There Is A God: Lifetime Casting For Anna Nicole Smith Story

It’s a shame that Lindsay Lohan blew her Lifetime original movie shot on Liz & Dick, the Elizabeth Taylor story. Another Lifetime original film is currently casting and LiLo really could have brought realism to the role. It’s the Anna Nicole Smith story, of course.

TMZ obtained the casting call sheet and the charicatures are as depressing as you would expect:

  • Anna Nicole Smith: "a pretty, but plain girl growing up in small town Texas" who "transformed herself though sheer willpower."
  • Her teenaged son Daniel: "wry, very cute and intelligent teenager" who "dislikes Howard K. Stern, whom he considers a slow-acting poison. … Danny seems to have picked up his mother’s pill popping habit" and "cuts his young life short."
  • Her mom Virgie: "a plain-looking deputy living in a hardscrabble Texas town … Virgie claims that men ruined her life."
  • Her billionaire ex-husband J. Howard Marshall: "skin going gray, head gone bald and liver spots everywhere" … a "pointlessness" dulls "the glint that used to be in his eyes."
  • Marshall’s son who battles Smith for money: "makes it his decision to DESTROY Anna" and "he viciously vows to dedicate all thirteen of his attorneys to making sure Anna never receives a dime."

Then again, there is no law saying LiLo can’t star in two Lifetime films. Dye her hair bleach blonde again, slap on some red lipstick, and she would make an excellent Anna Nicole, would she not? Oh, and Dina and Micheal would be so proud.

Obviously I will be watching the shit out of this film no matter who Lifetime casts in any of these roles.

Lindsay Lohan Dissed By ‘Liz & Dick’ Co-Star

Being in the same zip code as Lindsay Lohan sounds like it might be trying at times, so we cannot imagine what it would be like to be her costar. Her Liz & Dick co-star Grant Bowler, a sexy Kiwi who really doesn’t look a damn thing like Richard Burton (but that’s OK), got blabbypants on a red carpet and told a reporter that working with LiLo has been "challenging." You don’t say!

Bowler chatted with Beyond The Trailer at Comic-Con and confirmed he may need a bit of of media training. When asked how it was working with Lindsay, he didn’t hold back. "It was challenging. Lindsay’s Lindsay and it is always going to be that way," he said. "She brought a lot to the table. Every day, it was, we stepped up to the plate, looked each other in the eye and tried to be truthful to the material and the spirit of those two people as they could."

The reporter then suggested any on-set troubles may have helped the cast "get into character," given how the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had a notoriously volatile relationship. Bowler still took the bait. "The reality of that relationship is, and was, that was an incredibly tempestuous, tumultous relationship," he said. "They fought as hard as they loved and they loved as hard as they drank."

Right up Lindsay’s alley, eh?

Grant Bowler, you are going to get yelled at by some Lifetime executive (and also mama Dina Lohan). But I like you.

Here’s the Trailer for Lifetime’s ‘Steel Magnolias’ Remake

YOU GUYS, IT’S FINALLY HERE! The first trailer for Lifetime’s remake of Steel Magnolias with an African-American cast has hit the internet. As BlackBook‘s singular staff member covering the Black Steel Magnolias beat (it’s a voluntary position), I am pleased as punch to share this with you because it is SO WEIRD.

It starts out with random images of magnolias (clever!) and table settings while somewhat familiar voices repeat famous lines that you’ve heard a million different times coming from the mouths of other people. It is very bizarre! And then we get the first looks at M’Lynn (Queen Latifah), Ouiser (Alfre Woodard), Clairee (Phylicia Rashad), Truvy (Jill Scott), Annelle (Adepero Oduye), and Shelby (Condola Rashad) and an anachronistic reference to Beyoncé, which I assume means that at no point will Jill Scott say the memorable line, "It’s the ’80s. If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past." 

Woof, you guys. I mean, I’m still excited and will watch the shit out of this (and, you know, change the channel at Halloween because I CANNOT WATCH SHELBY DIE), but there’s pretty much nothing special about this except that it’s got a bunch of strong black women delivering awkward line readings from a kind of campy movie about Southern ladies with big hair. I just don’t know if I can handle two hours of Queen Latifah looking sad. When I first saw the trailer existed, I was expecting, on the Steel Magnolias stress scale, to jump up to Rhett, Ouiser’s dog (incessent barking, losing hair), but right now I’m more like a Spud (just sittin’ around, doing Spud stuff).

Meanwhile, Viola Davis is sitting at home and LOLing pretty hard about this.

‘Devious Maids,’ Telenovela About The Help, Heads To Lifetime

Lifetime, the channel of white women in peril, is about to diversify: Devious Maids, a new comedy by Marc Cherry about Latina housekeepers "who work for the rich and famous of Beverly Hills" is headed to the channel in 2013. 

