Producer offers up his renewed CBS series “Mom” as his make-good while accepting honors for socially conscious shows at annual event. Plus: Inside The Groundlings 40th Birthday party, and the four best industry invites of the week
Is Chuck Lorre starting to see the world through Sheen-colored glasses?
As the L.A. Kings were hitting the ice in Chicago for what would become their Game 7 overtime win into the Stanley Cup Finals, 13 writers, producers, and executives from seven different television shows had already locked in their shiny hardware at a Television Academy event at the SLS.
The group, honored for “using the power of television to generate awareness and create positive change,” featured projects ranging from HBO's “Vice” to “Screw You Cancer,” a collaboration between Conde Nast and Glamour magazine, to Chuck Lorre's Anna Faris/Allison Janney sitcom “Mom”.
Lorre, already in the TV Academy's Hall of Fame (there's no requirement that you be retired) used his familiar spot in front of a TV Academy podium to self deprecate.
“To do [Mom], about people trying to redeem their lives, and to salvage and repair the damage they've done, for me, that's an opportunity to apologize for ‘Two and a Half Men',” he said.
The TV Academy launched this awards shoulder program, slated midway between the late winter “TV Hall of Fame” inductions and the Primetime Emmys themselves, back in 2008. Dana Delany has either been doing something very right, or someone knows something she did that was very wrong, as she has now hosted it six times in a row.
Original “Footloose” siren Lori Singer, of the red boots and chicken race fame (above, center) is now an HBO documentarian, nabbing honors for “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” a film she made tracing pedophilia in the catholic church. Alex Gibney was one of her partners.
True to her character's rebel roots, she wore sunglasses on the carpet at the late Sunday afternoon arrivals.
Other honorees included two Showtime productions, “The Big C: Hereafter” from Darlene Hunt and Jenny Bicks, and “Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor”, with Ray Reo, John Wager, and Bernadette Luckett accepting for the show. Jennifer Lopez‘s scripted ABC Family show “The Fosters”, about a lesbian couple raising an interracial, blended family of children, also got a seat on the awards stage.
The 40-Year-Old Groundling
Meanwhile at another SBE venue, the Groundlings celebrated their 40th anniversary. While they have been celebrating a different decade each week with performances and celebrations throughout May, on the first day of June, they improvised it: no speeches and no actual show at the 40th anniversary party. Just lots of funny people in circles.
I would not have been surprised to see Lorne Michaels or Marci Klein at the party, considering the long track record of the school serving as one of their preferred farm systems. Instead, current SNL'er Taran Killam represented the East Coast promised land.
About their choice of venue:
They were first to break in the yet-to-be opened Hyde Kitchen and Cocktails on Sunset. At the corner of Sunset and Laurel Canyon/Crescent Heights, this is the large restaurant that used to be XIV, and will soon be the reincarnation of SBE's Hyde. Once they open the doors for real, they will be aiming for the sweet spot as both a dinner and nightlife spot — a high wire act that has not been balanced in the L.A. scene, especially West Hollywood, since Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph were still a part of the Groundlings.
Because the grand opening is not until later this month, I am not able to show any wide shots or atmosphere of what the new space looks like behind those walls and tarps that have been covering the building for months now. More on this to come.
Invites to Chase This Week
The hottest invites to look for in your Inbox this week include TheWrap's Emmy Celebration on Thursday at the London, Jane Fonda's celebration as the 42nd AFI Life Achievement Award recipient, also on Thursday, Saturday night's Chrysalis Butterfly Ball in Mandeville Canyon (Max Greenfield hosts, Gavin Rossdale performs), and closing the week with BAFTA LA's awesome annual Garden Party at the British Consul-General's house on Sunday.
Get thee to the haberdasher.