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Bruce Greenwood Talks about the Next 'Star Trek'/'Cougar Town' a Fun Fit for Christa Miller

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The second "Star Trek" feature of the J.J. Abrams era — the 12th big-screen edition of the "Star Trek" franchise overall — is in the works, reveals Bruce Greenwood, who played the Enterprise's Captain Christopher Pike in the "Star Trek" flick that burned up the box office this year.

Greenwood says "I can hardly wait" about the prospect of getting back into Starfleet uniform. He says that he's been talking to Abrams about what would be the latest edition of the sci-fi saga and notes that, as yet, "there are no guarantees, J.J. — one of the nicest guys on the planet — has indicated there will be a place in the project for me."

Shooting of the new "Trek" is expected to start next summer, a period that thus far is open for Greenwood. This year has been one of almost non-stop work for the actor, who stars in CBS' Nov. 29 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, "A Dog Named Christmas."

"Christmas," the tale of a developmentally challenged young man who convinces his family to participate in an "Adopt a Dog for Christmas" Program, shot in Canada this summer. Greenwood followed it with the big-screen Western "Meeks' Cutoff" with Michelle Williams, then the feature "Barney's Version" with Paul Giamatti. And now he's getting ready to start "Dinner for Schmucks" with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd — based on the French movie about a group of wealthy cynics who humiliate and mock their dinner guests.

A program is in the works, in conjunction with the release of "A Dog Named Christmas," to create a nationally advertised program for animal shelters to foster adoption programs for pets during the upcoming Christmas season.

Greenwood thinks the program is a nifty idea. "If only half the people who take a foster dog decide to keep the pet, it's still a great idea. Even if the dog goes back to the shelter, it's had a fantastic break from the kennel."

As for himself, Greenwood says his on-the-go life would make it impossible for him to have a pet. "It just wouldn't be fair," he says. "I've worked everywhere from China to Australia, Canada, Montana and Oregon this past year." But he wouldn't mind adopting a pooch for the holidays when he and his wife will be home with family in Vancouver.

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT: "Cougar Town's" Christa Miller is having a blast playing Ellie, the best friend of Courteney Cox Arquette's divorcee character on the hit ABC series.

"I find the way they're writing her very interesting," says the actress of "The Drew Carey Show" and "Scrubs" fame, whose husband, Bill Lawrence, is the executive producer/creator of "Cougar Town," as well as "Scrubs." "She's a character that doesn't have any tact or filter in the things she says, which is really fun to play. She's making me laugh; she's so blunt. I don't know what is going to happen to her, but I imagine that with Courteney being out on the town and her being at home, there will be a certain amount of friction."

Ellie has a husband and a baby, but doesn't seem all that excited about either of them. Miller is, on the other hand, very excited about her family — Lawrence and their three children. She's looking forward to their Thanksgiving hiatus, when "We're going to go away to the Caribbean. We've already sent paddleboards ahead. It's going to be a sports-filled, sunny Thanksgiving." And Lawrence can no doubt use a break. "He's been going full steam, writing the show and doing everything he has to do. He hired people to run 'Scrubs,' and, of course, he can't resist looking in on their set and doing rewrites for them."

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: Back in ancient times when the original "big three" networks ruled planet Television, the term "disease of the week" meant maladies that showed up on medical series populated by kindly and wise doctors. Nowadays, entire series are built around characters suffering such maladies. Coming up, we have Aussie beauty Radha Mitchell's A&E "The Quickening," in which she's to play a police detective who is bipolar. William H. Macy's to play an alcoholic on "Shameless," the pilot he has going into production soon for Showtime with John Wells. There's sex addiction (David Duchovny in "Californication"), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Tony Shalhoub in "Monk," which has its farewell episode Dec. 4), cancer (Bryan Cranston's crystal meth cooker on AMC's "Breaking Bad"), and dissociative identity disorder (Toni Collette on "United States of Tara"). One can only imagine what might be coming next.

HELLO, AGAIN: If you're among those who've been wondering what Lance Henriksen, Helen Slater and Patricia Richardson are up to lately, they've started shooting "The Beautiful Wave," an indie feature about a 17-year-old girl's coming of age when she spends a summer in Malibu with her estranged grandmother.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



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