WB brings 'Movie Stars' to summer TV
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From Ron Tank
HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- Since fall is the traditional time to launch a new sitcom or TV drama, you won't see most of the season's new TV shows for a couple of months yet. But the WB is taking a different tack to push its new series "Movie Stars," jumping ahead of the pack and putting the sitcom on in two time slots.
Harry Hamlin and Jennifer Grant -- the daughter of movie legend Cary Grant -- co-star in this look at Hollywood life, which premieres on the WB on July 11 at 9 p.m. Eastern. It's on again at the same time the next night, July 12.
Hamlin, whose last leading-role TV series, "L.A. Law," went off the air five years ago, describes his latest venture as "an at-home show about a couple of really rich movie stars ... If Bruce and Demi were still together, we would be like Bruce and Demi in a family setting," he says.
"When I saw this, I said, 'This has so many weird layers, and it's a goof on our business and it's a goof on everything that I've taken seriously for the last 20 years.'"
Grant, who plays Hamlin's "Movie Star" wife, isn't just the daughter of Cary Grant but also of actress Dyan Cannon. With parents so firmly placed in filmdom's elite, can she appreciate the humor in the show? "From the outside, yes," she says. "When I watch other scenes, it is funny. But inside, it just feels very natural to me."
Movie stars in dialogue, cast
You'll hear plenty of references to real Hollywood stars in this sitcom -- for example, Hamlin has one exchange with a no-name character in which he confirms that yes, he did mention the aspiring actor to Bruce Willis as "perfect for the South American rebel in 'Die Hard 4.'"
"Does my rebel have lines?" the man asks.
"A line, but he guaranteed he'd kill you himself," Hamlin responds.
You might even see some real Hollywood star -- or at least siblings of them -- including Frank Stallone, brother of Sylvester; Patrick Swayze's brother, Don; and John Travolta's brother, Joey, who will have recurring roles in the series.
The show revolves around celebrities, agents and Hollywood gossip -- so much so that if you're not in the know, you could miss some of the inside jokes. But executive producers James Widdoes and Jonathan Axelrod aren't too worried about that.
"People know the ratings. They know the grosses. They know who's sleeping with who," Widdoes says.
And, adds Axelrod, "They know the foibles of all the movie stars. You tell them."
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