- - Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jane Lynch on Brett Ratner: ‘I wasn’t offended’

As a veteran comedian, Jane Lynch knows what it feels like to have a joke fail spectacularly. She also knows how often jokes can offend people.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the “Glee” star spoke with E! at Saturday’s anniversary fete for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, where she came to the defense of director Brett Ratner over his recent use of a gay slur.

“I feel bad for him,” Ms. Lynch said. “I wasn’t offended. I’m OK.”


Mr. Ratner stepped down as producer of the upcoming Oscar ceremony last week. Ms. Lynch acknowledged that as mean-spirited as the word can sound, Mr. Ratner was just making an attempt at a joke.

“I think humor is such a personal thing and you put a microphone in somebody’s face,” she said, “they’re going to say something that offends somebody.”

Ms. Lynch is among a small crop of Hollywood types to say anything in Mr. Ratner’s defense. She joins his friend and “Tower Heist” collaborator Eddie Murphy, who showed his support by bowing out of the Oscars alongside him, and Howard Stern, who defended him on the radio, calling the backlash an act of hypocrisy.

HBO, Sports Illustrated team up for sports series

HBO will team with Sports Illustrated and Endgame Entertainment to produce a sports documentary series, the Associated Press reports.

“Sport in America: Our Defining Stories” is a multipart series scheduled to air in 2013. Sports Illustrated will run editorial packages in conjunction with the programs.

The production company Playground also will work on the series. Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo will be co-directors. Mr. Stern, Mr. Del Deo, Playground’s Colin Callender and SI’s Terry McDonell will serve as executive producers.

Glenn Beck’s online network inks deal for animated series

Glenn Beck’s new Internet-only network is getting animated, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

GBTV, which the conservative firebrand launched as he was exiting Fox News in June, has signed a deal to develop an animated comedy series with Icebox, a production company founded in 1999 by a group of TV writers including Jon Collier (“The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill”) and Howard Gordon (“24,” “Homeland”).

The two outlets are in the brainstorming phase. The end product will join a slate of original programming that includes “Liberty Tree House,” “Mercury Theater” and the comedy news show “The B.S. of A,” along with Mr. Beck’s two-hour show, which is broadcast live weekdays from 5-7 p.m. Additionally, a source close to the company said GBTV is in conversations with several companies about licensing content to air on the network.

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