Showing posts with label entertainment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label entertainment. Show all posts

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Chadwick Boseman Makes History With Four SAG Award Nominations

The late Chadwick Boseman scored four 2021 SAG Award nominations on Thursday, becoming the first person to earn four Screen Actors Guild film nods in a single year.

Boseman earned a nomination in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role category for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and a nod for male actor in a supporting role for his part in “Da 5 Bloods.”

He also scored two ensemble nominations for both films in the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture category.

The 27th annual ceremony for the Screen Actors Guild Awards is set to air on TNT and TBS on Sunday, April 4, at 9 p.m. EST.


Friday, October 30, 2020

Urban One Elevates Michelle Rice To President Of TV One And CLEO TV

Urban One  announced that veteran television executive Michelle L. Rice has been named President of TV One and CLEO TV. Since February 2018, Rice has served as General Manager with full management oversight of TV One, the general entertainment network serving a diverse audience of adult Black viewers, and spearheaded the 2019 launch of CLEO TV, an aspirational cable network targeting Millennial and Gen X women of color.

“Michelle’s dynamic leadership has strengthened network partnerships, developed strategic alliances, and expanded distribution for both TV One and CLEO TV. All of which has uniquely positioned our networks to navigate the changing broadcast environment and catapult them to even greater success in the future,” said Alfred Liggins, President and CEO of Urban One.

“It has been a tremendous honor to work with such an exceptionally talented team and group of leaders who continue to transform and grow the business every day, even in the face of the most challenging circumstances presented to us this year. I’m incredibly excited about the future of both TV One and CLEO TV,” said Rice. “I am grateful for this recognition and the opportunity to continue building the TV One and CLEO TV brands. I appreciate the unwavering support and confidence in my leadership from Alfred Liggins and Urban One Founder and Chairperson, Cathy Hughes.”

Rice has successfully navigated and led the organization through a multitude of business and operational challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under her leadership, TV One has expanded its existing relationship with AT&T to include the upcoming launch of CLEO TV across DIRECT TV, AT&T TV, and AT&T NOW and with Philo TV, resulting in TV One’s first vMVPD distribution deal. Rice has brokered an exclusive partnership with the NAACP to develop and launch the ‘Hey Black America’ digital content campaign in response to a myriad of political and social issues that profoundly impact communities of color. TV One and CLEO TV have also developed REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE, a three-part series of virtual town halls designed to tackle various social, economic, and political issues impacting Black women voters across the U.S.

Rice was one of the inaugural TV One employees, hired as the Vice President, Distribution Strategy, and Operations. She was promoted to Senior Vice President and held the role of Executive Vice President, Content Distribution and Marketing until she was promoted to General Manager.

Urban One, Inc. (, together with its subsidiaries, is the largest diversified media company that primarily targets Black Americans and urban consumers in the United States. The Company owns TV One, LLC (, a television network serving more than 59 million households, offering a broad range of original programming, classic series and movies designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult Black viewers. As of June 2020, Urban One currently owns and/or operates 61 broadcast stations (including all HD stations, translator stations and the low power television stations we operate) branded under the tradename "Radio One" in 14 urban markets in the United States. Through its controlling interest in Reach Media, Inc. (, the Company also operates syndicated programming including the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, the Russ Parr Morning Show and the DL Hughley Show. In addition to its radio and television broadcast assets, Urban One owns iOne Digital (, our wholly owned digital platform serving the African-American community through social content, news, information, and entertainment websites, including its Cassius, Bossip, HipHopWired and MadameNoire digital platforms and brands. We also have invested in a minority ownership interest in MGM National Harbor, a gaming resort located in Prince George's County, Maryland. Through our national multi-media operations, we provide advertisers with a unique and powerful delivery mechanism to the African-American and urban audiences.

Launched in January 2004, TV One serves 59 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult black viewers. The network represents the best in black culture and entertainment with fan favorite shows Unsung, Uncensored, ATL Homicide, Fatal Attraction and Urban One Honors. In addition, TV One is the cable home of original blockbuster films including When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story, Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story, Bobbi Kristina and The Bobby DeBarge Story. TV One is solely owned by Urban One, Inc., formerly known as Radio One, Inc. [NASDAQ: UONE and UONEK, , the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences.

