Chuck Lorre is bringing his take on immigrant life in America to CBS on Sept. 23 and claims it has nothing to do with President Donald Trump's hardline stance on the crisis at the southern U.S. border.
The creator of such hits as The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon told a TV critics meeting Aug. 1 that Bob Hearts Abishola is about the greatness of first-generation immigrants and the hard work and focus they bring to their new lives in America.
"I have no idea what the reaction might be. I hope it's what's in our heart," Lorre said. "We're all immigrants or grandchildren of immigrants or greatgrandchildren of immigrants. It's not a political show in that sense. It's about people."
Lorre pulled a yellow baseball cap with the black letters IMAG out of a plastic grocery bag, explaining it stood for Immigrants Make America Great as he donned it.
He said the show is about people he has known who have come to America.
"I've always thought that is a great story," he said.
On the surface, the show resembles a romantic comedy in the vein of Lorre's hit Mike & Molly, which co-starred Billy Gardell, who plays one of the title characters in the show.
But Lorre said the romance is merely a way to get into the story of Bob, a middle-aged compression sock salesman from Detroit, who falls for his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant, while recovering from a heart attack.
"I don't think he cares where she's from," Gardell said. "He just thinks there's a moment of safety after a moment of danger."
Folake Olowofoyeku (fola-ke-olo-wo-foy-e-ku), a Nigeria native, plays Abishola. Producer Gina Yashere, a Briton whose parents are Nigerian, was brought in to help Lorre and fellow executive producer Al Higgins with authenticity.
Yashere quickly asked the name of the nurse. Higgins said they were thinking Lupita, inspired by actress Lupita Nyong'o.
Yashere pointed out Nyong'o was born in Mexico and grew up in Kenya. She gave Lorre and Higgins a list of Nigerian names and they chose Abishola, which she said means to guide.
"Not too complicated for the American palate once you get used to it," Yashere said.
Ruby Rose will play gay Batwoman on TV
Ruby Rose suffered the slings and arrows from schoolmates about being different before the rise of social media.
The 33-year-old gender-fluid actress — who came out as a lesbian at age 12 in her native Australia — hopes her title role on The CW's new series Batwoman lets viewers know they're not alone.
It's the first TV series headlined by an out LGBTQ superhero.
Rose, who has said she is bipolar, believes society has come a long way in accepting different groups and says she is seeing greater representation of them on television.
At the same time, Rose told a TV critics gathering on Aug. 4 that social media is "terrifying."
Rose says there's "a lot of pressure" on kids today and she wants young people to be able to identify and relate to characters they're watching on Batwoman.
Newcomer will take on Nancy Drew role
Pamela Sue Martin, TV's original Nancy Drew, has passed the torch to the actress playing the latest incarnation of the teenage sleuth.
Martin will appear on The CW's remake that blends mystery, suspense, a supernatural element and a bit of horror. She got her big break on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries with Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson in the late 1970s.
Martin wrote a letter to Kennedy McMann, who at 22 is getting her big break on the remake a year after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University.
"It's, like, tear-stained. I cried when I read it," McMann told a TV critics gathering Aug. 4. "It had a lot to do just with the industry and standing up for oneself and making your own decisions and how to kind of transition into a role like this and the repercussions of that in Hollywood. It was very thoughtful."
Martin quit the original after one season when her role was reduced with the merger of the two shows. But she was thrilled to be asked to appear in the remake.
"She came so prepared," director Larry Teng said. "She was a real huge contributor."
While some of the characters and mystery theme resemble the original, McMann's Nancy Drew has sex.
"We're making the show for The CW and that audience," executive producer Stephanie Savage said. "The little ones know that this show isn't for them, and they're going to have to wait until they're older."
Scott Wolf, who plays the sleuth's father, Carson, joked, "I was just hearing about this sex thing for the first time. We'll talk later."
McMann, the daughter of young adult author Lisa McMann, grew up reading the Nancy Drew series of books, but she didn't reread them in preparation for the role.
"I wanted to just be true and dedicate myself to the Nancy that we were creating," she said, "with all the knowledge that I already had to back up the historical relevance of her traits."
Nancy Drew debuts Oct. 9.
Gal Gadot to portray actress Hedy Lamarr
Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot is taking on a real-life woman's remarkable history.
Showtime said Friday that Gadot will play actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr in a limited series.
Lamarr, a stunning beauty who came to Hollywood from Europe in the late 1930s, worked with top stars including Judy Garland and Clark Gable. Ziegfeld Girl in 1941 and 1940's Boom Town were among Lamarr's films.
But it was her work as an inventor that distinguished her, including a patented device that became a foundation for modern Wi-Fi technology.
The untitled series will look at feminism during Hollywood's golden age and World War II through Lamarr's life and work, Showtime said. An airdate was not announced.
The late actress was the subject of a 2017 documentary, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.
The end of Homeland to begin in February
Showtime says the eighth and final season of Homeland will debut in early 2020.
The channel said on Friday that production on the acclaimed drama's last 12 episodes is underway.
Former CIA agent Carrie struggled last season to uncover an international conspiracy to harm America's democratic institutions.
The final season will open with Carrie, played by Claire Danes, recovering physically and mentally from her imprisonment in a Russian gulag. She's enlisted to help co-star Mandy Patinkin's Saul in a bid for peace in Afghanistan.
Other cast members include Beau Bridges, Maury Sterling and Linus Roache.
Showtime says the final season of Homeland will begin Feb. 9.
Jim Carrey's Kidding gets Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande returns to her acting roots with an appearance in Jim Carrey's series Kidding.
The Grammy-winning singer with the big vocal range guests in season two of the Showtime series that returns Nov. 3. And yes, she sings.
Carrey told a TV critics gathering on Aug. 2 that Grande was game to be silly and have fun. Carrey plays children's TV host Mr. Pickles who has a difficult family life off-screen.
Carrey joked that he's sure Grande was nervous singing with him. He calls Grande "a singular artist" whose vocal ability is like magic while he says he croaked out his performance.
In an Instagram post, Grande called it "the most special experience of my life." She said she's been a fan of Carrey since childhood.
Grande began her career as an actress, appearing on Broadway in the musical 13 and two Nickelodeon TV series.
Style on 08/13/2019
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