After back-and-forth negotiations between NBC and 20th Century Fox Television, “The Carmichael Show” has finally been renewed for a third season. The network and studio have settled on a 13-episode order for Season 3 of the critically-acclaimed comedy.
Inspired by the life and comedy of stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael, “The Carmichael Show” follows Jerrod and his opinionated southern family as they reluctantly deal with modern-day America knocking at their front door. The show covers topics of religion, sex, politics, mental health and gender identity, and has tackled controversial subject matter such as Black Lives Matter and the Bill Cosby scandal.
David Alan Grier stars as Carmichael’s father, Loretta Devine plays his devoutly religious mother, Amber Stevens West plays his progressive fiancée, Rel Howery plays his brother and Tiffany Haddish plays Howery’s estranged and outspoken wife.
The series debuted as a summer show with a six-episode run. In its second season, it struggled in the ratings, averaging a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.1 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates. However, NBC does not have any other returning comedies on the 2016-2017 slate, other than “Superstore,” which is getting a hard push Thursday nights this fall. The critical praise for “Carmichael Show,” in addition to the network’s desire to find a bigger comedy presence, likely helped with the Season 3 renewal.
“Rush Hour” and “Friday” star Chris Tucker is getting back in the comedy game with his first ever stand-up special, which launches exclusively on Netflix today, Friday, July 10th. In the special, Chris Tucker shares experiences from childhood to present day, as well as doing his always-anticipated impersonations. To watch the trailer for “Chris Tucker Live,” click below:
FX Networks has found its leads for Donald Glover’s comedy pilot Atlanta.Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Lee Stanfield and Zazie Beetz will co-star with Glover, who created and wrote the pilot. Community alum Glover grew up in Atlanta and has an active music career as a hip-hop artist, stage name Childish Gambino.
Atlanta revolves around two cousins on their way up through the Atlanta rap scene whose opposing views on art versus commerce, success and race will make their quest anything but easy. Henry, repped by Hartig-Hilepo Agency and JWS Entertainment, will play Alfred Miles, Atlanta’s hot of the moment rapper who plans to capitalize on the sudden fame as quickly as possible. Henry recurs on HBO’s Vice Principals. His other credits feature Puerto Ricans and TV’s The Knick, Boardwalk Empire, My America, The Good Wife and Law & Order.
Stanfield will play Darius, Alfred’s oddly talented right-hand man and musical collaborator. Stanfield’s film credits include Dope, Selma and Short Term 12, and will next be seen in the features Snowden, Straight Outta Compton and Miles Ahead. Beetz will play Van, a pragmatist caught up in a complicated relationship with Earn (Glover) due to their daughter. Beetz has appeared in the feature film Applesauce and the short films Beasts and The Crocotta. She will next appear in the feature Finding Her and is currently shooting Wolves for writer/director Bart Freundlich. They will join Glover, who plays Earn, a loner who left Atlanta only to return; now working an unglamorous job and barely getting by. When his cousin Alfred becomes Atlanta’s hot rapper, Earn sees an opportunity to manage Alfred’s career. Glover is repped by UTA, MGMT Entertainment and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
Hiro Murai will direct the pilot, which will be produced by FX Prods. Filming begins in Atlanta at the end of July. Glover executive produces with Paul Simms and Dianne McGunigle of MGMT Entertainment.
Screenwriters Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver are re-teaming with Malcolm D. Lee for the “Untitled Girls’ Trip Project” at Universal. This project marks the second time the trio have worked together after Barbershop3, which is currently in production.Barris is the creator of the ABC comedy series Black-ish and is also writing a feature adaptation of the 1970s TV show Good Times. Will Packer will be producing “Girls’ Trip” through his Will Packer Productions banner.
Packer’s next two titles at Universal are Straight Outta Compton as Executive Producer, bowing August 14, and Ride Along 2, which opens on January 15 in 2016. Lee’s highest-grossing film stateside was The Best Man Holiday. which made $71 million. Barbershop 3 will be released on February 19 next year.
According to Variety.com, HBO has picked up to series “Brothers in Atlanta,” a comedy from “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” writers Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin and “Late Night” Executive Producer Lorne Michaels.
The series follows struggling entertainers and best friends Langston and Moose (played by Riddle and Salahuddin), as they try to navigate relationships and life in the black mecca of Atlanta, GA. Langston, an Atlanta native, is an aspiring DJ whose career has stalled due to his lack of focus and get-rich schemes, and Moose, who’s brand new to Atlanta, is a perennial backup singer with dreams of being in the spotlight.
“SNL” alumna Maya Rudolph and Jaden Smith (“Karate Kid”) are set to guest star in the series. Rudolph will play Shirle, Moose’s demanding diva boss, and Smith will play Curtis, Langston’s rowdy teenage neighbor with unpredictable interests and a suspicious income.
The starring duo, Riddle and Salahuddin, will executive produce with Lorne Michaels and Andrew Singer for Broadway Video, plus the Story Co.’s Tim Story. Field Entertainment’s Jeff Field, Doug Griffin of the Story Co. and Anna Dokoza will also produce.
