaker as the thirteenth Doctor) in December, 2021, and the new season 14 with the fifteenth doctor this spring.  David Tennant came back to play the 14th Doctor in between the two, in these special episodes.  It reintroduced the terrific writing of Russell T. Davies and set up the story for the new Doctor’s introduction, as well as giving long-time fans of the 10th Doctor (also Tennant) and his companion, Donna, a better ending. More importantly, those of us who are huge Tennant fans didn’t have to watch him die once again! Along with all that, there was also Neal Patrick Harris as an amusing, yet scary villain, the return of Donna’s whole family, including a new trans daughter, and a heartfelt, entertaining Christmas special with the new Doctor that introduced his new companion. I’m really looking forward to the next season, which will start in May.

"Sweet Tooth" on Netflix19. “Sweet Tooth” on NetflixA fantasy drama television series developed by Jim Mickle, based on the comic book series created by Jeff Lemire and published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint. Nonso Anozie, Christian Convery, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen, and Dania Ramirez star while James Brolin provides the narration. Sweet Tooth is set in a world in which a virus has killed a majority of the world’s human population, coinciding with the emergence of hybrid babies that are born with animal characteristics. Convery plays Gus, a naïve 10-year-old part-deer boy, who sets out to find his mother after the death of his father.

Here’s another post-apocalyptic show that is not depressing; it has a lot of hope. The story, characters and pacing are lovely. I was so happy when they renewed it for a second season because it didn’t seem like the kind of show that everyone would love as much as I do. I’m ecstatic that it’s got one more season left. That seems just about right (also, the boy who plays Gus will probably age too much for them to continue on with his story. This show just hits all the right notes. Season 3 premieres later this year.

Some of the cast of "Gen V" on Prime Video20. “Gen V” on Prime VideoFrom the world of The Boys comes Gen V, a thrilling new series set at America’s only college for superheroes. These gifted students put their moral boundaries to the test, competing for the university’s top ranking, and a chance to join The Seven, Vought International’s elite superhero team. When the school’s dark secrets come to light, they must decide what kind of heroes they want to become.

This is one of the exceptions I mentioned above. Both “The Boys” and “Gen V” are very, very violent, and gross, and not terribly uplifting. I don’t mind it because they’re such fun. The show’s creator (who also did “Supernatural,” which is very tame in comparison) revels gleefully in turning all the superhero tropes and horror movie clichés on their heads. Each season or show is more over-the-top than the previous one, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  These shows just crack me up, and I love the actors in them.

"Titans" on MAXHonorable Mention (it was very hard for me to put the shows above in order and whittle my list down to 20, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some others that I’ll think of later):

“Titans” on MAX
“Justified: City Primeval” on FX
“Primo” on Freevee
“Bosch: Legacy” on Freevee
“Fantasy Island” on FOX
“Secrets of Sulphur Springs” on Disney
“The Ark” on Syfy
“The Watchful Eye” on Freeform
“The Irrational” on NBC"The Watchful Eye" cast on Freeform
“SurrealEstate” on Syfy
“Miss Scarlet and the Duke” on PBS
“Grantchester” on PBS
“Sanditon” on PBS
“Harlan Coben’s Shelter” on Prime
“Doom Patrol” on MAX

Which shows did you like best in 2023? What are you watching now? Let us know in the comments!

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The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The TV MegaSite or its other volunteers

 

"Bosch: Legacy" on Prime Video

Interview with Kristoffer Polaha, Neal McDonough and Brock Heasley

TV Interview!

 

Kristoffer Polaha, Neal McDonough and Brock Heasley of the movie "The Shift"

Interview with Kristoffer Polaha, Neal McDonough and Brock Heasley of the movie “The Shift” by Suzanne 11/29/23

It was so great to speak to these three. I’m a huge fan of these actors from their past work.  I enjoyed the movie, which is SciFi but also Christian.  It’s not preachy, though, and it’s an exciting action drama. You definitely don’t have to be religious to like it. It’s a fun ride. The cast is very good. Besides these two, it also stars Sean Astin and Elizabeth Tabish. I hope you enjoy this video! I didn’t have very much time to speak with them. I could easily have chatted with them for a half hour each, or more.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

Key art for the scifi movie "The Shift"

Film Synopsis:

The Shift is a modern-day retelling of the book of Job. Kevin Garner gets separated from Molly, the love of his life, when a mysterious adversary known as The Benefactor sends him to an alternate dystopian reality. Will hope and faith be enough to find his way back?

