The only thing I didn't like about this week's episode, "The Blackout Part 2: The Debate" is that it is the penultimate episode and now we only have one new Newsroom left in the season. Other than that, though, I thought this was an incredible episode. The humor, the progression of the relationships, the way they're trying to raise the level of public debate in this country, John Gallagher, Jr.'s Jim Harper wondering if the two women in the fitting room were kissing... Too much goodness! (Go inside the episode with Aaron Sorkin.) And now, take a look at a preview of the final episode of season one, "The Greater Fool." (It looks AMAZING!)
- Terry Crews, who plays Will McAvoy's bodyguard, Lonny, answered fans' questions in an HBO Connect Q&A today. Read the archive to find out how the former NFLer found himself speaking Sorkinese.
- Submit your questions for HBO Connect Q&A sessions: Emily Mortimer (August 28) and Kelen Coleman (August 29; she plays Lisa). (In other HBO Connect news, you can submit your questions now for Bill Maher, who'll answer fans' questions on September 5.)
Shakespeare on Screen
A new initiative, Globe on Screen, is about to launch, and I'm definitely looking forward to it. The famed Shakespeare's Globe is partnering with Arts Alliance Media to release three of its 2011 theatre productions on screen in the US. That's right, you'll be able to see Globe performances (recorded in front of a live audience, groundlings and all) at your local cineplex. Globe on Screen kicks off on October 11 with All's Well That Ends Well, continues with Much Ado About Nothing on October 23 and concludes with screenings of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus on November 8. The casts of all three are stellar, particularly Eve Best (Nurse Jackie) as Beatrice in Much Ado. Check out the trailer for Globe on Screen below, and then head to globeonscreen.com for more information.
- Golden Globes: the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will hand out its awards about a week earlier than usual; the ceremony will be held on Sunday, January 13, 2013. (That's one week after Downton Abbey season three begins, and two days before Oscar nominations are announced.) Nominees will be announced a month earlier, Thursday, December 13, 2012. The Wrap has more details, including a list of important Globe-related dates.
- SAG Awards: Dick Van Dyke will receive the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony on January 27, 2013.
- Oscars: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 85th Academy Awards, which will be held Sunday, February 24, 2013. Some of the producers' credits include the Oscar-winning film adaptation of Chicago, as well as Smash and the recent Broadway revival of How to Succeed...
The big news this week, leading up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week, is the atrocious comment current House member and Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) made about rape and abortion. He said, "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." When he tried to backtrack and clarify his remark, he said he was speaking of false claims of rape, that he meant to say "forcible rape." First of all, is there any other kind? Isn't the "forcible" part in the very definition of rape? Second, this is a man who sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and he thinks women can will their reproductive processes to shut down?!? In her New York Times op-ed column, Maureen Down took Akin and his Republican brethren to task. She says, "...for all the Republican cant about how they want to keep government out of the lives of others, the ultraconservatives are panting to meddle in the lives of others." These are the kinds of people running in this election, and comments like this are indicative of the policies they will endeavor to enact. Please, please, please, dear readers, stay informed this election season and make your voice heard on November 6, Election Day. (Visit Rock the Vote for information about registering and voting.)
An election season bonus courtesy of The Newsroom staff writer Gideon Yago: Super Pac App allows users to, while watching a political TV ad, "hold up their phone to identify the commercial and receive objective, third-party information."
- The cast of the upcoming Grace met the press this week. Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington and Ed Asner were on hand to talk about the production. (Head to Broadway.com for video interviews with the cast.)
- Alicia Silverstone, who impressed in Time Stands Still a few years ago, has joined the company of The Performers. Silverstone completes the cast that includes Henry Winkler, Cheyenne Jackson, Daniel Breaker and Ari Graynor. Playbill has details.
As you may recall, handsome leading man Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Love and Other Drugs) is set to make his New York stage debut off-Broadway in Roundabout Theatre Company's production of If There is I Haven't Found it Yet. He's been in rehearsals for a few weeks (performances begin today), and recently took a break to talk to the New York Times about coming back to the theatre and his efforts to refocus his attention and career. He speaks of being mindful and respectful of the craft of acting and digging deep into this role. I'm seeing the show next month so check back for my review. In the meantime, head over to Roundabout's website for more information and to purchase tickets.
- To celebrate the box office opening, on August 30, producers of the revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will offer tickets for just $50. Only at the box office and only on August 30, you'll be able to buy $50 tickets for all preview performances! Visit Playbill to learn about other "door prizes" being offered.
- Turns out this upcoming season of The Office will be its last. Entertainment Weekly and TV Line have details, and The Hollywood Reporter reports that Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston will direct an episode.
- Possibly taking The Office's time slot will be a new Michael J. Fox TV show that has just been picked up for a full season by NBC. Rolling Stone has details.
- Peter and the Starcatcher's Adam Chanler-Berat tells Broadway.com about some his obsessions, like Breaking Bad and his athletic cats.
- A Giant may soon be sitting beside Kelly Ripa. Word on the street is that former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan will be named Ripa's permanent co-host. I think this is a great idea; Strahan has excelled each time he's served as guest co-host. What do you think?
- The 2011 New York Philharmonic concert production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company, starring Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone and Stephen Colbert, will be released on DVD on November 13. Broadway.com has details.
- Speaking of the NY Phil, the venerable orchestra will present "Symphonic Sondheim," a night (January 29) full of orchestral arrangements of Stephen Sondheim's music. Playbill has details.
- A cavalcade of musicians, including John Mayer, will gather on October 3 to honor the late Levon Helm. Rolling Stone has details.
- More Arrested Development news: David Cross says there may be more than just 10 episodes in the upcoming fourth season! Rolling Stone has details.
- This week, we mourned the loss of the comedy legend Phyllis Diller. The comic passed away on Monday, August 20, at age 95.