Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Latest ‘Dancing with the Stars’ lineup revealed

The 10th anniversary cast for “Dancing with the Stars” is the usual collection of semi-celebrities. They will get their first chance to dance when the ABC competition series returns at 8 p.m. March 16.

Here are the early odds for the lalest lineup:

Singer/actor Riker Lynch partnered with Allison Holker. (3-1)

Olympian Nastia Liukin partnered with Derek Hough. (4-1)

Disabled veteran Noah Galloway partnered with Sharna Burgess. (10-1)

“Hunger Games” star Willow Shields partnered with Mark Ballas. (12-1)

Carl’s Jr. model Charlotte McKinney partnered with Keo Motsepe. (15-1)

Actress Rumer Willis partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy. (18-1)

Producer/performer Redfoo partnered with Emma Slater. (18-1)

Gridder Michael Sam partnered with Peta Murgatroyd. (18-1)

Actress/author Suzanne Somers partnered with Tony Dovolani. (20-1)

“Shark Tank” star Robert Herjavec partnered with Kym Johnson. (20-1)

Singer Patti LaBelle partnered with Artem Chigvintsev. (25-1)

Martin singing praises of job

One of the big hits from the fall season, “The Flash,” is hiding a secret. If there is ever a musical showdown with other TV programs, the cast would be able to put together an all-star team.

Series star Grant Gustin has an extensive musical theater background but the heavyweight musical member of the group is Jesse L. Martin. You might not be aware of his singing credentials as Martin has been playing TV detectives – first on “Law & Order” and now on “The Flash.”

He showed a little of that skill with his guest starring role on “Smash.”

But, his breakthrough came in Jonathan Larson’s Broadway musical “Rent” in 2005. He reprised the role in the feature film version of the musical.

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Win tickets to: R5 at the Big Fresno Fair


When the Lynch siblings — Rydel, Riker, Ross and Rocky — moved to Los Angeles seven years ago, they were looking to start their careers as actors and dancers. Maybe they would sing some, maybe land in a commercial or two.

Instead, the group — with the help of family friend Ellington Lee Ratliff — started its own pop-rock band, R5 (though Riker landed a spot on “Glee” and Ross has his own series on the Disney Channel).

The band — which plays 1 p.m. Saturday at the Big Fresno Fair — released its Hollywood Records debut last year.

We have tickets to Saturday’s show we’ll give to away to a Beehive reader. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Would you ever play music with your siblings? Why or why not? This contest is another quick one. You have until 5 p.m. tonight. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and must be able to pick up tickets at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours.

Check out a video from R5 (and complete contest rules) on the jump.

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Zachary Quinto goes for ‘Glass’ over ‘Horror’

FX-AHS-Zach-Gallery_1708During the summer TV critics tour, Zachary Quinto showed up at a FOX party. The easy assumption to make was that the man who would be Spock would be making an appearance on the third installment of the “American Horror Story” franchise. He had been in the first two. But, as “Coven” winds toward its finale, I’ve not seen Quinto.

One thing that’s kept Quinto away from the show is that he’s appearing on Broadway playing Tom in “The Glass Menagerie.”

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Is Chris Colfer going to Russia with love?

Chris ColferE! News is reporting Clovis East grad Chris Colfer may be working in Russia next year. According to E! News, that’s one of the story lines that FOX is considering for the series “Glee.”

This would be a big move as a recently enacted Russian law outlaws “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.” This season on “Glee,” Colfer’s character got engaged to his boyfriend Blaine (Darren Criss).

The cable news show is reporting that the move to Russia is just one idea. The show also could move entirely to New York for the sixth season or continue to include tales from McKinley High.

Christina Hendricks won’t share secrets

Mad Men (Season 5)Elevators continue to be the best place in Los Angeles to chat with celebrities.

I recently found myself in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, best known by film buffs as the hotel where “Pretty Woman” was shot. It’s a great hotel but the elevators are unusually small. You can’t get more than four or five people in one of the cars and that makes it easy to spot celebrities.

On this day, I found myself in the elevator with Christina Hendricks, the actress who plays Joan on “Mad Men.”

The new season of “Mad Men” starts April 7, but I knew there was no way she was going to talk about what will happen during the show’s sixth season. The cast has been coached to never offer anything more than their name, the name of their character and that they work on the show.

There was another topic of interest to me that I knew she could discuss. Hendricks was in the film “Struck By Lightning” that was written by Clovis East graduate Chris Colfer.

