Tonight on TNT, the cable network that would lead you to believe their programming should be likened to explosive materials, a new show featuring some of Beantown’s boys in blue premieres. The docudrama, called “Boston’s Finest,” is produced by Donnie Wahlberg of the Dorchester Wahlbergs, otherwise known as “the one that was in New Kids on the Block.” The pet project came out of a home-grown respect for the BPD, fostered early on in his childhood.
Wahlberg, who was in town last week for the show’s premiere event, told NECN:
“The Boston Police, when I was a kid, they were typically chasing some of my brothers. I was the good kid by the way, rarely saw the inside of a police cruiser in my childhood, but they were also very good to us.”
Who better to honor the true spirit of Boston than someone who was raised here? While Wahlberg insists that he wanted to help Hollywood steer clear of the endless parade of the oft parodied Boston accent, the realities of true Beantown life are pervasive throughout the show, thanks to the up close and personal perspective the show assumes. Wahlberg also serves as the voice-over narrator of the series.
“Boston’s Finest” debuts tonight, with an hour long episode on TNT at 9 p.m.
It’s no secret that Boston is a great city for sports. With all 4 of our major league teams winning at least one championship in the past decade, many have taken to calling our Hub “Title Town”. As local sports fans become increasingly accustomed to attending championship parades, it’s natural to expect that many celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon.
Many of these stars long-time, hard-core, Boston sports fans, most of them with long-standing roots in the area. Brookline’s Conan O’Brien, Medford homegal Maria Menounos, and of course Ben Affleck, Matt Damon are all fans of all four of our championship winning teams. Any of them are likely to be spotted wearing their green at a Celtics game, grabbing a Fenway frank for a Sox game, chilling at a Bruins game, or kicking back at a Pats game.
Our most storied sports team, the Red Sox can claim many celebrities among their fans, including the likes of Jennifer Garner, Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Stephen King, Denis Leary, Kenny Chesney, Stephen Tyler, Arlington’s own Dane Cook, Neal McDonough (who hails from Hyannis), Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, and Mark Wahlberg.
Up until June of last year, Bruins fans felt a bit left out of the Boston sports championship frenzy. Then, thanks to the first Stanley Cup in 29 years this past June, famous fans like Dropkick Murphys’ frontman Ken Casey, celeb chef Ming Tsai, “Superbad” star Chris Mintz-Plasse (you may remember him as McLovin), “The Office” star Mindy Kaling, Newton-bred actor/director Eli Roth, Dane Cook, Denis Leary, Jim Gaffigan, and former Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath, all suddenly had something serious to cheer about.
With their 2008 champhionship win, the Celtics brought the luck of the Irish back to Boston, harkening back to the days when the likes of Larry Bird helped us hoist multiple banners years after year in the Garden. These days, famous faces like Everett’s Ellen Pompeo, Gisele Bundchen, Watertown’s Eliza Dushku, Dane Cook, Steven Tyler, Mike O’Malley, Jay Leno, and Dorchester’s Donnie Wahlberg all were seeing green. Wahlberg in particular has definitely waited for his chance to celebrate with the team, supporting them by being spotted in the stands going all the way back to the mid-90s, long before Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Shaq ever put on their clover leaf apparel.
Famous Patriots fans are a little harder to find. It seems with all their championship successes, the team causes a lot of controversy, even amongst the most stalwart and staunch Boston sports supporters. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who of course is our famed quarterback, Tom Brady’s, wife, is at every game. Donnie’s brother Mark Wahlberg also roots for his Pats, as does writer Steven King, who originally hails from not to far off Maine. Aerosmith frontman and former Brighton resident, Steven Tyler not only sang the Star-Spangled Anthem at the AFC championship game, but showed his love for his home team by sporting the sparkliest Patriots scarf this side of Michael’s Craft Supply. With the Pats defeat of the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC championship, sending them to yet another Superbowl showdown, maybe we’ll see a few more famous faces pop up at the next game!
Dorchester’s Wahlberg boys have just unveiled their latest endeavor and after music, movies, and TV shows, the brothers have officially ventured into burgers. Their new Hingham joint, appropriately named Wahlburgers, opened its doors Monday night in a star-studded event.
Actors and former musicians, Mark and Donnie Wahlberg first teamed up with their older brother chef Paul Wahlberg to open the harborside eatery, Alma Nova, now just across the street from their new restaurant. Wahlburgers marks the trio’s second business venture and quite possibly not their last, as Mark hinted at a reality show in the works. Apparently Paul is a bit camera shy about starring in the show, but Mark still plans on pitching it to HBO.
