|Thursday, January 10th Sessions:|
|4:15 a.m. Bus Departure||9:00 a.m.||9:45 a.m.||10:30 a.m.||11:30 a.m.|
Attend Academy Awards®
"Pretty Little Liars"
Paul Lee, ABC
|12:15 p.m.||12:45 p.m.||1:30 p.m.||2:15 p.m.||3:00 p.m.|
"The Neighbors" Pie Break
|4:00 p.m.||4:45 p.m.||6:00 - 9:00 p.m.|
"Body of Proof"
All-Star Cocktail Reception
Red Carpet Photos
Academy Awards® for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The presentation, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, will also be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards—in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners—the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events, provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors, acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology, and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.
CRAIG ZADAN AND NEIL MERON
Acclaimed motion picture, television and theater producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 85th Academy Awards, Academy president Hawk Koch announced today. This will be the duo's first involvement with the Oscars. The 85th Academy Awards will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013 on the ABC Television Network.
"Craig and Neil are forward thinkers who bring a unique perspective to the Oscar show," Koch said. "Their enormous collective talent, coupled with their love of film, serves our show perfectly."
"We are very excited to collaborate with Hawk and everyone at the Academy to produce this year's Oscars," said Zadan and Meron. "We hope to utilize our experience in producing features, TV and theater to bring something fresh and special to this incredible awards show. When we filmed 'The Bucket List,' we made our own personal bucket list, and producing the Oscars was No. 1. It's truly a great honor."
"Craig and Neil have great talent relationships and bring an infectious energy to the production," said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson." They are creative producers in the best sense of the word."
Zadan and Meron served as executive producers on the 2002 Best Picture winner, "Chicago," which won Oscars in six of the 13 categories in which it was nominated. Their credits also include the features "Footloose" (2011), "Hairspray" and "The Bucket List." Zadan also produced the original "Footloose" (1984).
Zadan and Meron's work in television includes the series "Smash" and such movies as "A Raisin in the Sun" and the upcoming "Steel Magnolias." For Broadway, they recently produced the Tony Award®-winning revivals of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Promises, Promises."
Their work has amassed 73 Emmy® nominations, 12 Tony nominations and seven Grammy® nominations.
The 85th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre(tm) at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
MacFarlane made his feature directorial debut this summer with the box office success "Ted." He also co-wrote and produced the film, and voiced the title character. "Ted" has brought in over $420 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of the year.
MacFarlane is the creative force behind the television series "Family Guy" and co-creator of "American Dad!" and "The Cleveland Show." In September he hosted "Saturday Night Live" for the first time, for the show's 38th season premiere. An accomplished live performer, he has played to sold-out audiences at London's Royal Albert Hall and New York's Carnegie Hall. In 2011 MacFarlane released his debut album, "Music Is Better than Words," which earned two Grammy® nominations. He also has earned 13 Emmy®nominations and won two for his work on "Family Guy."
Michelle Simms (Tony Award®–winning actor Sutton Foster) had a promising career as a classically–trained professional dancer but was drawn to the lights of Las Vegas. Now, with a dead–end job as a 30–something showgirl, she’s found the excitement of Sin City has lost its appeal, and her persistent suitor, Hubbell Flowers (Alan Ruck, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”), is gaining it. With promises of a cushy life in his coastal town of Paradise, CA., Hubbell convinces Michelle to marry him and move away. Once in Paradise, Michelle discovers that Hubbell forgot to mention that he lives with his mother, the strong–headed, imperious Fanny Flowers (Kelly Bishop, “Gilmore Girls”), who is not pleased that Hubbell has run off and married a stranger.
A former dancer herself, Fanny runs the local dance studio, which Michelle comes upon and ends up bonding with some of Fanny’s dance students: sweet “Boo” (Kaitlyn Jenkins), who would give anything to be a “bunhead” but struggles against her body type; rebellious Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles), who possesses the classic ballet dancer’s body and talent but –– distracted by family issues at home –– doesn’t seem to have her heart in dancing; shapely Ginny (Bailey Buntain), who is not yet comfortable in her own skin; and fun–loving Melanie (Emma Dumont), who is ready for whatever life throws at her. Michelle’s budding relationship with these girls helps her adapt to small town living and her uneasy role as a new daughter–in–law.
“Bunheads” is executive produced by Amy Sherman–Palladino. The series stars Sutton Foster, Kaitlyn Jenkins, Julia Goldani Telles, Bailey Buntain and Emma Dumont with guest star Kelly Bishop.
Part of the Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in over 97 million homes. ABC Family features programming reflecting today’s families, entertaining and connecting with adults through relatable programming about today’s relationships – told with a mix of diversity, passion, humor and heart. ABC Family’s programming is a combination of network defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals. Emmy® Award–winning ABCFamily.com provides a variety of interactive entertainment and community features, from rich, fan–centric programming – including blogs, viewing parties, webisodes, full episodes of the network’s hit programming, along with sneak peek exclusive previews and behind–the–scenes clips. ABC Family is also the destination for annual Holiday events with “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas.” ABC Family. A New Kind of Family.
Michelle Simms on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
Sutton Foster is an award-winning actor, singer and dancer, born in Georgia and raised in Michigan. Before starring in "Bunheads," she appeared on Broadway in "Grease!," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Annie" and "Les Misérables," prior to her big break and Tony Award-winning performance in "Thoroughly Modern Millie." Sutton has also originated roles in the Broadway productions of "Little Women," "The Drowsy Chaperone," "Young Frankenstein" and "Shrek the Musical." In 2011 she starred in the revival of "Anything Goes," a role that earned her the 2011 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Astaire and Broadway.com Audience Favorite Awards. She has also performed solo shows all across the county and has released two solo albums - "Wish" and "Sutton Foster Live at the Cafe Carlyle."
Sutton was first seen on television on "Star Search" at age 15, and has also appeared in "Johnny and the Sprites," "Law & Order: SVU," "Royal Pains" and "Flight of the Conchords."
Bettina "Boo" Jordan on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
Kaitlyn Jenkins, a native Californian, is an accomplished dancer who is now enjoying her first major television role as 'Boo' in "Bunheads." The daughter of a professional ballet dancer, Jenkins discovered her love of performing early and began taking dance classes when she was three. While she specializes in ballet, pointe and contemporary dance, she can perform a broad range of styles, including modern, tap, jazz and ballroom. Her extensive training includes time with the American Ballet Theatre in New York, the Boston Ballet, Katsbaan, The Jillana School and the Anaheim Ballet. Jenkins has danced a number of full length ballets, including "The Nutcracker," "A Midsummer Night?s Dream" and "Alice in Wonderland," and has also danced excerpts from "Romeo and Juliet," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Swan Lake." She is a proud graduate of the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California, where she attended the Music and Theatre conservatory.
In her free time Jenkins enjoys singing, going to the beach, working out at the gym and spending time with friends. She loves animals and has a cat and two dogs.
JULIA GOLDANI TELLES
Sasha Torres on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
A Hollywood newcomer, Julia Goldani Telles started dancing in Brazil when she was five years old and continued her training in Los Angeles and New York. She has been featured in numerous ballets, including "Sleeping Beauty," "The Nutcracker," "Don Quixote" and "Swan Lake." A temporary injury prompted her to look into acting and, soon after, Goldani Telles landed the role of the rebellious Sasha Torres in "Bunheads."
Ginny Thompson on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
A newcomer to Hollywood prior to "Bunheads," Bailey Buntain landed the role of Ginny Thompson shortly after graduating from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York.
Buntain's recent credits include a guest turn as Jenna Taylor, opposite Eden Sher, on the popular ABC show "The Middle," in addition to appearing on stage in the musicals "Hello, Dolly!," "The Music Man," and as a featured dancer for the annual "Broadway on Broadway" benefit concert.
A native of Sacramento, California, Buntain trained extensively as a classical actor, singer and dancer. Not many people know she is also well-versed in both baton twirling and the trapeze!
Melanie Segal on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
Entertaining has always been a big part of Emma Dumont's life. She grew up in Seattle and began performing in community theatre at the age of six. A trained ballerina who has studied at the Joffrey Ballet School and the American Ballet Theatre School, Dumont also attended Orange County High School of the Arts in the Music and Theater Conservatory (as did co-star Kaitlyn Jenkins).
In addition to playing the fun-loving Melanie on "Bunheads," Dumont can currently be seen in "Nobody Walks," alongside Rosemarie Dewitt, John Krasinski and Olivia Thirlby, which premiered at Sundance. Other credits include the LA Film Festival favorite "Dear Lemon Lima," opposite Melissa Leo, the independent dramedy "True Adolescents," starring Mark Duplass and Melissa Leo, and a lead role in Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan's NBC pilot, "METRO," alongside Noah Emmerich and Jimmy Smits.
In addition to acting, Dumont enjoys playing the viola, roller derby and building robots.
Fanny Flowers on ABC Family's "Bunheads"
Kelly Bishop is best known for her role as Emily Gilmore, Lorelai's mother, on "Gilmore Girls." She is also no stranger to the world of dance. Bishop grew up in Colorado, where she trained to be a ballet dancer. She started her career as a dancer at NYC's Radio City Music Hall, and followed that up with a breakout, Tony Award-winning performance as Sheila in "A Chorus Line." She's been in numerous Broadway productions, including "Six Degrees of Separation," "Proposals," "The Last Night of Ballyhoo," "Bus Stop" and, most recently, "Anything Goes" with her "Bunheads" co-star, Sutton Foster.
In addition to her work on the stage, Bishop has appeared in "Dirty Dancing," "Wonder Boys," "The Thorns," "Murphy Brown," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Mercy."
The girls are ready to kick some "A." No longer just wanting to sit by and wait for "A’s" latest cruel attack, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer take matters into their own hands and try to finally put a stop to their tormentor. As relationships are put to the test, new and old secrets are revealed and the stakes are raised higher than ever before as the Liars come closer to the truth - will all of their sacrifices be worth it in the end? "Pretty Little Liars" won three Teen Choice Awards in 2011 for Choice Summer TV Series, Choice Summer TV Actress – Lucy Hale and Choice Summer TV Actor – Ian Harding. The show also won the "TV You Betta Watch" Award for 2011’s NewNowNext Awards as well as the "Cast to Watch" for 2011’s The Young Hollywood Awards.
Spencer Hastings on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Troian Bellisario is a burgeoning actress, writer and producer best known for her starring role on the acclaimed ABC Family smash hit “Pretty Little Liars.”
Bellisario wrote, produced and starred in the short film “Exiles” and also starred in the title role of "Lauren" in one of the WIGS’ web series focused on sexual assault in the military. She was also seen the independent film “Consent.” On stage, she appeared in “Equivocation” at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. With The Casitas Group, a theatre company of which she is a founding member, Bellisario appeared in an exclusive engagement of Martin McDonagh’s “The Pillowman,” as well as a Sam Shepard double feature: “Fool for Love” and “True West.” During her time as a B.F.A at the USC School of Theatre, Bellisario performed in productions of “The Crucible,” “All’s Well that End’s Well,” “Red Light Winter,” “The Complete Female Stage Beauty” and “Cloud 9.”
Bellisario was born, raised and still lives in Los Angeles where she is currently shooting the fifth season of “Pretty Little Liars.”
Hanna Marin on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Ashley Benson stars as Hanna Marin, who became the school's new "it" girl after Alison disappeared. But being at the top of the social ladder took a back seat when "A" started to play games. Now Hanna must re-evaluate her life after her best friend and fellow social climber Mona was revealed to be her tormentor.
Born and raised in California, Benson developed a passion for theater at the age of three, began acting when she was nine – working mostly in commercials – and then quickly made the transition into film and television. Most recently in television she was a series regular on ABC's "Eastwick," playing Rebecca Romijn's daughter, and she starred in the Lifetime Television movie "Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal." Additional television credits include appearances on "The District," "The West Wing," "Scrubs" and "The O.C." Previously Benson spent three years on NBC's "Days of Our Lives," playing Abigail Deveraux.
Benson made her feature film debut in "13 Going on 30," starring Jennifer Garner. She was also the lead in "Bring It On: In It to Win It," as the fresh-faced captain of the West High cheerleading team. In 2009, she was seen in the independent film "Bart Got a Room," opposite William H. Macy.
Benson lives in the Los Angeles area with Olive, her Maltese Shih Tzu. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, singing, the beach, the movies and watching the Los Angeles Lakers — she's a huge fan.
Caleb Rivers on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Tyler Blackburn recently starred in the “Pretty Little Liars” spin-off “Ravenswood” and Alloy Entertainment’s web series “Wendy,” in which he sang his own songs, including theme song, “Save Me.” He also starred as ‘Jesse Pratt’ in the independent film “Peach Plum Pear,” which debuted at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.
A native of Burbank, California, Blackburn started his acting career at the age of 17. Prior to his role on “Pretty Little Liars,” Blackburn had a major recurring role on the daytime drama “Days of Our Lives” as ‘Ian,’ the love interest of ‘Stephanie,’ played by Shelley Hennig. Other television credits include guest appearances on “Cold Case,” “Gigantic,” and “Unfabulous.”
Blackburn currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
HOLLY MARIE COMBS
Ella Montgomery on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Holly Marie Combs portrays Ella Montgomery, Aria's mother, who tries her best to keep her family together through her husband Byron's affair, her daughter's relationship with former high school teacher Ezra Fitz and her son's battle with depression.
Combs is known worldwide for her role as Piper Halliwell on the long-running and popular series "Charmed," where she was also a producer for four seasons. After taking time off to raise her young family, she starred in the television production "Mistresses" before joining the cast of "Pretty Little Liars."
Combs was born in San Diego, California, and moved with her family to New York when she was eight years old. There she attended the Professional Children's School and, following in her mother's footsteps as an aspiring actress, began her career working in television commercials and print advertisements at age 10. She won her first movie role at age 13, playing the daughter of Don Johnson and Susan Sarandon in the feature film "Sweet Hearts Dance."
At 18 Combs got her big break, starring for four seasons in the critically acclaimed television drama "Picket Fences." Her role as teenager Kimberly Brock won her critical acclaim and a Young Actors Award.
Combs has starred in an impressive range of telefilms, portraying a variety of characters, including the daughter of a murdered heiress in the fact-based "Daughters," killer Diane Zamora in "Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder," and a rape victim in "Sins of Silence." Feature film work includes "Born on the Fourth of July," "Chain of Desire" and "Simple Men." She also appeared as herself in Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's Eleven," opposite George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
Aria Montgomery on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Multi-talented and dynamic, Lucy Hale has captured the attention of millions as the star of ABC Family's smash hit series “Pretty Little Liars.” The show is now in its fifth season, with record high ratings. Hale has won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer TV Female Star for the past four years and received the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Rising Star at the 2013 Gracie Awards.
Having conquered the small screen, Hale has recently completed her debut album, "Road Between." Recorded in Nashville with producer Mark Bright, the album recalls Hale’s country roots and hometown influences. The album featuring her recent single, "You Sound Good To Me," hit retailers on June 3rd through DMG Nashville/Bigger Picture Group.
Hale has recently been named as the Beauty Brand Ambassador for mark, Avon’s beauty and fashion boutique brand. In the role, Hale will appear in mark Magalogs, as well as on mark and Avon digital platforms. Hale will also be the spokesperson for the m.powerment by mark campaign, the brand’s philanthropic effort dedicated to breaking the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence against young women.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Hale realized a passion for music at an early age and began voice lessons in earnest at the age of nine. She appeared on "American Juniors," finishing in the top five and becoming a member of the band, which was formed at the show's conclusion. Her positive experience on the program inspired her to seriously pursue a career in entertainment.
Hale most recently starred in "A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song," opposite Missi Pyle, and in the popular horror film "Scream 4." She previously starred in the critically-acclaimed series "Privileged" and in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2," opposite Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera and Amber Tamblyn. Hale could also be seen in guest-starring roles in the series "Private Practice" and "CSI: Miami." Other television credits include an impressive list of popular shows, including "How I Met Your Mother," "The O.C.," "Drake & Josh" and "American Family."
Ezra Fitz on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Ian Harding is proving himself as one of Hollywood’s brightest and most promising new young talent. Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Harding moved with his family to Virginia where he discovered his passion for theater performance at Georgetown. He continued to pursue his talents as he attended the prestigious performing arts school Carnegie Mellon University.
“Pretty Little Liars” is Harding’s first major role as a series regular, and he has quickly became a fan favorite as he won the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer TV: Male and the 2013 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Drama.
Harding recently wrapped production on the indie feature “Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale,” which is based on a true story. Set in the 60s, it is the story of how one young man, looking to get ahead in life and do right by the girl he loves, gets lured into a seedy world and his entire life begins to spiral out of control.
Harding made his acting debut in the 2009 film “Adventureland,” as a wealthy prepster, which starred Kirsten Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, and Jesse Eisengberg. Other notable credits include his work in “Love and Other Drugs” “Deadtime Stories” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
Harding currently resides in Los Angeles and enjoys yoga, soccer, football and basketball.
Ashley Marin on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Laura Leighton portrays Ashley Marin, a well-polished business executive who spends more time on her cell phone than she does with her daughter, Hanna.
