Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Trace!

Tracey turns 48 today. Here's a funny write-up for Today's birthdays from the Chicago Sun Times. It's pretty spot on, even though we don't believe in horoscopes.



CELEBRITY PROFILES: One-woman show Tracey Ullman is a mirth-making Capricorn and a bit of a loudmouth.

Capricorns have a fabulous sense of humor, and that’s born of necessity for Tracey: Performing her first comedy skits at age 6, she cheered up the family after her father’s death. Tracey’s famous for her mimicry.

Her Mercury (voice) is a firecracker powerhouse with Mars and Jupiter in blunt Sagittarius.
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Monday, December 24, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"State of the Union" Casting Call For Series Promo

An open casting call was announced for a promo to be shot for Tracey's new, "State of the Union", Showtime series. The promo is due to be filmed December 19th, or the 20th, in New York City. Two actors were needed to portray a male New York City cop of 40-50 years of age, and female college student, who tells the cop of a fellow student (Tracey), who has stolen from her college dorm. Expect the promo to debut on the Showtime Network in early 2008. The series is still due to begin airing in March 2008.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Union" Round Up



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Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Encounter: Gina's LA Moment!

Our friend, Gina, has allowed us to repost her recent encounter:
An L.A. Moment
About a week ago, I got a ride after work from a friend so I could make a meeting in Santa Monica that night. We've known each other a long time, so our conversations tend to wander from what's so-and-so doing to shared rants. While dodging traffic on the 10, we got to talking about comediennes. It started with Carol Burnett (who was featured on American Masters this month) and ended on Tracey Ullman, when he said:

"What about Tracey Ulllman? What's she doing these days?" He said that with the indignation of someone who felt they'd been denied many good laughs.

I confessed I had no idea.

But I do now. In one of those odd L.A. moments, on Saturday the DH and I went to a yarn sale at a rather shi-shi yarnery on the Westside. We'd been enticed by the 20-40% off they'd advertised. It turned out that since their prices are higher to begin with, it wasn't a great savings.

However, as I was standing in line to purchase a knitting spool, I realized that the well-dressed woman in front of me was none other than Tracey Ullman. She was talking to the woman behind the register about sleeves.

When I got home, I hit Google. It turns out she's become a big knitter. In fact, she and (I'm almost positive) the woman behind the register wrote a book.

At any rate, next time my friend asks me, "What's Tracey Ullman doing these days?" I'm going to have the answer.

Go check out Gina's blog at http://www.ginablack.net
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Exclusive: Famous Famous Due in "State"

We can exclusively reveal that the following celebrities and characters will be portrayed by Tracey in her new Showtime sketch-comedy series, Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, due early next year. These are just some of the famous faces included in the show.

Andy Rooney
Hellen Mirren
Dame Judy Dentch
Pauly Walnuts (The Sopranos)
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Friday, November 23, 2007

What About Dick... And Tracey?


Attendee, Suzi, shared her experience and opinion of the Eric Idle's new stage show, "What About Dick?" The cast included, Eddie Izzard, Billy Connolly, Jane Leaves, and Tim Curry, among a line of others. The actors performed a "read through" of the Idle play, live on stage, which included Tracey. Suzi was also nice enough to share her photos with us...

The play was a "movie for radio" (Eric Idle's words). It was a read
through as if they were recording for radio. It was a 'low-brow comedy about high-brow society', it was a hilarious romp through the early 1900s with laughter, music, a little murder, and a talking piano.

I loved the show, it was hilarious and obvious that the cast was
enjoying it as much as the audience was.

Tracey played multiple roles (as did most of the cast) from a
lower-class woman who "provides therapy for men" to an upper class Aunt who is seeing a therapist who uses vibrating "implements" to cure uptight women.



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Saturday, November 17, 2007

How Does Toyah Wilcox Feel About Tracey Mimicking Her?

Can't say she isn't honest.

