GABRIEL BYRNE TO SHOOT TV SITCOM by Tom Deignan (Irish Voice, Wed., April 5)

"Last week the Irish Voice reported that Brothers McMullen director Ed Burns--when not eyeing JFK Jr.'s pricey Tribeca apartment--was developing a sitcom for NBC TV. Now comes word that Gabriel Byrne--currently wowing Broadway crowds in Eugene O'Neills's epic tragedy A Moon for the Misbegotten--is also about to get involved in a tv sitcom, for ABC. And producers are anxious to get the word out to Gabriel's fans that they can attend a rehearsal and taping next week for free. Byrne is set to begin shooting a half-hour pilot for a show called Madigan Men. Producers and ABC executives tell the Irish Voice that the Usual Suspects, End of Days film star plays a recently-divorced architect--and Irish immigrant--trying to make it in New York's dating world, while also dealing with his 18-year-old son and recently-widowed Irish Dad. Byrne's spokesperson told the Voice that the ultra-busy star was unavailable for comment this week. But in the past, Byrne has voiced a desire to live in New York City, which is where his children with actress/ex-wife Ellen Barkin are being raised. Starring in Madigan Men--which if ABC picks it up as a regular series, will be shot in New York--will allow the hunk to do just that. Byrne begins shooting the 30-minute Madigan Men pilot at TV studios in Astoria, Queens on April 13. Producers tell the Voice there are plenty of free seat still available for a dress-rehearsal-type shoot on the 13th, which requires fans to arrive at 3 p.m. If you can't make that, the actual pilot episode will be filmed Tuesday, April 18, with crowds required to show at 6 p.m. Call 212-316-1006 for free tickets to the shoot, at Kaufman Astoria Studios, 34th Avenue between 35th and 36th Streets, Astoria, Queens. Following success on the stage and big-screen, Madigan Men will be Byrne's first stab at a regular TV gig. It also bears some similarities to his real life, given that he's a divorced Dad--though Byrne's character is not likely to have a sexy actress ex-wife, who is about to marry a billionaire this time around, as is the case with Byrne, Barkin and her hubby-to-be Ron Perlman. The highly-visible trio have nevertheless managed to remain downright polite on the gossip pages and talk show circuit of late. Casting for other roles in Madigan Men had not been completed as of Tuesday--just over a week before shooting begins. But producers say they are excited about the talent behind Madigan Men. Aside from Byrne, director James Burrows was on the creative teams for the hit sitcoms Cheers and Frasier. A Madigan Men staffer also said producers were looking to play up the Irish angle--and hoped to do better than the short-lived Irish Hell's Kitchen drama Trinity. The same staffer also admitted to being amazed that Byrne is going to pull of shooting a sitcom pilot, while also continuing his Broadway run. "I don't know how the heck he's doing this," said the staffer. If Madigan Men impresses ABC executives--who are already apparently willing to make the unusual move of shooting in New York--expect the sitcom to be shot this summer, so the show will be ready in time for ABC's new fall schedule. Ed Burns and Gabriel Byrne are just the latest Irish movie stars deciding to go the TV route. Reports also indicate that comedian, and star of the Irish mob flick Monument Ave., Dennis Leary, is also gearing up to shoot an unnamed TV pilot about life as a New York cop."

posted by Anne

-- atomic angel (, April 07, 2000

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