Stories from 2/24/2001 to 4/14/2001
KATE BRASHER REVIEW LINK
Entry Date: 4/14/2001
A link to a good review of "Kate Brasher" was posted on the
Tavern's Guestbook. The review can be accessed by clicking on the
MARI GARCIA FINDS A GOOD MSM INTERVIEW
Entry Date: 3/31/2001
Masterson's 'Kate Brasher' statements are well-thought out
By STAN URANKAR Special Projects Editor
March 15, 2001
It only takes a few minutes in conversation with Mary
Stuart Masterson to
realize "Kate Brasher" is her series. "I've got a big
mouth," she admits in
an afternoon call from Los Angeles. "If something doesn't
sit right with
me, I'll kick and scream."
Then again, as star and producer of the new CBS drama that
airs at 9 p.m.
Saturday on WOIO-TV (19) here, Masterson has more than
in what hits the small screen. That's why she's sensitive
to story lines
and plot devices which run too cute or sweet,
"particularly," she adds,
"since Kate's life is anything but."
Masterson's Kate Brasher is a financially strapped single
parent in her
mid-30s with two teen-age sons. She works long hours to
pay the rent that
keeps them in a good L.A. suburban school district. She's
devoted her young
life to providing her boys with the best.
In the debut episode, Kate sought help from Brothers
neighborhood advocacy center, in recovering wages from the
sleazy owner of
a cleaning company. Her brief visit revealed her affinity
for helping solve
people's problems and lands Kate an intriguing but
lesser-paying job offer
as a case worker.
"There's no question it demands a leap of faith by Kate,"
"one that I was leery of myself. I thought, 'Is she going
to look too much
like a martyr?' But, she's also amassed this tremendous
wealth of basic
life experiences. Suddenly, here's this woman who really
anything for herself since she was 15 with a chance to do
a job that is
likely to significantly change her life. It's kind of
The role is a welcome challenge for Masterson, best known
for her film
work, which includes a memorable performance in "Fried
Green Tomatoes." She
emphasizes the acting of her Emmy-winning co-stars, Rhea
and Hector Elizondo ("Chicago Hope"), pictured with
Masterson on today's
cover. She savors Kate's spirit and determination, traits
she has found
more lacking as action-oriented movies dominate theaters.
"Plus, this is a
show about people helping people," she says, "Some of the
walk into Brothers Keepers have problems that might appear
small at first
when they actually don't have obvious, one-day solutions."
The workload for the initial six-episode order was
concedes, with 15-hour days of locations throughout Los
Angeles, from South
Central to downtown to Santa Monica. It also cut into
newlywed time for
Masterson, 35, and director/writer Damon Santostefano, her
husband of 10
months, though she says they hope to start a family in the
In fact, her "family" ties to TV sons Gregory Smith and
Mason Gamble carry
a natural bond that extends beyond an uncanny physical
sense a smile on Masterson's face at such mention.
"Parenting and teaching
are the two greatest and most underappreciated jobs in our
says. "Doing those scenes with the boys are when I'm
© 2001 Sun Newspapers
VARIETY REPORTS ON "KATE BRASHER" RATINGS POSITION:
SHOW "STRONG," BUT NOT A "BREAKOUT HIT"
Entry Date: 3/24/2001
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - CBS and ABC topped the ratings
leaderboard in a ho-hum week filled with awards shows, specials and
The networks tied for the lead in the coveted adults 18-49
demographic for the week of March 5-11, according to Nielsen, but
their averages (4.0 rating, 11 share) were the lowest by any winner
this season. CBS prevailed by a thin margin over ABC in total viewers
and also won in its target demo of adults 25-54.
``Survivor'' and ``Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'' drove
the top-rated networks, as CBS' reality adventure series was easily
the No. 1 program of the week (28.72 million viewers, 12.1/31 in
adults 18-49), while ABC was boosted by a season-high five airings of
the quizzer. It's the first time ABC has been on top in the demo in
CBS, whose ``CSI: Crime Scene Investigation'' was No. 2
for the week (23.00 million, 8.9/22 in adults 18-49), won for the
fifth time in seven weeks in total viewers and for the fourth time
this season in adults 18-49 and 25-54. CBS has drawn only mediocre
marks for its three midseason shows, though, with Saturday's
``Kate Brasher'' looking the strongest, but not a breakout hit.