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People’s Choice winners Colfer, Michele decorate set

The next time you watch an episode of “Glee,” play close attention to the apartment Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel (Lea Michele) — winners last night at the “People’s Choice Awards” — share in New York. The actors had a lot of input into how the living space was decorated.

“We talk to the art director and said we would like to put up a ‘Funny Girl’ poster and a ‘Wicked’ poster. So there are some little things around the apartment that we wanted. I also wanted them to use some of the items that were in Rachel’s apartment,” Michele says.

The actors had to create the new space for this season because Kurt and Rachel are part of the story line on “Glee” that takes place in the Big Apple – post graduation. The stories may be different but the actors have never gotten that far away from the McKinley High School gang as the two different parts of this year’s series are filmed on sets that are side-by-side on the studio lot. Michelle says that when she’s not shooting scenes on her set, she will go over the the other set to hang out with other members of the FOX series cast.

The upside of having parallel stories going on is that the “Glee” cast isn’t being worked as hard as in the earlier seasons. There days are no longer filled with recording sessions, learning choreography and filming scenes. There are actually days off.

Rumors continue the Colfer/Michele story could become a completely different series. As far as Michele is concerned, as long as she’s working on “Glee,” she’ll be happy.

“I’m working with Chris Colfer and that makes me very happy,” Michelle says. “I really think this set-up is working. I can work on my own set or I can go back to McKinley.

The only downside of this year’s New York story line for Michele is that Rachel has been put in a very demanding dance class. She laughs and says, “I was like, why did they have to put her in dance class? Couldn’t they have put her in a singing class? A pottery class? But, I really think it’s been great for me because dancing’s not my strong point so it’s been a real challenge to me to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s good. You should go to work and do something that challenges you.”

Even stars like Chris Colfer get silly around some celebs

One of the perks of starring on a show as popular as “Glee’ is the number of big name guest stars the show attracts. Clovis East grad Chris Colfer generally tries to play it pretty cool when he meets the celebrities but there have been two cases where he let his fan boy out.

The first was Whoopi Goldberg.

“When I was young boy, she was my hero because of movies like ‘Sister Act.’ Getting to work with her was a dream come true,” Colfer tells me during a recent interview to talk about his new movie “Struck By Lightning.” “As soon as she got on set, I pulled up a chair and just started talking to her.”

Colfer was so excited about Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth being on the show that he often had to leave the room before he embarrassed himself. You have to remember that “Wicked” is one of Colfer’s all-time favorites. So getting to work with her would be like a football fans getting to toss a ball around with Peyton Manning.

His excitement was so pronounced, the “Glee” cast had to come to his rescue.

“The first day Kristin was on the set, the other cast members had a code word for me which was ‘cupcake’ so I would know she was on the way and I wouldn’t pee my pants,” Colfer says.

He learned to deal with his excitement and proudly says that now he can text the singer whenever he wants.

On TV tonight: ‘Glee’

glee_43-kate-hudson-01_5535_jw1.jpg “Glee,” 9 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): The new season of the FOX musical series opens with major changes. The focus will be split between the high school glee club as it tries to regroup after the graduation of most of its biggest stars and the efforts by Rachel (Lea Michele) to survive her first weeks in New York.

The members of New Directions compete amongst themselves to determine who will be the next star but it looks like that role is going to go to the latest additions to the group. Melissa Benoist, who plays the lunch lady’s daughter, and Jacob Artist, who plays Puck’s half-brother, both have big voices and could quickly make fans forget the graduates.

The weirdest moment in tonight’s season opener of “Glee” is a confrontation between Rachel and her demanding dance teacher played by Kate Hudson. As typical of this show, there’s a moment where the dance teacher breaks into song and dance. The performance by Hudson is weirdly similar to her “Cinema Italiano” number from the feature film “Nine.”

It will be interesting to see if fans of “Glee” stick with the show considering all the changes that were made or move on like so much of the cast.

On TV tonight: ‘Glee’

glee.JPG “Glee,” 9 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): It seems like just yesterday a group of baby-faced teens – or at least some twentysomethings trying to look like teens – appeared on our TV screens to sing and dance their way to stardom. Tonight, a few face their final act.

It’s graduation night at William McKinley High School and that means some of the high school singers — oops, make that seniors — will be out the door. Series creator Ryan Murphy has been mysterious about what graduation will mean for some of the actors but you can bet there are several “Glee” stars who either won’t be back or make limited appearances next year.

