Drew Barrymore's half-sister Jessica was found dead in her car on Tuesday (29Jul14). Jessica Barrymore, who shared the same father as Drew, was found in a vehicle in National City, just north of San Diego, California at 6am.
According to reports, local resident Marta Lopez found Jessica, 47, slumped behind the wheel of the car, which had blocked the driveway to Lopez's apartment building. Pills were discovered on the passenger seat and a can of energy drink was wedged between her legs.
The Medical Examiner's Office confirmed her identity to local radio station 10News.
An autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death.
Jessica would have turned 48 on Thursday (31Jul14). She is the daughter of John Drew Barrymore and his third wife Nina Wayne.
Actor Sam Waterston is going gay to romance Martin Sheen in Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin's new TV comedy Grace And Frankie.
The Law & Order veteran will play Sol, the husband to Tomlin's character Frankie, opposite Sheen as Fonda's onscreen partner.
The show, about two warring women whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands come out of the closet and announce plans to wed one another, will reunite Waterston with his The Newsroom co-star Fonda, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Grace and Frankie, created by Friends writers Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, is due to debut on video-streaming site Netflix next year (15).
Focus Features via Everett Collection
Martin Sheen is set to come out of the closet as a gay man in video-streaming site Netflix's new comedy Grace & Frankie. The veteran actor has signed up to play the husband of Jane Fonda's character, who announces he's in love with her nemesis' partner.
Fonda's 9 to 5 co-star Lily Tomlin will play Frankie to the Monster-in-Law star's Grace. The comedy, created by Friends writers Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, is set to debut next year (15). The Help's Tate Taylor, who is among the producers, will direct the first episode.
Sheen has held a recurring role in son Charlie's comedy Anger Management over the past two years, but Grace and Frankie will mark his first full series role since The West Wing ended its seven-season run in 2006. The 13-episode series is set to premiere next year (15).
Whether you loved it, hated it, or just enjoyed making fun of it, there's no denying that last week's Sound of Music, Live! television special on NBC drew a lot of attention and some massive ratings. And all of those people watching and live-tweeting have inspired the network to make it an annual holiday tradition. That's right: there will now be a live musical on television every year, for better or for worse. NBC already has a few new productions they're currently circling, and although it's still too early to reveal any clues about what audiences can expect next year, they have promised that they're looking for something that's family-friendly and has enough familiar songs to appease everyone.
With those strict criteria in mind, we've come up with five options for musicals we'd love to see NBC turn into a live television special, and five they should avoid at all costs.
Funny Girl Since it's likely that NBC will turn to some classic movie musicals in order to find inspiration for their next production, we suggest they step away from the obvious choice of My Fair Lady and instead go with Funny Girl, the musical that made Barbra Striesand a household name. There's plenty of familiar songs to catch people's attention and the story will appeal to older audiences who are familiar with the movie, or younger audiences who grew up watching it. If they're interested in enticing a younger audience, all they would have to do is cast Lea Michele, whose Glee character Rachel Berry is currently playing the part, and who is a shoo-in for the lead if the production ever returns to Broadway. Besides, if there's anyone in the world who is set to inherit Streisand's legacy, it's Michele, and this would be the perfect place to establish herself as a mini-Barbra.
Thoroughly Modern MillieAlthough the movie might be less familiar to most audiences than Funny Girl, the musical, which was originally produced in 2002, has become a staple of high school theater departments across the country. This connection would allow the network to draw a younger audience, who are familiar with the production, but the 1920s setting and jazz-age inspired music won't turn off an older audience either. And even though the songs might not be as well-known as the score of The Sound of Music, it's catchy and up-beat enough to stick in your head for weeks afterward. For star power, NBC could go with Sutton Foster, who originated and won a Tony Award for the role when it was on Broadway, as her stint on the beloved but canceled Bunheads would draw a decent sized audience who are eager to see more from Foster.
