You’re invited to join me in a Twitter party Tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 29th) I’ll be at one of my favorite places, TV Land HQ for the series premiere of Nobodies and the return of Lopez! We all know Lopez stars THE George Lopez and he certainly brings the funny every week. Now, it is paired with a brand new comedy from Melissa McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone. From the teasers and the first episode (you can actually cheat and catch it on the TV Land app and online) I can tell you, there are going to be PLENTY of laughs.
Be sure to follow @TVLand @NobodiesTV @LopezOnTVLand and me @teeco71 plus use the hashtags #NobodiesTV and #LopezOnTVLand and tweet along with us starting at 10pm ET and then you can join us all season long as the laughs continue!
I don’t know about you, but I am super excited that it’s Oscars time again! I’m so happy to be back in LA for it, and thrilled to have been a part of CTV’s ETalk Oscars week! There are so many Canadian actors and talent nominated this year and they truly have some amazing content to share.
Their coverage of the red carpet tonight will be epic. Ben Mulroney is the most gracious, knowledgable person in the business and may I add, he’ll be looking quite sharp out there! I am already missing my new Canadian family but looking forward to my next CTV adventure.
I figured I’d compile a list of our nominees so in case you haven’t seen them already or you just want to use it to follow along tonight, we have it! Feel free to let me know your thoughts and predictions. Also, you can follow me on twitter @teeco71 and also follow @etalkCTV for all the red carpet fun!
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
La La Land
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
O.J.: Made in America
DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets
Hell or High Water
La La Land
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
La La Land
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land
Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from Trolls
Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
“City Of Stars” from La La Land
Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
The sitcom is dead, long live the sitcom. Since reality TV was introduced to the masses, we’ve been hearing that scripted series, especially sitcoms, are in trouble. We debate their future, we lament over the classic ones we loved, and some of us long for the days sitcoms ruled. I have some good news for you, the sitcom isn’t actually dead, it’s just not your father’s sitcom anymore. Just look at the work TV Land is doing and you can see that. With shows like Teachers and Younger, we are seeing a change in the genre but I don’t think we need to get the resuscitation equipment ready just yet.
I have been a huge fan of television my entire life, particularly a good sitcom. I suspect that many of you are like me and enjoy escaping for a half hour of entertainment and laughter. When I heard about Mission: Dadpossible I was intrigued by the premise and hopeful for a new project that would bring a little more scripted laughter into our lives. Since reading up on it I am sure this project will be one to watch.
I have to admit, I am a bit biased because one of my colleagues and friends, Adryenn Ashley has shown her support for Dadpossible through her crowd funding platform, Crowded TV and that is another reason I am confident this project will be something we will want to get behind. With the changing landscape of television, we are going to see many artists headed to alternative sources in order to be sure their projects are seen by the masses. After you read this delightful interview with Associate Producer/Actor Jayme Wojciechowski and Creator/writer/actor Stennar Strom, be sure to head over to Crowded TV to find out more and check out other upcoming projects!
Jayme Wojciechowski (Associate Producer / Actor): Mission: Dadpossible is a broadcast quality sitcom about Sherwin, a single, “40 year old virgin,” raising his two spirited and precocious young daughters. They decide to create an online dating profile for their dad and send him out on dates. Hilarity ensues as calamity and chaos interfere with every romantic potential.
Stennar Strom (Creator/Writer/Actor): Sherwin is a hero at home, but a lovable loser everywhere else in the world. My favorite roles are dads who have as much fun as the kids, and adults who are completely awkward in social situations. The concept for the show began when I wanted to combine those two halves into one character. I created the sitcom from there.
One important aspect for me was that the women on the dates were not the punch line of the joke. That is the standard sitcom situation. Oh, the date is crazy! On Mission: Dadpossible, Sherwin is the one who messes up. I wanted to be sure that the women had a smart, well-rounded voice behind them. That is why I brought Dakota Shepard on-board as co-writer. I want the women on the show to say things that a woman would say. Not just what a male writer thinks a woman would say.
Another important part of the show is that he’s the father in a mixed race family. But that’s not the joke, or what the show revolves around. There are several successful primetime shows where the main focus is the family culture. They do that well. But on our show, it’s just who they are as a family. It just is. My kids in real life are multi-cultural, but for us it’s just our normal. When I was writing, it was always in the back of my mind that was Sherwin’s family too. There’s very little representation of those families and those kids on TV; so I just thought that would be a nice extra. I didn’t realize at the time how many people would respond so positively to that aspect of the show.
Q: Do you think there is still hope for the traditional three camera sitcom? I’ve noticed a trend of moving toward the single camera, no laugh track, no studio audience style lately.