As with any graduation, look for a lot of emotional moments. Unlike most graduations, look for those emotional moments to trigger song-and-dance numbers.

Please note the 9 p.m. time start is different as the season finale will air after the first part of the two-night “American Idol” finals.

FOX orders another season of ‘Glee’

63rd Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals.JPG “Glee” will go on without Clovis East graduate Chris Colfer as FOX has ordered a fourth season of the musical comedy. Series creator Ryan Murphy has said Colfer — along with Lea Michele and Cory Monteith — will graduate at the end of this season.

The network also ordered a second season of “New Girl” and a third season of “Raising Hope.”

” ‘Glee’ has continued its success as a genre-defying, global cultural phenomenon,” says Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. Reilly. “All three of these comedies add a fresh and distinctive flavor to our Tuesday nights, and I’m really happy to bring them back to our air next season.”

New episodes of “Glee” begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

ValleyWho: The Final Two — Colfer vs. Beatty

Our final matchup proves that ValleyWho was indeed a young man’s game. The bracket of 64 is now down to two — “Glee” actor Chris Colfer and rising pop singer Ryan Beatty.

A little semi-finals recap: Beatty beat Saroyan handedly, getting 67% of the vote, and, actually, getting more than twice the votes Saroyan did. Colfer/McDonald was closer — with Colfer winning 53% of the vote.

So will it be the 21-year-old Colfer, a Clovis East grad, a Golden Globe winner and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people? Or Beatty, a 16-year-old with a rabid online following who has been pegged as the next Justin Bieber, both by us and by Access Hollywood?

Voting is open now. You decide.

On TV tonight: Happy Valentine’s Day!

122948_2110_pre_cox3.JPG Here are several TV picks to honor Valentine’s Day.

“Glee,” 8 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) challenges the glee club to perform the world’s greatest love songs. The other story line has Rachel’s (Lea Michele) two dads – played by Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell – stop by McKinley High.

“Cougar Town,” 8:30 p.m. KFSN (Channel 30.1): The comedy series returns to ABC with an episode that finds Jules (Courteney Cox) a little upset when Grayson (Josh Hopkins) calls her predictable

“New Girl,” 9 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): Jess (Zooey Deschanel) talks Schmidt (Max Greenfield) into being her wingman because she’s alone on Valentine’s Day. Her plan is to have an attachment-free evening with a stranger.

“Raising Hope,” 9:30 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): Jimmy (Lucas Neff) takes an improv class where he hatches a plot with a young woman (Ashley Tisdale) to help him to win over Sabrina (Shannon Woodward).

Locals shine on FOX Network

Dot Marie Jones 3.JPG TCA Winter Tour: The FOX Network has become THE place for Fresno/Clovis talent to find acting work. You already knew about Chris Colfer and Dot-Marie Jones who are on “Glee.” Now, you can add Clovis West graduate Aaron Ruell to the Fox family. He’s reprising his role of Kip from “Napoleon Dynamite” in the animated version that joins the network’s Animation Domination on Sundays.

It’s a little unusual to see Ruell because his primary job is as a photographer and only does acting when he gets asked by friends.

“Photography is A with me and acting is like D, E or F on my list,” Ruell says. “I’ve never been the kind of person who likes to draw attention to himself. At school I was the kid who locked himself in the darkroom and worked.”

Colfer’s a little more outgoing. Along with his work on “Glee,” that will continue next year, he’s finished his film “Struck By Lightning,” and has a children’s book coming out in August. The trailer for his film should be released in the next few weeks but no release date has been set for the movie.

As for life post-graduation on “Glee,” Colfer is very coy about what he will be doing on the show except that it will be very interesting.

Life on “Glee” has been interesting for Jones.

“I have been in this business for 20 years and this is the first time I have ever had a love interest,” Jones says. She’s not only had a love interest but got to sing two songs. The first one didn’t worry her because it was with “Glee” star Matthew Morrison.

“We were suppose to be drunk and silly at a bar. But, when I found out I had a solo, I was scared. I thing the song turned out,” Jones says.

She turned in a good performance of the Dolly Parton hit “Jolene.” But, the best work she’s done on “Glee” was the Christmas episode where she got to be Santa. Jones says the episode still makes her cry.

The work the three are doing on FOX is making the Central San Joaquin Valley look good.

On TV tonight: ‘Glee’

People Dot-Marie Jones.jpg “Glee,” 8 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): The FOX singing/dancing series returns after being bumped off the schedule for several weeks because of the baseball playoffs and the World Series.

