Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kung Fu of the Emerald Isle

Today at TCA, the CW produced a panel with the producers and stars of its hotly anticipated new show Nikita, the second TV adaptation of the famous French film La Femme Nikita from 1990. (In fact, this new series even films on the same Toronto studios as the 1997-2001 USA Network original which starred Peta Wilson.)

This version stars the beautiful Maggie Q, who I first noticed in the latest Die Hard movie, but who fans of martial arts films may know, from her days training in Asia for such flicks as a protegee of Jackie Chan. And as I first learned at the CW upfront this past May and noticed again today, she's not just kick-ass and gorgeous, but funny, too. (At one point, in response to a question about how much fighting expertise is required for the show, she noted, "I'm half Asian, so people think we all do kung fu all the time. Wake up, do kung fu, brush your teeth...")

One critic asked the panel whether Maggie Q shortened her last name in order to be able to work with the series' producer/director, the accomplished action director McG. The pairing sure sounds hip and exotic -- until McG noted that their real, full names, Quigley for Maggie and McGinty for himself, are both Irish in extraction. (I'm tempted to make bad puns like "the Irish spring into action," etc. but I'll avoid the temptation...)

More on Nikita, including words from co-star Shane West as Michael, to come...!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CBS Goes Gayer

Last week, the gay media watchdog group GLAAD issued its annual report card, where it grades TV networks on their representation -- or lack thereof -- of LGBT characters. As in the past, in GLAAD's estimation, CBS flunked out.

This morning, at the very start of the two-week Television Critics of America press tour in Beverly Hills, CBS President Nina Tassler was asked to address the failing grade.

The network, she said first of all, did have a few gay characters in some of their pilots for this fall, but none of those got picked up. And so, she says, "We're adding a few characters to this season because we're very disappointed in our track record so far. We know, and we will do better."

There will be at least three new gay characters on CBS this fall, Tassler pointed out. We will meet Alicia Florrick's gay brother in season 2 of The Good Wife. On Rules of Engagement this fall, we'll meet the lesbian from Jeff's softball team who will become the surrogate mother for Audrey and him. And on S#*! My Dad Says, Tim Bagley's gay DMV worker -- in my estimation, the best part of that show's pilot -- has become a series regular.

Stay tuned for more news coming out of the TCA, including spoilers from Desperate Housewives' upcoming season 7!