Jayme: There is a ton of hope. I actually think we will see the reemergence of the three camera sitcom in the next few years. Like anything in Hollywood, trends tend to come in waves. Shows like The Office and Modern Family created this wave of single camera comedy and How I Met Your Mother introduced this hybrid of using three camera without a laugh track. The traditional sitcom dominated comedy television in the 90’s and early 2000’s to a point where audiences wanted another option. Then they were replaced with a more grounded style of single camera that is currently dominating. I feel that same push for something different now and believe a wave of groundbreaking traditional sitcoms are on the horizon.
Q: What are some of the plus sides of producing independent television? Are there any down sides?
Jayme: The main plus side is being able to maintain control of what you are creating. Once a creative sells their idea to a network, they often lose much of the creative control. We have some big ideas for the show that go beyond just the story and script, and we chose to produce the project ourselves to ensure we do not have to sacrifice those ideas.
Stennar: In addition, the way television is traditionally produced it can take two to three years to go through the development process for a show. We are able to go from funding to filming in a few months.
Jayme: I wouldn’t say there are any down sides but there are unique challenges to self-producing. There is just more steps for us personally. You need to not only write a script, but fund it and promote it and organize it yourself. You are not simply writing a script and selling it to a company to produce it. You are doing it all yourself. So, I guess the down side is that it is much more work. But that could also be seen as an upside. Depends how you look at it. Just like everything else.
Q: It is important to portray real families on television with all of the different types of families we experience in real life. Do you think we will see more multi-racial, single parents, and same sex parent families?
Jayme: When it comes down to it, I think people simply want to be able to relate to what they watch on television. And as creatives, we want to bring our own experiences and lives and viewpoint into the projects we create. Our team decided very early on that we wanted diversity to be a huge part of Mission: Dadpossible. From a creative standpoint, I have experienced that the more diversity there is in the creative process, the more interesting and human the project becomes. Being able to find that shared humanity when you have a plethora of ideas and experiences allows there to be more heart, and that is really what an audience yearns for. What makes our project super unique is our dedication to diversity in both our casting and our crew.
Hollywood tends to progress quite slowly but as America continues to diversify so will Hollywood. The demand is overwhelming and the networks just need to catch up. Just one more reason we are self-producing. Diversity is too important for us to risk a network being in charge.
Stennar: I think we will see more over time. I certainly hope so. My little daughter loves the movie “Home,” because the story is great and the main character looks like her. So representation does matter.
Q: What are some of the draws and perks for using crowd funding to finance projects?
Jayme: Crowd funding makes self-producing much simpler than it ever was. It really allows fans a way to feel like they are a part of the process. It also allows you to fund and promote at the same exact time.
The drawback of crowd funding is that is it easy to get lost in the shuffle. Crowd funding has become very popular and everyone from established Oscar winning filmmakers to your friend’s grandma are trying to use crowd funding to make their next film. You really need a solid project and plan in order to have a successful campaign.
Q: How do you balance creating funny, family-friendly content that appeals to adults and is suitable for children?
Jayme: Mission: Dadpossible is definitely made for adults. The idea was to create a sitcom for those parents who only ever watch the same 5 episodes of Elmo’s World with their kids on a daily basis. The humor of our show really just mimics actual family humor. If you have an adult conversation with any parents while their kids are in the room, the content of the conversation rarely changes. What changes, is that all of a sudden the adults start using all these code words and code behaviors that make the adult conversation a million times more amusing.
Stennar: It’s definitely rated PG. But, little kids won’t have any inappropriate words to mimic. When you’re watching TV with a three year old in the room, and you pay attention to the show, it’s amazing how many prime-time sitcoms past and present use words that you don’t want your kids repeating. At the same time, lots of the humor will go over the heads of older kids. I definitely think that high school kids, college kids, and single adults will enjoy the edge though; especially the disastrous dates. If you’ve ever had a bad date, then in all likelihood Sherwin’s are worse. There’s comfort and comedy in that.
Q: The crowd funding platform you are using, Crowded TV, is unique in that it allows people to back you via social currency as well as with traditional currency (money). What are some advantages of going this route, especially for indie artists and projects?
Jayme: Mission: Dadpossible is bypassing the traditional network process and instead we are asking our fans for support through Crowded TV. Crowded TV is the next level of crowd funding for independent television. What makes it perfect for indie television projects is that it allows fans to show their support in ways beyond just teaming up as financial donors. Fans can also support projects for FREE by helping build a shows “social currency.” Social Currency is the gathering of Mission: Dadpossible’s entire fan base’s demographic data. That data is matched to the ideal advertisers / sponsors and then transformed into production dollars and distribution.
