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Posts Tagged ‘Debra Messing’

Vulture Circles Debra Messing’s Off-Target Show

The headline for Margaret Lyons‘ Vulture review is emphatic: “Mysteries of Laura Is a Bad Show. It’s a Bad, Bad Show.” And as you might expect, the article below that headline is a rad read. It’s a rad, rad read.

TheMysteriesofLaura

Starting with some astute bricks-and-mortar fact-checking:

Messing stars as Laura, a miserable human who abuses her police power by intimidating random pre-school teachers. She loves product-placing Target, and even though she lives in Manhattan, it seems very, very unlikely that she lives anywhere near Harlem or 117th Street. I resent integrated advertising in general, but it’s truly egregious here.

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Glenn Close and Damages Cast Celebrate Season Four

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Before dashing off to their summer cottages in the Hamptons for the long holiday weekend, the media mavens and moguls were at their regular perches at Michael’s today for a bit of last minute networking. It was SRO at the bar and the dining room was jam packed, because the Garden Room was reserved for a party hosted by the cast of Damages, the water cooler legal drama starring Glenn Close as a ruthless Manhattan attorney.

Last year, FX cancelled the show after three seasons, but it got a stay of execution from Direct TV which will air the season four premiere on July 13. I caught up with the series’ co-creator and show runner Daniel Zelman (who happens to be Debra Messing‘s husband, in case you didn’t know) before the party to find out what he thought of the move. “FX was wonderful and terrifically supportive, and Direct TV has been great. We’re thrilled about their commitment to the show,” he told me, adding that Damages will be the first stateside television series to air exclusively on the company’s new Audience Network. (They also aired the beloved but viewer deprived Friday Night Lights, which they shared with NBC.)

I asked Daniel what ripped-from-the-headlines news story would serve as the inspiration for the upcoming season. “The privatization of  war industry,” he told me, saying that the new scripts are “loosely based” on those stories about for-hire firms like Blackwater who are paid to go to Iraq and Afghanistan. “The stories behind the for-profit companies involved in the war effort are very interesting. There is a lot to explore,” he said.  Last season’s scalding Shakespearean version of  the Madoff saga certainly made for very compelling human drama, and Daniel says that while there is no single larger than life figure this season, faithful viewers will be rewarded. “At the end of it, we hope they feel like they’ve been watching a 13-hour movie and feel satisfied with their investment.” With a stellar cast (all in attendance today) headed by Close, Rose Byrne (loved you in Bridesmaids!), John Goodman and Dylan Baker, we’re sure viewers will have plenty to chew on. We’ll be watching.

I had a lively lunch today with Self’s editor-in chief Lucy Danziger who arrived on her scooter with entertainment director Laura Brounstein. Rounding out our foursome was Huffington Post’s new women’s editor Lori Leibovich who is busy these days getting ready to launch a host of new verticals including ones devoted to parenting, baby boomers and pets.

Lucy just celebrated her 10th anniversary at Self , and she’s more energized than ever. She gave Lori and me a quick tour of Self’s July issue with cover girl Zooey Deschanel on the magazine’s iPad App which featured videos of fashion spreads with Cobra Starship set to music and stop action video demonstrating the exercise moves in the fitness features. This being ‘The Music Issue,’ Lucy and her team came up with some clever ways to get readers’ heart rates up, including playlists designed to motivate and slim them down. “Music is scientifically proven to be a powerful fitness tool,” she says. Just ask May’s cover girl Gwyneth Paltrow.

It was clear from seeing Lucy zip her way around her iPad during lunch that she has completely embraced her magazine’s digital doppelganger (which just launched in April with cover girl Kim Kardashian hosting live chats) and sees it as a way to connect with her readers like never before.  ”The print magazine is great. It refreshes a reader’s commitment on a monthly basis,” she explained. “But we can reach the same reader every day with something new with our App. We refresh our content every day and are constantly coming up with new ways to make our readers feel more involved. We had three million uniques last month and, in the digital world, we can reach those readers 24/7.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1.  Lucy Danziger, Laura Brounstein, Lori Leibovich and yours truly

2. Peter Brown

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Sherrie Westin

4.  PR scion Steve Rubenstein

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It’s An A-Lister Buffet! Cate Blanchett, Debra Messing, Star Jones and The Morning Joe Team

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It’s a sure sign that spring is actually on its way when the A-list comes out of hibernation and flocks to Michael’s once again. The appearance of Cate Blanchett and Debra Messing holding court at their respective tables had the whole place buzzing. Wendy Williams, seated in the middle of the action, could barely focus on her own table because she was so excited. We also have to imagine that the grub at the NBC cafeteria must be wanting these days, because there were so many of the network’s bold face names (Joe! Mika! David!) all around the room.