Best known to audiences for her performance as Sydney on the long-running iconic 1990s television series, "Melrose Place," Leighton returned to the role in the reimagining of the program which debuted in fall 2009.
After her long stint on the original "Melrose Place," she continued to turn in memorable performances on such shows as "CSI: Miami," "Boston Legal," "Shark" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," all while raising a family. She also appeared in Jerry Bruckheimer Television's "Skin," as well as the series "Eyes." Recently Leighton was seen in the feature thriller "The Burrowers" and telefilms "Love Notes," "Daniel's Daughter" and "Mending Fences." Other credits include "Naked City," the independent feature "The Clean and Narrow," directed by William Katt and co-starring Jack Noseworthy, and "Seven Girlfriends," with Tim Daly, Olivia D'Abo, Jami Gertz and Mimi Rogers.
Born in Iowa City, Iowa to a Midwestern family, Leighton found a passion early on for the arts. Shortly after high school, she left Iowa to tour the country with the song and dance troupe Young Americans. She eventually moved on to study acting and, soon after, began landing television commercials and was cast in a guest spot on the original "Melrose Place." Leighton parlayed that into a permanent role, earning a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Supporting Actress, an Us Magazine Entertainer of the Year Award and the coveted honor of hosting "Saturday Night Live."
Byron Montgomery on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Chad Lowe stars as Aria's father, Byron Montgomery, who recently found out his daughter is in a relationship with her former high school teacher. Byron is determined to put this relationship to an end, even if that means alienating his daughter and tearing the family apart.
Lowe became a household name with his first series regular role on the ABC drama "Life Goes On." For his work on the series, portraying AIDS victim Jesse McKenna, he earned an Emmy® Award for Best Supporting Actor on a Drama Series.
Lowe began his career as an actor in the 1980s with a series of telefilms, including "Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac," "Silence of the Heart," "April Morning" and "An Inconvenient Woman." He also starred in the telefilm "Take Me Home: The John Denver Story" as John Denver, and had recurring roles on such series as "Melrose Place," "Popular," "Now and Again" and "ER," and guest-starring roles on such shows as "Touched by an Angel," "Superman," "CSI: Miami" and "Medium," among others. Lowe recently had a recurring role on the popular series "24," playing Reed Pollock, deputy secretary to Thomas Lennox, played by Peter MacNicol.
Not limiting his work to television, Lowe ventured into the feature world, with roles in "Nobody's Perfect," "True Blood," "Quiet Days in Hollywood," "Floating" and "Unfaithful," opposite Diane Lane and Richard Gere. Also active in the theater, he has appeared in stage productions of "Huck Finn" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Pennsylvania, "Grotesque Love Songs" at the WPA Theatre in New York and "Burning Blue" at Beckett Theatre in New York.
As a director, Lowe has helmed episodes of "Pretty Little Liars," "Brothers & Sisters," "Bones," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Hack" and "Without a Trace." His original short film, "The Audition" was produced for Showtime, followed by the short "The Space Between," which appeared at both the Toronto International Film Festival and the Tribeca International Film Festival. He made his feature film directing debut with "Beautiful Ohio," an ensemble film starring William Hurt, Julianna Margulies, Rita Wilson, Michelle Trachtenberg and others. Lowe produced and directed the film, written by Ethan Canin ("The Emperor's Club"), which spotlights a family that comes of age during the turbulent Watergate Era of the early 1970s. "Beautiful Ohio" premiered at the 2006 AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Emily Fields on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Shay Mitchell, born to a Filipino mother and Irish/Scottish father, is a native of Toronto, Canada. Even as a young child, she was interested in the performing arts, declaring to her parents that she would pursue such a career. Mitchell began dance lessons at the age of five, and she and several of her classmates toured the city to compete with a variety of other dance schools.
At the age of 10, Mitchell’s family moved west to Vancouver, British Columbia. Within a year of their arrival, an international modeling agency had an open casting call for teen and pre-teen girls who were vying for representation. Mitchell was one of the girls selected.
By her late teens, Mitchell had successfully modeled for a variety of companies in cities as varied as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Berlin and Barcelona. Wanting to focus on her true passion, Mitchell returned to Toronto and began to study acting with great focus and determination. Her hard work paid off and, after signing with her first theatrical agency, she appeared in the hit series “DeGrassi: The Next Generation” and booked several national commercials. She also landed a recurring role in the Disney series “Aaron Stone,” appeared on the ABC series “Rookie Blue” and is featured in the music video for international recording artist Sean Paul’s hit song “Hold My Hand,” which has garnered over 23 million views on YouTube.
For the second year in a row, Mitchell is part of the celebrity ensemble for “ACUVUE® 1-DAY Contest.” The contest, now in its fourth year, will give teen winners the chance to meet and be mentored for a day by a celebrity.
Mitchell was the first celebrity face of American Eagle’s “Live Your Life” ad campaign, which ran in the fall of 2012.
In February 2011, it was announced that Mitchell would complete a one-year deal as spokesperson for the Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion collection.
Mitchell’s passion project is her website, shaymitchell.com, for which she is the editor-in-chief. It’s a Martha Stewart-meets-Goop lifestyle site, covering topics ranging from fashion and beauty, travel, cooking, etiquette, and much more. Shay personally writes and edits the site, which often features guest-features by her friends. On the main site she debuted her newest blog portion http://shaymitchblog.tumblr.com/ to much success in November 2012.
Mitchell is an ambassador for the Somaly Mam Foundation in Cambodia, which supports anti-sex-trafficking organizations and provides victims and survivors with a platform from which their voices can be heard around the world. Mitchell has visited Cambodia and spent time with the girls in the shelters. She plans to revisit as often as she can.
Mitchell currently resides in Los Angeles.
Mona Van der Wall on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Born in Hawaii, Janel Parrish started her career with a love for music. She entered and won a state-wide singing contest at age six and soon followed that with being cast in the National Touring Company and Broadway Company of “Les Miserables” as “Little Cosette.” It wasn’t long before Parrish’s Broadway experience and recognition led her to acting auditions in Hollywood. While studying acting, she continued to train vocally, eventually adding piano and dance to her repertoire. Parrish also began writing her own music, which led to becoming the lead singer in a three-girl pop group called “Impulse.”
The past few years has seen Parrish appear in many television shows and made-for-TV movies, such as “Gepetto,” “Baywatch,” “The O’Keefe’s,” “The Bernie Mac Show,” “Zoey 101,” and “The O.C.” In the summer of 2007, she made her feature film debut starring as “Jade,” one of the lead characters in the Lionsgate feature film “Bratz: The Movie.” Immediately following the film’s release Parrish, was cast as a guest star on the NBC hit show “Heroes.” She played May, the head cheerleader at the new school that Claire (Hayden Panettiere) attends.
In 2009, Parrish was quite busy filming multiple episodes as “Kyla” on the hit TV show “True Jackson, VP” on Nickelodeon and had starring roles in two feature films: “One Kine Day” and “Knots.”
Recently, she appeared as a guest star, on the hit CBS show “Hawaii Five-0.” Parrish is starring in the new film, “The Concerto,” playing the lead character “Lisa Wagner.”
Parrish currently lives in Los Angeles and is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a recognized film actress and a solo recording artist.
Alison DiLaurentis on ABC Family’s "Pretty Little Liars"
Film and television star Sasha Pieterse is best known for her lead role on ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” which is now in its fifth season. In addition to her successful acting career, Pieterse has launched her singing career releasing four singles with co-writer and producer Dan Franklin.
Pieterse got her start in television in 2002 at the age of six, starring in the WB comedy series “Family Affair,” a remake of the late 1960s hit, as Buffy, opposite Gary Cole. She was awarded with a Young Artist's Award for her work on the series. She later reunited with Cole as his daughter in the cable thriller “Wanted.”
Pieterse's first major film role was as the Ice Princess in Robert Rodriguez's “The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl 3D,” with Taylor Lautner and George Lopez. She also starred in “Good Luck Chuck” and in the telefilm “Claire,” opposite Valerie Bertinelli. Pieterse appeared in the hit series “Heroes” in the recurring role of Amanda Strazzulla, a young gypsy girl with fire powers. She guest starred on “House” as a terminal cancer patient who was terrified of dying without ever being kissed. She also guest starred in “Without a Trace” in a terrifying turn as a kidnapping victim.
In 2011, she appeared as ‘Amy Loubalu’ in the Disney Channel Original Movie “Geek Charming” and also as a teenage girl in the movie “X-Men: First Class.” In 2007, she starred in a feature film alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar called “The Air I Breathe”. More recently, Pieterse has appeared in the film “G.B.F.” with one of the lead roles of ‘Fawcett Brooks’ and in an episode of “Hawaii Five-0” as a terrorist pupil named ‘Dawn Hatfield’ and also landed a role in the soon to be released feature film “Inherent Vice,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, where she acted alongside Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix and Martin Short.
Pieterse was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and emigrated to America for better opportunities. She landed in Las Vegas with her show business parents before the family moved to Los Angeles. She became accustomed to the rigors of a career in entertainment at an early age, as her parents were part of a professional acrobatic dance team that performed all over the world.
When she was just four-and-a-half years old, Pieterse met with a Los Angeles agent who quickly signed her and she has been acting and modeling ever since. She has appeared in scores of television commercials and on billboards, and has booked modeling assignments throughout the country.
Pieterse loves her craft and hopes and plans to have longevity in the crazy and wonderful world of the entertainment industry.
Paul Lee is president, ABC Entertainment Group, a position he has held since July 2010. In this role Lee has oversight of all creative and business operations for ABC Studios as well as all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC Entertainment. He also oversees entertainment programming for syndication and daytime. He reports to Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group.
For the 2013-14 season, Lee shepherded in new series with industry heavyweights and veterans, including "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," Marvel's first television series from executive producer Joss Whedon and starring Clark Gregg, who reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel's feature films; "Super Fun Night," with comedy sensation Rebel Wilson; "The Goldbergs," starring "Bridesmaid's" Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Jeff Garlin; "Mind Games," starring Christian Slater; "Mixology," executive-produced by Ryan Seacrest and "The Hangover's" Jon Lucas and Scott Moore; "Killer Women," starring "Battlestar Galactica's" Tricia Helfer and executive-produced by Sofía Vergara; and "Trophy Wife," with Malin Akerman, Bradley Whitford and Marcia Gay Harden.
Prior to becoming president of ABC Entertainment Group, Lee led ABC Family from 2004-2010, where he revitalized the cable channel with an ambitious slate of original and acquired programs. In conceiving the mission of the network, he launched a plan to target the young adult Millennial audience on multiple platforms with relatable programming like "Kyle XY," "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," "Pretty Little Liars," "Greek," "Make It Or Break It" and "Huge." The network was also home to the biggest programming event on cable with "25 Days of Christmas." Under Lee, ABC Family had an amazing six+years of consecutive growth.
ABC Family also made the most of new platforms to connect viewers with content. The industry recognized this push for creativity and innovation on this front by awarding ABC Family a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television, as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media the following year.
Prior to joining ABC Family, Lee was chief executive officer and founder of BBC America, and was responsible for the development and launch of the company in March 1998, starting as general manager and then chief operating officer. During his tenure, the hit comedy series "The Office" (British version) garnered two Golden Globes. Other shows under his supervision included the BBC's "Changing Rooms," which formatted into TLC's signature show, "Trading Spaces," "What Not to Wear" and the "Graham Norton Show."
Before arriving stateside, Lee spent several years at the BBC, ultimately serving as channel editor for BBC Prime, the company's 24-hour entertainment channel.
He started his career as a reporter assigned to Belfast, Northern Ireland, at a particularly critical period in the conflict. Upon returning to London, he segued into entertainment, where he became a producer, director and showrunner, going on to earn a BAFTA and a BANFF Award for the BBC documentary series Arena for his portrait of Woody Guthrie.
In 1990 Lee branched out into drama, traveling to Moscow to direct and produce "Oblomov," starring George Wendt of "Cheers" fame. He also produced, directed and wrote TV movies. Before joining the BBC in 1984, Lee worked as an assistant production manager on novelas at the Brazilian national network Rede Globo in Rio de Janeiro.
Lee holds an MA in modern languages (Portuguese and Russian) from Oxford University in England.
"The Taste" features no-holds barred Chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert Chef/author Ludo Lefebvre and Chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson. These four stars of the culinary world each mentor teams of four contestants as they vie to create the best tasting dishes in a state of the art kitchen. "The Taste" is open to everyone – from home cooks to professional chefs - in an effort to find some of America's most naturally gifted cooks. 16 culinary hopefuls will ultimately win the chance to show off their skills in "The Taste" kitchen where one blind spoonful of food can determine whether a competitor stays or goes home.
"The Taste" is from Kinetic Content and is executive-produced by Chris Coelen, Matilda Zoltkowski, Emma Conway, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Brian Smith who is also the director.
Chris Coelen, executive producer
CEO Coelen previously ran the North American business for RDF (now Zodiak), who produced 35 series over four years, including "Wife Swap" (ABC), "Don't Forget the Lyrics" (Fox and ABC), "Secret Millionaire" (ABC), as well as TruTV's "Hard Core Pawn" and "All Worked Up." Prior to that Coelen was partner in - and founded and ran -- the Alternative and International Television divisions at LA-based United Talent Agency. His department packaged over 60 series in five years. Before UTA, Coelen started the non-scripted division at Agency for the Performing Arts. He started his career as a producer at Fox Television.
Mentor/Executive Producer on ABC's "The Taste"
Chef, author and raconteur Anthony Bourdain is best known for traveling the globe on his stomach, daringly consuming some of the world's most exotic dishes on his hit TV shows "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" and "The Layover." Somewhat notoriously, he has established himself as a professional gadfly, bête noir, advocate, social critic and pork enthusiast, recognized for his caustic sense of humor worldwide. He is as unsparing of those things he hates as he is evangelical about his passions.
The "chef-at-large" at New York's famed Brasserie Les Halles, Bourdain is the author of the bestselling Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly -- a candid, hysterical and sometimes shocking portrait of life in restaurant kitchens that has been translated into more than 28 languages – as well as the travel journal A Cook's Tour, three crime novels, a cookbook,
a biography of Typhoid Mary, the bestselling graphic novel Get JIRO! and more.
Bourdain's work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times of London, Bon Appetit, Gourmet and numerous other publications. He has shared his insights about team building and crisis management with the Harvard Business Review, and has been profiled on a variety of national news programs and talk shows.
Bourdain joined the writing staff of HBO's "Treme" in 2011, contributing to the popular drama's restaurant storylines. He recently launched his own publishing line with Ecco, Anthony Bourdain Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. His first titles will be released in early 2013.
"No Reservations," widely popular all over the world, has won two Emmy Awards, with several other nominations. 2013 will see the premiere of two new television shows hosted by Bourdain, "The Taste" and a travel docu-series for CNN.
HOMETOWN New York, NY
BIRTHDATE June 25
Mentor/Executive Producer on ABC's "The Taste"
Food enthusiast, television personality and journalist Nigella Lawson is the author of eight bestselling books -- including Nigella Kitchen, Nigella Fresh, Nigella Christmas, Nigella Bites, Feast, How to Be a Domestic Goddessand How to Eat -- which have sold more than six million copies worldwide. Her books and groundbreaking iPhone app and television shows on Food Network, E! Entertainment Television and Style have made Lawson a household name globally. She serves as a culinary mentor, judge and executive producer on ABC’s innovative new culinary competition series, “The Taste,” with Anthony Bourdain, Ludo Lefebvre and Brian Malarkey.
When she was 17, Lawson decided she wanted to be Italian. She applied to study Italian at Oxford, and spent her gap year working as a chambermaid in a family-run pensione in Florence, earning meager wages but acquiring a wealth of hands-on knowledge in Italian cooking from “Nonna -- the paternal grandmother, straight from Central Casting” -- in the kitchen. Today Lawson brings as much of Italy as she can into her own kitchen, and soon she’ll celebrate the pleasures of Italian food in her first Italian cookbook, NIGELLISSIMA: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes (Clarkson Potter; on sale February 12, 2013). A sentimental journey for her, NIGELLISSIMA is filled with 120 mouthwatering, simple, fast recipes combining the richness of Italian culinary tradition with her own distinctive twists: insights learned from Nonna and experience for a light touch and full taste.
Lawson lives in London, England, with her family.
HOMETOWN London, England
BIRTHDATE January 6
Mentor on ABC's "The Taste"
Ludovic Lefebvre is the pioneer of a guerilla style "pop-up" restaurant event called LudoBites that currently takes place at locations around Los Angeles. His newest book release, LUDOBITES: Recipes and Stories from the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre, is the story of the seven LudoBites events that showcase his wildly inventive food with recipes that merge the techniques he has perfected in his years at the finest French restaurants with the simplicity forced upon him by the limits of a pop-up kitchen.