Fox and NBC tied for third in adults 18-49 (3.8/10), each
slipping to its lowest average since Christmas week. The former was
dragged down by kudocasts (The TV Guide Awards on Wednesday, The
NAACP Image Awards on Friday), the latter by repeats of its strongest
shows and weak-performing miniseries.
Fox placed only three programs in the top 20 in adults
18-49 (all on Sunday), but ``The Simpsons'' ranked as the No. 1
comedy in both adults 18-49 (7.7/19) and 18-34 (9.2/25).
At UPN and the WB, a strong Wednesday boosted UPN past the
WB in total viewers and adults 18-49 for the first time in nine
weeks. The WB, though, joined CBS as the only networks up in key
demos vs. the same week last season.
"KATE BRASHER" PRE-EMPTED AGAIN NEXT SATURDAY
Entry Date: 3/24/2001
CBS is going to pre-empt Kate Brasher again next week. The
previews for the next episode show that Mackenzie Phillips, daughter
of the recently deceased John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas, is
going to be the main guest star two weeks from tonight.
"KATE BRASHER" KEEPS GETTING BETTER
Entry Date: 3/24/2001
This week's episode, co-starring Carl Lumbly, formerly of the
popular Cagney and Lacey series of the 1980s, shows that
Kate Brasher gets better each week. Mary Stuart Masterson fans
are urged to keep watching, spread the word about the series, and
keep CBS informed about how you want the show to continue next
PROBLEM WITH DREAMBOOK GUESTBOOK UNCOVERED
Entry Date: 3/17/2001
The mystery of the small cross against the stained glass
background that is appearing between the entries in the Tavern's
Guestbook has been solved this evening. I right-clicked on one of the
crosses and clicked on "Properties" on the dialog box. The Properties
function informed me that the cross is actually being transmitted
from a site at the URL "http://www.sharinghislove.net. Going to that
site, I found that it also has a Dreambook Guestbook. Apparently when
the site operators there customized their Dreambook Guestbook, their
HTML instructions were interpreted by the server as being uniform for
ALL Dreambook guestbooks, or at least some of them. Only Dreamhost
can solve the problem, so we will have to be patient until they
correct the code on their server. The "Sharing His Love" site is very
well done, by the way.
NCAA "MARCH MADNESS" PREEMPTS "KATE BRASHER"
Entry Date: 3/17/2001
March is half-over already? Well, that means that college
basketball playoffs, and the office pools they inspire, are in full
swing. CBS is televising games tonight, and has pre-empted this
week's episode of "Kate Brasher." The show should be on next week,
but check the "Kate Brasher" web site on CBS Network's site to make
sure. The link to the "Kate Brasher" site is on the "Kate Brasher
Episode Guide" page and also on the "MSM Favorite Site Awards" page.
We'll try to keep you posted here as well. I'll just take some quiet
time tonight as all of the upsets I bet on came in yesterday, such as
Penn State and Gonzaga.
DENNIS CHRISTOPHER AND PAUL DOOLEY ON "KATE BRASHER""
Entry Date: 3/10/2001
The man who believes he is Jesus, and turns to Abbie (Rhea
Perlman) for help to keep a local church from having him prosecuted
for preaching in front of the church on this week's Kate
Brasher episode was Dennis Christopher. Dennis Christoper played
the bicycle-racing and All-Things-Italian enthusiast in the surprise
1979 hit film, Breaking Away. A Catholic Monsignor works out a
deal with Abbie Schaeffer, played by Rhea Perlman, to enable the man
to portray Jesus without disturbing the parishoners. The monsignor
was played by Paul Dooley, who was Dennis Christopher's exasperated
father in Breaking Away. Just a little more interesting
Hollywood trivia for all of you MSM and Kate Brasher fans out
"KATE BRASHER" DROPS OUT OF TOP FORTY IN NIELSEN RATINGS
STILL WINS TIME SLOT
Entry Date: 3/7/2001
The Nielsen ratings for this week show that Kate Brasher
achieved a rating of 6.9 with 10.1 million viewers. This was good
enough to win the time slot last Saturday night, but resulted in a
decline of 16 positions in overall viewership. The first episode of
Kate was the 38th most highly rated show, while it was the
54th last week. There are 53 shows that were watched by more people,
and 56 watched by fewer. It improved CBS' viewership over the
lead-in, That's Life, which was the 67th most watched show. It
would be more certain for Kate Brasher to be picked up for
next season if it stayed in the Top 40, but has a good chance if it
remains the top show in its time slot.
