SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 108
Our Interview with Sally Kellerman,
Who Played the Original Dr. Dehner in Star Trek The Original Series
and Hot Lips Houlihan in the M*A*S*H Movie
The SciFi Diner Podcast
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Welcome to the Diner.
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The Music at the end of this week’s show is from Nathan Fillion’s show Castle.
On The Menu Tonight:
* Our Interview with Sally Kellerman
* Reveal our trivia winner!
* Euraka is Canceled
* JJ Abrams Does Ted
* Looking at this Summer’s Premieres – and what those numbers mean anyway
* Our first look at Henry Cavill as Man of Steel
* Harry Potter is Number Three
* Controversial Movie Castings
*TWIST: TNG on BLURAY?, Michael Dorn on Castle, Connor Trinner on Enterprise, and JJ ABRAMS on a gay Trek Character
* SciFi Five in Five – Top Five SciFi Shows from C.R. Smith
Sally Kellerman has one of the most recognizable voices in the world. She also starred as the infamous Hot Lips Houlihan in Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H, one of the most popular feature films of all time for which she was nominated for both an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award. Sally Kellerman has amassed an impressive resume of memorable feature film, television and theater credits that total in the hundreds and continues to grow each year …and she has done all of this while gaining the respect and admiration of an extremely loyal worldwide audience and an equally discriminating industry.
She has made us laugh (Back To School opposite Rodney Dangerfield), she has made us cry (Big Blond). She has made nearly all women in the world proud (Boynton Beach Bereavement Club) while making their husbands…well…(think M*A*S*H). Sally Kellerman has even made us hungry (the renowned voice behind the Hidden Valley Salad Dressing commercials and current voice of a popular Milkyway spot). There is not much Sally Kellerman has not done.
But what is most exciting about Sally Kellerman and all that she has accomplished so far during her more than 30 years in the business is…that it is only the beginning.
Enter Sally Kellerman 2008…A quintessential woman who has successfully balanced a thriving career with marriage, motherhood and personal growth for more than three decades. A role model who has humbly earned pop icon status, Sally has always been and remains a vibrant and necessary example of a positive, risk-taking, truly unique person who lives life with an indelible passion that keeps her eternally young.
Syfy has done it again.
The cable outlet changed its mind on a final season for Eureka yesterday and has canceled the show.
The fifth season is currently in production and will wrap soon. It is scheduled to air next year. Syfy initially signed on for a six episode sixth season to bring the series to a close, but reversed that decision yesterday.
“After painstaking consideration, we have had to make the difficult business decision to not order a season six of Eureka. But Eureka is not over yet. There is a new holiday episode this December and 12 stellar episodes set to debut next year, marking its fifth season and six memorable years on Syfy. The 2012 episodes are some of the best we’ve seen, and will bring this great series to a satisfying end. We are very grateful to Bruce Miller and Jaime Paglia, their team of incredible writers, and an amazing cast and crew who have consistently delivered a series we continue to be very proud of. We thank the fans for their support of this show and know they will enjoy its final season in 2012,” Syfy said in a statement.
As of this report, there are no details on how and why the series was given the pink slip. Alpha Airlock reports series producer Jamie Paglia was surprised about the shortened order, and was told that those final episodes were meant to give him the latitude to wrap the series. Whether Paglia resisted a wrap-up in such a way is not clear.
J.J. Abrams TED Talk
J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery –- a passion that’s evident in his films and TV shows, including Cloverfield, Lost and Alias — back to its magical beginnings.
The Summer Premieres in Retrospect
Live+7 info is below in the press release. For comparative purposes the Live+SD ratings (including only one night of DVR viewing were)
2.016 Million total viewers
893K adults 18-49
987K adults 25-54
2.337 million total viewers
1.036 million adults 18-49
1.165 million adults 25-54
2.515 million total viewers
1.213 million adults 18-49
1.322 million adults 25-54
POWERED BY NEW MONDAY SCRIPTED PROGRAMMING BLOCK, SYFY RISES
8% AMONG TOTAL VIEWERS IN JULY PRIME
ALPHAS AND Warehouse 13 PREMIERES GRAB 3.6 MILLION VIEWERS EACH BASED ON LIVE +7 DVR
NEW YORK – August 3, 2011 – Fueled by the new Monday 8-11PM (ET/PT) scripted programming block of Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Alphas, Syfy jumped 8% among total viewers in July ‘11 prime, averaging 1.38 million in the demo, while also rising three percent among Adults 18-34.
As well, Syfy earned double-digit growth in all the key male demos, up 18% in Men 18-34 (126,000), 16% in Men 18-49 (341,000), and 13% in Men 25-54 (392,000), compared to the prior year.