Logline:

After a tense encounter with a mysterious stranger with otherworldly powers, a man is banished to a tyrannical, parallel Earth where he fights to get back to the woman he loves.

Tagline:

Infinite worlds. Endless choices. One way out.

Fast Facts:

  • Kristoffer Polaha (Wonder Woman 1984, Mad Men) plays the lead role of Kevin Garner.

  • Neal McDonough (Minority Report, Yellowstone) plays the mysterious figure of The Benefactor.

  • Elizabeth Tabish (The Chosen) plays Molly Garner and Sean Astin (Stranger Things, The Lord of the Rings) plays Gabriel.

  • The film is produced by Ken Carpenter and directed by Brock Heasley.

  • The Shift will be distributed by Angel Studios.

  • The film will be released December 1, 2023.

  • You can Pay it Forward to The Shift to cover the cost of a movie ticket for someone who wouldn’t otherwise be able to see it.

Social Media Accounts:

About the Cast

Kristoffer Polaha

Kristoffer Polaha as Kevin Garner

Kristoffer can currently be seen in Harlen Coben’s new series, Shelter, streaming now on Amazon. Probably best-known for starring in the critically-acclaimed CW series Life Unexpected, more recently Kris starred opposite Angie Harmon in the Lifetime movie, Barstow, and recurred on the cable series Get Shorty opposite Ray Romano and Chris O’Dowd as well as the limited series Condor opposite William Hurt and Max Irons. He also co- starred with Rainn Wilson in the Fox series Backstrom, as well as a number of TV series over the past ten years, including North Shore, Miss Guided, Made in Jersey, Ringer and Valentine, in addition to a multi-season recurring role on the acclaimed series Mad Men and numerous guest stars on both cable and network series. Kris is also well known for his many starring roles in the Hallmark Hall of Fame series of television movies.

On the feature side, Kris stars as the lead in the film The Shift for director Brock Heasley, being released December 2023. He was recently featured as ‘Handsome Man’ in Wonder Woman 1984 for Warner Brother Studios as well as the recently released blockbuster Jurassic World Dominion for Universal Studios. Kris has appeared in numerous independent features, including Where Hope Grows, Back in the Day, Devil’s Knot and Petty Crimes. He recently wrote, directed, and starred in the short film, “A Work of Art,” which premiered at The Cannes Film Festival. Instagram Twitter Facebook Official Site YouTube

Neal McDonough

Neal McDonough as The Benefactor

Trained at the London Academy of Dramatic Arts and Sciences, Neal McDonough has been a fan favorite since his breakout role of Lieutenant Lynn “Buck” Compton in Band of Brothers. and has been featured in popular shows like Justified, Van Helsing, Altered Carbon, and Suits, as well as films including THE WARRANT, RED, MINORITY REPORT, and his role as Timothy ‘Dum Dum’ Dugan in the MARVEL Cinematic Universe. Most recently, Neal delivered a standout performance as Malcolm Beck in Yellowstone, acting opposite Kevin Costner. Above all else, Neal prizes his relationship with his wife Ruvé, their five children, and his devout Catholic faith. Instagram

Brock Heasley

Brock Heasley – Director

Brock Heasley is a writer, filmmaker, and artist. After graduating from California State University Fresno with a degree in Graphic Design, Brock became a full-time Graphic Designer and, later, an Art Director. In 2006, he launched the online comic The SuperFogeys, and then co-created the online comic Monsterplex in 2010, which went on to win the DC Comics Zuda competition. In 2018, Brock’s YA Contemporary novel Paper Bag Mask (Pen Name Publishing) was published, reaching the top of Amazon’s Young Adult Fiction New Release chart in the first week. Brock’s debut memoir, The Other Side of Fear: A True Coming-of-Age Story of Murder, Forgiveness, and the Peace Only Faith Can Bring, released in Fall 2020 from Cedar Fort Publishing. His writing has appeared on the Independent Journal Review and at ForEveryMom.com.

