By Romeo San Vicente
‘Glee’ actor adds Disney Channel to friends list
Chris Colfer is no dummy. Clearly, he already knows – just from observing the gay actors that came before him – that to be an out actor can mean a strange, sometimes difficult career, no matter how popular you are on your current weekly TV series. As reported earlier he’s already branched out with his first foray into screenwriting, “Struck By Lightning,” which he’ll also star in, and it rolls before cameras this summer with director Brian Dannelly (“Saved”) while Glee takes a break. But the latest news from Colfer, Inc. is that he’s also sold his first TV pilot to the Disney Channel. It’s called “The Little Leftover Witch” and based on the children’s book by Florence Laughlin about a little witch adopted by a non-witch family after she crash lands her broom at their house. Sounds adorable, and the best news of all is that it only has to be marginally better than that trainwreck ’80s show “Small Wonder” (you remember, the one about the robot girl) to enjoy a respectable legacy in children’s television history.
Paula and Simon to reunite for ‘X Factor’
The winning qualities of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler notwithstanding, you know it just hasn’t been the same since Paula Abdul left “American Idol.” And her dance show sank into the ratings dump and never came out. But like her old pop hit, opposites attract, Simon Cowell has tapped his former co-judge for a spot on this fall’s “X Factor.” Already an annual ratings smash in England – and, unlike “Idol,” fully owned and operated by Cowell – the singing talent show has also lined up music industry power player and former chair of Island/Def Jam Music Group Antonio “L.A.” Reid, as well as British pop star Cheryl Cole, to serve as judges. Rumors swirled that Snoop Dogg, Gloria Estefan and Mariah Carey had all been approached but, in a recent interview with blogger Nikki Finke, Cowell said that no such offers were made. Not that it matters, the other two judges could be the corpse from “Weekend at Bernies” and a 40-watt lightbulb and we’d tune in just to see Cowell and Abdul continue their weird romance.
James Frey courts controversy for Christ
Hand it to the man, James Frey knows how to get his name out there. Of course, when it first happened it was because he told his own occasionally fictional version of the truth in his Oprah-scorned memoir “A Million Little Pieces.” But now it’s going to be because a million little angry conservative evangelical Christians will line up to despise his new book, “The Final Testament of The Holy Bible.” It’s an intentionally fictional work, imagining a reality in which the Messiah is alive and well and living today as a bisexual with a healthy appetite for physical pleasures. In other words, blasphemy. But is the writing good? Early positive reviews may earn it literary cred, but it’s going to be the controversy – complete with, no lie, a return visit to the Oprah set any minute now – that aims it straight for the “New York Times” bestseller list. And just wait until the movie rights get sold. Westboro Baptist Church is probably already designing protest placards.
‘Real L Word’ gets real young
Show of hands, who was bored by the first season of “The Real L Word”? Well, guess what? So was everyone else, including Showtime, the network that aired it. So for season two, coming up very quickly in June, get ready to meet an entirely new cast of younger, wilder, sexier lesbian drama factories. OK, actually, Whitney is back and so is Romi, the girl whose affections Whitney was toying with, but that’s it. The rest of those older women with semi-real-life problems are gone and in their place is a cast of hot young babes willing to pose bikini-clad and mud-slathered for publicity shots. Will drinks be thrown? Fighting commence? Threesomes be had? Without a doubt, and now, finally, lesbians (and the straight dudes who fantasize about them) will have their very own, all-girl, bad behavior-intensive “A List: New York”-style show. Equal time and all that.