‘Grace And Frankie’: Jackson Pace Set To Recur In Season 5

Homeland alum Jackson Pace is set for a recurring role on the upcoming fifth season of Netflix’s hit comedy Grace and Frankie.
Pace will play Luke. Character details are being kept under wraps.
The series from Skydance Television follows the title characters Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin), whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands (Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston) reveal they are gay and leave their wives for each other. Both sparring partners and…

Homeland alum Jackson Pace is set for a recurring role on the upcoming fifth season of Netflix’s hit comedy Grace and Frankie. Pace will play Luke. Character details are being kept under wraps. The series from Skydance Television follows the title characters Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin), whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands (Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston) reveal they are gay and leave their wives for each other. Both sparring partners and…

Grace And Frankie gets a season renewal and RuPaul as guest star 

It looks like Vybrant will stay in business, as Deadline reports Netflix has renewed Grace And Frankie for a fifth season, which is expected to arrive in 2019. Read more…

It looks like Vybrant will stay in business, as Deadline reports Netflix has renewed Grace And Frankie for a fifth season, which is expected to arrive in 2019.

Read more...

‘Grace and Frankie’ Renewed for Season 5 at Netflix

Netflix has renewed “Grace and Frankie” for a fifth season.

Season 5 of the Jane Fonda-Lily Tomlin comedy will hit the streaming service in 2019. The renewal news was announced a month after the fourth season premiered in January.

Netflix also revealed on Wednesday that RuPaul, the host of VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” will guest star on the upcoming season as Benjamin Le Day, described as “a formidable and quick-witted adversary who faces off with Grace and Frankie.”

Also Read: Jane Fonda Hits Back at Lily Tomlin for Facelift Joke: ‘Who Are You, Megyn Kelly?’ (Video)

“Grace and Frankie” stars Fonda and Tomlin as two women who form an unlikely and unbreakable friendship after their husbands come out of the closet and leave them for each other. Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, Brooklyn Decker, June Diane Raphael, Ethan Embry and Baron Vaughn also star in the series from creators Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris.

This. Just. Happened. pic.twitter.com/0UXSwk7Ymk

— Grace and Frankie (@GraceandFrankie) February 14, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

Two-Part ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Season 4 Gets Premiere Date From Netflix

Ryan Murphy Signs $300M Overall Deal With Netflix

’13 Reasons Why’ Author Jay Asher ‘Was Not Involved’ in Season 2, Netflix Says

Netflix has renewed “Grace and Frankie” for a fifth season.

Season 5 of the Jane Fonda-Lily Tomlin comedy will hit the streaming service in 2019. The renewal news was announced a month after the fourth season premiered in January.

Netflix also revealed on Wednesday that RuPaul, the host of VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” will guest star on the upcoming season as Benjamin Le Day, described as “a formidable and quick-witted adversary who faces off with Grace and Frankie.”

“Grace and Frankie” stars Fonda and Tomlin as two women who form an unlikely and unbreakable friendship after their husbands come out of the closet and leave them for each other. Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, Brooklyn Decker, June Diane Raphael, Ethan Embry and Baron Vaughn also star in the series from creators Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Two-Part 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Season 4 Gets Premiere Date From Netflix

Ryan Murphy Signs $300M Overall Deal With Netflix

'13 Reasons Why' Author Jay Asher 'Was Not Involved' in Season 2, Netflix Says

‘Grace and Frankie’ Co-Creator on Season 5 Plans, When the Show Might End, and Why She’ll Never Kill Any of Her Lead Characters

TV veteran Marta Kauffman also revealed why the show has a younger fanbase than you’d expect.

[Editor’s note: Spoilers follow for the season finale of “Grace and Frankie” Season 4.]

“Grace and Frankie” co-creator Marta Kauffman has been telling stories about life over 70 for four seasons now, but there’s no sign of the show running out of tales to tell, as evidenced by the announcement Wednesday of Netflix renewing the show for a fifth season.

“Every season, it becomes more and more special, because you know you have fewer and fewer left,” she said to IndieWire at SCAD aTVfest in Atlanta. But that doesn’t mean there’s anything resembling a game plan for ending the show. Instead, Kauffman said that if Netflix gave her the option to keep the show going for as long as she wanted, “I’d probably tell them, ‘Let’s do it as long as it’s still comfortable for Jane and Lily.'”

It’s a fair consideration, given the current ages of stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin (80 and 78, respectively). But “they’re doing well,” Kauffman said. “It could be years and years. Who knows?”

Kauffman (who created “Grace and Frankie” alongside Howard J. Morris) said that the writers have been at work already on stories for Season 5, which will pick up on the show-changing events of the Season 4 finale.