In 2015, Brock left the Graphic Design world for the film world, working on and producing feature films for Tremendum Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., and Lionsgate. In 2017 he released his directorial debut, “The Shift,” about an ordinary man receiving a job offer from the Devil himself. The short film earned him an Outstanding Filmmaker of the Year Award from the Hollywood Dreamz International Film Festival and you can watch it here. His second short film, “The Two Hundred Fifth,” about a young college girl with a dark past that comes back to haunt her on the day she chooses to reveal all to her best friend, had its World Premiere at the renowned Fantasia International Film Festival in 2019.

In early 2023, Brock turned his short film, THE SHIFT, into a feature film to be released theatrically by Angel Studios in December 2023. Expanding on the story from the short, it stars Kristoffer Polaha, Neal McDonough, Elizabeth Tabish, John Billingsley, Rose Reid, Paras Patel, Jordan Alexandra, Jordan Walker Ross, and Sean Astin.

Brock lives with his wife, three daughters, two dogs, and one cat in California. Brock didn’t want another dog, but his girls made a pretty killer PowerPoint presentation and he didn’t want to look like a jerk. Instagram Facebook Twitter

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Kristoffer Polaha and Neal McDonough in the movie "The Shift"

 

Interview with Gary Anthony Sturgis

TV Interview!

 

Gary Anthony Sturgis plays warlock Julius on "Wicked City" on ALLBLK

Interview with Gary Anthony Sturgis of “Wicked City” on ALLBLK by Suzanne 11/20/23

I had a blast chatting with Gary! He is so funny, smart and entertaining, and he loves to talk. We’ve been Facebook friends for 14 years, so it was great to finally “meet” face to face. He’s been in many great shows and movies. Not only is he a talented actor, he’s also an accomplished writer!

 

MORE INFO:

Gary Anthony Sturgis plays warlock Julius on "Wicked City" on ALLBLKGary Anthony Sturgis is a New Orleans born actor/writer/director best-known for his portrayal of the villain in two of Tyler Perry’s biggest hit films, “Diary of A Mad Black Woman” (as Jamison Jackson) and “Daddy’s Little Girls” (as Joseph Woods). He also co-starred opposite Terrence Howard in “Pride”, as the charming yet sinister pimp/drug dealer Franklin Washington. Recently, he has stepped out the role of bad guy to co-star in the comedy “Chicago Pulaski Jones” with Kel Mitchell and Cedric the Entertainer.

Also a professional voice artist, Sturgis has voiced network promos for UPN, CBS, PBS and ABC, cartoons and video games (Static Shock, Batman, Scooby Doo and The Cyber Chase, Fairly Odd Parents, Spiderman) and is heard on countless commercials for radio and television. His raspy bass-baritone voice that the women find hard to resist has even been heard on national movie trailers and promotions for; “Bones”, “Two Can Play That Game”, “The Others”, “The Brothers” and “The Wood” to name a select few. In addition, he is also the voice for the History Channel’s “K-9 Cops”. For another surprise, Gary also produces and writes rap music and has a successful recording under the moniker Illuminati called Fahrenheit, which is still available on iTunes.

As a writer/producer, Gary is producing some of his own feature-length screenplays (he has written more than ten), and has packaged his works into three and four picture deals and commenced to shopping them around town for financing and distribution. We have only scratched the surface of this multi-faceted creative soul.

Since Sturgis had been writing for years, the next natural progression was to direct. After directing “Lend A Hand”, a 90-second short film for the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), Gary realized that directing was yet another feather he could stick in his talented cap.

Follow Gary on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

WICKED CITY Official Site

"Wicked City" season 2 streams on ALLBLK

A group of urban witches push their powers to new heights and uncover dark secrets that attract dangerous enemies their way. Explore other projects that were filmed in Atlanta, Georgia at https://www.exploregeorgia.org/film.

US RATING: TV-MA

Cast: Vanessa Bell Calloway, Taylor Polidore, Shaquita Smith, Rhonda Morman, Chantal Maurice, Mercedez McDowell, Chanel Mack

Director: Dale S. Lewis

PRESS RELEASE:

LIFE’S A WITCH IN THE ATL

ALLBLK RELEASES TRAILER FOR SEASON TWO OF  SUPERNATURAL DRAMA WICKED CITY  PREMIERING OCTOBER 19 

Cast Includes Vanessa Bell Calloway, Karon Joseph Riley, Taylor Polidore, Shaquita Smith, Mercedez McDowell, Chantal Maurice, Chanel Mack, and more

