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zaterdag 7 april 2012

Doctor Who: should there be a female Doctor?

Doctor Who: should there be a female Doctor?

It was amongst this year's crop of April Fool’s stories, but is the idea of a female in the TARDIS so laughable? Should the twelfth Doctor be a woman?

Should there be a female Doctor? Yes, if an actress is the best person who auditions.

Will an actress ever audition, though? Will a showrunner ever audition a woman for the role? That doesn't guarantee them it, for starters. If I may point your attention to the point in time where Paterson Joseph seemed to be the front runner for the Eleventh Doctor, only for the press release to read 'the youngest ever actor' rather than 'the first black actor to play the role'.

While no one running the show is going to ignore an actor because of their skin colour, a woman has yet to be publicly revealed as ever having auditioned. A person's sex is part of their identity, as is their skin colour. Whether or not it should be is another debate.

Outside of the story universe, how much detail do you have to go into to explain to a child the differences between a hypothetical female Twelfth Doctor and Matt Smith? Would children cope? Children would probably be more willing to accept it than adults, because they're less familiar with the history of the character. Would adults cope? They're the ones who might have to get into overly-technical explanations if they are blessed with sufficiently inquisitive children. Then again, would it be any harder to explain than Jenny and Madame Vastra?

Explaining that he looks different should be easy, because he always does look different. Some children stopped watching when Eccleston became Tennant. Other children started. Audiences come and go with change, but would this risk losing too many viewers? Explaining that he is now a she might seem to have more potential problems than explaining another man in the same role, but we simply don't know. However, the real-world arguments against a female Doctor seem more potent to me than the in-story ones.

So far, the Doctor has been played by white men. Even alternative versions of him have been nearly entirely white (unless you count Daniel Anthony playing the Eleventh Doctor in Clyde Langer's body). There is a strong argument to say that the character is simply a man, because he has always has been. He's just...mannish. Professorial. Or, looking at the history of Gallifrey and the Time Lords, he's quite possibly the embodiment of Middle-Class White Man Guilt.

It's certainly a valid interpretation: he gets bored with his life on a planet of dusty academics and administrators, having graduated from the Time Lord Academy. He then runs away from it all to explore the societies considered beneath his race, and overcomes his own snobberies as he goes. He would love to fit in properly on Earth, but he can't quite manage it. This is a very British creation. A post-colonial alien race based on the British upper-classes. The Doctor is an Oxbridge graduate allegory, fleeing from what is expected of him by traditional values, ashamed of his lack of real world knowledge.

It's a staple role in British satire (think Wodehouse and Waugh, Douglas Adams and Monty Python). The character is traditionally male, the brilliant but insecure middle class man who gets easily bored and distracted. It's part of the essence of the character (the main gist of the argument is that he has to be male, even if you disagree with this idea of the character).

This trope is ingrained. It is hard to shift. In medical circles for years 'The Doctor' was associated with men, as 'Nurse' was with women. That stigma still exists today.

In reality, of course, that's simply not true.  As society has changed, so too has the character of the Doctor. Some incarnations have been more like the lapsed academic than others, but since 2005 Matt Smith was the first incarnation to really exhibit this side of the character. Russell T Davies created more modern Doctors in a universe without the Time Lords. Eccleston was bullish but damaged. Tennant was all quicksilver synapses. Of course it would be possible for a woman to have the characteristics which have worked so well for the character.

If you prefer the Middle-Class-White-Man version, well, do you not know any women who resemble this character? Miranda Hart has become incredibly popular playing the female version of this in her sitcom. It exists. And of course, actors play other people. Character actors have been successful in the role before. The actor doesn't have to exhibit these qualities in their personality.

Joanna Lumley played the Thirteenth Doctor in Comic Relief's The Curse of Fatal Death, and Arabella Weir played the Doctor in the alternate universe, 'Unbound' Big Finish audioplay Exile. This is it, so far. Two performances outside of canon, one of which lasted for about thirty seconds and the other written deliberately to be different. After years of speculation, jokes, and spin-off material postulating, it has been confirmed on screen (most recently in reference to The Corsair in The Doctor's Wife, The Brilliant Book of Doctor Who 2012, and Shada) that Time Lords can change sex when they regenerate. The story universe would allow for this change to happen if it came to pass.

At the end of the day, it is up to the people who run the show whom they cast. If they audition a woman, though, and they don't give her the role, there might well be a wider outburst of the undercurrents of discontent after the last few major casting announcements: all white people. Is it prejudice, or is it because they were the best people for the role? There have been disparaging comments saying 'Oh wow, another white person, what a shock', which brings forward the question of positive discrimination.

Looking back, any initial disappointment or anger concerning Matt Smith winning the role over any black actors largely abated about three seconds after he said 'Can I have an apple?' If they cast a woman, is the risk any bigger than the casting of Matt Smith? If we recall, the pressure was huge for him, and he won an audience over. Would the pressure really be any greater? It can be done again by any other actor or actress of sufficient quality.

If the show remains popular, then the ethnicity of the leads won't be questioned by anyone other than a minority. If the casting is right, then the actor will be popular enough to convince the audience. Personally, I don't have any problem with an actor of any age, sex, creed or colour playing the Doctor if they're good, but I doubt a female Doctor will ever happen, because the character has been male for so long, and because it doesn't need to happen.

The show, for all its flexibility, has a formula that works, and just because a woman playing the role could work, doesn't mean it we'll ever get to find out if it does.

Is Community season 4 starting to look likely after all?

Is Community season 4 starting to look likely after all?

Why ratings, syndication, Subway and a Chevy Chase feud may have brought Community season 4 a step closer...

There was a real fear towards the end of last year that the end was nigh for the finest sitcom currently running on US TV, Community. Mid-way through season three, the show was moved off the schedulees, and it only eventually reappeared a few weeks’ back. You could be forgiven for thinking, at that point, that the show was doomed.

Turns out, though, that there’s been quite a lot of life in Community yet. And the recent pointers suggest that, if anything, it may just get a season four order. I’m wary to write that, as I don’t want to tempt fate, but the signs are suddenly looking a lot more positive.

Firstly, and crucially, the ratings are up. Compared to NBC’s other comedy shows, it’s only The Office that has been regularly performing better than Community for the network on Thursdays. Certainly, the fresh wave of viewer enthusiasm for it has done Community season four’s chances no harm at all.