HEATHER: What do you think of people like Tracey Ullman (below) mimicking you?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

TOYAH:
In the beginning I used to hate it, I wanted smash her face in but in the end all they’re doing is complementing you. And I can look at… I saw a playback of her mimicking me only about a year ago and I actually enjoyed it but when she first did it I was really angry but that was 'cos I was young and stupid.

Read the rest of the interview here.
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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Friday, November 2, 2007

More On Tracey's Turner Classic Movies Episode


Tracey's TMC movie picks revealed. Watch Tracey host Turner Classic Movies, November 17, 2007.

Guest Programmer Month at TCM

This is kind of a nice month on Turner Classic Movies, since my beloved “best channel ever” is devoting every night of November to the guest programming of various well-known folk. It could have been a dud, I know, but luckily only three of the thirty celebrities fall into the “Who cares?” category (those would be Donald Trump, Martha Stewart and … Kermit the Frog). One can also quibble with the fact that a great deal of the movies chosen happen to be the same movies that TCM already plays all the time, ad infinitum.

For the most part, however, an eclectic array for both guests and films are in the offering this month. My personal favorite might be the playwright Charles Busch on November 8th, who picked a variety of overlooked leading lady performances which include Norma Shearer in Escape, Joan Crawford in A Woman’s Face, and Ida Lupino in The Hard Way. Although I’ve seen all three films, it might be worth tuning in just to see what Busch has to say. Crime fiction author James Ellroy has a bunch of cool noirs to share on the 13th, and I found it interesting that Matt Groening selected the wonderful 1941 Warner Bros. melodrama Blues in the Night to show on his night (11/14). Tracey Ullman’s offerings on the 17th include a few lesser-known British films and the eccentric Peter Sellers vehicle The World of Henry Orient (in which he plays a famous pianist hounded by two persistent teenage girls), which makes me love her all the more. Finally I also have to laud opera’s Renee Fleming for doing a night of classical music-themed romances on the 19th, and Mark Mothersbaugh for including the groovy combo of Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits and the cheese-o-rama Hot Rods to Hell on his night of the 29th. Guess I’ll have to set the TiVo for overtime.

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Tracey on Caroll

"She's like celebrating people," adds Tracey Ullman, who insists that even at Burnett's most hideous, as in the Eunice character from the skit that would later become the Vicki Lawrence series "Mama's Family," there's a charitable treatment of the person she's playing.

"Carol wasn't imitating people to be mean about them or to put them down," says the actress Tracey Ullman. "She was celebrating people."

Watch, Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character, on PBS, Monday, November 5 at 9PM.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tracey To Appear In New 'Idle' Play

Eric Idle sets Hollywood tryouts
'What About Dick?' will play Montalbán Theater

By PHIL GALLO

Eric Idle will be trying out his new play "What About Dick?" with two public performances in Hollywood.

"What About Dick?," penned with his "Spamalot" composer John Du Prez, will be performed at the Ricardo Montalbán Theater on Vine Street on Nov. 10 and 11.

Cast includes Billy Connolly, Tim Curry, Eric Idle, Eddie Izzard, Jane Leeves, Emily Mortimer, Jim Piddock and Tracy Ullman.

Subtitled "A Film for Radio," Idle calls the work-in-progress "a lowbrow comedy about highbrow people." Eight actors are gathered together to perform a classic radio drama, "What About Dick? ," at the original Lux Radio Theater in 1948.

"What about Dick?" is being produced by WestBeth Entertainment, which runs the Brentwood and Wadsworth theaters. Pre-sale of tickets begins Monday.

Source
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Flashback and Forward: "Romance" and Jill Sobule



In 1996, Tracey returned to the small screen, with her first full-time television series in six years, "Tracey Takes On". In its premiere episode, Tracey wasted no time showing just what could done on cable television, and more importantly, what it could become. With its added freedom, a no-holds barred public statement, (albeit, wrapped with humor), was not going to be an issue. It was a crap shoot that not only ended up benefiting Tracey, but made the future for cable television a reality.

