Photo Credit: Erin Simkin/SHOWTIME.

Reporting by Marc Berman

Stream Black Monday on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

If you haven't tuned in to the SHOWTIME original series Black Monday—an outrageous comedy that chronicles the worst stock market crash in the history of Wall Street—we recommended you start binge-watching, stat! Watch interviewed cast member Casey Wilson and chatted about her crazy character, her hidden talent, and being recognized in public.

Actress Casey Wilson in TV show Black Monday

Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME.

Watch is all about television's hottest shows. Tell us about your character on Black Monday.

I play Tiff Georgina who is the fiancée of Andrew Rannells' character Blair. Tiff is hell on wheels and, frankly, abusive. She is heiress to the Georgina Jeans fortune and never met an '80s clip-on earring she didn't take off dramatically when answering the phone.

Casey Wilson and Andrew Ranells in 80s wedding attire.

Casey Wilson as Tiff Georgina and Andrew Ranells as Blair Pfaff in Black Monday.

Photo Credit: Erin Simkin/SHOWTIME.

Why did you decide to become an actor?

I don't remember deciding. I think when I was about three years old people told me I started talking about storytelling and performing. I always said I was going to write and act.

Most unusual or interesting place you've been recognized?

At a lot of baggage carousels and at piano bars.

The cast of Black Monday walks a red carpet.

Casey Wilson, Don Cheadle, Regina Hall, Andrew Rannells and Paul Scheer at the SHOWTIME 2019 Emmy FYC Screening of Black Monday at the Wolf Theatre in Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of SHOWTIME.

What's your hidden talent?

My hidden talent is gossip. I'm also writing a book of comedic essays that I'm really excited about.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully I will be spending time with my two wonderful sons and continuing to get the opportunity to act and write.

Casey Wilson and Andrew Ranells wear 80s style clothing in a still image from Black Monday.

Casey Wilson and co-star Andrew Rannells embrace the '80s fashion for Black Monday series set in New York City, circa 1987.

Photo Credit: Erin Simkin/SHOWTIME.

Stream Black Monday on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

Photo courtesy of SHOWTIME.

By Nate Millado

Stream Queer as Folk on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

Last summer was a milestone for the LGBTQ community: the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that sparked the modern gay rights movement. So there's no better time to reflect on the groundbreaking drama Queer as Folk, which was based on a British series of the same name and aired on SHOWTIME from 2000 to 2005. Centered on the hookups and hang-ups of gay men in Pittsburgh, it was the first of its kind for American television and helped kick the door open for realistic depictions of LGBTQ life on television.

VIDEO: See This Nostalgic Teaser For The Unforgettable Drama Series Queer As Folk

It redefined family.

"I love your friends," says Ted's (Scott Lowell) boyfriend in the finale of Season 1. "They are like family." "Not like. They are," Ted corrects him. QAF embraced the concept of "chosen family," anchored by boy-next-door Michael (Hal Sparks). His close-knit clan included lesbian couple Lindsay and Melanie (Thea Gill and Michelle Clunie) and teen artist Justin (Randy Harrison), whose dad kicked him out of his house for being gay. Of course, it helps when you have a PFLAG-waving mom like Michael's (Cagney & Lacey's Sharon Gless as wisecracking Debbie).

A busy kitchen scene around a table where a small child is eating.

Peter Paige, Thea Gill, Michelle Clunie, and Hal Sparks on set of Queer as Folk.

Photo courtesy of SHOWTIME.

It was provocative and thought-provoking.

Peter Paige (who played out-and-proud Emmett) often said, "People came for the queer, but they stayed for the folk." When the show premiered December 3, 2000, much ado was made about the gratuitous sex—mostly involving unapologetic lothario Brian (Gale Harold). And not without reason—those scenes were steamy. But it also tackled deeply personal and political storylines: from workplace discrimination, HIV and AIDS, and same-sex marriage to conversion therapy, recreational drug addiction, and hate crimes.

A man stare intently at his laptop.

Gale Harold as Brian Kinney on Queer as Folk.

Photo courtesy of SHOWTIME.

It broke ground and records.

By the end of season 1, QAF was the highest-rated show on SHOWTIME. (While the network didn't release numbers, it said its performance was particularly successful in attracting 18- to 34-year-olds). By demonstrating that a series about gay men could hold mass appeal, it surely paved the yellow brick road for future queer-centric shows like The L Word and Looking.

A couple smiles and laughs at something happening off screen.