Nor has, as Vulture reports, a freshly inked syndication deal with Comedy Central. The ramifications of this are interesting. It’s often pretty much read that you’ve hit gold when your show enters syndication, which guarantees a revenue stream for both new and old episodes. And that’s crucial, here: there’s now an outlet for repeats of Community, every one of which will bring cash into NBC’s coffers. It should certainly make the recommission decision a little easier.

Then there’s the subtle sponsorship from Subway, that you may have noticed being sneaked into more recent episodes. Subway deserve some sort of geek medal, whether you like their food or not: it was the food chain’s intervention that was reportedly pivotal in saving NBC’s Chuck, when it too was facing an uncertain future at the end of season three.

Next? Well, here’s the interesting one.

It’s been well reported over the weekend that the ongoing unease between Chevy Chase and showrunner Dan Harmon has shown little sign of relaxing. The most recent incident? Well, if you believe reports, then at the season three wrap party for Community, Dan Harmon gave a speech along the lines of “fuck you, Chevy”, encouraging others to join in.

Chase, who was with his wife and daughter, apparently stormed out, and left Harmon an angry answerphone message. Harmon subsequently seems to have played that message to others, as a recording of him doing so, including Chase’s message itself (“your writing is getting worse and worse” …. “you goddamn asshole”) has leaked online. The link is at the bottom.

This has consequently fuelled speculation that Chase and Community would be parting company were there to be a season four, yet that’s something that, oddly, may yet help Community’s chances. There’s been talk for years about Harmon and Chase not getting on, so there may be nothing to this, but were the actor to leave the show, then it’d inevitably have an impact on the budget. Community would be cheaper to make, and at a point where NBC is making a tight decision on recommissioning the show, that may yet be the difference.

Whether the show would be quite the same without Chevy Chase is another matter. Appreciating his character isn’t utterly central to the show, he’s nonetheless a terrific scene stealer, and has value to Community. That said, would his departure leave room for Dan Harmon and his team to bring a fresh face to Greendale?

Hopefully, the collection of forces at work here offer some light at the end of the tunnel for Community. It’s a terrific show, with some of the most ingenious comedy writing on television right now. And as die hard fans of the show know all to well, the very least we want from NBC is six seasons and a movie. As is stands? Whisper it, but season four might just be looking a good bet...

House’s legacy and the Sherlock archetype

House’s legacy and the Sherlock archetype

As we prepare to wave a final goodbye to House, Gem asks whether the series blazed a trail for the BBC's Sherlock...

There was a little sadness, but not much surprise, when Fox announced the decision to cancel House after its eighth season this year. Most would agree that the show’s pretty much exhausted the limits of its format, after eight seasons of life-threatening incidents, death-defying scenarios and pivotal, last-minute decisions. And that’s just a summary of the eponymous doctor’s love life...

The real heart of the show’s always been its weird and wonderful cases, and the medical mysteries Gregory House, M.D. found himself investigating from the show’s launch in November 2004 were always a little out of the ordinary. Over the years, we’ve seen debilitating memory problems, terrifying tropical diseases, smallpox caught from an eighteenth-century slave ship (don’t ask) and parasites in the brain. And no matter how many times lupus was suggested as the cause for some horrendous set of symptoms or other, the running joke was that nobody ever actually had it...until eventually, someone finally did. If House achieved anything in its lengthy run, it was to ensure that hypochondriacs had a whole new set of terrors to keep them awake at night.

Criticised by many for its adherence to its own peculiar formula, each episode of House saw the good doctor...okay, the really rather snide doctor faced with a medical case so bizarre that only he, armed with his powers of deduction, bitter sense of humour and industrial quantities of prescription drugs, could fathom. Surrounded by his team of hapless interns and berated by his disapproving peers - his only friend Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) and his boss/sometime lust interest, Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) - House rejected all manner of suggestions and tried all kinds of incredibly dangerous remedies before hitting on the right solution, just seconds before the patient finally exploded/evaporated/hit him from sheer fury (whichever came first). 

After the departure of his original team at the end of season three, when, in typical House fashion, one was sacked and the other two resigned in protest, House subjected a brand new set of luckless hopefuls to his own set of diagnostic tests, eliminating one per week. This gimmick worked remarkably well – for the audience, at least - although life for the chosen few would, inevitably, prove difficult. A suicide, a hereditary illness and all sorts of romantic strife would plague the team at Princeton-Plainsboro as the seasons progressed. House would go to jail (at last!), Wilson would lose more than one lover and the hospital would, somehow, remain intact. Unlike Cuddy’s house after House drove into it, which was no doubt intended as a deep commentary on his own desire for self-destruction, but actually just took the show to a whole new level of crazy.

However, the series leaves behind another legacy, one a little more obscure than its lurid case files or the frankly bizarre romantic complications faced by its characters. David Shore and co’s attempt to refresh the medical drama, following the Fox network’s brief to avoid the genre’s white-coated, stethoscope-wielding clichés, was a much-needed shot in the arm for the stagnant, post-ER world of the medical procedural. Like all the most successful dramas, though, it wasn’t entirely original.

House is a particular kind of antihero: attractive – in a vaguely sociopathic sort of way – driven, obsessive, and awfully good at getting results. Sound familiar? Those of you who’ve been lapping up the adventures of a certain consulting detective should be nodding in recognition at this point. And there’s a very specific reason for that. The Sherlock Holmes reworked by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss is, unsurprisingly enough, an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary creation. He’s been tinkered with, of course. The Victorian sleuth’s non-existent sex life has been, ahem, probed, while his drug addiction, interestingly, has been pushed into the background, reflecting the changing concerns of a different age. Rather than merely clothing the nineteenth-century icon in a swish coat and adding some complementary brooding, the character has been reworked to give a modern slant on the traits we’ve come to love. But the modern Sherlock, as written by pop-culture mavens such as Moffat and Gatiss, was never going to exist in a vacuum. Sometimes, the series has acknowledged this. Watson’s even called him Spock after one too many bouts of cold logic, in a sly nod to the influence of Sherlock’s analytical nature on Star Trek’s ultra-cool Vulcan pin-up (sorry, Kirk fans, I’m with Dax on this one).

