Actress' Abortion Written Into TV Show

Top Headlines

Entertainment

Highlights From ‘Go Set A Watchman’

Harper Lee’s buzzed-about new release, Go Set A Watchman, went on sale last week, taking the world by storm with its new investigations of Scout Finch as a grown woman and its divisive portrayal of her father, Atticus Finch, as a racist figure. Here are some highlights from the new book:

Leonardo DiCaprio Agrees To Donate It-Factor To Science

LOS ANGELES—Saying the gift would immeasurably improve their understanding of the ineffable quality that makes certain big-screen stars positively radiate, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles announced Tuesday that A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to donate his it-factor to science.

How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Comic-Con Survival Guide

San Diego Comic-Con is expected to draw more than 130,000 fans to Southern California this year to participate in cosplaying, attend panels, go to film screenings, and learn more about their favorite series. Here are some tips for surviving the four-day conference

Your Horoscopes — Week Of July 7, 2014

ARIES: Your belief that nothing can stop you will be tested this week by depression, procrastination, concrete barriers, dysentery, armed gunmen, and the unanimous passage of several laws targeted specifically at stopping you.

Disney Unveils First Virgin Princess

LOS ANGELES—In an effort to better reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their audience, Disney officials this week introduced Lily of Hazelberry, the company’s first virgin princess.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 23, 2015

ARIES: The universe, in all its wisdom, has a plan for everyone. Strangely, you’re supposed to be the nun who holds up a distributor cap and winks while the Nazis try to start their car.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 9, 2015

ARIES: Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 “cross your heart and hope to die” pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben.

New Music Festival Just Large Empty Field To Do Drugs In

Declaring the event a rousing success so far, organizers confirmed more than 45,000 people turned out Wednesday for the first annual Cavalcade Folk and Roots Festival, a four-day gathering that consists solely of a big empty field to do drugs in.

Director Seeking Relatively Unknown Actress For Next Affair

LOS ANGELES—Saying that he’s going for a certain look and will know it when he sees it, feature film director Peter Hastings, 52, confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he hopes to find a relatively unknown actress for his next extramarital affair.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of May 26, 2015

ARIES: You’re not sure if your new mousetrap is better, but due to its horrifying use of liquefying blades, the world will beat a path to your door out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Famous Television Finales

The award-winning AMC series Mad Men ended its seven-season run on Sunday night and drew critical acclaim for its final episode, a conclusion that many felt was poignant and satisfying. Here are some other memorable TV finales across the years

Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse

SOUTH BEND, IN—Fifteen years after first envisioning the path he hoped his professional life would take, local man Brent Gibbs is still planning his future around being the drummer for Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Lifehouse, sources confi...

Fox Revives ‘X-Files’: What To Expect

After months of speculation, Fox has announced that it is bringing back its hit ’90s TV show The X-Files, about a team of FBI special agents investigating unsolved cases about strange and paranormal phenomena, for at least six new episodes...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 24, 2015

ARIES: Your belief that everything happens for a reason may remain unshaken in the face of personal tragedy, but you'll certainly be upset when you find out the reason is "to get the Zodiac some chicks." 

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 10, 2015

ARIES: As long as people don't look too long and the lights aren't too bright, no one will be able to see where they tried to fix your face from what will happen to it this coming Thursday. 

Nation Delighted As Many Famous People In Same Room Together

HOLLYWOOD—Expressing their immense personal satisfaction at the gathering appearing on their television screens, millions of Americans across the country were reportedly delighted Sunday night upon seeing many famous people in the same room together...

Half Of Hollywood Test Group Screened Placebo Film

LOS ANGELES—Saying the methodology helps them ensure unbiased results in their marketing research, studio executives at Paramount Pictures confirmed that during a Hollywood test screening this week they showed half of all theatergoers a placebo film...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of January 6, 2015

ARIES: One of the worst moments of a person's life is when they finally realize that they're mortal and are going to die, especially when it's a person like you who only sees the cement truck at the last second.

A Timeline Of Upcoming Superhero Movies

Following the massive successes of the Spider-Man, Batman, Avengers, and X-Men franchises, studios Marvel and DC Entertainment have announced as many as 40 upcoming superhero movies to be released over the next six years ...

Sesame Street’s 45th Anniversary: A Look Back

Sesame Street, the long-running PBS children’s television show starring a cast of Jim Henson muppets who teach children basic learning concepts and introduce them to difficult issues, turns 45 this week.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Sleep

Originality

Actress' Abortion Written Into TV Show

CULVER CITY, CA—Writers of a popular prime-time CBS sitcom spent the last three weeks making late-stage script adjustments to work its female lead's recent abortion into its storyline, sources close to the show revealed Monday.

Sumner with co-star Carl Hubbard.

In the upcoming episode of Same Difference, taped late last week and scheduled to air in May, star Kirsten Sumner's character, Trish O'Connell, the sharp-tongued but beautiful wife of portly Chicago bread-truck driver Greg O'Connell, played by Carl Hubbard, will reveal to her husband she was pregnant and had an abortion without his knowledge. Trish's revelation comprises the secondary, or "B," story of the episode, in which Greg eats a meatball sandwich against his wife's wishes.

"It would've been insulting to our viewers if we never addressed the fact that Kirsten is so obviously post-abortion," executive producer Aaron Karsch said. "We did consider shooting around the abortion and using lighting tricks and strategically placed plants to cover up her uterus. But everyone would have been able to tell anyhow, so we figured we might as well use it to the show's advantage."

Sumner, who decided to terminate her pregnancy after several weeks of emotional deliberation, reportedly informed the show's executive producers about it earlier this month. Though the abortion posed a significant challenge for Same Difference's 12 writers, who were given the task of addressing it in a way that would not disrupt the show's lighthearted pace or contradict Sumner's on-screen persona, Karsch said such developments "come with the territory."

 "When you're writing a successful sitcom, sometimes the actors' personal lives find a way to creep on set and you just have to adapt," Karsch said. "Kirsten's around that age when a lot of actresses start thinking about having abortions, so I guess it's not that surprising."

Producers Larry Krespie and Aaron Karsch dissect the anatomy of a sitcom.

After viewing the rough edits of the new scenes, Karsch said he "couldn't be happier" with the decision to include Sumner's abortion in the show, and expects the episode will be Same Difference's most popular since "High Definition," a 2002 episode in which Greg bought a big-screen TV.

"It wasn't easy, but in the end, we got some very solid material out of it—the plotline stayed true to the O'Connells' relationship while still being entertaining," said co- executive producer Larry Krespie, adding that, thanks to the show's resourceful writing staff, Sumner's evacuated womb may be "the best thing that ever happened to Same Difference."

Despite his initial skepticism about how the new abortion storyline would play to the female 36 to 49 demographic, Krespie was ultimately won over after viewing the rough edits.

"Kirsten did some brilliant acting," said Krespie, who called Sumner's portrayal of a woman who had recently had an abortion "spot-on." "Our show does a lot of quiet, observational humor, and I think anyone who's had an abortion would be hard-pressed not to relate to, and get a chuckle out of, Trish's situation."

Continued Krespie: "Kirsten really got into the mind of her character, even in the physical-comedy scenes, like when she was trying to avoid Greg and get out of the house to get the abortion. And later in the packed abortion clinic, when she mistakes the number 81 she received from the receptionist for 18, and finds out she has to wait much longer for her abortion. But it all leads to a nice, poignant ending when both characters realize they should have been honest with each other all along—Trish with her pregnancy, and Greg with his sandwich."