It looks like Emmy winning writer-producer David E Kelley could be adding another hit show to his already impressive resume. TNT has picked up ten episodes of Kelley’s medical drama pilot Monday Mornings. The show, formerly called Chelsea General, is based on the book by CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, developed the show with Kelley.
Set to premiere in the summer of 2013, the series stars Ving Rhames and Alfred Molina. Also announced as part of the cast are Jamie Bamber, Jennifer Finnigan, Bill Irwin, Keong Sim, Sarayu Rao and Emily Swallow. The show will air on both TNT and other Turner networks around the world. “Monday Mornings is a superb drama brought to life with passion by a gifted ensemble cast and some of the best creative minds working in television today,” said TNT’s head of programming Michael Wright.
The show is set at a fictional hospital in Portland, OR. The title, Monday Mornings, refers to the weekly morbidity and mortality meetings the doctors and staff have.
Kelley, who grew up in Belmont, MA, wrote the pilot episode and will serve as executive producer on the series, along with Gupta. Kelley’s array of hit series include Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Boston Legal and Harry’s Law.
It’s hard to believe the summer is almost over, and time for the networks to roll out their new fall shows. The 2010 fall line-ups, once again, will be packed with Hollywood East connections, including some new shows and old favorites.
New on ABC, “Body of Proof”, starring Dana Delaney, was actually filmed in Rhode Island, and follows the story of a medical examiner examiner who finds herself in conflict with the police she works with as she attempts to help solve crimes. Episodes are still being filmed and extra casting opportunities are being handled by LDI Casting in Rhode Island.
On CBS, the one hour drama series “Blue Bloods”, costars Tom Selleck and Boston’s own Donnie Wahlberg as New York cops who also happen to be family members.
NBC, which ordered 13 episodes of a new David E. Kelley series, called “Kindreds”, has chosen to leave the legal drama off of its fall schedule and save it for a mid season replacement. Kelley, who attended law school in Boston, is well-known for his string of Boston-based TV shows, including “Boston Legal”, “Boston Public”, “Ally McBeal”, and “The Practice”.
Returning favorites include Fox’s “Glee”, which was co-created by Newton, Massachusetts bred Brad Falchuk, will be returning with much advance hype about its sophomore season, with an episode featuring Britney Spears music already being discussed amidst the fandom.
On ABC, “Grey’s Anatomy”, which stars Everett’s Ellen Pompeo and Maine’s Patrick Dempsey, is entering its 6th season on the network. Word has it this could be the final season for the popular and successful medical drama.
On cable, Hollywood East will be represented significantly on Showtime, as Newton’s Matt LeBlanc will be starring in “Episodes”. The shot-in-Connecticut Laura Linney, series, “The Big C”, will also debut this season, after filming throughout the early part of the summer in southern Connecticut.
A little film made in Worcester, with some slightly bigger names on the cast list, is quickly gaining a cult following in New England and beyond thanks to the internet. BoyBand, Breakin’ through in ’82, stars Ming Na (“ER”), Kurt Fuller (“Boston Legal”, “Boston Public”, “Ally McBeal”), Laura Breckenridge (“Gossip Girl”), and Robert Hoffman (Step Up 2: The Streets), and was shot entirely in Worcester, Massachusetts, and likewise features a local cast of about 30. Set in the 8os, the campy film follows the story of a high school quarterback who decides during his senior year of high school to quit the team and turn his heavy metal garage band into the first boy band the country had ever seen.
The movie has garnered so much attention, it has been selected to play at the 19th annual Woods Hole Film Festival in Cape Cod on August 7th at 7PM. The film has already had runs at the Showcase Cinema in Revere, and the Showcase Cinema North in Worcester. During its June 14th-17th run in Worcester, “according to Variety magazine box office figures, BoyBand grossed $7,591 over the weekend, far out-performing on a per screen basis the top Hollywood films. Overall, BoyBand ranked 66th in the country” according to Telegram.com.
TNT’s newest crime drama, “Rizzoli & Isles,” is the latest television show to continue the long held tradition of being set in Boston. This crime drama comes out later this year and centers around a Boston detective played by Angie Harmon and a medical examiner (Sasha Alexander) who work closely to solve crimes.