So why are we talking about Star Trek and Sherlock, again? Don’t worry, I’m getting there. Doyle took his inspiration for Sherlock Holmes from Dr Joseph Bell, who he’d come across while working as a clerk at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Bell was a pioneer in the field of forensic science, in its infancy at the close of the nineteenth century, and seems to have assisted in several high-profile murder cases in his native Scotland. His technique was to take tiny details of a person’s appearance, dress or actions and extrapolate from those to form a larger picture of his or her character and habits. Doyle had the beginnings of his Sherlock right there, and was never slow to acknowledge his debt. David Shore and his team weren’t just paying an amusing homage to Doyle’s own creation when they launched House – they were actually going right back to the Holmes character’s real-life origins in medical school. We finally got an official acknowledgement of this in season five, when House was seen consulting one of Bell’s books (as well as the cheeky touch that House’s favourite reading material was none other than The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes). The Bell tome was a gift from the long-suffering Wilson, with the dedication ‘Greg, made me think of you.’ Just to underline the point, the patient Wilson got the book from was one Irene Adler...

Think about it. Instead of Holmes, we have House. Say them out loud, if it helps. Yes, that noise reverberating around the planet is the sound of several million palms striking several million faces. House’s long-suffering pal Wilson is strikingly similar to Holmes’ boon companion, Watson, who is – of course – also a doctor. Does that make Cuddy Lestrade’s counterpart, then? A promising new avenue for the Sherlock shippers, perhaps... House even has his very own equivalent of the Baker Street Irregulars (the brigade of street kids Holmes employs to run errands and uncover useful snippets of information) in the guise of his oppressed underlings, scurrying to test all the madcap theories he’s too lazy to disprove himself.

He also has a serious drug addiction, downing Vicodin to numb the pain of his injured leg just as Holmes injects a cocaine solution to ‘sharpen his thinking’ (curiously, an aspect of the Sherlock character that Moffat and co have been slow to explore). A couple of Moriarty-style nemeses have tested House’s patience over the years – the officious Vogler, a pharmaceuticals magnate with a financial stranglehold over the hospital, and Tritter, a policeman with a burning hatred of a certain drug-dependent medic – but none have lasted the course. Oh, and the name of the gunman who shot House at the end of season two? Take a wild guess.

At a time when Steven Moffat’s questioning the need for an American version of the Holmes myth, it’s important to remember the cyclical nature of these pop culture trends. Moffat and Gatiss’ Sherlock exists in a post-House world. The character as written by Doyle is rarely as snide or cold as the TV Sherlock can be at his worst, so why do we accept these traits as canonical in the face of all the evidence? The simple answer is that the character has been diffused through a prism of so many other similar figures over the years. It’s difficult to remember now, when Benedict Cumberbatch’s take on the character is so widely accepted and admired, but when Sherlock was first announced, there was a certain amount of scepticism that an updated version would bring anything new to the table. Did House, with its moody, waspish medic/detective hybrid, prime us all to accept the new Sherlock as something more than a gimmick?

Doctor Who series 7 latest news round-up

Doctor Who series 7 latest news round-up

The latest titbits regarding the next series of Doctor Who, all in one place!

Production continues, as it will for some time, on the seventh season of Doctor Who since its revival back in 2005. And a few more details about the new series run have popped up this week.

Firstly, we now know that it's the first episode of the series, the one being penned by Steven Moffat, that will feature the Daleks. Lots of Daleks, in fact, from every era of the show. It sounds like a fine way to kick of what’s going to be the 50th birthday season, and we’re promised explosions, too. Always welcome.

The first half of the series has also fallen into shape. A lot of this is known, but one or two gaps have been filled in.

Episodes two and four, then, are the ones penned by Chris Chibnall. The first of the two, the one that includes Mark Williams, Rupert Graves and David Bradley in its cast, was apparently filmed partly at Bad Wolf Bay, so make of that what will.

It’s already well known that episode three has been penned by Toby Whithouse, and will take the Doctor to the wild west (albeit filmed in Spain).

Episode five, meanwhile, is one where we see the return of the Weeping Angels. Steven Moffat has written this one, and it’ll be the farewell episode for Rory and Amy. It’s been revealed at the recent Doctor Who Convention that some of the filming for this one will be taking place in New York (although the episode is currently shooting in Cardiff).

The Christmas special will be episode six, which is where new companion Jenna-Louise Colemen will come in. And then we understand the plan is for the show to carry on uninterrupted into 2013.

Blogtor Who also reports that River Song is set to make an appearance in the series somewhere along the line.

There are still lots of gaps to fill in, as you might expect, but as we find out more, we’ll let you know…

'Glee' First Listen: Darren Criss and Matt Bomer Cover Duran Duran, Christina Aguilera

'Glee' First Listen: Darren Criss and Matt Bomer Cover Duran Duran, Christina Aguilera

The on-screen brothers mash-up "Rio" and "Hungry Like the Wolf," while Criss goes solo to cover Christina Aguilera's "Fighter."

Glee returns Tuesday when Matt Bomer guest stars as the big brother to Darren Criss' Blaine Anderson with the pair taking on 1980s favorite Duran Duran.

In addition to covering Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," the brothers Anderson will share a mash-up of "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Rio," songs that Bomer told that he listened to as a kid.

"I grew up sharing a room with my brother, and every night for a good solid year we'd listen to the tape -- I know I'm dating myself! -- of Duran Duran as we went to bed," he told. "So getting to go in and record that was a dream come true. And getting to perform it with someone as talented as Darren was the icing on the cake."

In addition, Criss goes solo with a cover of Christina Aguilera's "Fighter," as he finds an outlet to air his frustrations with Cooper Anderson's arrival

Somebody that I used to know

Hungry like the wolf / Rio


3Ality Technica to Debut New 3D Rig at NAB

3Ality Technica to Debut New 3D Rig at NAB

The company’s technology has been used on productions such as "The Hobbit," "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Prometheus."

3D technology developer 3Ality Technica -- whose current name was introduced in 2011 when 3Ality Digital acquired Element Techica -- will debut the first joint effort from the combined companies, the Helix 3D rig, at the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show that begins April 14 in Las Vegas.

3Ality Technica’s 3D rigs have been used on a string of high-profile features including The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Great Gatsby, Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Oz: The Great and Powerful. They are also used for television, including live-event broadcasts such as Wimbledon.