Syfy launched Summer Premiere Week on July 11, showcasing the “Most Powerful Night of the Week” with Eureka at 8PM, Warehouse 13 at 9PM and newcomer Alphas at 10PM. That night became Syfy’s highest Monday time period audience for scripted series in more than 10 years.
Based on Live +7 DVR data, the July 11 premiere episodes averaged:
Warehouse 13 Monday, July 11 at 9PM ET/PT
2.7 HH rating
3.56 million total viewers
1.72 million Adults 18-49
1.88 million Adults 25-54
Alphas Monday, July 11 at 10PM ET/PT
2.7 HH rating
3.6 million total viewers
1.74 million Adults 18-49
1.85 million Adults 25-54
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 99 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)
Details on the Rating System:
1st official pic of Henry Cavill (in costume!) as the Man of Steel
Warner Bros. just released the first image of Cavill in action, though whether this is from a scene that’ll be in the movie or just something staged to keep us happy, we won’t know until the film is released June 14, 2013.
But meanwhile, we’ve got one pressing question for director Zack Snyder …
What’s up with Supes’ shiny, seemingly greasy hair?
Or does it only bother us?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Advances to Number 3 Highest Grossing Film Worldwide
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the magic-wielding juggernaut of a film, just keeps on going, breaking records worldwide as it closes the immensely successful film franchise. About a week ago, we brought you news that this eighth film and last chapter of the Harry Potter film franchise had crossed the $1 billion mark in cumulative global ticket sales. To date, the film has earned a worldwide tally of $1.14 billion, $343.1 million domestically and $792.4 million internationally.
According to THR, Warner Bros’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has moved into the number three spot as the third highest grossing film in the worldwide box office, bumping down The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King that grossed $1.12 billion worldwide in 2003.
Over the weekend, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 debuted in China with $26.5 million, still atop the foreign box office for the fourth straight weekend in a row.
James Cameron’s Avatar with $2.8 billion and Titanic with $1.8 billion sit in the number one and two spots respectively. Will Harry be able to overtake the Cameron-creations? Heck, I’d go see Harry a couple more times if it means toppling a Cameron record!
8 controversial comic book movie castings that actually worked
We comic book fans can be hard to please. When it comes to adapting our favorite characters to the big screen, we’re picky. And some of us are sometimes obnoxiously so. It’s rare that any actor can escape the wrath of fan criticism—and Laurence Fishburne is but the latest example of that.Luckily, directors and studios don’t listen to every fan gripe, because if they had, we’d have missed out on some great and even iconic performances.Here are eight controversial comic book castings that (despite some reservations) worked out for the best.
Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Mr. Mom? Sure. Beetlejuice? Hilarious. Batman? WHAT? That was the general reaction when Tim Burton announced that Michael Keaton would play Batman in his 1989 film.
Fans were so disturbed by his choice that they flooded Warner Bros.’ offices with over 50,000 letters protesting the decision. One person even wrote to the Los Angeles Times saying, “By casting a clown, Warner Bros. and Burton have defecated on the history of Batman.” (Well, that was mean!)
After Batman‘s release, Keaton’s performance softened some of the hardest hearts, which earned him enough fanboy cred for a sequel. He may not have been the physical embodiment of what viewers expected, but he got the job done.
Heath Ledger as the Joker
When Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, people were confused. At the time, he was riding a wave of critical success (including an Oscar nomination) for his role in Brokeback Mountain, but readers didn’t think he was edgy enough for the Joker.
When the casting news broke, one fan responded with “I like Ledger but I’m not sure if he can pull off the sinister Joker,” while another said, “Seems like an awful choice for what was a very promising character.” With his Oscar win and the film’s billion-dollar box office performance, we think it’s fair to say they were both wrong!
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Downey has always been talented, but prior to 2007 he wasn’t the most dependable actor in Hollywood. Therefore, when Jon Favreau chose him to play the title character in Iron Man, a lot of us were skeptical. Some fans of the comic book character had a visceral reaction to his casting.
“What a horrible choice,” one fan wrote. “What is he, like 50? Maybe 15 years ago when he wasn’t phoning it in. Seriously, could you ever have imagine Robert Downey Jr. in the Iron Man armor hanging with Captain America?” Fast forward four years, two solo films and an impending Avengers movie later, the naysayers have all eaten their fair share of crow.
Idris Elba as Heimdall
When Idris Elba was cast as Heimdall in Thor, folks were up in arms. In the comics, the character is drawn as white, but in the film he’s played by Elba, who’s of African descent. Even though there were protests and a website petitioning his casting, the actor didn’t let it dampen his spirits. He responded to the uproar by putting the character in its proper, mystical perspective.
