Deep Inside Hollywood: Anderson Cooper the new Oprah?

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The Mississippi Hate Prom is coming to TV
You may remember earlier this year when Mississippi high school student Constance McMillen sued for the right to take her girlfriend to her prom. You may also remember that not only was she subjected to intense bullying but that her school canceled the prom rather than allow her to come as she was, then turned around and set up two proms, one for the “normals” and one for McMillen and the special ed kids. You couldn’t really ask for a more dramatic and insane scenario, so it was only a matter of time before the TV movie about the subject went into production. And that TV movie will be produced by cool Hollywood power-gays Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. No title, no cast, no nothing just yet. But it’s happening. And when it finally airs, the creepy, anti-gay people can just sit around wondering why they didn’t get more flattering screen time.

Anderson Cooper wants to be the new Oprah
The version of silver fox Anderson Cooper you see on Anderson Cooper 360 is the all-news, all-the-time guy. But watch him interact with Kathy Griffin or talk Real Housewives with Ellen and you’ll see a fluffier side of the CNN anchor. It’s clearly a side of himself he wants to indulge on the air. And why not get paid to do it? In other words, somebody wants to fill Oprah’s empty chair. That’s why in fall 2011 you’ll get even more Cooper than you ever thought you wanted. He’s going to host his own, as-yet-unnamed daytime talk show that will focus on social issues but also celebrities and other soft topics. Now, the real news is will he officially come out to help promote it? Will he just live the openly-not-talking-about-sexual-orientation life he’s perfected instead? And will any of that matter when he’s got NeNe from Real Housewives of Atlanta on his couch and they’re gushing about how much they love each other? Stay tuned.

Sara Rue Learns The _Rules_
Anyone out there watching the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement? –Anyone? Well, it may not be must-see viewing for a lot of the lesbian and gay TV audiences out there, but someone is certainly tuning in. They’re halfway to a hundred episodes at this point, which means the inclusion of a new gay character is nothing to sniff about. And that’s what’s about to happen. Sara Rue, former star of Less Than Perfect andPopular, will join the cast as a lesbian surrogate mother. Does that mean she’ll be carrying a fertilized egg for stars Patrick Warburton or David Spade? Or someone else? Who knows. Romeo just learned that this show even existed, OK.

Rampart full of lesbian crushes
The new film Rampart, currently in pre-production from director Oren Moverman, has a serious pedigree. It’s about the LAPD’s notorious Rampart division in the 1990s, the same one that served as inspiration for Training Day, and it has a script form L.A. Confidential’s James Ellroy and Moverman. Moverman is also responsible for the Oscar-nominatedThe Messenger and is currently working on an adaptation of the William S. Burroughs novel Queer. So this is no TV movie. It’ll star Steve Buscemi, Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster and Ice Cube. But what the lesbians are going to like is that it also stars Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon, two of whom are formerly or currently in same-sex relationships and all of whom have more than a few lesbian fans. Actually, the fact that there are even going to be four women starring in a dude movie like this is news that should make anyone happy.

* Romeo San Vicente was always on Team Heche. He can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.