Lefebvre trained at Restaurant L'Espérance with Marc Meneau, Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire, Arpège with Alain Passard and Le Grande Véfour with Guy Martin in France. He moved to Los Angeles to work at L'Orangerie, where he became head chef at 25, and at the age of 26 was named as one of the world's 50 Greatest Chefs by Relais & Chateux. Under his guidance, L'Orangerie became one of the top-rated restaurants in California, receiving the Mobil Five Star Award. Lefebvre then moved on to Bastide, where he also received the prestigious award. He was a nominee for the James Beard Foundation's Rising Chef Award in 2001, and is the author of the cookbookCrave.
HOMETOWN Burgundy, France
BIRTHDATE April 18
Mentor on ABC's "The Taste"
An award-winning maverick chef, Brian Malarkey is one half of the brain trust that in less than two years has created five wildly successful restaurants in San Diego, including Searsucker, Burlap, Gingham, Gabardine and Herringbone. Each has opened to rave reviews, including Searsucker being named "the country's No. 2 hottest restaurant" by TIME magazine and the OpenTable Diners Choice Awards. On the horizon for Malarkey is national expansion of 15 restaurants over the next five years, including a Searsucker in Scottsdale in November 2012, and the release of his first cookbook, Come Early, Stay Late.
Growing up on a ranch in Bend, Oregon, and spending summers enjoying the fresh seafood on the coast, Malarkey discovered his love for food and cooking at a young age. He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, and was later hired as Sous Chef at Oceanaire Seafood Room in Minnesota, before opening their San Diego location as Executive Chef and Operating Partner. Under his direction Oceanaire received over 60 industry awards in less than five years.
HOMETOWN Bend, OR
BIRTHDATE September 26
"Shark Tank," the critically-acclaimed reality show that has reinvigorated entrepreneurship in America, has also become a culturally defining series. The recipient of the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program, the business-themed show returns to the ABC Television Network for its sixth season on Friday, September 26.
The Sharks -- tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons -- continue their search to invest in the best businesses and products that America has to offer. The Sharks will once again give people from all walks of life the chance to chase the American dream, and potentially secure business deals that could make them millionaires.
The Sharks are: billionaire Mark Cuban, owner and chairman of AXS TV and outspoken owner of the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks; real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran; "Queen of QVC" Lori Greiner; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; fashion and branding expert Daymond John; and venture capitalist Kevin O'Leary.
The entrepreneurs who dare to enter the Tank must try to convince the Sharks to part with their own hard-earned cash and give them the funding they desperately need to turn their dreams into million dollar realities. All of the good, bad, emotional and even absurd pitches help showcase the "I wish I had thought of that" business ideas and products.
But the Sharks have a goal, too -- to get a return on their investment and own a piece of the next big business idea. When the Sharks hear an idea worth sinking their teeth into, they're more than ready to declare war and fight each other for a piece of it.
This season, Nick Woodman, one of America's newest and youngest billionaires and founder and CEO of GoPro, will be a guest Shark in multiple episodes. Forbes magazine calls GoPro a "cultural phenomenon" and "America's fastest-growing digital imaging company."
There will also be guest stars and specially-themed episodes, including ones featuring all-college students as well as all-veteran entrepreneurs. Episodes will continue to include follow-up stories, allowing viewers the opportunity to see how some investments led to success.
The hit unscripted series, which will reach its milestone 100th episode in November 2014, continues to be a ratings force, regularly finishing as Friday night's No. 1 series. Last season, "Shark Tank" dominated its 9 o'clock time period and surged by double digits year to year with Total Viewers (+16%) and Adults 18-49 (+14%), marking the series' best-ever season on both Nielsen measures.
In 2012 and 2013, "Shark Tank" received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Reality Program. Additional recognitions include two Summer Television Critics Association (TCA) nominations for Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming (winning in 2013), three Critics Choice Award nominations for Best Reality Series (winning in 2014), and three Producers Guild Award nominations.
In Season 6, the Sharks are on track to surpass the amount of money offered each season in their investment deals. Over the past five seasons, the Sharks have offered more than $45 million to bankroll a creative array of innovative entrepreneurs.
Viewers will continue to ride an emotional roller coaster this season, complete with heated fights between the Sharks, ingenious business ideas and touching moments. Whichever way the wheeling and dealing may go, many people's lives will be better off -- because they dared to enter the unpredictable waters of the "Shark Tank."
Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill and Phil Gurin are the executive producers of "Shark Tank," which is based on the Japanese "Dragons' Den" format created by Nippon Television Network Corporation. The series is produced by One Three Media in association with Sony Pictures Television.
MARK BURNETT, executive producer
Six time Emmy Award winner Mark Burnett has produced more than 2,900 hours of television programming, which regularly airs in more than 70 countries worldwide. Currently, Burnett's network series include "Survivor" (CBS), "The Voice" (NBC), "The Celebrity Apprentice" (NBC), and "Shark Tank" (ABC). Burnett is one of very few producers to have had a renewed series on each of the four major networks and to have multiple series win their time slot on five nights of television in the same week. Additionally, Burnett, alongside his wife Roma Downey, executive produced the 10-hour miniseries "The Bible" that premiered on History Channel in March 2013.
Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, have also created LightWorkers Media, which produced "The Bible" miniseries, the feature film "Son of God" with Twentieth Century Fox and are currently in production on two television miniseries: "A.D.: Beyond the Bible" with NBC and "The Dovekeepers" with CBS. They also are in pre-production on the feature film "Ben Hur" with Paramount and MGM, set to be released in 2016.
Mark's television profile includes a strong presence in award show franchises, having produced the "MTV Movie Awards" from 2007 to 2011, the annual "People's Choice Awards" since 2010, the "Video Game Awards" (Spike) and the 2011 "Primetime Emmy Awards."
TIME Magazine named Mr. Burnett one of the world's most influential people and he is also listed as TV Guide's most valuable player. He has won BRANDWEEK'S Marketer of the Year Award, The Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, the PGA Norman Lear Award and the prestigious ROSE D'OR FRAPA Format Award. Burnett was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2010 and was honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. He served two elected terms on the Board of Directors for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles.
CLAY NEWBILL, executive producer
Clay Newbill is a pioneer and innovator of alternative/reality television, now with over 20 years' experience. He was a vital member of initial "Real World" producing team, joining the creators of the famed franchise in 1992. After producing the second and third seasons of the groundbreaking series, "The Real World: Los Angeles" and "The Real World: San Francisco," Newbill co-created, produced, and directed "Road Rules," the "Real World" sister series, staying on as show-runner for the MTV staple series for its first eight seasons.
In 1999, Newbill was tapped to spearhead a new show. Under his leadership, "Making the Band" became the first primetime reality competition program on network television. In 2000, Newbill and ABC entered into an overall deal, and for five years he served as executive producer and show-runner for popular programs such as "The Mole 1" and "The Mole 2," "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette," "Celebrity Mole: Yucatan," "The Benefactor," and "The Ultimate Love Test." In 2005, Newbill left his overall deal at ABC and since has continued to freelance create and produce alternative/reality television for several networks and cable outlets. He has served as executive producer/show-runner for "Bound for Glory" (ESPN), "Top Design" (Bravo), "American Inventor 2" (ABC), "The Mole 5" (ABC), and all six seasons of "Shark Tank." (ABC/Sony).
Under the banner of his 310 Entertainment Inc. production company, Newbill produced the Emmy-nominated hit Nickelodeon game show "BrainSurge," which ran for three seasons with 120 episodes. He created and produced three seasons of "Redneck Island" for CMT as well as co-created and produced the pilot "Camping with the In-Laws" for the Lifetime Network.
A Florida native, Newbill graduated from the University of Central Florida with degrees in film and television. His early career included serving as UPM on television programs at the Disney MGM Studios such as "The New Mickey Mouse Club," "The Muppets At Disney World," "Walt Disney World's 4th of July Spectacular," "Walt Disney World's Very Merry Christmas," "Easter Parades," and "Separate But Equal."
PHIL GURIN, executive producer
Phil Gurin and The Gurin Company have been creating, acquiring, selling and producing entertainment programs all over the world. Responsible for executive-producing and writing thousands of hours of television across multiple genres, including game, live event, music, hidden camera, comedy, stunt, clip shows, docu-soaps and formatted reality, Gurin's shows have aired on every major U.S. broadcast network, many cable networks and in over 120 countries around the world.
In addition to "Shark Tank," Gurin's recent projects include The CW's "Oh Sit!" (Best Game Show winner at the 2013 International Rose d'Or Awards); CMT's first daily original series "Win, Lose or Pawn"; The Weather Channel's "So You Think You'd Survive", TV One's "NAACP Image Awards" and "NAACP Image Awards Red Carpet Live", CMT's all-time No. 1 original "The Singing Bee," (previously on NBC), and "Dancing Fools" on ABC Family. He currently has numerous shows in development in the U.S., Canada, the UK and all around the world, including broadcast network, cable and first run syndication.
Gurin began his career as a writer on MTV's "Remote Control" and Nickelodeon's "Double Dare," "Make the Grade" and "Wild and Crazy Kids." He worked for more than 70 companies as a development executive and as a freelance writer/director/producer before establishing his own company in 1997. He went on to produce "CBS' Candid Camera" in primetime for four years, which was followed by an extensive run of shows on NBC, including "Twenty One," "Weakest Link," "The Singing Bee," "Miss Universe," "Miss USA" and "Miss Teen USA." He wrote "Before They Were Stars" (ABC), "Night-Rap" (HBO) and he produced six seasons of GSN's all-time No. 1 original program, "Lingo."
Gurin chairs the Format Committee for NATPE (National Association of Television and Programming Executives), and sits on the international Board of Directors for FRAPA (Format Recognition and Protection Association). He developed and produces the prestigious Television Academy Honors for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, along with their annual TV Academy Hall Of Fame. In 2013, Gurin served on the jury for the MIP Formats International Pitch in Cannes, France.
Shark on ABC's "Shark Tank"
Mark Cuban is an investor who lives for his family, his "Shark Tank"companies, and the Dallas Mavericks. He is the owner of the 2011 World Champion Dallas Mavericks and best-selling author of How to Win at the Sport of Business,and was an entrepreneur from the early age of 12, when he sold garbage bags door to door. Today, Cuban is the highly successful entrepreneur and investor with an ever-growing portfolio of businesses.
Named a winner of the GQ Men of the Year in 2006 and included in The New York Times Magazine'sYear in Ideas, Cuban is recognized as being among the most influential people in both the cable and sports industries. He may be best known for his purchase of the Dallas Mavericks on January 4, 2000. Under his leadership, the team's home games have become a total entertainment experience. Despite initial criticism, he added much more to the usual game-day experience options, like the Mavericks ManiAACs. His successful efforts have brought a sense of pride and passion to the fans.
Prior to his purchase of the Mavericks, Cuban co-founded Broadcast.com, the leading provider of multi-media and streaming on the Internet. Broadcast.com was sold to Yahoo! Inc. in July, 1999. MicroSolutions, a leading national systems integrator, was co-founded by Cuban and partner Martin Woodall in 1983, and later sold to CompuServe.
Currently, Cuban is the founder of AXS TV (www.axs.tv). AXS TV and its sister network, HDNet Movies, are among the only remaining independently owned and operated TV networks in the U.S. and the first in the world to be programmed exclusively in high definition. AXS TV continues to outperform networks owned by much larger corporations and those with greater distribution.
Cuban also co-owns the Landmark Theater chain, Magnolia Pictures and Magnolia Home Video along with partner Todd Wagner. With the release of the movie "Bubble"in 2005, Magnolia and Landmark Theaters pioneered the release of the movie's "day and date,"meaning the movie was released in theaters, on TV (HDNet Movies) and on DVD all on the same day. Taking this process one step further, Cuban created the "Ultra VOD"platform, releasing movies to video-on-demand on both cable and satellite up to four weeks prior to their release in theaters.
You can follow Cuban on Twitter @mcuban
HOMETOWN Pittsburgh, PA
BIRTHDATE July 31
Shark on ABC's "Shark Tank"
Barbara Corcoran's credits include straight D's in high school and college and 20 jobs by the time she turned 23. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country: She borrowed $1,000 and quit her job as a waitress to start a tiny real estate company in New York City. Over the next 25 years Barbara would parlay that $1,000 loan into a $5 billion real estate business building the largest and best known brand in the business.
Corcoran is the author of the best seller Shark Tales, how I turned $1000 into a billion dollar business!
Corcoran is a motivational and inspirational speaker and is the real estate contributor for "The Today Show" on NBC and is a frequent contributor to every major network.
Barbara's new syndicate, Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners allows would-be angels to invest alongside her on Angel list. Follow Barbara on Twitter @BarbaraCorcoran.
HOMETOWN Edgewater, NY
BIRTHDATE March 10
Shark on ABC's "Shark Tank"
Lori Greiner started with one idea and turned it into a multi-million dollar international brand. She is now regarded as one of the most prolific inventors of retail products, having created over 450 products, and currently holds 120 U.S. and international patents. A well-known celebrity personality on QVC-TV, Greiner has hosted her own show, "Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner," for over 15 years.
Greiner's cleverly designed products cover a large range, as she is constantly adding new items. From must-have organizers for the home to kitchen tools, travel bags and clever solutions for everyday problems, Lori's products are enjoyed by men and women alike. She is known for creating some of the most popular jewelry and cosmetic organizers of all time. Her inspiration comes from her passion to bring happiness to people by making their everyday lives easier. Her products are sold on QVC and in retailers across the U.S. and in Europe.
Greiner's accomplishments come from her sharp instincts and strong business sense. She oversees the legal and patent processes, and has driven her business to the success it has achieved. An expert on patenting and a guest speaker for the United States Patent & Trademark Office, she is hands-on in all facets of taking a product from concept to creation and to market within months. She has also helped many budding entrepreneurs turn their ideas into hit products. At the heart of her own success is a combination of talent, hard work and perseverance, as well as sincere, energetic on-air appeal.
Greiner's products are regularly featured in top magazines like O, The Oprah Magazine, InStyle, Woman's Day, and Family Circle. She has also been profiled in Financial Times, Forbes, Success, Entrepreneur and has appeared on "The View," Bloomberg, CNN and many others. Her Initial Silver Safekeeper was chosen as one of Oprah's favorite things.
A great believer that, if you are lucky enough to be successful, you have a responsibility to give back, Greiner's most gratifying moments come when she is able to help budding entrepreneurs achieve the same success she feels lucky enough to have enjoyed. She also believes that what matters most in life is who a person is and what is in their soul. She and her company annually donate a substantial amount of their profits to a variety of charities. Her all-American success story is refreshing in today's challenging economy. Her inventions address the everyday needs of a wide-range of people, and her affordable pricing makes her products accessible, allowing her to spread her enthusiasm for problem-solving to millions.
Lori, in her effort to "pay it forward," wrote her first book, Invent It, Sell It, Bank It (Random House, 2014), which was named one of the top 10 business books by Amazon.com, and also made Wall Street Journal's top business books of 2014. Invent It, Sell It, Bank It, is a hands-on, nuts and bolt guide to getting a product off the ground and making it a success. Lori takes you step-by-step all along the way. Another part of the book's tremendous popularity are the personal stories Lori shares and exclusive, behind the scenes about her journey.
In addition, Lori is a much sought after speaker inspiring others to achieve their goals and dreams as she has and offers in her book and on stage the recipe to achieve great success. This also adds to Lori's philosophy of helping others and sharing her experience to benefit others-all in an entertaining way.
HOMETOWN Chicago, IL
BIRTHDATE December 9
Shark on ABC's "Shark Tank"
Robert Herjavec is one of North America's most recognizable business leaders. Born in Eastern Europe, he arrived to North America on a boat with his parents after escaping Communism in the former Yugoslavia. From delivering newspapers and waiting on tables, to launching a computer company from his basement, his drive to achieve has led him to the fulfillment of a better life for himself and his family.
A dynamic entrepreneur, Robert has built and sold several IT companies to major players such as AT&T on his way to amassing a personal fortune. Robert recently launched The Herjavec Group, which has quickly grown from $400K in sales to $150 million. The Herjavec Group is recognized as a leader in cyber security and one of the fastest growing technology companies.
His inspiring books, Driven and The Will to Win, were simultaneously Top 10 Bestsellers that earned him the title of "Best Selling Author." Robert's motivational business advice has received millions of impressions through TV, print, radio and digital media.
To Robert, running a business is a lot like one of his greatest passions, racing cars. He believes, "You have to stay LASER-FOCUSED when driving a car over 200 miles an hour, similar to growing a business in today's world of rapidly changing technology." For the past three years, Robert has competed as Ferrari #007 for The Herjavec Group Racing in the North American Ferrari Challenge Series including winning The Montreal Grand Prix, Laguna Seca, and the Rookie of the Year.
You can follow Herjavec on Twitter @robertherjavec
HOMETOWN Varazdin, Croatia
Shark on ABC's "Shark Tank"
Daymond John is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Over the past 20 years he has gone from sewing logos on hats in his basement to establishing an international clothing empire, earning himself the iconic title"Godfather of Urban Fashion." In addition to his success in style, John has become one of the world's most sought-after branding experts and motivational speakers.