Launched in January 2019, CLEO TV is a lifestyle and entertainment network targeting Millennial and Gen X women of color. Derived from the name Cleopatra, one of the most powerful, trendsetting, rule-breaking and iconic women in history, CLEO TV offers distinctive content that defies negative and cultural stereotypes of today's modern women. Original and acquired series covering topics such as travel, home design, cooking, talk shows, movies, docu-series, and sitcoms include: Just Eats with Chef JJ, New Soul Kitchen, Living by Design with Jake and Jazz, and Lens of Culture. CLEO TV is currently available on Comcast Xfinity and Charter Spectrum in various markets, as well as Philo. CLEO TV is fully owned by TV One, LLC, a brand of Urban One, Inc., formerly known as Radio One, Inc. [NASDAQ: UONE and UONEK, , the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences. Visit for more information.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

6.6 Million Viewers Tuned in to Tyler Perry’s New Sitcoms “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living”

BET adds two more hit series to its winning Wednesday line up, with Tyler Perry’s new sitcoms, “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living.” Executive Produced by Tyler Perry, BET’s new original series swoops into ratings success on its debut night, grossing 6.6 Million viewers P2+ during premiere night across premieres and encores (simulcast across BET and BET Her on 9/2/20).* “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” grew across every quarter-hour, peaking in the final quarter-hour (.592 P18-49 rating). The two-hour television event delivered the four most social primetime cable comedy episodes of the day on social media.** “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living” occupied the #1 and #2 spots for Program social video views (excluding Sports and News & Talk), posting over 4M streams collectively.** New Episodes of “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living.” air Wednesdays starting at 9 PM ET/PT on BET and BET Her.

“Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living” are executive produced, directed, and written by Tyler Perry. Michelle Sneed serves as Executive Producer of both series for Tyler Perry Studios.


The seventh season of the hilarious comedy features retired fire chief Curtis Payne (LaVan Davis) and his lovely wife Ella (Cassi Davis Patton) as they pick up five years later as they continue to navigate the problems of life with their quirky modern-day family. “TYLER PERRY’S HOUSE OF PAYNE” airs Wednesdays at 8 PM ET/PT on BET. #HouseOfPayne


After losing his job, Jeremy (Na’im Lynn), a patriarch of a young family with teenage children, decides to move to the backwoods of Georgia to help his crazy grandfather. Grandpa Vinny (J. Anthony Brown) has foolishly purchased a terribly run-down home for the elderly and he is in way over his head, but comedy ensues as Mr. Brown (David Mann) and Cora (Tamela Mann) show up at the right time as needy investors. “TYLER PERRY’S ASSISTED LIVING” airs at 9 PM ET/PT. Wednesdays on BET. #AssistedLivingBET

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Chadwick Boseman’s ’42’ Getting Re-Released in Theaters

AMC Theatres will pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, the “Black Panther” star who died last week of colon cancer at the age of 43, by screening “42.”

Starting Thursday, September 3rd, movie will play in more than 300 AMC locations across the United States. Tickets for the movie will be discounted at $5.

The baseball drama featured Boseman as Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers infielder who broke the color line when he became the first African American to play in the Major Leagues.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Supreme Court sides with Comcast in Byron Allen’s racial discrimination case

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Comcast in a high-stakes civil rights case Monday, ruling that media mogul Byron Allen must show race was the determining reason that the cable company refused to carry his channels in order for his discrimination case to survive.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a lower court used the wrong legal standard in allowing Allen’s $20 billion racial discrimination lawsuit to proceed. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California for reconsideration.

Allen, an African American entertainment executive, says the Philadelphia cable giant racially discriminated against him when it refused to carry his cable-TV channels on its systems. Comcast says race had nothing to do with rejecting Allen’s channels, noting that they had low ratings.

The high court did not weigh the merits of Allen’s allegations. At issue was whether a person filing a racial-discrimination lawsuit must allege that race was the determining reason that a contract decision was made, or if a person can merely allege that race was one “motivating factor” for a case to proceed.

“To prevail, a plaintiff must initially plead and ultimately prove that, but for race, it would not have suffered the loss of a legally protected right,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote on behalf of the court, in an opinion released Monday morning.

