Monday, March 30, 2015

NBC To Air ‘The Wiz’ as Next Live TV Musical Special

According to BlackFilm.com,  NBC announced that its next live musical television event will “The Wiz.”  Airing on Thursday, Dec. 3, “The Wiz” will be co-produced by Cirque du Soleil’s new stage theatrical division. After the television event, the musical will make its Broadway revival for the 2016-17 season, presented by Cirque du Soleil.  Kenny Leon will direct both NBC’s production and the Broadway revival, along with Harvey Fierstein, who will contribute new material to the original Broadway book by William F. Brown. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who exec produced NBC’s “Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan,” return as exec producers. The duo also recently produced Academy Awards.  THE WIZ is a musical with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown. It is a retelling of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the context of African-American culture. It opened on October 21, 1974 at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to the Majestic Theatre with a new cast on January 5, 1975.  The 1975 Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The musical was an early example of Broadway’s mainstream acceptance of works with an all-black cast. The musical has had revivals in New York, London, San Diego and theNetherlands, and a limited-run revival was presented by Encores! at New York City Center in June 2009. A film adaptation was released in 1978. That film starred Diana Ross, Michael Jackson (in his first film), Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor.  The musical toured the US in 1976 and the show was revived on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre from May 24, 1984, through June 3, 1984, closing after 13 performances and 7 previews. Directed by Geoffrey Holder, the cast featured Stephanie Mills as Dorothy.

Iggy Azalea & Jennifer Hudson "Trouble"

Chris Brown & Jamie Foxx "You Changed Me"

'Home' Soars Past 'Get Hard' To the Top Spot

According to Moviefone, DreamWorks animated alien adventure "Home" beat out the Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy "Get Hard" with a resounding debut of $54 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
While the two films had been expected to vie for the top spot at North American theaters, "Home" came in well above expectations, handing DreamWorks Animation a much-needed hit. Though a distant second, "Get Hard" also opened strongly with an estimated $34.6 million, rewarding the Warner Bros. pairing of two of the most bankable stars in comedy.  "Get Hard" united the fans of Hart and Ferrell, albeit while finding some criticism for its racial humor. And "Home" is the rare animated film led by an African-American girl protagonist (voiced by Rihanna). She plays a teenage girl left alone after an alien invasion of Earth. Jim Parsons, Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin round out the cast.

"It's a diverse cast and we drew a diverse audience, which I think is really special and something you don't see in animated films," said Chris Aronson, domestic distribution head for 20th Century Fox, the film's distributor. "That just ends up broadening the appeal of the film."  Minorities made up more than half of the audience for "Home," according to Fox. The strong performance of an original release, based on a children's book by Adam Rex, provides Jeffrey Katzenberg's DreamWorks with a welcome lift. After a series of box-office disappointments, the studio cut about 500 jobs earlier this year.

Trevor Noah to Succeed Jon Stewart on 'The Daily Show'

According to The YBF, Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" has tapped South African comedian and newly minted correspondent Trevor Noah to replace Jon Stewart.  News about the 31-year-old's ascent to the host's chair was delivered via The New York Times. When he learned he'd gotten the gig, he told the paper, "You don't believe it for the first few hours. You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you're in a place where you can't really get alcohol."  Trevor has appeared on several American talk shows including Leno and Letterman and starred in a Showtime stand-up special "Trevor Noah: African American," in 2013. He's the son of a black South African mother and a white Swiss father, and talks about his mixed-race heritage in his comedy.  In a statement Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless said, “Trevor Noah is an enormous talent. He has an insightful and unique point of view, and most importantly, is wickedly funny.” Via Twitter, Trevor saluted his predecessor Jon saying, 

Friday, March 27, 2015

NBC Slots Craig Robinson and Jerrod Carmichael Comedies for Late Summer

According to The Hollywood Reporter, More than two years after NBC first started working on a comedy vehicle for Office alum Craig Robinson, the actor-comedian's sitcom will finally premiere.  The network announced Thursday that Mr. Robinson will bow at 9 p.m. Aug. 5 — where it will be partnered with another comedy, Jerrod Carmichael's The Carmichael Show, airing at 9:30 p.m. It's a comparatively quick turnaround for Carmichael, who saw his vehicle get a six-episode commitment just a month ago.  NBC had been eyeing the two series as a block of programming. And given that both stars are black men, it fits in with broadcast TV's current push for diversity that's been further boosted by the success of Fox's Empire and ABC's Black-ish. The scripted pair will serve as a bit of a bridge from summer to fall, airing six episodes a piece, as the reality-heavy season dies down.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cissy Houston Breaks Silence on Bobbi Kristina's Health w/ Shaila!