VIEW TRAILER

New York, NY – October 4, 2023 – Today, ALLBLK, the popular streaming service for Black television from AMC Networks, released the trailer for the sophomore season of supernatural drama, Wicked City. The 8-episode series premieres Thursday, October 19, with new episodes dropping every Thursday exclusively on ALLBLK 

In season one, we followed a coven of Black witches who pushed their supernatural powers to new heights after uncovering dark secrets and accidentally entering the world of the forbidden. This season, three months after failing to stop a magical slaver named The Handler (Karon Joseph Riley, Ambitions), the Atlanta coven find themselves broken and separated. Jordan (Shaquita Smith,The Couch) – who now runs The Mystic Haven – and Angela (Chantal Maurice, P-Valley) try and fail to find Sherise (Chanel Mack, The Harder They Fall) who’s being held captive by The Handler. Mona (Mercedez McDowell, The Resident) has moved away, and Camille (Taylor Polidore, Snowfall) is put in permanent hiding by her birth mother, Claudette (Rhonda Redette Morman, Hush). Unbeknownst to the coven, Tabitha (Vanessa Bell Calloway, Shameless) and Caden (Malika Blessing, The Perfect Man) are trapped inside a nightmare realm as Claudette exacts her revenge. Meanwhile, Sherise is forced to do The Handler’s bidding at his high-class magical supper club “Obsidian Dream.” 

Additional cast includes India Marie Cross (It Wasn’t Me),  Yandy Smith-Harris (Love and Hip Hop Atlanta), Gary Anthony Sturgis (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Samantha James (Black and Blue), Kamilah Meek (Young Rock), Kurtis D. Glenn (The Assistant 3), Clover J. Adams (Taylor’s Diary), Maurice P. Kerry (Atlanta), Krystal Monique Mosley (Dhoom 3), Michael Silberblatt (Hawkeye), Marco Reese Maldonado (A Killer Romance), Carrie Anne Hunt (Magic Mike XXL), Michael M. Jones (P. Valley) and Sasha McKoon 

Tressa “Azarel” Smallwood (MegaMind Media) and Donte Lee executive produced the series created & written by Kristin Iris Johnson and Serena M. Lee. Head of Content, Brett Dismuke and SVP of Development & Original Production, Unscripted, Nikki Love, executive produce for ALLBLK.  

About ALLBLK 

ALLBLK is an invitation to a world of streaming entertainment that is inclusively, but unapologetically – Black. Featuring a diverse lineup of content that spans across genres and generations, the ALLBLK library includes exclusive original series such asA House DividedandDouble Cross; must-see independent films, nostalgic Black cinema, popular WE tv originals, lively stage plays, and so much more. ALLBLK is available everywhere streaming services are found – iOS, Android, Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV and Apple TV Channels, Roku and Roku Channels, Amazon Fire TV,YouTube TV, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Charter and more. Atwww.ALLBLK.tv, ALLBLK offers a free 7-day trialand thereafter is just $5.99/month or $59.99/year.Keep up with ALLBLK on Facebook atFacebook.com/WatchALLBLKand Twitter/Instagram @WatchALLBLK. 

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Gary Anthony Sturgis plays warlock Julius on "Wicked City" on ALLBLK

Interview with Bonnie Burroughs

TV Interview!

 

Bonnie Burroughs - Gladys on "General Hosp-tal" on ABC

Interview with Bonnie Burroughs  on “General Hospital” on ABC by Suzanne 11/15/23

This was a lot of fun! Bonnie and I are about the same age. She did such a fabulous job playing Gladys. I hope they bring her back sometime. She was so kind to let me ask as many questions as I wanted.

 

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pisode: 0829 “08/29/23” Episodic BONNIE BURROUGHS 170020_0255 GENERAL HOSPITAL – Episode “15291” – “General Hospital” airs Monday – Friday, on ABC (check local listings). (ABC/Christine Bartolucci) BONNIE BURROUGHSBonnie Burroughs is an American film and television actress. She is recognized for playing the role of Gladys Corbin on the soap opera “General Hospital.” Burroughs was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Burroughs guest-starred in numerous television programs including Newhart, Boston Legal, Judging Amy, Suddenly Susan, Malcolm in the Middle, My Two Dads, Desperate Housewives, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Dallas, Jake and the Fatman, ER, Hunter and Matlock.[1] She was cast as Stacey Giordano on One Life to Live from 1987. Burroughs was then cast as Dr. Jamie Lawrence on Santa Barbara from 1990 to 1991. She was also cast as Gretchen Lindquist on Days of Our Lives. In 2009, Burroughs starred on the television series Rockville, CA, being cast as Shawn Peters.