The opening event drew in some of Boston’s biggest sports stars. Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, his teammate Kevin Youkilis and boxer Micky Ward, who Mark Wahlberg portrayed in his film “The Fighter,” were all present at Monday night’s festivities.
Photos: Bostonherald and The Patriot Ledger
Restaurant exterior photos: HEC
The rumor mill is running about Beantown boy Mark Wahlberg. There are a few unconfirmed, but very likely projects the former executive producer of “Entourage” may have in the works since the hit HBO show ended last month.
Firstly, there is the very strong possibility of an “Entourage” feature film. Since the show announced it would end after its eight season the chatter about a movie (a la “Sex and the City”) has been constant. Wahlberg himself confirmed to People Magazine last month that a movie was in the works, commenting, “It better happen.”
Wahlberg may soon enough have another movie on his hands. His 2010 film The Fighter garnered seven Academy Award Nominations and two wins and now Wahlberg is looking to make magic with the story of Lowell boxer Micky Ward once again. At the “Spike TV Guys Choice Awards,” where The Fighter won for “Guy Movie of the Year,” Wahlberg announced The Fighter 2 was underway. He said the sequel will focus on Micky Ward’s epic battles with Arturo Gatti, which were left out of the first film specifically for a second installment.
Finally, Wahlberg seems interested in a very new venture for the rapper turned movie star. Reports are surfacing that Mark is trying to convince his brother Chef Paul Wahlberg to start a reality show about the brothers’ new business venture, a burger joint in Hingham, appropriately named Wahlburgers. Mark has noted he will plan on taking a smaller role in the show, joking that he would be more like Charlie’s Angels, lending just his voice to the series. He even hinted that the Wahlberg brothers may be interested in expanding their businesses and possibly start their own clothing line as well. No matter what move Wahlberg plans next he will undoubtedly remain one busy man in Hollywood for quite come time.
Three Brothers, Paul, Donnie and Mark Wahlberg have a license to sell burgers. The Wahlburgers will in fact be the newest kid on the block at the swanky Hingham shipyard where condos go for a million bucks.
The burger joint dream had been flipping for some time, but the Dorchester boys first needed to get the rights to Wahlburger’s from a Rochester, N.Y restaurant owner Tom Wahl, who serves a cheeseburger called Wahlburger and owns the trademark. The Wahl brothers Tom and Bill opened the first Wahl’s restaurant in Avon, south of Rochester, in 1955.
“We were definitely surprised about finding out about the trademark, Ed St. Croix, Paul Wahlberg’s business partner, told the Boston Herald. “It was a thing we had talked about for several years.” The Wahlburgers’ group, which is incorporated as Paragon Funding Group III LLC, cooked up a deal and secured the rights to the Wahlburgers name.
Wahlburgers will be hanging with fellow family restaurant Alma Nove located across the street at the posh Hingham bay is already in pre-production and was approved for a full liquor license. And if your not in the mood for a Wahlburger, the natives are in talks of spinning up a pizza place too. Now that’s one funky bunch.
★ Connecticut-made film, Rio, comes in number 1 at the box office for 2 weekends in a row.
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.
While it’s no secret Boston has become the unofficial capital of Hollywood East, with numerous films and TV shows shooting here each year, it’s been hard not to stumble across camera crews and make-shift sets, despite sometimes very well-guarded production details. What has been kept slightly more hush hush has been the hotspots in the Hub that the stars of these projects hit when they’re not on the clock.
Boston’s restaurant scene has caught the Hollywood wave and starting offering more upscale options. Not surprisingly, many of the celeb favorites are centered around the Back Bay/Newbury Street area. Long-time favorite Sonsie has played host to Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Hulk Hogan, Roger Clinton, and Donnie Wahlberg.
For dessert, it seems that everyone in fact does scream for ice cream. The Newbury Street location of Ben & Jerry’s posts pictures on their walls of the famous faces that often stop by their store. Alec Baldwin, John Mayer, Jane Fonda, Ellen Pompeo, and players from the Celtics have all grabbed a cone recently.
In order to keep in shape (and perhaps work off the pounds from all that ice cream) the Sports Club/LA, adjacent to the Ritz Carlton hotel is arguably one of the most upscale gyms in town. That’s why it’s not surprising that The Rock, Justin Timberlake, Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, and Emilio Estevez, Reese Witherspoon, and Britney Spears have all been spotted working out there at one time or another.
To blow off a little steam in a different sense, Felt Nightclub is a big favorite with the glitterati. Stars like Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Chris Rock have all made a presence there in the past year or so while they’ve been in town for projects. Other stars like Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon, and Ben and Casey Affleck frequent the hip spot whenever their roots call them home again.