Currently, there are several other shows along with “Rizzoli & Isles” that are set in Boston. In fact, Boston has been featured in shows so often, that there is even a Wikipedia page about it. These include the latest installment of the Jesse Stone series, “Fringe,” and the recently premiered “Boston Med,” that delves into the goings on of three of Boston’s best hospitals – Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston.
Teens might remember that the main characters in programs like “Dawson’s Creek” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” attended college in Boston, while “Two Guys and a Girl” and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” also took place there.
Of course you cannot mention Boston-based television shows without giving a nod to “Cheers,” the 1980s sitcom centering around a bar “where everybody knows your name.” People from all over the world still come to Boston to visit the famous bar on Beacon street where all of the exteriors were filmed.
It is important to note that although all of these shows were set in Boston, most of them were taped in Los Angeles. As disappointing as that might be for some New England filmmakers, it is still exciting to know that Boston is the home to so many favorite television shows.
Anyone in the Boston area the beginning of this month most assuredly noticed a flurry of activity. The annual convergence of college students meant that close to 250,000 temporary townies of the academic sort moved in to local dorms and apartment complexes, no doubt eager for the school-year to begin. With the almost 50 colleges and universities located within a 10-mile radius of Boston, its not hard to believe that numerous celebrities of television and movies have at one time made a similar trek.
Boston College: The private Jesuit liberal arts school can claim movie actor Chris O’Donnell as an alum, as well as numerous television personalities, among them, Massachusetts natives Leonard Nimoy and Amy Poehler, as well as Rhode Island born Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
The polarizing conservative cohost on “The View”. The Fine Arts major captained the softball team for 2 seasons while also studying industrial design. Her athletic affiliations also aided her dating life; BC is where she met her football-playing husband Tim.
Harvard University: The Ivy League school has seen its fair share of star students. Tommy Lee Jones, Jack Lemmon, John Lithgow, Mira Sorvino, Wallace Shawn, and Conan O’Brien are just some of the super-smart celebrities who have at one time called Cambridge home. Most recently, Ashley Judd enrolled at the Crimson college, perhaps inspired by her Where the Heart Is co-star, Natalie Portman, who graduated in 2003.
Boston University: The fourth-largest private university in the country has more celebrity alumni than any other in the area. Movie stars like Geena Davis, Olympia Dukakis, Faye Dunaway, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Mariel Hemmingway are all on BU’s annual fundraising call-list. TV stars like Jason Alexander, Rosie O’Donnell, and radio shock-jock Howard Stern also walked its hallowed halls.
David E. Kelley, the Maine born and Belmont, MA raised writer and TV producer no doubt used his Juris Doctor from the BU School of Law, in addition to his experiences around Beantown for inspiration for his numerous successful Boston-based shows; “The Practice”, “Ally McBeal”, “Boston Public”, and “Boston Legal”.
For anyone who leaves their small town beginnings to set out on their own and “make it“ in Hollywood, the path is difficult at best. For one Milton, MA actor, however, it seems that the fabled pilgrimage didn’t take him any further than his own backyard. Tom Kemp’s professional resume includes credits in films like Oliver Stone’s W., Shuttle, and Hard Luck, as well as locally shot features like The Departed, Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, and the upcoming Scorsese endeavor, Shutter Island. More recently, on the set of 2009’s Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, actress Jennifer Garner found herself desperate to place his face. Turned out, Kemp’s role in her husband, Ben Affleck’s film, Gone Baby Gone, though minimal, was enough for Garner to recognize him.
Kemp’s even accumulated credits on the small screen as well, with roles on locally based shows such as “Ally McBeal”, “The Practice”, and “Boston Legal”. As a Northeastern University graduate, Kemp appreciates using what’s available in his own backyard. The Milton man recently wrapped shooting on The Company Men, during which the Long Island born thespian was able to walk to work.
As a character actor, Kemp knows where his value lies. Past gigs have included parts as a priest, police detective, business man, and a judge. As the Boston area movie business booms, he hopes to find even more work right in his own neighborhood.
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