Michelle Clunie as Melanie Marcus and Thea Gill as Lindsay Peterson on Queer as Folk.

Photo courtesy of SHOWTIME.

It inspired viewers and its cast.

Executive producer Daniel Lipman recalled a time when a group of men from the "flyover states" came up to thank the creators, saying, "Where we live, there are no gay bars ... Queer as Folk was our connection to the gay community." With QAF, you didn't need to live in West Hollywood or the West Village to feel like you belonged. For Robert Gant, landing the role of HIV-positive professor Ben encouraged him to come out publicly in The Advocate. "I feel a sense of responsibility," he said. "I want to help change the world."

Two men have a coversation inside a comic book store

Hal Sparks as Michael Novotny and Robert Grant as Ben Bruckner on Queer as Folk.

Photo courtesy of SHOWTIME.

It was ahead of its time.

When QAF premiered, gay marriage wasn't legal—anywhere. "Don't ask, don't tell" was still active. A "Grindr" was a tool in the kitchen. And while the hairstyles and fashion of the aughts may be dated, QAF's timeless themes and fierce, fearless characters still ring loud and queer.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, July-August 2019.

Stream Queer as Folk on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

Photo Credit: Sam Jones/Trunk Archive.

By Brantley Bardin

Stream The L Word: Generation Q on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

For six deliciously drama-filled, Sapphic, sex-soaked seasons, The L Word immersed audiences in a lesbian community never before seen on television. It caused such a sensation that when the series ended in 2009, L Word star Jennifer Beals—who played Bette Porter, an L.A. art world power lesbian—was sure another show about LGBTQ women would fill the void.

That didn't happen. So Beals and L Word co-stars Katherine Moennig (Shane McCutcheon) and Leisha Hailey (Alice Pieszecki) took matters into their own hands. The result: The L Word: Generation Q, with award-winning lesbian writer-filmmaker Marja-Lewis Ryan onboard as its showrunner, and Beals, Moennig, and Hailey all reprising their beloved characters.

Jennifer Beals a Bette Porter, Katherine Moenning as Shane McCutcheon, and Leisha Hailey as Alice Pieszecki.

Jennifer Beals a Bette Porter, Katherine Moennig as Shane McCutcheon, and Leisha Hailey as Alice Pieszecki in The L Word: Generation Q.

Photo Credits: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SHOWTIME.


Says Beals: "I want Generation Q to continue L Word's legacy of representation, inclusivity, and reminding people that the 'L' doesn't just stand for lesbian but for love, too. It begins 10 years after the last show, and I want to deep-dive into conversations about sexuality and gender identity." Beals is quick to add, "You don't want it to be didactic, though, so it's going to be funny!"

So thrilling to have the three of you original L Word-ers back alongside four new, young LGBTQ leads, played by Arienne Mandi, Jacqueline Toboni, Rosanny Zayas, and Leo Sheng, a trans male actor. Besides more humor, how will the new show be different?

Well, the world was so different the first time around. There was no marriage equality, and when somebody said "nonbinary," it was just a mathematical term. So to explore these ideas and give representation to these people is exciting.

Jennifer Beals and the cast of The L Word: Generation Q sitting under a patio umbrella.

Jennifer Beals and the cast of The L Word: Generation Q.

Photo Credit: Kharen Hill/SHOWTIME.

But do say there'll still be plenty of juicy sex, intrigue, and drama.

Yes, for sure! When you're doing a story about sexual identity, there will be sex!

When last seen, your Bette was moving from L.A. to NYC with her long-time partner, Tina, and ...

... And during the past 10 years, she married Tina. But she's back in L.A. on a new adventure. She's 50 now, and her goals are a bit different, but what I've always loved is Bette's combination of toughness and vulnerability, her intellect, and her love for her friends. She and Shane and Alice are all still very tight.

\u200bJennifer Beals and Laurel Holloman in The L Word: Generation Q.

Jennifer Beals as Bette Porter and Laurel Holloman as Tina Kennard in The L Word: Generation Q.

Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SHOWTIME.

How will their lives intersect with the four new young leads?

We're united through work. In the original show, there was no ageism—no matter the age differences, we were all friends. That will continue.

Actors Arienne Mandi and Rosanny Zayas in The L Word: Generation Q.

Arienne Mandi as Dani Nunez and Rosanny Zayas as Sophie Suarez in The L Word: Generation Q.

Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SHOWTIME.

