‘Cucumber’ And ‘Banana’, Queer Dramas, To Air On Logo TV

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‘Cucumber’ and ‘Banana’ – vegetable or fruit hitting your screens soon

Are you ready for your new favorite queer television shows?

From the writer of the iconic “Queer As Folk” and the much beloved “Dr. Who” comes “Cucumber,” “Banana” and “Tofu,” three interlinked gay dramas that are already receiving buzz for their unapologetic portrayals of queer life. “Cucumber,” “Banana” and “Tofu” will premiere across Channel 4, E4 and 4oD in the UK in 2015.

Logo TV will run “Cucumber” and “Banana” on Logo TV in early 2015 in the U.S. The network has not announced plans regarding “Tofu.”

“Whether he’s reinventing Doctor Who for a whole new generation, or creating riveting gay and lesbian characters on the original ‘Queer as Folk,’ Russell T Davies always pushes television forward,” Stephen Friedman, President of MTV and Logo TV, said in a statement sent to The Huffington Post. “’Cucumber’ and ‘Banana’ are groundbreaking for the way they show intertwined narratives from two generations’ different perspectives. Even more importantly, the shows tell hilarious, incisive and very human stories.”

“It’s an honour and delight to team up with Logo for these brand new dramas,” Davies said in a statement. “It’s 16 years since I created ‘Queer As Folk,’ which means I’ve had 16 years to build up new characters, new stories, and new insights into our lives. Across both series, we explore gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender stories, as well as love beyond labels – this is 50 shades of gay, and beyond!”

Check out the trailer above.

Nick Jonas and Ellen DeGeneres

Tired of taking his shirt off, Nick Jonas takes his pants off for Ellen DeGeneres instead

Singer drives talk show host’s audience wild

Nick_Jonas and Ellen_DeGeneres

Photo: EllenTube

Nick Jonas has got it and he’s going to flaunt it.

The singer, doing a publicity blitz for his new self-titled album, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week and pulled down his pants for her screaming audience.

DeGeneres set the mood when she began to show the audience photos of a shirtless Jonas from a shoot he did for Flaunt magazine.

When the talk show host remarked that Jonas had put on a lot of muscle weight for his role on the TV series Kingdom and that she wanted to ask him to take his shirt off, Jonas drew the line.

‘I’m done taking my shirt off,’ he said.

The audience expressed their disappointment.

Then, the payoff.

‘However I did get some really great underwear from you and now I’ll take my pants off.’

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/tired-taking-his-shirt-nick-jonas-takes-his-pants-ellen-degeneres-instead131114#sthash.vmBgIiqg.dpuf

Spotlight: BBC(NI) Needs You

Dear LGCM,

I am a reporter with BBC Northern Ireland’s current affairs television programme, Spotlight.

We intend to broadcast an edition in September which will assess the reality of being gay in Northern Ireland, any societal problems encountered by gay people, and the levels of tolerance and prejudice in existence.

It is our intention to interview a wide range of people, from gay activists to mainstream politicians, from parents of gay people to community groups, from religious leaders to gay Christians, and others.

If you are gay, Christian, and living in Northern Ireland, I would appreciate it if you would contact me to discuss, in the first instance, your possible contribution to the programme in question.

I’d like to chat informally to any members who might consider going on camera to reflect upon their faith and their sexuality. If interested, we could then discuss the actual process of filming for the programme.

All calls will be in confidence. My mobile number is 07779 329634. My producer, Elaine Forrester, is on 07968 904623.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Brian Hollywood
Reporter, BBC Northern Ireland Television Current Affairs

Owners brought gay TV network from bland to just fabulous


Malcolm Parry, Vancouver Sun Newspaper

Published: Thursday, July 03, 2008


James Shavick’s own recent life could add at least three plots to the half-dozen or so $2-million movies his Shavick Entertainment firm produces yearly. First, an office fire destroyed all his current business documents, recordSeand other material. Then he married former NDP firebrand Joy MacPhail. Finally, in 2006, he and MacPhail acquired majority control of a gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender television network that might otherwise have landed in the ash pit itself.

Not so, it turns out. According to Montreal-raised Shavick, OUTtv? — www.outtv.ca — now has 500,000 subscriberSeand, with a claimed growth of two per cent monthly, “is the fastest-growing television network in Canada.” He said there were 185,000 subscribers when he and MacPhail acquired it to be run as a stand-alone operation by their wholly owned Out Broadcasting Inc.Stacks of videos for editing

The change didn’t just happen. “They were putting absolute crap on the network, and hadn’t refreshed it,” Shavick said of pre-2006 OUTtv. “So we bought thousandSeand thousands of hours of new programming from all over the world.”

