Wednesday 17 July 2019

Irish writer scripts Sarah Jessica Parker's new show

Comeback: 'Sex and the City' star Sarah Jessica Parker is set to return to our TV screens in a new HBO show called 'Divorce', penned by Irish woman Sharon Horgan. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Comeback: 'Sex and the City' star Sarah Jessica Parker is set to return to our TV screens in a new HBO show called 'Divorce', penned by Irish woman Sharon Horgan. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Orla Healy: US Diary

Sarah Jessica Parker is poised to make a dramatic return to HBO, thanks to a killer new comedy written by English-born, Irish-raised actress and writer Sharon Horgan.

Horgan (44), who grew up on a turkey farm in Bellewstown, Co. Meath and attended senior school at the Sacred Heart in Drogheda, has already won critical acclaim for her work in front of and behind the camera on the BBC hit Pulling. She also co-wrote and starred in Dead Boss, a BBC Three series in Broadmarsh Prison, alongside Jennifer Saunders. But it was her latest script for Divorce that caught the eye and imagination of SJP who is, according to reports in Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter, ready to sign up to star in the half-hour sitcom, which will mark her return to TV 11 years after Sex and the City ended its iconic run.

Producer Paul Simms, who collaborated with Lena Dunham on Girls, is also said to be involved in the project, which will be jointly produced by SJP and Horgan.

The show, which will be filmed (where else?) in New York, revolves around a middle-aged woman (Parker), who, influenced by her two recently single friends, impulsively brings up the idea of divorce with her husband. While she dithers (think: Carrie Bradshaw) about whether or not she really wants to go through with the split, he finds out she has been having an affair and scoots. The comedy of manners and social mores that ensues has Hollywood insiders predicting a perfectly pitched hit with SJP's cult-like following and an exciting new chapter Stateside for Horgan.

As one (female) TV critic suggested: Get. Excited.


Kim's baby heartbreak

Just when you thought the Kardashians might finally have run out of storylines, Kim proved her worth as the highest-paid reality television personality in the world last week (her earnings are estimated at $65m) when it was revealed that she is struggling to get pregnant a second time.

TMZ, who just happened to be in the underground garage of a Beverly Hills Fertility Specialist's office on Tuesday morning when a downcast Kim arrived with Kanye, is reporting the couple have unsuccessfully been attempting to have another child for the past nine months. And Kim, the site sympathetically adds, has been told that having a younger sibling for North is a "long shot".

The issue, which is expected to dominate the next season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, was floated in an interview Kim gave to the January 2015 issue of Elle UK. "A few years ago I was told I could never get pregnant," she revealed. "Three different doctors told me the same thing, which is why I wanted to have my eggs frozen. I was just about to do that when I found out I was pregnant with North."

She added that she and Kanye hope to add to their family "straight away," and that she is hoping for "a boy and another girl... We'd do IVF if nothing happens, but we both want to keep trying naturally." Sounds like she's got at least the next three seasons sewn up. Question is: how can the others really keep up?


Angelina makes history

Angelina Jolie just added another impressive notch to her belt - she is officially critic proof.

Despite sour reviews, Golden Globe and SAG Awards snubs for her second directorial outing, Unbroken, the harrowing World War II drama delivered a blockbuster Christmas Day opening Stateside, grossing $15.6m in a single day. It also beat giant productions like the Meryl Streep/Emily Blunt/Anna Kendrick/ James Corden/Chris Pine/Johnny Depp musical extravaganza Into The Woods and the final instalment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit for the top box-office slot.

The movie, based on Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling biography, stars Jack O'Connell as Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner-turned-airman who was captured and tortured as a prisoner of war.

Garrett Hedlund, Jai Courtney, Miyavi and Domhnall Gleeson also star in the film which now becomes the third-highest debut ever for Christmas Day after Sherlock Holmes in 2009 ($24.6m) and Les Miserables in 2012 ($18.1m) and is expected to earn north of $40m over this weekend - a financial footprint that industry types say is potent enough to propel the actress back into serious contention for this year's Oscars.


And the Oscar doesn't go to...

Here's hoping Neil Patrick Harris upgrades his schtick before he hosts the Oscars on February 22. The actor, who has successfully hosted smaller award shows like the Tonys and the Daytime Emmys, didn't exactly fill everyone with confidence last week when he released his first promo for Hollywood's biggest night. His gag: marketing himself as an alternative gift this holiday season."Instead of traditional presents, give the gift of simply telling them to watch me host the Oscars," Harris says in the less-than-sparkling ad to herald his gig as MC of the plate-spinning production - a precarious job that nearly ended the careers of former hosts like Anne Hathaway and James Franco, as well as beloved late-night talk show host David Letterman and, more recently, actor Seth MacFarlane.

News that Harris wasn't the first choice of producers isn't helping dull the impression that the popular actor might be in over his head. Word is producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron first begged last year's host, Ellen DeGeneres, to return, with no success. Chris Rock and Julia Louis-Dreyfus also passed.

Harris, who has hosting the Oscars as item number 20 on his bucket list, remains unruffled. To put that in perspective, it's probably good to know that his life achievement wish list also includes a yen to (17) sleep in Cinderella's Castle, (9) juggle flaming torches and (3) saw a lady in half - suggesting that Oscar night 2015 could turn out to be the longest three hours in Hollywood history.

Sunday Independent

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