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Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Why The Show “Silver Foxes” Would Be Great For Television

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

TV On Demand
Why The Show “Silver Foxes” Would Be Great For Television
By Dana Hanson-Firestone
August 11, 2017

4-27-2013 3-29-19 AM
A new show has been created but it is struggling to get noticed by Hollywood. “Silver Foxes is a sitcom that is patterned after the long running and beloved “Golden Girls.” It is a reboot of the show and the rumor is that George Takei is set to star in it. The creators of the show are disappointed because their work is not getting the attention that they had hoped for. So far, nobody has picked the series up. Here is a little more about the show and the reasons why it would be great for television.

The creators

Stan Zimmerman and James Berg and the screenwriters responsible for bringing the concept to script form. The series takes place in Palm Springs, California and it is about four older men who are gay, living together. It definitely has taken its’ inspiration from “The Golden Girls,” but it is not a spinoff. Zimmerman disclosed that he and Berg are experiencing a total shutout from Hollywood. Zimmerman is the writer for several episodes of “Roseanne,” “The Gilmore Girls,” and the movie “A Very Brady Sequel.” He believes that there is a degree of homophobia and ageism involved in the block.

Proposed cast members

Should the series be granted the opportunity to air, it will Star the famous George Takei, Todd Sherry, Bruce Vilanch and Leslie Jordan as the four main characters. The cast was assembled in 2016 and here a year later, there is no move to make the show a reality.

Why the show should air








The show would be funny

We could all use some great humor. Why can’t we as entertained by four guys as we were by four women? The answer is, that we could. It would be a lot like a double dose of “The Odd Couple.” While there are serious legal battles going on to protect the rights of LGBTQ people, The show would be a timely addition to the lineup of favorites. Who knows…perhaps it would be a bit hit that would give a network’s ratings a good healthy lift.

Takei’s thinking on the matter

George has shared the fact that he is frustrated over the hold placed on “Silver Foxes.” He hit the nail on the head when he discussed the show as a “commentary on contemporary life.” It could represent a challenge for networks that have a large homophobic viewing audience. Producers are having a rough time making the decision to take the project under their wings.

Will the show fade into obscurity?

Zimmerman is optimistic about the chances that the show will eventually get air time. If all else fails, he may resort to a streaming service. There are plenty of fans who would appreciate the show and it sounds like something that would draw a huge audience. We’re all hoping that there will be a change in Hollywood and that they’ll at least give the series its’ shot.

From ‘Golden Girls’ to ‘Silver Foxes’?

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Boston Globe
From ‘Golden Girls’ to ‘Silver Foxes’?
By Michael Andor Brodeur
AUGUST 08, 2017

2017-07-06_3-08-11

Do not adjust your hearing aids: That persistent buzz is just the chatter surrounding “Silver Foxes” — the gently ballyhooed “gay reboot of ‘The Golden Girls’” that isn’t actually a gay reboot of “The Golden Girls” but sort of is.

The brainchild (or grandparent?) of screenwriter Stan Zimmerman (who, back in the day, penned some fine “Golden Girls” episodes himself), “Silver Foxes” is certainly “inspired by” by the original “Girls, and will tell the tangling tales of four older gay men living (and likely grousing) together in Palm Springs — that is, if it gets picked up before the idea is shipped off to Shady Pines.

Right now, “Silver Foxes” exists in just two incomplete forms: 1) a scarcely documented table reading held at Zimmerman’s home that went swiftly viral on Instagram;
2) as a dream tumbling around in the heads of gay men everywhere. However, the latter could not have fathomed the fierceness of the foursome brought together for the former: the lead roles were read by George Takei, Leslie Jordan, Bruce Vilanch, and Todd Sherry. (OMG which one is the tramp?!) Rumor has it they’ve even written a cameo opportunity for Betty White.

This is one hip replacement.

I, for one, am screaming. Networks, meanwhile, are showing Zbornak levels of skepticism.

“Ageism and homophobia are not only keeping the show from getting picked up, but from even being read by a major network,” Zimmerman told HuffPo, all but raising his bugle to summon sleeping armies of slighted gays into clicking formation, let’s-get-Betty-White-on-“SNL” style.

This may or may not work, but here’s a slice of cheesecake and some truth: I’ve seen this move before. You flirt with the ones you don’t want (NBC, ABC, CBS — I mean, give me a break here) in order to draw the interest of the ones you do (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon). I’m pretty sure I learned that one from Blanche. Will it work? Depends.

Netflix seems not to have noticed it has absolutely no money for these sorts of things (might I and Tom Selleck suggest a reverse mortgage?) but it seems like a no-brainer that a comedy about aging gay men in Palm Springs would draw viewers like . . . well, aging gay men to Palm Springs.