Tonight’s episode, “Pot O’ Gold,” features the arrival of a new foreign exchange student, Rory Flanagan, played by Damian McGinty. All of you avid “Glee” fans will recognize Flanagan as the winner of “The Glee Project.” If you didn’t watch the reality competition show, McGinty’s prize was a guest starring spot on “Glee.”

The three story lines include how Brittany – who gets dumber with each passing show – believes the new student is a leprechaun, attempts by the always angry Mercedes to form a new glee club and Sue’s run for office.

The next few weeks are important for “Glee.” The show has lost some steam and it will be interesting to see if this infusion of new blood will help or hurt the series.

On TV tonight: ‘Glee’

Film Review Glee The 3D Concert Movie.JPG “Glee” 8 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): Has the shine gone from this series? The early ratings for this season haven’t been great and that comes on the heels of the 3D concert movie flopping at the box office. Then there was that debacle with saying certain popular cast members wouldn’t be coming back. Even the buzz on the Internet has been minimal.

If the show is in trouble, there’s a question of how much series creator Ryan Murphy will be able to help. His new series, “American Horror Story,” launches next week. It’s an ambitious project that’s going to need all of his energy if it is to survive.

In an effort to give “Glee” a spark, Idina Menzel returns tonight. This kind of stunt casting is getting a little old.

The episode does feature a couple of good musical numbers but there is a really feeling of – been there, done that – slipping into each new episode.

Tough weekend for local talent

Dot Marie Jones 2.JPGThings didn’t go so well this weekend for locals nominated for Emmys as both Hanford’s J.G. Quintel lost in the Outstanding Short-format Animated Program category and former Fresno State athlete Dot-Marie Jones was bested in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series competition. Their categories were announced Saturday as part of the Creative Arts Primetime Emmys Awards.

Quintel is executive producer and creator of the animated “Regular Show” on the Cartoon Network. His series lost to the ABC animated special “Disney Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa.”

I talked with Quintel a couple of days before the awards show. He certainly wanted to win but was just delighted that his quirky series had gotten attention in its first year. The Emmy nomination is a badge of pride for him that shows his peers are paying attention to the animated show.

Jones lost the Emmy to another “Glee” actor. Gwyneth Paltrow picked up the statue for her singing-and-dancing work as substitute teacher Holly Holiday.

The majority of the Emmys handed out over the weekend were for behind-the-scenes work. The “2011 Primetime Emmy Awards,” that deals with the major categories, will be handed out Sunday.

It wasn’t just local TV actors and producers who had a bad weekend. The feature film “Creature,” starring local actors Sid Haig and Aaron Hill, set a new record for low box office totals according to Only $331,000 in tickets were sold at 1,507 theaters over the weekend. That makes it the worst premiere ever for a film opening in 1,500 locations or more.

On TV tonight: ‘Glee’

glee2.JPG “Glee,” 8 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): Anyone who attended their high school prom knows it can be a very emotional event. Those emotions serve as the basis for tonight’s episode of “Glee.”

It wouldn’t be a TV show if everything went right. The glee club is asked by Principal Figgins to fill in when the entertainment for the prom falls through. As you can imagine, this doesn’t make prom coordinator Sue Sylvester very happy. Her reaction is almost as dramatic as the competition for prom king and queen.

Tonight’s episode is a good one for local actor Chris Colfer.

TCA news: ‘Terra Nova’ delay not a big concern for FOX

anna torv.JPG Highlights of comments by FOX’s President of Entertainment, Kevin Reilly, to TV critics.

On delay of launch of “Terra Nova”: It’s been an interesting experience, you know, coloring on such a big canvas. By the very nature of defining the show as epic and ground-breaking, it raises expectations up to a place where, unfortunately when it came to the special effects in particular, to put anything out prematurely I am sitting on episodes that are essentially finished, and then you look at some of the effects, and they look like hand puppets. And then I looked at it three weeks later, and they look like a little bit better hand puppets, and then three weeks later, they start to look good, and then two days before it’s finished, it looks amazing. So just that curve on the special effects gets you just can’t share it prematurely. So far they’ve been turning around. They’re right on schedule of where they need to be.

His views on whether a scripted show will beat reality programs: I think the measuring stick gets a little trickier. Because, again, as less and less viewing becomes live, one of the great things about these competition shows, one of the really potent things we have as broadcast television is live events. You certainly see it in sports. You see it when the award shows come together in the right way, and you see it in these competition shows.