Wicked Sure, they could choose The Wizard of Oz, which has become part of a holiday tradition for many people already, but let's face it: without Judy Garland, the show's kind of boring. Instead, the network should go with Wicked, which has become somewhat of a modern classic. It's entertaining enough for children, complex enough for adults, and has become a pop culture phenomenon and the biggest hit musical Broadway has seen in quite some time, all of which would translate to massive ratings for NBC. Sure, the set would be a bit complicated, but nothing draws in viewers like the risk of a fly rig malfunctioning live on air. Plus, if the network managed to get Idina Menzel or Kristin Chenoweth to reprise their roles, there's no way anyone would watch anything else that night.
Little Shop of HorrorsThis choice might be a little less family-friendly than some of our other suggestions, but despite the threat of a man-eating plant, Little Shop of Horrors has cross-generational appeal, and its score has the familiarity that NBC is looking for in a musical. The danger and sentient plants will appeal to children, and the story is well known and well-loved by older viewers, so it really wouldn't be as risky for NBC as they might think. Plus, all they would have to do is cast Neil Patrick Harris as Seymour, and the ratings would come flooding in.
Guys and DollsAnother classic that would work for NBC would be Guys and Dolls. Like Millie, it's a staple of theaters across the country, and the score contains songs that have become famous in their own right. This one might be harder to entice a younger audience to watch, as it lacks some of the flashier elements that would keep children entertained, but that could easily be solved by casting Hugh Jackman. Ideally, Jackman would play Sky Masterson, which would allow him to work his charm on both Sarah Brown and the audience, but he could also pull off a fantastic Nathan Detroit — especially if he had a talented, comedic actress to play off of. Perhaps Lauren Graham could reprise her role as Miss Adelaide?
Spring AwakeningYou might think we're crazy for including a rock musical that includes profanity, nudity, suicide, and back-alley abortions, but if NBC decided to appeal to a younger audience, there's a chance they could follow in the footsteps of 90210 and decide to mount a production of Spring Awakening. After all, it was Lea Michele's breakthrough theater role, and if they managed to bring back the original cast — which included Frozen's Jonathan Groff, Skylar Astin from Pitch Perfect, and The Newsroom star John Gallgher Jr. — then high ratings would be guaranteed. But there's no way that a television network would manage to put on this show effectively, since they would have to change about 95 percent of it.
Mary PoppinsWith Saving Mr. Banks hitting theaters soon, NBC might decide to capitalize off of the renewed interested in Mary Poppins and put on the musical next year. While it's a great choice for them, being a much loved film with familiar songs, characters and stories, we don't think it's such a good idea. Firstly, Disney would never grant them the rights, as that would mean handing over massive ratings to a rival network. But, more importantly, if there's one thing we all learned from The Sound of Music it's this: don't ever attempt to recreate a role made famous by Julie Andrews.
AnnieYes, it's a classic, and yes, everyone knows at least two songs from the show and are able to belt them out at the drop of a hat. But do you really want to spend a whole three hours watching precocious children sing and dance on screen while your obnoxious little cousins do the same in your living room, and everyone around you acts like it's the cutest thing they've ever seen even though it's clearly terrible? No, we didn't think so.
The Phantom of the OperaDespite currently being the longest-running show on Broadway, which proves its universal appeal, and the fact that it would look almost as amazing onscreen as it does in the theater, Phantom is a terrible idea for a television special. Why? Because in addition to encouraging plenty of people to romanticize a relationship that consists entirely of stalking and kidnapping, after about two songs, it feels as if you're just listening to a three-hour funeral march. Plus, there are very few people who are both famous enough to draw in an audience and talented enough to sing that score without it being a complete train wreck.
CatsThis year, give your family the gift that keeps on giving: the trauma that results from watching a bunch of adults wearing skintight leotards and face paint crawl around in some moodily-lit garbage cans to a score that it both incredibly boring and obnoxiously catchy. We'll sit this one out, thanks.
FOX Broadcasting Co.
The modern woman may get discouraged when flipping through the channels and realizing why women are taking up working. Seems like Torture, Humiliation and Murder are key motivators for finding one's dream job these days.
