Photo Credit: James Dimmock/CBS.


By Oliver Jones

The script called for a fat cat. Grudge, the feline companion of new character Cleveland "Book" Booker (David Ajala), was meant to just plod around in the background of scenes in the current season of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery. But that wasn't an easy assignment for expert animal wrangler Paul Rutledge and his colleague Lesley Laurence.

Grudge the cat on Star Trek: Discovery

Grudge the cat on the set of Star Trek: Discovery.

Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/CBS.

"Being on set can be an extremely stressful situation for an overweight cat," says Rutledge, who worked with several Discovery producers on The CW's historical romance Reign.

Then the veteran wrangler got a burst of inspiration. Why not cast a Maine Coon? This exotic-looking feline is the largest domesticated cat breed and one of the oldest bred in North America.

Sonequa Martin-Green holds Grudge the cat on Star Trek: Discovery

Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Burnham and Grudge of the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery.

Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/CBS.

Enter Leeu and Durban, two lookalike brothers who belong to restaurateur Michelle Smith and take turns playing the part. Far from portly (though the still-growing Leeu, 3, is over 40 inches long and weighs more than 20 pounds), the breakout animal stars of the new season have brought a playful athleticism to the role. They have even been known to deviate from the script during takes and leap suddenly onto their co-stars' backs.

Two tabby Main Coon cats

Siblings Leeu and Durban share the role of Grudge.

Photo Credit: Michelle Hendry.

As for stressed out? Not these tabbies. "Leeu is a very relaxed, easygoing cat," says Smith. "The littler one, Durban, can be more uptight. But then on set, they tend to switch spots." Smith, who also keeps two Wheaten Terriers, describes her Maine Coons as doglike. They rush the door when she returns home, come when called, and Leeu will do most anything for a treat. (Durban, on the other hand, is motivated by the sound of a can opener.)

Grudge the cat on Star Trek: Discovery

Life is pretty purr..fect for this Hollywood feline.

Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/CBS.

While these two are extraordinarily well trained (Leeu knows how to use the toilet), Smith keeps a backup plan in her pocket just in case. Says Smith, "I have some really excellent catnip."

Originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2020.

Star Trek: Discovery streams exclusively on CBS All Access.

Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/CBS.

By Nate Millado

Star Trek: Discovery has returned with all-new episodes and Season 3 will feature the franchise's first transgender and non-binary characters. Actor Ian Alexander will play Gray, and newcomer Blu del Barrio will take on the role of Adira. But this groundbreaking sci-fi series has always been ahead of its time since its debut in 1966.

Here are six times Star Trek boldly went where no other TV show had gone before.

Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Discovery every Thursday exclusively on CBS All Access.

Star Trek: The Original Series' Multicultural Crew

Uhura McCoy and Sulu in Star Trek

Nichelle Nichols as Commander Uhura, DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, and George Takei as Commander Hikaru Sulu in the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Photo Credit: CBS via Getty Images.

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry envisioned a utopian future to strive for. So even though Star Trek: The Original Series debuted during a decade of mounting racial tensions, it boasted one of the most multicultural casts on television.

The starship Enterprise crew included lieutenants Uhura (African-American actress Nichelle Nichols) and Sulu (Japanese-American actor George Takei), roles they reprised in the subsequent films. Nichols actually considered leaving after the first season, but a famous Trekkie changed her mind.

Star Trek super fan Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whom she met at a NAACP fundraiser, told Nichols the role was bigger than her: "What you've accomplished, for all of us, will only be real if you stay." And so she did.

The First Interracial Kiss On American TV

Uhura and Kirk kissing

Nichelle Nichols as Uhura and William Shatner as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren."

Photo Credit: CBS via Getty Images.

Just a year after the Supreme Court ruled that interracial marriage was legal, Star Trek aired the barrier-breaking episode "Plato's Stepchildren," in which Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) plants a kiss on his communications officer, Lt. Uhura (Nichols). The legendary lip-lock is considered the first scripted interracial kiss on American television.

First Genderless Character

\u200bSoren in the Star Trek The Next Generation

Soren (Melinda Culea) in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Outcast."

Photo Credit: YouTube.

In 1992, Star Trek: The Next Generation addressed sexual discrimination in the episode "The Outcast." Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) falls in love with Soren (Melinda Culea), a member of an androgynous species that finds gender to be outdated and offensive. When the J'naii discover their affair, they force Soren to undergo "psychotectic" therapy, and Soren loses their attraction to Riker.

Female Firsts

Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek Voyager

Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager.

Photo Credit: CBS via Getty Images.

Kate Mulgrew navigated uncharted territory when she first stepped onto the bridge of the U.S.S. Voyager as the first female captain of a Star Trek series. Captain Kathryn Janeway also paved the way for Star Trek: Discovery's complex, badass Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green)—the franchise's first black female lead.