Allen said he would continue his fight by asking Congress and presidential candidates to revise the statute in question to overcome the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has rendered a ruling that is harmful to the civil rights of millions of Americans,” Allen said in a statement. “This is a very bad day for our country.”

Read the full article here: The Philadelphia Inqurier

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Former Prosecutor Sues Ava Duvernay Over We They See Us Portrayal

Linda Fairstein, the former prosecutor who led the case against the five men wrongfully convicted in the Central Park jogger case, has now filed a lawsuit against Netflix over her portrayal in the 2019 limited series “When They See Us.”

In the suit, which also names series creator Ava DuVernay and writer-producer Attica Locke, Fairstein accuses the show of wrongfully portraying her as “a racist, unethical villain who is determined to jail innocent children of color at any cost.”

Fairstein’s lawyer Andrew Miltenberg elaborated in a statement, adding that the limited series “falsely portrays Ms. Fairstein as in charge of the investigation and prosecution of the case against The Five, including the development of the prosecution’s theory of the case. In truth, and as detailed in the lawsuit, Ms. Fairstein was responsible for neither aspect of the case.”

“Ms. Fairstein’s reputation and career – in the law and in literature – have been irreparably damaged by the Defendants’ actions. We believe strongly in the merits of this litigation and intend to pursue the case vigorously,” Miltenberg said.

In their own statement, Netflix slammed the lawsuit as “frivolous” and “without merit.” The streamer pledged to stand by DuVernay and Locke in defending the series.


Saturday, February 15, 2020

First Ever International Black History Month Film Festival

Queens Underground 718 is hosting a Red Carpet Multi-Genre Film Festival on Saturday, February 22, 2020 with exciting a vibrant show of talent from 12 countries and in collaboration with Artists, Small Businesses and Local Organizations. Vendors (10+), Food, Desserts, and Community Group manned tables (including the Central Queens Library, Queens Historical Society, Forestdale and Jamaica BID) will complete the evening- a Celebratory Red Carpet Night in Jamaica, Queens, NY.

Confident that the February Film Festival will have a packed house reminiscent of the October 2019 4-Day Festival, Queens Underground 718 is enjoying bringing multi-genres together to celebrate talent and making a difference for artists and the community at large.

Proud to have impressive Panel Review Members such as Industry Professional Kavika, Multi-Grammy Nominee Mikey Jay, B. Elise, Jyrah Productions, Spice Greene, producer and writer/director; performers Hide Inaba, Oxygen Box Band, The Koluchi Dance Troope, We$Money, Soleil, Jo Ann The Poet, Scorch, Fever Faye, Young Sayso, Switchakatony, Mr. Orange Live, One Single Rose, Maroj and Angiie3200; Local Visual Artists, Community Leaders and Creatives across the tri-state are all meeting on the Red Carpet (hosted by: The Air It Out Show, My Block TV, Queens Underground 718 TV and the Talk It Out shows) in the legendary section of Queens, NY.

Awards for Outstanding Community Service will be given to community members such as, Detective Tanya Duhaney, 113th Precinct and Deputy Taylor Jackson, 14th District, Senator Leroy Comrie, Randy Hall, Influence Wear Giveaways; Koleurz of Blaze The Mic and Rakim The Comedian for donating time and services.

Illustrious guests will join us to celebrate this 1st Ever Event including; Police Commissioner Shea and 1st Deputy Tucker of our NYC Police Department along with many of their staff members, Commanding Officers, Deputy Inspector Tavalaro (103) and Deputy Inspector Bohannon (113th Precinct), Senator Leroy Comrie and Councilman I. Daneek Miller, Industry Executives and heads of Community Organizations, among others.

Sponsors Include: The Jamaica Performing Arts Center, The Queens Public Library, Jamaica BID, The Queens Historical Society, Ridgewood Savings Bank, Poets & Writers, NYC Cultural Affairs, Glam Vive, Honeysuckle Magazine, Lark Johnson Creative Consulting, NYC Cultural Affairs, Aprylcadabra, Influence Wear, The Greater Jamaica Merchants Association and the L.I. African American Chamber Of Commerce. Exceptional Support has been given by the Southeast Queens Scoop, Queens Chamber Of Commerce and the St. Albans Civic Association.