The Helix rig combines the automation of the 3Alty rigs and the modular approach of the Element Technica gear. It is designed to handle a wider range of applications including handheld or studio use for features and broadcasting, according to senior vp Stephen Pizzo.

The Helix was also designed for use with 3Ality’s IntelleSuite control and automation software.

At NAB, the company will also showcase its related stereo image processor, the SIP 2100, as well as the IntelleCam, IntelleCal, and IntelleMatte software, all developed with the aim of reducing setup time and production costs.

3Ality will introduce a new Sony PMW-F3 accessories kit, designed in partnership with Sony for the F3 2D camera.

At NAB, NEP Broadcasting will exhibit an outside broadcast truck outfitted with 3ality Technica technology.

Sofia Vergara: 'Saturday Night Live is an American tradition'

Sofia Vergara: 'Saturday Night Live is an American tradition'

Sofia Vergara has declared that hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time is a major honour.

The Modern Family actress promoted her sketch comedy debut on Thursday (April 5) on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where was she asked by Jimmy Fallon if she was familiar with SNL when she grew up in Colombia.

"I think it's like an institution - Saturday Night Live. It's like one of those shows that is like an American tradition. And, we have cable in South America," she joked to Fallon.

Fallon went on to say that he'd spoken with two SNL staffers who said they had "never seen a prettier person" than Vergara.

"Who?" Vergara retorted playfully, but Fallon remained mum on his sources.

This weekend's Saturday Night Live will not only see the debuts of Vergara and One Direction, but also new castmember Kate McKinnon.

Saturday Night Live airs at 11.30/10.30c on NBC.

'Breaking Bad's final season to be split in two, says Bryan Cranston

'Breaking Bad's final season to be split in two, says Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston has confirmed that the final season of Breaking Bad will be split into two parts.

AMC is preparing to wrap the journey of Cranston's character Walter White in the show's fifth and final season with 16 new episodes.

Cranston revealed to Entertainment Weekly: "We're splitting it. We're going to shoot the first eight, then take a four-month production break, then the rest will air next year."

On the fifth season's opener, the actor revealed that it will pick up "right where [they] left off".

"We're cleaning up the pieces from last season's huge ordeal where Gus Fring was forced to meet his maker," Cranston added. "It's not as easy as Walter thought.

"And as we've discovered over the years, you don't really know who Walter White is. I'm still discovering who he is and I'm trying to allow myself to be open to him going darker and darker.

"There's physical danger to himself and his family, plus there's the emotional danger due to his anger and hubris. It's about the evil that men do and where that takes him."

Cranston's co-star Aaron Paul recently revealed that Breaking Bad will return for its fifth season in July on AMC.

Amanda Bynes arrested for drink driving after hitting police car

Amanda Bynes arrested for drink driving after hitting police car

Amanda Bynes has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Police have confirmed to People that the Hairspray actress tried to pass a sheriff's vehicle and collided with "the right rear quarter panel of the radio car".

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement: "There was minor paint transfer damage to both vehicles.

"Amanda Bynes was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence and booked at West Hollywood Sheriff's Station."

The incident took place this morning (Friday) at 3am. The 26-year-old was driving a black BMW.

This is the second time in a month Bynes has committed a driving offence. She was pulled over and fined by an officer in March for talking on her cell phone while driving.

'Jersey Shore's The Situation confirms leaving rehab

'Jersey Shore's The Situation confirms leaving rehab

Jersey Shore star Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino has confirmed that he recently completed a stint in rehab.

Sorrentino received treatment at Utah's Cirque Lodge for a "prescription medication problem" as well as an apparent alcohol dependency.

A representative for the Jersey Shore star has now announced that The Situation has checked out of rehab and is continuing his recovery at a private location.

"Michael 'The Situation' Sorrentino is home and would like to thank his fans, friends, family, and business partners for their continued support and words of encouragement," the spokesperson said in a statement. "He is now stronger and better than ever, and excited for this new amazing chapter in his life."

The statement continues: "With your positive reinforcement and a whole new outlook on life - there are so many great things on the horizon, and I am sure you will all be excited for the many new projects Sitch has in development.

"Words alone cannot express how much you all mean to Mike, and his gratitude for the care you showed him is infinite. You guys truly are the best!"

The Situation suggested upon entering rehab that he turned to prescription drugs to combat "exhaustion".

MTV has announced that The Situation, Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi and the rest of Jersey Shore's cast will return for the sixth season.

Cilla Black to star on Keith Lemon's Jim'll Fix It-style show Lemonaid

Cilla Black to star on Keith Lemon's Jim'll Fix It-style show Lemonaid

Keith Lemon has revealed that Cilla Black will be his first guest on his new show Lemonaid.

The Celebrity Juice performer, whose real name is Leigh Francis, is hosting his new Jim'll Fix It-style show starting tomorrow night.

Lemon told The Sun: "Each week I have a different celebrity helper. In the first week it's Cilla Black. That was nice to meet a TV veteran.

"I was a bit starstruck. Holly Willoughby - a team captain on the show - told me to treat her like a queen and she'll be lovely.

"She is nothing but a queen so I treated her like one and she was lovely. We got on really well."

Teasing the concept of the show, he added: "Someone might have a half-built porch on their house and I'll pull in some of my builder friends and get it finished for them.

"And I'll take them on holiday while it's being done. Plus, because I've paid for it, I'm going on the holiday with them."

Lemonaid, also featuring a performance from Rizzle Kicks, premieres Saturday at 6.15pm on ITV1.

Logo's "NewNowNext Awards" Announces 2012 Winners

Logo's "NewNowNext Awards" Announces 2012 Winners

The Kelly Osbourne-hosted event will premiere Monday, April 9 at 10:00/9:00c on the cable channel.

Bringing together the most buzzed about new talent in film, television, fashion and music, Logo's fifth annual "NewNowNext Awards" returned to Los Angeles today with a spectacular show hosted by Kelly Osbourne.

Always at the forefront of the styles, trends, personalities and guilty pleasures on the verge of a pop culture explosion, this always unpredictable show brought together today's hottest celebrities and tomorrow's brightest stars for a night of brilliant performances, outrageous awards and fierce entertainment! Logo's "NewNowNext Awards" 2012 premieres Monday, April 9, at 10/9C on Logo.

