CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
TV News: ABC Announces Summer Schedule with Three New Shows, Return of ‘Rookie Blue’
CHICAGO – ABC just announced the premiere dates for their summer series, including three new shows — “Duets,” “Final Witness,” and “Trust Us with Your Life” — along with the return of summer hits — “Secret Millionaire,” “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,” “Wipeout,” “The Bachelorette,” “Bachelor Pad,” and a show that we often get calls about on WGN, “Rookie Blue.”
It starts with “The Bachelorette,” which returns to Monday nights on May 14, 2012 and features fan favorite Emily Maynard. The one-two reality TV punch of “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Bachelorette” should be a potent one to start the week. As for other series news, “Rookie Blue” returns to Thursday nights at 9pm CST on May 24, “Secret Millionaire” and “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” take over Sunday nights on June 3, “Wipeout” joins Thursday nights at 8pm CST on June 28, “Trust Us With Your Life” and “Final Witness” premiere on Tuesday nights on July 10 (starting at 8pm CST), and “Bachelor Pad” comes back on Monday, July 23, after the conclusion of “The Bachelorette.”
As for the new shows, here are the official descriptions:
Kelly Clarkson of Duets
Photo credit: ABC
“Duets” is a one-of-a-kind singing competition that takes the Superstars out from behind the judges’ panel and onto the stage. Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke set out on individual journeys across America looking for undiscovered talent worthy of being their protégés. Ultimately, each Superstar will choose two singers for their duet partners, and together the Superstars and their protégés will take the stage each week and perform in front of a live studio audience. In the end, only one duet will be at the top of the charts, and the winning amateur will receive a recording contract with Hollywood Records. “Duets” is a production of Keep Calm and Carry On Productions. Emmy winner Robert Deaton (“The CMA Awards”) is executive producer. Emmy winner Charles Wachter (“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”) is co-executive producer.
“Trust Us with Your Life”
From the creators of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and “Mock the Week,” “Trust Us With Your Life” is a brand new studio-based improvisation series that redefines both the chat show and television improv formats. Hosted by Fred Willard (“Best in Show,” “Modern Family”), featured celebrities include David Hasselhoff, Ricky Gervais, Jerry Springer, Florence Henderson, Jack & Kelly Osbourne, Jane Seymour, Serena Williams and Mark Cuban. The exciting new format finds each celebrity reminiscing about key episodes that have happened in their lives, then brilliant improvisers acting out those moments which the celebrity has just described. These key moments in the life of the guest celebrity will be improvised as straight comedy or in game formats such as forward/rewind and sideways scenes. The tone of the show is friendly, funny and cheeky. Comedians on the show include Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie (“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”), along with Jonathan Mangum (“Fast and Loose”) as the main improvisers. They will be joined by guest starring performers such as Greg Proops and Nicole Parker. Eight episodes were shot in London for ABC. “Trust Us With Your Life” is produced by Angst Productions. Dan Patterson (“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”) is executive producer.
What if a murder victim could tell you about their final moments? The voices of the dead come to life in this true-crime series which offers a unique look at some of the nation’s most shocking murders. Each of the seven episodes will examine one case from start to finish, taking viewers inside the murder from the victim’s point of view. “Final Witness” is a compelling hybrid of documentary and drama, featuring interviews with real-life witnesses, prosecutors, law enforcement, family and friends, along with riveting scripted scenes with actors, thrusting viewers into the heart of each crime. Shot around the world at the actual locations, infused with an indie-band soundtrack and told like a feature film, “Final Witness” creates an unforgettable look at the human psyche at its darkest. The series is produced for ABC by Lincoln Square Productions. Executive producers are Rudy Bednar and Christine Connor.