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  BELLED #33 - JANUARY 14, 2006

In this edition:

Project Spotlight: Annie Potts takes center stage in Diva.

Cast Feature: Jean Smart marks her territory in the new season of 24.

Designing Women Flashback: Why is there still no Designing Women on DVD? Here's what you can do about it.


Annie Potts Takes Center Stage in 'Diva'

Todd Waring, Annie Potts and Richard Kline

"Almost nonstop head shaking laughter. Refreshing and biting at the same time." ~ San Deigo Union Tribune

"The funniest play of the season!" ~ Advocate

Pasadena Playhouse presents Diva, by Howard Michael Gould January 20, 2006 – February 19, 2006, directed by David Lee and starring Annie Potts as Deanna, a forty-something actress whose fiery diva attitude makes her a star in the hottest sitcom on television.

Supporting cast includes ­Todd Waring as Issac Brooks, a writer and producer for television, Patrick Fabian (General Hospital, Must Love Dogs, End Game) as Barry Joshua, Deanna’s agent, Richard Kline (Three’s Company) as Kurt Fast, the head of the television studio, Ian Lithgow (Third Rock from the Sun) as Ezra Twain, Deanna’s co-star and Robert Farrior (CSI:Miami, Charmed, JAG) as Petey Ryan.

Annie Potts in DIVA

Diva begins with an explosively funny scene that sets the stage for a behind-the-scenes look at television's most egomaniacal diva. During the course of Gould’s comic masterpiece we come to know Deanna, a film goddess breaking into television and displaying the kind of spoiled and licentious behavior that causes turmoil among all those within earshot. When the comic dust settles, playwright Gould takes us back in time to discover how hidden relationships and self-absorbed machinations bring this sitcom star and her producer to the breaking point. Gould has created a play that is both hilarious and scathing – coming from a writer who has found the comedy within Hollywood extremes.

Howard Michael Gould is uniquely qualified to bring this uproarious backstage life to the Pasadena Playhouse stage. In 1995 a new television comedy called Cybill hit the airwaves beginning a three-year run that included two Golden Globes, several Emmys and numerous nominations. Among the show’s writers was Gould. He came to Cybill having already been a series writer for Home Improvement(1991), Sunday Dinner (1991) and FM (1989). Gould had a gift for comedy and his sense of humor didn’t stop on the small screen. In addition to film credits, in 2001 he decided to create a stage play that gave life to the antics, chaos and hilarity that he experienced as a writer for so many of television’s hottest shows.

As a special treat for Belled Subscribers, the Pasadena Playhouse will be offering a 20% discount for tickets to Diva for a limited time. Call (626) 356-PLAY and mention code EM82 for discount and and enjoy the show! Note: Diva contains adult language and mature subject matter.

**Sources: Pasadena Playhouse Publicity
Photo credit: Craig Schwartz


Jean Smart Begins Pivotal Role in '24'

The clock has already started ticking for the thrilling and unpredictable fifth season of 24, which will be featuring Jean Smart in the pivotal role of First Lady Martha Logan.

Jean as Martha Logan

One of the most innovative, thrilling and acclaimed drama series on television, the Emmy and Golden Globe award winning 24 stars Kiefer Sutherland as Agent Jack Bauer, who heads -- or at least used to head -- the field operations of the Counter Terrorist Unit in the United States. Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, the series is presented in a unique format where each episode covers one hour of real time with the season’s entire story taking place in one day. Once again, viewers will be able to follow several key characters through a day that none of them will ever forget.

In season four of 24, Jack Bauer returned to CTU when his new boss, Secretary of Defense James Heller (William Devane), was kidnapped in connection with a terrorist-coordinated train crash. Although Agent Bauer helped prevent an attempt to melt down the nation’s nuclear power plants, he could not stop terrorists from successfully shooting down Air Force One and attempting to assassinate the President. After this event, the most devastating and momentous in the show’s four thrilling seasons, CTU operatives were faced with shielding the nation from a nuclear terrorism threat that could kill millions of people and change the world forever.

Season five picks up 18 months later as national security is brutally breached and the thrilling clock begins to tick again. A presumably dead Jack Bauer is actually living a new life with Diane (Connie Britton) and her son Derek (Brady Corbet). Panicky President Logan (Gregory Itzin) is running the nation, while composed Bill Buchanan (James Morrison) commands CTU alongside key operatives Curtis Manning (Roger Cross), Edgar Stiles (Louis Lombardi) and Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub).

Jean joins the cast as Martha Logan, the emotionally volatile First Lady to the petulant, legacy-obsessed President, and her performance has already blown away critics and reviewers.

Delta Burke and Rebecca Gayheart

"Smart expertly injects Martha with enough irrational bitchiness -- bittersweet outbursts, wild tears -- to seriously undermine her. Yet just when the audience is ready for Martha to be packed off, she goes lucid, turning her manipulations into wily, surprising street smarts." ~ Entertainment Weekly

"The standout element this season is Jean Smart as Martha Logan." ~ Orlando Sentinel

"The most compelling person in the season opener -- Jean Smart as the first lady. Smart makes us empathize with her frustration without overselling it." ~ Seattle Post-Intelligencer

24's "Day 5" begins with a four-hour, two-night season premiere on Sunday, January 15th and Monday, January 16th (8 pm - 10 pm ET/PT), and then returns to its regular weekly time slot on Monday, January 23rd at 9:00 pm, with the intense series unfolding on a weekly basis without repeats or preemptions all the way until the heart-stopping season finale.

Jean's January 13 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show -- which is probably now available on a Podcast somewhere across the Internet -- is just the beginning of numerous interviews and feature articles that will be featuring Jean to promote 24 throughout the season, so be sure to keep visiting Jean's official website, Smart Stuff: Officially Jean Smart, to keep updated!

**Source: Smart Stuff: Officially Jean Smart, Photos courtesy of FOX Publicity.


Best of Designing Women

'Designing Women' on DVD

Where are the full seasons?

It's been almost three years since Sony released The Best of Designing Women on DVD (pictured left), but why have there been no more releases?

Requests continue to pour in for full seasons of Designing Women, and we wanted to keep you updated on the situation.

Sony, which owns the rights to the series, has promised a release this year, and Designing Women Tribute has even been contacted to supply artwork for the Season One release.

At this point, we're looking at a September release date, but Sony has been known to drop releases without warning, so we seriously suggest you each visit the poll that Sony is currently to find out which of several series is most in demand on DVD. Designing Women fans either don't know about the poll or haven't responded, so please Click here to vote!

Belled Online will also continue its Designing Women DVD Poll for fans to express their desire for more of the series, and be sure to register for Designing Women at -- it's FREE!