"KATE BRASHER" INTERVIEW WITH MARY STUART MASTERSON
INTERVIEW FROM MARI GARCIA OF SAN FRANCISCO STATE
Entry Date: 3/7/2001
Character-Driven Stories Lure Another Star to TV
By SUSAN KING, Times Staff Writer
Mary Stuart Masterson is the latest movie actor to make
the leap from the
big screen to the small one. The veteran of such films as
Tomatoes," "Benny & Joon," "Immediate Family" and
"Heaven Help Us" stars in
the new CBS series "Kate Brasher," which begins a
six-episode run Saturday.
The first series from Jersey Television--an offshoot of
Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher's Jersey Films--"Kate
Brasher" finds the
34-year-old Masterson playing a financially strapped
single parent of two
teenage boys (Gregory Smith and Mason Gamble) who walks
into a community
advocacy center called Brothers Keepers asking for legal
advice. A feisty
attorney (Rhea Perlman) and the tough but fair-minded
Elizondo) of Brothers Keepers show Kate that she can
create a better life
for herself and her two sons. Masterson talked about her
this week from the cutting room of "Kate Brasher."
Question: Since you come from the theater and movie world,
has it been
difficult adjusting to the long hours and rapid pace of
Answer: The pace of a TV series like "Kate Brasher" is
very similar to
doing low-budget independent movies. [Doing the series]
sort of requires a
little bit more endurance. I like it. It's a great cast
and crew, so it
makes it fun.
Q: You are also one of the producers of "Kate Brasher."
A: One of the many producers.
Q: Was being given a producer credit one of your criteria
for doing a TV
A: I was given a development deal by CBS, and that sort of
to be involved in the development. I take it seriously. I
[being a producer] is in order to be in control, as much
as a collaborator.
Q: Have you been pursued over the years to do TV?
A: More or less. I think what I saw was a growing trend
away from character
stories in film and that those stories were being told on
television. And a
lot of the writers whose strength is character-driven
gravitating toward television as well, and a lot of actors
suddenly, it seemed like the talent pool was pretty deep
Q: How did "Kate Brasher" come to you? Was it already in
development at CBS?
A: I was given the script by [talent agency CAA] which
Jersey Television and me and also the creator, Stephen
Tolkin. I read it
and thought it was refreshingly not generic. It had
original voices and
original kinds of characters in it. It felt more like a
film than a TV
show. It took about a year of development. We even did a
the pilot before we retooled it and rewrote it. It took a
while to find
what was the sort of repeatable franchise--the thing you
can come back to
It started out being somewhat similar to the pilot. I
[Kate] had four jobs
just to keep my kids in a good school district. So what
changed is that in
this incarnation the franchise is this community action
Keepers. What is wonderful about it is that it is a place
people come to
who don't have resources for help and that ends up being
the place I work
and where every main story emanates from.
Q: Kate didn't graduate from high school.
A: No, because I had two children by the time I was 17. I
ran away in order
to get married to the guy who got me pregnant and then he
turned out to be
not the most responsible guy, so I have been raising them
on my own for 12
years. The whole point is that I had them real young and
was never able to
pursue my own career or own life.