Guest Tickets: or

Film Festival Date: February 22, 2020

Poetry Workshop: 3:30pm

Event: 4:15pm - 10:00pm

Venue: Jamaica Performance Arts Center

153-10 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, Queens, NY 11432

Theme: Red Carpet

Information: Contact Adrienne Whaley, Exec. Dir.

(917) 327-2245

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Spike Lee, President of the Jury at the 73rd Festival de Cannes

The American director Spike Lee is to serve as President of the Jury at the next Festival de Cannes. He becomes the first Black person to lead the jury.

At 62, the filmmaker, who is also a screenwriter, actor, editor and producer, has made numerous films that have become cult objects, and he brought the questions and contentious issues of the times to contemporary cinema. But he’s never lost sight of the public, setting out to raise their awareness of his causes in film after film.

Surrounded by his Jury, which will be announced in mid-April, Spike Lee will award the Palme d'or at the close of the 73rd edition, which will take place from 12 to 23 May 2020.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Just Mercy has $10 million plus opening weekend

By George L. Cook III AfricanAmericanReports.Com

The Michael B. Jordan produced movie, Just Mercy opened wide this weekend with $10,435,000.

The movie stars Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson.

The film stars Jordan as Bryan Stevenson as a lawyer who left behind a potentially lucrative career to help overturn wrongful convictions. In the film, he takes on the case of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), a black man wrongfully accused of killing a white woman in Alabama.

While $10 million may not seem like a lot in this day of mega-blockbusters but the movie has a few things going in its favor as it looks toward a long and hopefully profitable run.

Just Mercy film has received great reviews and is the first film of 2020 to receive A+ Cinema Score. Jordan and Fox have also received accolades for their performances which should hopefully lead to Oscar nominations for both of them. (Don't hold your breath on either of them winning though). That and word of mouth should increase audience turnout.

My prediction is that the film eclipses Harriet's 43 million dollars gross and comes in near the $49.3 million that Blackkklansman made.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Morris Day book: On Time A Princely Life In Funk

A memoir by Morris Day of The Time centering around his lifelong relationship and association with Prince.

Brilliant composer, smooth soul singer, killer drummer, and charismatic band leader, Morris Day, has been a force in American music for the past four decades. In On Time, the renowned funkster looks back on a life of turbulence and triumph. He chronicles his creative process with an explosive prose that mirrors his intoxicating music. Morris' story is a fast-paced page-turner replete with unexpected twists and shocking surprises.

A major and fascinating theme is his lifelong friendship and years of musical partnership with Prince, from their early days on the Minneapolis scene to selling out stadiums and duking it out as rivals in Purple Rain. Eventually, Morris went on to release four albums with a new band of his very own, the legendary Time. He battled his addictions and came out victorious. But not before increasing tensions and embittered rivalry between Prince and the Revolution and Morris Day and the Time led the two performers towards separate paths. Through the years, the fierce brotherly love between Morris and Prince kept bringing them back together, over and over again-until pride, ego, and circumstance interfered. Two months before Prince's untimely death, the two finally reconnected and started to make amends. But Morris could've never imagined it would be the last time he'd ever see his friend again.

This is Morris Day's singular story in which the magic of music is the ultimate healer. On Time is also a deep meditation on friendship, Morris' poetic method of reconciling the loss of his close friend and longtime collaborator, and a way to commemorate an incendiary life cut short. But this book is more than just a walk down memory lane-it's a metaphorical means to bring Prince back to life. Throughout the narrative, Morris allows Prince's "voice" to protect his own legacy, to counter Morris's interpretations of events, and to essentially breathe new life into a tale as old as time-of two brothers, two bands, and a musical culture that even today pulsates with fresh energy.


Wednesday, January 01, 2020


The Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced today that film icon Eddie Murphy will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards. Murphy will be feted for his extraordinary roles over the years, most recently his brilliant portrayal of the legendary Rudy Ray Moore in Netflix’s Dolemite Is My Name, for which he is nominated for Best Actor.

The star-studded gala will once again be hosted by film, television, and stage star Taye Diggs, and broadcast live on The CW Television Network on Sunday, January 12, from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET (delayed PT). As previously announced, Kristen Bell will receive the fourth annual #SeeHer Award during the ceremony.