GENERAL HOSPITAL – Key Art. (ABC)General Hospital: Season 59 Lead Sheet

Series Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary on April 1, 2023

ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama, “General Hospital,” will celebrate its 60th anniversary on April 1, 2023. “GH” is both the longest-running scripted drama and the longest-running American soap opera currently in production. One of four remaining daytime dramas, “General Hospital” holds the record for the most Outstanding Daytime Drama award wins, taking home the prestigious Daytime Emmy Award a record 15 times. Filmed in Hollywood, California, the show aired its 15,000th episode on June 22, 2022.

“GH” continues its tradition of passion, intrigue and adventure that has depicted the ongoing lives of the diverse and evolving citizens of the fictional town of Port Charles set in upstate New York. The glamour and excitement of those who have come to find their destinies in this familiar seaport town intertwine with the lives, loves and fortunes of beloved, well-known faces. As always, love, danger and mind-blowing plot twists abound on “GH” with contemporary storylines and unforgettable characters.

Often ahead of its time, “General Hospital ” is known for elevating awareness for numerous health and social issues, in conjunction with storylines including HIV/AIDS; tolerance and understanding for the gay, lesbian and transgender community; bipolar disorder; spousal abuse; sexual assault; workplace sexual harassment in the #MeToo era; gentrification; war refugees; voting rights and voter suppression; the fight for civil rights and against environmental racism; drug and alcohol addiction; breast cancer awareness; surrogacy and adaption; organ donations;  autism; and Alzheimer’s-related stories are all topics “GH” has trailblazed.

Many popular actors are known for getting their start on “General Hospital” including Demi Moore, John Stamos, Jack Wagner, Mark Hamill, Rick Springfield, Ricky Martin, Amber Tamblin, Emma Samms, Kimberly McCullough, Jonathan Jackson and Richard Dean Anderson.

“General Hospital” was created by husband-and-wife soap writers, Frank and Doris Hursley, and premiered April 1, 1963. In 1978, Gloria Monty was brought in as executive producer and is credited with the creation of the first super-couple, Luke and Laura Spencer. Their 1981 wedding brought in 30 million viewers and remains the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history.

Frank Valentini serves as “GH”’s current executive producer. Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor are the show’s co-head writers.

“General Hospital” airs weekdays on ABC.

Follow “General Hospital” (#GeneralHospital) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Bonnie Burroughs - Gladys on "General Hosp-tal" on ABC

 

Interview with Dominic Monaghan

TV Interview!

 

Dominic Monaghan, star of "Moriarty" on Audible

Interview with Dominic Monaghan, star of “Moriarty” on Audible by Suzanne 11/8/23

It was wonderful to speak with Dominic, who seems just as nice as you might imagine he’d be from his many great roles. As a fan of “Lost,” “Lord of the Rings” and his other work (especially “Moonhaven”), I could have honestly spoken to him for hours. Normally, we only cover TV, and the occasional movie, but this project is so well written and acted, and stars many of my favorite actors, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to cover it here. “Moriarty: The Devil’s Game” premiered last year and was a huge hit. “Moriarty: The Silent Order” premieres Thursday, Nov. 9. You won’t want to miss it. Helen Mirren joins the great cast. If you only listen to ONE audio drama this year, make it this one….especially if you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes stories.

 

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Audible Original "Moriarty: The Silent Order" premieres Thursday, 11/9/23, only on Audible.

Audible and Treefort Media Announce Season 2 of Sherlock Holmes Mystery-Thriller Moriarty

Helen Mirren to Star In Moriarty: The Silent Order Alongside Returning Cast Dominic Monaghan, Phil LaMarr and More

Newark, NJ – August 30, 2023 – Audible, Inc., the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, in collaboration with Treefort Media, announced today the return of the hit scripted audio series Moriarty. The second season of Audible’s bold take on the Sherlock Holmes universe continues with Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings, Lost) in the title role, leading the reimagining of literature’s most captivating rivalries, with Helen Mirren (The QueenGolda)Anya Chalotra (The Witcher), Ross McCall (Green Street Hooligans) and Arielle Goldman (The Knick, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) joining the sensational returning cast including Phil LaMarr (Mad Men) and more. Available exclusively on Audible, Moriarty: The Silent Order was directed by Elliot Blake and written by Charles Kindinger. Moriarty: The Silent Order will debut November 9.

