Deep Inside Hollywood: Lesbian surgeons to traumatize CBS

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Paltrow and Baldwin getting a piece of the Rock?
The casting continues for Adam Shankman’s big-screen adaptation of the hit stage musical Rock of Ages. You know, the one where all the songs are big hair-metal pop hits of the 1980s. The biggest news, of course, has been the courting of Tom Cruise and most-popular-girl-of-right-now Taylor Swift. (And Seth Rogen for what must be dude-cred reasons.) But the most recent names being tossed around are also stirring excitement. Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s been proving she can sing with a vengeance lately on Glee and in the movie Country Strong, has been offered a role. And Alec Baldwin may be joining the rockin’ lineup as well. This could go on and on, naturally, and it should. There’s plenty of room for everyone to rock. But why does it feel like by the time this is over Dame Judi Dench and Jimmy Kimmel will also be involved?

Lesbian surgeons to traumatize CBS
CBS, the home of medical and police procedural programs your parents watch (OK, yes, we like NCIS, too.), is going to let The L Word’s creator Ilene Chaiken try her hand at it all with a doctor drama called Rhodes to Recovery. The series has been green lighted and will feature a lesbian trauma unit surgeon and her hetero male colleague as they stitch together patients and unavoidably mix their professional and private lives. Coolest twist: early in the story one of them begins dating the other’s ex-wife. Now all you have to do is guess who and wait it out until this thing survives the annual chopping of the pilot forest. Meanwhile, the people in charge need to do whatever it takes to get Pam Grier involved. Or really, what’s the point?

An afterlife partner for Vampire Diaries
Kevin Williamson’s Vampire Diaries is such a big hit for the CW that the network wants more. So the Scream master is developing a new companion series, a supernatural drama about a group of people who investigate paranormal activity. It only makes sense, given that everything spooky, undead and bloodsucking continues to be all the rage, showing no signs of a weakening pulse whatsoever. For the moment, all anyone knows about this new series is what it will not be. As in, it will not be a proper spin-off, with no overlapping pilot characters showing up on Vampire Diaries first (or so they say now), and it will not be coming down a fast track. It’s currently in the talking stage. There’s no script, no cast, no network interference; all that fun stuff will have to wait until Williamson has some great ideas that the Suits want to crush. So be patient.

March of the Glee copycats
ABC wants their own Glee and they’ll stop at nothing until they get it. To that end, they nabbed occasional Glee co-star Idina Menzel and are developing a musical drama series around her. They’re also setting up a musical comedy series with Sharpay Fabulous writer Robert Horn. But the most ambitious current idea floating around the network involves Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid) and Oscar-nominated lyricist David Zippel (Hercules) who are set up with a musical comedy of their own. The untitled show, described as St. Elmo’s Fire_-meets-Rent (yes, they still pitch projects this way, apparently), is supposed to involve young sexy musicians trying to make it in the world and will feature at least a couple original songs each episode. Let’s hope they’re all underdogs with can-do attitudes and pitch correction technology at their disposal.

* Romeo San Vicente feels like he’s living a teenage dream. He can be reached care of this publication or at[email protected].

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