As President, CEO, and Founder of FUBU, John revolutionized the sportswear industry in the 1990s with a distinctive line of fashionable attire that transcended the underserved urban market and became wildly popular in the mainstream teen market. He has since gone on to own and operate several other lines, including Crown Holder, Kappa USA, Coogi and Heatherette.
John's first foray into the apparel market came in the early 1990s. He was looking to purchase a tie-top hat but was put off by the high prices. Taking this discovery as an opportunity, he began to spend his mornings producing his own tie-top hats and his nights selling them on the streets of his Queens neighborhood. John recruited his friends to help him with the production and, after making an $800 profit in the first day of his new venture, it became clear that they had discovered an untapped market. John and company soon created the distinctive FUBU logo and began sewing it on hockey jerseys, sweatshirts and t-shirts. Soon, famed entertainer LL Cool J, a neighborhood friend and music idol of the time, agreed to wear one of John's shirts in a picture that would become the centerpiece of FUBU's first promotional campaign. In 1992, FUBU premiered at the MAGIC fashion trade show in Las Vegas. The line of distinctively cut and vibrantly colored sportswear was an instant hit, garnering $300,000 in orders and securing the company a contract with New York City-based department store powerhouse Macy's. A landmark distribution deal with Korean conglomerate Samsung soon followed, allowing FUBU to be manufactured and distributed on a massive scale. In 1998, FUBU made $350 million in revenue and John's neighborhood tie-hat business was suddenly in direct competition with well-known brands like Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger.
Often touted as a"branding genius" in the marketing world, John's services have been courted by Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, Turner Networks and Nike. In response to this demand, he established the branding firm Shark Branding, separate from his apparel businesses. Specializing in brand strategies, brand development, licensing, artist relations and marketing, John and Shark Branding have perfected the methods for ingraining companies, brands and products into the social consciousness. He has recently used his marketing techniques in the tech space in working with Mobli, EzVIP, TicketLeap, Shopify and Resultly. In addition, the thriving marketing company recently added a celebrity brand management division anchored by John's extensive experience working with superstars such as Muhammad Ali, Pitbull, Idris Elba, Lennox Lewis, and the Kardashians.
In 2007 John entered the literary world with his first book Display of Power: How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion, Branding and Lifestyle. A roadmap for success in business andin life, his first pass as an author was selected by the Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2007. He went on to release the second nonfiction offering from his best-selling Display of Power series, The Brand Within: How We Brand Ourselves, from Birth to the Boardroom, an examination of celebrity-fueled brand loyalty, consumer impulses and purchasing habits.
In addition to his ventures in the fashion, branding and literary worlds, John is an active angel investor in a range of businesses from fashion to health clubs to his new priority, technology. He has also lent his business acumen to famed institutions including Brandeis University, the University of Southern California and Harvard Business School. He currently serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at Babson College.
John's revolutionary contributions to fashion and American business have been recognized by many organizations that have honored him over the years. His achievements include Brandweek Marketer of the Year (1999), the Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign (1999), the NAACP Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1999), Crain's Business of Forty Under Forty Award (2002), and Ernst & Young's New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2003). In 1999 FUBU the Collection became the first company to receive the ESSENCE Achievement Award.
You can follow John on Twitter @TheSharkDaymond
HOMETOWN Hollis, Queens, NY
BIRTHDATE February 23
Shark on ABC's "Shark Tank"
As the son of a travelling ILO executive, Kevin O'Leary lived and was educated in Cambodia, Cyprus, Tunisia, Ethiopia, France and Switzerland. After getting his MBA, he founded Special Event Television, an independent production company producing such original sports programming as "The Original Six," "Don Cherry's Grapevine" and "Bobby Orr and the Hockey Legends."
In 1986, O'Leary founded SoftKey Software Products (later called The Learning Company), the first software company to apply the principles of consumer goods marketing to the software industry. SoftKey grew quickly as the price of personal computers declined and millions of American families began to buy software for education and entertainment. SoftKey soon became a catalyst of consolidation in the software industry, raising over $1 billion in financing and completing a series of aggressive acquisitions, including WordStar International, Spinnaker Software, Compton's New Media, The Learning Company, Creative Wonders, The Minnesota Educational Computer Company, Mindscape and Broderbund. By 1998 O'Leary's company was the undisputed world leader in educational, reference and home productivity software and the world's second largest consumer software company, with annual sales over $800 million, 2,000 employees and offices in 15 countries. In 1999, Mattel acquired the company for $4.2 billion.
In 2003, O'Leary co-founded Storage Now, a leading developer of climate controlled storage facilities. Through development projects and acquisitions, Storage Now soon had operations in 11 cities, serving such companies as Merck and Pfizer, and was acquired by In Storage REIT in March 2007 for $110 million. In 2007, O'Leary became a founding investor and Director of Boston-based Stream Global Services Inc., focused on the growing outsourcing business services market.
Today, O'Leary leads the O'Leary Financial Group, a group of financial services companies that includes O'Leary Funds, a mutual fund company with $1 billion under management. He is also the founder and Chief Sommelier of O'Leary Fine Wines, an award-winning wine label, as well as a member of Boston's 107-year old Hamilton Trust.
In addition to "Shark Tank," O'Leary co-hosted Discovery Channel's "Project Earth" television series that explored the financial implications of global climate change, and he is a regular contributor on CNBC. Kevin is an avid guitarist, photographer and author. He has written three bestselling books, including Cold Hard Truth on Men, and Women and Money.
Find and follow Kevin O'Leary online at kevinoleary.com, on Twitter at @kevinolearytv and on Facebook at facebook.com/kevinolearytv.
HOMETOWN Boston, MA
BIRTHDATE July 9
Based on the hit UK television series of the same name, "Mistresses" returns for a second season. The provocative and thrilling drama continues to focus on the scandalous lives of a sexy and sassy group of four girlfriends, each on their own path to self-discovery. After recent and dramatic events in their romantic relationships, best friends Savi, Joss, Karen and April find they need each other's support more than ever as they attempt to rebuild and reinvent their lives.
It's been eight months since Savi was in the horrific car accident that almost took her life. Her husband Harry, as well as Dominic, the father of her baby, are still dealing with the repercussions of the paternity revelation. Her feelings for both men affect her in ways she didn't expect and it wasn't easy for Savi to make her eventual choice. Now that she's cheated death, she knows she must make the most of her second chance. As she heals both physically and emotionally, Savi goes back to work part time at the law firm. Things don't go smoothly as she finds herself sharing an office with a stunning new hire, attorney Antonia "Toni" Ruiz (Rebeka Montoya, "General Hospital," in a recurring role) who seems to have no sense of personal boundaries -- and who appears to have more than a professional interest in Dom.
Joss, Savi's free-spirited and capricious baby sister, has become the one who Savi starts to lean on, instead of the other way around like it was before the accident. Joss has left behind her job as a real estate agent to try her hand at a new career as a party planner to wealthy Angelenos. After finding love in all the wrong places, Joss is OK to live the single life and has no interest in a committed, long-term relationship. But that stance is tested when a handsome surgeon (Justin Hartley, "Revenge," in a recurring role) becomes smitten with her and thinks he will be the one to change her mind.
Karen, a therapist, struggles to rebound from loss, both personal and professional. She had her own close encounter with death from the widow of the man with who she was having an affair. The man was a wealthy, married and terminally ill client to whom she had prescribed morphine. When his distraught son turned to her for solace, another complicated affair began. Karen was suspended from private practice. With the suspension lifted, she slowly begins building her private practice again after encountering a troubled, but intriguing patient, Anna Choi (Catherine Haena Kim in a recurring role). Surprisingly, her old work partner, Jacob (Matthew Del Negro) also reappears on the scene. She begins a journey to self-discovery filled with dark twists and revealing turns. Hopefully, she will come to understand why she continues to avoid the intimacy she wants so badly.
April is determined to move on after her presumably dead husband resurfaced with another woman and child. Her friends push her to break out of her comfort zone. They know she's capable of getting back to expressing her artistic "mojo" and encourage her to do so. April's life is already busy with raising her 11-year-old daughter, managing her home decorating shop, and trying to find Mr. Right! But when she meets a sexy, free-spirited artist (Ricky Whittle, "Single Ladies," in a recurring role) – that mojo gets unleashed and she discovers a side to herself she never knew existed
When it comes to love, these four girlfriends find support and guidance with each other as they push the limits, test their boundaries and discover just how far they are prepared to go. They are willing to brave love's turbulent journey, as well as its excitement, secrecy and betrayal, all the while bound by the complex relationships they've created.
"Mistresses" stars Alyssa Milano as Savannah ("Savi") Davis, Yunjin Kim as Karen Kim, Rochelle Aytes as April Malloy, Jes Macallan as Josslyn ("Joss") Carver, Brett Tucker as Harry Davis, and Jason George as Dominic Taylor.
Based on the UK television series, "Mistresses" is executive-produced by Rina Mimoun, KJ Steinberg, Robert Sertner and Douglas Rae. The series is from ABC Studios.
RINA MIMOUN, executive producer
Rina Mimoun started her television career as a WGA intern on the Fox sitcom "Ned & Stacey," landing her first staff-writing position on the UPN sitcom "Guys Like Us." Her credits include "Jack & Jill," "Dawson's Creek," "Everwood," "Gilmore Girls," "Pushing Daisies," "Privileged" (which she created for the CW), "Eastwick," "Hart of Dixie," and "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland." Mimoun serves on the board of the Catherine H. Tuck Foundation, a charity offering financial aid to women with breast cancer.
KJ STEINBERG, executive producer
KJ Steinberg started her television career as a staff writer on "Judging Amy," and spent the following year writing for "Beautiful People" before co-creating the critically acclaimed ABC drama "The Nine" with brother Hank Steinberg. She was co-executive producer for the first and fourth seasons of "Gossip Girl" and supervising producer for "State of Mind," starring Lili Taylor. Steinberg has written and produced multiple pilots for ABC, including the 2012 romantic period drama, "The Gilded Lilys," starring Blythe Danner.
ROBERT SERTNER, executive producer
Bob Sertner has executive-produced some of television's most successful projects, including multiple series and over 125 movies for television. His most recent series credits include ABC's "No Ordinary Family" and the hit drama "Revenge." His long list of television movies include the record-shattering docudrama "The Pregnancy Pact"; "Girl Positive," a multiple award-winning drama about the tragedy of teen AIDS, for which he won an inaugural Television Academy Honors Award; the critically acclaimed and highly rated "We Were the Mulvaneys," based on the best-selling novel by Joyce Carol Oates and nominated for three Emmy Awards; and "Gracie's Choice," winner of the Prism Award for excellence in depiction of drug and alcohol abuse and starring Kristen Bell and Anne Heche in an Emmy-nominated performance. Among other highly successful projects Sertner is proud to include on his resume are "Too Young to Die," starring Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis; "Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid"; "To Heal a Nation," a dramatization of the birth of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC; and "The West Side Waltz," with Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minnelli and Kathy Bates -- three Academy Award-winning actresses.
DOUGLAS RAE, executive producer
Douglas Rae is founder and CEO of Ecosse Films, which has produced 13 films and over 300 hours of network television for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Showtime, Starz Channel and WGBH. His first feature film, "Mrs. Brown," won 12 major international awards, including a BAFTA nomination for Producer of the Year and two Oscar nominations. Other films he has produced include "Charlotte Gray" (starring Cate Blanchett), "Becoming Jane" (with Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy), "Nowhere Boy" (the story of John Lennon's childhood) and "Wuthering Heights" (directed by Andrea Arnold). Rae's most recent film was "Diana," starring Naomi Watts and he is currently producing "Girls Night Out" in London.
In television Rae has produced such British favorites as "The Ambassador," "Monarch of the Glen," "Macready & Daughter" and "Raw." He has also produced acclaimed dramas, including "My Boy Jack" (starring Daniel Radcliffe and Kim Cattrall) and recently "Fleming" (starring Dominic Cooper) and "The Great Fire". In 2008 he executive-produced the enormously popular "Mistresses" for the BBC, and went on to executive-produce Seasons Two and Three.
Savannah "Savi" Davis on ABC's "Mistresses"
Actress Alyssa Milano has spent almost her entire life in the public eye. A famous child actor, she has continued to work throughout adulthood in both television and film. Milano starred on the hit WB series "Charmed" for nine years, as well as on the Fox cornerstone series "Melrose Place." She began her career on ABC's hit series "Who's the Boss," had a recurring role on the hit NBC comedy "My Name is Earl" and also starred in the ABC comedy "Romantically Challenged." She recently served as the host of the reality series, "Project Runway All Stars."
Milano was most recently seen on the big screen in Garry Marshall's "New Year's Eve" and in "Hall Pass." Additional film credits include "Hugo Pool," "Fear" and "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star." She provided a lead voice for Disney's sequel to the animated favorite "Lady and the Tramp," starred in and produced the independent film "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend," appeared in Lifetime's "Sunday's at Tiffany's," and played the title character in the Lifetime film "Wisegal," which she also produced.
Outside Hollywood, Milano is well-known for her philanthropic work. UNICEF invited her to become a National Ambassador in 2003. Her first trip was to Angola, Africa (May 2004) to see first-hand the issues plaguing the newly liberated country. She followed that trip with a visit to India in June 2005. She is currently working with UNICEF to educate American youth to the issues crucial to that country's evolution, worked on UNICEF's pivotal "Trick or Treat" campaign as an official spokesperson, and has plans to work with the organization on numerous projects in the future.
Milano hosted a photography exhibition and auction in 2002 in Los Angeles to raise money for charitable efforts in South Africa. An avid photographer, she displayed her own work, as well as that of schoolchildren from L.A.'s Venice Arts program. The event raised close to $50,000 for Nkosi's Haven, an organization that runs care centers in South Africa for AIDS-afflicted mothers and children. Milano was honored for her efforts with a Humanitarian Award from Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations.
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control (GNNTDC), an alliance of international partnerships based at the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington DC and formed by the Clinton Global Initiative to lead the global effort to treat, control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the world's poorest countries, recently named Milano the organization's founding ambassador. She will continue work to raise awareness of GNNTDC and NTDs among the mainstream media and with the general public.
Milano has her own clothing and jewelry line, TOUCH by Alyssa Milano. Launched in the Spring of 2007, TOUCH was born out of necessity: An avid baseball fan, when she went to games she wanted to wear fan gear to support her team, but found that the product mix offered in the marketplace did not address everyday fashion needs. She felt women should be able to look stylish while cheering on their favorite team, so she partnered with G-III Apparel Group and Major League Baseball to design and distribute a line of juniors' ladies MLB apparel. The line is not just for baseball fans anymore; recently she joined forces with the NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA, Major League Soccer, Minor League Baseball and The Kentucky Derby to make TOUCH available to their fans as well.
Milano's book, SAFE AT HOME: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic, chronicles her passion for baseball and how her love for the game has helped shape who she is. Milano is married and resides in Los Angeles.PERSONAL INFORMATION
Karen Kim on ABC's "Mistresses"
An accomplished actress, Yunjin Kim's portrayal of Sun in the ABC landmark television series "Lost" has earned her worldwide recognition. She originally made a name for herself in Korea and all over Asia with the film "Shiri."
Kim was bashful as a child, so she decided to get over her shyness by taking drama classes in the seventh grade. She was immediately cast in a musical and fell in love with the theatre.
Her Korean feature film credits include starring roles in "Ardor," "Yesterday," "Iron Palm," "Ginko Bed 2," "Diary of June," "Seven Days," "Harmony," "Heartbeat" "The Neighbors" and the Japanese film "Rush," as well as roles in the television weekend dramas "With Love" and "Wedding Dress," and the miniseries "Hunch" and "Beautiful Vacation." For her role in "Seven Days" she was nominated for a 2008 Blue Dragon, Korean Film Award and won Grand Bell Award for Best Actress. She will star in a new Korean film, "International Market," scheduled to premiere worldwide on Christmas Day 2014.
She has also guest hosted on ABC's "The View."
Kim was the Goodwill Ambassador for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea, representing Korea. While born in Seoul, Korea, she grew up in Staten Island, New York. She attended the prestigious High School of Performing Arts in New York and received her BFA in acting from Boston University.
HOMETOWN...............Staten Island, NY
April Malloy on ABC's "Mistresses"
Best known for her break-out role in Tyler Perry's hit motion picture, "Madea's Family Reunion," Her past television credits include co-starring roles on Fox's drama "Drive," with Nathan Fillion and Emma Stone, and ABC's "The Forgotten," opposite Christian Slater. She has been a recurring character on several series, including "Desperate Housewives," "Detroit 1-8-7," "Dirt" and "House of Payne," and has guest-starred on many others, including "White Collar," "NCIS," "ER" and "Las Vegas."
Not limiting her talents to the small screen, Aytes has starred in several feature films, among them "White Chicks" and "Trick ‘R Treat." She can next be seen leading the cast in the indie feature "My Favorite Fave."
A New York native, Aytes' first love was actually ballet.A trained dancer, she appeared with Ballet Hispanico in New York City and toured nationally with the Broadway cast of "Aida" before focusing on acting.