Flashdance made you an overnight star. You were a freshman at Yale, where you decided to stay, turning down myriad movie offers until you graduated. Did staying at Yale save your life? Is Flashdance the bane of your existence?

It's definitely not the bane of my existence! It was an amazing entree into the world. But it was really challenging because I was never interested in fame, and I'm relatively shy. And I loved school. It felt familiar to me: Give me a blue book and an essay test and I'm happy.

Jennifer Beals addresses a large crowd of supporters.

Jennifer Beals reprises her role as Bette Porter.

Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SHOWTIME.

How did audience reactions differ from Flashdance to L Word?

Oddly, they were similar because both characters gave people permission to be who they wanted to be. Flashdance fan mail was, "By pursuing her dream to dance, Alex gave me permission to pursue my dream." L Word mail was, "I've come out to my family and at work, and I feel proud of myself, not ashamed." The power of storytelling is amazing, isn't it?

Jennifer Beals of front of hot pink photo backdrop

Jennifer Beals as Bette Porter in The L Word: Generation Q.

Photo Credit: Kharen Hill/SHOWTIME.

Totally. On a personal note, you've long been married to Canadian entrepreneur Ken Dixon, with whom you have a 14-year-old daughter. What's your way of chilling out off-camera?

I sing; I sing a lot. I pretty much sing Hamilton ad nauseum.

And I meditate and love open-water swimming.

Chances are you're in for a long-running hit with The L Word: Generation Q. How much do you love acting?

That's like asking, "How much do you love to breathe? How much do you love God? How much do you love the water?" I love it so much, I can't take it. I can't wait to get back on set, to get back to rehearsals. I'm just dying for people to see the new show!

Stephanie Allynne as Natalie Baker and Leisha Hailey as Alice Pieszecki embrace.

Stephanie Allynne as Natalie Baker and Leisha Hailey as Alice Pieszecki.

Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SHOWTIME.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2019.

Stream The L Word: Generation Q on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

Photo Credit: Jason Schmidt.

By Chris Nashawaty

Editor's Note: This interview took place in February, before COVID-19 took hold in the United States.

Stream full episodes of The Good Fight and Evil on CBS All Access.

Long before they became the most successful husband-and-wife showrunner team on television, Michelle and Robert King were the keepers of a particularly juicy workplace secret. It was 1983, and Robert, a recent college graduate, had moved to Los Angeles to try and make it as a screenwriter. To finance that dream, he'd taken a minimum-wage job at an athletic footwear store in Brentwood called FrontRunners. It was hardly the most romantic chapter of his life—that is, until the day he found himself working the same shift as a new, part-time employee about to enter her senior year at UCLA.

"We met while we were both restocking the sock wall," says Robert. "Our hands connected across the rows and rows of socks."

Listening to the umpteenth retelling of their unlikely and decidedly un-Hollywood meet-cute, Michelle rolls her eyes and begins to laugh. Robert looks at her and, encouraged by her reaction, continues: "I was doing the lighting on some stage play at the Mormon temple. And I asked you if you wanted to go. Remember?" Michelle nods. How could she forget?

Michelle and Robert King in their production office.

Michelle and Robert King prove that two heads are better than one.

Photo Credit: Jason Schmidt.


Four years later, they were married. That fateful afternoon may have been the first time that the Kings' personal and professional lives overlapped, but it wouldn't be the last. As the powerhouse creators and showrunners behind the acclaimed CBS legal drama The Good Wife and now its CBS All Access spinoff, The Good Fight, as well as the network's demons-and-miracles procedural Evil, the couple has become the rare exception to the rule that people should never be married to their work. "And just for the record," deadpans Michelle, "we don't keep our relationship a secret anymore."

On a chilly winter afternoon at their production office in a nondescript, industrial section of Brooklyn, the Kings seem to be juggling a million different dizzying tasks at once. But if they're spread thin, you'd never guess it from their easy, united-we-stand chemistry. Today, for example, they hit the ground running with a 10 a.m. meeting with The Good Fight's production designers. Then it was straight into the show's writers' room to hash out the last episode of the new season, where they'll spitball ideas until 6 p.m., only occasionally breaking off to put out fires in the editing room.

