The fourth season of Nurse Jackie is gearing up to welcome some pretty formidable patients to All Saints' Hospital. One of whom will be film, stage and television veteran Joel Grey, who might well be most famous for his Master of Ceremonies role in the 1972 film Cabaret. Grey will be joining Edie Falco and the rest of the Showtime series' cast on a an episode in the fourth season, playing a patient suffering from dementia. Grey is inequivocally skilled in both comedic and dramatic acting, so it's hard his appearance could lean either way, especially considering the comedic and dramatic balance on which Nurse Jackie prides itself. The Showtime series will return to television in 2012. -TVLine
Jennie Garth will be stepping out of the bounds of the 90210 zipcode to take a stab at her own comedy series: ABC has cast the former Kelly Taylor as the lead in a new sitcom Village People. Garth's character will be a business-minded executive named Alexa who takes on the responsibility of caring for an "at risk" teen mother and her infant child, eventually adopting the infant. The very nature of this series has drama written all over it, so it's especially interesting that the show is dubbed a comedy. -Deadline
Ashley Tisdale is known for her very musical high school education. Of course, she also had a brief shot at college on Hellcats. But now, she's ready for parenthood. The High School Musical star will appear on an episode of Fox's dramedy, Raising Hope. In your classic TV romance scheme, Tisdale will pose as a fake girlfriend for protagonist Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff) in an effort to make his love interest Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) jealous. Raising Hope airs Tuesday nights at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. -EW
Every great mind eventually meets its match and accordingly, this upcoming guest appearance on Fox's House is being slated as the showdown of the the century. Film actor Jeffrey Wright (celebrated especially for his roles in The Manchurian Candidate and Angels in America) will find his way to the New Jersey-based hospital to challenge and possibly dismiss Dr. House's (Hugh Laurie) authority. Apparently, Wright's character will be a famed neurosurgeon who has some kind of student-teacher relationship with Dr. House's associate, Dr. Foreman (Omar Epps). What will come of this titanic clash, we cannot say, but there will definitely be some damage. House airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. -TVLine
Set in the turbulent ‘60s each character in Across the Universe represents a different aspect to the unstable times. There’s naïve Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) whose eyes are opened to the possibilities of life beyond her WASPy sheltered upbringing; adventurous Jude (Jim Sturgess) who breaks away from his Liverpool working-class roots to make it as an artist in New York; and Lucy’s brother Max (Joe Anderson) a college dropout who eventually gets drafted and sent to Vietnam. There’s also Sadie (Dana Fuchs) a Janis Joplin-esque rock singer; her guitar-playing lover Jo-Jo (Martin Luther McCoy) who hails from the riot-torn streets of Detroit; and even a burgeoning lesbian named Prudence (T.V. Carpio). They are all soon swept up into the '60s' emerging psychedelic anti-war and counterculture movements while Across the Universe lets the songs from one of the era’s most influential bands tell the story. But what drives the film is Jude and Lucy’s love for each other—and all you need is love right? You know you are in for something different when indie darling Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen) is the most recognizable star. Luckily for Across the Universe the cast of unknowns delivers--and then some. Making his film debut newcomer Sturgess is a particular standout looking very much like one of the Beatles boys in their heyday. His earnest performance as the love-struck Jude immediately hits a chord (pun intended) and he makes breaking out into a Beatles tune seem entirely natural. Wood doesn’t seem as comfortable with the vocals but the actress has a lovely voice--and of course handles Lucy’s emotional ups and downs with aplomb. All the rest of the supporting cast does a wonderful job adding their own unique reinterpretations to the songs (and yes both “Hey Jude” and “Dear Prudence” pop up). The big fun with Across the Universe however are the cameo appearances: Eddie Izzard sings “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” as a surreal circus ringleader; Joe Cocker sings “Come Together” alternating between a pimp bum and hippie; Salma Hayek takes nursing to a new level in a “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” number; and finally U2’s Bono sings “I Am the Walrus” as the Beat poet/counterculturist Dr. Robert. You haven’t experienced life until you've heard Bono sing “Goo goo g'joob.” In any original musical there is always something a little disconcerting when a character just breaks out into song even if it’s Julie Andrews standing on top of a mountain. But as with Moulin Rouge a character singing a song we all recognize--well that’s a little different. And honestly who doesn’t love Beatles music? Still director Julie Taymor (Frida) took a big chance creating a musical around the legacy that is Beatlemania. It must have been a daunting task searching through the annals of Beatles music to find just the right tunes for just the right moment--but her extremely inventive ways truly pay off. From Uncle Sam screaming “I Want You!” from a poster hanging in an Army recruiting office to Max and his college buddies running around campus belting out “With a Little Help from My Friends ” everything fits taking us on this journey of life love and self-enlightenment. Although Taymor’s forte clearly lies with the very wild and artistic most evident in Across the Universe’s psychedelic acid trips she also expertly highlights the stark reality of a turbulent time. Taymor is a romantic at heart though—a romantic who adores the Beatles. John Lennon would be proud.