First Openly Gay Couple

Lieutenant Paul Stamets and Dr Hugh Culber embracing

Anthony Rapp as Lieutenant Paul Stamets and Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber in Star Trek: Discovery.

Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/CBS.

In 2017, Star Trek: Discovery introduced the first openly gay characters to the franchise. played by out actors Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz. After Season 1's fifth episode confirmed that Lt. Stamets (Rapp) and Dr. Culber (Cruz) were indeed gay—and married!—Cruz posted on Instagram: "I may have been moved to tears watching this. #representationmatters." Out actor George Takei—who played Sulu in the Star Trek: The Original Series—also saluted the history-making moment on his social media.

First Non-Binary And Trans Characters

Head shots of actors \u200bBlu del Barrio and Ian Alexander

Blu del Barrio plays Adira and Ian Alexander plays Gray in Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery.

Photo Credit: Phil Sharp (Blu del Barrio); Jake Akita (Ian Alexander).

Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery welcomes non-binary actor Blu del Barrio and transgender actor Ian Alexander to its diverse cast.

Alexander plays Gray, a warm and empathetic transgender man, eager to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a Trill host. Newcomer del Barrio is Adira, a non-binary character who bonds with Stamets (Rapp) and Culber (Cruz). "Star Trek has always made a mission of giving visibility to underrepresented communities because it believes in showing people that a future without division on the basis of race, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation is entirely within our reach," co-showrunner and executive producer Michelle Paradise said in a statement.

Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Discovery every Thursday exclusively on CBS All Access.

Photo Credits: Kurt Iswarienko/SHOWTIME; Russ Martin/CBS; Frank Ockenfels 3/The CW.

By Nate Millado

We've singled out some of TV's most memorable manes—long and short, curly and straight, outrageous and outlandish—for National Hair Day on Oct. 1. Did your favorite make the cut?

Regina Hall as Dawn Towner

Regina Hall with giant pink bow in her hair

Regina Hall as Dawn Towner in Black Monday.

Photo Credit: Erin Simkin/SHOWTIME.

Big hair, don't care! As Dawn Towner on the '80s-set Wall Street–themed comedy Black Monday, actress Regina Hall rocks the decade's trademark voluminous locks and shoulder pads. "I'm having a little too much fun with all the bows in my hair," Hall told Deadline. "But I like it."

Stream Seasons 1 and 2 of Black Monday on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper

Betty Cooper sipping a milkshake at a diner wearing a camel coat

Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper on Riverdale.

Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW.

Betty's signature pony is to-die-for on Riverdale, but there's actually meaning behind the mane, as Lili Reinhart once told Glamour magazine. "When it comes to having her hair down or lower, like a lower pony, it's usually reflective of her mental state," Reinhart said. So when Betty's buttery blonde hair is down, so is she.

Stream Riverdale free only on The CW.

Cush Jumbo as Lucca Quinn

Lucca Quinn sitting at a table

Cush Jumbo as Lucca Quinn in The Good Fight.

Photo: Patrick Harbron/CBS.

If looks could kill, Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) would slay! But her sleek pixie cut is no accident, according to The Good Wife head hairstylist Silvie Salle. "For her character to become this stronger, young lawyer, especially a woman of color in the industry, she had to have the look, she had to look powerful," Salle explained.

Stream The Good Wife and The Good Fight on CBS All Access.

Lucille Ball as Lucy

Lucy holding a spoon and medicine bottle for a commercial

Lucille Ball as Lucy in I Love Lucy.

Photo Credit: CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Sure, I Love Lucy was originally in black and white, but is there really a more famous redhead in TV history than Lucy (Lucille Ball)?

Stream episodes of I Love Lucy on CBS All Access.

Ethan Peck as Spock

Spock in a blue uniform with pointed ears and bowl cut

Ethan Peck as Spock in Star Trek: Discovery.

Photo Credit: Russ Martin/CBS.

Almost as iconic as Spock's (Ethan Peck) pointed ears and Vulcan brows? That trademark bowl cut.

Stream Star Trek: Discovery exclusively on CBS All Access.

Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne holding on to her new silver hairstyle

Sharon Osbourne debuts her new silver look on The Talk.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

The Talk host Sharon Osbourne had dyed her hair deep red for nearly two decades but grew tired of the upkeep. In February, she went au naturel, debuting a sleek silver 'do on the panel.

Watch The Talk Weekdays on CBS and CBS All Access.

Simone Missick as Lola Carmichael

Judge Lola Carmichael in a courtroom

Simone Missick as Lola Carmichael in All Rise.

Photo Credit: Tina Thorpe/CBS.