In the meantime, not sure if you know this already, but you can get in a solid (or slightly mushed-up) four servings of “Golden Girls” each and every night from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Why so late? Because “The Golden Girls” is the raciest thing the Hallmark Channel airs by leaps and bounds (or short, careful steps).

(And with that, I conclude my housesitting for the vacationing Matthew Gilbert. Notice how I didn’t break anything. Thanks for letting me crash on your couch.)

Interview: Stan Zimmerman: “Silver Foxes”

Sunday, August 6th, 2017

HuffPost
Interview: Stan Zimmerman: “Silver Foxes”
Eileen Shapiro, Contributor
07/26/2017 08:19 am ET

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Ingeniously hysterically funny and sensitive television and film writer, Stan Zimmerman is hoping to present a new television comedy series entitled: “Silver Foxes”. Somewhat along the lines of the iconic “Golden Girls” sitcom, which he wrote and produced in 1985, “Silver Foxes” is a heartfelt scenario involving four older gay men living together in their later years and their dealings with the next chapter of life. Slated for a reading and possible portrayal of the characters are: George Takei, Leslie Jordan, Bruce Vilanch, and Todd Sherry of “Parks and Recreation.” Zimmerman and partner James Berg were responsible for writings of “The Golden Girls”, “Roseanne”, “Gilmore Girls”, and the film “A Very Brady Sequel”, as well as many others. They are currently pitching the new pilot “Silver Foxes” to various networks and trying to overcome some of the challenges regarding the show and the new frontier in television that it offers.


You’ve written for so many television series, what are some of the high lights?


My first big job was “Golden Girls”. I was staff writer on the first season. Before that we had done a few episodic’s. One of the big ones was the episode of “Fame” that Janet Jackson was in. It was actually the first time she sang on it, and it was a song from her first album. Debbie Allen directed it. I remember I was so excited cause I saw it I think at “The Revolver”, in West Hollywood when they would play music videos. I said, “that’s my show”. So we were lucky enough to get on the “Golden Girls”, they liked a script of ours. We pitched our little heart out, I still have some of the pitches somewhere. They weren’t buying any of them. We were literally at the door leaving, and I threw out for some reason: “What if Rose’s mother came to visit? “, and they said “come back and sit down”. We got the gig to write the episode, and we got to experience what it was like as the show unfolded in the first season. It changed the whole trajectory of my career.


I don’t know a person in the world that doesn’t know “The Golden Girls”, at least no one gay.


It’s really not just gay, it’s all ages and all types, and that’s what’s so frustrating about “Silver Foxes”, when I say it can have the same affect that “Golden Girls” has. So then it goes from the ages to the homophobia. Maybe they’re scared that four gay guys is not going to be able to attract a heterosexual audience. I don’t know when that’s ever been proven because it’s never been done.


What would happen if one of those guys hypothetically were straight?


My manager has brought up, what if he could get Michael Douglas or somebody to be in the show? Obviously I would love to have it all gay actors, and lesbians, because there are two power lesbians that live next-door. I mean if we can’t do it with this show, when can we do it? I mean that’s like saying when you’re writing a black show, can’t one of them be white? This is our show, this is the point of view we want to have. I have four gay man that are getting older, and who is your family, we’re all starting to get older, and what is our next chapter? For those of us that have survived the AIDS crisis, and are still living, after seeing most of our friends die…..I went to four funerals in one week…... You know a lot of us didn’t think we would be here. So now what happens? We have found most of our family and support groups amongst each other. I think that’s the story we would love to tell. How we band together in times of need, especially as you get older, you’re there for one another. I think it could be quite poignant, but also really, really funny. Jim Berg and I want to write from a place of honesty. It could be super funny but if it comes from a real place, it’s not broad silly humor. That’s why “The Golden Girls” still feels relevant, because it comes from a place of honesty. There was never a moment of not having the laughs but there was truth in it.







I can’t even get it read by a major network. It’s the age and the homophobia that is still there in Hollywood. It’s the fear, and it’s based on nothing, because there has never been an all LGBTQ show. It would be one thing if they said well we had one and it didn’t work, but they never had one. You can’t point to that, it is all based on fear.


Where do you think a good fit would be for the show?