She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
HOMETOWN...............New York, NY
Josslyn Carver on ABC's "Mistresses"
A graduate of the University of Florida, Jes Macallan’s interest in the arts began early. A classically trained dancer, she studied from the age of three for 18 years and still practices today. She later modeled in Miami, New York and Milan before studying acting at the Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York City.
Macallan’s television credits include the series "Shameless," "Justified," "The Protector," "Grey’s Anatomy" and "NCIS: Los Angeles." In addition, she will star in the upcoming film, "The Mentor," scheduled for a 2014 release.
An ambassador for the Best Friends Animal Society, Jes makes her home in Los Angeles with husband Jason Gray-Stanford and their four dogs.
Harry Davis on ABC's "Mistresses"
Brett Tucker has been busy working in Australian and US productions since graduating from Melbourne's National Theatre Drama School. While best known in Australia for his long standing role of Dave Brewer in the award-winning TV series "Mcleod's Daughters," he is also recognized for his role of Daniel Fitzgerald in "Neighbours."
After his notable feature debut in the Australian independent film "Mall Boy," Brett has gone on to appear in "The Outsider," "The Great Raid," "I Love You Too," and most recently, Marvel Comic's "Thor: The Dark World."
He has had much success starring in various pilots and as a recurring guest star on US television, appearing in "CSI," "Off The Map," "Spartacus" and "Castle." Brett has also been involved in theatre: "The Woman in Black" for New Theatricals, and "Off The Point" for La Mama.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, Brett continues to enjoy much success between Australia and the United States. Brett is an avid surfer and guitar player.
Dominic Taylor on ABC's "Mistresses"
Jason George is an actor with over 50 guest star and eight series regular television roles to his credit. Originally, George and his mentor—a Virginia Supreme Court Justice—had mapped out a career path in law. However, a college friend coaxed Jason into taking an acting class where he discovered his true calling on the stage.
The career change paid off when George beat out 14,000 hopefuls in a nationwide search and landed his first major acting job on Aaron Spelling's "Sunset Beach." George is also known for his work on "Grey's Anatomy" as Bailey's love interest, Dr. Ben Warren, "Eve" and "Eli Stone" with Victor Garber and Jonny Lee Miller or films such as "Three Can Play That Game," "The Climb" or "Barbershop" with Anthony Anderson and Ice Cube.
A classically trained theater actor, George starred in U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove's epic drama, "The Darker Face of the Earth." The play relocates Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex" to the plantation south in 1820 and received accolades from The Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter. In 2013, George starred in The Pasadena Playhouse production of "Twelve Angry Men."
After receiving a BA from the University of Virginia, Jason went on to get his Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Temple University and sits on the Board for Temple's School of Communications and Theater. However, George has spent much of his free time in support of his fellow actors by serving on the National Boards of both the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists—now merged into SAG-AFTRA. He is the chair of the union's National Diversity Advisory committee, Co-Chair of the Hollywood EEO Committee and has been part of the unions' negotiating team for the last several prime-time television and film contracts where he has been instrumental in helping protect performers and championing diversity.
HOMETOWN...............Virginia Beach, VA
Sam Grey on ABC's "Mistresses"
Born in Freehold, New Jersey, Erik Stocklin graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a BA in theatre. During that time he was a member of New Haven's Elm Shakespeare Company for five consecutive seasons, and studied at Circle in the Square Theatre School NYC.
Stocklin's previous television credits include "The Vampire Diaries," "First Day," "Let's Big Happy" and the live action Cartoon Network pilot, "Krog." Film credits include "Donner Pass," "Nesting" and the upcoming "Grey Sheep."
Stocklin currently resides in Los Angeles.
Two-time Emmy winner Patricia Heaton stars in this warm and witty single-camera comedy about raising a family and lowering your expectations. Middle-aged, middle class and living in the middle of the country in Orson, Indiana, Frankie Heck is a married wife and mother of three who uses her wry wit and sense of humor to get her family through each day intact. Frankie works as a dental assistant, and her unflappable husband, Mike, is manager at the local quarry and her sardonic partner in the daily grind that is raising their average – yes, most definitely average – family.
Between juggling shifts and picking up fast food dinners eaten in front of the TV, Frankie and Mike raise their kids with love, humor and solid Midwestern practicality. Axl, the oldest, is a jock slacker who is beginning his second year of college via a sports scholarship; moving this year from the dorm to a house with his friend and teammate Hutch. Now responsible for his own meals, it's a given that he will continue to come home often and eat his family out of house and home. Then there's the ever-optimistic Sue, their extraordinarily ordinary daughter, who fails at just about everything she tries with great gusto. Now in her senior year of high school, this just might be the "year of Sue" as things may finally start going her way. And finally there's Brick, their quirky son, now navigating his way through his second year in the treacherous times of middle school. He reads constantly, whispers and "whoops" to himself and has always unapologetically marched to the beat of his own drummer. But now that he's getting older, he wonders if he might be missing something, leading him into a misguided effort to be more social.
Their hilarious struggles continue, but through all the madness shines a loving family, and together, the Hecks are putting THE MIDDLE on the map.
"The Middle" stars Patricia Heaton as Frankie, Neil Flynn as Mike, Charlie McDermott as Axl, Eden Sher as Sue and Atticus Shaffer as Brick.
"The Middle" was created and is executive-produced by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline. The series is from Warner Bros. Television.
EILEEN HEISLER & DeANN HELINE, creators, executive producers
Eileen Heisler & DeAnn Heline have enjoyed a 22-year career writing on some of television's biggest hits. They have been friends and writing partners since Heisler, who hails from a suburb of Chicago, met Heline, who comes from a suburb of Cincinnati, when they were assigned to the same dorm at Indiana University. Later, they independently transferred to New York University, where they each earned B.F.A's in television from NYU's famed Tisch School of the Arts.
A break on ABC's"Doogie Howser, MD" led to writing on the staff of"Roseanne." During their tenure, the show won the Peabody Award, the Humanitas Prize and the Golden Globe. From there they went on to produce"Murphy Brown," where in two consecutive years series star Candice Bergen won Emmys for episodes written by Heisler & Heline, in addition to the series' Humanitas Prize. Heisler & Heline went on to executive-produce and showrun such successful series as"Ellen" and"How I Met Your Mother." Most recently they had several development deals during which they created and executive-produced"Three Sisters,""Committed" and"Lipstick Jungle."
During that time they also tried, with varying success, to maintain their sanity, raise their children and find decent parking in LA. With"The Middle," Heisler & Heline are happy to be returning to their roots at ABC, and celebrating their roots in the Midwest… where there is always plenty of parking.
“The Middle" has received two Humanitas Prize nominations, a Critics' Choice Award nomination and won a Gracie Award for Outstanding Comedy. Eden Sher recently received a Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Sue Heck.
Heline currently resides in Pacific Palisades with husband Bruce Bolkin, president of Southland Publishing, and their two daughters, Kate (15) and Emery (13).
Heisler also resides in Pacific Palisades with husband Adam Wolman, a television executive, and their twin sons, Justin and Ben (14).
Frankie on ABC's "The Middle"
Patricia Heaton is perhaps best known for her role as Debra Barone on the award-winning series "Everybody Loves Raymond."She won two Emmy Awards for the role and was nominated seven times. In addition to her Emmy wins, Heaton is also the recipient of the Best Comedy Actress Award from the Viewers for Quality Television, a SAG Award and three SAG nominations in the Best Actress category for her work on "Raymond."
Heaton starred opposite Kelsey Grammer in the critically acclaimed comedy series "Back to You."She also starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, "Front of the Class." Her other television credits include a recurring role on ABC's popular series "thirtysomething" and prominent roles in the series "Room for Two," "Someone Like Me" and "Women of the House," as well as the television films "A Town Without Christmas" and "Miracle in the Woods."
On stage, Heaton garnered praise for the role as Stella in the Second Stage production of "The Scene," a play by Theresa Rebeck. She received a Lortel Award nomination for her performance.
Heaton produced and starred in the TNT/FourBoys Films production, "The Engagement Ring," and also starred in the TNT/Neil Simon production of "The Goodbye Girl"and ABC's "The Path to 9/11." Feature film credits include "Memoirs of an Invisible Man," "Beethoven," "New Age" and "Space Jam."
In addition to her acting and producing credits, Heaton is a bestselling author whose book, Motherhood and Hollywood -- How to Get a Job Like Mine,made the New York Times Bestseller list.
In 2001 Heaton co-founded FourBoys Films, a production company which she runs with her husband, David Hunt. Most recently, FourBoys' produced the feature comedy "Mom's Night Out," which starred both Heaton and Hunt and was released by Sony's Affirm. Additional FourBoys' productions include "The Engagement Ring"for TNT, the documentary feature "The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania"and the acclaimed film "Amazing Grace," directed by Michael Apted, in conjunction with Bristol Bay Productions. FourBoys also partnered with MyDamnChannel.com on the web series "Versailles," which featured Heaton as eccentric B movie star Evelyn Anders.
Heaton, who lives in Los Angeles with her husband and four sons, was recently honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
HOMETOWN Bay Village, OH
BIRTHDATE March 4
Mike on ABC's "The Middle"
Born on Chicago's South Side and raised in Waukegan, Illinois, Neil Flynn was the third of six children. Although he performed in plays during his school years, it wasn't until he was getting ready to graduate from Bradley University in Peoria that he began to think that performing was something he could actually do for a living.
After college, Flynn returned to Chicago and pursued a career in live theater. He appeared at the prestigious Steppenwolf and Goodman theaters, worked with Aidan Quinn ("Hamlet") and Brian Dennehy ("Galileo"), and was twice a Jefferson Award nominee. He became a mainstay at Chicago's Improv Olympic and went on to become a member of the Second City Comedy Troupe in Chicago.
Equally adept at comedy and drama, Flynn has performed a variety of roles on television series, ranging from playing Sacred Heart Hospital's menacing janitor for eight seasons on "Scrubs," "Seinfeld," "The Drew Carey Show" and"That ‘70s Show" to "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Boston Public"and"NYPD Blue." Other TV appearances include "Arli$$," "Ellen," "Family Law"and"Smallville."
On the big screen, he can be seen interrogating Harrison Ford in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," directed by Steven Spielberg, and is also well known for playing Lindsay Lohan's dad in the hit comedy "Mean Girls." Other feature credits include "Hoot,""Home Alone 3,""The Fugitive," "Chain Reaction,""Rookie of the Year," "Baby's Day Out" and "Major League."
Flynn is a core member of the popular improvisation group Beer, Shark, Mice, which frequently performs at IO West in Hollywood.
HOMETOWN Chicago, IL
BIRTHDATE November 13
Axl on ABC's "The Middle"
Charlie McDermott is a rising star who has already made his presence felt on both the large and small screens. He is also adding writer and director to his list of credits with the upcoming film "ImagiGary." The film, written and directed by McDermott, is a coming of age comedy about a freshman in college, Henry, who rediscovers his imaginary friend, Gary, through the loneliness of his first week at college. He stars in the film alongside Nate Hartley (co-writer) and Haley Ramm. The film was produced in McDermott's hometown, the suburbs of Philadelphia.
On the big screen McDermott appeared in the comedy "Hot Tub Time Machine," opposite John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Chevy Chase, and was seen alongside Laura Linney and writer/director Leland Orser in "Morning." He also appeared in the critically praised "Frozen River," earning a Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The recipient of the Sundance 2008 Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Film, the movie has also been honored by the Gotham Awards, Hamburg Film Festival, National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
McDermott began his career with M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village," where he starred alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver. Additional films include a supporting role in the Sundance favorite "The Ten," with Jessica Alba, Adam Brody, Gretchen Mol, Oliver Platt, Paul Rudd, Winona Ryder and Liev Schreiber, Summit Entertainment's "The Sex Drive," opposite Seth Green and James Marsden, and the independent films "All Along" and "Disappearances."
Television roles include Lifetime's "Bond of Silence," "The Office," as the disinterested student who ignores Michael Scott (Steve Carell), "Private Practice," "Parks and Recreation," PBS' Emmy Award-winning "Windy Acres," "Medium" and the Hallmark films "Generation Gap" and "Safe Harbor."
Born in Pennsylvania, McDermott currently resides in Los Angeles. For additional information, please visit www.CharlieMcDermott.com.
HOMETOWN West Chester, PA
BIRTHDATE April 6
Sue on ABC's "The Middle"
At the young age of eight, Eden Sher began singing in her school chorus, which led to acting in school productions. After a small appearance on "The Tonight Show," which happened to be shot at her school, she discovered that performing was indeed her passion, and has continued ever since to work in commercials, television, films and on stage.
Sher recently completed production on the feature film "The Outskirts," co-starring opposite Victoria Justice, and appeared in the "Veronica Mars" film on the big screen. She has won a Critics Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her role as Sue Heck after three consecutive nominations. Prior to that, she was best known for her work on ABC's "Sons & Daughters." She also starred in Starz's "Party Down," ABC Family's "The Middleman," Disney Channel's "Sonny with a Chance" and Showtime's "Weeds."
Outside of acting, Sher uses her love of words and emotion to create www.the-emotionary.com, a website/tumblr/twitter dedicated to the creation of words for complex feelings that have not yet been discovered. It is updated with definitions, quips and musings, and the site invites visitors to submit their own creations.
Sher also enjoys yoga, hiking, reading, music and volunteering. She is currently involved with an organization that promotes concerts by local musicians which raises funds for various charities. Not only does she devote her time and energy in her local community, she also promotes activism abroad and has spent summers overseas volunteering – with trips to India to work at a facility for young children, and earlier in Nicaragua, helping local farmers maintain sustainable agriculture through clean water irrigation.
HOMETOWN Los Angeles, CA
BIRTHDATE December 26
Brick on ABC's "The Middle"
Atticus Shaffer lives in California with his mother, Debbie, and father, Ron, as well as a small menagerie of pets (all rescues). He was discovered by his manager and began his professional acting career in late 2006 with a guest starring role in the comedy series "The Class." Other television appearances followed, including "The Human Giant," "Days of Our Lives," "Out of Jimmy's Head," "Carpoolers" and "My Name is Earl," as well as Disney's "I'm in the Band," "Shake It Up" and most recently in Nickelodeon's "See Dad Run."
On the big screen, Atticus is perhaps best known for the bus stop scene with Will Smith in "Hancock." He also appeared as ‘Matty' in the David S. Goyer film, "The Unborn," as well as in "An American Carol," "Leaving Barstow" and "Opposite Day."
Atticus has given a voice to numerous characters, both on film and TV. He had a starring role in Tim Burton's animated feature, "Frankenweenie," for which he was nominated for an Annie Award for Best Male Voice Actor in a Feature Film and won the BTVA 2012 Award for Best Male Vocal Performance by a Child for the role of ‘Edgar E. Gore.' He has also voiced roles in the feature films "Year One" and "Subject: I Love You." On television he was a regular voice on Disney Channel's animated series "Fish Hooks" and previously voiced a recurring part on "The Penguins of Madagascar," as well as a guest role on the animated series "Thundercats." Currently, he plays a character in the Cartoon Network series, "Steven Universe." Atticus is also very talented with voice impressions and has been incorporating this into some of his recent work.
His numerous talk show appearances include "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Live with Regis and Kelly," "Conan," "The View," "Good Morning America," "The Bonnie Hunt Show," "Lopez Tonight," "Home and Family" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" -- a fan favorite. Most recently, Atticus was a presenter/speaker for the 2014 Braille Institute Braille Challenge Awards, the 2011 Genesis Awards, the 2010 CSA awards, as well as being honored in 2010 by receiving the Media Access Award from R.J. Mitte. He was invited to be the Grand Marshal of Washington, DC's 2011 National Cherry Blossom Festival and was also invited to an internship with Lego Master Builders of Legoland Florida, who honored him in spending time learning more about one of his most passionate hobbies.
Atticus continues to excel in his education and is a major history buff, which he incorporates into directing stop motion animation movies using Legos. He has recently developed a passion for "prepping." His favorite music varies from Country/Bluegrass to Christian rock, along with some popular music. He is an avid "gamer" and especially enjoys video games that include history, Legos, "Star Wars" and, of course, Zombies.
In addition to all of this are his love of acting and his true passion for comedy. He gives much love and credit to his mom and dad for enabling him to "be himself" and have the time of his life.
HOMETOWN Santa Clarita, CA
BIRTHDATE June 19
|Friday, January 11th Set Visits (buses depart hotel at 9:00 a.m.):|
|10:00 a.m.||12:00 p.m.||3:15 p.m.||6:30 p.m.|
"Jimmy Kimmel Live"
"Switched At Birth"
Red Carpet Photos
Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of Emmy nominated "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC's late-night talk show.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" is well known for its huge viral video successes with 1.5 billion views on YouTube alone. Some of Kimmel's most popular comedy bits include - Mean Tweets, Lie Witness News, Jimmy's Twerk Fail Prank, Unnecessary Censorship, YouTube Challenge, The Baby Bachelor, Movie: The Movie, Handsome Men's Club, Jimmy Kimmel Lie Detective and music videos like "I (Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum" and a Blurred Lines parody with Robin Thicke, Pharrell, Jimmy and his security guard Guillermo.
