Friday, March 7, 2008

Teal Sherer in Liberty Mutual TV ad

Actress Teal Sherer appeared in a national Liberty Mutual, which was broadcast on MSNBC March 6. A wheelchair user, Sherer was also set to appear as a regular cast member in the U.S. version of the BBC comedy, "I'm with Stupid." She appeared in the half hour pilot, which was not ordered for the 2007-08 TV season by NBC, Variety reported in January 2007.

According to Variety, "I'm with Stupid" "takes on the often-taboo topic of disability by centering on an unlucky guy who becomes friends with a man who uses a wheelchair -- and moves into his home for the disabled."

The irreverent Farrelly brothers, Peter and Bobby, who often use disabled actors in their films and touch on disability themes such as in "The Ringer," were behind the show's production, joining with writer Wil Calhoun ("Friends") and producer Ben Silverman ("Ugly Betty") to adapt the BBC show. NBC committed to the pilot in 2006 and it was shot, but not ordered. However, once a pilot is shot, another network could pick it up, so here's hoping.

BBC's Ouch! had an interview with Peter Keely, the 21-year-old creator of the British "I'm with Stupid," in 2005. Another interview with the British show's writer explained that the show only used disabled actors for the disabled characters: "Half the cast are registered disabled - in fact, everyone who plays a disabled character is a disabled actor - but again, the reason those people were offered those parts was because they were the best actors. It doesn't really matter whether they can supply their own wheelchairs..."

Daryl "Chill" Mitchell ("Ed" and "Veronica's Closet") appears in the U.S. pilot. A wheelchair user from a motorcycle accident in 2001, Mitchell added a wonderful dimension to "Ed" with the character he played, who just happened to be a wheelchair user like Mitchell.