TV Line reports that ABC passed on the show, which is based on a Mexican telenovela called The Disorderly Maids Of The Neighborhood. The 13 episodes will star Ana Ortiz of Ugly Betty, Judy Reyes from Scrubs, Dania Ramirez from Heroes and Roselyn Sanchez. Susan Lucci had been recruited to play a Beverly Hills employer, but its unclear if she’ll make the trek from ABC to Lifetime. 

Surely Marc Cherry of soapy Desperate Housewives will feel right at home in Lifetime’s embrace. Even if Devious Maids turns out to be "The Help 2.0," it can’t be any worse than Bristol Palin’s reality show.  

Cast of Lifetime’s All-Black Remake of ‘Steel Magnolias’ Announced

Back in October we shared the news that Lifetime was planning to remake Steel Magnolias, that classic tear-jerking dramedy about Southern women chattin’ and dyin’ of kidney failure, with an African-American cast. You may remember that I, amateur Hollywood casting director, assembled the perfect cast as a favor to Lifetime and the film’s producers. Clearly they have decided to take a different route, completely disregarding my brilliant choices to play the most important female characters in the history of film. 

According to Deadline, Queen Latifah (from now on referred to as "Queefah") is leading the cast, taking on the role of M’Lynn Eatonton (famously played by Sally Field in the 1989 film). That’s only the tip of the iceberg made up of questionable casting choices!

Produced by Sony Pictures Television, Steel Magnolias chronicles the lives and friendship of six women in Louisiana: ‘M’Lynn’ (Queen Latifah), Ouiser (Alfre Woodard), Clairee (Phylicia Rashad), Truvy (Jill Scott), Annelle (Adepero Oduye) and Shelby (Condola Rashad). Supporting each other through their triumphs and tragedies, they congregate at Truvy’s beauty shop to ponder the mysteries of life and death, husbands and children – and hair and nails – all the important topics that bring women together.

Um, first of all, did you call Viola Davis? I mean, considering she has two Oscar nominations under her belt whereas poor Queefah only has one, it makes sense that Davis would have just played recordings of laughter after listening to the pleading voicemails from the Lifetime reps because she doesn’t have time to LAUGH much less star in a LIFETIME ORIGINAL MOVIE, are you kidding me? So, fine, Viola Davis is out, but Queefah? As M’Lynn? A lady with three children, one of which DIES? No ma’ams, Lifetime. No ma’ams. At the very least, Queefah should be playing Truvy Jones. I mean, she JUST starred in a movie with Dolly Parton, you guys. Think of all the tips La Dolly could pass on to her new protege. 

While they do get a gold star for casting Phylicia Rashad as Clairee per my suggestion, are these people trying to pull a fast one by putting her daughter in the role of Shelby? Granted, my suggestion of double-casting Tia and Tamara Mowry was really just for LOLs, but at least they’d bring in the coveted Sister, Sister audience. I get that Raven-Symone is super busy right now stepping into the starring role of Sister Act: The Musical, thereby coming this much closer to taking over Whoopi Goldberg’s place in this world (speaking of which: You know that Whoopi did not say no to playing Ouiser, and you know that Lifetime forgot to call her), but nepotism? Really? Was Tracie Ellis-Ross too busy?

I supposed I’ll also give a pass on Jill Scott as Truvy, even though I can already imagine the salty tears that Loretta Devine is weeping right now. And I guess Adepero Oduye was supposed to be really great in Pariah, which I forgot to see. Maybe I will "forget" to see Steel Magnolias! (JK, nope, I will probably watch it five times.)

If they pick Terrence Howard to play Drum, I will eat my hat.

Drew Peterson Reviews Lifetime Movie About His Life

Rob Lowe’s Drew Peterson: Untouchable aired last night on Lifetime, the channel ostensibly dedicated to the female viewer that is known for murder re-enactments and dramas about knocked-up, cyber bullied teens.  Real life Drew Peterson watched an early DVD from Will County Jail and has given his review. 

The preview clip of a garage door opening slowly to show Lowe/Peterson standing there declaring under his mustache “I’m untouchable bitch,” drew early praise for being comedic genius.  Apparently, it held up to its promise.  Peterson, accused of killing his third and fourth wife, found it "hysterical.”

And what about poor Stacy Peterson’s family?  Her sister had trouble recognizing her own characters and told the Chicago Tribune "It’s so inaccurate, I had to laugh." 

Lowe himself even seemed to have doubts, telling the AP of the Peterson role: "I didn’t feel like I resembled him on any level and there was no part of my sort of persona or who I am as a person that I can access to play him, so with no idea how I was going to do it, I said, ‘Yes.’"  