Shavick promptly rolled strikes with two British series. The still-running Sugar Rush won an International Emmy award in November 2006. Another lesbian-themed show, the women’s-prison soap Bad Girls, “will be on forever,” Shavick said of the 80 episodes OUTtv acquired.

Still, the network’s growth took more than buying other producers’ material. “There was no advertising, no Nielsen ratings [of viewership], no discipline as to what they paid for shows, and no plans for how they’d distribute the shows they had around the world.”

Right off, Shavick set rates of $800 to $3,000 per half hour for series OUTtv would buy. He also cut a two-way deal with Regent Entertainment, an L.A. based firm whose principals, Paul Colichman and Stephen Jarchow, own the gay-oriented U.S. cable network, Here. Having produced six episodes of a detective show called The Donald Strachey Mystery Series for Here, Shavick is on close enough terms to have had his wedding held at Colichman’s Beverly Hills estate. For OUTtv, he acquired Here’s Hawaii-shot Dante’s Cove series. In return, Here took the Canadian gay reality series ChriSeand John, and the male-modelling series Cover Guy, for which OUTtv has commissioned two new seasons.

“More important for our survival and growth,” Shavick said, was to have staffer Samantha Sowassey “call on and become a colleague of affiliated cable carrierSeand BDU [Broadcasting Distribution Undertaking] providers.”

They included the likes of Bell ExpressVu, Rogers, Starchoice, TeluSeand seemingly unenthusiastic carrier Shaw, “who have the direct marketing connection [with subscribers],” said COO Brad Danks. “So it’s important to have good relationship with them.” Cementing those relationships, Danks said, changed OUTtv “from a fixer-upper to a desirable asset.”

Shavick wouldn’t disclose the worth of that asset, nor its business volume, other than to say OUTtv has gone “from bankruptcy to profitability, worth five times what it was.” Regarding that coyness, former-lawyer Danks quickly added: “We’d worry about being seen as a pump-and-dumpster.”

Nielsen survey results, which are based upon a fairly small sample of reporting television viewers, can swing widely for specialist channels. Still, a year’s worth of results show OUTtv with 20,000 to 40,000 viewers in prime-time to late-night. Unlike most television fare, “late” means going strong to 4 a.m. As well, gay audiences seemingly watch more television on weekends than do straight ones.

“The [World Wide] Web is far more consistent,” said Danks, regarding the viewer rating OUTtv gets from transmitting to 80 nations that way. Canada, the U.S, the U.K., Germany, Russia and Turkey provide most Web viewers. “But we have a steady stream from Iran — where they say they have no gay people,” Danks said, grinning.

“It’s important when you’re improving a brand to spend more on programming than overhead,” Danks said. “So we’re producing a lot of our own.” That means 38 half hours shot in Vancouver this year, 40 more commissioned, and 100 hours purchased, plus 75 more from the Here network. Typical reality shows cost $15,000 to $30,000 per half hour to produce, said Danks.

And shows about gays coming out don’t cut it, he said. “We’ve completed the feedback loop, and we know the community wants to be pictured as it really is, in an authentic manner, and not with stereotypes.”

Still, referring to Cover Guy and the similar, Vancouver-shot How Far Will You Go? Shavick said that includes “reality shows about really good buff guys with their shirts off.”

Not that he and MacPhail should lose theirs. France’s Pink TV and Australia’s Select TV networks failed recently. Still, Shavick said OUTtv has not only sold 80 hours of production to the Benelux (Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands) market, but has licensed its name to a Holland-based group. More such deals may follow, he said.

Meanwhile, as a change from such OUTtv series as the Vancouver Film School collaboration Hot Pink Shorts, Shavick Entertainment is making the $2-million Red Torrent, a volcano-themed disaster movie in the same genre as its like-priced tsunami epic, Tidal Justice.

HOT HAIDA: Designer-entrepreneurs Dorothy Grant and Gina Mae Schubert have all the go-ahead drive of Haida women, even though neither hails from the Queen Charlotte Islands, aka Haida Gwai. Grant was born in Hydaburg, Alaska, and Schubert — her name and blue eyes inherited from a German father — in Prince Rupert.

