Tag: African-American drama

Choreographer Fatima Robinson Lands Dance Drama Project Based on her Life at NBC

Fatima Robinson
Fatima Robinson

NBC is calling on three principals from its production of “The Wiz Live!” for a new drama.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network picked up a script from the TV musical’s executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan that’s based on the life of its veteran choreographer, Fatima Robinson.

Inspired by Robinson’s life as a dancer-turned-choreographer, the untitled drama is set in Los Angeles with early plans to set it in the 1990s, as dance begins to dominate pop culture on the streets and clubs that gave birth to hip-hop.

The project is in the early stages of development, according to THR. A writer has yet to come aboard.

Zadan and Meron will executive produce alongside their Storyline Entertainment banner’s Mark Nicholson and Tasha Brown, with the latter duo set to produce. Robinson will executive produce and serve as choreographer.

The drama marks her third go-round with Zadan and Meron following their collaboration on the Academy Awards, which producers told THR inspired them to enlist her to help stage NBC’s “The Wiz Live!”

“We worked with her on the Oscars and knew she was special,” Zadan told THR last week when he singled out Robinson’s contributions to helping to make the live musical a critical success. “We hired Fatima Robinson, who is not a Broadway choreographer, to do authentic black dancing. She comes from hip-hop and a lot of her point of view on dance is very gritty and authentic and raw.”

Fatima was behind the telecast’s most-tweeted moment during the song, when Ne-Yo “hit the dab” during his  “Slide Some Oil to Me” performance. The moment drew 15,218 tweets per minute.

article via eurweb.com

John Legend’s Scripted Drama “Underground” Releases First-Look Trailer (VIDEO)

WGN America just released a chilling first-look teaser for Underground, the upcoming original scripted series scheduled to debut early next year.  The drama takes center stage as plantation slaves band together in the fight of their lives for their families, their future … and most importantly, their freedom.

Hailing from Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios, Underground  was filmed in Baton Rouge, LA. John Legend and his production company are in charge of the score and soundtrack for Underground.

Legend most recently won an Oscar alongside rapper Common for Best Original Song “Glory” from Selma.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Jussie Smollett, Christopher Meloni, Aldis Hodge, Adina Porter, Alano Miller, and Mykelti Williamson round out the cast for the series.

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article via thegrio.com

Laurence Fishburne to Star as Alex Haley in “Roots” Remake for A&E Networks

Laurence Fishburne The Signial
Laurence Fishburne at NAACP Awards (photo via Variety.com)

Laurence Fishburne has been cast as Alex Haley in A+E Networks’ “Roots” remake, the History Channel announced Wednesday.

Haley is the author of the novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” an American family origin story based around the life of Kunta Kinte. The “Roots” remake will be an original, contemporary production, incorporating material from Haley’s novel, as well as carefully researched new scholarship of the time.

“Roots” will be simulcast on A&E, History and Lifetime in 2016.

The Emmy-winning actor currently appears on NBC’s drama “Hannibal” and ABC’s half-hour comedy “Black-ish,” on which he also serves as executive producer. On the big screen, Fishburne will next be seen in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

“Roots” is described as a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family’s will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity. Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins with young Kunta Kinte who is captured in his homeland in Gambia and transported in brutal conditions to colonial America where he’s sold into slavery. Throughout the series, the family continues to face adversity while bearing witness and contributing to notable events in U.S. history — including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings and eventual emancipation.

Will Packer, Marc Toberoff, Marc Wolper, Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal serve as executive producers. LeVar Burton and Korin Huggins are co-executive producers. Konner, Rosenthal, Alison McDonald, and Charles Murray are writing.

article by Laura Prudom via Variety.com

Michael B. Jordan in Just-Released “Creed” Trailer Proves “Rocky” Sequel Has Punch

This is two minutes and forty three seconds of just pure sublime. It’s Ryan Coogler’s Creed, the MGM/New Line film that Warner Bros will release this fall. This isn’t just another installment of Rocky. After Coogler and Michael B. Jordan teamed on the Sundance sensation Fruitvale Stationeach of these young guys had their pick of projects. Coogler used his currency on his dream to make Creed. Turns out that while he was growing up, Coogler’s father showed him the Rocky movies to instill the notion of heroes and the idea that dreams can come true with hard work.

Rocky-CreedAs he became an accomplished wide receiver at Sacramento State and a budding filmmaker, Coogler’s father later came down with ALS. All of the touchstones of his life are rolled into this movie and it required him to win the trust of Sylvester Stallone, who was very protective over his first and most memorable character creation. When the movie became a reality, there was no one else he wanted to play the role of Apollo Creed’s son (it started out as grandson, but that evolved).

It is becoming a right of passage for actors to play ring heroes, and, just like Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw, Miles Teller in Bleed for This and Edgar Ramirez in Hands Of Stone, Jordan accepted the challenge and got himself into rocking gym shape. The film follows the late Apollo Creed’s son Adonis Johnson stepping into the boxing ring, a profession which killed his father in Rocky IV when he battled Russian fighter Drago. “Your Daddy died in the ring,” a trainer reminds the young Creed who retorts, “That got nothin’ to do with me.” Adonis turns to Rocky Balboa to train him. At this point, The Italian Stallion has completely checked out of the boxing game.

Best part in the trailer that will raise hairs, is when the young Creed meets Rocky:

“I heard about a third fight between you and Apollo behind close doors, is that true?,” asks the fighter.

“How do you know all this?” asks Rocky.

Declares Johnson: “I’m his son.”

article by Anthony D’Alassandro via deadline.com

Fox’s “Empire’” Delivers 8th Straight Week of Growth with 14.3 Million Viewers

Empire Fox

UPDATE: In updated Nielsen nationals released Thursday afternoon, Fox’s “Empire” was adjusted up to a 5.8 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 and 14.33 million viewers overall. That leaves it up 53% from its Jan. 7 premiere in 18-49 (5.8 vs. 3.8) and 45% higher in total viewers (14.33 million vs. 9.90 million).

Another week, another record high for Fox phenomenon “Empire,” which continued to show no signs of slowing down Wednesday, two weeks from its first-season finale.

“Empire” has now grown seven consecutive weeks in total viewership since its Jan. 7 premiere: 9.90 million (Jan. 7), 10.32 million (Jan. 14), 11.07 million (Jan. 21), 11.35 million (Jan. 28), 11.47 million (Feb. 4), 11.96 million (Feb. 18), 13.02 million (Feb. 18), 13.90 million and now to 14.3 million.

And in adults 18-49, it’s been up seven times in those eight weeks: 3.8/11, 4.0/12, 4.4/13, 4.3/13, 4.6/14, 4.8/15; 5.2/15; 5.4/15; and now 5.8/17.

Compared to its premiere, Wednesday night’s ninth episode was up 50% in 18-49 (5.7 vs. 3.8) and 43% in overall audience (14.2 million vs. 9.9 million).

With the exception of ABC’s “Modern Family,” no other Wednesday show could generate even half as many young adults as Fox’s “Empire.” And in adults 18-34 and women 18-34, “Empire” more than doubled every series (including “Modern Family”).

Last night’s 5.7 rating in 18-49 for “Empire” puts it ahead of the season premiere of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” as the season’s top-rated regularly scheduled broadcast. The last broadcast drama to do a higher same-night rating in its regular timeslot was ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” in October 2009.

article by Rick Kissell via Variety.com

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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