[11/07/05 - 12:00 AM]
Bravo Announces Twelfth Season Lineup for 'Inside the Actors Studio'

[via press release from Bravo]




New York, NY - November 7, 2005 - Bravo announces some of performing arts' most influential and intriguing stars to appear on the twelfth season of the network's longest-running original series, eleven-time Emmy-nominated "Inside the Actors Studio." Scheduled to share their craft and life lessons this season are Actors Studio Co-President Al Pacino, Dave Chapelle, the cast of "The Producers", Queen Latifah, Barbara Walters and Martin Lawrence, among others. These episodes will begin airing this winter.

"The twelfth season is very special for 'Inside the Actors Studio' because it has such an unusual range," said James Lipton, Host and Executive Producer. "From the iconic work of Al Pacino to the sharp contemporary comedy - and commentary - of Dave Chappelle and Queen Latifah, to the historic presence of Barbara Walters, to the hilarity of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, to the unbridled brilliance of Martin Lawrence, I suspect the show and I are in for a hell of a ride."

"'Inside the Actors Studio' is essentially a Masters course where the studio audience is comprised of students who are there to learn from each guest," said Frances Berwick, SVP Programming and Production, Bravo. "Over the years, Jim has presented these students with a range of talent beyond actors - including comedians, media icons and musicians. The conceit of this series truly reflects Bravo's appreciation of all forms of creative passion, and the diverse range of guests have provided valuable career and life lessons that have gone beyond only the actors studio."

Below are brief bios on our upcoming guests:

AL PACINO: A native New Yorker, Pacino was first given the chance to cultivate his craft when he was accepted into the prestigious Actors Studio. His Tony Award-winning performance in "Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?" earned Pacino critical acclaim throughout the theater world and catapulted him into film. Nominated for an Academy Award eight times for his work in "The Godfather," "Serpico," "The Godfather, Part II," "Dog Day Afternoon," "And Justice for All," "Dick Tracy," and "Glengarry Glen Ross," he finally took home top honors for his performance in "Scent of a Woman." Pacino rounded out his career by bringing home an Emmy Award for his work in "Angels in America" and broadened his grasp on Hollywood by writing, directing, producing and acting in "Looking for Richard."

DAVE CHAPPELLE: Chappelle first debuted his comedic talents at the age of fourteen while studying acting and literary media at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Within a year he was invited on stage at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. He made a name for himself along East Coast clubs before breaking into TV on Russell Simmons' "Def Comedy Jam" on HBO and receiving the honor of being the youngest featured comic to perform on "Comic Relief VI" at age twenty. Chappelle then moved into film, appearing in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," "You've Got Mail," "Half Baked," and "Con Air." Chapelle's fame skyrocketed with the success of the Comedy Central hit "Chappelle's Show." The show's smart and controversial social and political commentary made it an instant sensation and gave Chappelle status as one of comedy's reining stars.

THE CAST OF "THE PRODUCERS": Mel Brook's musical "The Producers" opened on Broadway in 2001 to rave reviews and instant commercial success. The show received fourteen Tony nominations; the highest number of nominations ever received in the history of the award. Among others, it took home top honors for best musical, best featured actor in a musical, and best director of a musical. The musical's headlining actors Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick discuss the show's success as one of the most sought after tickets in Broadway history and its conversion into a major motion picture that will be released in December 2005.

QUEEN LATIFAH: This Grammy Award-winning rap artist and Academy Award nominated actress was born with the name of Dana Owens in Newark, New Jersey. She caught the music world by surprise at age 18 with her innovative sound - combining styles from jazz, reggae and soul in her debut album "All Hail the Queen." Her music career blossomed into a television show that she headlined called "Living Single." The sitcom made Queen Latifah a household name during its successful run from 1993-1998. Her turn as an actress lead to film opportunities and leading roles in movies such as "Set it Off," "Barbershop," "Bringing Down the House," and her Academy Award nominated role as Matron "Mama" Morton in "Chicago."

BARBARA WALTERS: Walters was born into a show business family as the daughter of "Ziegfeld Follies" producer Louis Walters. She began her career as a writer for NBC's "The Today Show" and within a year became a reporter at large - writing, developing and editing her own stories. She was given the rank of co-host for two years before heading to ABC to become the first woman network news anchor. Walters is probably best known for ABC's "20/20," which she co-hosted with Hugh Downs for two decades and became the sole host from 1999-2004. Walters more recently co-hosted ABC's "The View" which she also co-owns and co-executive produces. Known for her commentary on world changing events and her in-depth interviews with major world leaders and celebrities around the globe, Walters continues to open doors for women in the field and change the shape of American journalism.

MARTIN LAWRENCE: Lawrence was born in Frankfurt, Germany where his mother served in the U.S. Military before relocating to Maryland with the family. Encouraged by his teachers to pursue his knack for comedy, he moved to New York City to try his hand at stand-up. Lawrence performed at the legendary Improv Comedy Club, which won him recognition and a spot on the hit show "Star Search." Though he didn't win the competition, he was rewarded when Russell Simmons handpicked him to perform on HBO's "Def Comedy Jam." He then launched a successful television career in his own sitcom, "Martin," which aired from 1992-1997. Lawrence went on to take major roles in films such as "Bad Boys," "Bad Boys II," "Blue Streak," and "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate," which he also wrote and directed.

"Inside the Actors Studio," which is now seen in 125 countries, was launched in April 1994 with Academy Award-winning actor and longtime Actors Studio President, Paul Newman. Originally filmed at the Actors Studio Drama School at New School University, "Inside the Actors Studio" opens its 12th season at Pace University where major actors and directors will discuss their craft and share the secrets of their artistic achievements.

Bravo is the cable network that plugs people into arts, entertainment and pop culture with original programming, acclaimed off-network dramas, comedy and music specials, movies and by showing a whole different side of celebrities. Currently available in more than 79 million homes, Bravo is known for breaking exciting new personalities, shaking up the way we look at style, media, fame and Hollywood, pulling back the curtain on the creative process and making influential and inventive original programming. Its critically acclaimed and award-winning original programming includes "Inside the Actors Studio," "Project Runway," "Celebrity Poker Showdown," and "Blow Out" as well as the 2004 Emmy winner for Outstanding Reality Program, "Queer Eye." The network's latest hits include "Being Bobby Brown" and "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List."

Bravo is a program service of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBC Universal one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Bravo has been a NBC Cable Network since December 2002 and was the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts when it launched in December 1980. For more information visit www.bravotv.com.

  [november 2005]  

· 20/20 (ABC)

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