When asked how they divvy up the assortment of day-to-day responsibilities involved with shepherding multiple hit shows on multiple platforms (the Evil writing team is on hiatus until June, but a third show—SHOWTIME's limited series YOUR HONOR, starring Bryan Cranston—is currently shooting in New Orleans), Michelle says, "There's enough to do that there's no preciousness about who's doing what. Robert tends to take the lead on editorial and rewrites …" Robert picks up her thought like a relay baton: "And Michelle handles casting, legal, wardrobe, and the look of the shows. But we're both equal in the writers' room …" Michelle takes the baton back: "People always ask, 'Who's the good cop and who's the bad cop?' It's not like that. It's more like, 'You can do it? God bless you!'"

TV showrunner Robert King.

"Michelle and I have very different backgrounds." – Robert King

Photo Credit: Jason Schmidt.

Their partnership didn't always work this way. For the first 15 years of their marriage, the Kings kept their work lives separate from their domestic one. Back then, Robert worked as a screenwriter of big-budget features such as 1997's Red Corner and 2000's Vertical Limit, while Michelle worked in development at various studios and production companies. Then, in 2001, they began developing a series at ABC together about the U.S./Mexico border called The Line. The show wasn't picked up, which they admit stung, but their new partnership felt like its own sort of success.

The Kings were surprised not only by how well they worked together, but also by how much they liked working in television. The medium's instant yes-or-no greenlight decision-making was a welcome antidote to the slow, fickle, death-by-a-thousand-cuts world of the movie studios. They continued cranking out pilot scripts, some of which made it to series, like 2006's In Justice. But their biggest success wouldn't come until 2009, when they tapped into the zeitgeist with a series about a political wife whose husband gets embroiled in a tabloid nightmare and is sent to prison.

TV showrunner Michelle King.

"People always ask, 'Who's the good cop and who's the bad cop?' It's not like that." – Michelle King

Photo Credit: Jason Schmidt.

"There were all of these scandals, one right after the other," says Michelle, "Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Mark Sanford, and there were so frequently women standing right next to them. In a number of cases, those women were very accomplished and attorneys. We just looked at those photos and said, 'OK, who is she? And what's she thinking about?'"

The Good Wife would run for seven Emmy-decorated, water-cooler-buzz-worthy seasons, from 2009 to 2016, and in the process become one of the most acclaimed dramatic series in a decade that seemed to have no shortage of acclaimed dramatic series. It was the New Golden Age of TV. And all of a sudden, the Kings were part of a new kind of Hollywood royalty. Just a decade earlier, no one knew what showrunners were or what they did. Now, in the new calculus, they've become the entertainment industrial complex's equivalent of hot celebrity chefs or rock stars. Not that the Kings had any idea of that.

"I was really unaware of it because we were in it," says Michelle, without an ounce of faux humility. "You're just going to the office and doing the work and then you're going home. The first season premiered in September, and then we had a Christmas party, and people from the crew kept coming up to me saying, 'What does it feel like to have a hit on your hands?' I pulled Robert aside and said, 'Do we have a hit?'"

\u200bChristine Baranski in The Good Fight.

Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart in The Good Fight.

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/CBS.

By the time they reached the seventh and final season of The Good Wife, all the Kings knew was that they were exhausted. The grueling, 22-episodes-a-season run had taken its toll. So when their fellow producers and the network asked if they might be interested in running a spinoff, their initial response was tepid. They weren't convinced it was the best idea. After all, for every Frasier, there are a dozen The Tortellis.

The Kings took a three-week vacation to Edinburgh and Amsterdam to recharge and reconsider, and when they returned, they started to take the idea more seriously. The fact that CBS said that the show would be on the CBS All Access streaming network and could be done in a more manageable, 10-episode season certainly helped, as did Christine Baranski's commitment to star. And that's how The Good Fight was born.

While The Good Wife had grappled with the liberal mindset of the Obama era, The Good Fight would end up being just as topical and button-pushing, addressing America in the age of Trump. It doesn't shy away from politics, but it also doesn't seem partisan or didactic. In the pilot, Baranski's hard-charging attorney Diane Lockhart is disgraced and pushed out of her old law firm only to find a new sense of mission by joining Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad—a prestigious African American–run firm and former competitor. The Good Wife's loyal fanbase followed her.

\u200bMichelle and Robert King.

Michelle and Robert King.

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS.

At the same time that the Kings were redefining what "Good" was, they began flirting with Evil—a second CBS show that couldn't be more different in genre, subject, and tone from The Good Fight, or frankly anything they'd done before.