Eddie Murphy is the most commercially successful African American actor in the history of the motion picture business and is one of the industry’s top-five box-office performers overall. Murphy is on the very short list of actors who have starred in multiple $100 million pictures over the past three decades, from Beverly Hills Cop to Daddy Day Care. Some of his other most beloved hits include 48 Hours, Trading Places, Coming to America, Harlem Nights, The Distinguished Gentleman, Bowfinger, The Nutty Professor and Shrek.

Murphy can currently be seen portraying the legendary underground comic personality Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name from Netflix and recently wrapped production on Coming 2 America, the long-anticipated sequel to the 1988 box office hit.

In 2007, Murphy received critical acclaim for his portrayal of James “Thunder” Early in the DreamWorks film Dreamgirls, a performance which would garner him the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor as well as earning him his first Academy Award nomination in the same category.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Byron Allen Wins Two Big Federal Court Victories Against Comcast And Charter Communications

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Rejects First Amendment Right to Discriminate.

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios (ES) and the National Association of African-American Owned Media (NAAAOM) – plaintiffs in federal lawsuits filed against Comcast and Charter Communications – are pleased to announce two decisions issued today by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The lawsuits were filed against two of the largest cable television carriers in the country—$20 billion against Comcast and $10 billion against Charter—for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, prohibiting racial discrimination in contracting. For years, Entertainment Studios has been requesting that Comcast and Charter carry its networks, which are distributed by Comcast and Charter's competitors, including Verizon, DirecTV, AT&T, DISH, and many other carriers, to millions of people around the country.

Both Comcast and Charter, however, rebuffed all of Allen's requests for network carriage. Accordingly, Allen filed lawsuits in federal district court in Los Angeles. The cases are entitled National Association of African American-Owned Media, et al. v. Comcast Corporation, Case No. 2:15-cv-01239-TJH-MAN (C.D. Cal.) and National Association of African American-Owned Media, et al. v. Charter Communications, Case No. 2:16-cv-00609-GW-FFM (C.D. Cal.).

In two historically significant decisions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected Comcast and Charter's attempts to dismiss the cases before trial. The Court upheld Entertainment Studios' Section 1981 claims against both Comcast and Charter; and instead ruled that both cases could proceed in the trial courts to discovery and trial.

"These two decisions against Comcast and Charter are very significant, unprecedented, and historic," said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Entertainment Studios. "The lack of true economic inclusion for African Americans will end with me, and these rulings show that I am unwavering in my commitment to achieving this long overdue goal."

"The Court's rulings overwhelmingly reflect the Ninth Circuit's rejection of the Defendants' positions and arguments," said Mark DeVitre, President of plaintiff, NAAAOM. "I look forward to quickly moving into discovery where we expect much more evidence to surface."

"These decisions are hugely important in terms of opening the courts to African American-owned media. The Court paved the way to our eventual success at trial by ensuring that the proper 'mixed motive' standard for our claims – a lower standard of proof than the 'but for' standard argued by Comcast and Charter – applies," said Entertainment Studios' attorney, Skip Miller, partner in Miller Barondess. "Additionally, the Court dismissed Charter's and Comcast's attempts to use the First Amendment as a shield for their alleged discrimination. I very much look forward to trying these cases. And I give Mr. Allen tremendous credit for having the will and the constitution to invest the capital and resources to pursue them relentlessly."

About Entertainment Studios / Allen Media LLC

Chairman and CEO Byron Allen founded Entertainment Studios in 1993. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it has offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, and Raleigh. Entertainment Studios owns eight 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 160 million subscribers: THE WEATHER CHANNEL, PETS.TV, COMEDY.TV, RECIPE.TV, CARS.TV, ES.TV, MYDESTINATION.TV, and JUSTICE CENTRAL.TV. The company also produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 41 television programs, making it one of the largest independent producers/distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations. With a library of over 5,000 hours of owned content across multiple genres, Entertainment Studios provides video content to broadcast television stations, cable television networks, mobile devices, multimedia platforms, and the World Wide Web. Our mission is to provide excellent programming to our viewers, online users, and Fortune 500 advertising partners.

Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures is a full-service, theatrical motion picture distribution company specializing in wide release commercial content. ESMP released 2017's highest-grossing independent movie, the shark thriller 47 METERS DOWN, which grossed over $44.3 million. In 2018, ESMP also released the critically-acclaimed and commercially successful Western HOSTILES and the historic mystery-thriller CHAPPAQUIDDICK. Upcoming releases include the Keanu Reeves sci-fi thriller REPLICAS, the John Krasinski/Emily Blunt-starring animated feature ANIMAL CRACKERS, and Joe Carnahan's Mel Gibson/Naomi Watts starring action-thriller BOSS LEVEL. The digital distribution unit of Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, Freestyle Digital Media, is a premiere multi-platform distributor with direct partnerships across all major cable, digital and streaming platforms. Capitalizing on a robust infrastructure, proven track record and a veteran sales team, Freestyle Digital Media is a true home for independent films.

In 2016, Entertainment Studios purchased TheGrio, a digital video-centric news community platform devoted to providing African-Americans with compelling stories and perspectives currently underrepresented in existing national news outlets. TheGrio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles and opinion pieces on topics that include breaking news, politics, health, business and entertainment. Originally launched in 2009, the platform was then purchased by NBC News in 2010. The digital platform remains focused on curating exciting digital content and currently has more than 20 million annual visitors.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

John Witherspoon dead at 77

John Witherspoon, a prolific character actor best known for a run of comedic turns in acclaimed films and cult classics like “Hollywood Shuffle” and the “Friday” franchise, died Tuesday in his Sherman Oaks home. He was 77.

Witherspoon’s family released a statement posted to his Twitter account.

Born John Weatherspoon in Detroit (he changed his name to Witherspoon later) in 1942, he began his career in the 1960s, performing as an actor, comedian and occasional model. He made his television debut in 1970 on an episode of “Barnaby Jones,” and later in the decade appeared on episodes of “Good Times,” “What’s Happening!!” and “The Incredible Hulk,” as well as “The Richard Pryor Show.” Other television appearances include “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “St. Elsewhere,” “L.A. Law.”

During the 1980s, Witherspoon became closely associated with the rise in television shows created by and featuring African American performers, with appearances on “227,” “What’s Happening Now!!,” “Amen,” as well as “Living Single.” He had a major role on the 1995-1998 sitcom “The Wayans Bros.,” portraying the main characters’ father. On movie screens, Witherspoon’s other film credits include classics like “I’m Gonna Get You Sucka,” “The Five Heartbeats,” “The Meteor Man,” and “Vampire in Brooklyn,” and he most notably appeared as Willie Jones in all three “Friday Films.”


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Whitney Houston & Notorious B.I.G nominated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Sixteen musical artists have the chance to go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2020. Among those 16 artist are the late Whitney Houston and the late Notorious B.I.G.

Fans can now vote for their top five favorite artists on the list here: Rock & Roll Hall Of fame Voting

The official inductee ceremony will take place May 2, 2020, at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio. An "induction week" to celebrate the hall of fame newbies will precede the grand ceremony.

The nominees are selected by a nominating committee and sent to "1,000 historians, members of the music industry and artists—including every living Rock Hall inductee—and the five performers receiving the most votes become that year's induction class."

Friday, October 11, 2019

Prince Estate tells Trump campaign not to use his music again

A year ago, the estate overseeing the affairs of the late Minneapolis rock star Prince said they would not give President Trump permission to play any Prince music at any campaign event.

When Trump appeared in Minneapolis Thursday night, “Purple Rain” could clearly be heard playing from speakers prior to the arrival of the evening’s speakers.

The estate released the following statement in response to the song being played at the campaign event via Twitter:

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Michelle Obama congratulates Tyler Perry of opening of Tyler Perry studios

Although she was unable to make it to the October 5 grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios, Michelle Obama had a special message for the director and now studio owner. Read that message below.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Queen Sugar renewed for a 5th season

