Monday, February 09, 2009

Dancing with the Stars Season 8 Cast; Remembering James Whitmore; WGA Awards Winners

An all-new cast of celebrities hits the dance floor on ABC's Dancing with the Stars with the highly anticipated two-hour season premiere on Monday, March 9, 2009 from 8:00-10:02 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Season Eight introduces us to 13 new stars, including the youngest competitor to date, an NFL legend, a computer icon, a female rapper, three music artists and a "Wildboy."
Additionally, "love is a battlefield" when, for the first time, three real life couples take the ballroom floor. Husband and wife Ty Murray and Jewel compete for bragging rights, while newly engaged professional dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff go head to head. To top it off, country crooner Chuck Wicks teams with girlfriend and two-time Dancing with the Stars champ Julianne Hough. And in an exciting new twist, the bottom two couples facing elimination will "Dance Off" to determine who is dismissed in the first weeks of competition.
Among the stars this upcoming season are David Alan Grier (Life with Bonnie, In Living Color), Gilles Marini (Sex and the City movie), Denise Richards (Wild Things, Spin City), and Nancy O'Dell (Access Hollywood, Scream 2 and 3).
View the full cast and details on each star. As for pairings with professionals, we know Julianne Hough will be with Chuck Wicks as per the press release and Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be with Denise Richards as per Good Morning America. The full professional partnering will be announced on Thursday, February 12.

James Whitmore, the many-faceted character actor who delivered strong performances in movies, television and especially the theater with his popular one-man shows about Harry Truman, Will Rogers and Theodore Roosevelt, has died. The Emmy and Tony winning actor was diagnosed with lung cancer the week before Thanksgiving and died Friday afternoon (Feb. 6) at his Malibu home. Now he wasn't known really for TV sitcoms, but he did appear on quite a few. In fact, one of his ex-wives was a sitcom star. Mr. Whitmore was married to Audra Lindley of Three's Company fame in the '70s. Even after they divorced in 1979, they remained friends and appeared with each other in the big screen movies Zoo Ship in 1985 and The Relic in 1997. When they were married, they appeared in the TV movie The Canterville Ghost in 1974 and such plays as The Magnificent Yankee, On Golden Pond, The Visit, Foxfire and Love Letters, among others.
In the early '70s he starred on the sitcom Temperatures Rising. Set at the Capital General Hospital in Washington D.C., follows the adventures of the no-nonsense chief of surgery Dr. Vincent Campanelli (James Whitmore) and his all-nonsense staff. He guest starred on the sitcom A Minute With Stan Hooper in 2003. Among his other credits include series regular in dramas The Law and Mr. Jones, Mister Sterling, and My Friend Tony. In 2000 he won an Emmy for outstanding guest actor in a dramatic series for The Practice. Among his other guest appearances include CSI, Burke's Law, Riptide, The White Shadow, Gunsmoke, The Virginian, The Big Valley, Rawhide, Dr. Kildare, Route 66, Twilight Zone, Ben Casey, and more. His other big screen credits include The Shawshank Redemption, The Majestic, Give 'em Hell, Harry, and Battleground. The latter saw him earn Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.
Mr. Whitmore will certainly be missed. His legacy continues with his children and grandchildren, among them are grandson Matty Whitmore who was on Survivor: Gabon. Mr. Whitemore was 87.

Finally, we leave you today with the winners for the 61st Annual WGA Awards. Comedy wise, 30 Rock was the big winner for their writing work. While Mad Men took home the win for writing for dramas. Among the other categories, Breaking Bad won for best new series.
View the full TV portion winners.

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