Alicia Florrick, Peggie Olson, Marta Walraven: All working women on your favorite (and not-so-favorite) past and present TV shows.
Alicia Florrick’s husband embarrassed the family with a sex scandal on The Good Wife. Peggy Olson had to give her child up for adoption on Mad Men with only the vapid Don Draper to lean on (not sure which is worse), and on the short lived Red Widow, Marta Walraven’s husband was murdered in her driveway. The common thread here? They all became successful at work following these tragedies. Alicia become a partner at her firm, Peggy got an unheard-of raise for women in her time, and Marta jumped into the drug trade.
Nothing better than a good near-death, feels-like-death or actual death experience to motivate a woman to take the reins to their lives and get a job.
But please, do not fret! Not all women on TV get begin careers on the heels of calamities.
While comedic calamity may follow the lovable Jess Day (New Girl), she carries her career close to her heart. She didn’t need to come home to find her husband murdered to find out teaching was her passion.
Even drama pulls in a hard-working fresh face with Elizabeth Keen on the hit show, The Blacklist. With advanced training in psychology and behavioral analysis, she enters law enforcement as an FBI profiler. Sure, her job has gotten her loving husband tied to a chair and beaten, but only after her commitment to her career.
Liz Lemon (30 Rock) was the ultimate working gal. She produced her own TV show, dealt with corporate beasts and talent alike. Sure, her relationships sometimes come in second, but she’s got a job and a boyfriend (at times) and nobody gets murdered.
The similarity between all these women: serious dedication to career.
America's First Lady Michelle Obama has scrapped a Hollywood fundraiser as the U.S. government shutdown begins a second week. Government officials announced the shutdown last Tuesday (01Oct13) after the Senate and Congress failed to agree on a budget, leaving 800,000 civic employees on forced unpaid leave, and, because of the hold up, Obama has cancelled her scheduled appearance at the Democratic National Committee fundraiser, which was to be held at the home of Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal's home, according to Deadline.com.
The original event was initially scheduled for 9 September (13), with President Barack Obama visiting the home of Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman. However, the fundraiser was cancelled due to the possibility of military action in Syria, and his wife agreed to take his place at the re-scheduled event.
Actress Marta Heflin has died at the age of 68. The stage and screen star passed away on 18 September (13) after a long illness, according to The New York Times.
Heflin is best known for her roles in Hollywood movies A Perfect Couple and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, in which she starred opposite Karen Black, Cher and Kathy Bates.
She also racked up Broadway credits in productions including Fiddler On The Roof and Hair in the 1960s and in Jesus Christ Superstar in the 1970s.
Heflin came from a long line of entertainers - her mum was theatre producer/journalist Julia Heflin, and she was the niece of actress Frances Heflin and Oscar-winning actor Van Heflin.
Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman has spoken out to debunk rumours suggesting the stars of the hit sitcom have been secretly hatching plans for a TV reunion. The hugely successful comedy, starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry, came to an end in 2004 after 10 seasons on air, but the show was back in the headlines this week (beg15Apr13) as reports suggested bosses at America's NBC network were putting together plans for a 2014 comeback.
However, co-creator Kauffman has now stepped up to silence the gossip, insisting a new season is not in the works.
She tells E! Online, "I'm going to clear this up right now - no, it's not happening!"
Kauffman is also adamant the series will never be made into a movie like TV contemporary Sex and The City.
She adds, "Friends was about that time in your life when your friends are your family and once you have a family, there's no need anymore. I'd rather people go, 'Oh, please! Please!' than 'I can't believe you did that. It was horrible.'"
