[11/15/06 - 04:10 PM]
Bravo's 'Inside the Actors Studio' Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Hollywood's Brightest Stars
Upcoming new episodes, which begin Monday, December 18, will feature Eddie Murphy, Forest Whitaker, Matt Damon and Kyra Sedgwick.

[via press release from Bravo]



NEW YORK - November 15 - Bravo rolls out the red carpet this December when "Inside the Actors Studio" begins a new season with a lineup of Hollywood's most intriguing stars. New premieres will feature Eddie Murphy, Forest Whitaker, Matt Damon and Kyra Sedgwick as they sit down with host James Lipton to share their craft. The 12-time Emmy-nominated series kicks off the star-studded schedule with Eddie Murphy, premiering on Monday, December 18, from 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT. The announcement was made today by Frances Berwick, Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, Bravo.

Eddie Murphy's comic talent was evident from an early age, with a flair for dead-on impressions and sidesplitting stand-up routines. His sense of humor and wit made him a stand out and got him noticed at an audition for "Saturday Night Live," where he was eventually cast as a featured player, originating some of the shows most memorable characters, such as Mr. Robinson, Buckwheat and Gumby. Murphy went on to make his feature film debut in "48 Hours," but it was his role in "Beverly Hills Cop" that made him a box-office superstar and a worldwide celebrity. Now, a seasoned actor, producer, comedian, writer and director, Murphy has a long list of films to his credit including "Coming to America," "The Nutty Professor," "Doctor Doolittle" and the blockbuster animated "Shrek." His role in the upcoming film "Dreamgirls" is much anticipated. Premieres Monday, December 18, from 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT.

The multi-talented Forest Whitaker started out as a football star in school and went on to study as a classical tenor before shifting to acting. After playing athletes in teen flicks "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Vision Quest," Whitaker gained notice with a range of supporting parts in A-list films including "Platoon," "The Color of Money," "Good Morning, Vietnam," and "The Crying Game." It was the breakout lead portrayal of the tortured jazz icon Charlie "Bird" Parker in Clint Eastwood's "Bird," for which Whitaker won the Cannes Film Festival award for best actor and a Golden Globe nomination. Widening his horizons, Whitaker gained respect behind the camera. He made a successful directorial debut with "Waiting to Exhale" and went on to direct "Hope Floats" and "First Daughter." A star of both film and television, Whitaker has recently taken on challenging roles in the acclaimed dramas "The Shield" and "ER." Recently, Whitaker tackled the role of a lifetime in "The Last King of Scotland," playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and is generating Oscar buzz. Premieres Monday, January 8, from 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT.

Actor/producer/writer Matt Damon has earned a reputation as one of the most affable actors in the entertainment industry. His first film role was a one-line part in "Mystic Pizza." Following a few lean years, Damon rushed onto the A-list as the star and co-writer of "Good Will Hunting," which he collaborated on with childhood friend Ben Affleck. The celebrated film earned him a Best Actor Academy Award nomination and an Oscar win for Best Screenplay. Damon soon became one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood and began to work with top directors, fashioning an impressive list of credits, including Francis Ford Coppola's "The Rainmaker," "Stephen Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan," Kevin Smith's "Dogma" and Anthony Minghella's "The Talented Mr. Ripley." Having proven himself a major box office draw, Damon played a key role in the ensemble cast of "Ocean's Eleven" and the following sequels and also landed the lead in the "The Bourne Identity" films. Recently, Damon joined an all-star cast in Martin Scorsese's "The Departed," winning critical acclaim in his role as a hardened criminal who infiltrates the police force. Premiere TBA.

Noted for her thoughtful focused presence, Kyra Sedgwick's career has included stage, screen and television. At 16, she made her professional acting debut as a regular on the soap "Another World." She worked a number of acting jobs on both stage and screen, but it was her breakthrough performance as Donna, Tom Cruise's girlfriend in Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July" that raised her profile considerably. Building on that, Sedgwick went on to play a myriad of memorable roles -- a lesbian in "What's Cooking?" a rebellious daughter in James Ivory's "Mr. And Mrs. Bridge," John Travolta's love interest in "Phenomenon" and Julia Robert's sassy-tongued sister in "Something to Talk About." She met actor and soon-to-be husband Kevin Bacon when they played leads in the TV movie "Lemon Sky." Together, they've worked on a number of films, including "Murder in the First," "Cavedweller" and "The Woodsman." More recently, Sedgwick moved into series television with the critically-acclaimed drama "The Closer." Playing Brenda Johnson, a crack police investigator, her performance has earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nominations. Premiere TBA.

Bravo is the cable network that plugs people into arts, entertainment and pop culture with original programming, acclaimed drama series, movies, comedy and music specials, and by showing a whole different side of celebrities. Currently available in more than 80 million homes, Bravo is known for breaking exciting new personalities, shaking up the way we look at style, media, fame and Hollywood, pulling back the curtain on the creative process, and making influential and inventive original programming. Its critically acclaimed original programming includes the Emmy-nominated "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," 12-time Emmy-nominated "Inside the Actors Studio," "The Real Housewives of Orange County," "Top Chef," "Celebrity Poker Showdown," as well as the 2004 Emmy winner for Outstanding Reality Program, "Queer Eye," and the four-time Emmy-nominated hit competition series, "Project Runway."

Bravo is a program service of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBC Universal one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Bravo has been an NBC cable network since December 2002 and was the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts when it launched in December 1980. For more information visit www.bravotv.com.

  [november 2006]  

· ER (NBC)

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