Los Angeles – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today it has renewed for a fifth season Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed drama series “Queen Sugar” to air in 2020. Produced by Warner Horizon Scripted Television, “Queen Sugar” has been lauded for its powerful portrayal of an African-American family in the Deep South and for DuVernay’s initiative since the series’ inception to hire an inclusive crew and all-female directing team, many of whom were first time TV directors. Current season four showrunner Anthony Sparks returns for the fifth season. 
“Every character feels like family. Our own. I am excited to see what Ava has unfolding next for the Bordelons,” said Oprah Winfrey.
“I’m thrilled to further explore the beauty, pain and triumph of this African-American family, with hopes that their story will continue to resonate with audiences who see themselves in the Bordelons,” said DuVernay. “It’s a real honor to create this work with Warner Horizon and OWN as their support is rock-solid and wonderful.”
“Ava’s vision for ‘Queen Sugar’ is one of inspired storytelling, and her execution of that vision has given us a remarkable series that makes us so proud,” said Tina Perry, president, OWN. “Her leadership and creative spirit – including the commitment to exclusively hire female directors and establish an inclusive crew – is unprecedented and evident throughout each episode of this beautiful series. We are grateful to Ava and her entire team of talented writers, producers, cast and crew and look forward to another season.”   
Led by the talented cast of Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe, “Queen Sugar’s” storylines have delved into important topics such as police brutality, addiction and recovery, and systemic racism to name a few. The series has been awarded the NAACP Image Award for best drama and for three consecutive years was named Best TV Show Drama by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and nominated as Television Show of the Year by the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). 
“Queen Sugar” is currently Wednesday night’s #1 original series across all of broadcast and cable for African-American women and total viewers. It has averaged a 1.54 rating W25-54 and 1,655,000 total viewers. The series’ W25-54 rating is up +2% over last year and it’s the #6 original scripted series on ad-supported cable (W25-54).
At the outset of production DuVernay established an inclusive initiative to hire an all-female directorial team. Since its debut in September 2016, 35 women have directed episodes of “Queen Sugar,” 32 of whom made their television directorial debut on the series. The inclusive hiring extends in front of and behind the camera, with a dozen female department heads from casting and production design to post-production and music supervision.  
The overwhelming response to the series was also evident each week on social media demonstrating the strong connection viewers have to seeing multi-faceted portrayals of an African-American family on television. On a recent episode where two characters experience separate triggering events with sexual assault and police brutality, OWN and Warner Horizon Scripted Television worked in partnership with DuVernay’s ARRAY Impact to host a live social conversation #QUEENSUGARTALKS, featuring industry leaders such as Common and Iyanla Vanzant who answered questions and provided resources to those who may be personally affected by these issues. 
About Queen Sugar 
From award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay (16-time Emmy nominated “When They See Us” and upcoming romance anthology series “Cherish the Day” for OWN), the contemporary drama “Queen Sugar” features the Bordelon family who are fighting to save their family farm to preserve their father’s legacy while navigating their own personal journeys. In season four, Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) has remained in the thick of the trials and tribulations in both her personal and professional life as she continues to battle the Landry family while also trying to ensure Micah’s (Nicholas Ashe) safety and future. Nova (Rutina Wesley) has published her memoir and goes on a book tour around the country sharing family secrets and shaking things up at home. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) is managing fatherhood and his complicated relationship with ex-girlfriend Darla (Bianca Lawson) after learning he is not the biological father of his son, Blue (Ethan Hutchison), and is encouraged by an old friend to create opportunities for formerly incarcerated men. 
The expansive cast also includes Tina Lifford as the siblings’ free-spirited Aunt Violet who revealed her Lupus diagnosis to her family while opening her own pie shop; Omar J. Dorsey as Violet’s new husband Hollywood Desonier; and Henry G. Sanders as Prosper Denton, a farmer and longtime friend of the late Bordelon family patriarch, Ernest. Walter Perez plays Romero, Charley’s new romantic interest, while recurring guest star Timon Kyle Durrett portrays Charley’s estranged husband and pro basketball player Davis West. Greg Vaughn portrays Calvin, a former cop who reconnects with Nova during her book tour.
“Queen Sugar” is produced for OWN by Array Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The season four executive producers are Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Paul Garnes and Anthony Sparks. The series is based on the book by Natalie Baszile.
About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey's heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today's most innovative storytellers. OWN’s original scripted series include popular dramas “Queen Sugar” and “Greenleaf;” Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong;” the family saga “Ambitions” from box office hit-maker Will Packer and the lyrical drama series “David Makes Man” from Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney. OWN’s Saturday night unscripted programming lineup includes “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Ready to Love,” “Love & Marriage: Huntsville,” “Black Love” and “To Have & To Hold: Charlotte.” OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond.  Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Access OWN anytime, anywhere on or across mobile devices and connected TVs. For more information, please visit and

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Sony Pictures Renames Theater In Honor of John Singleton

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) today announced the renaming of one of the largest theaters on its Culver City lot to honor Academy and Emmy Award-nominated director, screenwriter and producer John Singleton, who passed away in April.