Now in its eleventh season, Kimmel's guests have included: Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Halle Berry, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Katy Perry, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Larry David, Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, Kobe Bryant, Steve Carell, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Garner, Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Jamie Foxx, Amy Poehler, Ben Affleck, Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Oprah, and unfortunately Matt Damon.
Kimmel has also created one of a kind concert experiences, taking over Hollywood Blvd. for artists such as: Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Jay-Z, Depeche Mode and Justin Timberlake as well as special outdoor and lobby performances by Lady Gaga, Adele, Miley Cyrus, Prince, Linkin Park, Drake, Tony Bennett, Pitbull, Britney Spears, Kings of Leon, Lady Antebellum, Usher, Lenny Kravitz, Brad Paisley, No Doubt, Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MUSE, Empire of the Sun, The Killers and Elton John.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" broadcasts from Disney's El Capitan Theater, located on Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of the Walk of Fame. This location gives the show unique character that Jimmy showcases regularly by interacting with the local superheroes parading along the boulevard and challenging tourists outside to participate in live comedy bits.
Jimmy Kimmel and Jill Leiderman serve as executive producers. Jason Schrift, Douglas DeLuca and Erin Irwin serve as co-executive producers. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" is shot live in front of a studio audience and produced by Jackhole Industries in association with ABC Studios. For more info, go to www.jimmykimmellive.com or Facebook.com/jimmykimmellive. You can also follow Jimmy's personal twitter account - @jimmykimmel. #Kimmel
JILL LEIDERMAN, executive producer
Jill Leiderman became executive producer of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in April 2006. Over the course of her seven-year tenure, the late-night show has grown exponentially. Following the program’s move to the 11:35 p.m., ET time slot in January of 2013, “JKL” is currently the No. 1 broadcast talk show in late-night among Adults 18-34, beating the competition, and is up over its performance last year by 50% in Total Viewers, standing as the only show of its kind to improve year over year in all three Nielsen measures.
Leiderman learned late-night comedy during the nine years she produced for CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.” During that time she orchestrated all of the show’s material in studio and on location, traveling the world to over 70 cities – from the Olympics in Japan and Salt Lake City to the annual Emmys red carpet, from MLB’s World Series’ dugout to small towns with no running water for 100 miles in any direction.
Leiderman’s credits also include serving as a VH1 network development executive/executive producer, where she oversaw multiple projects from conception to fruition (including “John Mayer Has a TV Show”), and as senior researcher/segment producer at the original, critically-acclaimed “The Jon Stewart Show” for MTV & in syndication at Paramount.
But her true start came as on-air talent at the age of 12, when she co-hosted the Emmy Award-winning kids’ Saturday morning variety show, “Kidding Around,” for WMAQ-TV Chicago, interviewing such notables as Christopher Atkins -- star of the 1980’s hit “The Blue Lagoon” -- international pre-pubescent singing sensation Menudo and prize-winning local goats from the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Host of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live"
Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of the Emmy-winning "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC's longest-running late-night talk show. Now in its eleventh season, "JKL" produces the most popular comedy bits in late-night and features a diverse lineup of guests including actors, musicians, athletes, comedians, authors, politicians, newsmakers and the occasional random weirdo. Kimmel's monologue skewers pop culture and up-to-the minute news. "JKL" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m., ET/10:35 p.m., CT, broadcasting from Disney's El Capitan Entertainment Center in Hollywood.
In addition to the nightly show, annual specials like "Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Oscars" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night" are well-known for their all-star comedy videos. Videos including "I'm F**king Matt Damon," "I'm F**king Ben Affleck," "The Handsome Men's Club," "Movie: The Movie" and "Movie: The Movie 2V" have become hugely popular on television and online.
In January 2013, Kimmel was honored with a star on Hollywood Blvd's Walk of Fame. In 2012 he hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards and the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, DC.
After 12 years in morning radio, Kimmel got his start in television as co-host of "Win Ben Stein's Money" on Comedy Central, for which he won an Emmy for Best Game Show Host in 1999. He co-hosted, co-created and executive-produced 100 episodes of "The Man Show" for Comedy Central. Kimmel also served for four seasons as on-air prognosticator for "Fox NFL Sunday," co-created, executive-produced and co-starred in "Crank Yankers" for Comedy Central/MTV, and co-created and executive-produced "The Andy Milonakis Show" for MTV and MTV2.
HOMETOWN Las Vegas, NV
BIRTHDATE November 13
"Switched at Birth" tells the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing at an early age due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a working class neighborhood. Despite overwhelming socio-economic and ethnic differences, both families must learn to co-exist as parents and blend their lives into one for the sake of their daughters.
The third season of ABC Family's Peabody Award-winning drama series airs Mondays, 8:00PM – 9:00PM ET/PT. Senior year means big changes for Bay and Daphne, as they make decisions about their future and deal with consequences of decisions already made. Daphne's work at the free clinic has inspired her to consider pre-med, but when a life-altering event takes place, she begins a spiral of self-destructive behavior that will risk everything she's worked for. Reconciled with Emmett, Bay debates attending art school and discovers a cousin she never knew she had. Kathryn deals with the reality of being a herotica novelist, Regina is torn between the pull of her old neighborhood and her new life, and the girls need to summon courage to face a moment of truth they never anticipated.
"Switched at Birth" has been honored with a Peabody Award as well as a Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming and an Imagen Award for Best Primetime Program. The series has also won AFTRA's (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) American Scene "Crystal Award®," the Producers Guild of America George Sunga Award and a Gracie Award."Switched at Birth" is executive-produced by Lizzy Weiss ("Blue Crush"), Paul Stupin ("Make It or Break It"), and John Ziffren ("Melissa & Joey," "The Fosters"). The series stars Katie Leclerc as Daphne Vasquez; Vanessa Marano ("Gilmore Girls") as Bay Kennish; Constance Marie ("George Lopez") as Regina Vasquez; D.W. Moffett ("Friday Night Lights") as John Kennish; Lea Thompson ("Back to the Future," "Caroline in the City") as Kathryn Kennish; Lucas Grabeel ("High School Musical") as Toby Kennish; Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe; and Gilles Marini ("Brothers and Sisters") as Angelo Sorrento with guest star
Creator/Executive Producer/Writer on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Lizzy Weiss is the creator and executive producer of ABC Family's groundbreaking drama "Switched at Birth." Weiss' inspiration for the show came in part from her own life. She studied sign language in college, and she thought of the "switched" premise while pregnant with her daughter and already a mother to an 18 month old son, wondering what it would be like to find out that the child she had raised was not in fact her own.
Prior to "Switched at Birth," Weiss wrote pilots for ABC, FOX, WB, CW, MTV, E, N, Lifetime, and HBO. She also wrote the surf-girl hit film "Blue Crush," and has written features for Paramount, Universal, MGM, MTV and Disney. She received the Gracie Award in 2012 for her work on "Switched at Birth" and proudly accepted the Peabody Award in 2013 on behalf of the show.
Weiss lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Dan, and their two children, Zane and Imogen.
Executive Producer on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Paul Stupin is one of the executive producers of ABC Family's award-winning series "Switched at Birth."
After graduating Williams College with a degree in English, Stupin began his television career in series development at NBC. From NBC, he segued to feature films at TriStar Pictures, then returned to television as the executive vice president of Programming at Fox. While at Fox, he oversaw the creation and development of "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "In Living Color."
Stupin moved from being an executive to a producer and his first show, "Dawson's Creek," became an instant hit. After executive-producing every episode of "Dawson's Creek," Stupin produced pilots for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW. He was also an executive producer on ABC Family's "Make It or Break It" and developed the groundbreaking "Beautiful People" for ABC Family and "In Plain Sight" for USA.
Daphne Vasquez on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Katie Leclerc (La-clair) grew up in Lakewood, Colorado, the youngest of three siblings in a close-knit family. In grade school, her spunky personality and megawatt smile won her the lead role in a production of "Annie." It was in this play that she discovered her passion for acting, while juggling other after-school activities such as basketball, choir and dance. When her family moved to San Diego, Leclerc continued to pursue theatre at Valley Center High. She started booking commercials -- Pepsi, Cingular, Comcast, and GE. Then she got her first big break, a role on the cult favorite TV show, "Veronica Mars," starring Kristen Bell.
Leclerc has continued to work in television. Her TV credits include "The Riches," "The Ex-List" and "The Hard Times of RJ Berger." She starred in the feature film "The Inner Circle" and was also in the feature "Flying By," with Billy Ray Cyrus. At home she loves to cook, and is excellent at it. You can often find her hiking away the calories from her sinfully delicious concoctions on one of L.A.'s hidden trails.
Katie Leclerc has Ménière's disease, a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo and tinnitus and degenerative hearing loss. Leclerc is fluent in American Sign Language.
Follow Katie Leclerc on Twitter at @KatieLeclerc
Bay Kennish on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Vanessa Marano started acting in the theater when she was seven years old, performing in numerous plays at A.C.T. in Agoura Hills, California. She shortly began her professional career with several national commercials and magazine modeling campaigns.
Vanessa has now been nominated multiple times for a Teen Choice Award for her portrayal of Bay Kennish, the artistic and edgy daughter in the ABC Family Television Critics Award winning show, "Switched at Birth". The series continues to be a huge success and has gone on to win multiple awards including the Peabody Award in 2012. "Switched at Birth" is set to return midseason 2014.
Apart from her current role on "Switched at Birth," Marano is recognized for her roles as April, the daughter of Luke, in the highly popular "Gilmore Girls," and as Francesca, the daughter of the Emmy(r) Award-winning Lisa Kudrow, in the HBO Original series "The Comeback." In the past, she also starred in "Scoundrels" as the scheming, school-skipping daughter of Virginia Madsen. Her impressive resume includes recurring roles in shows including "Dexter," "Without a Trace," "Medium," "Trust Me" and "The Young and The Restless." Guest-starring credits include "Perception", "Grey's Anatomy", "Private Practice", "Parenthood," "Medium," "Love Bites," "Ghost Whisperer," "Past Lives," "Six Feet Under," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Grounded for Life."
In addition to her work on some of television's most prominent series, Marano starred as a young girl who becomes a quadriplegic in the critically acclaimed television movie "The Brooke Ellison Story," directed by Christopher Reeve, and worked with Lucy Liu on a miniseries playing the troubled foster teenager, Immy, in "Marry Me." Her first film was the animated hit "Finding Nemo," followed by the independent films "Easy," "The Clique," "Stopping Power," "Dear Lemon Lima," "The Secret Lives of Dorks" and the edgy Lifetime movie "Restless Virgins," based on the sex scandal that rocked renowned Massachusetts prep school, Milton Academy, in 2005.
Marano speaks Italian and is currently enrolled in college, working around her work schedule. She is also an ambassador for the Christopher Reeve Foundation and supports Global Green and HSUS.
Regina Vasquez on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Constance Marie won a 2013 Imagen Award and 2012 ALMA Award for "Best Supporting Television Actress" for her current role as Regina Vasquez on "Switched at Birth." Marie is also known for her role as the hard-working and devoted wife, Angie, in "George Lopez," for which The Imagen Awards honored her with a Best Actress in a TV Series Award and a nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. She has made guest appearances on "CSI," "The Secret Life of an American Teenager" and "According to Jim," and starred opposite Jodi Lyn O'Keefe and Eric Roberts in The Hallmark Channel movie, "Class." She was the voice of Imelda, the mother of Antonio Banderas' character Puss in the animated film "Puss in Boots."
In her personal life, Marie is mother to three year old daughter Luna Marie Katich. Candid about the difficulties she faced trying to get pregnant and eventually turning to IVF, Marie is determined to reach out to women in similar situations to let them know that they are not alone. In addition to being extremely knowledgeable about pregnancy wellness, she is a vegetarian and organic follower, and also practices a green lifestyle, decorating her daughter's nursery with completely organic and non-toxic materials. She is also currently writing a baby blog for People.com, sharing her experiences and thoughts on trying to conceive, pregnancy, her daughter's first year and green living.
In the debut year of "George Lopez," Marie was also starring in the Golden Globe(r)-nominated series "American Family," alongside Edward James Olmos, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales and Raquel Welch. Her career began when she was a teenager in Los Angeles' underground break-dancing scene. She was selected out of a group of 500 hopefuls to dance on tour with David Bowie. Upon returning to Los Angeles, she was cast as a dancer in the movie "Salsa." The film's choreographer, Kenny Ortega, introduced her to Steve Tisch, who offered Marie her very first acting job, a starring role as Penny on the CBS series "Dirty Dancing."
It wasn't long before she was working in feature films, starring as Toni Sanchez in the New Line film "Mi Familia," directed by Gregory Nava. She won praise from fans for her portrayal of Tejano music legend Selena Quintanilla's mother, Marcella, in the blockbuster film "Selena" (only a year older than her onscreen daughter, Marie had to undergo extensive make-up in order to portray Selena's mother), and also starred in the celebrated film "Tortilla Soup" as the daughter of Raquel Welch. "Tortilla Soup" received an Alma Award nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture.
Television producer Gary David Goldberg soon offered Marie a role as Michael J. Fox's antagonist love interest, Gabby, on the hit series "Spin City." She also played Gabriella Diaz on "Union Square," for which she received an Alma Award nomination for Outstanding Female in a Comedy Series, and portrayed Detective Toni Brigatti for two seasons on the popular series "Early Edition," opposite Kyle Chandler.
Follow Constance Marie on Twitter at @GoConstance.
John Kennish on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
D.W. Moffett has amassed an impressive list of stage and screen credits. A native of the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, he never gave a thought to acting until after he graduated from Stanford University with a degree in International Relations. While he went to work at Chicago's Continental Bank, he also enrolled in an acting class on a dare...and that was the end of his banking career.
Moving along his new career path, Moffett became a founding member of Chicago's Remains Theatre Ensemble, where he starred in, directed and/or produced over 40 productions. He first came to national attention starring in Larry Kramer's landmark AIDS drama, "The Normal Heart," at The Public Theater in New York, opposite Brad Davis. Subsequently he appeared on Broadway in "The Boys of Winter," "The Real Thing" and "Contact." Most recently he appeared with Kevin Spacey in the critically acclaimed production of "The Philadelphia Story" at The Old Vic Theatre in London.
Since making the move to Hollywood, Moffett has divided his time between film and television. Favorite movie roles include appearances in, most recently, "The Sitter" with Jonah Hill, "Thirteen," starring Evan Rachel Wood, "Twisted," starring Ashley Judd and Samuel L. Jackson, and Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic," for which he won a SAG Award. He also starred as a reprehensible entertainment lawyer in Bernardo Bertolucci's "Stealing Beauty." Additional credits include "Falling Down," with Michael Douglas, "Black Widow," opposite Debra Winger, as well as numerous independent films.
Television credits include the landmark TV movie "An Early Frost," as well as series regular roles on "Life is Wild," "Hidden Palms," "Skin," "For Your Love," "Chicago Sons," "The Oldest Rookie," and as the memorable and reviled Joe McCoy on the award-winning series "Friday Night Lights." Most recently, D.W. has had the pleasure of appearing as Fran Drescher's ne'er-do-well boyfriend on "Happily Divorced." D.W. is both delighted and honored to continue his portrayal of John Kennish in the Peabody Award-winning "Switched at Birth."
Follow D.W. Moffett on Twitter at @DWMoffett.
Kathryn Kennish on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Moving between dramatic and comedic roles, Lea Thompson has established a career that encompasses film, television, and theatre. She is perhaps best known for her role in "Back to the Future I, II, and III," and as the title character in the syndicated series "Caroline in the City," for which she won TV Guide and People's Choice Awards. In addition to starring in "Switched at Birth," Thompson has directed an episode of the Peabody Award-winning drama, and will direct another episode for the upcoming season.
A native of Minnesota, Thompson began her career as a professional ballet dancer and performed in more than 45 ballets with the Minnesota Dance Theatre. Her first taste of professional theatre was with the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, in "Madeline and the Gypsies" and "The Little Mermaid." After apprenticing with the Pennsylvania Ballet, she moved to New York at age 20 to pursue an acting career. She was first featured in a supporting role in the motion picture "Jaws 3-D" with Dennis Quaid, followed by a starring role opposite Tom Cruise in "All the Right Moves." Her film career took off after that with the "BTTF" films, "Red Dawn," and the now infamous "Howard The Duck." She met her future husband when he directed her in the John Hughes' film, "Some Kind of Wonderful." Some of her other favorite roles were in "Article 99," "Casual Sex?," "Dennis the Menace," "The Wizard of Loneliness," "Space Camp," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "The Little Rascals," "The Unknown Cyclist," "Fish Don't Blink," "Exit Speed," "Mayor Cupcake" (which featured her two daughters as well), "Thin Ice," "The Trouble with the Truth," Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar," "Ping Pong Summer" with Susan Sarandon, and the most recently shot "Left Behind" playing Nicolas Cage's wife.
