Local 'Family Guy' producer talks blasting off into the 'Cosmos'

An example of Kara Vallow's work on "Cosmos." When she's not working on "Cosmos" or other projects, she's rooting for the Phillies.
An example of Kara Vallow's work on "Cosmos." When she's not working on "Cosmos" or other projects, she's rooting for the Phillies.
Posted: March 21, 2014

PART of what makes "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," the Fox remake of the PBS classic, cool is the mind-blowing science. The other part? The insane visuals, which are thanks to Ambler's Kara Vallow, a Germantown Friends grad who developed and produced the animation on "Cosmos."

"I'm a very proud Philadelphian and no one understands why," Vallow said.

Vallow has been the producing partner of Seth MacFarlane for more than a decade, working on "Family Guy," "American Dad!" and "The Cleveland Show," where her die-hard Phillie fandom afforded Jimmy Rollins a cameo spot last year. In fact, Vallow told me, the cameo was supposed to go to Ryan Howard, but he had to drop out at the last minute.

Vallow calls herself a fanatic sports fan, and during our convo, she launched into a detailed description of the Vet's seven levels.

Vallow credited her time at the progressive Miquon School for fostering her creativity, and trips with her dad to the Franklin Institute for opening her up to the awe-inspiring nature of "Cosmos."

"It had a huge impact on me because it had a sense of enormity," Vallow said about trips to the planetarium. "It opened me up to the universe in a really terrifying way."

"Cosmos" airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on Fox and 10 p.m. Mondays on the National Geographic channel.

Blatstein-Magid bond

Bart Blatstein announced yesterday that he's teaming up with concert promoter Larry Magid - formerly of Electric Factory Concerts and tons of live music moments of your Philly youth - for his proposed casino, The Provence, which he plans for the Daily News' old haunt at Broad and Callowhill streets (Fingers crossed for penny slots at my old desk!).

The casino hasn't even been approved yet, but that hasn't stopped Blatstein from making big pronouncements of what could be, including a 2,200-seat concert hall, jazz club, comedy club, pool club and a nightclub that Magid would oversee.

Magid said he was initially hesitant to get on board with a casino project. But he changed his tune after talking to celeb chefs Tom Colicchio (of "Top Chef" fame) and Andrew Carmellini, who Blatstein announced will open restaurants in the Provence if it's approved. "If they had faith, so did I," Magid said.

Blatstein and Magid admitted that while the concert venue may not be the biggest, nor could it handle the bigger productions, money would still be invested in grabbing major headliners. While concert tickets alone may not cover a top tier artists' fee, concertgoers eating in the restaurants and gambling in the casino certainly would.

Broomall native brings icons to Netflix

Marta Kauffman, the Broomall-raised mastermind behind "Friends," is bringing two icons to Netflix. Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda will star in "Grace and Frankie," a 13-part, half-hour series about rivals whose husbands announce that they are in love with each other and plan to get married. Definitely feeling a bit of an "Odd Couple" vibe here, although with a twist.

Tomlin and Fonda are no strangers: They worked together in the 1980 hit "9 to 5," meaning that there better be a Dolly Parton cameo.

"Grace and Frankie" will premiere on Netflix next year.

New faces at Fox 29

Two new freelancers are popping up at Fox 29, and they're both from the area. Mike Masco will appear on weather reports, while Bensalem-born Sabina Kuriakose will serve as a reporter. Masco was recently in Baltimore, while Kuriakose comes from Hartford, Conn.

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