I was joined today by my good friend, Diana Biederman, managing director of Blackbird PR and Kristen Vigrass, president of The Brandman Agency. We were celebrating Kristen’s promotion to to president of the firm which was announced earlier this year. A public relations vet with a long history in the luxury market for companies including Calvin Klein, Kristen started at The Brandman Agency as a supervisor and worked her way up during her decade with the company. Bravo!

Kristen tells me she and founder Melanie Brandman are planning to celebrate a decade of working together with a possible  sojourn to Borneo. The exotic port of call will be on the intinerary later this year when the agency’s client Orion Expedition Cruises sets sail to the destination with a new ship. Kristen’s suitcase is always packed and ready to go somewhere. The Brandman Agency also represents Intercontinental Hotels Group and Orient-Express Hotels. When do we leave?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Debra Messing, looking every inch the star in a luxe white fur vest with her manager Molly Madden (the gals co-produced Messing’s now cancelled series The Starter Wife for USA Networks) and producer Desiree Gruber.

2. A Fox5 reunion: Rosanna Scotto, Penny Crone and Lynne White.

3. Sony Pictures Television head Steve Mosko with Tom Bernard and Michael Barker

4. Here’s an interesting trio: Uber celeb handler Cindi Berger, Hearst honcho Ellen Levine and Conde Nast front woman Maurie Perl

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Fashion Week: Celebs to Press @ Michael Kors: Look But Don’t Talk to me!

With the surprising dearth of A-listers at Fashion Week (Does Sophia Bush ever stay home?), those of us who brave crowds at the tents to ask celebs burning questions like: ‘Besides your Blackberry what do you never leave home without?’ the Michael Kors show promised to yield plenty of chatty items that populate the pages of People and Us ‘Weekly. IGM’s Fern Mallis said there’d be no less than 15 marquee names (“Raquel Welsh is backstage”)in the front row. Jackpot!

When Angie Harmon had been nice enough to stop and chat about the Writer’s Strike on her way into the tents, things looked promising. We took a lap around the front row spying cards that boasted names such as Natasha Richardson and Sigourney Weaver. A few seats down, there were plenty of blanks (with the exception of a sole seat tagged Chris Ivery‘ — clever, since he’s the hubby of Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo and the seat next to him was empty. However…

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Watch the Box: Reprise, Recycle, Return

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Debra Messing returns as The Starter Wife in a 10-episode USA series. Writing team Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott are EPs.

Damon Wayans is executive producer, writer and star in an untitled project for ABC, assuming the net likes the script. The storyline focuses on a recent widowed dad and the 19 year old step son he never knew.
(That can’t be right–a step son he never knew? So the kid’s a total stranger?)

George Lucas is planning a Star Wars TV series, with lots of robots, but no Luke, Leia, or Darth Vader. Jar-Jar, come out, come out wherever you are….

WE goes retro with Chain Gang Girls–a two-hour documentary about the lives of incarcerated women shackled and working together on a prison chain gang. This is women’s entertainment?

Reggie Jackson, High-End Tequila, Rich People: Jockeying For Position @ Bridgehampton Polo Opener

“Are you interested in chartering a yacht this summer?”

That’s the first question they ask you when you enter the VIP area of the Bridgehampton Polo Club in Bridgehampton, Long Island — a breezy, three-plus-hour afternoon drive from Manhattan — where the 2007 Mercedes-Benz Polo Challenge chukked off Saturday.

Second question (also the fifth, seventh, eighth and eleventh): “Would you like soda water with your Patron and grapefruit splash?”

This is, after all, the Hamptons, where the privleged shell out $15,000 and up for a private concert series from Prince, James Taylor, Dave Matthews, Billy Joel, Tom Petty; where Hummers tow Ferraris (not kidding, saw just that on the L.I.E.); where Howard Stern‘s girlfriend Beth O. gets more attention than Reggie Frickin’ Jackson; where bartenders rinse mixing glasses with Evian; where someone is referred to as the “mallet maestro” with a straight face; where barely anyone notices, or cares, that Danny Masterson is deejaying; where barely anyone notices, or cares, which team wins the match, much less who’s playing. (White Birch beat Team Endeavor 12-7 or something.)

Nope, it’s a place where people want to look each other looking at each other — and the ensuing awkwardness of looking at say, that guy [below], is washed away with each bottle of free Patron. (Oh, tequila.)

Still, we don’t necessarily blame the crowd at Two Trees Farm for not caring about polo. It’s a sport that calls its periods “chukkas,” allows Debra Messing — the event’s celebrity host — to pose for the on-field paparazzi before issuing the throw-in, and its players to pose for photos with VIPs beyond the tents at halftime — yes, during the match.

More photos of the, excuse us, clusterf*ckery:

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