As voted on by the public, the 2012 "NewNowNext Award" winners are the following:

Next Mega Star - Josh Hutcherson ("The Hunger Games")

Most Addictive Reality Star - Nadia G. ("Bitchin' Kitchen," Cooking Channel)

Cause Your Hot - Naya Rivera ("Glee," Fox)

TV You Betta Watch - "GCB" (ABC)

Best New Indulgence - "Revenge" (ABC)

Superfan Site Award -

Next Must-See Movie - "The Avengers" (Paramount)

Beyond Style Award- Kelly Osbourne (TV Personality) and Andrej Pejic (Model)

Brink of Fame, Music Artist - (Neon Hitch, Warner Bros. Records)

Taking the evening to a fever pitch were the live, and always cutting-edge, musical performances of Adam Lambert, Neon Hitch, Neon Trees and Rye Rye.

The show also featured presenters including Aisha Tyler ("The Talk"), Busy Phillips ("Cougar Town"), Eden Wood ("Eden's World"), George Kotsiopoulos ("Fashion Police"), Heather McDonald ("Chelsea Lately"), Kat Graham ("The Vampire Diaries"), Kyle Richards ("The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"), Lamorne Morris ("The New Girl"), Leven Rambin ("The Hunger Games"), Matt Lanter ("90210"), Perez Hilton, Ross Mathews, RuPaul ("RuPaul's Drag Race") and Wendi McLendon-Covey ("Bridesmaids").

And what would the "NewNowNext Awards" be without the outrageous antics and some spectacular spoofs from "RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 4's" favorite and most controversial queens including Willam, Sharon Needles, Jiggly Caliente, Milan, among others?

Amanda Holden: 'Judging Britain's Got Talent is not difficult'

Amanda Holden: 'Judging Britain's Got Talent is not difficult'

Amanda Holden has said that judging Britain's Got Talent is not real work.

Speaking to TV Times magazine, the former Wild at Heart actress revealed that she found it easy to return to the ITV talent show after her birth scare.

When asked whether it was straining to go back to work, Holden said: "No it wasn't, because I don't consider it work.

"I think digging the roads is work, or working 9 to 5. But sitting at a desk pressing a buzzer for a day is a treat."

The 41-year-old added: "I was good; I needed something so that is why I came back."

Holden was replaced by Baywatch star Carmen Electra in the London and Birmingham legs of the audition shows in February.

'Big Bang Theory' marathon gives E4 its best night ever

'Big Bang Theory' marathon gives E4 its best night ever

The Big Bang Theory marathon, celebrating its 100th episode, pulled in bumper ratings for E4 last night.

An audience of 1.12m (5.4%) watched behind-the-scenes show Access All Areas at 8pm, as well as 217k (0.9%) on E4 +1.

Then the 100th episode itself, 'The Recombination Hypothesis', drew 1.34m (5.6%) and 321k (4.1%) on timeshift. The next episode of the US sitcom garnered 1.27m (5.4%) at 9pm (+1: 391k/1.9%).

Finally, clip show It All Started with a Bang - narrated by Rick Edwards - amused 934k (4.1%) at 9.30pm (+1: 317k/1.9%).

The figures meant that E4 scored its largest ever primetime share of 3.6% (+1: 1.2%), taking the digital channel above Channel 5, which had 3.2% (+1: 0.1%).

However, Celebrity Juice was still the most-watched multichannel show, picking up 1.47m (7.5%) for ITV2 at 10pm and an additional 333k (2.8%) an hour later.

Despite a lower than usual lead-in from the soaps, ITV1's 9pm hour performed well with Fraud Squad fetching 4.58m (19.7%) and 275k (1.5%) on +1.

New BBC One nature series Land of the Lost Wolves opened with 3.5m (15.1%) at the same time, while One Born Every Minute aftermath documentary What Happened Next? debuted with 2.05m (8.9%), adding 290k (1.6%) on timeshift.

Over on BBC Two, Natural World interested 1.78m (7.8%) at 8pm and The Sarah Millican Television Programme continued to perform well at 10pm, climbing to 1.42m (7%).

Overall, ITV1 topped primetime with 21.2% (+1: 0.8%), ahead of BBC One's 19%, BBC Two's 6% and Channel 4's 5.3% (+1: 0.8%).

TV Tonight 7th of April 2012

TV Tonight 7th of April 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    48 Hours Mystery S25E22: "A Family's Honor"
    Accel World S01E01: "Episode 1"
    Area no Kishi S01E14: "Episode 14"
    Bakugan Battle Brawlers S05E01: "Episode 1"
    Beyblade: Metal Fusion S02E35: "The Sign is NO.1"
    Bleach (US) S13E19
    Britain's Got More Talent S06E03: "Series 6, Episode 3"
    Britain's Got Talent S06E03: "Series 6 - Auditions 3"
    Casualty S26E30: "When The Gloves Come Off"
    Cops S24E22: "First Respond"
    Dan vs. S02E11: "Dan Vs. The Dinosaur"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E205: "Episode 1885"
    Expedition Great White S03E01: "Tagging Tigers"
    Fairy Tail S03E30: "Magical Ball"
    Fate/Zero S02E01: "TBA"
    Green Lantern: The Animated Series S01E06: "Lost Planet"
    Harry Hill's TV Burp S14E10: "The Best of TV Burp 24"
    How to Rock S01E10: "How to Rock a Lunch Table"
    Match of The Day S47E47: "Season 47, Show 47"
    Must Love Cats S02E05: "Swimming Cats and Cat-Fur Jewels"
    My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic S02E24
    Ozuma S01E04: "Episode 4"
    Pokémon S15E08: "The Lonely Deino!"
    Power Rangers S19E08: "Kevin's Choice"
    Q'Viva! The Chosen S01E06: "Season 1, Episode 6"
    Saturday Kitchen S10E41: "April 7, 2012"
    Saturday Night Live S37E18: "Sofía Vergara/One Direction"
    Take Me Out (UK) S03E14: "Series 3, Episode 14"
    Take Me Out: The Gossip S01E14: "Episode 14"
    Texas Women S02E01: "Getting Rowdy!"
    The Aquabats Super Show S01E06: "Cowboy Android!"
    The Firm S01E13: "Chapter Thirteen"
    The Football League Show S03E32: "Series 3, Episode 32"
    The Million Pound Drop Live S09E06: "Series 9, Episode 6"
    The Voice (UK) S01E03: "Blind Auditions 3"
    Thundercats (2011) S01E16: "The Trials of Lion-O Pt. 2"
    Transformers: Prime S02E08: "TBA"
    You've Been Framed S19E27: "April 7, 2012"
    Young Justice S01E24: "Performance"

TLC to Celebrate One-Year Anniversary of Royal Wedding!