Story (“Think Like a Man,” “Ride Along,” “Fantastic Four”), who directed the pilot, will direct more episodes throughout the series.
Mike Epps has been cast in the title role in Uncle Buck, ABC‘s single-camera comedy pilot based on the classic John Hughes film starring John Candy. Also cast in the project, from Universal TV and Will Packer Prods., is Nia Long.
Like the movie, the series adaptation, written by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, centers on Buck Russell (Epps), a childish man who learns how to be an adult by taking care of his brother Will’s kids in a very childish way. Long will play Will’s strong-willed and smart wife.
The new Uncle Buck TV remake (there was a short-lived 1990s Uncle Buck CBS series starring Kevin Meaney) had been conceived with Buck as African American, giving the format a new twist. Packer is known for producing hit feature comedy franchises with Black leads, like Ride Along and Think Like A Man. On ABC, Uncle Buck would be a suitable companion for another single-camera African American family comedy, Black-ish.
HARTFORD — One year after he bombed in one of the most notoriously disastrous stand-up sets in memory, Dave Chappelle made a surprise return here — and no one seemed more surprised than he.
“I didn’t think I’d ever come back to Hartford,” he said on Saturday, closing out a star-studded Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival show that was the biggest blockbuster in stand-up this summer.
After being roundly booed and heckled in 2013, Mr. Chappelle had promised that he would never return to Hartford, “not even for gas.” He also joked that if North Korea were to drop a nuclear bomb on the United States, he hoped it would fall on Hartford. He did not retract his criticism (“It was your fault,” he reminded the crowd), but on the day before his 41st birthday, he struck conciliatory notes. “I was really immature,” he conceded, before apologizing for making T-shirts that cursed the city.
The crowd embraced him without restraint, roaring when he appeared onstage, laughing throughout his set and remaining carefully quiet in between jokes. Mr. Chappelle, dressed in a long black dress shirt and smoking a cigarette, said that doing so poorly was hard on him. Then he confessed that he had not prepared anything for this show. “I figured showing up is funny enough.”
The warm show was in a stark contrast to last year’s Oddball performance, which began boisterous, turned contentious and ended with him running out his allotted time by, among other things, reading a book aloud onstage. Media accounts situated the show as part of a pattern of mercurial behavior, including his quitting his hit show on Comedy Central. Some described the evening as a meltdown, others as a crowd run amok.
As Mr. Chappelle has deftly done before, he turned bad press to his advantage, using it for comedy, starting with his next show in Chicago, where he described the Hartford crowd as “evil.” The jokes must have stung, since they earned a response from the mayor of Hartford, Pedro Segarra, who tweeted, “Dave Chappelle needs to quit whining, do his job and try some yoga.”
Mr. Chappelle’s return capped a dynamite night of stand-up comedy featuring a murderers’ row of comics, including Sarah Silverman, Hannibal Buress, Dave Attell, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Louis C.K. In a nice bit of suspense-generating stagecraft, Louis C.K., the final act on the bill, finished his set, started walking offstage, only to stop, return to the microphone and dramatically tell everyone to stay, before introducing Mr. Chappelle.
Last year’s Hartford show was so infamous that at several points, jokes by comics evoked the controversy. When after Mr. Ansari made his entrance and thanked the crowd, he made a joke demanding to know whether the audience would finally be quiet and let him speak.
Louis C.K. made an even more pointed jab by opening his set by saying of Hartford, “Nice area,” then making a wry face. The large screens picked up his smile and raised eyebrows when he held onto the moment, extending the pause, and repeating sarcastically, “Really nice.” With a new set dense with jokes, Louis C.K. was in peak form, returning to bread-and-butter subjects like raising two kids and also mining humor through some of the most unpredictable punch lines in comedy. After a setup about trying to answer the question of why babies always cry on planes, he concluded, “They are upset about gay marriage.”
Mr. Chappelle made a callback to this joke in a bit he does about Chaz Bono. While Mr. Chappelle comes off as the absent-minded enigma, he has a showman’s sense of event honed over a lifetime of performing. (He did his first stand-up set in Washington at the age of 14.) But on this night, he also seemed genuinely moved by the response.
“Are you sure this is Hartford?” Mr. Chappelle asked toward the end. Then, not much later, looking pleased and a little mischievous, he pointed to the front rows and said, “There’s someone giving me the middle finger.”
Key and Peele, the popular sketch comedy show starring biracial MAD TV vets Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael-Key, has been renewed for a fourth season. The show has grown from a cult success to a bonfide hit, with fans tuning in Wednesday nights and consuming their online clips by the millions.
With breakout sketches like the East/West Bowl, Luther the Obama translator, Mr. Garvey (“A-aron!”) and the Liam Neeson-loving valet guys, they duo have become comedy legends in the making. Tonight the hilarious tag team host their very first Halloween special airing on Comedy Central at 10:30 pm EST.