I think the natural fit would be Hulu because they are streaming “Golden Girls”. That’s a huge success for them that’s even shocking them. I think Netflix is another good place because they are doing “Full House” and “One Day at a Time”. They are doing shows that are based on older sitcoms. I think Amazon would be another great place. Any place that does this, they are going to be rewarded, they will be the saviors of the show, and it’s going to get so much attention. There is nothing like this and there has never been. You can put a smaller cable company on the map, and get them a lot of attention. We are trying and it’s a lot harder than you think. A lot of people are not wanting to stick their necks out, producers or even agent wise, to push this through. We need someone to come in and push it through, or if enough people hear about it, and talk about it, or retweet it, you would think someone over there would be smart enough to say “let’s give it a shot”. I think that they would be more than pleasantly surprised with the reaction. It’s been crazy and so wonderful, the reaction, especially men of a certain age. They get very emotional about it because we feel that we’ve worked through this, and we got this, yet when something like this comes up, we still have to fight unfortunately. We still need to be out there marching, fighting and calling. I think that there are going to be pockets of people that are still very prejudiced but that’s why a show like this will show the world that we are dealing with the same issues. We want to be loved, we deal with health and getting older, and what we want to do with our lives, and how do we maintain relationships? Those are all universal themes. It just happens to be through the eyes of these four men.


You were just on The Jimmy Star Show With Ron Russell. Jimmy Star is a big fan of yours and we think you should use his husband Ron Russell on the show. He’s a true silver fox. He’s 77 years old and still hot.


We would love to show all ages and all types on the show which would be so great through the guest stars that we plan to have. Like on “Golden Girls”, we will have all their families come and go. The George Takei character was married. We have his ex-wife, his daughter, and his granddaughter. We thought it would be great to have a granddaughter run away to their house in Palm Springs for an episode. We thought she could be sexually fluid, and deal with all of that and what that means from the point of view of these older guys.


Are there any other projects that you are currently working on?


I created this play in the vein of “Vagina Monologues”. It’s dealing with suicide notes. A very good friend of mine took his life five years ago so I created a play using real notes from Kurt Cobain to war veterans to LBGT. We’re going to have a big benefit in the middle of October to raise awareness not only for suicide prevention but ultimately I want to create like “Vagina” Monologues” where people can license the play and it goes back into suicide prevention.

Gay, male ‘Golden Girls’ reboot delayed by ‘ageism,’ ‘homophobia’ in Hollywood

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Washington Blade
Gay, male ‘Golden Girls’ reboot delayed by ‘ageism,’ ‘homophobia’ in Hollywood
July 31, 2017 at 8:28 am PDT | by Mariah Cooper

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The gay, male reboot of “Golden Girls” has hit a roadblock.






George Takei, Leslie Jordan, Bruce Vilanch and Todd Sherry had already done a table read as the core four. Daniele Gaither and Cheri Oteri also read for the lesbian neighbors. Zimmerman told Fox News a Betty White guest appearance was also planned.

However, Zimmerman says homophobia has kept the show from being developed.

“Unfortunately, we cannot get one network executive to read it,” Zimmerman told Fox News. “Or even a producer to pass it to them. We have found ageism and homophobia alive and well in Hollywood.

They plan to continue shopping the series around to networks and hope a streaming service will pick up the show.

“Hopefully a groundswell of support from the viewing public will get an outlet like Hulu or Amazon to make it,” Zimmerman says.

‘Golden Girls’ writer addresses reboot rumors

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Fox News Entertainment
‘Golden Girls’ writer addresses reboot rumors
By Stephanie Nolasco Published July 28, 2017 Fox News

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“Golden Girls” writer Stan Zimmerman confirmed to Fox News that a new series inspired by the classic sitcom is in the works featuring four older gay men living together.

The Golden Girls,” which stared Rue McClanahan, Betty White, Bea Arthur, and Estelle Getty, aired from 1985 until 1992. Throughout its run, it racked up 68 Emmy nominations and 11 wins.

“It is not a rumor,” Zimmerman told Fox News in an email. “[‘Golden Girls’ writer] James Berg and I did write a pilot script called ‘Silver Foxes.’ It is NOT a reboot of ‘The Golden Girls.’ But it is inspired by the show, a show that we were lucky enough to have written on during the first season of the show.”

Zimmerman added a private reading of the script took place in his living room with George Takei, Leslie Jordan, Bruce Vilanch, and Todd Sherry as the foursome.

It also featured Daniele Gaither and former “Saturday Night Live” castmate Cheri Oteri as “the power lesbian couple” who live next door, as well as Melissa Peterman as a woman who runs a retirement home where Leslie Jordan resides until “the guys find out he has to go back in the closet.”

Unlike the original, which took place in Miami, “Silver Foxes” would be based in Palm Springs.

Zimmerman also revealed he’s hoping to get the last living “Golden Girl” to join as a special guest.

“We did create a one line role for Betty White to play,” he said. “Our fingers are crossed.”

However, Zimmerman said that despite the all-star cast, as well as having two original writers on board, he’s having trouble finding a network to pick up the series.

“Unfortunately, we cannot get one network executive to read it,” he explained. “Our even a producer to pass it to them. We have found ageism and homophobia alive and well in Hollywood. Hopefully a groundswell of support from the viewing public will get an outlet like Hulu or Amazon to make it.”