TAVERN NOTE: The Los Angeles Times does not allow total
reproduction of one of its articles on another web site without
permission. If you wish to read the rest of the interview with Mary
Stuart Masterson, please use the link to the web site of the Los
Angeles Times below:
MARI GARCIA OF SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY SENDS "KATE
Entry Date: 3/7/2001
Mari Garcia of SFSU, a long-time correspondent to the Tavern, has
sent a variety of articles about Kate Brasher via e-mail. The
articles will appear under this one heading. Ms. Garcia sent a nice
Q&A with Mary Stuart Masterson about the television series and a
couple of reviews of the opening episode. I'm placing three of the
reviews and one negative under this heading.
Single-mom show 'Kate Brasher' shines
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
By M.S. Mason Television critic of The Christian Science
CBS wants its share of the female audience, so the network
is loading up
its Saturday night lineup (opposite the NBC's "XFL") with
"That's Life," about a 30something woman going back to
college. And now
Kate Brasher (Feb. 24, 9-10 p.m.) begins a new drama about
a single mother
raising two teenage sons after her husband's desertion.
"Kate Brasher" is well-written, elegantly acted, and a
pleasure to watch.
Best of all, its intelligence will appeal to both young
and older viewers.
With only a high school education, Kate struggles as a
waitress during the
day and a bowling alley charwoman at night. When the alley
owner stiffs her
for $300 (her rent money), she turns to a legal-aid office
Meanwhile, her young sons are flirting with disaster at
Her struggle for justice sets Kate off in a new direction.
The fact that
she is a woman of faith (not, so far, defined by
denomination) is indicated
with tender respect. And as she tries to find answers to
life, she is open to spiritual guidance.
Mary Stuart Masterson plays the title role with such
nimble flair she makes
us forget that she's a movie star. Masterson is easy to
love, and she plays
opposite an almost mystically sarcastic Rhea Perlman as a
lawyer who took 14 years getting through college and law
raising her family.
Hector Elizondo completes the threesome as the world-weary
director of the
"Brother's Keeper" free legal center. His atheism will
certainly become a
foil to Kate's religious outlook.
This unusual family fare is meant to uplift. And though
there's a twinge or
two of sentimentality about it, the show strives for
realism and an
authentic feeling that's rare on the tube these days. Its
is, in fact, heartening. Amid all the human suffering and
injustice on the
mean streets of the city, there are still those doing
their best to do well
by their neighbors.
PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS
Single parent? Here are a couple
GILMORE GIRLS. 8 p.m. tomorrow, Channel 17.
KATE BRASHER. 9 p.m. Saturday, Channel 3.
Everyone talks about sex on television, but no one does
anything about it.
Oh, thanks to watchdog groups like the Kaiser Family
earlier this month reported that only about 10 percent of
depicting sexual content dealt with the "risks and
can be pretty sure that when a teen-ager has sex on TV
these days, someone
brings a condom.
But does anyone really expect that message to drown out
the roar from
tempest-tossed "Temptation Island"? Of course not.
And yet television is taking baby steps toward facing at
least one of the
possible consequences of teen-age sex.
Both the WB's "Gilmore Girls" and CBS' new drama, "Kate
Brasher," are about
single women in their early 30s who are raising
teen-agers. As a character
on "Gilmore Girls" put it last week, "We've all done the
Lorelei Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and Kate Brasher (Mary
were about the age their own children are now when they
How's that been for them? Tough.
Tougher, probably, for Brasher, whose character's working
as a waitress in
Saturday's premiere, and taking on any extra work she can
find to pay the
rent that keeps her sons in a decent school district.
The boys' father, from whom she's divorced, isn't paying
child support, and
when the guy who hired her off the books to clean his
bowling alley fails
to pay her, she's at real risk of losing her apartment.