As members of the Raven clan and Two-Fin Killer Whale family, the cousins first met in 1994. That was two years before Grant ceased selling her high-end, aboriginal-inspired garmentSeand accessories from a Hastings-at-Granville Sinclair Centre store, and combined design-retail operations on 75th Avenue beneath the Arthur Laing Bridge.

The seemingly out-of-the-way locale didn’t harm sales, Grant said. Nevertheless, she’s now tripled her rent to relocate in a 2,500-square-foot facility on Sixth Avenue off Columbia Street, with contract-manufacturing operations situated nearby. She expects to register sales of $1 million there in 2008, likely with wholesale shipments rising from 15 to maybe 50 per cent of sales. Much of the gain should be carried by her middle-range Dorothy Grant label, where jackets run $350-$450, compared to $2,500 in her couture Feastwear line. Even so, her best-sellers are $125-$145 men’s shirtSeand weatherproof $250 street jackets. There’s also the possibility of a popular-priced DYG label recognizing Grant’s middle name, Yvonne.

Grant’s new studio-showroom-workshop — www.dorothygrant.com — is already something of a museum for art by the likes Alano Edzerza, Stan Hunt and John Livingston, and even sculpted-glass works by Grant herself. There’ll likely be paintings from Art of The Raven Design Co. principal Schubert, who has plenty on her plate in the meantime.

The New York School of International Design graduate undertakes commissions in that state, notably an 18-month contract for a lakeside Bridgehampton mansion. But the one-time Whistler gallerist — www.ginamaeschubert.com — is busier now with spa interiors in Whistler and Courtenay, a multiple-beachfront-home development on the island of Nevis, and a $9-million, native-inspired fishing lodge to be developed at Maiden Harbour by Haida chief Ken EdgarSeand the Langara Fishing AdventureSeand Westcoast Fishing Adventures firms.

She said she and partner Colin Johnson own Nesters Liquor Store in Whistler, and, with Cam McIvor, are developing the 117-hectare Ravens Crest project in Pemberton. Schubert said the 300-lot scheme — www.ravenscrest.ca — will include an equestrian centre and an independent school, the latter in conjunction with Dubai-based Global Education Management Systems.

As for their confident business manner, Grant said the Haida “have always had an ample supply of food and everything else. We’ve had a sense of abundance about us.”

And on them, to judge by the Richard Adkins, Robert Davidson, Carmen Goertzen, Jim Hart, Clarence MillSeand Jay Simeon native-themed carved-gold pieces the pair wore at Grant’s opening reception. “Haida women do not part with their jewelry,” Grant said. “Ever.”

malcolmparry@shaw.ca — 604-929-8456

Lost Language of Cranes: The Devil's Advocate

img border=”1″ vspace=”1″ width=”160″ src=”http://ai.pricegrabber.com/muze_images/Video/DVD/59/966459_118x160.jpg” hspace=”1″ alt=”The Lost Language of Cranes” height=”160″ title=”The Lost Language of Cranes” /> The Devil's Advocate [1977]

I sat down to write a review of “The Lost Language of Cranes in the middle of the night. And on the telly came a movie to which I was immediately attracted, because there was a rather nice young man in it, who took his clothes ff quite a lot. He did this for an English painter who had gone to Italy to paint landscapes but had discovered local attraction of greater interest, to wit: our young friend.

But – there’s more, his brother (the painter’s that is, who in another sub-plot is the models father) did something heroic against the Nazis In the war, and there is a move afoot to have him beatified (made a saint). The Catholic Church has sent a rather dowdy English priest to stop this cult, because the painter’s brother although great man was politically “difficult”

The first job our priest sets himself, however, is to disrupt the love between the painter and his model, preaching Catholic rhetoric at them. He succeeds in thiSeand promptly sets about undermining the notion that thle painter’s war-hero brother is a saint. Here he comes a cropper, he discovers that the war-hero was better than himself and the Church, and goes through a realisation that his role in the life of the village is really quite destructive. When he gets back to his Italian bosses he doesn’t recommend the war-hero as a saint as a slight to the Church.

There was far more to this story that I have described, and the characters were far greater in their roles than the story demanded. When one turns one’s mind to the Lost Language of Cranes this was noised about by the media as being noteworthy, one realises in comparison the the above-mentioned movie (The Devil’s Advocate – a 1980 West German Religious Drama starring John Mills) with whataa load of bogus pomp it was – full of vacuous ambiguity which has been misread as art.

[Patrick James]

Documentary tackles gay refugees

The vast majority of the world’s LGBT population live in fear of arrest, torture and criminalisation- this is the claim in a new 10 minute documentary produced for IDAHO.