Jews in the News: Julianna Margulies, Paul Rudd and Josh Rogin

Series and Season Endings

The series finale of the hit CBS show, “The Good Wife,” will air on Sunday, May 8, at 9PM. The creators of the show, MICHELLE KING, 70ish, and her husband, Robert King, always planned to leave after seven seasons. However, they thought that the network would continue making new episodes. In a press conference last February, Michelle detailed what happened when they told CBS and the cast of their plan to depart: “There was a conversation with the network, studio and Julianna. Everybody came to the same decision, that to be able to go out together is really what we all wanted. We felt very fortunate and flattered that we were being allowed to end the show together with the writers and producers in the way we would hope it would end.”

The Kings did give rabid fans a ray of hope when asked about a possible spin-off series: “”Nothing is off the table,' said Michelle. ‘Nothing is formal but we are not saying no to anything.’ Added Robert King, ‘What would be appealing is if we could find a way to spinoff an ensemble. We wished we had more time to explore other lives [of their supporting characters].’”

JULIANNA MARGULIES, 49, who won two best lead actress Emmys for playing the title character, told “Entertainment Weekly”: “The Kings always said it should end after year 7, I think they’re right. [Still] it’s going to be very hard to let go of a character and this family.”  By the way, reliable reports are that JOSH CHARLES, 44, who played the lead character Will Gardner (killed at the end of season 5), will appear in the finale in a flashback scene.

The season finale of “Big Bang Theory,” airs on CBS on Thursday, May 12 at 8PM. JUDD HIRSCH, 81, will guest-star as Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) never-before-seen anthropologist father. Last month, Galecki told an industry audience that he recruited Hirsch last January, when both attended an NBC tribute to JIM BURROWS, 75 (Burrows directed Hirsch in “Taxi”, as well as directing “Big Bang”). Galecki told the same audience that he drew elements from Alex Reiger, Hirsch’s “Taxi” character, in molding the Leonard character. Both Alex and Leonard, he said, acted as the voice of reason in their group—while actually they were as confused as their friends.

Galecki has a sort of “Jewish persona”, but isn’t Jewish in real life. Likewise, his character, Leonard Hofstader, seems Jewish. However, all the bio “clues” in the series, to date, indicate that Leonard isn’t Jewish. Still, I think there’s a chance that we will learn, at some point, that Leonard’s father is Jewish. Judd Hirsch has the map of Israel written on his face and such a map is a terrible thing to waste.

 At the Movies: Opening Friday, May 6

"Captain America: Civil War” has the best advance “buzz” of any comic-book based spectacular coming out this year. Maybe because it has a real issue anchoring its plot--one that is reminiscent of the recent Apple v. the Federal Gov.’t hacking dispute.  “Collateral damage” involving the Avengers leads to calls for government oversight of the super-hero group. A faction of the Avengers, lead by Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), wants no such oversight. Another Avenger faction, led by Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr., who is “3/8” Jewish), is willing to accept oversight. Co-starring tribe members include SCARLETT JOHANSSON, 31 (“Black Widow”) and PAUL RUDD, 47 (“Ant-Man”).

Music-Related Notes

A “mazel tov” to MAX WEINBERG, 65 (most famous as Bruce Springsteen’s drummer). On April 16, his daughter, ALI WEINBERG, 30ish, wed Bloomberg View/CNN political analyst JOSH ROGIN, 35ish. The bride is a digital journalist for ABC News.  Perhaps because Ali’s mother isn’t Jewish, a rabbi didn’t preside—but the couple married under a chuppah and the traditional Jewish wedding blessings, etc. were said by the officiant. Attendees included most of the “E” Street Band, NBC Political Director CHUCK TODD, 44, and CNN anchors WOLF BLITZER, 68, and JAKE TAPPER, 47.

Remember K-Tel, which flooded the airwaves in the ‘70s and ‘80s with ads for things like the “Miracle Brush” and album compilations of hit single records? Well, the founder of K-Tel, PHIL KIVES, died on April 27, age 87. He was born in a Jewish farming colony near Winnipeg, Canada. He trapped furs at age 8 to pay for school clothes. He was the first to realize that the public wanted big hit song compilation records and he bought the rights to those songs. In the last ten years, he made another fortune licensing those old hits to ITunes.


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