Speaking of Mark Wahlberg, he and Will Farrell will be at his restaurant, Alma Nove, in Hingham, MA celebrating the premiere of their new flic, The Other Guys, showing at the Patriot Cinemas in Hangham. The Alma Nove restaurant is owned by three Wahlberg brothers, including chef Paul Wahlberg, and family friend Ed St. Croix.
There’s a plethora of other places HEC has spotted celebs during their off hours. Singer Seal was seen in Boston’s Public Garden last spring while he was in town to sing the national anthem at Fenway Park. Actress Natalie Portman was in Cambridge in February for a friend’s wedding. Brooke Shields was spotted in her off-time from shooting Furry Vengeance at South Boston eateries Flour2 and Sportello. Funnymen Denis Leary and Lenny Clark grabbed lunch at the Four Seasons last spring while Leary was in town for his son’s graduation from Emerson College. Grown Ups costars David Spade and Colin Quinn were seen last summer grabbing a weekend bite at Sel De La Terre on Boylston Street.
While the proverbial NBA battle of Hollywood East versus west may be over, we saw a plethora of celebrities and other famous faces packing the stands, cheering their favorite team on.
So which stars cheered for which team? On the Boston Celtics side, “Access Hollywood” cohost, Medford-born Maria Menounos, a graduate of Emerson College, Cambridge-born comedian Dane Cook, retired New England Patriots linebacker (and recent Health Expo attendee) Tedy Bruschi, Boston-born actor Mike O’Malley, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, Red Sox owner John Henry, Everett’s Ellen Pompeo, Watertown’s Eliza Dushku, and Dorchester’s Donnie Wahlberg. Chief executive of DreamWorks Animation and film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, who donated $1.25 million to Boston University in 2006, was also assumed to be cheering for the Celtics.
Rooting for the Lakers, as always, was Jack Nicholson, singer Justin Timberlake, Sylvester Stallone, director Spike Lee, Sean P. Diddy Combs, Snoop Dogg, actor Leonardo DiCaprio who spent some time in Boston in 2008 while filming Shutter Island, Kevin Connolly, and Andy Garcia. Stars of the E! reality show, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” Kris, Kim, and Khloe Kardashian, wife of Lakers forward Lamar Odom, attended the games in L.A., but were absent on the east coast. Khloe did, however, find herself the target of some unique taunting by Boston fans at the TD Garden; fans were seen waving cardboard cutouts of her in hopes of distracting Odom.
Others famous faces that have been spotted at some of the games, included, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia, singer Christina Aguilera, Olympic gold medalist from Jamaica, Usain Bolt, musicians Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh of the Eagles, “Saturday Night Live” performer Seth Meyers, singer Anita Baker, and comedian Will Ferrell. Actors Chris Rock and Adam Sandler, who have been heavily promoting their movie, Grown Ups, throughout the games, also spent time in Boston last summer filming their new flick, and were spotted sitting courtside in L.A.
The stars in the stands weren’t the only TV and film personalities in attendance. Lakers star Lamar Odom has been featured numerous times alongside his wife on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” as well as its spin-off “Khloe and Kourtney take Miami”. Celtics star Ray Allen, who began his college career at the University of Connecticut, has also starred in a number of films, including Spike Lee’s He Got Game, and Harvard Man. At a press conference after game 4, Celtics players Nate Robinson and Glen Davis even likened themselves to characters from the popular Shrek movies. Perhaps we’ll see them on set at the next film shot in Hollywood East during their off season!
Last week, CBS aired the sixth installment of the Robert B. Parker-created character series, Jesse Stone, once again starring Tom Selleck. In “Jesse Stone: No Remorse”, Selleck returns as a crimefighter who takes on a case in Boston after losing his job as a small-town Massachusetts police chief. Hot on the trail of a serial murderer, the made-for-TV movie costars Kathy Baker and William Devane. The film is dedicated to Parker; the novelist died of a heart-attack in late January, but not before he was able to see a finished version of the movie, to which he gave his blessing.
Previous releases in the series from Sony Pictures Television includes “Stone Cold,” “Jesse Stone: Night Passage,” “Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise,” “Jesse Stone: Sea Change” and “Jesse Stone: Thin Ice.” The movies are based on the characters from Parker’s best-selling series of books. Selleck had previously received an Emmy nomination for his work in “Jesse Stone: Sea Change.” One of his more recent television appearances included a stint on ABC’s “Boston Legal”. Selleck also served as an executive producer and co-wrote the script based on the novel. The show aired on CBS on May 9, from 9-11PM.
In related news, on Wednesday, May 19, CBS announced its new fall line-up will include 3 new dramas and 2 comedy series, which will include “Blue Bloods”. The one hour drama series will co-star Selleck and Boston’s own Donnie Wahlberg as New York cops who also happen to be family members.
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