‘Gay Golden Girls’ TV Show Struggles Against Ageism, Not Homophobia

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Unicorn Booty
‘Gay Golden Girls’ TV Show Struggles Against Ageism, Not Homophobia
Written by Drew Mackie on July 4, 2017

2017-07-06_3-08-11

What if The Golden Girls returned to television, but with gay men?

That’s a question that might seem redundant to the series’ gay fans, who have long related to Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia. But now two of the show’s writers, Stan Zimmerman and James Berg, want to make that connection more literal with a revamp of sorts. Should it be realized on the small screen, Silver Foxeswould generate laughs and late-in-life lessons from four older gay men living together.


The show would move the action from Miami to Palm Springs (because obviously), and it already has a great cast in place. George Takei would play a former military man who left the ranks during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era. Bruce Vilanch would play a politically minded firebrand in the style of Dixie Carter from Designing Women. Leslie Jordan would play a character that we hope is more or less Leslie Jordan, and Parks & Recreationalum Todd Sherry would round out the cast as a past-his-prime twink.

 

To many gay fans, that pitch would sound like a slam dunk, especially given that in addition to episodes of Golden Girls, the Zimmerman-Berg team also wrote for Roseanne (including that famous lesbian kiss episode) and Gilmore Girls, as well as the script for A Very Brady Sequel. As he’s worked to move the project forward, however, Zimmerman says the series has encountered some resistance — not for being a gay-centric sitcom but for being one that focuses on older characters.

“I was shocked that still, in this day and age, I couldn’t get a major broadcast network to even read the script. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying,” Zimmerman tells us. “Even going to my producer friends, even some who have deals at studios, they literally said they’ll never make the show. It cut a little deeper for me. It’s become a cause for me to make it happen.”

aid it was strange to feel like progress had been made of the past few decades getting networks to put gay characters onscreen but for ageism to be something people felt free to express outright.

Currently, Zimmerman and Berg have made some progress with outlets such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. Zimmerman points out that a service like these might make a great home for Silver Foxes. Hulu has already found considerable success streaming all seven seasons of The Golden Girls, and Netflix’s stable of shows includes multicam sitcoms like Fuller House and the One Day at a Time remake, as well as Grace and Frankie, which also focuses on older characters.

When it comes to those major broadcast networks, Zimmerman, an industry veteran, explained that he’s not protesting rejection but the lack of a chance to even be considered. “It would be one thing if someone read the script and said, ‘I don’t think it’s funny,’ or if we made a pilot and it didn’t test well. To not even get it to the top to be read is just very frustrating.” Consequently, Zimmerman is encouraging anyone who wants to see this show to take to social media and tell networks and streaming services to give Silver Foxes a chance.








we need to keep talking up Silver Foxes. networks are afraid of gay/lesbian themed shows. @HowardStern talked about it today on his show!








Lest network executives forget, the commercial viability of Golden Girls was also questioned before the show proved to be a hit — not just with blue hairs but with viewers across the age spectrum.

“Everybody is chasing the young demographic,” said Vilanch. “No one wants to capture the older audience because they feel they won’t get as much money from them.”

However, Vilanch points out that there are many examples aside from Golden Girls that show this isn’t true. “Murder, She Wrote ran 12 years on a major network and was one of the top five shows — and it clearly skewed to an older demographic. And now, when you read the [TV rating] analysis, you see CBS referred to as ‘older-skewing,’ but they’ve got the raw numbers. They’ve got eyeballs. They’re just older eyeballs, which are not as commercially valuable, but they’re watching all those police procedurals.”

“They need to sell tampons,” Vilanch jokes, “but I suppose the market for tampons, at a certain point, dries up.”

The pilot, as Zimmerman explains it, also allows for the discussion of social issues that affect older people (and older gay people), though in the style of The Golden Girls, it does it in a funny way. The first episode hinges around Takei and Vilanch’s characters visiting Jordan’s character in a rest home, after he burns down his West Hollywood condo in an accident involving a George Foreman grill. When they get there, they find Jordan butching it up and watching the game, only to learn that he felt he had to go back into the closet in this community. (This element was inspired by the documentary Gen Silent, about this very phenomenon as LGBT seniors age.) An ensuing ruckus gets Jordan kicked out, and he comes to live with his friends.

The show would also feature power lesbian next-door neighbors. Played by Cheri Oteri and Daniele Gaither, they’re keen on buying the gents’ home and flipping it.

“Our voices count,” Zimmerman said. “We do buy products, especially for our hair and our faces, and the older we get, the more products we use.”

Vilanch said he hoped the increased attention on social media would make a difference. “I’d really like to do it,” he said. “I want a house at the beach.”