GLAAD Assistant Entertainment Media Director
Elton John Scores The Muse
Grammy-winning superstar Elton John has agreed to score the new Albert Brooks' film The Muse (October Films), starring Brooks, Sharon Stone, Andie MacDowell and Jeff Bridges. Besides writing (along with Bernie Taupin) and performing the title song, the music legend will score the whole film, marking the first time he has done so since the 1971 film Friends. John's most recent film work won him acclaim and an Oscar for The Lion King. The Muse is due out next year.
TV's Freshman Shuffle
While the television season has already seen a number of shows either cancelled (Costello) or benched (Encore! Encore!), so far it seems the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has only lost one character, Luis the Latin-American weatherman on The Brian Benben Show. The latest shuffling of the primetime schedule has CBS's To Have and To Hold and Buddy Faro sitting out at least the rest of November sweeps, with a December return. ABC's The Secret Lives of Men has faired much worse-it will not return at all. The freshman comedy lost an average 35% of ratings favorite Drew Carey's lead-in audience. The irony in all this-Secret Lives holds the same timeslot as Ellen did last season.
Center Honors Najimy
On November 21 the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center honored Kathy Najimy (Veronica's Closet, King of the Hill) with their Rand Schrader Distinguished Achievement award at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. Ellen DeGeneres, Najimy's long time friend and the godmother of Najimy's daughter, presented the award. Besides guest starring on the historic sitcom Ellen, Najimy was seen in the gay romantic comedy Jeffrey and was the grand Marshall (photo)of last year's Los Angles Gay Pride Parade.
JTT's Home Improvement
Talk about playing against type. Teen heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT) recently left the hit ABC sitcom Home Improvement for college, and now looks to have an interesting future on the big screen. His part in the independent film Speedway Junky -- executive produced by gay director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Psycho) -- is being described as a "gritty" film about a tough street kid. The director, Nickolas Perry, is known for a segment he did last year for Boy's Life Two, a film consisting of three short gay themed films. The 17-year-old JTT will play one of the downtrodden youth, who sometimes "hustles" to make a buck. Look for Speedway Junky sometime next year.
Will & Grace's Rocky Ratings
The new CBS comedy Becker starring Ted Danson seems to be taking a toll on the critically acclaimed Will & Grace. Already plagued by a bad timeslot opposite Fox's Ally McBeal and a ratings challenged lead in, Will & Grace's ratings have dropped a whopping 25% since Becker premiered earlier this month. It seems more folks are sticking around after Everybody Loves Raymond than did when the now defunct The Brian Benben Show occupied the same timeslot earlier this season.
Fairness Awards Set
On Wednesday, December 2 GLAAD will present its Fairness Awards to production company World of Wonder (Party Monster, Tickled Pink, The Real Ellen Story) and public relations and marketing firm Bragman Nyman Cafarelli at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Bragman, who represents such clients as Whoopi Goldberg and Cameron Diaz, will receive their award from Hollywood mogul Steve Tisch. Drag diva RuPaul, whom World of Wonder partners Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey manage, will present the award to WOW.
Monday, November 23: Jerry Falwell spreads some more love on Politically Incorrect (early Tuesday morning, ABC, 12:35 AM EST./PST)