The series' pilot episode introduced a whole slew of new characters, with sketches relating to the episode's topic, "romance". One sketch in particular made it obvious that this was not going to be just any ordinary sketch comedy show. It was prepared to dive into subjects that network television was not yet willing to go. For the episode's pinnacle climax , the inclusion of Jill Sobule's song, "I Kissed A Girl", was a no-brainer. Tracey, playing the fed up lover of a pro-golfer, played by Julie Kavner, finally decides it's time to make their love public. The two share a televised kiss, via the eighteenth hole, showing the world their love and commitment to one another.

The episode was the first of many gay-related sketches in "Tracey Takes On" during it's four series run, and GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, took notice. Tracey was awarded the GLAAD Award in 1997, and 1999 . Her continuance inclusion of gays and lesbians into her work, has made her not just a comic icon, but a gay icon as well.

It has now been 11 years since that pilot episode aired, and we thought, who better to look back with than the singer-songwriter whose song helped sum up that scene, than brilliant singer-songwriter, Jill Sobule?



Jill continues to share her music with audiences, and now adds "blogger" to her growing roster of roles. She is a contributor to the popular political news and blogging site, The Huffington Post, (or HuffPo, for those in the know). She also blogs via her web site, on Jill's Journal. Just like her songs, her blogs feature her infinite brand of wit, wisdom, and of course humor, we've come to love and expect.


Jill was kind enough to allow us to discuss her song, her music, her political role, and the state of the Gay and Lesbian community.


Expat:
Did you see the "Tracey Takes On" sketch when it originally aired?

JS: I did see the show when it aired. I laughed so hard.

Expat: The "Tracey Takes On" sketch aired just ten years ago, the term "lesbian golfer" was referenced as an inside joke, with many players still in closet. Now, gay and lesbian sport heroes compete openly in many fields of athletics and are well respected. Are you happy with the progress the LGBT community has made in the last decade?

JS: OMG! So much progress has been made, to the point of--I am even
tired of lesbians on TV (well, maybe not). When Kissed a Girl came
it, it was "shocking" for the mainstream. Now it seems so mild.
However, having lived either in NYC and LA (as well as being in the
entertainment industry), you can get tunnel vision.
And yes you can be a famous out ex-tennis champ, but I bet it's not
as easy for a female college basketball player.

Expat: You must get massive requests for permission to use "I Kissed A Girl" in television and film. Are there any other gay-themed songs exuding the same free-spirited humor as, "I Kissed A Girl", that you could recommend?

JS: There is a really hilarious (and fairly sick) song, by John S.
Hall called Gay, Not Gay. It is way beyond, I kissed a Girl.

Expat: You currently contribute to the Huffington Post, a political online blog community created by political pundit, Arianna Huffington. Have you always been interested in politics and has the current political climate in the US compelled you to share your thoughts with the online community?

JS: I have been interested in politics since I was wee. Some of my
first good memories of TV was Watergate. I am about to start a blog
for Yahoo Music called The Provocateurs.

Expat: Lastly, you've said that you're working on a new album, how is that coming along and when will it be released?

JS: I bet that I will have a new CD out by next spring.

Thank you Jill, for continuing to share your thoughts and your stories through your music, (and blog!) Thank you for you time.





Jill's music on Amazon and iTunes
Jill's blog on The Huffington Post
Jill's Myspace
Jill's web site

The Human Rights Coalition
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ullman Readies New Showtime Series, And...

Tracey is officially American.

Monday, Sep 10
Ullman Readies New Showtime Series

Is America ready for more Tracey Ullman? The comedic actress is prepping a return to the small-screen that will again showcase her diverse talents as she dresses up and creates a variety of new characters for a new series called State of the Union.

This time it's for Showtime (rather than her former residence HBO) and FBLA ran into Ullman last week at a store opening bash in Beverly Hills. She told us all about the half-hour show that will see her onscreen as a mix of different people including Nancy Pelosi, Ariana Huffington and even David Beckham.

"I haven't done it for a bit so I have a lot left to do," Ullman told FBLA. "It's me as these people and I'll spend 45 seconds on them, visiting lots of different people from across the country; ordinary people, rich people, and people in Nebraska."

