This week, the Watch has more news on big news for Scott Bukula. We also have the low-down on new projects for Kate Mulgrew and Whoopi Goldberg, Malcolm McDowell taking pride in killing Kirk, William Shatner talking seal violations, LeVar Burton showing his ink, UK fame for George Takei, the latest Jeri Ryan sighting, and and much more below.
Bakula gets new series + to appear in ‘Chuck’ arc
This is a good week for Scott Bakula (Capt. Jonathan Archer). In last week’s CelebWatch, we mentioned that TNT would be making “an imminent decision” on what to do with Men of a Certain Age, a pilot starring Bakula. That decision has been made. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Monday that TNT has picked up Men of a Certain Age as a series and have placed an order for ten episodes. The drama, which marks both Bakula’s and comedian Ray Romano’s return to series television, is slated to premiere this fall. It was also just announced that Bakula will be doing a three episode arc on NBC’s Chuck. Bakula will play Chuck’s estranged father.
Mulgrew has ‘Class’
And another one of Trek’s last Captains has a new gig. It was announced on Monday that Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) will star as Maria Callas in an upcoming production of Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play Master Class. According to BroadwayWorld.com, the production will be staged at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Milburn, New Jersey, from March 4 through April 5, 2009. Visit the provided link for the performance schedule and ticket information.
LeVar shows off his tat + gets Spiner on Twitter
Actor/director LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) got himself a cool tattoo, which he showed off to his followers on Twitter (see image below). The tat, designed by Mark Palmer, is what’s called an Ambigram – that is, it’s two words in one. In Burton’s case, the tatoo reads “LeVar” one way and “Kunta” the other way, referring to his iconic, star-making role of Kunta Kinte from Roots. Check it out below!
LeVar’s awesome tat…now where is the one that reads “Burton”/”Geordi”?
In more Twitterific news, LeVar has convinced his friend and TNG co-star Brent Spiner (Data) to also start Twittering. According to Burton, he and Spiner had a long conversation on January 13th which began with Spiner saying, “Tell me about Twitter.” Today, Spiner joined the likes of Burton, Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher), and William Shatner (Jim Kirk) to become part of the Twitter phenomenon. If you want to follow Spiner on Twitter, then head on over to his Twitter page.
McDowell proud of killing Kirk
In an interview with George Stroumboulopoulos on The Hour, actor Malcolm McDowell discussed his career and many of his films. Among the roles he discussed was that of Dr. Tolian Soran, the mad scientist who killed Captain Kirk in Star Trek Generations. McDowell offered a humorous recollection of this role, as follows:
Oh, yes, I killed him alright. … I go down in history for that… I’m actually quite proud of it. Even though [William] Shatner says to me, “Yeah, you shot me in the back!” And I’m like, “Well, I’m sorry about that, Bill. I would have taken your head off, but it was in the script.” And I said to the producers at the time, “If you want me to do Picard, as well, just bring him up here.”
For the record, McDowell is speaking about the original ending of Generations, which had Soran kill Kirk by shooting him in the back. McDowell talked more about his thoughts on Shatner, saying:
…He’s a very charismatic guy. … I said to Patrick [Stewart], ‘You should get down on your knees and thank Shatner and those guys, because they made it possible for you to earn $10 million doing this thing.’ Shatner, was, he’s got… there’s a twinkle in the eye, you know, whatever he’s doing, singing Beatles or whatever he’s doing … I like to say I freed him up to go be brilliant on Boston Legal.
For the full 18 minute interview, click here.
Whoopi returning to sci-fi
Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan) is heading back to science fiction… on the web. The actress, comedienne, and The View host is producing and starring in a sci-fi series called Stream which premiered today on FEARNet.com. Goldberg talked about the project in an interview with Reuters, explaining that she took on the project because it offered her a new challenge with which to reinvent her acting. She also talked about the project with the LA Times, in which she brings up her gig on Star Trek when explaining her reasons for doing the new web series.
I like the idea of doing lots of work in different genres. Whether it’s stage performances or doing films or voiceovers. I love the idea that there are lots of different ways to act. When we first talked about it, I said, “You have to let me do this.” No one will let me do sci-fi anymore — I did my “Star Trek” thing, and I really love it. And it’s close to being in a horror movie, and no one will ever let me be in a horror movie anymore either.
Shatner survives seal attack (really)
William Shatner (he who is Kirk and wants to stay Kirk but won’t be Kirk in the new movie) appeared on the CBS Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last week. He was there to pimp Raw Nerve, but told a funny story (with full demonstration) of how he was ‘violated’ by a seal during Christmas vacation in Hawaii. The full episode is available to view at at CBS.com. The Shatner Project has just uploaded a behind the scenes video.