TLC to Celebrate One-Year Anniversary of Royal Wedding!

"William & Kate: One Year Later" and "My Mother Diana" will premiere Saturday, April 28 starting at 9:00/8:00c.

TLC to Celebrate One-Year Anniversary of Royal Wedding!

Sound the trumpets and roll out the red carpet! TLC, the network that brought you last year's LIVE Royal Wedding event from Times Square, will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of William & Kate on Saturday, April 28 with two back-to-back specials.


WILLIAM & KATE: ONE YEAR LATER charts their life since their marriage on April 29, 2011, exploring their royal engagements and private moments that have kept Britain and the world enthralled. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are the very definition of a modern royal couple, charming everyone they meet with their unfussy style, down to earth values and impeccable manners. They've been busy encouraging patients on hospital visits while also rubbing elbows with Hollywood stars.


Nearly thirty years after his parents exchanged their wedding vows, Prince William walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey with his new bride. 'My Mother Diana' looks at how Diana's life, her relationship with the House of Windsor, the media and the public have shaped her eldest son, Prince William. When a twenty year-old Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, their wedding at St Paul's was watched by billions. But that relationship would develop into a romantic tragedy, whose effects would be more profound than anyone could have imagined.

Tulisa Contostavlos 'set for £500k X Factor 2012 deal'

Tulisa Contostavlos 'set for £500k X Factor 2012 deal'

Tulisa Contostavlos is on the verge of doubling her salary on The X Factor, a newspaper has said.

Simon Cowell has reportedly offered the N-Dubz singer a £500,000 deal to return to the ITV talent show, in spite of her recent sex scandal involving ex-boyfriend MC Ultra.

'Simon wants Tulisa back and she wants to come back, so it's down to contracts now," a source told Metro.

"He's conscious of the fact she's had a rubbish time recently with the sex tape thing so he figures getting a new deal sorted will be one less thing for her to worry about.

"Tulisa is in line for a decent bonus. She proved herself on the show and did a great job with Little Mix last year."

The insider added: "It might seem a lot of money but it's a fraction of what Gary Barlow gets and is much lower than Cheryl Cole - who she effectively replaced."

Syco boss Cowell has previously outlined his desire to retain all four of last year's X Factor judges.

'Loose Women' presenters 'sent home with shingles'

'Loose Women' presenters 'sent home with shingles'

The set of Loose Women has reportedly been hit by an outbreak of shingles.

A number of the ITV1 show's presenters and crew have contracted the viral disease over the past few weeks, reports The Mirror.

Janet Street Porter and Jane McDonald were both sent home this week with the illness, which is similar to chickenpox.

Street Porter is said to have left production on Wednesday (April 4), while McDonald was forced to leave the studio minutes before going on air yesterday (April 5).

Claire Sweeney was later contacted to join the show as a replacement.

Presenter Andrea McLean allegedly had the disease recently, while an executive producer was sent home for two weeks with chickenpox.

Show bosses are said to be concerned over the outbreak and any further spread may temporarily shut down the programme.

"Shingles is sweeping through the show and it has left us really stretched for staff and scrambling around for female presenters at the last minute," an ITV source said.

"Jane came in at 8am and wasn't feeling well so she went to occupation health and they diagnosed her and sent her home. Her doctor has also told her to rest up.

"Luckily Claire was able to step in, but we are now drawing up a list of standby hosts in case anyone else calls in sick. We are down to the bare minimum of Loose Women."

McLean pulled out of presenting Loose Women earlier this year after suffering a panic attack.

Ratings: 'Scandal' Has OK Premiere; 'Big Bang Theory' Tops; Fox Edges Out CBS

Ratings: 'Scandal' Has OK Premiere; 'Big Bang Theory' Tops; Fox Edges Out CBS

ABC's new drama "Scandal" got off to a decent start Thursday night, while CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" took the top ratings for the night and "Fox" took a narrow overall ratings win thanks to "American Idol," according to preliminary numbers.

Besides being first in the advertiser- cherished 18-49 demographic with a 3.0 rating/9 share, Fox was second in total viewers with an average of 10.6 million throughout the night. "American Idol" at 8 p.m. was down 10 percent from last week with a 3.8/12 in the demo. Its 13.8 million total viewers made it the night's most-watched program. "Touch" was down 15 percent in the demo, receiving a 2.3/7 with 7.4 million total viewers.

CBS was second in ratings and first in total viewers with an average 2.9/9 and 12.3 million. The network had slight declines for most of its primetime slate. "The Big Bang Theory" at 8, while the night's top-rated program, slipped 11 percent to a 4.2/12 in the demo, with 13 million total viewers. "Rules of Engagement" at 8:30 was flat with last week, receiving a 2.7/8 in the demo and 8.8 million total viewers. "Person of Interest" at 9 ticked down 12 percent from last week, posting a 2.9/8 with 13.5 million total viewers, while "The Mentalist" the following hour was off 11 percent from last week with a 2.4/7 in the demo and 12.5 million total viewers.

ABC took third place in the demo and total viewers with an average 2.1/6 and 7.6 million. "Missing" at 8 dipped down to a series low of 1.4/5 in the demo and 7.2 million total viewers. "Grey's Anatomy" at 9 dropped slightly from its last original airing three weeks ago, reaching a season low of 2.8/8 with 8 million total viewers. The premiere of "Scandal" at 10 posted a 2.1/6  -- tied with the mid-season premiere of "Missing" -- and 7.4 million total viewers.

Univision came in fourth in the demo and total viewers with an average 1.5/4 and 3.6 million. "Una Familia Con Suerte" at 8 received a 1.4/5 and 3.5 million total viewers, while "Abismo de Pasion" the following hour drew a 1.4/4 and 3.5 million total viewers. "La Que No Podia Amar" at 10 posted a 1.5/4 and 3.8 million total viewers.