Grace And Frankie

“The way it is with every season, the hope is that you’ve left enough good bird seed that you can find your way. That’s the hope is you’ve dropped all these clues that we can as writers take advantage of in the next season,” she said. “You want stories to continue and not just to stop.”

That said, in writing Season 4, Kauffman said, “We were focused on Season 4 until we got to the last episode — and then said, what do we want to set up for Season 5?”

The big twists of that final episode, which included Grace and Frankie getting convinced by their children to move into an “assisted living” facility and the surprise sale of Grace and Frankie’s beloved beach house, created no shortage of storylines for a new season. Also, according to Kauffman, “People were mad. People were mad at the kids because they sold the house.”

That anger is understandable, but for people of a certain age it’s also quite relatable — even within the “Grace and Frankie” writers’ room. “So many of my writers are going through this with their own parents,” Kauffman said. “We’ve got quite a mixture in the room; there are several writers going through the exact thing right now where their parents are… They’re worried. They’re worried and they want to keep them safe.”

Grace And Frankie

Four older people who are definitely safe, as far as Kauffman is concerned, are the characters of Grace, Frankie, Sol (Sam Waterston), and Robert (Martin Sheen). While the four leads are all of an age where, in the real world, anything could happen health-wise, Kauffman didn’t think that the writers would ever actively choose to lose a character.

“It doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. We gave Robert a heart attack already — health issues are definitely real issues. But, no, it would be so mean to kill one of them off just for the sake of killing one of them off,” she said. “When you love characters as we love characters… how would I pick who’d I’d give some horrible death to? I can’t even imagine.”

There is, of course, the reality that something could happen to one of the actors, but as Kauffman fairly noted, “This could happen on any show, not just mine. Then we would deal with it. But it’s not a plan.”

And it’s not really a narrative the show needs at this point. “There’s plenty of other stuff about aging,” she said.

Kauffman acknowledged that in “Grace and Frankie’s” early days, figuring out the tone of the show wasn’t an instantaneous process, especially when it came to balancing the dramatic and comedic elements of its premise. In the first season, she said, Netflix “kept tugging us to lean into the drama and we sort of had to find the line between the two.”

In addition, it took some time to learn key things about what works best for the series. “We learned that our show doesn’t do broad well,” was just one example. “We can’t do broad.”

Grace And Frankie

But after four seasons, the show’s definitely found its voice — not to mention an audience that defies expectations. “It is fascinating, we have a much younger audience than we thought we’d ever get. Jessica Biel just posted herself nursing her baby and watching ‘Grace and Frankie.’ Miley Cyrus likes the show,” she said. “My understanding is… at least what I’m hearing is that there are two things to it. One is that I believe in the universal story as a universal story, no matter what the age is. But I think a number of young women feel that the show makes aging less frightening.”

Looking forward at Season 5, Kauffman foresaw opportunities for both new love interests and returning ones, including Nick (Peter Gallagher), Grace’s former boyfriend as of the end of Season 4. “Nick comes back in a substantial way,” she said.

Kauffman didn’t mention any other casting plans, though in a subsequent announcement Netflix revealed that RuPaul will appear as “‘Benjamin Le Day,’ a formidable and quick-witted adversary who faces off with Grace and Frankie.”

However, when asked about anyone else she might dream of casting, she noted that “to a certain extent, I have my dream cast. I have Jane, Lily, Martin and Sam and the four kids.”

And in general, they don’t write with a specific actor in mind. “For each new character that is created for the show, you have a dream cast. Whether or not you can get them is a whole other story. But for the most part we don’t go into it saying, ‘God, I wish we could get Shirley MacLaine’ more than, ‘Oh, here’s a part, oh my God, Shirley MacLaine would be so perfect for it.'”

Added Kauffman, “Not that I wouldn’t give my right arm to work with Shirley MacLaine.”

Grace and Frankie Season 4 Episode 9 Lily Tomlin Jane Fonda

The one hurdle Kauffman mentioned encountering in the casting process was that “we’re reaching for people who don’t really want to do television” — which is still apparently a thing in the era of Peak TV.

“A lot of people do [want to do it] but there are a lot of people who don’t, who still have a certain judgment about it,” she said.

It’s an attitude that Kauffman, as a writer of television, doesn’t share. “I feel as far as TV goes, TV is a very intimate experience between the show and the audience. TV comes into your home, it comes with your computer when you’re in bed. You’re watching it when you’re naked and when you’re folding laundry and when you’re making dinner or when you’re in your robe and it’s really intimate because you’ve invited all these people into your home. In your most intimate state. So I feel like it’s an incredibly close relationship you have with the audience,” she said.

“There is a magic to the whole thing that you can’t teach, you can’t explain,” she continued. “Sometimes, the stars are just aligned.”