He said, “There has been a big debate about it: Can a black man play a Nordic character? Hang about, Thor’s mythical, right? Thor has a hammer that flies to him when he clicks his fingers. That’s OK, but the color of my skin is wrong?” He has a point. In the long run, none of those Nordic hangups hindered his performance or the film’s reception.
Michael Clarke Duncan as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin
Before there was Idris Elba’s Thor debate, there was Michael Clarke Duncan in Daredevil. The Marvel villain Kingpin was always seen as white, bald, tall and stocky. With the exception of Clarke’s race, he embodied everything about the character, but that just wasn’t enough for some.
On a message board, one fan candidly wrote, “When I told my friend that Duncan was playing Kingpin He cried out (and I quote): ‘Kingpin’s not Black!!’ Despite the challenges from the public, Duncan’s performance was one of the few tolerable parts of Daredevil. In hindsight, his interpretation of the Kingpin was the least of the film’s problems.
Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/The Hulk
Edward Norton is the thinking man’s actor. In films, he’s believable as doctors, lawyers and scientists, which is great for a character like Bruce Banner. But Norton wasn’t known for headlining blockbuster films, especially in the comic book genre. His casting in The Incredible Hulk was welcomed but questioned.
On Empire.com, a reader responded to the news with “I am a huge fan of Ed Norton but if I am honest this news drew a single reaction from me, total miscast.” As usual, the actor stuck to his guns and delivered a genuine, almost vintage Banner performance. In return, fans liked him so much that they were destroyed when it was announced that he wouldn’t reprise the role for 2012’s The Avengers.
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
Chris Evans will always be Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch. That’s what most of us thought when he was cast as Captain America. He’s great at playing young, fun, witty and slightly arrogant, but that’s not Steve Rogers. Rogers is a sensitive, old-fashioned Brooklyn boy.
On Earthsmightiest.com, one commenter explained, “There is no LOGICAL reasoning why ANYONE would think Evans is good for the part. He is known for being a clown and can’t be taken seriously as Captain America.” With criticisms like that, Evans knew he had to work extra hard to prove himself, and judging from the positive audience reception—he did.
Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine
Hugh Jackman’s casting wasn’t as controversial as it was a gamble. Scottish actor Dougray Scott was originally hired to play Wolverine in X-Men but had to drop out at the last minute. In a wicked twist of fate, Jackman, who had auditioned for the role 10 months earlier, was called in as a replacement. In an interview with CNN, the actor referred to the whole experience as “The longest audition in history.”
Fox and director Bryan Singer put the future of the X-Men franchise in the hands of an unknown actor who was mostly famous in his native Australia for musicals. His resume didn’t exactly scream “Wolverine.” But thankfully, Singer turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to critics and stepped out on faith. The rest, as you know, is blockbuster history.
Star Trek: The Next Generation On Blu-ray & Remastered?
The rumor-mill seems to think so. We’ve been waiting for this since we first got wind of The Original Series being remastered and released in high-def. Since Next Gen was originally shot on film and post production’s output for the final episodes were on video, the special effects throughout the series would need to be remastered before the show could ever make it to blu-ray. According to The Digital Bits secret stash of comic-con sources, CBS is indeed working on a remastered version of the series, with a 4 episode demo disc that might be available to fans soon.
Multiple sources The Digital Bits spoke with at Comic-Con have also confirmed their report from earlier this year that CBS is hard at work on Star Trek: The Next Generation – Remastered for Blu-ray release starting sometime in 2012. The latest word is that 4 test episodes are currently being worked on for release as a sampler/demo BD disc of the project, and that sampler disc will somehow be available to fans by the end of this year. (source The Digital Bits)
You can put us down for a copy… I mean, who wouldn’t want to see “Yesterdays Enterprise” or “Cause & Effect” with updated visual effects? BTW, if CBS wants to skip “Shades of Gray” and “Code of Honor”, we would completely understand. If you’re a fan of either of those episodes, leave us a comment below. Maybe you can persuade us with your compelling arguments…
Star Trek TNG’s Michael Dorn Set To Fortify “Castle”
Does everyone remember how Worf schooled Duras in the TNG episode “Reunion”? And, by schooled we mean he took that cowardly Klingon to the woodshed with a bat’leth… Duras went out like a suckah! Let’s hope that Michael Dorn doesn’t do the same to his future co-star Nathan Fillion on the hit detective drama Castle.
