Tuning in to TV: McCormack ready for critics to nitpick his new series

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“I was absolutely baffled by the critics when they said, ‘We already have an advertising show. You’re riding on the coattails of “Mad Men.” ‘ “

Of course, some shows decisively break from the pack. Like “Will & Grace,” for instance, built around its saucy pair of BFFs: a handsome gay man and a beautiful straight woman cohabiting in Manhattan.

Though it ended its eight-season network run six years ago, the show was thrust back in the news just a few weeks ago.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s “Meet the Press” declaration that he is “absolutely comfortable” with gay marriage nudged President Obama to endorse gay marriage days later. Mr. Obama credited “Will & Grace” with doing “more to educate the public than almost anything anybody’s done so far.”

Mr. McCormack said the “Will & Grace” team never meant to make a big deal of the message it put out.

“We never wanted to be a show that said, ‘Oh, and we’re making a difference,’ ” he insisted. “Taking credit for that seemed the best way to kill the comedy in the show.

“But it’s nice, years after the fact, to hold up our heads and say, ‘It was funny and timely and even daring.’ And if we made the road easier for a series like ‘Modern Family,’ I’m glad, ‘cause it’s a brilliant show.”

In the meantime, Mr. McCormack is looking forward to “Perception,” which, he believes, will rise or fall on its characters (“Do you want to be with them every week?”), not its premise.

As for the premise, whatever it is or might have been - cops or doctors or six friends sitting around an apartment being funny - “there’s always going to be comparisons,” Mr. McCormack said.

Big Ang of ‘Mob Wives’ to release book in September

Big Ang was the breakout star of VH1’s “Mob Wives,” and now the fan favorite is building her brand: She’s writing a book.

Big Ang said Friday that her first book will be released on Sept. 11 through Simon & Schuster. It’s called “Bigger Is Better: Real Life Wisdom from the No-Drama Mama.” She said it will include “all kinds of stuff.”

Big Ang’s real name is Angela Raiola. She first gained attention on the second season of “Mob Wives” as the friendly one and peacemaker when the girls got into fights.

VH1’s website says she’s the niece of Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi, a deceased captain of the Genovese crime family.

“I didn’t think about any of this. This all came to me,” she said of her recent fame. “Did you think at my age I was looking to go on TV?”

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