Simone Missick—who plays Judge Lola Carmichael on CBS' All Rise—says she is "so thankful to have a thick head of kinky-curly hair." As she told Hype Hair: "I love my texture and my ability to style it in so many ways. I'm always changing my look, whether it's a twist-out or a pouf or a braided style, and it's my texture that allows for the versatility."

Stream full episodes of All Rise on CBS All Access.

Fran Drescher as Fran Fine

"Big hair and short skirts. That's what got Mel Gibson the Oscar," quipped Fran Fine (played by Fran Drescher) on the ’90s fish-out-of-water sitcom The Nanny. As the "flashy girl from Flushing," Drescher was rarely seen without a teased, sprayed, and volumized-to-the-max ’do.

Photo Credit: Didier Baverel/SHOWTIME.


Rita (Dexter)

Julie Benz as Rita Bennet hold an infant and looks concerned in a scene from Dexter

Rita Bennett (Julie Benz), Dexter

Photo Credit: Showtime/Everett Collection.

Dexter comes home to find baby Harrison crying in a pool of blood—and Rita dead in the bathtub.

Stream all episodes of Dexter on the SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

Philippa Georgiou (Star Trek: Discovery)

Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou in Star Trek Discovery

Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou in Star Trek: Discovery.

Photo Credit: Jan Thijs/CBS.

Discovery boldly went where no other Star Trek series had gone before: offing its presumed lead in the second episode. We were just as devastated as Michael Burnham was to lose her mentor and commanding officer, stabbed by a Klingon—but were equally shocked for Michelle Yeoh's return as a villainous Emperor in a mirror universe.

Stream Star Trek: Discovery exclusively on CBS All Access.

Nicholas Brody (Homeland)

Damian Lewis stands in his prisoner uniform in front of the red rope noose moments before his end

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Homeland.

Photo Credit: Didier Baverel/SHOWTIME.

The turncoat Marine was found guilty of treason and publicly hanged in a Tehran square, as Carrie tearfully looked on.

Stream all episodes of Homeland on the SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

The Mother (How I Met Your Mother)

Cristin Milioti on the set of How I Met Your Mother

Cristin Milioti as Tracy Mosby in hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

Photo Credit: Fox Television.

Ted spent nine seasons telling his kids (and viewers) how he met his soulmate, Tracy—only to learn in the series finale that she died of an undisclosed illness.

Warrick Brown (CSI)

Actor Gary Dourdan stares dramatically while wearing his characters official windbreaker

Gary Dourdan as Warrick Brown in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

Shot twice in his car by a mole in the Las Vegas PD, Warrick dies in Grissom's arms.

Stream full episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS All Access.

Michael Cordero (Jane the Virgin)

A dramatic overhead view of Michael Cordero Jr played by Brett Dier as he lays dieing on the floor

Brett Dier as Michael Cordero ,Jr. in Jane the Virgin.

Photo Credit: YouTube.

After flip-flopping for years between Michael and Rafael, Jane finally chooses (and marries) her first love. Their happy-ever-after appeared short-lived, after Sin Rostro shoots the new groom. Michael survives...only to collapse from complications of his gunshot wound nine months later.

Caitlin Todd (NCIS)

Sasha Alexander as Caitlin Todd in a scene from NCIS

Sasha Alexander as Caitlin Todd in drama series NCIS.

Photo Credit: Ron P. Jaffe/CBS.

The special agent took a bullet to save Gibbs, but was spared thanks to her protective vest. Whew, close call! Moments later, a sniper shoots her in the head.

Stream full episodes of NCIS on CBS All Access.

Will Gardner (The Good Wife)

Josh Charles as Will Gardner sits with his hands folded and stares out

Josh Charles as Will Gardner drama series The Good Wife.

Photo Credit: Justin Stephens/CBS,

The beloved attorney is gunned down after his unhinged client opens fire in the courtroom, sending Alicia, Kalinda, Diane—and longtime fans—into a tailspin.

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

Lt. Col. Blake (M*A*S*H)

Dramatic image of McLean Stevenson as Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake in a scene from MASH

McLean Stevenson as Lt. Col. Henry Blake in M*A*S*H.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images.

After Blake's homeward-bound plane was shot down, a dazed Radar walks into the operating room to break the news. "There were no survivors." The (offscreen) death was a network television first: no major character had ever been killed off before!

James "Ghost" St. Patrick (Power)

Omari Hardwick as Ghost stands over large pile of cash

Omari Hardwick as James "Ghost" St. Patrick in Power.

Photo Credit: Myles Aronowitz/Starz!/Everett Collection.

Pretty ballsy to whack your protagonist in the middle of the final season, but no one ever accused Power of being predictable. In the end, it was revealed that Ghost's son Tariq pulled the trigger.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, July-Aug 2020.

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