The cast of ER
Even for ER (premiering Thursday, Sept. 25 at 10 pm/ET, NBC), the send-off of rock-and-roll doc Ray Barnett (Shane West) a couple seasons back was disquieting (and this in a show that dispatched one character via falling helicopter). Drunk and reeling from his unrequited love affair with one-time roommate Neela (Parminder Nagra), Barnett lost both legs after a close encounter with a truck. "That was a shock to everybody," Nagra says. "Most of all Shane, I think."
So just imagine the reaction when Ray comes walking back this October. Clearly, ER, in its 15th and final season, has no intention of going out quietly. The season premiere picks up from last season's cliff-hanger, in which doctors Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) and Abby (Maura Tierney), along with nurse Sam (Linda Cardellini), were well within body-bagging distance of an exploding ambulance. Think ER wouldn't kill 'em off? Rumors have Phifer, Tierney and Go
Angela Bassett, ER
Angela Bassett shatters the quaint quietude of a San Fernando Valley bistro with a triumphant laugh. She's just been asked to describe her new role as Dr. Catherine Banfield on the 15th and final season of ER (premieres Thursday, Sept. 25 at 10 pm/ET, NBC). "I'm the boss!" she all but bellows. "I'm the queen! I'm the chief of the ER! I come in, snap my fingers and tell everybody who's used to doing things in their old familiar ways what to do and how to do it. I tell 'em, 'It's my way or the highway!'"
Looks like County General has an attending diva in its halls.
Not that we'd expect anything less from the first leading TV role for the powerhouse who earned a Golden Globe, an NAACP Image Award and an Oscar nomination for her take-no-prisoners portrayal of Tina Turner in 1993's What's Love Got to Do With It.
"Angela's got such huge
Kathy Griffin, My Life on the D-List
Kathy Griffin, whose Life on the D-List (Thursdays at 10 pm/ET, Bravo) wraps up its fourth season next week, lets her hair down and tells us what she really thinks about Denise, Heather and other tabloid targets.
TV Guide: Despite your D-list/outsider status, you've now won an Emmy, a GLAAD Award and been profiled in the New York Times. Are you feeling triumphant?
Kathy Griffin: Every time I get a laugh is a triumph, be it on TV, at a live show or at the supermarket. Oh, I forgot: I'm too famous now to go to the supermarket. Although that certainly hasn't stopped Britney Spears.
TV Guide: Reality TV has made you a household name.
Griffin: Totally. In the '90s [when Griffin appeared on Suddenly Susan], it was the era of the sitcom, and that's gone, b
Cybill Shepherd, Psych
Cybill Shepherd talks about her role on Psych (Fridays at 10 pm/ET, USA), her decision to remain un-Botoxed and being haunted by Elvis.
TV Guide: We're impressed, Cybill: After 40 years in the biz and at 58, you're still working like a madwoman. There's your role on Showtime's The L Word, and then this month, you're debuting a recurring role on USA Network's Psych. How do you feel?
Cybill Shepherd: I'm thrilled! It's the most activity I've had in, like, the 10 years since Cybill went off the air. I'm always amazed that I go through down periods of not doing a lot of work and then the roller coaster just continues up another hill. The funny thing is, my character in Psych is named Madeline — just like in Moonlighting. That may not be an accident....
Mary-Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
To celebrate the return of Weeds (Mondays at 10 pm/ET, Showtime), we sat down with Mary-Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins to discuss getting naked, kissing Albert Brooks and what to expect in the trippy new season.
TV Guide: What are Mary-Louise and Elizabeth like versus your ever-battling characters, pot-dealing Nancy and her frenemy, Celia?
Mary-Louise Parker: Well, unlike our characters, I want time with Elizabeth. I don't know what the similarities between Celia and Nancy are, though — well, except they're both very particular about their footwear.
Elizabeth Perkins: Yeah, I don't know how to be Celia without high heels on. So, yes, we both have shoes in common in our very in-depth approach to our characters. [Laughs
“I wouldn’t say it was exactly like ‘coitus interruptus,’” cracks Kate Walsh, aka Dr. Addison Montgomery, about the recent writers’ strike. “But I’d say that when the strike came and stopped Private Practice after only nine episodes, it was like a mad roller-coaster ride when the train suddenly stops: It was disorienting. I mean, you never know what’s gonna happen with a spin-off, and this one had been a dream come true — people were watching it and the network had just picked up our back nine episodes. And then, well… ‘The End.’ ”
What a drama queen! Not only did the unstoppable Walsh use her hiatus to campaign for Barack Obama (“I’m passionately convinced he’s the best person to be the next president,” she says, adding with a laugh, “and that’s not because his wife is a huge
Parker Posey, The Return of Jezebel James
Parker Posey, the indie-film darling and Christopher Guest stock-company perennial, is at last on television, starring in her very own sitcom, The Return of Jezebel James (Fridays at 8:30 pm/ET, Fox; premiering tonight at 8 pm/ET). Created by Gilmore Girls' Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show's about a single, workaholic children's-book editor who wants a kid of her own as she feels her biological clock ticking. Parker, it seems, can relate.
TV Guide: You've been stuck with this moniker "the queen of the indies." Not bad, though maybe that's made it hard for you to become a superstar?
Parker Posey: But, see, I don't want to be a superstar. I like what my career has been. It's been very, you know, diverse, and every time I read something, a lot of [reviewers] are like, "Ooh, what a departure, we never thought
Rashida Jones, Unhitched
Office alum Rashida Jones sounds off on her famous parents, her edgy new Fox sitcom Unhitched (Sundays at 9:30 pm/ET) and being "the other woman."
TV Guide: Congrats! After years of dues-paying, you hit it big as The Office's Karen — aka She Who Dared Come Between Pam and Jim — and now
Jeri Ryan and Christophe Émé
"It looks like I swallowed a basketball!" jokes Jeri Ryan of the walloping belly that, come March, will produce a baby girl for her and new husband Christophe Émé, the Michelin-starred French chef (and, with Ryan, co-owner of the popular West Hollywood eatery Ortolan). "I mean, I'm carrying so forward that if there hadn't been a clear shot in the ultrasound, I would have sworn it was a boy."
Yep, forget about those tight, tiny-waisted business suits she sports as Jessica Devlin, James Woods' tough-talking law partner on Shark. And absolutely ditto that for the famously skin-hugging catsuits she squeezed her bodacious 5-foot-8-inch frame into during four years as Seven of Nine, Star Trek: Voyager's part-human, part-Borg. Today Jeri Ryan is hauling around a whole new set of curves.
Before the writers' strike halted pr
Kate Walsh, Private Practice
"If this all had happened to me when I was 25, I would have been shaving my head and driving over people's feet!" jokes Kate Walsh, digging into a plate of bacon and eggs at the Alcove Café in L.A. while referencing the train wreck that can occur when becomes too successful too young. "But I know myself now," she adds, those famously red lips of hers curled in a wise smile, "and I can appreciate it all."
And what a treasure trove there is for her to appreciate. For starters, she's just driven here from the $4.75-million Spanish-style home she purchased last summer with Alex Young, the hotshot copresident of production at Fox, with whom she tied the knot at a three-day shindig in September. And after breakfast, she's off to transform herself into sassy, sexy Dr. Addison Montgomery, who left gloomy Seattle and the megahit Grey's Anatomy for sunny L.A. and her very own show.