Singleton made history when, at age 24, he became the youngest person and the first African-American to be nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Director, an honor he received for his work on his 1991 debut feature, Boyz N the Hood, a film he made for Sony Pictures’ Columbia Pictures label. Singleton’s next two films, Poetic Justice and Higher Learning, were also for Columbia, as was 2001’s Baby Boy. His prolific filmography also includes the films Rosewood, Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Four Brothers, and Abduction. Singleton also received an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Director for a limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special for American Crime Story (Episode: The Race Card) in 2016.

"As the first African American filmmaker to earn an Academy Award® nomination for Best Director, John broke a major barrier in our industry and inspired a generation," said Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony Picture’s Motion Picture Group. "His vision and skill enriched the world with great film and television content and he leaves a tremendous legacy, especially here at Columbia Pictures. We are honored to memorialize him in this way and look forward to dedicating the new theater with his friends and family later this summer."

"We are so pleased that Sony Pictures will be honoring our father in this way," said Justice and Maasai Singleton. "It is such a fitting tribute given the special place that Columbia Pictures was for him at the beginning of his career. The studio system was incredibly supportive of him in his work, which is something he deeply appreciated. This is especially touching for us. As children we were often brought to the lot while our father worked. Those days were fun and educational, and laid the groundwork for our own careers today."

Formerly the Backstage Theater, the newly renamed John Singleton Theater is the studio’s primary employee and public screening theater on the Culver City lot. The 102-seat theater – one of the studio’s largest – is in the heart of the lot and is used by filmmakers to screen their work in post-production and is the main theater used for employee screenings and special public and VIP screenings. With 5.1 sound and a Christie CP4220 4K projector, the theater is equipped with advanced technology and can screen in all playback formats including Digital Cinema Packages, Real-D 3D, 35 mm and 70 mm film, visual FX (DPX) files, Avid Media files, among others.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Bolden: where The Music Began in theaters today!

BOLDEN, is drama directed by Dan Pritzker, imagines the compelling, powerful and tragic journey of Buddy Bolden, the unsung American hero who invented Jazz. With little biographical information known and no found recordings of his music, the film’s narrative composes fragmented memories of his past, against the political and social context in which his revolutionary music was conceived.

Starring Gary Carr as Bolden with original music written, arranged and performed by Wynton Marsalis, BOLDEN invites you to experience a world fueled by passion, greed and musical genius, in early 1900s New Orleans. The film co-stars Erik LaRay Harvey, Yaya DaCosta, Ian McShane and Michael Rooker.

Not just content to handle al of the musical duties associated with the film, Wynton Marsalis is also an executive producer on the film.

BOLDEN stars Gary Carr, Erik LaRay Harvey, Yaya DaCosta, Reno Wilson, Karimah Westbrook, JoNell Kennedy, Robert Ri’chard, Serena Reeder with Michael Rooker and Ian McShane .

For a complete list of the cities BOLDEN is playing in click here: BOLDEN Cities and Showtimes


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Jordan Peele's ‘Us’ exceeds expectations with $70 million opening weekend

By George L. Cook III African American Reports.

'Us', Jordan Peele's followup up to his 2017 hit 'Get Out' exceeded all expectations by grossing an estimated $70 million plus in its opening weekend.

Early projections varied from $40 to $60 million. The $70 million weekend was an outstanding launch for the film which had a budget of $20 million.

'Us’ now has the third highest grossing horror film weekend behind only "It" which opened with $123.4 million and "Halloween (2018)" which launched with 76.2 million.

'Us’ will pass the $100 mark and should have no problem reaching and $150 million mark. The questions are with the movie's polarizing ending does it gross more than the $176 million 'Get Out' made or does it pass $200 million domestically because of repeated viewings by those trying to decipher the ending?

'Us’ was by written, produced, and directed by Jordan Peele.

The movie stars Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, and Evan Alex .