Jews in the News: Michael Douglas, Seth Green and Sara Michelle Gellar
WRITING: PAMELA ADLON, 47, and Louis C.K. (who has one Jewish grandfather), the co-stars of “Louie”, vie for the comedy series (“named” episode) writing award with DAVID CRANE, 56 (“Episodes”); competing for the Emmy for best script, mini-series/movie are: DAVID MAMET, 65 (“Phil Spector”) and TOM STOPPARD, 76 (“Parade’s End"). Mamet is also up for a directing Emmy for “Spector”; and DAVID BENIOFF, 42, is nominated for penning a 'named' episode of the drama series “Games of Thrones”. Note: all the shows up for best writing in the “Variety, Music, or Comedy series” category, like “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report,” have some Jewish writers—like JON STEWART, 50, himself.
Best show/movie awards go to the show’s producers. What follows are the “best of” created by a tribe member: Best Comedy Series: “Big Bang Theory” (CHUCK LORRE, 60), “Girls” (Dunham), and “Modern Family” (STEVE LEVITAN, 51); Drama Series: “Homeland” (based on an Israeli series; American creator HOWARD GORDON, 52); “Game of Thrones” (Benioff); and “Mad Men” (MATTHEW WEINER, 48); Best Variety, etc. series: “The Daily Show” (Jon Stewart) and “Saturday Night Live” (LORNE MICHAELS, 68) ; Best Mini-Series/Movie: “Phil Spector” (Mamet) and “American Horror Story” (BRAD FALCHUK, 40.) Falchuk's mother, NANCY, by the way, used to be national head of Hadassah.
New TV Season: Jewish Thespians and “Mom”
Here are the “scripted” broadcast TV shows with a Jewish co-star that premiere this month. In my next column, I’ll cover HBO/Showtime and October premieres.
Fox: “Dads”. Began 9/17. SETH GREEN, 39, and Giovanni Ribisi play business partners and friends.Their lives change when their difficult elderly dads move into their homes. PETER RIEGERT, 66, plays Green’s dad. Green and Riegert's characters are supposed to be Jewish. This series has already been subject to a lot of blowback: the two dads, critics say, sound like Jewish and WASP versions of Archie Bunker. Also: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Began 9/17. ANDY SAMBERG, 25, stars as a NYPD detective whose effectiveness is often obscured by his wisecracking, laid-back manner. His new boss wants him to tone down his style.
CBS: “The Crazy Ones”. Begins 9/26. Robin Williams and SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR, 36, co-star as a father and daughter who run a Chicago ad agency. JAMES WOLK, 28, co-stars as copywriter at their agency. The handsome Wolk appeared as the mysterious Bob Benson, an ad agency employee, in the last season of "Mad Men." It looks like he'll continue in both shows for the foreseeable future. Nice to note: Wolk recently said he wants to visit Israel, for the first time, in the next year or so. He expressed some regret that he had got too old to take a Birthright trip.
ABC: “Back in the Game”. Begins 9/25. A single mom (Maggie Lawson) gets her estranged father, played by JAMES CAAN, 72, to coach a baseball team of Little League rejects that includes her young son. Also on ABC: “The Goldbergs.” Begins 9/24. This sit-com takes place in the 1980s. The Goldbergs don’t shy away from arguing, but underneath are a very loving family. JEFF GARLIN, 51, plays the father, with GEORGE SEGAL, 79, playing his father-in-law. The family, which includes three kids under 18, wasn’t identified as Jewish in the pilot I viewed; but I expect that will come later.
Gotta root for a show named "The Goldbergs," but there weren’t as many funny lines in the whole pilot as in the five-minute preview clip of the new CBS series, “Mom”. Created by Chuck Lorre, it stars Anna Faris as a single mom/recovering alcoholic who works as a waitress at a fancy Napa Valley restaurant. Her mother (Alison Janney) is also in recovery and her teen daughter is a handful. Her 8-year old son is played by child actor Blake Garrett Rosenthal. I'll let you know when I find out if he's Jewish or not. (Starts 9/23).