Jews in the News: Bernie Kopell, Ilan Rubin and Barbra Streisand

Another Lorre Classic?, Rockin’ Hebrews, and Much More

The comedy/drama series “B Positive” premieres on CBS on Nov. 5 (8:30 PM). Drew (Thomas Middleditch) is a therapist and the newly-divorced father of a 12-year daughter. He needs a kidney transplant and he finds a match in Gina, a past acquaintance.  SARA RUE, 41, co-stars as Julia, Drew’s ex-wife. You might remember Rue as the star of the sit-com “Less than Perfect,” which ran for four years, ending in 2006. She was born Sara Schlackman (“Rue” is her mother’s maiden name).

Appearing in recurring roles are BERNIE KOPELL, 87, and LINDA LAVIN, 82. Both play residents of an assisted living facility where Gina works. Lavin plays Norma, a woman who lived a “big life” and came out as a lesbian after the death of her husband of many years. Lavin is most famous as the star of the ‘70s sit-com “Alice.” Koppel is best known for playing Dr. Adam Bricker, the ship’s doctor, on the hit program “The Love Boat”.  Lavin and Koppel had recurring roles in early seasons of “Mom”, the hit CBS sit-com. “Mom” begins its 8th season right after the “B Positive” premiere. Both shows were created by CHUCK LORRE, 68, the man behind a slew of hits, including “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Kominsky Method.”

HBO will first stream (Nov. 7, 8PM) a video of the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The “industrial rock” band Nine Inch Nails is being inducted. ILAN RUBIN, 32, who has been the group’s drummer since 2009, is being inducted as a band member. Rubin was a child musical prodigy, showing great talent when he was just 8 years old. Also inducted as a “performer” is MARC BOLAN (1947-77). Bolan, born Marc Feld, was the son of working class English parents. His father was Jewish; his mother, not. Marc spent much of his teen years hanging out at a community club for Jewish young people.  He’s credited as a father of the “glam-rock” look and sound. He was the lead singer and songwriter for the group T-Rex. They had a big American hit in 1971 with “Get It On (Bang a Gong)”. Bolan died in a car accident. He had a Jewish funeral and he’s buried in a London Jewish cemetery. “Non-performers” are inducted into the Hall via the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement. The two Ertegun award winners this year are Jewish: JON LANDIS, 71, and IRVING AZOFF, 72. Landis is most famous as the producer of “Born to Run”, Bruce Springsteen’s breakthrough album, and many subsequent Springsteen albums. Azoff is a leading record company and concert ticket company executive.

“The Mighty Ones” is a child-friendly animated series that begins streaming on Hulu and Peacock TV on Nov. 9. It follows the fun adventures of a rock, a strawberry, a stick, and a leaf. Self-named The Mighty Ones, they live in a backyard belonging to three people whom they mistake for gods. JOSH BRENER, 36 (“Silicon Valley”) voices one of the Mighty Ones. Much different is “A Teacher”, a 9-episode mini-series that begins streaming on Hulu on Nov. 10. Basic plot: Claire (Rooney Mara), a popular high school teacher, enters into an affair with a handsome senior and their lives “explode” when the affair becomes known. ASHLEY ZUKERMAN, 36, an Australian Jew, plays Claire’s supportive and loving husband. The series was written and directed by HANNAN FIDELL, 34. Her mother is LINDA GREENHOUSE, 73, the NY Times’ Pulitzer-winning legal correspondent.  

TIMOTHEE CHALAMET, 24, was all set to play BOB DYLAN, 79, in a bio-pic covering the time (1965-66) when Dylan stopped being an acoustic folk singer and began playing rock music with electric instruments. However, Covid-19 difficulties have forced a postponement. In other Dylan news, a never published 1971 interview with a close, now deceased friend of Bob, just went up for auction. Among other things, Bob disclosed that he changed his last name from “Zimmerman” to “Dylan” because he feared that anti-Semitism would affect his career. He also said that he wrote the song “Lay Lady Lay” for BARBRA STEISAND, now 78, but she never recorded it. Dylan’s own version (1969) was one of his two top 10 hits (the other was “Like a Rolling Stone”). In other Chalamet news: Timothee’s sister, PAULINE CHALAMET, 28, has landed her biggest role to date. She’ll co-star as one of four college roommates in the upcoming HBO series “The Sex Lives of College Girls”.


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