Sidebar: We are still praying for Bobbi Kristina

Death by Gossip with Wendy Williams’ Greenlit by Investigation Discovery

According to Variety, Investigation Discovery has ordered “Death by Gossip with Wendy Williams,” the network announced Wednesday.  Williams will host and executive produce the show that will explore crimes that were fueled by rumors and lies. Williams is best known for her syndicated talk show, “The Wendy Williams Show,” which has been renewed through 2017.  “It’s no rumor … I’m obsessed with ID to the point that it keeps me up at night,” Williams said in a statement. “I couldn’t be happier to host and executive producer my own project on one of my favorite networks and showcase my brand of talk, which won’t get you killed, but it will kill in the ratings!”  “There’s nobody better than the daring doyenne of daytime, Wendy Williams to offer this cautionary tale to those who indulge in chatter and innuendo,” said Schleiff, group president of Discovery Networks. “‘Death by Gossip’ proves that sticks and stones may break your bones…but words can really kill you.”  Fans of Williams and slanderous murder will get their fix when “Death by Gossip” bows this fall.

Evelyn Lozada Gets New Reality Show on OWN

According to TMZ Sports, Evelyn Lozada is getting back into the reality TV game by starring in a brand new series with her MLB superstar husband Carl Crawford.  Lozada spent 5 seasons on "Basketball Wives" before taking a hiatus from realitybut now she's hooked up with Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network as star and exec producer of "Evelyn" (working title).  Sources connected to the show tell us the series will focus on Evelyn's marriage, and raising their 1-year-old son, while already being a parent to 21-year-old daughter, Shaniece.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Vivica A. Fox Returning For 'Independence Day 2'

According to Access Hollywood, Vivica A. Fox confirmed on Tuesday that she'll be reprising her role of Jasmine Dubrow in the sequel to "Independence Day."  "It's official that I'll b back 4 #IndependenceDay2 sequel playing #Jasmine #LegitimateCareer #NextLevel #Blessed;)," she Tweeted on Tuesday.  Director Roland Emmerich was also thrilled to have signed a deal with the actress.  "Exciting news... just officially closed @MsVivicaFox for #IndependenceDay! Here's the pic!" he captioned a photo of the star on Twitter.  

In the 1996 film, Jasmine married Will Smith's character, Captain Steven Hiller. However, Will is not expected to return for the film's second installment.  Jasmine's son, Dylan – who became Captain Hiller's stepson in the film – has been recast.   Jessie Usher will now play the role that actor Ross Bagley was credited for almost 20 years ago.  Original cast members Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum will be joining Vivica.   Liam Hemsworth and Charlotte Gainsbourg will also be part of the project.  "Independence Day 2" is slated for a June 2, 2016 release, nearly two decades after the original opened in theaters.

Sidebar: Happy for Vivica! 

Ray J Quits 'Love & Hip Hop'

According to TMZ, The producers of "Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood" have gone into crisis mode because Ray J has just quit.  According to TMZ sources, Ray J feels the negativity and conflict which defines the show has screwed up his relationship with Princess Love. They've been having problems ever since her arrest in February and we're told Ray J thinks they can't solve their problems while he's part of the show.
Ray J offered to shoot scenes that were uplifting and free of strife, but producers weren't interested, so on Monday he bailed. Producers will throw a Hail Mary Wednesday, meeting with Ray J and his manager, David Weintraub, in an attempt to change Ray J's mind, but as things stand now - he's done. 