She has, we learn, already spent time in a homeless
This is grittier stuff than you'll find on "Gilmore
Girls," where Lorelei's
money concerns seem minor by comparison. Sure, she never
got to go to
college, but her job as manager of the quaint Connecticut
inn where she
worked her way up from making beds now affords her an
equally quaint home
in a small town full of quirky, caring neighbors. When she
into a problem she can't solve on her own - how to send
her daughter, Rory
(Alexis Bledel) to private school - she needs only to
agree to Friday night
dinners with her very wealthy parents in exchange for
She's a little bit scattered and all too aware of her
inadequacies as a parent, but her 16-year-old daughter
describes her as "my
best friend" and seems to be holding up well, maybe a
little too well,
under the burden of a mother who occasionally needs
Thanks to lively writing and the exceptional chemistry
between Graham and
Bledel, the fairy-tale aspects of "Gilmore Girls" tend to
slide by easily,
but they're still fairy tales.
If teen-age pregnancies all resulted in kids as cool and
achievement-oriented as Rory Gilmore, chances are fewer
people would worry
about children having children.
"Kate Brasher," which has a strong religious streak, also
asks us to
swallow a few whoppers - including the possibility that a
waitress with a
talent for charades could land a job as untrained social
worker - but in
other ways, it feels more honest, though far less fun to
Like Rory, Kate's sons are smart, but they're also showing
signs of the
stress that living on the edge of poverty can create. In
the premiere, the
older one turns to gambling to try to help his mother,
while the younger
one reaches out to his absent father.
Anyone who tuned in to ABC's "The Practice" this week got
an earful of
statistics about the potential consequences of raising a
child without two
parents, thanks to a court case in which Ellenor Frutt
(Camryn Manheim) was
forced to defend her choice to have a child on her own.
Ellenor is going ahead, as is the actress who plays her.
Theirs is a choice
that wasn't available to Lorelei Gilmore or Kate Brasher,
or indeed to many
of the estimated 26 percent of American parents who are
currently going it
Until now, TV's interest in single parents has focused
mostly on their
ability to date, with the widowed father a sitcom staple
that predates even
"My Three Sons." And it's hard not to wonder if networks
aren't just as
interested in finding ways to squeeze two generations into
demographic as they are in telling stories about people
Masterson, who looks as if her own days as a teen icon
ended five minutes
ago, noted last month that her character's having kids so
old is "just sort
of a fun" idea.
But "it's not all nice to not have a man in the house or
not have two
incomes or not have some relief," she said. And on "Kate
said, "it's not glamorized."
FROM TV GUIDE'S INSIDER COLUMN
Masterson Prays for a Hit
Friday, February 23, 2001
Playing a struggling single mom on the sentimental CBS
drama Kate Brasher
(premiering Saturday at 9 pm/ET) means Mary Stuart
Masterson (Fried Green
Tomatoes) will do her share of Bible-reading scenes. But
does her faithful
character have a prayer of relating to viewers who shy
away from religion?
"As an actress, playing a person who prays actively on
terrified me at first," she admitted to reporters while
out promoting her
new series. "I don't want it to look like I'm
proselytizing, [like] I'm
saying, 'Go be a Christian' or anything like that. But...
it's a way to
show that here's a person who lives by her wits and by
Hedging a bit after uttering the "F-word," Masterson
faith] in a God with a capital 'G' or any tradition that
[Kate] grew up
with. Just like, 'Help me out, man,' you know? And I think
faith is what
drives her, and makes her believe the best in other people
and that things
happen for a reason... That's a very positive motivating
force in human
nature, and I think that is what we hope to say."
Kate Brasher comes from Danny DeVito's Jersey Films, which
also made Erin
Brockovich. But the show -- which co-stars DeVito's wife,
Rhea Perlman, and
Hector Elizondo as gristly social workers -- is drawing
more comparisons to
CBS's other spiritual drama, Touched by an Angel.
"We're not trying to do anything like what they're doing,"
Masterson, who also serves as a producer. "Our hope in
inspirational show, if you call it that, is [not to have]
an angel or a
deity or... an authority figure looking down on people and
what to do with their lives. Everybody is pretty much on
the same playing
field." — Daniel R. Coleridge
EPISODE TWO OF "KATE BRASHER" SHOWS MORE PROMISE
Entry Date: 3/3/2001
"Kate Brasher" is a show that demonstrated tonight it can get
better each week. The actors work well together, the script for
tonight's show was lively and thought-provoking on the subject of
drugs being forcibly prescribed to students by school authorities.