In the latest Moriarty installment, six months after surviving near death at Reichenbach Falls, Professor James Moriarty tracks down the woman he loves in New York City, where she is trapped in the web of The Order – an evil organization that stretches beyond Britain and the Crown. When his attempts to break her free lead to tragedy, Moriarty returns home, determined to bring down the entire global organization. But before he can strike, he makes another shocking discovery: Sherlock Holmes is alive and shares his goal. Moriarty and Holmes must set their animosity aside and join forces to stop the assassination of the American president and a devastating world war.

“Moriarty has always been such an enigmatic character to me and exploring his world through this medium fueled my imagination,” said Dominic Monaghan. “I’m delighted to continue telling his story with Treefort and Audible — and working with Helen Mirren, as his new nemesis in Season 2, was a treat. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed working on it.” Dominic Monaghan, star of "Moriarty" on Audible

“It was lovely to be part of the rich, beautifully realized world of MORIARTY,” said Helen Mirren. “It’s fun for me to take on a villainous role, and I particularly enjoyed delving into the different dimensions of Lady Milverton. This story was my first podcast drama and I couldn’t imagine a more exhilarating story as an entry into the format.”

Moriarty: The Silent Order is part of Audible and Treefort Media’s multi-project development deal to produce original scripted audio series. Season 2 of Moriarty joins Audible’s robust roster of Audible Original audio dramas, including Topic Studios’ The Space Within, Skybound’s Impact Winter Season 1 and Season 2; Kerry Washington’s The Prophecy; Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the WorldThe Miranda ObsessionArmored, from The New York Times bestselling author Mark Greaney; James Patterson’s The Coldest Case starring Aaron Paul; and Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, among many more.

Revisit Season 1 of Moriarty: The Devil’s Game now and listen to Season 2 exclusively on Audible beginning November 9.

ABOUT AUDIBLE, INC.

Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, offering global audiences a powerful way to enhance and enrich their lives through extraordinary content. Audible’s catalog includes more than 800,000 audio titles, including Audible Originals as well as audiobooks and podcasts from leading studios, print, audio and magazine publishers and world-renowned entertainers.

ABOUT TREEFORT MEDIA

TREEFORT MEDIA is an award-winning podcast company specializing in premium audio storytelling. The first season of Moriarty won Best Fiction Podcast at Banff World Media Festival and Killing Hollywood: The Cotton Club Murder won the Webby for Best Scripted Fiction Podcast. Other notable Treefort series include: the weekly true crime series Killer Psyche, investigative series Collapse: Disaster in Surfside with the Miami Herald’s Pulitzer Prize winning team, and Paul Giamatti’s weekly esoteric talkfest Chinwag.

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"Moriarty: The Devil's Game" key art

 

Interview with Stan Brooks

TV Interview!

 

Stan Brooks, director of "Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story" on Lifetime

Interview with Stan Brooks, director of “Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story” on Lifetime by Suzanne 9/15/23

This is an interesting movie, although sad. What makes it stand out from many other TV movies is how accurate it is to the original story. From what the director says here, they went to great pains to make it as close to the original as possible. I believe it because it really does feel real.  All the actors were outstanding in this, particularly the leads, Wendi McLendon-Covey (Vicky) and Rossif Sutherland (Casey).  If you’ve only seen Wendi in comedies, you’ll be surprised at how great she is in this.  I loved Rossif in last year’s “Three Pines” on Prime Video, so I was very happy to see him show up in this. He’s the son of Donald Sutherland and brother to Kiefer Sutherland. He’s definitely inherited the family’s talent and looks.

It was a joy to speak with director Stanley M. Brooks because he’s worked for years as a producer in movies and TV, such as “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (ABC) and “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles” (Lifetime).  He has some amazing stories that you’ll love. I wish I could have picked his brain for hours.  Please watch this Lifetime movie because it’s worth watching. Enjoy our video interview!

 

MORE INFO: Trailer   Official Site

"Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story" key art

Based on a true story, the movie follows Vicky White (Wendi McLendon-Covey), a lonely corrections officer who falls
for a prisoner (Rossif Sutherland), but before she can ensure their happily ever after, she must first break him out of
prison.