That’s right ladies and gents, our favorite Russian raised Klingon security officer is set to play a psychiatrist in at least two episodes. According to DigitalSpy, Michael Dorn’s new character will help Detective Kate Beckett (Played by Stana Katic) deal with being shot in the third season finale, but her sessions may also examine her relationship with Castle.
Castle executive producer Laurie Zaks said: “It’s going to dredge up a whole bunch of stuff. Her conversations will enlighten how the relationship will move forward to whatever that next level is.”
It seems Michael is making some waves as of late with his new indie project Liberator as well as this new role on the wildly popular detective series.
What’s not to love though, we’re huge Firefly fans and we adore Michael Dorn, Nathan Fillion, Castle, and of course Star Trek. It’s like a gigantic geek tornado set to level the mobile home park in our minds… Okay, yeah, that was an obscure reference, but you get the picture.
You can get the full details over at DigitalSpy
Connor Trinneer is light years removed from Star Trek: Enterprise, but the show, its cast and crew and fans, and the experience will remain with him forever. It was, the actor notes, the kind of opportunity every actor hopes to have at least once in his or her career. StarTrek.com recently caught up with Trinneer for an exclusive two-part interview in which he recounted his days playing Charles “Trip” Tucker and filled us in on what he’s doing now, which includes recovering from knee surgery and appearing at this week’s Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. Below is part one of our conversation, and check back tomorrow at StarTrek.com to read part two.
How much do you miss Enterprise: the work, the character, the people, the steady paycheck, all of it?
Trinneer: All of that, definitely. To this point in my career, that has been the most satisfying experience for me, that and Stargate. It’s funny that they’re both sci-fi shows. But I loved both characters, and they were so drastically different from one another, as were the two shows. Do I miss Enterprise? You don’t really want to miss things. You don’t really want to go back. You want to look forward to what’s next. But it was an extremely satisfying experience that we’d all have loved to have lasted longer. It didn’t. That’s life. We’re actors. Get over it. Move on. But it’s nice to know that I was involved in something that gave a lot of satisfaction – and continues to give a lot of satisfaction – to people. As a storyteller, look, that’s kind of what you’re out there to do. If you succeed in that, then that’s even better.
J.J. Abrams would ‘love to be able to do’ a gay character in Trek 2
J.J. Abrams, the same guy who got us to care about strangers on an island, may just be the person to pull off the first gay character in the Star Trek franchise.
Star Trek has always used science fiction to speak about ongoing issues in our society. Kirk has sexed up green painted ladies, the controversial Uhura kiss with Kirk was a big deal, and tons more inter-species dating has been seen—but never an actual flesh-and-blood gay character. This has perplexed many people associated with the franchise before, and it even surprised Abrams when he was asked about it over at AfterElton.
“You know what’s funny? As someone who was never a huge Star Trek fan and I didn’t watch the shows. And my experience with the movie was the first in the series and then watching and re-watching some of the movies that I’ve seen. I’m frankly shocked that in the history of Star Trek there have never been gay characters in all the series. In Deep Space Nine and all the Enterprises that that’s never come up.”
So will there be a gay character in Abrams’ vision of Star Trek? Before they got a chance to speak to Abrams, AfterElton spoke with writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman about it, and they responded that they “were open to the idea, but had no plans to include a gay character as of yet.”
Abrams’s response was a little different, though he didn’t oppose the idea. His concern was over how “do you do it where it doesn’t feel like why am I getting into that kind of detail about the character’s life if not just to make a point of it?” That’s a good point—since the issues around Star Trek 2 right now aren’t exactly great, a gay character for the sake of it is probably far from the director’s mind. Abrams just re-devoted his attention back to the sequel, with no script finished, only a 70-page treatment. He has also had to delay the original June 2012 release date to be able to focus on the project with caution and hammer out the big details of the story and preproduction with fellow collaborators Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Bryan Burk.
“So the answer is,” he said, “I think it should be done, and I’d love to be able to do it. And the question is once we get through the bigger issues of certain structural things that are really the key to the show or the movie being done well.”
GLBT characters have been more front and center lately as characters in very popular sci-fi series, such as Camile Wray (Ming Na) in SGU and Sam Adama (Sasha Rolz) on Caprica, to name a few. The most recognizable is probably Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), the bisexual leader of Torchwood.
Star Trek has always influenced these and countless other sci-fi series, but a foray into a gay character now would be the first time it has to play follow the leader. Is the franchise too late to the game? Will you care when it does finally happen? Do you think Abrams can pull it off without making it an obvious statement?
SciFi Five in Five
Top Five SciFi Shows from C.R. Smith
Terminator: Sarah Connor
Game of Thrones