Record Label Sues Fox Over 'Empire,' Name

According to TMZ, Fox is being sued by record label Empire Distribution over the name. The label is called Empire Distribution and they do distribution and publishing as well with big artists like Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Too Short, N.O.R.E. and Sean Paul.   The label claims Fox's musical drama "Empire" tarnishes its brand and believes the network has no rights to use the name. Empire Distribution has claimed it's being hurt because the fictitious label on the show is run by a "homophobic drug dealer prone to murdering his friends."FOX claims there's nothing special about the word "Empire," and the network has now filed a lawsuit trying to torpedo a demand by a record label laying claim to the name. 
Empire Distribution is willing to live with the taint, but only if Fox pays $8 million ... $5 million if the show uses Empire Distribution's artists as regulars.  But now FOX has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to declare Empire Distribution's demand bogus. In the new world order, Fox notes that Empire Distribution is relatively obscure, showing up on the 7th page in a Google search.  FOX wants the dispute put to bed STAT, before season 2 kicks off.

Brandy Set to Debut on Broadway in 'Chicago'

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Brandy is the next famous face to lead Chicago, producers announced Tuesday. The Grammy winner will step into the role of Roxie Hart for an eight-week limited engagement, beginning April 28. Her run at the Ambassador Theatre continues through June 21.  The singer of hits like "I Wanna Be Down" and "The Boy Is Mine," and actress of Moesha and The Game, will settle into the role of a deadly housewife in the 1920s-set musical about murder and media. The Walter Bobbie-directed production won six Tony Awards in 1977, including Best Musical Revival, as well as the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.  As Brandy (nee Brandy Norwood) made history in Disney’s 1997 TV film Cinderella as its first black princess, she'll be one of the few African-American women to take on the Roxie Hart role in the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, following Destiny's Child singerMichelle Williams in 2010, and Robin Givens in 2006.   The pop star's run follows that of Jennifer Nettles (through March 29) and Paige Davis (from March 30 through April 27).

Watch Patti Labelle Dance to "In Da Club" on DWTS

Monday, March 23, 2015

Chris Brown Off Probation In Rihanna Assault Case

According to The Singer's room, t’s been six years since Chris Brown found himself in the legal hot seat after his assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna after a pre-Grammy party, and all has come to an end: Brown is officially off probation!  During a hearing on Friday (March 20), Los Angeles Judge James R. Brandlin decided Brown successfully completed all the terms of his sentence. His probation officer pointed out Brown completed all his community service hours. After the hearing, Brown tweeted, "IM OFF PROBATION!!!!!!!! Thank the Lord!!!!!!"  Brown’s lawyer, Mark Geragos said of his client to the press, "He is in a spot right now and a place right now that I couldn't be prouder of him.”

Since his probation, Brown kept making headlines for all types of reasons in violating his probation: the Washington D.C. felony assault charge, his fights with Drake and Frank Ocean, and his boot from rehab which landed him in jail for three months in 2014. Brown stayed focused, releasing his album X in fall 2014, but trouble seemed to follow him. In January 2015, his probation was temporarily revoked when he performed at a San Jose nightclub where five people were shot and injured. Brown escaped jail time, but the judge ruled then that March 20 would be the day to check in, and the rest, they say, is history.

Friday, March 20, 2015

'RuPaul's Drag Race' Renewed for Eighth Season

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Logo channel has handed out an early renewal to its signature reality competition series.The Viacom-owned cabler has renewed RuPaul's Drag Race for an eighth season, the company announced on Friday.  The pickup comes weeks after the show's seventh-season premiere spiked 20 percent year-over-year among the coveted adults 18-49 demographic when factoring in three days of delayed viewing. The premiere ranks as one of the most-watched debuts in the franchise's history, with the second episode up double-digits compared to the season opener.  Production on season eight is now under way as Logo kicks off a nationwide casting call for new contestants.  "After a record-breaking year of ratings and viewership, it's only fitting we would continue to rise with our first lady, RuPaul,” said Chris McCarthy, GM of MTV2 and Logo TV. “From the cultural phenomenon of Drag Race, our partnership with the visionary Russell T. Davies and the creation of a new documentary division, we are making Logo TV the home of today’s most innovative storytellers.”  The LGBT-themed network also used the debut of Drag Race to preview Cucumber andBanana, two new scripted series from Queer as Folk creator Davies. Both original series debut on April 13 at 9 and 10 p.m., respectively.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

EMPIRE | "Whatever Makes You Happy" featuring Juicy J and Jennifer Hudson [VIDEO]