There is a definite stigma that comes with crowd funding that Crowded TV is trying to eliminate. Crowd funding independent entertainment should not be about begging our family and friends to donate money to our projects. No creative wants to have to do that and now we don’t have to. With Crowded TV, the focus is on creating a fan base and having organized data about that fan base. This way we can appeal to appropriate advertisers and investors that are willing to back the project with larger donations.
Q: Where can people find out more about Mission: Dadpossible and how to help with the crowd funding?
Jayme: We happily welcome anyone who would like to join our team as a financial donor, but if you would prefer to back us for FREE that is just as helpful. All you need to do is visit www.missiondadpossible.com and click on the “Back with Facebook” and/or the “Back with Twitter” button. Then just follow the prompt. It is super easy and takes less than 10 seconds to complete.
Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?
Stennar: Laughter. Life is hard. Sometimes you just need to laugh.
Even though haters gonna hate, it would be a much better world if people just didn’t.
Jayme: Ditto to both of those!
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received? From Who?
Stennar: My father always told me to create things for yourself. If it’s something that strikes a chord, people will join in and help. Mission: Dadpossible is a testament to that.
Jayme: A Zen Master once told me an incredible little saying. Student says “I am very discouraged. What should I do?” Master says, “encourage others.”
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever given? Are you good at following your own advice?
Stennar: You don’t have to accomplish everything in one day. One brick a day can build a house. Just keep putting down that one brick. As a stay at home dad with two small children, it’s the only way that I have built my achievements.
Jayme: I stole this saying from Bjork but I regurgitate it often. Lust for comfort suffocates the soul. I have a rule where I must challenge myself intellectually, physically and emotionally at least once a day. Reading science journals, sword fighting, cross-fit, meditation and watching emotional YouTube videos tends to cover all the bases.
Tommy: Remember to head over to Crowded TV to show your support. There are many ways to do so, including lending your social currency to the project and sharing the page with others!
The sassy, outspoken and loveable “old broad” is calling on all her fans, old and young, to rally around and get her back ON TOP where she belongs. Do YOUR part and Go to her Indiegogo page at www.indiegogo.com/projects/jump-start-madame-s-comeback-tourthen pick a “thank you” level; make sure you check out Madame’s NEW music video “Jump Start My Comeback Tour”, a tongue in cheek song parodying the hit song “Fancy” in TRUE Madame style.
A bit about Madame (in case you didn’t know): Madame was created by the legendary Wayland Flowers in the mid-1960s. Flowers’s first big break was an appearance on the The Andy Williams Show. The character of Madame is an “outrageous old broad” who entertains with double entendres and witty comebacks. Bedecked in fabulous evening wear and “summer diamonds” (“Some are diamonds; some are not”), Madame’s look is based on movie stars such as Gloria Swanson. Madame is rumoured to be based on a Washington, DC gay icon, waitress and restaurant hostess Margo MacGregor. Madame’s many TV appearances included Laugh-In; a long run on the game show Hollywood Squares (replacing Paul Lynde in The Centre Square); a recurring comedy skit on Solid Gold; a regular on ABC’s short-lived summer replacement show called Keep on Truckin’, various TV guest spots; and as the star of her own syndicated 1982 sitcom, Madame’s Place, which in itself was the precursor to every reality TV show out there!
Flowers and Madame were in the centre square on the final NBC episode of Hollywood Squares in June 1980; host Peter Marshall asked Madame the final game question of the daytime series, which was: “Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Strauss lived in the same place. Where did they all live?” Madame’s “comic” answer: “At the YMCA!” Then her “serious” answer: Germany. (The correct answer: Austria.) More detailed info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayland_Flowers
My friend Michael Coulombe introduced me to this really cool Webseries called “My Date With Harry” and its creator Colleen Sullivan. The concept is so unique and to me, timely. It is the story of how a woman creates this fake “relationship” with Harry Styles from One Direction. The kicker is, she is actually having this relationship with a life size cardboard cutout of him!
In today’s Social Media, celebrity crazy world, we have all met people who have, as Wendy Williams would put it, “Friends in their head” and we know how obsessed people get over their favorite heart throbs. This show takes all that and turns up the hilarious on it! I really encourage you to check out Colleen Sullivan and “My Date With Harry”. I promise you, you will find yourself laughing AND you may even recognize yourself in some of it!
The woman behind “My Date with Harry” agreed to do an interview with me so we could tell you all more about it. Please enjoy it and then head over to check out the show:
Q: Tell me how you came up with this hysterical concept for “My Date with Harry”?