Ullman added that she felt a creative burst to examine the state of the USofA thanks to her new citizenship. "I became an American last December - I'm still a Brit because I have dual citizenship - but it gives me a whole new freedom to comment on the country. People would say to me, 'you don't get it, you're not American!' But I am mate, I am now. I stood downtown with 15,000 people from El Salvador waving flags."

For State of the Union, she waved her writing flag with LA author Bruce Wagner. "We are eclectic people and we love what's going on. It's a different era and there is an election coming up. So it's been interesting to shoot the show, which will come out in March."

Any funny hints about some of the new characters? "I love Bollywood movies right now so I do this one Indian pharmacy assistant who lives in Tennessee. She can dance and tell you about the side effects of drugs."

We will definitely be tuning in.

- CHRIS GARDNER

MediaBistro
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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007

NY Fashion Week Parties

Where’s Martin?
L.A. style setters—at least the ones who hadn't already left for fashion week in New York—descended upon Beverly Hills for the opening of the Maison Martin Margiela boutique, housed in a glittering building covered entirely in metallic discs. Tracey Ullman played with her Margiela pearl-and-leather necklace and proclaimed the city “totally ready” for the designer. “We’ll never see him, of course,” she laughed, craning her neck. “Wonder who he might be?” Alas, the reclusive designer was a no-show—as far as we could tell.

Style.com
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Monday, September 3, 2007

Leslie Ash's Survival Story

Actress Leslie Ash has earlier revealed how an accident left her fighting for survival. Here, in the last part from her autobiography, she describes how she learned to walk again and the moment she realised her career was in peril

Flowers and cards filled my hospital room. Everyone had been so kind, from old friends like Tracey Ullman to people I had never met. I felt humbled that so many people were showing me such kindness.


Click here to read the story.
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Friday, August 31, 2007

Creator of Showtime's, "Weeds", and Former Tracey Writer, Speaks Out

Jenji Kohan.

You worked with Tracey Ullman on Tracey Takes On. What did you learn from that experience?

It was my first taste of the freedom of cable, and I loved it. And it was a chance to learn how to really appreciate acting talent. No matter what you gave her, Tracey made it come alive. She's really incredible - a dazzling talent. Plus, she ran the whole show and had two kids - a role model. I learned to hire people who are great at their jobs, and then get out of the way and let them do them.

link

Kohan: The big-picture evolution is that the artists are losing power, and the executives and corporations are gaining power. Artists used to have a lot more freedom to experiment, even on the networks. Over time, it has become less creative and more like a business. Shows are perceived less as "art" and more as "product." It's becoming commoditized.

It wasn't always this way. Like back when I was working with Tracey Ullman on HBO, we had lots of freedom to experiment. Things are being more micromanaged now. You know, the culture of the various networks changes so rapidly. I've literally worked with all of the major networks by now, both broadcast and cable. And they all change over time.

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NEWS: Tracey Ullman Hosts TCM, November 17, 2007

Celebs Take Over TCM in November


(Multichannel News) _ TCM's Guest Programmer series, which regularly airs one night each month, is taking over all of November, with 29 celebrities programming 29 nights that they will co-host with Robert Osborne.

Among the star-studded list of celebrities sitting down with Osborne to present their favorite films will be Whoopi Goldberg on Nov. 1; Donald Trump on Nov. 3; Danny DeVito on Nov. 10; Matt Groening on Nov. 14; Tracy Ullman on Nov. 17; Alec Baldwin on Nov. 20; Kermit the Frog on Nov. 21; Harvey Fierstein on Nov. 26 and Martha Stewart on Nov. 30.

In addition to the 29 celebrities participating in the November festivall, one viewer, Paul Aguirre, was also chosen as part of the 30-day line-up to program his own night. The New York City resident's video was chosen by viewer votes in TCM's online contest at tcm.com. His evening of film selections will air on Thanksgiving night as a "thank you" from TCM to its dedicated audience of film lovers.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Tracey's Emmy Faux Pas

The only other oddity Prohaska can remember is that when six-time Emmy winning British comedienne Tracey Ullman was handed her five-pound trophy some years ago, the personalized Emmy band snapped off the bottom.