Inspired by an ongoing conversation that the couple had been having for years, Evil asks the question: What makes people do bad things? "Michelle and I have very different backgrounds," says Robert, explaining what inspired Evil's premise. "We've been together 35 years, but religiously, I'm Catholic and I go to Mass every Sunday, while Michelle's …" He turns to his wife, again telepathically handing the baton. "I'm a secular Jew," she says, finishing his thought.

Part investigative procedural, part supernatural horror, and even part will-they-or-won't-they workplace romance, the show follows an investigative team made up of a skeptical psychologist (Katja Herbers), a priest-in-training (Mike Colter), and a contractor (Aasif Mandvi) who look into creepy cases trying to divine whether the people who commit crimes are simply bad or there are more inexplicable and demonic forces at work.

Before the first season ended in January, CBS greenlit a second. And while the couple is tight-lipped about where the show is headed in its sophomore year, other than saying it gets "darker," they admit that the reaction has been better than they'd ever hoped. Says Michelle: "The biggest compliment we've gotten is people telling us that it's too scary to watch at 10 o'clock. And that they have to tape it and watch it during the day."

Aasif Mandvi, Katja Herbers, and Mike Colter in TV show Evil.

Aasif Mandvi, Katja Herbers, and Mike Colter in Evil.

Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/CBS.

As she finishes her thought, an assistant pokes her head into the Kings' office. She'd be tapping her watch if she were wearing one. They were due back in The Good Fight's writers' room 15 minutes ago. Getting up, they look at their phones, which are glowing with a dozen other urgent questions that require their immediate yays or nays. Saying goodbye, Robert apologizes for how frazzled they must seem. "The truth is, if Michelle and I weren't married and working together, we probably wouldn't see each other at all," he says. Then, right on cue, Michelle picks up the baton one last time to complete her other half's thought: "Honestly, I don't know how anyone does this job without being married."

​The Kings' Treasures

Michelle and Robert King have no shortage of imagination, as witnessed by the five stellar series they've created.

BrainDead

This quirky 2016 sci-fi satire, which ran for one season, put Tony Shalhoub and Mary Elizabeth Winstead into the deliciously out-there premise that asked: What if the bipartisan tension in Washington, D.C., was caused by a race of extraterrestrial insects devouring the brains of politicians?

Stream full episodes of BrainDead on CBS All Access.

Tony Shalhoub in TV show BrainDead.

Tony Shalhoub in CBS series BrainDead.

Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/CBS.


The Good Wife

The hugely influential hit drama, which starred Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, the wronged political spouse turned fiercely independent litigator, ran for seven hit seasons on CBS, from 2009 to 2016, and racked up five Emmys in the process. This is the show that put the Kings on the map, turning them into a husband-and-wife showrunning force to be reckoned with.

Stream full episodes of The Good Wife on CBS All Access.

Julianna Margulies in TV show The Good Wife.

Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife.

Photo Credit: David M. Russell/CBS.

The Good Fight

The Kings' topical show, filming its fourth season, brings back Christine Baranski as the recently humbled and newly reenergized attorney Diane Lockhart. She speaks truth to power alongside some new faces (including Hugh Dancy, Michael J. Fox, and Zach Grenier).

The Good Fight streams exclusively on CBS All Access.

The cast of The Good Fight.

Photo Credit: Robert Ascroft/CBS.

Cush Jumbo as Lucca Quinn; Michael Boatman as Julius Cain; Nyambi Nyambi as Jay Dipersia; Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart; Audra McDonald as Liz Reddick; Delroy Lindo as Adrian Boseman; Zach Grenier as David Lee; Sarah Steele as Marissa Gold in The Good Fight.

Evil

After a bone-chilling debut season, this creepy prime-time procedural starring Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, and Aasif Mandvi as investigators of the supernatural has been reordered for a second season of miracles, demons, and sexual tension.

Stream full episodes of Evil on CBS All Access.

Mike Colter, Katja Herbers, and Aasif Mandvi in TV show Evil.

Mike Colter as David Acosta, Katja Herbers as Kristen Bouchard, and Aasif Mandvi as Ben Shroff in Evil.

Photo Credit: Michele Crowe/CBS.

YOUR HONOR

Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston heads up this buzzy, 10-episode limited series (adapted from the Israeli legal thriller Kvodo and written by The Night Of's Peter Moffat) about a New Orleans judge whose son is involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a web of lies and deceit. Hope Davis, Carmen Ejogo, and Michael Stuhlbarg co-star.

YOUR HONOR airs later this year on SHOWTIME.

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