“Grace and Frankie” Season 4 is streaming now on Netflix. Season 5 will return in 2019. 

‘Grace and Frankie’ Review: A Strong and Surprising Season 4 Dares to Face Death — and Gives It the Finger

Season 4 reframes a question of maturity into one of capability, as Grace and Frankie stare down the barrel of assisted living.

When does a funny story become sad? Typically in television, this kind of question is framed around arrested development: A grown man is still acting like he’s in college, and certain events force him to look himself in the mirror and say, “Getting that drunk and acting that dumb isn’t funny anymore. It’s sad.”

But what if it’s not arrested development? What if it’s unstoppable regression? Continuing its fearless quest to address the anxieties associated with aging, “Grace and Frankie” dares to ask if its characters’ wild misadventures aren’t actually funny anymore. Maybe they’re scary. Maybe these two best friends are losing control of their minds, bodies, and lives. Maybe they don’t even know it’s happening, as it’s happening. Maybe they need help.

It’s a jarring choice, especially when framed around Lily Tomlin’s delightful larks as Frankie and Jane Fonda’s cutting quips from Grace. No one wants to imagine that either of them could be slipping beyond peak form, let alone need an assisted living facility. But that’s exactly what makes the show so effective in its message: To make these decisions for yourself or your parents is incredibly hard. Someone needs to talk about it, and these two — in this show — have proven perfect torchbearers.

“Grace and Frankie” is still the same beautiful, charming, funny, and heartfelt series it’s always been. It’s just found yet another way to be meaningful beyond expectations.

Grace and Frankie Lisa Kudrow Season 4

The label-skewing Netflix original has always smoothly shifted between comedy and drama, making it oh-so-fitting that co-creator and showrunner Marta Kauffman would ask the audience to shift their perspective in Season 4. What was once funny is now frightening — or it might be, and that means Grace and Frankie have to consider both interpretations. It also means Tomlin and Fonda have to find humor in harrowing moments and vice versa. They’re obviously up for the task, especially in the final three episodes, which set up a strong, surprising ending.

[Editor’s Note: The following section of the review contains spoilers for “Grace and Frankie” Season 4, through the finale.]

Season 4 starts in a very different place than it ends up — literally and figuratively. Frankie is living in Santa Fe with her boyfriend, Jacob (Ernie Hudson), and Grace has a new roommate: Sheree, played by Lisa Kudrow (who reunites with her “Friends” co-creator, Kauffman). Sheree is a manicurist, but she helps Grace sell the vibrators that Grace created with Frankie. This kind of insertion into Grace’s day-to-day life ruffles Frankie’s feathers, but the three of them work it out without anyone getting too up in arms.

Grace and Frankie Season 4 Episode 3 Sam Waterston Martin Sheen

Kudrow proves herself a good fit for the show, even if she doesn’t stick around that long. Sheree’s sweet-and-spacey demeanor is right in the former Phoebe’s wheelhouse, and she makes the most of her time with these other two comic talents. (Watching Kudrow and Fonda do a “Top Gun” high-five is as good as it sounds.) It’s also worth noting the territorial fight subtly sets the stage for an ending very much about the house, but it would be negligent to ignore the other well-utilized guest stars in Season 4.

Peter Gallagher is back as Grace’s younger, richer boyfriend, Nick, and he gets more opportunities to flex his chops, from pratfalls to speeches. (He even gets to sing a few bars with fellow music-man Martin Sheen!) Talia Shire continues her comeback as Frankie’s estranged sister, Teddy, and Jessica St. Clair (“Playing House”) shows up as Brianna’s (June Diane Raphael) business rival.

And, as always, “Grace and Frankie” delves into business affairs almost as often as personal ones. There are leases to examine and protests to attend; bail to be paid and dildos to be sold; corporate crises to avert and musicals to train for. One of the biggest challenges facing Frankie is an accidental death: hers. A governmental mistake forces her to reassess her priorities (including bonding with her estranged sister), but there are as many laughs as real moments of introspection.

Grace and Frankie Season 4 Episode 9 Lily Tomlin Jane Fonda

Within this trademark balance, though, Kauffman is up to something more. She subtly builds scenes that would fit in any season — like Frankie taking the newborn baby for a drive and nearly ending up in Mexico — as a set up for the aforementioned reversal. In Episode 12, “The Rats,” Grace and Frankie’s kids discover all the “shenanigans” their parents have been up to, from Grace drunkenly running into a cop car with her scooter to a house that’s fallen into unnerving disrepair. In that moment, it seems like their moms are going off the rails — and not in a fun way.