"She was able to incorporate that into her speech," Prohaska said. "She made a joke out of it."

But just as it always does, the show went on. This time it was simply a few laughs longer.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

FIRST: "Union" Promo, Tracey Does Posh and Becks!



A KING, A COMEDY QUEEN & A RADIO ACE: SHOWTIME DEALS A ROYAL FLUSH

THE TUDORS and THIS AMERICAN LIFE® Both Renewed for Second Seasons; New Tracey Ullman Sketch Comedy Series Set

LOS ANGELES (April 16, 2007) – On the heels of the unprecedented critical acclaim for SHOWTIME's original series THE TUDORS and THIS AMERICAN LIFE®, the network is announcing that both series have been renewed for second seasons. Additionally, the network has also greenlighted five episodes of a new sketch comedy series from the incomparable Tracey Ullman, tentatively titled STATE OF THE UNION. The announcement was made today by SHOWTIME President of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt.

With a 10-episode order and production slated to begin in Dublin, Ireland this spring, THE TUDORS took SHOWTIME subscribers and the media by storm when it premiered April 1st, generating record viewership. "We are thrilled with the success of our dramatic series, THE TUDORS, and we’re happy to tell the next – even more compelling – chapter," says Greenblatt. "Writer/creator Michael Hirst has done a masterful job turning history into relevant and entertaining drama; this cast is incredibly talented; and the production value is feature-film quality. The cast, headed (or should I say be-headed) by the mesmerizing Jonathan Rhys Meyers, has been enthusiastically received by critics, audiences are becoming addicted and it's right on brand for SHOWTIME. Long live the king, albeit a trimmer, sexier incarnation than we’ve seen before." THE TUDORS is an Ireland-Canada co-production, executive produced by Morgan O'Sullivan; Benjamin Silverman and Teri Weinberg for Reveille Productions; Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan for Working Title Films, and Sheila Hockin; and is created, written and executive produced by Michael Hirst. SHOWTIME presents the series in association with Peace Arch Entertainment.

THIS AMERICAN LIFE®, the televised version of Ira Glass' acclaimed Chicago Public Radio series, will begin production on six episodes later this year for a 2008 premiere. "Ira Glass is a visionary and 'THIS AMERICAN LIFE®' is an American institution,” says Greenblatt. "I’m very proud that SHOWTIME will remain the television home of this show and this unique storyteller."

Emmy® Award-winning Tracey Ullman brings her signature brand of spot-on impersonation and comic timing to STATE OF THE UNION, a new sketch comedy series that will begin production in the fall and takes a satirical look at a day in the life of America. Ullman will take on characters as diverse as working mothers, politicians and celebrities. The series will be produced by Stephanie Lainge, and executive produced by Allan McKeown and Ullman. "I have always loved Tracey Ullman ever since I was a young development executive at Fox when she was doing the original 'Tracey Ullman Show,'" says Greenblatt. "She is a one-of-a-kind comedienne and sketch comedy performer, a true artist. We are so proud to bring her to SHOWTIME in a completely new show that will again showcase what she does best, and in this case, she will be looking at the wide cross-section of Americans and both celebrating us and sending us up."
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Tidbit on "Union"

Tracey Ullman will ramp up production of State of the Union. Like she did in HBO's award-winning Tracey Takes On . . ., Ullman will play multiple characters, including Posh Spice, Dame Judi Dench and Arianna Huffington. There's talk, in this election season, she might also "take on" Hillary and Bill Clinton.
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Monday, July 16, 2007

New Greenblatt Comment

Robert Greenblatt, the head of Showtime, made a comment about the addition of Tracey to the network while discussing the green-lighting of the new Steven Spielberg/Dreamworks series, "United States of Tara", another multiple personalities series.

“I've been a fan of hers ever since the very original ‘Tracey Ullman Show,’ Greenblatt says. "As you know, she's been tied up at another network, as they say, for a while, but now we have her.”
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Sunday, June 24, 2007