- - Wednesday, August 31, 2011

‘Survivor’s‘ Rupert Boneham may run for Indiana governor

“Survivor: All-Stars” contestant Rupert Boneham may run for governor of Indiana, according to the Associated Press.

Mr. Boneham formed an exploratory committee Monday to possibly seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination.

He said on his campaign website that the current field of candidates doesn’t understand the problems average Hoosiers face. He cited his extensive charity work on behalf of troubled teenagers as his chief qualification.

“He sees a lot of the same status-quo politicians and the same platitudes we get every election cycle, and he thinks we could be on the wrong track and he wants to make a difference,” said Sean Shepard, Mr. Boneham’s spokesman.

The bushy-bearded Mr. Boneham, known for wearing tie-dyed shirts, competed in 2003 on “Survivor: Pearl Islands” and has been on multiple “Survivor” follow-ups since then.

He was voted fan favorite in 2004’s “Survivor: All-Stars” and donated a portion of the $1 million he won to his charity, Rupert’s Kids. His Indianapolis-based charity provides mentoring and job training to youths.

If he runs, Mr. Boneham will join a field dominated by Republican Rep. Mike Pence and former Democratic Indiana House Speaker John Gregg. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels can’t run for re-election next year because of term limits.

Suicide will not delay ‘Housewives’ premiere

The Bravo network says it is going ahead with the Labor Day season premiere of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” despite the suicide of a cast member’s husband.

According to the Associated Press, brief interviews with cast members about the suicide of Russell Armstrong will precede the premiere, although Armstrong’s widow, Taylor — one of the “Real Housewives” — did not participate. The network also will air several suicide prevention public service announcements during the show, said Frances Berwick, Bravo Media president.

Armstrong hanged himself Aug. 15. He left no note. The couple’s marital strife was a story line in the reality show’s first season. In the second season premiere, filmed months ago, Mrs. Armstrong tells the other housewives that she and her husband are going to therapy.

Miss Berwick said the season’s new episodes are in the process of being edited. She didn’t specify exactly what was being done, but it likely will be to give less attention to the couple’s marital problems.

‘Desperate Housewives’ to be exported to Turkey

“Desperate Housewives” might be ending its U.S. run after this season, but the ladies of Wisteria Lane are getting broadcast Botox in the form of a new international version of the ABC show, set to launch in Turkey.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Walt Disney Co. confirmed it has begun production on a Turkish version of the hit show, called “Umutsuz Ev Kadinlari,” together with local production house Medyapim. The series will air on Kanal D, Turkey’s No. 1 commercial network, later this year. Outside Turkey, Kanal D is a popular satellite channel with Turkish communities in Western Europe.

Disney said the Turkish version of the show would closely follow the twisting story lines of the ABC original, while adding a “uniquely Turkish flavor.” It is being shot on location in Istanbul. Local stars cast as the housewives include Songul Oden, who’ll play Susan (or Suzan in the Turkish version); Ceyda Duvenci as Lynette (Leyla); Bennu Yildirimlar as Bree (Berrin); and Evrin Solmaz as Gabrielle (Yildiz).

Disney has produced local-language versions of “Desperate Housewives” for Latin America, but this will be the first version made for Europe and the Middle East.

Other ABC Studios scripted series that have been adapted for local consumption worldwide include foreign-language versions of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Golden Girls” and “Brothers & Sisters.”

Two miniseries in works to mark Titanic anniversary

April 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. To mark the occasion, not one, but two epic TV series are being produced about the disaster.

According to AOLTV.com, production is under way on the “Titanic” miniseries, which was penned by “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes and will star “Law & Order” vet Linus Roache, among others.

Now, casting is being finalized for a rival 12-part series “Titanic: Blood and Steel.”

According to Deadline, Derek Jacobi (“The King’s Speech”), Chris Noth (“The Good Wife”), Neve Campbell (“Scream”) and Kevin Zegers (“Gossip Girl”) are all in various stages of negotiations to join the project.

“Titanic: Blood and Steel” will focus on the design and construction of the luxury liner, with the drama set against the class-bound backdrop of Edwardian Belfast, Northern Ireland, where financial pressures may have led to fatal compromises.

Based on an idea by Fabrizio del Noce, the series was written by Matthew Faulk, Mark Skeet and Stefano Voltaggio. It is being executive-produced by De Angelis Group President Guido De Angelis and directed by Ciaran Donnelly (“The Tudors”).

Group managing director Andrea Zoso told Variety, “This story, never told before, examines the tensions, politics and financial pressures involved in building the Titanic. The ship, which put comfort before safety, was conceived as a way of connecting Europeans to America. We have lined up an international cast that reflects these two cultures.”

Mr. Jacobi reportedly has signed on to play Lord William Pirrie, chairman of shipbuilder Harland & Wolff, with Mr. Zegers playing Mark Muir, a metallurgist who discovers potentially fatal flaws in the quality of metal being used to build the liner.

Mr. Noth is expected to play the “Mr. Big” of the time, financier J.P. Morgan, a role that previously was linked with James Gandolfini. Miss Campbell will take on the role of a reporter covering the maiden voyage who may have ulterior motives.

Other confirmed cast members include Ophelia Lovibond (“Mr. Popper’s Penguins”), Ian McElhinney (“Game of Thrones”) and Martin McCann (“The Pacific”).

Compiled from Web and wire reports.

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