The status of “Fringe”: We were cheering the Friday night victory for “Fringe,” the fact that that audience was so loyal that they stayed with it. I don’t expect “Fringe’ to grow. It’s a pretty complex show. We welcome any viewer that wants to get in. There’s ways to catch up on it, you really should. It’s interesting how these things are on the air, and sometimes three years later somebody goes, “You know what’s a great show?” And people do discover them down the line. I don’t expect explosive growth, but if “Fringe” can do exactly what it did last year, we’re going to be very, very happy with it. And we’ll see where we are in May.

About a season eight of “Bones”: We haven’t had any discussions yet. I think the producers would like to keep it going. We’d like to keep it going. We are introducing “The Finder” this year, which was that planted spin-off.

On early episodes this season of “Glee”: Initially in our first batch, other than some support stars, there’s not going to be any big, guest star driven shows, and we’re not going to have any tributes in the first batch of episodes.

About the chance this is he last year for “House”: I can’t confirm that it’s the last season. We’ve talked pretty publicly about the potential for that. Hugh is mulling it; the producers are, too.

Modesto’s Lindsay Pearce living fairy tale

Lindsay.JPGLindsay Pearce didn’t watch a lot of television while growing up in Modesto but she did find herself hooked on the Fox series “Glee.” She could relate to the show’s underdog characters who overcome big odds just to pursue their dreams of performing. There weren’t a lot of acting and singing opportunities for the self-described loner while she attend Modesto Christian and then Valley Charter. Most of her performing was in community theater.

Her passion for “Glee” was strong enough to motivated her to tryout for the Oxygen Channel reality competition series “The Glee Project” where the winner gets a minimum of a seven-episode arc on the Fox series “Glee.” The 20-year-old was selected from 40,000 applicants to be one of 12 contestants that has been cut to a final six.

All of the episodes have been taped but the raven-haired performer won’t talk about how she fared. She does say that no matter the result, she feels like a winner because of how much she was able to learn from the show’s mentors – Zach Woodlee and Nikki Anders and Robert Ulrich – and the guest judges.

“We had three incredible mentors that just constantly pushed us in the most professional and loving way, and they really rooted for us, and they still do. And to have mentors that are your biggest fans constantly pushing you, trying to make you better and trying to make you open up and see the world with a new vision, is really incredible. And it’s an experience that I know that none of us would trade for the world,” Pearce says during the TV Critics tour going on in Los Angeles.

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It’s been a strange week for Chris Colfer

ENTER SAG-AWARDS 7 LA.JPG It’s really been an interesting week for “Glee” star Chris Colfer. The local actor picked up his second consecutive Emmy nomination yesterday. He’s one of the contenders in the best supporting actor category for “The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.”
Colfer earned the Emmy nomination for the role created for him by executive producer Ryan Murphy.

What Murphy gives, he can take away.

Murphy said in an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter that Colfer, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith will not be back after this year. He’s doing this because they started on the show as sophomores and they will graduate this year.

Colfer heard the news via Twitter. Twitter!? Really?

He told “Access Hollywood” that he expected something like this was going to happen because he couldn’t remain a high school student forever.

Actually, Colfer’s the one actor on the show who could stay longer. He still looks 15 years old. But, Murphy’s made his decision and it’s a bad one. He’s never going to strike instant acting gold like he did with Colfer.

At least Colfer’s smart enough to have already made deals to write and work in movies. He’s going to be fine. I can’t say the same thing for “Glee.”

On TV tonight: ‘Glee’

Dot Marie Jones.JPG “Glee,” 9 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): Tonight’s top pick is in honor of the Emmy nominations for Chris Colfer and Dot-Marie Jones.

New Directions come to the aid of another struggling club at McKinley High. The simple fact the glee club agrees to helps raise funds for the fellow students attracts the anger of cheerleading master Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch).

Emmy nominee Gwyneth Paltrow guest stars as Holly Holliday.

On TV tonight: ‘Glee’

ENTER TV-CPT-GLEEKS 2 PH.jpg “Glee” 8 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): It’s prom night for the students at William McKinley High School. And what would a prom be without a little drama?

It starts when the planned entertainment for the big dance falls through and Principal Figgins asks the New Directions glee club to perform. These kids can’t even catch a break when it’s prom night.

This does set up a few big moments as the series heads to the season ender. Those big moments include the return of Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) who was the male lead of rival singing group Vocal Adrenaline.

“Glee” continues to be the series where the drama never ends.