Marta Walraven never thought she'd get into the family business, considering the family business is organized crime. But the wealthy, stay-at-home mom ends up fraternizing with mobsters anyway after her husband is murdered in a drug deal-gone-wrong and she must repay his debt. So begins ABC's brand-new drama, Red Widow, premiering Sunday, March 3 at 9 PM. Should you give the new show, based on the Dutch series Penoza, a shot? Check out our dossier for all the scoop on the series:
Actors you'll know: You'll recognize the titular widow, Aussie Radha Mitchell, from any number of movies. Take your pick: Silent Hill, Surrogates, Finding Neverland, Phone Booth ... I don't know your taste! But you've probably seen her in something. Everyone's favorite Croatian ER doc, Goran Visnjic, plays the crime boss wronged by Marta's husband. Chances are you'll recognize perennial "that guy" Clifton Collins, Jr., too, but you might have to just hit up his IMDb page to find out from where because that dude might have actually been in every movie ever.
RELATED: 'Red Widow': 'Weeds' With a Brutal Twist
You'll like it if: You miss The Sopranos, but wish the accents were less Jersey and more foreign.
Top 5 Reasons You Might Want to Watch: You're into take-charge women (and who isn't?). You're too impatient to wait until Hell on Wheels returns for Season 3, so Anson Mount as Marta's soon-to-be-murdered husband is good enough for you. You don't have HBOGo, and thus must find your organized crime programming elsewhere. You miss Nancy Botwin, but wish she was a little more likable (and a little less funny).
Reasons You Might NOT Want to Watch: Um, Anson Mount dies in the premiere. You hate when TV actors attempt Russian accents. You're picturing Luka as a family man in Boston with Abby, not killing people in San Francisco. You're bummed that Zero Hour is already kaput and can't take even the possibility of another quick cancellation.
Love it, or Leave it? Love it if you're in desperate need of a kickass female role model. Leave it if you get attached quickly, because ABC sure doesn't. (RIP Last Resort and Zero Hour.)
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
[PHOTO CREDIT: ABC/SERGEI BACHLAKOV]
From Our Partners:Justin Bieber Celebrates 19th Birthday, Loses His Pants (Vh1)60 Celebrity Bikini Bodies: Guess Who! (Celebuzz)
There are a ton of layers to ABC's new crime drama, Red Widow, so let's have star Radha Mitchell explain the plot herself: "Red Widow is a family drama slash crime story about a woman called Marta Petrova who is a Mafiosa child who has tried to turn herself into a San Franciscan housewife," the leading lady tells Hollywood.com on the Red Widow set in Vancouver, Canada.
RELATED: Clocks, Nazis, Russian Mobsters And More In ABC’s New Dramas
A mother of three, Marta has spent her entire life trying to shield her children from her family’s mafia past. But when her husband is murdered on their front driveway — in front of their youngest child! — Marta is forced into the cocaine-fueled crime world to protect her family and uncover the secrets surrounding her husband’s demise. Mitchell explains, “[Marta is] dragged into a brutal reality that she really doesn’t want to be a part of, but discovers that she has talents that she didn’t know she had.”
Although fans will see Marta excel in this dark world, her family remains her main priority “First and foremost she’s a mother, and the rest of all of this is just to protect her children.” Mitchell says. “She’ll be in the middle of a drug deal but she’s got to get home and cook dinner for the kids, so she’ll be on the phone talking about ordering pizza.”
If you’re thinking that our protagonist sounds similar to Weeds' iconic anti-hero Nancy Botwin, who began selling pot to get by after her husband died, you would definitely be correct. “I think that might be a pretty decent comparative,” the actress says. “I think the tone of this show is a bit more brutal and the drama is kind of intense but yeah, it’s a woman in a world that she didn’t expect to be in doing things that most women don’t want to do.”
RELATED: 'ER' Vet Joins 'Red Widow'
Check out the rest of Mitchell’s interview from the Red Widow set to learn all about what’s coming up on this dark new drama.
Red Widow premieres with a special 2-hour event on Sunday, March 3 at 9 PM on ABC.
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
[Photo Credit: ABC]
From Our Partners:Justin Bieber Celebrates 19th Birthday, Loses His Pants (Vh1)60 Celebrity Bikini Bodies: Guess Who! (Celebuzz)