Every day for divorced prison corrections officer Vicky White (McLendon-Covey) is like the movie Groundhog DayWendi McLendon-Covey and Rossif Sutherland star in "Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story" premiering Saturday, October 21 at 8p/7c. – mundane, and every day just like the previous. But when new prisoner Casey White (Sutherland) is brought to her facility, the two develop a secret infatuation. Vicky gives Casey special attention, believing he’s the only man to see her the way she wants to be seen. But when Casey’s inevitable transfer to a lengthy prison sentence approaches, Vicky decides to take desperate action. Risking everything, Vicky manages to break Casey out of jail and takes him on the run, eluding authorities on an eleven-day dash for freedom. For Vicky, even the probable tragedy ahead of them is worth the chance to live life fully once more.

Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story is executive produced for Lifetime by Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tom Patricia, Gladys Gonzalez of John Carrabino Management and Howard Braunstein with Stan Brooks directing from a script by Gregory Small and Richard Blaney with Juliette Hagoplan producing the movie. Wendi is repped by UTA manager, Gladys Gonzalez, and attorney David Krintzman.
Stanley M. Brooks is an American film and television producer. He has produced more than 60 productions for film and television as well as several critically acclaimed miniseries including Broken Trail and Prayers for Bobby.

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Stan Brooks with Judith Light and other woman (from his Instagram)

 

Interview with Josh Berman

TV Interview!

Josh Berman, director of the film "Full Circle"

Interview with director Josh Berman of the film “Full Circle” by Thane 10/17/23

It was great to interview Josh Berman, who directed this movie. Many people will find it inspirational. The film demonstrates how people can continue to thrive, even if their life turns out completely different than what they expect.

We apologize for any confusion during the interview…due to circumstances beyond our control, we were given some wrong information about Josh and his experiences (not his fault).  Well, these things happen! We hope you can go see this movie, which comes out soon.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

Falco Ink, Abramorama Presents Full Circle "Full Circle" poster

Opening in NY October 20th
Opening in LA, Canada & Additional US Cities Beginning October 27th
*World Premiere – 2023 Santa Barbara International Film Festival*
*Feature Film Award Winner – 2023 Wasatch Mountain Film Festival*
*Official Selection – ​​2023 Telluride Mountainfilm*
Directed by: Josh Berman
Featuring: Trevor Kennison and Barry Corbet
Produced by: Conor Smith and Roy Tuscany
Executive Produced by: Andrew Tiner, Kevin McNeely, and Rosemary NcNeely

Faced with a traumatic injury that renders you permanently disabled; how would you reinvent yourself? In 2014, Trevor Kennison’s life was forever altered by a broken back – for worse and for better, in equal measures. Barry Corbet, an intrepid skier, mountaineer, explorer, filmmaker, and Jackson Hole legend, broke his back in a helicopter crash in 1968.  Frustrated by a pre-ADA culture that did not accept or support the disabled, Barry reinvented himself, becoming a seminal leader in the disability community. Full Circle follows Trevor on a path towards post-traumatic growth in parallel with Barry, 50 years later.  Their stories mirror each other, connected through time and space by common locations and motifs; injuries in the Colorado backcountry, rehab at Craig Hospital, fame in Jackson Hole; but also, through their shared resiliency and refusal to let their passion for life be limited by their injuries. Full Circle is an unblinking examination of the challenges of Spinal Cord Injury, and a celebration of the growth that such tragedy can catalyze.

Bringing the ethos of the film into practice Primetime Emmy-nominated composer Mark Crawford (“The Social Dilemma”) chose to work with musicians living with disabilities for the live instrumentation of the score. Mark assembled an all-star team, including Grammy-winning guitarist Eric Howk of Portugal. The Man, world-renowned jazz pianist Justin Kauflin, percussionist Jason Barnes, trumpet player Patrick Henry Hughes, virtuoso violinist Brian Krinke, and members of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, with orchestrator Jeff Kryka preparing the score. Additionally, Eric Howk wrote and recorded a custom song for the credits of the film, titled “What I Am.”  Very much autobiographical, the song brings Eric’s voice into the film in more ways than one, speaking directly to his life experience as a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair.