Thompson's television highlights include the Showtime original movie "The Right to Remain Silent;" NBC's made-for television movies "The Unspoken Truth," "The Substitute Wife," "Game of Your Life" and the miniseries, "A Will of Their Own," with Thomas Gibson; TNT's original movies, "Montana" and "Nightbreaker" with Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen, for which she received a CableACE nomination; HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" and USA's "Stealing Christmas" with Tony Danza. For Lifetime, Thompson starred in "Stolen Babies" with Mary Tyler Moore, "The Debbie Smith Story/A Life Interrupted," "Love At The Christmas Table" and the recent sequel to the award-winning Lifetime anthology "Five," titled, "Call Me Crazy: A Five Film." Thompson was also featured in the Lifetime series "Intimate Portraits." Her NBC series "Caroline in the City" was must-see TV for four years, followed by the Lifetime series "For the People." She starred in the Hallmark Channel Mystery Film series, "Jane Doe," marking her first directorial achievements on a couple of the series' films. Also for the Hallmark Channel, she starred in "Final Approach," a miniseries with Dean Cain, and "The Cabin," which filmed in Ireland. Notable television guest spots include "Friends," The Larry Sanders Show," "Ed," "Law and Order: SVU," ABC Family's "Greek" and an upcoming episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." For UP TV, Thompson just shot the film, "My Mother's Future Husband," set to air in May 2014.
Theatre highlights include "Bus Stop" at the Pasadena Playhouse; Tony Kushner's "The Illusion" for the Los Angeles Theatre Center; "Long Time Coming" at the Powerhouse Theatre; "Charlie Bacon's Family" at the John Drew Theatre in East Hampton; and "The Trip Back Down" at the Actors' Repertory Theatre. Her personal favorite was as Sally Bowles in both the National Tour and the Broadway Studio 54 production of Sam Mendes' revival of "Cabaret." More recently, Thompson has performed "The Vagina Monologues," the Los Angeles Reprise Series of "I Love My Wife" with Jason Alexander, and was the title character in "Caroline in Jersey" (no relation to "Caroline in the City") at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.
Thompson can often be seen performing for various charity functions around Los Angeles, including Breast Cancer Research's What A Pair, the Alzheimer's Association, the WeSpark Foundation and the Schleroderma Foundation, to name a few. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 24 years, film director Howard Deutch, their two very talented daughters, Zoey and Madelyn Deutch, and a menagerie of dogs, a cat, a rabbit, a tortoise, a parrot, loads of fish and chickens, and several horses.
Follow Lea Thompson on Twitter at @LeaKThompson.
Toby Kennish on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Lucas Grabeel (Gray-beal) began his career in 2003 by moving to Los Angeles from Springfield, Missouri. He first worked on the Disney Channel Original Movies "Halloweentown High" and "Return to Halloweentown." In 2006, he was cast as Ryan Evans in Disney Channel's, "High School Musical," which led to "High School Musical 2," and a feature film, "High School Musical 3: Senior Year." In between films, Grabeel and the cast set out on two international concert tours across North and South America.
Grabeel's television guest appearances include "CSI," "Family Guy," "The Cleveland Show," "Boston Legal," "Veronica Mars" and "Smallville." In 2009, Grabeel made his Broadway debut under the direction of Jason Alexander in "The Fantasticks," also starring Eric McCormick. Some of his other movies include "The Adventures of Food Boy," "Alice Upside Down" and "College Road Trip." In 2008, he appeared in the Academy Award-winning film "Milk," directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Sean Penn. In 2010, Grabeel co-starred in "Virginia," written and directed by Dustin Lance Black and starring Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris.
Follow Lucas Grabeel on Twitter at @MrGrabeel.
Emmett Bledsoe on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Sean Berdy, who was born Deaf, was destined to perform and embraced his deafness as he followed his dream and passion for entertaining. His first stage as a young boy was his parents' bed, where he put on shows for delighted family and friends alongside his younger brother, who would handle DJ and lighting needs for the events.
At a young age, Berdy also became fascinated by magic, honed his skills in the art, and won the top award for young magicians at the World Deaf Magicians Festival held in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Berdy got his first big break in acting when a casting call went out for a young deaf actor for "The Sandlot 2," the comedic sequel to "The Sandlot." His formal acting career launched, he went on to play roles in films including "The Bondage," "The Deaf Family" and "The Legend of the Mountain Man." In addition to films, he has been featured in numerous public service commercials.
In between filming engagements, Berdy has toured the country performing with highly acclaimed musical groups. His inspired dance rendition of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," performed entirely in American Sign Language, proved to be a tremendous hit. He was named Mr. Deaf Teen America, a role which enabled him to make public appearances across the country for one year.
Berdy was nominated for Choice TV Breakout Star in the 2011 Teen Choice Awards for his role as Emmett on "Switched at Birth." Most recently, Berdy worked with Twentieth Century-Fox's "Ice Age: Continental Drift" where he provided an on-camera American Sign Language performance that will play in a picture-in-picture window while the movie plays, which is an industry first.
Follow Sean Berdy on Twitter at @SeanBerdy.
Angelo Sorrento on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Gilles Marini first captivated audiences as Dante, the steamy neighbor living next door to Samantha in the feature film "Sex and the City." He played the object of "Samantha's" desires and quickly became of the object of millions of other women's desires as well. Several choice scenes made Gilles instantly recognizable in the United States and abroad.
During his summer hiatus from the show, Marini filmed director Harris Goldberg's romantic comedy "The List" opposite Jennifer Morrison, Patrick Fugit and Eddie Kaye Thomas. The film is a romantic comedy about a young man who undertakes the task of fulfilling a self-improvement list to secure the girl of his dreams.
Marini recently competed on "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars." He also starred on ABC's marquee family drama "Brothers & Sisters." He portrayed Luc Laurent, a painter and bon vivant who falls in love with Sarah Walker during her time in France and ultimately follows her back to Pasadena.
Gilles has guest starring roles in some of primetimes favorite shows including "Modern Family," "Hot In Cleveland," "Are You There Chelsea?," "Royal Pains" and "Castle." He had an arc on the F/X drama "Nip/Tuck." He played Renaldo Panettiere, Erica Noughton's (played by Vanessa Redgrave) husband and a man concealing disturbing tendencies.
Other television credits include "Dancing with the Stars," "Ugly Betty," "Dirty Sexy Money," "Criminal Minds," and "Windfall." Film credits include "L'une et L'Autre," "One and The Other," and "Pirates of the Caribbean 3."
Marini started his acting career in commercials and print ads and has been in national campaigns for a wide range of brands including Budweiser, Clairol, Coca Cola, Chrysler, GNC, and Infiniti. He is currently the face of the Perry Ellis brand AXIST.
Marini was born in Grasse, France and became an American Citizen in June 2012. He started working in his father's bakery at the age of 8 and continued to do so until he graduated from high school. Upon graduation, Marini joined the French Army and was stationed in Paris as a fireman for the famous Brigade des Sapeurs Pompiers de Paris. It was in Paris where he met Fred Goudon, the famous photographer who introduced him to the world of modeling. After fulfilling his military duties, he decided to go to the United States to learn English while working as a model.
In his spare time, Marini enjoys playing soccer as part of a neighborhood team and as part of the Hollywood United Soccer Team. He played at Wembley Stadium for Soccer Aid 2008 where he scored the most impressive goal in the game. He also donates a lot of his time and resources to the Maximum Hope Foundation, a charity that raises funds for families with terminally ill children. Marini currently resides in California with his wife Carole, son Georges, and daughter Juliana.
Follow Gilles Marini on Twitter at @GillesMarini.
Everyone has secrets...and Olivia Pope has dedicated her life to protecting and defending the public images of the nation's elite by keeping those secrets under wraps. Pope's team are at the top of their game when it comes to getting the job done for their clients, but it becomes apparent that these "gladiators in suits" who specialize in fixing the lives of other people, have trouble fixing those closest at hand, their own.
"Scandal" stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Guillermo Diaz as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant, Jeff Perry as Cyrus, Bellamy Young as First Lady Mellie Grant, Joshua Malina as David Rosen and Scott Foley as Jake Ballard.
The series is created by Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice"). Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice") and Mark Wilding are executive producers. "Scandal" is produced by ABC Studios.
"Scandal" is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound.
SHONDA RHIMES, executive producer
Shonda Rhimes is the creator of the hit ABC series "Grey's Anatomy," which chronicles the personal and professional lives of surgical residents in Seattle and "Scandal," which revolves around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her complicated relationship with an embattled White House administration. Rhimes also created the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff series "Private Practice," which ran on ABC for six seasons, and is the executive producer of the ABC series "How to Get Away with Murder," which premieres in the Fall of 2014.
Entering its eleventh season, "Grey's Anatomy" continues to be hailed by audiences and critics. For her work on the series, Rhimes received the 2007 Television Producer of the Year by the Producers Guild of America, the 2007 Golden Globe for Outstanding Television Drama, the 2007 Lucy Award for Excellence in Television from Women in Film, the consecutive wins from 2007-2011 for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series as well as five wins for Outstanding Drama Series, the 2006 Writers Guild Award for Best New Series, in addition to Emmy nominations for Outstanding Drama Series and Writing for a Drama Series. For "Scandal," Rhimes was the 2013 winner of the AFI Award, Peabody Award and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series as well as received a nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. Rhimes was the recipient of the 2012 GLAAD Golden Gate Award, 2010 RAINN Hope Award and a 2009 GLSEN Respect Awards Honoree. Additionally for "Private Practice," Rhimes received the Television Academy Honors award in 2010 and 2011 as well as the Prism Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in 2011.
Rhimes has twice been included in TIME Magazine's 100 list of the most influential people along with Fortune Magazine's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business," Variety's "Power of Women" and Glamour Magazine's "Women of the Year." In 2013, Rhimes was appointed by President Obama to serve as Trustee for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2014, Rhimes, along with producing partner Betsy Beers, received the Directors Guild of America's prestigious Diversity Award. This marked only the fifth time the organization had bestowed this award.
Aside from her success with network television, Rhimes wrote the feature film "Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement," released in August 2004 by Disney. Additionally, her original script, "Crossroads," was released in 2002 by Paramount. She also co-wrote "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," produced by HBO and nominated for numerous awards, and for which Halle Berry won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for Best Actress in a miniseries for her portrayal of Dandridge. In 2004, Rhimes created her production company Shondaland.
Rhimes worked as research director on the Tollin-Robbins/Mundy Lane documentary "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream." It was nominated for an Emmy Award, an Academy Award and won the Peabody, as well as the NAACP Image Award. She has been a guest speaker at the USC School of Cinema-Television, where she taught a course in scene writing.
Rhimes holds a BA from Dartmouth College in English Literature with Creative Writing. As director of Dartmouth's Black Underground Theatre and Arts Association, her work earned her numerous awards for excellence. She received her MFA from the USC School of Cinema-Television, where she was awarded the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship. Rhimes returned to Dartmouth in June of 2014 to deliver the commencement address.
The child of educators, Rhimes blames her parents for her rampant addiction to books. The youngest of six, she was born and raised outside of Chicago, IL and now resides in Los Angeles with her three daughters.
BETSY BEERS, executive producer
Betsy Beers is the Executive Producer of the hit ABC shows "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal." Beers will also be executive producing a brand new show that will hit ABC in the fall, "How to Get Away with Murder," starring Academy Award nominee Viola Davis. In 2009, Ms. Beers partnered with Shonda Rhimes and her company Shondaland to develop and produce additional feature film and television projects. In 2014, Beers and Rhimes were honored by the Directors Guild of America with the coveted, and rarely awarded, Diversity Award, for their commitment to diversity hiring, their long record of providing jobs and opportunities to women and minorities.
About to start its eleventh season on the air, "Grey's Anatomy" has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Television Series, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, and a Writers Guild of America Award for Best New Series. For her work on "Grey's Anatomy," Ms. Beers and her fellow producers were awarded the 2007 Producer of the Year Award from the Producers Guild of America, the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series Drama, and received the 2006 & 2007 Emmy nominations for Outstanding Drama Series. Ms. Beers has been nominated three times by the Producers Guild of America for their Television Producer of the Year Award.
"Scandal" just finished its third season on the air to both critical acclaim and sky high ratings. The show follows Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) who has dedicated her life to protecting and defending the public images of the nation's elite by keeping those secrets under wraps. In 2014, "Scandal" took home prestigious awards including the AFI TV Program of The Year Award and the coveted Peabody Award.
Before her exclusive foray into television, Ms. Beers was President of the Mark Gordon Company. While there, she oversaw the development and production of its feature film and television projects, including the development of "Grey's Anatomy." Additionally, Ms. Beers produced the feature films "The Hoax," starring Richard Gere, and "Casanova," starring Heath Ledger -- both films were directed by Lasse Hallström.
Previously, Ms. Beers was President of director Mike Newell's Dogstar Films, where she produced the films "200 Cigarettes," starring a stellar young cast including Ben Affleck, Dave Chapelle, and Kate Hudson, and "Best Laid Plans," starring Reese Witherspoon. She also developed such films as the cult movie "High Fidelity," directed by Stephen Frears and starring John Cusack, as well as "Pushing Tin," starring Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, and Angelina Jolie. She also served as Executive Producer on the movies "Safe Passage," starring Susan Sarandon, and "Witchhunt," starring Dennis Hopper, with producer Gale Ann Hurd.
Betsy received a BA from Williams College where she studied theater and English literature. She acted and performed comedy for several years in New York City before moving to Los Angeles, where she came to her senses and made the transition to producing. She is married to a criminal defense attorney and lives in Los Angeles.
MARK WILDING, executive producer
Mark Wilding is a television writer and producer who lives in Los Angeles. Wilding has written for and served as producer in both the sitcom and drama worlds for over twenty years. His sitcom credits include "Ellen," "Dave's World," "Jesse," "Caroline In The City," "The Naked Truth," and "Working." In 2005, "The Cell," a pilot he co-wrote, was hailed by the New York Times as the "funniest unproduced script in Hollywood". Wilding's drama credits include "Jake 2.0," "Charmed," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal." He is currently an executive producer on Scandal.
Olivia Pope on ABC's "Scandal"
Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Kerry Washington is a versatile and fearless actress who continues to shine on both the big screen and small. A native of The Bronx, Washington has received high acclaim for her work on stage, on television and on film.
Washington debuted in 2000 in the highly acclaimed independent film "Our Song" and later in the film "Save the Last Dance," for which she received a Teen Choice Award for Best Breakout Performance. Her performance in the 2002 film "LIFT" earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress. In the years following her debut, Kerry starred in several films including "Bad Company," "The United States of Leland," "The Human Stain," "Sin," "Against the Ropes," and "She Hate Me."
In 2004, Washington starred alongside Jamie Foxx in the Academy Award nominated hit "Ray." Her performance earned her the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. In the years to follow, Washington was seen in "Sexual Life," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer," Miracle at St. Anne," "Life is Hot in Cracktown," and "Mother and Child." Washington received NAACP Image Award nominations for her performances in the 2006 film "The Last King of Scotland" and the 2010 film "Night Cathes Us." Her performance in the 2008 film "Lakeview Terrace" earned her a Best Actress nomination at the BET Awards.
In 2010, Washington starred in Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls" alongside Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson and Thandie Newton. That year, Washington also made her Broadway debut in David Mamet's "Race," starring James Spader and David Alan Grier. In 2012, Washington was seen in "The Details" with Tobey Maguire as well as "A Thousand Words" alongside Eddie Murphy.
Washington was recently seen in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" alongside Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel Jackson. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Picture. Washington was last seen in the comedy "Peeples" with Craig Robinson. Her performance earned her an NAACP Image award nomination for Best Actress.
In television, Washington currently stars in the hit ABC Peabody Award winning drama "Scandal." For this role, Washington broke barriers by becoming the first African American woman to a headline a network TV drama since the 1974 short-lived series "Get Christie Love." In 2013, Washington earned her first primetime Emmy award nomination, Screen Actors Guild nomination and Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Olivia Pope. She was also awarded an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress and the show won for Best Drama. The NAACP also honored Washington with the President's Award, recognizing special achievement in furthering the cause of civil rights and public service. Washington and "Scandal" both earned NAACP Image Awards in 2014.
An activist, Washington was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Committee of the Arts and Humanities in 2009. She also is an active member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. Washington was named to Time 100's Most Influential list in 2014.
Washington currently serves as both a brand ambassador and creative consultant for Neutrogena. She is also brand ambassador for Movado.
HOMETOWN Bronx, NY
BIRTHDATE January 31
Harrison Wright on ABC's "Scandal"
Columbus Keith Short, Jr. was born in Kansas City, Missouri. At the age of three he began entertaining by putting on shows for his family. In his early teens he appeared in various television commercials, and when he was a senior at Orange County School of the Arts he was offered a part in Broadway's famed "STOMP!" Short would go on to choreograph Britney Spears' "In the Zone" tour, thereby launching his entertainment career.
Short started his acting career in the 2006 releases "Save the Last Dance: 2" and "Accepted," opposite Jonah Hill and Justin Long. In 2007 he had an arc on Aaron Sorkin's critically praised showbiz drama, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and later that year landed the lead role as DJ in Screen Gems' "Stomp the Yard." He also starred in "This Christmas," alongside Idris Elba, Regina King and Chris Brown.
