Quick Takes: Muslim families on TLC
Call it “Muslim Modern Family.”
Cable channel TLC is hoping to do for Muslims what it did for polygamists and Sarah Palin — put a new spin on controversial subjects that people often make judgments about without knowing the whole story.
The reality show “All-American Muslim” will follow the lives of five Muslim American families, some of whom are related, who reside in Dearborn, Mich., a suburb of Detroit that has a large Muslim population. The show will debut in late November.
The people participating in “All-American Muslim” seem to range from very religious to more casual, and all struggle to find a balance between their American home and their Muslim background. One cast member is a football coach and another is in law enforcement. There are even splits in the level of devotion in some families. One family features two sisters — one of whom wears a traditional head scarf and another who has tattoos and piercings and married an Irish Catholic.
“We wanted to show there was diversity even within the Muslim community,” said TLC General Manager Amy Winter. “These are families that might have beliefs that are different than yours, but we are all living similar daily lives and hopefully we will bring that to light.”
— Joe Flint
Nixon to star in ‘Wit’ in N.Y.
For her latest stage role, Cynthia Nixon will either have to shave her head or find a convincing bald cap.
Nixon will return to Broadway in January in a new production of Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Wit.” The actress will play Vivian Bearing, an intimidating English professor who specializes in the poems of John Donne. The play chronicles Bearing’s battle with stage-four ovariancancer — “there is no stage five” — which includes grueling rounds of chemotherapy.
“Wit” is scheduled to open Jan. 26 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. The play will be produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, which also presented the drama off-Broadway in 1998, starring Kathleen Chalfant. “Wit” had its world premiere in 1995 at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. Nixon was last seen on Broadway in David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole,” for which she won a Tony Award. The actress has spoken publicly about her battle with breast cancer in 2006.
— David Ng
Surgery crimps R. Kelly tour
Grammy-winning R&B singer R. Kelly underwent emergency throat surgery and will be unable to perform for an indefinite period, his spokesman said on Wednesday.
The 44-year-old Kelly, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was in severe pain Tuesday and was rushed to a Chicago hospital, where an abscess on one of his tonsils was drained, according to a statement from spokesman Allan Mayer.
Kelly just completed the U.S. leg of his worldwide “Love Letter” tour, but it was not known when he will be able to resume performing, said the statement.
Kelly, whose hits include “You Remind Me of Something” and “I Believe I Can Fly,” first gained fame in the early 1990s, and he enjoyed a solid career well into the 2000s. In more recent years, however, Kelly’s music career has often been eclipsed by legal troubles. In 2008, a Chicago jury acquitted him of child pornography charges, and recently court documents have shown him a year behind on mortgage payments for his multimillion-dollar mansion in suburban Chicago.
Producers keep 10 nominees
The Producers Guild of America expanded its list of best picture nominees to 10 immediately afterthe Oscars did so in 2009 — and it plans to stick with it. Academy Award chiefs recently decreed that the number of best picture nominees will fluctuate between five and 10 depending on the level of vote support behind each contender. However, the PGA has announced that it will continue with 10 for the upcoming derby.
The guild has unveiled some significant changes in the rest of its kudos lineup. The TV awards have been expanded to 11 categories with new races for children’s, news and sports programming. The race for reality TV will be divided into three categories: competition, nonfiction, live entertainment/talk. There will also be a new prize for best Web series.
— Tom O’Neil
Original post: Quick Takes: Muslim families on TLC