Philly comedian gets ABC pilot with 'SNL' alum; Lauren Hart returns to TV

Hart's in the right place: back on local TV. Lauren Hart has a new show premiering Thursday.
Hart's in the right place: back on local TV. Lauren Hart has a new show premiering Thursday.
Posted: March 11, 2014

MOUNT AIRY-raised comedian Paul F. Tompkins is making moves into sitcoms. He'll star in an ABC pilot, playing Teddy, a father who moves his family from the city to New Hampshire to open up tourist cottages. He'll star alongside "Saturday Night Live" vet Molly Shannon.

You might have caught Tompkins on HBO's cult classic "Mr. Show with Bob and David" or IFC's "Comedy Bang Bang" or as a voice on Fox's "Bob's Burgers."

Lauren Hart back on TV

Lauren Hart, who used to co-host NBC's "10!," returns to TV this month with a new show on WMCN44. "All Hart" shoots its first episode tomorrow, premiering Thursday at 8 p.m.

"All Hart" will focus on the Philly entertainment scene, a subject Hart told me she is quite well-versed in. Her goal with "All Hart" is to get people off the couch and experiencing the city.

Although Hart, best known for her pre-Flyers games national anthems, hasn't had a hosting gig since "10!," it doesn't mean she ever left the scene. She composes the music for "Dangerous Grounds," the reality show starring her husband, La Colombe coffee magnate Todd Carmichael, as he globetrots in search of fair-trade beans. But when MCN approached her about the idea, she jumped at the chance.

"My old TV gig was a five-day-a-week, all-year job, but I wanted to go on adventures with my husband," Hart said. "This is fun, it's right in my own back yard and there's only so many opportunities like this in Philly."

Hart kept reiterating her desire to highlight unsung artists from around the region and beyond, but the question remains: Will her famous pipes get their own showcase on "All Hart"?

"I don't know yet if I'll sing," she said. "I don't know if I'll do live performances in the studio, but MCN is really open about everything. There's no definitive 'No' to anything, so I think the show will evolve as it goes forward."

Whitaker turns '60'

Veteran newsman Bill Whitaker, who was born in Philadelphia, has joined the long-running CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes" as a correspondent. Those familiar with CBS will recognize Whitaker, who has contributed to many of CBS' news programs, including "Sunday Morning," filing notable profiles of Barbra Streisand, Norman Lear and Mike Tyson.

By any other name . . .

Former Philly resident and adult-film actress Stoya penned an insightful op-ed about identity and porn stars for the New York Times. Although it's worth a read for her point on why she uses a stage name - her job is only one part of who she is - there's also a fun fact in there: Stoya's mother named her after Jessica Savitch, the former KYW news anchor from Kennett Square.

Read all about it at: nyti.ms/1h2bbPi.

Stay sax-y

Saxophonist Andy Snitzer, a graduate of Cheltenham High School, is a member of Paul Simon's touring band. Snitzer came home Friday to perform at the Wells Fargo Center, where there were nearly 30 family members and friends in attendance. Simon isn't Snitzer's only big-name frontman. He toured with the Rolling Stones and has backed up the likes of Beck and Aretha Franklin.

Fox gets educational

Come September, Philly-based production company Steve Rotfeld Productions will take over a two-hour block of Fox's informational and educational programming with new shows based on science and technology. "The truth of the matter is, America is falling really far behind in terms of science, technology and math performance," said Rotfeld, who says he loved nature shows like "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau" and "Wild America." Rotfeld told me that much of the programming will be filmed in Pennsylvania, but they will also branch out worldwide for further learning opportunities.


Email: eichelm@phillynews.com

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN

Online: ph.ly/DNGossip

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