NBC came in fifth in ratings and total viewers with an average 1.1/3 and 2.7 million, hitting lows across the board for its original Thursday-night roster. "Community" at 8 hit a series low in the demo, dropping 24 percent to a 1.3/5, with 3 million total viewers. "30 Rock" at 8:30 also hit a series low, dropping 20 percent to a 1.2/4 in the demo with 2.8 million total viewers. Following a repeat of "The Office" at 9, "Up All Night" slipped 15 percent in the demo to a series low of 1.1/3, with 2.6 million total viewers. The freshman series "Awake" at 10 dipped 10 percent from last week, drawing its lowest ratings to date with a 0.9/3 in the demo 2.5 million total viewers.

'Downton Abbey' Season 3 Death: Who Is It?

'Downton Abbey' Season 3 Death: Who Is It?

"Downton Abbey" executive producer Rebecca Eaton says that in the third season of the hit British drama, "somebody will be born, and somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast." He also promises Matthew and Mary will wed.

Eaton also revealed why Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), and her mother-in-law, Violet (Oscar winner Maggie Smith), are so anxiously awaiting the arrival of new cast member Shirley MacLaine as Cora's mother, Martha Levinson. The reason? The Crawley family needs cash.

"There are some wonderful scenes between Maggie and Shirley MacLaine -- Shirley MacLaine being as ditsy as ever," Eaton told The Orlando Sentinel. "And Maggie barely restraining her sneer in having to deal with this American. Maggie Smith is a handful, it’s true. She’s very difficult. She knows her worth, and she’s tricky on the set, but she delivers when the time comes."

As for that big death in the new season, Eaton offered no additional hints. Our guess: Perhaps that "very difficult" cast member won't survive the season?

The third season of "Downton Abbey" premieres in England in September, and on PBS in January 2013.

Development Update: the 7th of April

Development Update: the 7th of April

CASSANDRA FRENCH'S FINISHING SCHOOL FOR BOYS (MTV) - Michael Lehmann ("Heathers") has been tapped to direct the pilot, about a 22-year-old overachiever who gets her dream job as a lawyer for a Hollywood studio but can't find a guy ready for a real, mature relationship that decides to lock one up in her basement in order to train him to become the perfect gentleman. He'll work from a script by Eric Garcia, who likewise penned the novel upon which the project is based. Krysten Ritter also serves as an executive producer. (

CULT (The CW) - Andrew Leeds ("Bones") has been cast in the drama pilot, about Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas), a production assistant on a wildly popular television show named "Cult," who teams with Jeff Sefton (Matt Davis), a journalist blogger, to investigate the rabid fans of the series who might be re-creating crimes seen on the program in real life. He'll guest star as Kyle Segal, the current executive assigned to the show. Alona Tal and Robert Knepper also star in the Warner Bros. Television-based project, from director Jason Ensler and writer Rockne S. O'Bannon. (

DOWNWARDLY MOBILE (NBC) - Jason Antoon, Kendra Jain and Hector Duran will round out the cast of the comedy pilot, about Rose Davis (Roseanne Barr), the proprietor of a mobile home park and surrogate mother to all of the unique people who live there in a challenging economy. They'll play various tenants: Antoon as the stay-at-home dad of his and Sheila's (Romy Rosemont) wild child daughter, Skar (Jain); and Duran as Ricky, a shy and timid but sweet 13-year-old boy whom Rose takes under her wing. Greg Cromer, John Goodman, Mary Birdsong and Salli Richardson-Whitfield also star in the project, from 20th Century Fox Television and co-creators Barr, Eric Gilliland and John Argent. Gail Mancuso is directing. (

DRUNK HISTORY ACROSS AMERICA (Comedy Central, New!) - The cable channel has ordered a pilot presentation for a potential comedy based on the award-winning Funny or Die series of shorts, featuring historical reenactments presented by a besotted narrator. Writer Derek Waters and director Jeremy Konner are behind the project, which Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy will executive produce via their Gary Sanchez Productions banner alongside the duo and Owen Burke. Ferrell, Jim Carrey, Ryan Gosling, Jack Black, Don Cheadle, Michael Cera, Zooey Deschanel, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Jason Ritter and Danny McBride were among the actors featured in the series. (

OH F---, IT'S YOU (CBS) - David Walton ("Bent") has booked the male lead on the comedy pilot, about a notorious womanizer who, after surviving a health scare, realizes that "the one" is his ex-turned-gal pal/business partner (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), who's already engaged to a nice guy (Ryan Gaul). He'll play said fellow Nick Miller ("good looking in an easy-going kind of way"), taking over for the previously cast Bryan Greenberg. Said role is formally in second position to Walton's duties on the NBC comedy, which is not expected to return. Director James Burrows and co-creators Greg Berlanti and Greg Malins are behind the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which also stars Greg Grunberg and Matt Cook. (

STARS EARN STRIPES (NBC, New!) - Dick Wolf and Mark Burnett are set to team for a new competition series at the Peacock in which celebrities attempt the rigors of military training - from a staged hostage rescue to correctly placing a laser target atop a mountain. The project will likewise pay a tribute to our troops and first responders by bringing said tasks a spotlight. As for specifics, each of the nine planned participants will be paired with a trainer whose job it is to prepare them for the rigors of the weekly challenge at a top-notch, secret military training facility. Wolf and Burnett executive produce the project with David Hurwitz. (

1600 PENN (NBC)
- Martha MacIsaac ("Greek") has joined the cast of the pilot, a single-camera comedy about a dysfunctional First Family where Skip (Josh Gad), the out-of-control oldest son, returns home and becomes not only it's biggest liability but also the glue holding everyone together. She'll play eldest daughter Becca ("overachiever and perfectionist who puts a ton of pressure on herself; helped raise her siblings"), taking over for Brittany Snow. Said change was made following yesterday's table read as the producers "opted to make a creative change with a younger and darker-looking Becca." Jon Lovett, Josh Gad and Jason Winer co-created the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which Winer will direct from a teleplay by Lovett. Amara Miller, Andre Holland, Benjamin Stockham, Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman also star. (

