"It wasn't a match on a lot of levels. My biggest complaint was the feeling that she kinda shit all over my mother's legacy in her statement on leaving."Melissa Rivers speaks frankly about Kathy Griffin's disastrous run on Fashion Police.
The Wall Street Journal recently published the findings of a survey showing that 61 percent of Americans would favor a gay president, while only 52 percent would consider an evangelical. Does this mean gays are more popular than Christians? Perhaps. There have been reports that fewer and fewer Americans are identifying themselves as Christianroughly 10 percent less than a decade ago.
Leave it to Rush Limbaugh to find a way to blame the gays for this, asking, "How is it possible that [fewer] than 1 million gay activists are able to bully and steamroll an entire country on the subject of marriage? By the same token, how is it that 70 percent of the population can be bullied and silenced and coerced into accepting societal evolution with which they disagree because of their religious beliefs?" I'm always fascinated in the private lives of people who espouse the sanctity of marriageespecially since there are far more Biblical passages about divorce than often ascribed to homosexuality. I'm no scholar, but I think the thrice-divorced Limbaugh should really be focused on the salvation of his own soul.
NBC revealed some details about their upcoming live presentation of The Wiz. First, the network will partner with Cirque du Soleil to add a new dimension to the show. Second, Harvey Fierstein will punch up the book. And third, the TV production will be the first step towards a major Broadway revival, which will take place in 2016-17. While the search continues for a newcomer to play Dorothy, the show's original star has joined this new cast. If any of you think I am talking about Miss Ross, stop reading this column immediately. NopeStephanie Mills was the original Dorothy on Broadway. For the television version, she'll play Auntie Em. I'm told that she was originally asked to play Glinda, but she felt too intimidated by the long shadow cast by the great Lena Horne.
Elsewhere on ABC, we have the much-lauded Dan Savage sitcom, The Real O'Neals. There will be a mockumentary series featuring the home life of the Muppets. And the network even plans to bring us both Don Johnson and the Biblealthough, happily, not together.
News at ABC is not limited to primetime. The View ( perennial fodder for this column ) is poised to undergo even more changes. As I revealed a few weeks ago, serious negotiations are underway for Raven-Symone to join the cast full-time next seasonthus ending talks with Cristela Alfonso, who was up for the same job. Rounding out the cast may be another familiar face. The brass are quite eager to get Joy Behar back onboard. Despite what you may have heard, she didn't leave of her own accord two years ago. She was jettisoned along with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. But with the subsequent departure of Sherri Shepherd, the show lost a bit of life and spark. Guest spots by Behar have proven popular with fans, and ABC believes her return could help the show find its way.
Fox is getting into bed with Rob Lowe and John Stamoswho could blame them? Lowe appears on Grindr .... er, I mean a show called " The Grinder" , which is about a famous actor who moves back to his hometown once his show about a lawyer ends. For those of you who've had daddy fantasies about Stamos, he stars in Grandfathered as a longtime bachelor who finds out that he's not only a father, but a grandfather. And, I bet, eats Greek yogurt.
Obviously, new television shows are not limited to television. Online services are working overtime to crack that nut, and Netflix has made quite a splash with Grace and Frankie. Alas, stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are not so thrilled with how things have been handled behind the scenes. The ladies may play the titular stars, but they happen to be getting the same salary as Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. Jane spoke out to the press: "Lily found out Sam and Martin are getting the same salary that we are. That doesn't make us happy." Lily added, "The show is not Sol and Robertit's Grace and Frankie!" Although there are some cases where the supporting actors do as much of the heavy lifting as the leads ( as in, say, Will & Grace ), Grace and Frankie has clearly given the brunt of the burden to the ladies. And the ladies have surprising allies in Sheen and Waterston. The men sat down with Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb and said Jane and Lily should be given a raise. "They carry the show," said Sheen. Waterston added, "I think they're being cheated."
Jane Fonda is full of revelations this week. Elsewhere, she admitted to having dated her fair share of gay menand could have even married one. "When I was young, I was the female that gay guys wanted to try to become heterosexual with. A very famous actor who's gayand I will not name namesasked me to marry him. I was very flattered, but I said, 'Why?' This was 1964. And I mean, he wasn't the only one. It's very interesting. And I lived for two years with a guy who was trying to become heterosexual. I'm intimately acquainted with that." I think it was the "Barbarella" costumes. I mean, the boots alone...
Could it be that the sexy star of a now-defunct second-generation show is inching out of the closet? That's the scoop from people who say the stud showed up at a charity event with his beau in tow. Ironically, this event was perfectly in tune with his most famous character. The couple was clearly on the downlow, but it was still a step up for this closeted cutie. Despite being in the fast lane, our boy is still as skittish as an unbroken filly.
When our blind item is desperately seeking privacy, it's time to end yet another column. Come to think of it, we actually had three blind items in this column. All in a day's work at www.BillyMasters.com, the site that never sleeps. Alas, we didn't have room for an "Ask Billy" question. But you can always write to me at Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Jane Fonda reveals she made a risque exercise video with Richard Simmons! Until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.