Colleen Sullivan: Well there’s a bit of a back story to the whole thing. It started with a John Mayer cardboard cutout I bought at a garage sale when I first moved to LA 2 years ago. I thought it would be funny to take it out on Hollywood Blvd and ask people to take pictures with me and cardboard John Mayer. Just like the people who dress up in superhero costumes do on Hollywood Blvd. But instead of charging people money, I filmed it. I put the video on Facebook and all my friends said “You have to make more of these!” But since I bought John Mayer second hand, he was pretty much at the end of his cardboard loving life so I had to retire him. I wanted to do another video but needed a new cutout and concept.
There’s a candy store by my house that sells cardboard cutouts and they had One Direction cardboard cutouts in their window display. I had been eyeing them for quite some time, I just wasn’t ready to commit because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do yet. One night I was driving home from work they had a brand new set of One Direction cutouts on display. I locked eyes with Harry Styles and I knew he was the one. So I bought him. The concept came to me a week or so later. I went for a run one morning and it just popped in my head. I literally stopped in my tracks and said “I’m going to take cardboard cutout Harry Styles on a date all over Los Angeles.” And it pretty much escalated from there. I started getting all these ideas of different places I could take him and how ridiculous it would look. I actually started having dreams about cardboard Harry Styles and hash-tags for weeks after that.
Q: With social media, I think many people feel stars & celebrities are sort of “friends in their head”. Have you ever encountered anyone like that in your life?
CS: I haven’t experienced anything like that quite yet. But I did have a girl on Instagram ask me “When you and Harry Styles get married, will you adopt me?” I thought that was pretty funny and cute. I’ve gotten a lot of interesting comments since this whole thing started but that was by far my favorite.
Q: Who are your most embarrassing celebrity crushes? How about the not-so-embarrassing?
CS: I’m not one to get embarrassed about much, so I don’t have any I’m embarrassed about. I do have a small cougar-crush on One Direction. I just think they’re so cute and I actually like their music. I love a good boy band, and that started when I was 10 years old with Hanson. They are still my biggest celebrity crush to this day. Oh and Andy Samberg. I think he’s so hilarious. I even named my dog (Samberg) after him.
Q: In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing Indie artists and projects today? Has it gotten easier as time has gone on and people have become more familiar with crowd-funding?
CS: I’d say just getting exposure. It’s hard to make a name for yourself when there are millions of people out there trying to do the same thing as you. Especially if you don’t have anyone showing you the ropes or guiding you. But that’s where social media really helps in my opinion. It helps you spread the word about your project and really target the audience you’re going after. And of course there’s things like Kickstarter which is an amazing platform for people to be able to raise money for their projects.
Q:Where can we find you, Colleen Sullivan, online?
CS: I have a website and blog called “Real LA Life” which is my take on what it’s really like to live in Los Angeles, versus what you see on TV. We don’t all live like the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills nor do I party with celebrities every night. But people who aren’t from here have that idea of Los Angeles because that’s all you see on TV or in movies. I cover places to go and things to do like bars, restaurants, activities, beaches, etc. But my favorite part of it is the “LA Life” blog section. It’s where I document all the crazy, weird, funny and unbelievable experiences that have happened to me since I moved to LA. You can find it atwww.reallalife.com
Q: Where can we find out more about “My Date with Harry” online?
CS: “My Date With Harry” is officially a web series now, which I am so excited about! You can find the episodes on YouTube.
Or you can find me on Twitter @colleeniee A lot of my tweets are directly related to Taco Bell and Doritos.
Q: Where would you like to see “My Date with Harry” go in the future?
CS: I’d love to see “My Date With Harry” be successful and allow us to have multiples seasons of it. I’m really excited because we introduced a few new characters in the latest episode “Girls Night In”. There’s a full cast now, which is amazing and I can’t wait to see character grow because they all have very strong personalities but in the most ridiculous way. Everyone is so funny, it was hard to capture everything we wanted and keep it under 8 minutes. I’m excited about working with this amazing team and the fact that they’re some of my best friends makes it even better. My main goal is to be able to have “My Date With Harry” be my full time job, so I can focus all my time and energy on the show and take it to places I only dreamed of.
Q: What’s up next for Colleen Sullivan?
CS: My main goal right now is My Date With Harry. I like to only focus on one or two things at a time or I get completely caught up in everything and end up spreading myself thin. I’m striving to make each episode better than the last….all the while trying to figure out a way to get the real Harry Styles to guest star in an episode. You know, baby steps.