On the Industry
'Boardwalk Empire' Returns In Hollywoodland
By Contributor
Sep 25, 2011 - 11:58:12 PM

BEVERLY HILLS—This week in Hollywoodland, “Boardwalk Empire” debuts its second season on Sunday night. As the HBO drama picks up from last season, it’s Nucky’s town that is changing thanks to Prohibition, and enemies will be coming from every direction to attack the politician. It’s going to be an exciting season. Also, “All My Children” ended its 40-year television run, but viewers may be seeing it on the Internet in early 2012. And my pal Ashton Kutcher killed Charlie Sheen on air and lots more news in the entertainment industry this week.

Boardwalk Empire's Nucky Faces All Of His Enemies This Season

As the series "Boardwalk Empire" returns on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT, we return to Atlantic City, 1921: Though his fortunes have soared in the wake of the enactment of Prohibition, Nucky Thompson is paying a steep price for wielding ultimate power in “the world’s playground.” Following the 1920 election, Nucky finds himself the target of an investigation for voter fraud and faces not only jail, but insurrection by some of those he considered his closest allies.

From Terence Winter, Emmy Award-winning writer of “The Sopranos” and Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, “Boardwalk Empire” is set in the 1920s in the early days of Prohibition, and it chronicles the life and times of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, the undisputed leader of Atlantic City, who was equal parts politician and gangster. The Emmy-nominated, Golden Globe-winning drama series kicks off its 12-episode second season exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time.

In season two, Nucky and his lieutenants, including young World War I veteran Jimmy Darmody, appear to have solidified their hold on power by rigging an election and getting a crony elected mayor. However, after a bloody KKK attack at Chalky White’s bootleg warehouse, Nucky finds his hold on Atlantic City weakened, first by state agents who arrest him for election fraud and ransack his office, then by members of his own inner circle and even his family, who align with Jimmy’s father, the aging Commodore Louis Kaestner, in an attempt to oust him altogether. Meanwhile, mobsters like Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Al Capone wait in the wings, looking for the chance to grab a bigger piece of Nucky’s pie.

“Boardwalk Empire” stars Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson, Michael Pitt as Jimmy Darmody; Kelly Macdonald as Margaret Schroeder, Nucky’s mistress; Michael Shannon as federal agent Nelson Van Alden; Michael Kenneth Williams as Chalky White, leader of the city’s African American community and Nucky’s bootleg point person; Gretchen Mol as Gillian, Jimmy’s showgirl mother; Dabney Coleman as Commodore Louis Kaestner, Nucky’s mentor; Shea Whigham as Nucky’s resentful brother Elias, the sheriff of Atlantic City; Vincent Piazza as Lucky Luciano, Stephen Graham as Al Capone, Michael Stuhlbarg as Arnold Rothstein; Aleksa Palladino as Angela Darmody, Jimmy’s wife; Anthony Laciura as Eddie Kessler, Nucky’s valet; and Jack Huston as Richard Harrow, a disfigured war veteran who’s been befriended by Jimmy.

On Sunday night’s episode titled “21,” Nucky (Steve Buscemi) is rocked by an insurrection among his inner circle; Chalky’s (Michael Kenneth Williams) life and livelihood are threatened by a vicious KKK attack; Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) copes with her son’s (Rory and Declan McTigue) disciplinary problems, Angela (Aleksa Palladino) vies with Gillian (Gretchen Mol) for Jimmy’s (Michael Pitt) affections at home, Van Alden (Michael Shannon) shows his wife Rose (Enid Graham) around town as an anniversary present.

“21” was written by Terrance Winter and directed by Tim Van Patten. Don’t miss it!

All My Children Cast 2011
Last Sunday, “Boardwalk” won eight Emmy awards, including Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Martin Scorsese), Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series and Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series.

