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Posts about Television

Twin Cities 'Idol' contestant Mark Andrew is a familiar 'Voice'

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: January 21, 2015 - 2:08 PM

Mark Andrew was at a loss Tuesday afternoon when he realized -- while talking to an inquisitive journalist -- there isn’t a lot that could be asked of him right now. That’s because the one-time contestant on NBC’s “The Voice” back under the thumb of network TV land as a contestant on Fox’s “American Idol.” He’s on the show starting (and probably not ending) with tonight’s episode from this summer’s Minneapolis auditions. All details of his going-ons from here on out are under lock and key until they air on Fox.

“We can talk about… well, not a lot,” he finally admitted with a laugh.

The Eden Prairie-reared, Minneapolis-based rocker -- age 29 and  full name Mark Andrew Pudas -- had a brief run on “The Voice” in 2013 after landing on Team Shakira with his soulful version of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” One thing he could talk about was how he believes he has an advantage this time around thanks to his prior experience on a TV sing-off.

“It’s still always nerve-racking to get up there [in front of judges], but I think it definitely helps having a little more confidence this time,” he said. “The cameras don’t make you as nervous, and you aren’t as intimidated by the famous people in the room.”

Mark was the second contestant on “The Voice” after Nicholas David who cut his teeth with the White Iron Band, the beloved Twin Cities country-rock group co-led by Mark’s older brother Matt Pudas. He played guitar with them and sang backup for a few years, often taking the lead to sing The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek” at gigs. He has been performing on his own as Mark Andrew since his “Voice” stint. That’s in addition to working in his family’s construction business and raising his now 6-month-old son, Hank (all laid out in the profile video posted above). He thinks another TV gig can only further his momentum toward becoming a full-time musician.

“Being on ‘The Voice’ opened a lot of doors for me and got me into playing bigger venues, and I’m ready to keep growing that,” he said.

Mark got into the Minneapolis “Idol” auditions via the back-door using his industry connections and thus didn’t go into them with blind luck. He said he sang two songs for the judges, "both pretty classic." We’ll find out tonight how he fared (7 p.m., Fox, locally at Channel 9 KMSP).

Will Mark Rylance be the Guthrie's next artistic director? His answer

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: January 19, 2015 - 4:57 PM

Mark Rylance

LOS ANGELES -- The highest-profile candidate to take over as the Guthrie's artistic director is not in the running.

Acclaimed actor Mark Rylance said Monday morning that he won't be replacing Joe Dowling who previously announced that this will be final season at the helm.

"I can't do that at the moment," he said. "It wouldn't be the right time. Maybe, I think, five or 10 years from now, I'd be much more interested. Maybe when the next person moves on."

In many ways, Rylance would have been the ideal choice.

His success on Broadway, which includes Tony-award winning work in "Boeing Boeing" and "Jerusalem," have made him an international star, one who would certainly attract major talent.

He has ample experience on the Guthrie stage through a 2008 production of "Peer Gynt" and 2013's "Nice Fish," which he co-wrote with Duluth poet Louis Jenkins. He grew up in neighboring Wisconsin, attended the University School of Milwaukee and has an affinity for Midwest audiences.

"There's a side of me that English audience don't know," said Rylance who was born in England. "They wouldn't know the references. People have asked why I haven't taken 'Nice Fish' to London, but that particular dry humor won't work over there. Minneapolis people say if a Wisconsin man tells you a joke, you don't laugh until a week later. That's how dry it is."

Rylance also has the experience. He was the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre's first artistic director, a post he stepped away from in 2005 after a 10-year run.

But there's a problem: Rylance is too hot right now to spend much of time behind a desk.

He was attending the TV Critics Assocation press tour Monday to promote a PBS production of "Wolf Hall," in which he plays Thomas Cromwell. Emmy winner Damian Lewis. The mini-series, which has already aired in England, was described in the Telegraph as "masterful" and described Rylance's performance as"steely yet vulnerable, mesmerically still."

His film career is also on the fast track. He'll soon appear in a Cold War thriller opposite Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan and Alan Alda. Later this year, he'll start production on "The BFG," a film based on a kids' novel by Roald Dah. Both movies are being directed by Steven Spielberg.

