- - Sunday, March 20, 2011

HBO drama honored

Russell Simmons, Ricky Martin and the HBO drama series “True Blood” are among this year’s recipients of media awards from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Other winners of the 22nd annual GLAAD Media Awards, presented Saturday in New York, include the NBC comedy “30 Rock” and CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” for its series on gay teen suicides.

Music mogul Mr. Simmons received the Excellence in Media Award.

Mr. Martin was cited for an appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in which the pop singer discussed raising twin boys and his decision to come out as gay.

Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo also were recognized.

Scissor Sisters were named outstanding music artists for the album “Night Work.” The website Essence.com was saluted for outstanding digital journalism.

Nonelectronic media winners include New York Times columnist Frank Rich and Peter David for his Marvel comic book X-Factor.

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize fair, accurate and inclusive representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives in the media.

Winners were announced in 25 of this year’s total of 32 media categories. The remaining awards will be presented at ceremonies to be held in Los Angeles and San Francisco in April and May, respectively.

Carter gives thumbs up

Lynda Carter, star of the ‘70s television series “The New Adventures of Wonder Woman,” thinks the latest incarnation of the D.C. Comics superheroine’s outfit hits the bullseye, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

She tells THR, “What’s not to like! Adrianne [Palicki] looks gorgeous and I’m really looking forward to seeing David E. Kelley’s new series.”

Miss Carter’s opinion of the new outfit, unveiled Friday, runs contrary to some of the reactions to the skin-tight red-and-blue suit, which shows plenty of actress Adrianne Palicki’s bosom and appears to be made of latex. Fox News claimed in July 2010 that artist Jim Lee’s update of the outfit, which inspired the look for the pilot, lacked patriotism, while the Los Angeles Times ran a poll asking readers whether the new version was a good representation of the Amazon princess character or more akin to a Halloween costume.

NBC’s “Wonder Woman” pilot has lined up a number of actors, such as Cary Elwes and guest star Elizabeth Hurley, but Miss Carter will not be among those immediately taking part in the project.

She tells THR, “I talked to David [E. Kelley] about doing something in the pilot, but with my new CD, ‘Crazy Little Things’ coming out in April and touring for the album, we couldn’t coordinate our schedules, but you never know what will happen in the future. Stay tuned!”

From ‘Idol’ to Beyonce

Karen Rodriguez was the second contestant eliminated from “American Idol” this season, but her onstage tribute to her own idol, Selena, has won her many fans — including “Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez, People.com reports.

“I see messages from people all over the world saying, ‘Thank you for keeping her memory alive after 16 years,’” says Miss Rodriguez, 21. “She jump-started Jennifer’s career as well. When [Lopez] got the part [in ‘Selena’], she was the highest paid Latina for a film and broke so many barriers.”

Now Miss Lopez has become one of Miss Rodriguez’s mentors.

“Jennifer has been a fan of mine from the beginning,” Miss Rodriguez says. “She wanted to save me, she told me. But she said, ‘Someone has to go and it is your time.’”

Praised for singing in both English and Spanish, Miss Rodriguez wants to continue that mix in her first album — and has her sights set on big goals.

“I’ve always envisioned myself as a Beyonce in Spanish,” she admits. “I’ve always had a love for salsa music and meringue. But at the same time, I want to do the tours and dance and really be Beyonce. It will be an album where you don’t know what’s coming up next! I can’t wait.”

Momsen on ‘X Factor’?

Just when you think you’ve got Simon Cowell pegged, he goes and approaches Taylor Momsen to co-host his new reality series “The X Factor,” according to a report on Zap2it.com.

Celebuzz.com is reporting that the part-time “Gossip Girl” star and full-time Pretty Reckless singer is being courted by the show’s producers to co-host the Fox singing competition, Zap2it says.

Sources say the show’s producers think the controversial 17-year-old is perfect because she’s “young, hip and edgy.”

Earlier this week, news broke that producer L.A. Reid officially signed on to be a judge and rumors are circulating that singer Enrique Iglesias has been approached to host the show as well.

Auditions begin Sunday in Los Angeles and the winner will receive a recording contract worth $5 million.

Pilot news

Heather Locklear playing a famous actress? Shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. The former “Melrose Place” star has been cast in a CBS ensemble comedy pilot, notes Entertainment Weekly.

“The Assistants” will focus on a group of helpers who work for a neurotic celebrity (Miss Locklear) prone to wild mood swings.

Also just cast in CBS comedy projects, according to EW.com: Former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” co-star Michelle Trachtenberg has joined an untitled pilot about young employees at a venture capital firm. Miss Trachtenberg plays a mailroom worker who’s promoted to a junior associate position at the firm, much to the surprise of a co-worker who has a crush on her.

And “24” veteran Mary Lynn Rajskub has been cast in CBS’ comedy pilot “How to Be a Gentleman.” Based on a book by David Hornsby, the show is described as a buddy comedy about an uptight columnist learning to enjoy his life with the help of his old high school classmate and trainer. Mr. Hornsby and Kevin Dillon star. Miss Rajskub plays Mr. Hornsby’s sister.

At NBC, according to Variety, Christina Applegate is set to star in a comedy pilot from writer Emily Spivey.

The untitled single-camera comedy revolves around an acerbic working woman who suddenly finds herself a working mother with a stay-at-home husband.

And “Friday Night Lights” star Connie Britton has found her next potential small-screen role, Variety reports, co-starring in the FX pilot “American Horror Story” from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

Miss Britton has been on FX’s radar for some time — she also has been working with David O. Russell on a potential project for the network.

Compiled from web and wire reports



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