The characters at Brother's Keepers are likeable and there is a nice
flow to the action. The previews of next week's episode reflect an
even better hour next week, so be sure to tune in and let CBS know
what you think. Don't tell that one critic that Kate Brasher prayed
this week. He might have a stroke or something.
"KATE BRASHER" DOES WELL IN NIELSEN RATINGS
Entry Date: 2/28/2001
The numbers are in and Kate Brasher won its time slot with
an 8.2 rating, representing 11.6 million viewers and a 14 share.
Kate Brasher made the top 40 primetime shows with a rating
position of 38th. The lowest rated show was 109th, so there were 37
shows ahead of Kate Brasher and 71 below it. This is a good
solid rating, comparable to the series Kate Brasher is
replacing, Walker, Texas Ranger, which finishes its run in
NOTICE TO ALL OPERATORS OF OTHER MSM SITES
Entry Date: 2/25/2001
Geocities will no longer allow linking to pictures and graphics to
servers off-site from Geocities. This was announced in an e-mail to
some graphics hounds at a certain Internet forum who love to create
their own graphics and link to them from their Geocities sites. The
photos come up as boxes with an "x" in the upper lefthand corner.
They will not download to your site from Geocities as it is blocked.
This is an economy move, as Geocities gets bandwidth used to download
the images to other servers, but no revenue from advertising. This is
not a healthy sign for Internet communication. The days of free web
sites and free forums, paid for by advertising on the sites, may be a
thing of the past if the economy, especially in the Dot-Com world
does not improve. In the meantime, if you want to use photos from the
Photo Album page, just right click on them with your mouse and
download them to your hard drive. Then, upload them to your sites.
MARY STUART MASTERSON AND FRIED GREEN TOMATOES FORUMS MAY
Entry Date: 2/25/2001
Chris, the enterprising MSM fan who started two forums for posting
messages and discussions may have to close down. The forums are
presently housed at Inside the Web, a Dot-Com that is experiencing
trouble with declining advertising revenues. There are other free
forum and chatroom services, and we hope Chris finds a new home for
both forums. When she does, she can count on the Tavern to promote
them heavily and change all the links. In the meantime, if you
posted, or just enjoyed reading those forums, you can reach them
through the Links Menu Page here at the Tavern. Go to those threads
you liked and copy each page to a hard drive or diskette. On your
Explorer toolbar just hit "File" then "Save As Webpage" in the dialog
box. If you save multiple pages, and Windows asks if you want to
replace the previous saved page, just add a number to the title of
the page in the dialog box. Everything will be saved that is on the
page in its own folder, including graphics. When you want to
reminisce about some of the discussions, just go to that page in
Windows Explorer and click on it. Your browser will come up off-line,
and you can view the pages as if you are on the Internet.
Chris, those directions above are for you as well as your regular
guests. This way you can archive the forums you worked so hard to
create and maintain and enjoy them in the future.
"KATE BRASHER" EPISODE GUIDE UP AND RUNNING
Entry Date: 2/24/2001
After watching the first episode of "Kate Brasher," the first
entry in the new Episode Guide page was posted, and the page
uploaded. Next week's episode is a timely one, as it deals with the
compulsive medication of children in the public schools of the United
States with the drug Ritalin. There is a growing controversy in
America about the widespread use of this drug in the schools, along
with Prozac and other psychotropic drugs. Some of the kids involved
in recent school shootings were taking the drugs.
EPISODE GUIDE PAGE
MARY STUART MASTERSON INTEVIEWED ON KDKA RADIO'S MIKE
Entry Date: 2/24/2001
As part of the effort to publicize the premiere of "Kate Brasher,"
Mary Stuart Masterson has been a guest on television and radio talk
shows at both the national and local level. Friday morning,
2/23/2001, she was the guest on Mike Pintek's morning talk show on
KDKA-AM radio, frequency 1020. I didn't get to hear it, as I was
working at the time, but tuned in later while driving, and heard that
she had been a guest that morning. KDKA is the first commercial radio
station on Planet Earth, founded in 1920.