"I'm in a moment in my career after 10 years at the Globe where all this kind of film stuff is opening up," he said. "It very challenging and interesting to me."

Rylance was somewhat coy about whether or not anyone from the Guthrie directly asked him to consider the post.

"I've talked to a lot of people, including Joe, about it and his hopes for the place," he said. "They asked me my views as someone whose worked there. I hope they want me to carry on in some capacity. It's so very handy for me to have a place where I can express things that have to do with my Midwest upbringing, the four seasons and the people from that time in my life."

When asked what he thought Dowling would do next, Rylance predicted he'd take a rest. When I countered that that didn't sound like Dowling, Rylance quickly concurred.

"Yeah, that's true. He's been a phenomenal artist for that theatre and that community," he said. "I hope he'll enjoy being a freelance artist and be able to focus only on his acting and his directing. That's been something I've certainly enjoyed after all the responsibilites, the fundraising and being a leader in the community and dealing with frustrations and the triumphs of communities. A lot gets put on an artist that shouldn't necesarry be part of his responsibility."

Jeff Garlin weighs in on possibility of more "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: January 15, 2015 - 3:51 PM

Jeff Garlin

LOS ANGELES -- Jeff Garlin thinks there's a 60/40 chance that Larry David will follow up his Broadway debut with another season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Garlin shared his opinion with me Wednesday night at the ABC bash for TV critics at the Langham Hotel. When another critic lent his opinion that he thought the odds were more like 40/60, Garlin channeled his loudmouth persona.

"So, who are your readers going to believe?" he bellowed. "You or the fat guy that's actually on the show?"

He wasn't the only big name in attendance. The evening kicked off with Oscar winner Alan Menken performing a medley of his biggest hits, including "Beauty and the Beast" and "Under the Sea," followed by the title number from "Galavant" with cast members from the musical comedy providing back-up vocals.

Afterwards, I had the chance to chat with the show's Vinnie Jones, a former English footballer who has turned into a surprisingly solid actor. Jones said he would have never gotten into the thespian game if it hadn't been for Guy Ritchie, who cast him in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels."

"Before that, the notion of acting was further away then the moon," he said.

Others on my dance card: Anthony Anderson, Christela Alonzo, and Timothy Busfield.

The highlight: A conversation with a charming Juliette Lewis who is downright intimidating as a hard-nose detective in the upcoming "Secrets & Lies." She was completely disarming as she talked about changing her image and plans to return to the recording studio.

No wonder she was almost Mrs. Brad Pitt.

Coming up Thursday night: A star-studded party honoring Chuck Lorre on the set of "Two and a Half Men."

Hubbard family continues to explore the Kennedys

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: January 13, 2015 - 1:13 PM

Katie Holmes

LOS ANGELES -- Minnesota's Hubbard family aren't done with the Kennedy saga.

Stanley Hubbard, president of ReelzChannel, which famously acquired the rights to the Emmy-winning mini-series, "The Kennedys," provided details Tuesday of the followup, "The Kennedys: After Camelot," at the TV Critics press tour.

Katie Holmes will not only return as Jackie Kennedy; She'll also direct one of the four episodes.The production will air sometime next year.

Hubbard also announced the April 11 debut of "Polka Kings," a reality series about a band's quest to bring polka to the masses.

Also appearing Tuesday at the TCA tour: David Spade, Harvey Levin and several members of "Community," which will premiere on Yahoo on March 17.

With a cup of coffee, Kyle MacLachlan confirms his return to 'Twin Peaks'

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: January 12, 2015 - 5:06 PM

Up until Monday afternoon, it was unclear whether or not Kyle MacLachlan would be returning to "Twin Peaks," the cult drama being resurrected by David Lynch and Minnesota native Mark Frost.

That mystery was solved during Showtime's session at the TV Critics Press tour when MacLachlan made a surprise appearance, bringing network prez David Nevins a "damn good cup of coffee" during the middle of an executive press conference.

"I'm looking forward to my return to the strange and wonderful world of 'Twin Peaks,'" said MacLachlan, who did not take questions. "May the forest be with you."

Nevins said that based on the limited amount of footage he's seen, the series should exceed expectations.

The show, which first aired 25 years ago, is expected to premiere in 2016.


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