EMPIRE | "Nothing to Lose" from "Die But Once"

Disney Channel Developing Movie About Little League Star Mo’ne Davis

According to Variety, The Mo’ne Davis story is coming to Disney Channel. The 13-year-old who made history last summer as the first girl to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series is the subject of a biopic that the cabler is developing with producer Debra Martin Chase.  Davis’ skill and signature moves on the mound made her an instant sensation when she led her team, Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons, to the pennant.  Sheldon Candis and Justin Wilson are penning the script for “Throw Like Mo.” ESPNw, the women’s sports-focused unit that has covered Davis extensively, will consult on the movie, as will Davis.  Davis’ background and achievements in baseball as well as other sports makes her story a natural for the Disney Channel tween demo.  “Mo’ne is not only a topnotch athlete in three different sports — baseball, basketball and soccer — but she is an exemplary student and someone who will remind our audiences that they can do anything with hard work, dedication and belief in themselves,” said Naketha Mattocks, VP of original movies for Disney Channels.  The Disney Channel pic promises to add another dimension to Davis’ profile, which got a big boost when she became the first Little League player to make the cover of Sports Illustrated. It’s been a heady few months for the teenager since the World Series ended in August.  “A year ago, I never would have thought that Disney Channel would make a movie about me. I can’t wait to get started, and I hope it will encourage other viewers to believe that dreams really do come true,” Davis said.

'Empire' Finishes Unstoppable Season With 16.5 Million Viewers

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the meteoric rise (and rise and rise) of Empire's first season concluded during Wednesday's two-hour finale. And though it appears to be again steady in the targeted demographic of adults 18-49, the show kept with habit and added even more viewers.  Two hours of Empire averaged a preliminary 6.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 16.5 million viewers. As for its audience, that's up 800,000 viewers from the previous week. The tune-in the regular 9 p.m. hour was even more impressive. In its time slot, Empire fetched a 6.8 rating in the demo and 17.5 million viewers.
Empire premiered Jan. 7 to a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 9.9 million viewers. It subsequently grew its viewership every week for each of the 11 episodes that followed — and, with the exception last week's penultimate outing, Empire also managed the same feat in the key demo.
That's just the same-day scores. With seven days of DVR, the latest data has it averaging a 6.5 rating with adults 18-49 and 15.8 million viewers. It will end the season as the top show on the broadcast networks, second only toThe Walking Dead on all of TV.  Final ratings, will come around 9:30 a.m. PT, could still bring some adjustments to Empire's Wednesday haul.
Sidebar: Loved the finale of Empire. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chris Brown's ex Karrueche Tran speaks with Iyanla Vanzant

Exclusive: Rita Ora Talks 'Empire' Finale Performance With Charles Hamilton

According to Billboard, Rita Ora will play herself alongside rapper Charles Hamilton in the two-hour season finale of Empire, airing Wednesday on Fox at 8 p.m. ET.  Hamilton and Ora will perform "NY Raining" at a party for Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), marking Hamilton's first single since 2008's "Brooklyn Girls." The song will also have an official music video, to be released next week, with an exclusive still featured above. Hamilton recently signed with Republic and is preparing a full-length album produced by The Invisible Men (Iggy AzaleaJessie J), a British duo that also helmed "NY Raining."  "'NY Raining' is one of my favorite songs that I have recorded, and I am so honored to have been asked to perform it with Charles on the Empire season finale," Ora tells Billboard. "Both as a viewer and as a performer on the show, I cannot wait to tune in to watch what happens next."  Ora is finishing work on her debut U.S. album for Columbia, due later this year, and will also appear in the boxing drama Southpaw alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, expected later this year.
Empire's first season on Fox has made the musical drama a rare sensation in broadcast TV, with ratings that continue to grow week after week. Last week's penultimate episode brought in 14.7 million total viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18 to 49, according to Fast National Nielsen returns, enough for the show to win the night (including lead-in American Idol) and grow its audience among key advertiser demos.