West Hollywood’s most famous artist, Thom Bierdz, who stars as Phillip Chancellor III on the CBS mega hit “The Young and the Restless,” is moving! Well, not too far. The handsome actor, painter and bestselling author, who has made West Hollywood his home for the past decades, is headed up to Lake Arrowhead! The Wisconsin native must be homesick for winter, because even though Arrowhead is not far from sunny L.A., it’s a whole different climate for winter wonderland lovers. I’ll be visiting Thom all the time, and if you are looking for a great deal, the handsome star is having a moving sale offering first-time art collectors amazing deals on all his original paintings. He's across from the Grove. And these are one of a kind exquisite art pieces.  Well, for those who are out-of-towners, you can pick up some great deals, as the star seeks to get a lot of things sold before having to move up to Arrowhead next week in a moving van.

“All my princes on originals are as much as 75 percent off, for another week only! I am moving to Lake Arrowhead, as you know. All my life I have wanted to live there and will now be living in a 2 bedroom A-frame by myself - a perfect place to paint (I am presently finishing up three very special commissioned portraits) - because the top floor has 14 windows with views to an evergreen paradise! It is only 2 hours away so I will be in L. A. every week or so, picking up my dog Deen, who I share with my ex Doug. I will also be able to keep up taping a new show, and ”˜The Young & The Restless,’ and I do have a big gallery show at Belsito-Roche Gallery in Long Beach on November 19 finally revealing my 14 paintings (Gay Celeb Paints Straight Celebs Gay),” said the artist. For a look at what is available, go to Thom’s official website at ThomBierdz.com.

Two And a Half Men Cast With Ashton Kutcher
New show, I asked? “I have recently been cast in a new series called ”˜Old Dogs and New Tricks.’ I play a middle-aged gay guy. Image that,” said Thom. Good luck in the wilderness, Thom. And if you see a blond lady named Pam coming to your door with honey in hand, run! Her name is Pamela Douglas, and she poured honey all over her nemesis Donna Logan on “The Bold and the Beautiful” before opening the front door for a wild grizzly bear to enter. Oh, that’s all soap storylines, forgive me. I love “B&B” and “Y&R” so much that at times I confuse their storylines with reality.

But since we are on the subject of soap operas, the long-running ABC daytime soap “All My Children” ended its 40-year run on television on Friday. It was sad to see our favorite characters in Pine Valley leave us. When I was a 10 years old, I used to go to my next door neighbor’s (Mrs. Pollards) house and play on her spiral staircase in her elegant home. She allowed me to play for hours, but at 1 p.m. EST I was ordered to sit quietly in her living room or to go home. “Eric Kane is about to come on,” she would say. Well, in honor of Mrs. Pollard and all of the millions of devoted fans of the series, the company Prospect Park is about to make plans to re-create the series as well as ABC’s “One Life to Live,” and putting both soaps on the Internet.

However, for all the viewers of “All My Children,” please consider going to CBS, where the network remains invested and loyal to its two soaps “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless.” These two Bell Phillip Productions creations are still as excellent as they were when they were created by the legendary William J. and Lee Phillip Bell. “B&B” is helmed by my best friend’s brother, Bradley P. Bell and “Y&R” by Brad and Lauralee’s sister-in-law Maria. With eldest brother Bill, Jr. still running the family’s empire Bell Phillip TV Productions, “B&B” has an amazing Aspen, Colo. remote coming up in just a week, and “Y&R” is about to kick the Diane Jenkins murder mystery into overdrive, with at least one Newman headed to jail next week. Even if it’s not for the murderous act against Diane. Don’t miss them!

I have to admit that I have never been a fan of the CBS hit primetime sitcom “Two And a Half Men.” At least while Charlie Sheen was the star, I had never watched it. However, all of that changed on last Monday night, when my friend Ashton Kutcher debuted in the comedy. Ashton was incredible, a very amazing talent, who viewers thought was a riot, as his character pranced around the set nude for most of the episode. But he didn’t just use his body to get humor, Ashton’s comedic delivery has not only improved, but so have his looks. Don’t miss this coming week’s episode. It’s a must-see! I still don’t advise parents to let kids see this show, but the record making 28 million viewers for Ashton’s debut are happy with the new star and character he plays on the series.

Have a great weekend, see you next week! XOXO

Photographs are Courtesy: Boardwalk Empire by Macall B. Polay/HBO, Susan Lucci and All My Children cast by ABC Studios and Two And a Half Men cast by Warner Bros. Studios for CBS

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