In 2008 Short starred in Darnell Martin's "Cadillac Records," opposite Beyoncé Knowles, Jeffrey Wright and Adrien Brody, as the young and talented harp player and singer Little Walter. He received the NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for this role, legitimizing his abilities both as an actor and a musician, and has gone on to work with Grammy Award-winning producers the Avila Brothers on his much anticipated album, "Act One: Dimes and Dolls." In addition to his vocal skills, Short plays the bass, piano and drums.
Feature film credits include the action flick "Armored," opposite Matt Dillon and Laurence Fishburne, and he starred alongside Kate Beckinsale in Dark Castle's adaption of the comic book "Whiteout," released in 2009. Additional film credits include "The Losers," "Death at a Funeral," and "Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming."
Short also has a passion for writing and producing television and film, having executive-produced "Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming" and "Strange Fruit" through his production company, Great Picture Show Productions.
He currently resides in Los Angeles.
HOMETOWN Kansas City, MO
BIRTHDATE September 19
Huck on ABC's "Scandal"
Guillermo Diaz currently stars as Huck on the ABC hit series "Scandal." Diaz became a household name after starring as "Scarface" in the cult classic film "Half Baked" in 1998, opposite Dave Chappelle and Jim Breuer. He also starred in other indie hits including "Party Girl," Nigel Finch's acclaimed film "Stonewall," "200 Cigarettes" and "High School High." Diaz has landed many roles adding to his impressive film credits including "Chelsea Walls," directed by Ethan Hawke, and the studio feature "The Terminal," for director Steven Spielberg.
In addition to his feature film credits, Diaz is well-known for his many seasons on Showtime's award-winning series "Weeds," where he plays the role of Guillermo, as well as his comedic performances on "Chappelle's Show" for Comedy Central. More recently, Diaz has been a series regular on the NBC drama, "Mercy," and had a recurring role on the ABC drama, "No Ordinary Family" as Detective Frank Cordero. Diaz also played a lead role in Warner Bros.' action comedy, "Cop Out," opposite Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan and can currently be seen in Beyoncé and Jay Z's video for "Run" alongside Sean Penn and Jake Gyllenhaal. Guillermo recently made his directorial debut with the documentary short film "Valley of the Undocumented," set to a spoken word poem by Lemon Anderson. It was produced in conjunction with Russell Simmons and Mark Zuckerberg for Immigrant Heritage Month.
Diaz currently resides in Los Angeles.
HOMETOWN New York City, NY
BIRTHDATE March 22
Abby Whelan on ABC's "Scandal"
Prior to "Scandal," Darby Stanchfield was best known for her role as Helen Bishop on AMC's Emmy Award-winning drama "Mad Men."
The daughter of a commercial fisherman, Stanchfield grew up in a remote fishing village, Dutch Harbor, Alaska (where "The Deadliest Catch" films.) She has a Master of Fine Arts from The American Conservatory Theatre.
In addition to "Mad Men," her television credits include recurring roles such as Shannon Gibbs, Sgt. Gibbs (Mark Harmon's) first wife, in "NCIS;" 'Meredith aka: the deep fried twinkie" (Nathan Fillion's ex-wife) on "Castle"; and DR. April Green on "Jericho." Other credits include "How I Met Your Mother," "Burn Notice," "CSI: NY," "CSI: Miami," "24," "Bones," "Private Practice," "Nip/Tuck," "Without a Trace," "The Mentalist" and "Monk."
Stanchfield was seen in Adrienne Shelley's critically acclaimed "Waitress," opposite Nathan Fillion and Keri Russell, and also co-starred with Josh Duhamel in an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray."
Stanchfield has recorded a number of radio plays for NPR, including Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues," with Josh Radnor and Justine Bateman, produced by LA Theatre Works. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
HOMETOWN Dutch Harbor, AK
BIRTHDATE April 29
Quinn Perkins on ABC's "Scandal"
Katie Lowes is quickly becoming a household name. Lowes can soon be seen on the fourth Season of the hit series "Scandal" on ABC. Lowes stars as the ever evolving 'Quinn Perkins' opposite a stellar cast including Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn. "Scandal," created by Shonda Rhimes, follows professional 'fixer' Olivia Pope (Washington) and her 'Gladiators in Suits' (Lowes) as they make the problems of the wealthy, the powerful and even the President of the Unites States disappear. Each week, as the team races against the clock to defuse intriguing new problems before they become full-blown disasters, they also have to deal with their own personal issues.
Lowes is no stranger to the big or small screen. She has been seen in big budget films Dreamworks' "Transformers 2," Bad Robot's "Super 8" directed by JJ Abrams and voiced an animated character in the Oscar nominated Disney film "Wreck It Ralph," and did the motion and movement work for Idina Menzel's character Elsa in the movie "Frozen." Additionally, she has appeared in several independent films including "Dinner For Four," "The Job," The Callers," "Bear," and "Café." She has been a guest star on hit series such as "The Closer," "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "Leverage," "Castle," "The Sopranos," "N.C.I.S" and was a series regular on the CW show "Easy Money," created by producers of "The Sopranos."
Born in Queens, New York, Lowes is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Lowes is a founding member of IAMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles, where she resides with her husband, actor Adam Shapiro.
HOMETOWN Queens, NY
BIRTHDATE September 22
President Fitzgerald Grant on ABC's "Scandal"
Actor, director, producer Tony Goldwyn is taking multi-tasking to a new level. Currently starring as President Fitzgerald Grant in Shonda Rhimes' latest hit series "Scandal," Goldwyn has other projects in the works as well. He co-created and will executive-produce a new, as yet untitled series for AMC Studios, which was picked up by the WE network. Goldwyn directed the pilot, while partner Richard LaGravenese wrote the script. In addition, while on hiatus from "Scandal," Goldwyn filmed the highly anticipated feature "Divergent," based on the book by Veronica Roth. He joins an all-star cast that includes Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet and Ashley Judd. Directed by Neil Burger, Summit Entertainment will release the movie in the spring of 2014.
During the second season of "Scandal" he directed an episode of the show in which he was also prominently featured. This was not the first time Goldwyn has directed himself; he guided his own death scene in "Dexter." He's also helmed other prestigious small screen shows such as "Justified," "Law & Order," "Damages," "Grey's Anatomy" and "The L Word."
Goldwyn made an auspicious feature directorial debut with "A Walk on the Moon," starring Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to receive universal praise from critics. He first read Pamela Gray's script five years earlier and shepherded it through multiple drafts until Dustin Hoffman came on board as a producer and got the project financed. Coincidentally when Gray originally wrote the screenplay as her master's thesis at UCLA Film School, she won the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award - an honor established by Goldwyn's paternal grandfather, the legendary film producer.
Additional feature directing credits include "The Last Kiss," based on Gabriele Muccino's "L'Ultimo Bacio," for which Goldwyn received Best Director from the Boston Film Festival, and the romantic comedy "Someone Like You." His last effort, "Conviction," earned Hilary Swank a SAG Award nomination, won Best Film at the Boston Film Festival and was awarded a Freedom of Expression honor from the National Board of Review.
As an actor, Goldwyn first caught audiences' attention with his portrayal of the villain in the box office smash "Ghost." He went on to appear in numerous other films, including "The Pelican Brief," with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, "Kiss The Girls," Oliver Stone's "Nixon," "The Substance of Fire," "The Last Samurai," opposite Tom Cruise, and the recent remake of Wes Craven's classic "The Last House on the Left." He is also familiar to children as the title voice in Disney's animated feature "Tarzan."
His other television acting credits include "The Good Wife," "Dexter," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Without a Trace," "The L Word," the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon," "Frasier," "Murphy Brown" and "Designing Women," where he touchingly portrayed the first AIDS victim on a primetime series.
Goldwyn began his acting career on the stage, spending seven seasons at the Williamstown Theater Festival. His New York theater credits include "The Water's Edge" at the 2nd Stage Theater, "The Dying Gaul" at the Vineyard Theater, "Holiday" at The Circle in the Square opposite Laura Linney, "Spike Heels" with Kevin Bacon at 2nd Stage, "The Sum of Us" at the Cherry Lane Theater -- for which he earned an Obie Award -- and "Digby" at the Manhattan Theater Club. His most recent stage credit was starring in the revival of the hit musical "Promises, Promises" on Broadway.
HOMETOWN New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA
BIRTHDATE May 20
Cyrus Beene on ABC's "Scandal"
A gifted actor, Jeff Perry has starred in a wide range of roles across television, film and stage.
Perry currently stars on the ABC hit series "Scandal," opposite Kerry Washington, where he brilliantly plays the fan favorite role of "Cyrus Beene," The White House's Chief of Staff. The immensely popular show is currently in production of its third season which will premiere on October 3.
Prior to starring on "Scandal," Perry was most widely recognized for his role in the long running CBS series "Nash Bridges." For six seasons, Perry starred as the diehard Grateful Dead fan and Police Inspector, 'Harvey Leek' opposite Don Johnson.
Perry has guest-starred in numerous acclaimed shows including "The Practice," "Fringe," "CSI," "Lost," "ER," "NYPD Blue," "Frasier" and Aaron Sorkin's "The West Wing." In addition, he's appeared in a number of recurring roles for hit series such as "Grey's Anatomy" where he played Meredith Grey's estranged father, as well as "My So Called Life," "Chicago Hope" and "Prison Break."
On the big screen, Perry has appeared in numerous films that include Stephen Frear's "The Grifters," Robert Altman's "A Wedding" and John McNaughton's "Wild Things." He is a producing partner for the indie film shingle, Steppenwolf Films.
Perry is a co-founder of Chicago's internationally acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company which he started in 1976 with Gary Sinise and Terry Kinney. An avid teacher, Perry co-founded The School at Steppenwolf and Steppenwolf Classes West. Perry has acted in or directed more than forty productions for the non-profit company, including the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning "August: Osage County" for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play. In 2012, Perry was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his work in the Off-Broadway hit, "Tribes."
Perry's many acting credits at Steppenwolf include "Balm in Gilead" (also Off-Broadway), "The Time of Your Life" (also Seattle, San Francisco), "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" (World Premiere), "The Grapes of Wrath" (also Broadway and London), "The Caretaker" (also Broadway) and "Streamers" (also Kennedy Center). Currently, the theatre conducts up to 16 plays and nearly 700 performances each year.
Perry was born and raised in Highland Park, IL. He is married to three-time Emmy(r) winning Casting Director, Linda Lowy and currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and family.
HOMETOWN Highland Park, IL
BIRTHDATE August 16
First Lady Mellie Grant on ABC's "Scandal"
Bellamy Young is best known for her extensive television resume, particularly her roles as 'Beth Clemmons' on CBS's "Criminal Minds," 'ASA Monica West' on CBS's "CSI: Miami," 'Dr. Miller' on (then) NBC's "Scrubs," and 'Ellen Darling' on ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money."
Born in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, Young graduated from Yale University with dual degrees in English & Theater Studies; she also holds a certificate from Oxford University in England.
Young moved to NYC after college to follow her first love: singing. She starred on Broadway as 'Mary' in Cy Coleman's "The Life" & as 'Meg' in the revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along." Other favorite theater credits while in NYC include playing 'Margaret' in the world premiere of Randy Newman's "Faust" and 'LouAnn' in the world premiere of Landford Wilson's "Book of Days." It was here that she made her television debut as 'Dr. Courtney Evans' on the soap "Another World."
After NYC, Young moved to Los Angeles, landing the roles of 'Cathy Metsker' in Randall Wallace's "We Were Soldiers" with Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, & Greg Kinnear and 'Rachel' in JJ Abrams' "Mission Impossible: 3" with Tom Cruise and Keri Russell. She has also made a number of independent films there including the Sundance favorite "The Freebie" starring Dax Shepard and "A Country Remedy" starring Joshua Leonard, which she helped produce, filming it in her home state of North Carolina. Once in LA, Young also began a long & varied career on television, appearing to date on over 40 shows including "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "2 1/2 Men," "The West Wing," "ER," "Frasier," "Boston Legal," "Cold Case," "NCIS," and "Law & Order."
Young can currently be seen in her award winning role as First Lady Mellie Grant on ABC's hit series "Scandal" and in the upcoming Zoe Cassavetes' film, "Day out of Days." Young is also working on an adult contemporary album that will include covers of Fleetwood Mac, Tom Waits and Ryan Adams.
HOMETOWN Asheville, NC
BIRTHDATE February 19
David Rosen on ABC's "Scandal"
Star of NBC's Emmy Award-winning ensemble "The West Wing," actor Joshua Malina has the impressive distinction of having appeared in all, but one project that Aaron Sorkin has written/produced. As 'Will Bailey,' Malina filled the slot left open by Rob Lowe's departure on the hit drama series. He has since transitioned into the role of DC US Attorney in the Shonda Rhimes' ABC drama "Scandal" opposite Kerry Washington, and during his hiatus, filmed a role in writer/director Warren Beatty's latest Howard Hughes feature.
Upon graduation from Yale University with a B.A. degree in Theatre, Malina made his professional acting debut in the Broadway production of Sorkin's "A Few Good Men." He went on to star as Jeremy Goodwin in the critically acclaimed television series "Sports Night," for which he and his castmates were nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy." Other Sorkin credits include the hit features "The American President" and "Malice."
Additional film credits include Bruno Barreto's dark comedy for Miramax "A View from the Top" with Gwenyth Paltrow and Mike Meyers, "In The Line Of Fire" with Clint Eastwood, "Bulworth" with Warren Beatty and Halle Berry, "The First Time," and "Knights of Badassdom."
Malina served as executive producer on the original Bravo series "Celebrity Poker Showdown" which filmed on-location at the Palms Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and broke ratings records for the network. He's also affiliated with the HollywoodPoker.com website.
Malina also appeared in Hank Azaria's directorial debut, a short film entitled "Ray's Ex-Vision." This marked their first collaboration since they co-starred as writing partners on the sitcom "Imagine That." Among his other television credits is the ABC comedy series "Big Shots" in which he starred with Michael Vartan and Dylan McDermott, memorable recurring arcs on Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Story," USA Network's drama "In Plain Sight," "The Big Bang Theory," "NUMB3RS," and HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" as Kenny, the shockingly uncreative creative executive, the Tom Hanks HBO production of "From the Earth to the Moon," "Tracey Takes On...," the telefilm "How to Marry a Billionaire," "Extant," "Psych," "Bones," "House," "CSI," "Law & Order: SVU," Medium," "Grey's Anatomy," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," and the ABC Family Channel original "See Jane Date."
Raised in New Rochelle, NY, Malina now resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
HOMETOWN New Rochelle, NY
BIRTHDATE January 17
FAN FAVORITE CHRIS SOULES SEARCHES FOR LOVE AGAIN ON ABC'S HIT ROMANCE REALITY SERIES, "THE BACHELOR," WHEN IT RETURNS TO ABC IN JANUARY 2015
The Handsome Farmer Has Been Besieged by Women Clamoring to Move to Iowa for Love
Millions of single women had mixed emotions when Chris Soules, the stylish farmer from Iowa, was sent home by Andi Dorfman on "The Bachelorette." One of the final three men, Chris was dismissed after he had emotionally confessed his love to Andi, but that meant the handsome bachelor was back on the market. Now, he is ready to put his heartache behind him to search for the one missing piece in his life - true love - when he stars in the 19th edition of ABC's hit romance reality series, "The Bachelor," which returns to ABC in January 2015. The announcement was made this morning on "Good Morning America."
The 32-year-old Midwestern bachelor and self-proclaimed romantic has been engaged once before. Heartbroken, Chris ended that seven-year relationship just months before he expected to walk down the aisle. Although his relationship with his fiancée was good, he didn't want to settle for "good." He wanted "great." While the humble but enormously successful farmer from tiny Arlington, Iowa (pop. 427) has found it difficult to date, that hasn't stopped him from having faith that one day he will find the perfect woman for him. His experience on "The Bachelorette" made him realize that love really is out there, and he is confident that he will find it this time on "The Bachelor."
Since his stint on "The Bachelorette," Chris can't go anywhere without being swarmed by women vying for his attention, all super fans of the man with a subtle charm and a signature twinkle in his eye. One adoring admirer drove hundreds of miles to knock on his door, while yet another professed her love for him by placing an ad in his local paper.
A family man through and through, Chris counts his father, who is a farmer, too, as his role model. His all-American mom immediately made Andi feel like a part of their family on Chris' hometown date. And Chris' three older sisters originally submitted him for the show. When Chris starts his own family, he is hoping for a big one like his own: four to six children.
Chris, who actually could drive a tractor before he could drive a car, grew up on a farm in nearby Lamont, Iowa, and attended Iowa State University, where he studied agronomy and agriculture. He brought his skills back to the family farm where he expanded the business and helped make it the multi-million dollar enterprise it is today.
This 6'1", blue-eyed bachelor loves football, camping and country music. He epitomizes what women look for in a man: successful, sensitive and sexy. He has almost everything he needs -- except his dream woman, who will be smart, motivated and confident. Oh, and she will need to know or learn how to drive a tractor!
Hosted by Chris Harrison, "The Bachelor" is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton and Alycia Rossiter are the executive producers.
"The Bachelor" is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with stereo sound.