Nicki Minaj the First Woman With 4 Simultaneous Top 10 Hits on Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Chart

According to Billboard, Nicki Minaj becomes the first female artist to chart four songs simultaneously in the top 10 of Billboard's Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop airplay chart (dated March 28), as "Feeling Myself," featuring Beyonce, rises 11-10. Two males had previously achieved the record: Lil Wayne (first in 2008) and Drake (2011), each of whom has quadrupled up in the top 10 in multiple weeks.  Minaj scores additional success, as "Truffle Butter" -- fittingly featuring fellow record-holders and Young Money/Cash Money/Republic labelmates Drake and Lil Wayne -- steps 2-1 to crown the chart. It's Minaj's sixth No. 1 on the chart and Drake's record-extending 21st. Lil Wayne adds his 18th No. 1, second only to Drake's sum.As for Minaj's other two songs currently in the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop top 10, snagging her slice of chart history: She rises 4-3 as featured on Rae Sremmurd's "Throw Sum Mo," also featuring Young Thug, while "Only," featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown, slips 8-9 after topping the chart four weeks. "Only" is from Minaj's The Pinkprint, which has sold 553,000 since its December release, according to Nielsen Music.  Apart from her four-song triumph, Minaj becomes the first female with three simultaneous tracks in the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop top 10 as a lead act (thus excluding "Throw Sum Mo"). Three other female acts have notched three simultaneous top 10s(AshantiBeyonce and Rihanna), but not as lead artists on all three songs in those cases.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chris Brown's Daughter Attends Houston Concert with Mother Nia

According to TMZ, Chris Brown got a special visitor Monday when his Between The Sheets tour made a stop in Houston where his daughter, Lil Royalty currently lives with her mother.  The 9-month-old was chaperoned by her mom, Nia Guzman and her half-sister.  Royalty and crew were picked up by limo at a Houston hotel where they were staying and taken to Chris' tour bus, where he chilled with his kid. Chris also shared a picture of his daughter on instagram (below). 
Sidebar: She's so cute. 

Tyrese Fears Ex-Wife Will Flee To Israel With Daughter

According to TMZ, Tyrese is worried sick his ex-wife is going to take their child away from him permanently by fleeing to Israel.  He filed legal docs obtained by TMZ in which he pleads with a judge to put the brakes on Norma Gibson's decision to vacation in Israel with 7-year-old Shayla. Norma is an Israeli citizen and under the law she's allowed to stay in Israel permanently the country won't do anything to help the other parent.
Tyrese tried to get Norma to sign a contract promising to return Shayla by a certain date and if she violated the deal she'd lose custody. Norma refused to sign. The trip is planned for March 27. The matter is now before a family court mediator who will set the ground rules.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pam Oliver Returns to Sidelines With Fox for Upcoming Season

According to Essence, fans can expect to see Pam Oliver back on the sidelines this coming season and she was just as surprised as anyone else about the good news, reports Sports Illustrated.  "I was shocked, floored, monumental surprise," says Oliver about the call that she says, "came out of the blue."  Fox Sports president Eric Shanks and executive vice president John Entz offered Oliver a chance to consider coming back to do NFL sideline reporting for the network beginning in 2015.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Watch Queen Latifah In Teaser Trailer To HBO’s Bessie

Michelle Obama & Ellen DeGeneres Bust a Move!

Diddy & MJB to Take Over The "blackish" Season Finale

According to the Indie Wire, Diddy and Mary J Blige will be singing their way onto the season finale of ABC's hit sitcom "blackish." The episode will be set in the 1920's Harlem Renaissance era, and the cast plus the guest stars will transform into entertainers.  Here's why:  The episode, "Pops' Pops' Pops," finds Jack and Diane (Miles Brown, Marsai Martin) looking for clues about their roots for their class assignment, a history of the Johnson family. But they can't find anything out about the family's past. Pops (Laurence Fishburne) comes to the rescue with a colorful story of how "Pops' Pops' Pops," great-great grandfather, Drexler Johnson, bet the future of the Johnson family against a ruthless gangster, Elroy Savoy.  Combs will appear as Savoy, the gangster in question, owner of the swinging Savoy club where the Johnson ancestors all met (including Anthony Anderson as Drexler and Tracee Ellis Ross as showgirl Bea).  Blige will play Mirabelle Calais, the club headliner.  The episode will also be choreographed by Fatima Robinson. The finale airs in May.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kerry Washington to Star as Anita Hill in HBO Movie 'Confirmation'