Around midseason, Grace says, “It’s like my body is slipping away. You’ll see when you’re 70. One day it’s a hinge and the next it’s the whole damn house.” Though the metaphor is specific to what just happened, it comes to represent the season as a whole. Grace and Frankie end up in an assisted living facility, not in small part because it seems like they can’t take care of their beach house anymore. They lose their home due to the tightening shackles of age. And briefly, it’s hard to tell if they belong in a retirement community or not. They believe the other person does — convinced by their kids that their friend needs help — and they might even believe they do, too.

It’s such a difficult thing to assess: You don’t want to be careless, but you don’t want to deprive yourself of what makes you happy. In the end, the two find inspiration in each other. They blame their kids for tricking them (which they did), but more importantly, they find comfort in knowing they’re not going through this alone. They support each other and that buoys their courage. It’s a simple concept, but not everyone is as lucky as Grace and Frankie. We’re certainly lucky to have them, as guides and entertainers, to walk us through big, scary questions in such a way that makes it feel less big and scary. And no matter how old viewers get, they’re not going to forget it.

Grade: B+

“Grace and Frankie” Season 4 is streaming now on Netflix.

Jessica Chastain takes her chances hosting Saturday Night Live

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, January 19 and Saturday January 20. All times are Eastern. 

Read more…

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, January 19 and Saturday January 20. All times are Eastern. 

Read more...

Jane Fonda: Activism Made This Year’s Golden Globes ‘The Best Ever,’ and Hollywood Has Hit a ‘Historic Turning Point’

Fonda said she hopes Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie” continues until she can’t speak anymore.

Jane Fonda is still in awe of what happened last week at the Golden Globe Awards, as Hollywood focused on something more than just handing out kudos.

“I thought it was the best Golden Globes ever,” Fonda said of the focus on the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. “It was glorious. One of the great things is all of the actresses involved have been conscious to the fact that we’ve got to reach out our arms to women in other sectors. Restaurant workers, hotel workers, farm workers. It’s really moving.”

Fonda spoke to Variety’s Cynthia Littleton on Wednesday at the NATPE convention about “Grace and Frankie,” aging in Hollywood and her busy schedule as an activist. The actress is no stranger to the issue of women’s equality and pay inequality — having even dealt with the issue as recent as 2015 with “Grace and Frankie,” when she and Lily Tomlin were initially paid the same as the show’s male supporting actors.

“These are deeply ingrained problems and they take a long time to address,” she said. “We have arrived at a moment that really is a historic turning point. I don’t think things will be the same after this.”

Fonda pointed out that she still remembers when she started working in Hollywood in the late 1950s, there were no women in any position of power. “It’s hard when there’s no one who looks like you to lean on their shoulder. It’s different now, very diverse.” (On “Grace and Frankie,” executive producer Marta Kauffman, half of the writing staff and more than half of the directors are women.)

Fonda lauded the women who helped found Time’s Up, the movement borne out of Hollywood’s recent sexual harassment and assault scandals: “These aren’t just stars, these women, they’re fierce warriors. They’re so much more advanced than I was at their age.”

She added that “every single good friend I have was abused as a child… people don’t realize this is an epidemic.”

Fonda also pointed out that although the movement received mainstream attention after famous white women spoke up, they stood on the shoulders of the “brave women of color” who did it before them, including Anita Hill.

The actress’ activism is currently focused on fair wages for tip workers, who often earn below minimum wage. She pointed out that 70 percent of the 13 million people who work in the restaurant industry are women. So far seven states have done away with a two-tier system for tip workers, with more states putting it on the ballot. Fonda and Tomlin recently campaigned in Michigan in support of one bill.

“When women achieve pay equity they don’t put up with [harassment],” she said.

Fonda credited her “Grace and Frankie” workload with giving her the time to focus on issues that she cares about.

“It’s 13 episodes, so I have six months with nothing to do except being an activist,”  she said. “It’s a lot easier being an activist with a hit TV series.” Fonda doesn’t campaign for candidates, however. “It doesn’t matter what party we belong to, we have to save the planet and save our democracy.”

The HBO documentary “Jane Fonda in Five Acts” premieres at this year’s Sundance, and Fonda is proud of it — although she said watching moments from her past was “intense.” But she also said she feels like she’s in her prime at age 80.

She took a “leap of faith” in doing TV, but adds, “that’s how I stay fit, taking leaps of faith.”

Fonda also credited former husband Ted Turner for “giving me back my humor and my confidence,” and shaking her of an unhappiness that kept her out of Hollywood for 15 years.

As for the future of “Grace and Frankie,” Fonda said she’ll keep doing it “until I can’t talk anymore. Which is a very long time… Women come up to us all the time and say ‘you’ve given me hope.’ Young people realize it’s OK to get older. And they’re surprised to learn that their grandmothers use vibrators.”