Apparently, the Ro Lowe School of Acting is just turning tragedy into comedy. 

Demi Moore to Bring Women’s Empowerment Show to Lifetime

Fresh off her split from Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore is taking some time off from answering exasperatingly stupid questions about changing her Twitter handle, to develop a new television series.  The show, set to air on Lifetime somewhere between Project Runway and schmaltzy, unintentionally hilarious original movies, will focus on women’s empowerment.

Amanda de Cadenet will play host to a number of women like Lady Gaga, Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Wilde and Jane Fonda who are set to answer such profound questions as “What is your favorite sex position?” reports Gatecrasher.

The show has been in development since last April, but with Moore’s recent very public hot tub betrayal, she could add a more personal element to empowerment.  Thus far Moore isn’t confirmed to appear to devulge her post-scandal feelings, but it’s certainly something that will garner press and spike ratings.  Revenge is a dish best served on on national television. 

Rob Lowe’s Drew Peterson is ‘Untouchable’, Drew Peterson Finds it “Hilarious”

Creating a thirty-second promo for a movie is a tough job. It needs to entice and reveal without spoiling, and it has to be memorable despite the time constraint. There probably is a science to crafting the perfect teaser, but you can throw that out the window; whoever made the promo for Lifetime’s Drew Peterson: Untouchable starring Rob Lowe has transcended the medium and turned it into an art. Even Drew Peterson himself is entertained by it. Take a look below, while enjoying an ice cold Belvedere martini.

Why didn’t anyone else think of this? By having the main character briskly announce the title followed by the word, “bitch,” the promo makes the movie absolutely irresistible to prospective viewers.

I’m The Godfather, bitch.

I’m Batman, bitch.

I’m Mr. Magorium and this is my Wonder Emporium, Bitch

The trailer is so effective it has even elicited a response from Drew Peterson. The Chicago Tribune reports that Peterson’s lawyer, Joel Brodsky, played the promo over the phone for his client, who is in jail awaiting trial for the murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio. "He laughed and said, ‘That’s hilarious,’" Brodsky said.

Regarding the line, “I’m untouchable, bitch,” Brodsky said, "That’s the first time he or I have heard him being accused of using that term."

But that’s not the first time you’ve heard of him being accused of murder. You know, because that’s what he’s in jail awaiting trial for.

Casting Call for Lifetime’s All-Black ‘Steel Magnolias’

Fact: Everyone loves movies in which old Southern women sit around and talk about stuff. That is why Steel Magnolias is on TV at least four times a day. The other reason: it has the best all-star cast of any movie to be described as having an all-star cast. Some might say that Steel Magnolias is sacred ground upon which no man shall build, but Deadline Hollywood reports today that Lifetime is developing a remake of the classic tear-jerker. A great man once said, you’ve gotta have a gimmick, and Lifetime’s bold move involves an all African-American cast. CHECKMATE!

The television remake, penned by Sally Robinson, will be an adaptation of the 1989 film screenplay rather than a new adaptation of the Robert Herring play on which it was based (Herring also wrote the film’s script). The only thing that could make this TV movie a disaster is the wrong cast, which is why we’re willing to do Lifetime a favor and tell them the absolutely correct actresses to put into the roles made famous by the likes of Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Darryl Hannah, and Shirley MacLaine.

First things first: the only woman who could possibly play M’Lynn Eatonton, the glamorous mother of the delicate Shelby, is Viola Davis. Viola Davis is M’Lynn Eatonton. Have you seen her cry? She is a pro, and she pretty much got an Academy Award nomination for crying in Doubt. Sally Field would drown in Viola Davis’s tears.

Phylicia Rashad would make a great Clairee Belcher, adding a touch of Mrs. Huxtable and likely improving upon Olymia Dukakis’s Southern-by-way-of-Brooklyn accent. And Mo’Nique as beauty parlor owner Truvy Jones, obviously. (If she’s busy, call Jackée.) And who is the only person who could step into the shoes of Ouiser Boudreaux? Whoopi Goldberg. Duh. Whoopi. The end.

Rounding out the cast would be Keisha Knight-Pullam as Annelle Dupuy, the daffy beautician. Rudy needs work, you guys! In the role of Shelby, the tragic victim of diabetes and too much love (as well as the reason why one would have to switch channels for roughly fifteen minutes every Saturday afternoon while watching the original film on Oxygen) the likely first choice is Beyoncé, because Beyoncé is always first-choice. But we think Lifetime should just call Tia and Tamera Mowry and call it a day.

You’re welcome, big-time TV execs. You should expect an invoice for our consulting fees within ten business days.