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kerry Washington has signed on to play Anita Hill and executive produce a TV movie for the premium cable network, HBO.  Called Confirmation, the telepic — which is in development from HBO Films — will detail the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas-Hill Supreme Court nomination hearings, which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way people think about sexual harassment, victims' rights and modern-day race relations.Academy Award nominated writer Susannah Grant(Erin Brockovich) will pen the script and executive produce the drama, which is being produced by Groundswell Productions in association with ABC Signature Studios. Groundswell CEO Michael London (ABC's upcoming soap Astronaut Wives Club) and production president Janice Williamswill executive produce alongside Grant and star Washington. Sources tell THR that Rick Famuyiwa(Sundance hit Dope, The Wood) is in talks to direct the pic, but no deal is in place.  Confirmation comes as Washington was poised to film Warner Bros.' feature dramaUnforgettable in the summer for director Amma Assante but the HBO project may take over the Scandal star's hiatus from her ABC Shonda Rhimes series.
For HBO, Confirmation comes as the premium cabler is building its roster of original films. The cabler this week tapped Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti to play tennis legends Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, respectively, in a movie detailing the duo's legendary Battle of the Sexes match. Additionally, HBO is also prepping an adaptation of Bryan Cranston's Tony winner All the Way with Jay Roach attached to direct.  The Confirmation deal also marks a big off-network sale for ABC Signature, the boutique arm of ABC Studios. It's also HBO's latest buy from an outside studio following series including Warner Bros. Television's The Leftovers and upcoming Westworld.

Russell Simmons' All Def Digital to Develop TV Projects Exclusively With World Star Hip Hop

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Russell Simmons' All Def Digital has formed an exclusive partnership with online video site World Star Hip Hop to develop projects for television, the companies announced Thursday. 
Under the new partnership, the two companies will provide resources toward the development of new television programming for cable and subscription services and music programming for cable and broadcast. 
The pact builds on a preexisting relationship between ADD and World Star Hip Hop that includes a feature film currently in development with Paramount Pictures through Def Pictures. The companies have also teamed up on comedy series World Star Headquarters that will premiere on ADD's YouTube channel and on the World Star Hip Hop website. 
World Star Hip Hop was founded in 2005 by Lee "Q" O'Denat and has become a destination for hip hop videos, news and user-generated content. Simmons started ADD in 2013 with AwesomenessTV CEO Brian Robbins, All Def Music CEO Steve Rifkind and longtime music execOsman Eralp as a YouTube network that combines music, poetry, comedy, news and art. 
"Q has created a brand and platform like no other, with no outside funding or support, making him one the great entrepreneurs in our space," said Simmons. "It is my privilege to help extend that voice to the world." 
Added O'Denat: "All Def Digital’s cross-platform approach is the perfect partner for World Star Hip Hop to stretch its creative wings and grow as a media brand into the television, film and subscription arenas on a global basis." 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Jerrod Carmichael Comedy Gets Series Order At NBC

According to Deadline, NBC has ordered six episodes of the untitled Jerrod Carmichael comedy project. Written by Carmichael and Nick Stoller, the untitled project toplined by Carmichael is described as an irreverent multi-camera comedy inspired by Carmichael’s stand-up and relationships with his girlfriend and family. Stoller is executive producing with Carmichael and A24’s Ravi Nandan.  Getting something going with Carmichael has been a priority for the network. After filming a presentation last season, NBC officially ordered a second off-cycle pilot last fall with a new premise and a new writer/executive producer, Stoller, who directed Carmichael in the feature comedy Neighbors. Mark Cendrowski was tapped to direct the new pilot. Universal TV is the studio.  David Alan Grier, Loretta Devine, and Amber Stevens West round out the cast.“We’re excited to be going forward to series with Jerrod. We can’t wait to see how he and his outstanding cast deliver the funny,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tami Roman Returns to Reality TV On “Marriage Boot Camp Reality Stars” With Her Boyfriend Reggie Youngblood

Actor Windell D. Middlebrooks Dies at 36

According to TMZ Windell D. Middlebrooks the actor best known for playing died suddenly at his home.  Sources close to Middlebrooks tell us he was found unconscious at home in the San Fernando Valley Monday morning and was transported by ambulance to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.  It does not appear there was any foul play. While he was best known for the Miller commercials Middlebrooks was also a very successful TV actor with roles on "Cougar Town," "Parks and Rec," "Scrubs," "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," and the "Bernie Mac Show."  He was also a series regular on ABC's "Body Of Proof."  A rep for MillerCoors says "He connected with people so naturally because he was one of the kindest, most genuine folks around. We will miss him a great deal and he will always hold a special place with us."

