Stars on screen

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - TV TIMES - By An­drew War­ren TV Me­dia

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”

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