JOSH BERMAN

Director/DP – Josh Berman started his career in the New York City production scene while earning a degree in Film from Dartmouth College. Josh followed his passion for snow sports to Colorado and has been directing award winning outdoor and action sports films for the past two decades. His background in action sports uniquely equipped him to tackle the challenges of shooting with Trevor in complex and dangerous snow environments.

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Josh Berman, director of the film "Full Circle"

 

Interview with George Olson

TV Interview!

 

George R. Olson, creator/writer/producer/showrunner of "SurrealEstate" on Syfy

Interview with Showrunner/creator/writer/EP George R. Olson of “SurrealEstate” on Syfy by Suzanne 10/16/23

It was really fun to speak with George about such an entertaining show. I’ve enjoyed “SurrealEstate” since the first episode because it has interesting stories of drama and horror, with a lot of humor and a good cast. I tried hard to get him to tell me if a certain character dies this season, but he wouldn’t budge…not that I expected him to! But it was all in fun, anyway. You don’t want to miss this season, which started October 4th on Syfy. It airs Wednesdays on Syfy, but you can also watch it on their website for free and on HULU the next day. You can watch season one on HULU as well.

 

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SURREALESTATE -- Pictured: "SurrealEstate" Key Art -- (Photo by: SYFY)

SYFY logo
SurrealEstate

Wednesdays on SYFY(10-11pm ET/PT); Season Premiere: October 4

“SurrealEstate” follows real estate agent Luke Roman and an elite team of specialists that handle the cases no one else can: haunted and possessed houses that literally scare would-be buyers away. Researching, investigating and “fixing” the things that go bump in the night, the team works to create closure – and closings – even as they struggle with demons of their own.

201 “TRUST THE PROCESS” (Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
Without his special powers, Luke struggles to handle an engaged property by instinct alone. Susan falls in love at first sight with a mysterious home that has a special power over her.

202 “TRUTH IN ADVERTISING” (Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
Luke deals with a TV ghost hunter and his crew filming at a client’s legendary property. Susan investigates a seaside B&B where strange, provocative noises are scaring guests away.

203 “THE BUTLER DIDN’T” (Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
When a client is taken hostage by a vengeful ghost, the Roman Agency must solve a decades-old murder mystery to save him before it’s too late.

204 “I PUT A SPELL ON YOU” (Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
Luke sparks with a charming homeowner while negotiating a land deal. Zooey goes out on her first sales call as a newly minted real estate agent.

SurrealEstate” stars Tim Rozon, Sarah Levy, Adam Korson, Maurice Dean Wint, Savannah Basley and Elena Juatco.

The series was created by George R. Olson. Olson, Lance Samuels, Danishka Esterhazy, Armand Leo, Daniel Iron, Neil Tabatznik, Cosima Von Spreti and Kevin Anweiler executive produce.

George R. Olson

creator, showrunner, and executive producer

George Olson is a recovering advertising executive, having spent most of his career as creative director, partner and chief creative officer at one of Colorado’s largest advertising agencies. Several years ago, seeking the dangerous head rush of writing something longer than thirty seconds, George began writing for film.

One of his first efforts, a bio-pic of Nikola Tesla, won a screenwriting competition and attracted the attention of director Barry Sonnenfeld, who developed the script with him. He wrote a short film, KILLING KEVIN, which was an official selection at 18 international film festivals. Another one of his original screenplays, WHITEFISH, won another competition and he developed that script with actor/director John Turturro. Since then, George has written a number of features including MASTER RACE, the story of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, with Anthony Mackie attached to star.

Along the way, George began writing for television and has developed a number of original pilots including BITTERROOT, which he sold as a pitch to USA Network. Several of George’s original spec pilots are in various stages of development around town, including POISON COUNTY which he is developing with Mark Burnett and MGM Television. MGM also hired him to create and write the pilot for GODSPEED, a one-hour drama set in the world of NASCAR.  He has adapted his one-hour pilot FIRST PERSON SHOOTER with e-One into a made-for-TV film for Crackle. George sold his original spec pilot THE NATURE OF YOUR EMERGENCY to Keshet Studios, and sold his pitch for RUTHLESS to CBS Studios and developed the pilot for the CW Network.  Most recently, George’s original pilot SURREAL ESTATE was ordered to series by SYFY, with George serving as Showrunner and Executive Producer.

Splitting his time between Colorado, Los Angeles, Canada, features and television, George has no outside interests that he is aware of.

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George R. Olson with "SurrealEstate" cast