Sidebar: Such sad news. He was such a nice guy. We met him on the red carpet of the Merge Summitt a few years ago where he spoke about his faith. Take a look at our interview with Windell below at the 3:09 mark.

‘R&B Diva’ Angie Stone knocked out daughter’s front teeth

According to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Angie Stone, a Grammy-nominated singer who rose to fame with R&B hits such as “Brotha,” “No More Rain” and “Wish I Didn’t Miss You,” was arrested in DeKalb County after police say she struck her 30-year-old daughter with a metal stand and knocked out the woman’s front teeth.

Jury Orders Pharrell, and Robin Thicke to Pay $7.3 Million to Marvin Gaye Family

A Los Angeles jury found Tuesday that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" infringed the copyright for Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" and awarded $7.3 million to Gaye's family.
Williams testified last week that he grew up listening to Gaye's music and was familiar with "Got to Give It Up" — but didn't use it as a basis for "Blurred Lines," which was a hit for him and collaborators Robin Thicke and T.I. He said he was trying to evoke the feel of Gaye's music but didn't copy the late singer's work.  Gaye was "one of the ones we look up to," Williams said. "This is the last place I want to be."  Gaye's children sued Williams, Thicke and T.I. for copyright infringement. Williams was considered the key witness because he wrote the song's music and most of its lyrics.

Sidebar: I'm so glad the jury found them at fault. This song was hit because it was already a hit by Marvin Gaye. 

Watch Ciara as a Badass Ballerina in 'I Bet' Video

Jennifer Hudson Debuts 'Empire' Track 'Remember The Music'

Snoop Dogg to Deliver SXSW Keynote Address

According to Billboard, South By Southwest has tapped The Doggfather himself, rapper-actor Snoop Dogg, as this year's keynote speaker. Snoop's conversation will be free to all Music and Platinum registrants and showcase artists, and takes place Friday, March 20 at the Austin Convention Center.  Previous music keynoters include Dave GrohlBruce SpringsteenNeil Young and last year's speaker, Lady Gaga. This year's film conference keynotes will be Ava DuVernay and RZA.  SXSW takes place March 13-22 at various venues around Austin.

Comedy Central Greenlights Hannibal Buress Series

According to Variety, Comedy Central has given a nod to an eight-episode half-hour series starring comedian Hannibal Buress.  "Why? With Hannibal Buress” will feature the comic “answering the burning questions on his mind through stand-up, filmed segments, man-on-the-street interviews and special in-studio guests,” the Viacom-owned cable network said in a statement. Each episode will be shot in front of a studio audience and tape in the same week it airs.  “Hannibal kept asking us ‘why’ so we  just told him to go find out and we’ll air it,” said Kent Alterman, president of content development and original programming at Comedy Central.  Buress has been a series regular on Comedy Central’s “Broad City” and the co-host of Adult Swim’s “The Eric Andre Show,” currently in its third season. He has written for “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” and appeared in the film “Neighbors.”

Monday, March 9, 2015

Faith Evans Remembers B.I.G. w/ Most Romantic Moments, Best Memory + Talks New Album “Incomparable."

Kevin Hart to Receive CinemaCon’s Comedy Star of the Year Award

According to Variety, Kevin Hart will receive the comedy star of the year award at CinemaCon, the upcoming exhibition industry conference.
The comic star has emerged as one of the movie business’s most reliable box office draws, stringing together such hits as “Ride Along,” “The Wedding Ringer” and “Think Like a Man.” He’s also been wildly prolific, appearing in more than a half dozen movies over the past two years.
Hart will next appear opposite Will Ferrell in this March’s “Get Hard” and next year brings a sequel to “Ride Along.”
Hart will pick up his award at CinemaCon’s awards ceremony on Thursday, April 23, at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Sidebar: Congrats Kevin!