Stars on screen
A week of history: From the Stonewall riots of 1969 to the Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 ruling, the LGBT movement in the United States has achieved a whole lot in the past half-century.
Now, ABC takes a look at some of the people who were critical not only to those successes, but to the movement’s setbacks as well. “When We Rise,” a seven-part docudrama that peers into the history of America’s LGBT movement, premieres Monday, Feb. 27, and continues every weeknight through the week, with a day off Tuesday for the president’s State of the Union address.
Coming from the mind of Academy Award-winning writer Dustin Lance Black (“Milk,” 2008), “When We Rise” features an ensemble cast of talent that really brings the story to life.
The list of stars is extensive, with their individual roles spanning decades of history. Michael Kenneth Williams (“12 Years a Slave,” 2013) stars as Ken Jones, a community organizer who is little known outside of his native San Francisco. He was a driving force behind much of the early progress made by the West coast city.
Guy Pearce (“Iron Man 3,” 2013), Mary-Louise Parker (“Weeds”), Rachel Griffiths (“Six Feet Under”), Carrie Preston (“True Blood”) and Dylan Walsh (“Nip/Tuck”) all star as some of the other big movers and shakers of the real-life historical drama.
Other big names set to appear throughout the miniseries include Whoopi Goldberg (“The View”), Rosie O’Donnell (“The Fosters”), David Hyde Pierce (“Frasier”) and Kevin McHale (“Glee”).
The star-studded docudrama “When We Rise” kicks off its weeklong run Monday, Feb. 27, on ABC.
A new face for ‘60 Minutes’:
CBS’s venerable news-magazine program has added a major name to its roster. The Queen of All Media herself, Oprah Winfrey, joins “60 Minutes” as a special contributor this fall, lending her experience in broadcast media and her unequaled star power to the respected program.
Winfrey’s addition comes in the wake of two losses for the series. Two longtime correspondents, Bob Simon and Morley Safer, passed away over the past two years.
“I’ve been a big admirer of ‘60 Minutes’ since my days as a young
reporter,” said Winfrey in a statement. “I’m so excited and proud to join forces with this historic news program, which, for me, represents the bastion of journalistic storytelling.”
Winfrey famously hosted “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (which won
47 Daytime Emmy awards) for 25 seasons before wrapping it up for good in 2011. She also founded her own successful magazine, “O, The Oprah Magazine,” and currently serves as chairman and CEO of the television network that she founded, Oprah Winfrey Network.
Despite her daily talk show going off the air six years ago, Winfrey has maintained a screen presence. She’s continued to pursue her acting career, including a starring role in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” (2013), and is a frequent guest on “CBS This Morning.”
“(Oprah) has achieved excellence in everything she has touched,” “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager said while announcing the star’s addition to the program. “Her body of work is extraordinary, including thousands of interviews with people from all walks of life. She is a remarkable and talented woman with a level of integrity that sets her apart and makes her a perfect fit for ‘60 Minutes.’”
Winfrey’s first appearance on “60 Minutes” comes this fall.
A scientific first: He plays a science-loving geek on TV, but for “The Big Bang Theory’s” Jim Parsons, that love doesn’t stop when the cameras go off. The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor narrates Discovery’s latest documentary special, “First In Human: The Trials of Building 10,” a three-part series premiering Thursday, May 18, on the cabler.
To film the special, Discovery’s crew was given unprecedented access to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, or Building 10 for short. It’s here, in the world’s largest hospital devoted entirely to research, that experimental new drugs and treatments are tested on humans for the first time.
It’s the first time that cameras have ever been allowed in Building 10 and permitted to follow the patients through their entire treatments. These aren’t ordinary hospital patients: these are the men and women for whom standard care has failed, and who are willing to risk themselves because they have few other options.
“I know that everyone who watches ‘First In Human’ will feel the same sense of pride I did when I discovered this incredible institution that our country created,” said Parsons in a statement. “I hope viewers will share the sense of gratitude and awe that I felt when learning about the human beings who bravely put their lives in the hands of some of our most innovative scientists and doctors.”
The three-part documentary series premieres Thursday, May 18, on Discovery.
Michael Kenneth Williams stars in “When We Rise”