BEING MARY JANE (A.K.A. SINGLE BLACK FEMALE) (BET) - Lisa Vidal ("The Event") has joined the cast of the Gabrielle Union-led drama pilot, about "successful talk show host Mary Jane Paul (Union) looking to one day become the No. 1 nightly news anchor while searching for Mr. Right." She'll play her friend Kara, the lead producer of the show. Aaron D. Spears and Richard Roundtree also star in the project, from writer Mara Brock Akil and director Salim Akil. (

- Briga Heelan ("Cougar Town") has booked a role on the comedy pilot, about three aging sisters - Nonie (Delta Burke), Billie (Kerri Kenney) and Joyce (Margo Martindale) - running their family diner together in West Texas. She's guest star as Jill ("cute, sweet as pie, love crafts and sewing; is simple, but in no way dumb"), Joyce's daughter-in-law. Writer Stephnie Weir and director Ted Wass are behind the ABC Studios-based half-hour, which also stars Doris Roberts, Ken Howard and Luis Guzman. (

HEMLOCK GROVE (Netflix) - Australian actress Penelope Mitchell is the latest addition to the upcoming drama, "a gripping tale of murder, mystery and monsters set in a ravaged Pennsylvania steel town." She's set as Letha Godfrey, Roman's (Bill Skarsgard) cousin, in the project, which also stars Famke Janssen and Landon Liboiron. Brian McGreevy, Deran Sarafian, Eli Roth, Eric Newman, Lee Shipman, Mark Verheiden and Michael Connolly are among the executive producers. (

OH F---, IT'S YOU (CBS) - Bryan Greenberg has departed the comedy pilot, about Nick, a notorious womanizer who, after surviving a health scare, realizes that "the one" is his ex-turned-gal pal/business partner Wendy (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), who's already engaged to a nice guy, Warren (Ryan Gaul). Casting is underway to find a new Nick on the Warner Bros. Television-based project, a decision that was made following today's table read. Greg Grunberg and Matt Cook also star in the half-hour, from director James Burrows and co-creators Greg Berlanti and Greg Malins. (

MALIBU COUNTY (ABC) - Jeffrey Nordling ("Body of Proof") has landed a role on the comedy pilot, about a woman (Reba McEntire) who divorces her broke, cheating rock star husband and moves her family from Nashville to the only asset she has left - a little house in Malibu. He'll guest as said husband, Russell Howard, in the project, which John Pasquin is directing from a script by Kevin Abbott. Jai Rodriquez, Juliette Angelo, Justin Prentice, Lily Tomlin and Sara Rue also star. (

THRILLSVILLE (HBO, New!) - Rob Thomas, Ira Glass and Owen Wilson are set to team for a potential drama at the pay channel about "a man who deals with a midlife crisis by rescuing two kidnapped kids in Mexico." The project, to be penned by Thomas, is based on a "This American Life" segment from March 2010 about James Spring, "a San Diego meth smuggler-turned-advertising copywriter [who] detailed the story of how the approach of his 40th birthday inspired him to do something significant to help others." Said effort ultimately led him to a new career investigating missing persons cases. Thomas, Glass and Wilson then will executive produce alongside Dan Etheridge, Danielle Stokdyk, Regina Lee and Alissa Shipp. (

UNTITLED LOUIS CK/SPIKE FERESTEN PROJECT (CBS) - Ryan Hansen ("Friends with Benefits") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a group of young people working to achieve their creative dreams amid tough financial times. He'll guest star as Mitch, the stoner musician roommate of Dan Byrd's Fred. Said role, originally a regular, is in second position to his duties on the FOX comedy pilot "El Jefe," in which he plays the lead. Ashley Tisdale and Patti Murin also star in the project, from CBS Television Studios and Universal Television. Andy Ackerman is directing. (

FRIEND ME (CBS) - Nicholas Braun ("10 Things I Hate About You") and Dan Ahdoot ("Kickin' It") have both been cast in the comedy pilot, about best pals Rob and Evan who have just moved to L.A. from Indiana to start new jobs at Groupon. Braun will play Rob, the more enthusiastic of said duo, who's open to what the world has to offer whereas Evan (yet to be cast) is cynical and way, way less open to change. Ahdoot then is set as Reggie, one of their friends from back home - a filmmaker heavily involved in the indie film scene in Bloomington - whom Evan regularly stays in touch with via iChat. Parvesh Cheena and Tim Robinson also star in the CBS Television Studios-based half-hour, from director Pamela Fryman and co-creators Ajay Sahgal and Alan Kirschenbaum. (

OVER AND OUT (CBS) - Colleen Smith ("The Showbiz Show with David Spade") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about Ray Barker (Martin Lawrence), a widowed father of two teenagers who, after losing his job in construction, decides to go to the police academy and become a cop at the age of 46. She's set as Peg Horst ("cocky, chip on her shoulder"), a fellow cop who attempts to raze him. Fred Savage is directing the CBS Television Studios-based half-hour, which was penned by Mike Lisbe and Nate Reger. P.J. Byrne and Regina Hall also star. (

THE UNPROFESSIONAL (ABC) - Horatio Sanz ("Saturday Night Live") has booked a role on the comedy pilot, about Hilary Pfeiffer-Dunne (Mary McCormack), a high-powered executive who now faces the biggest challenge of her life when she finds herself unemployed and acting as a full-time mom to her two teenagers (Aiden Potter, Sabrina Carpenter). He'll play Jonathan, her put-upon, wry-humored neighbor who's the stay-at-home dad of 20-month old twin girls. Greg Germann and Mo Gaffney co-star in the project, from Warner Bros. Television, director Craig Zisk and writer Kari Lizer. (

Y.M.O.C. (BET, New!) - Jacob Latimore and Eric D. Hill, Jr. are set to star in a potential spin-off of "Reed Between the Lines" about "15-year-old college prodigy Jacob Matthews (Latimore) who is the youngest man on campus, sharing a dorm at Mt. Pleasant University with his basketball star cousin Marco (Hill)." Said characters were featured in the "Let's Talk About College Boys" episode of the series, which aired in December. Terri Vaughn, Dondre Whitfield and Vanessa S. Simmons are also on board the comedy pilot, as Trishelle, Jacob's widow mom (originally played by Dawnn Lewis); Derek Watson, the professor who discovered Jacob; and Aliyah, a hot girl whom both Jacob and Marco have crush on. Jacque Edmonds Cofer is behind the project, which is being eyed for a 10-episode order. (