Shat still wants to do Trek + the curious case of ‘Shatner money’
In other Shatner news, ABC News has an interview with the Shat-man in which he discusses his new talk show, Shatner’s Raw Nerve. He also took a minute to again address his lack of involvement with the new Star Trek film, but that he would still like to be involved in the franchise’s
revitalization. He explains:
Good for them, bringing it to a new generation. I don’t think I will be involved. But I would love to play the lead in it. And I talk to [director/producer] J.J. [Abrams] all the time, but it’s over the net, so you talk to him for me, OK? Tell him to call. Tell him Shatner says, ‘J.J., call me.’
In the meantime, the town of Riverside, Iowa, is wondering what the heck to do with the money it received for being part of Shatner’s Invasion Iowa project back in 2004. According to ZWire.com, the Invasion Iowa production company gave Riverside $100,000, which the residents refer to as “Shatner money” due to Shatner’s involvement. Now the town is trying to decide what to use the money for, saying they were unsure where Shatner meant for it to go. Now, I’m no expert on city politics, but if they wanted to know what Shatner intended the money to be used for, couldn’t they just, um… ask him?
George v Bill Round 121 & Takei big in the UK
Remember how the feud between Shatner and George Takei (the original Hikaru Sulu) was all going to end when George came on Bill’s new show Raw Nerve? Well it appears they can’t even get that sorted and cue the next flare-up. Contact Music reports Takei has yet to receive the invitation to appear on Raw Nerve, despite Shat’s promise to do so and now it appears Takei doesn’t want to go, being quoted saying “He’s trying to create controversy again. Well, I’m not going to bite the bait!”
George is also continuing to be big news in the UK, after his popular appearence on the show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. Takei was in the UK again last week and his new BFF (soap star Joe Swash) surprised George during an appearance on GMTV. Swash proclaimed his love for Takei, and said, “If he was a bird I think I’d be all over him. I just felt I could kiss him. Not in a gay way.” Ooookay, moving on. Also WENN is reporting that George wants to star on stage in London’s West End, quoting the actor saying “I’ve done theatre all over Britain, but never the West End…that’s my dream. I’d love to work in London; I’ve always been a complete anglophile." And finally George was spotted attending the gala UK premiere of the new movie Clubbed on January 7th.
George is all over the UK
De Longis has ‘Leverage’ with Frakes
Anthony De Longis (Culluh on Voyager) was seen in tonight’s episode of TNT’s Leverage, which was directed by Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker). De Longis discusses his role in the episode in an exclusive interview with iFMagazine. The episode aired on TNT at 10pm EST.
JJ and Jack
This week FOX has been promoting its winter shows at the TCAs, including JJ Abrams’ Fringe. The Star Trek director was spotted on Tuesday night at the Fox All-Star party, along with Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland
Shot taken shortly before Sutherland tortured Abrams for Star Trek secrets
- Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) voices the role of Ted Kord, a.k.a. Blue Beetle, in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode “Fall of the Blue Beatle,” which airs on January 23rd at 8pm on Cartoon Network. (WWdN)
- Zoe Saldana (Uhura in 2009’s Star Trek) is among the people which the Observer wants to see more of and whom they believe will become household names in the coming year. (Observer.com)
- Donna Murphy (Anij in Star Trek: Insurrection) has landed a recurring role on the new TNT drama series Trust Me. (Variety)
- GateWorld has an interview with Robert Picardo (The Doctor), in which the actor talks a bit about his upcoming films and the new Star Trek film; you can read it here.
- DIRECTV has started airing the critically acclaimed but highly controversial TV series Wonderland, which starred Michelle Forbes (Ro Laren). (DirectTV.com)
- The Informers, an upcoming film starring Winona Ryder (Amanda Grayson in 2009’s Star Trek), has received a new, unrated, NSFW trailer, as well as a New York/Los Angeles release date: April 10th. (RopeOfSilicon.com)
- Jeri Ryan attended the BooM BooM RooM’s Children’s Gifting Wonderland at the Century Plaza Hotel on January 10th. (WireImage)
Jeri Ryan rocks the BooM BooM RooM’s Children’s Gifting Wonderland.
TrekMovie.com wishes a very happy birthday to all Trek alumni turning an extra digit this coming week, including:
- Harry Basch (83), Dr. Brown in TOS’s “What Are Little Girls Made Of?;”
- Seymour Cassel (74), Lt. Cmdr. Hester Dealt in TNG’s “The Child;”
- Olivia d’Abo (40), Amanda Rogers in TNG’s “True Q;”
- Andrea Martin (62), Ishka/”Moogie” in DS9’s “Family Business;”
- Larry Nemecek, writer/consultant;
- Dave Rossi (44), producer/production associate/production coordinator; and
- Fritz Weaver (83), Kovat in DS9’s “Tribunal”