Tag: “Black-ish”

ABC Renews ‘Scandal,’ ‘How to Get Away With Murder’, ‘Black-ish’ and More for 2016/2017 Season

Scandal
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in “Scandal” (photo via blogs.indiewire.com)

article by Tambay A. Obenson via Shadow And Act

New ABC president Channing Dungey, who replaces exiting Paul Lee (making her the first African American to not only head ABC, but a major TV network) is already making her presence felt a mere 2 weeks into the job, announcing today the early renewals of a handful of ABC series.

Of note, “Scandal” will return for a 6th season (recall the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, said that she knows exactly how and when it will end, adding that it would be a 6 or 7 season series, at most. So can we assume that “Scandal” is near its end, now that it’s been renewed for a 6th season?); Also “How to Get Away With Murder” has been renewed for a 3rd season; and “Black-ish” will get a 3rd season.

Also renewed are: “Agents of SHIELD,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “Modern Family,” “Quantico,” “The Goldbergs,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Shark Tank,” and “The Bachelor.”

No announcement on the fate of John Ridley‘s critically-acclaimed anthology series “American Crime,” unfortunately. Although it’s still early, so I wouldn’t count it out yet.

Ridley is working on another series for the network. In December, ABC gave an early pilot order to a new crime drama from Ridley titled “Presence,” with the 2016/2017 season eyed for a premiere – assuming it goes to series eventually.

To read more, go to: http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/abc-renews-scandal-how-to-get-away-with-murder-black-ish-and-more-for-2016-2017-season-20160303

“Black-ish” to Take on Police Brutality in Feb. 24 Episode on ABC

'Black-ish' will take on Police Brutality
“Black-ish” cast (PHOTO COURTESY ABC)

article by Maureen Ryan via Variety.com

The Feb. 24 episode of ABC’s  “Black-ish” will take on police brutality.  The episode, titled “Hope,” will revolve around a fictional incident of police brutality that Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) and Andre “Dre” Johnson (Anthony Anderson) discuss with family members, including the couple’s four children. Much of the episode will focus on various characters’ reactions as they watch a news broadcast about the case, which involves an African-American teenager’s encounter with police. 

As was the case when the family talked about the issue of guns in the home, members of the Johnson clan do not necessarily see eye-to-eye about what the kids should know and when they should know it. Rainbow would like to shield the kids, especially the younger ones, from life’s harsher realities as long as she can, while Andre feels that they need to know about the challenges of the world they’re living in as soon as is practical. Pops (Laurence Fishburne) and Ruby (Jenifer Lewis) tend to side with Dre, but the conversations are wide-ranging and impassioned on all sides.  “Unfortunately the things that we are dealing with in this episode are not new, especially to the black and brown community. It’s something that’s been going on for quite some time,” Anderson told Variety

Creator and executive producer Kenya Barris said the desire to take on the issue came from his own attempts to talk to his kids about various incidents of police brutality that made the news. “We’re not ‘Law & Order’ — we’re not trying to rip things from the headlines,” Barris said.

Bow and Dre talking to their kids about what they see on the news “is what this family would naturally be going through.”“What we’re really taking on is the notion of, how do you talk to your kids about what they’re seeing?’” Barris added. His own kids “were seeing people in the streets mad. And they were like, ‘What’s going on? Why are these people so angry?’ It was this big division at my house, because I had my feelings that I wanted to spout out. But my wife had her feelings and the biggest thing is, how do you talk about your frustrations and your angers, but at the same time not take away your kids’ hope and ability to still want to grow and thrive within a world that they have to live in?” 

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/black-ish-police-brutality-episode-hope-1201699693/

Anthony Anderson Inks Multi-Year Deal to Continue as Host of the NAACP Image Awards

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“Blackish” star and NAACP Image Awards Host Anthony Anderson

The NAACP and TV One announced today that Anthony Anderson has signed a multi-year deal to continue as host for the 47th and 48th NAACP Image Awards.  The 47th NAACP Image Awards will be nationally telecast live on TV One on Friday, February 5, 2016 as a two-hour special from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The live telecast will also include a one-hour live pre-show from the star-studded red carpet.

“I look forward to the NAACP Image Awards each year! The NAACP Image Awards always delivers an epic evening with the best of the best across film, TV, music, and literature,” said Anderson.  “It is a privilege and honor to be asked back to host for the next two years – there is no doubt that this year’s show is going to be magnificent.  I may even have a few surprises up my sleeves!”

Anthony Anderson currently executive produces and stars alongside Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne on the hit ABC series “Black-ish,” for which he won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. He has also earned Emmy and People’s Choice Award nominations for his role in the series. Anderson can next be seen in “Barbershop 3: The Next Cut.”

As previously announced, Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin have signed a three-year deal to continue as executive producers for the NAACP Image Awards. 

For all information and latest news, visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at http://www.naacpimageawards.net.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via Shadow and Act

‘Empire’ Returns Big, Draws Second-Best Rating to Date; ‘Rosewood’ Starring Morris Chestnut Solid

empire premiere season 2 ratings
“Empire” Season 2 (Photo via CHUCK HODES/FOX)

UPDATE: In rush nationals ordered by Fox, “Empire” was revised up to a 6.7 in adults 18-49 and 16.2 million total viewers for its second-season premiere. In the demo, that puts it ahead of its two-hour finale average from March (6.5) and only a bit behind that night’s second hour (6.9).

Fox juggernaut “Empire” showed no signs of slowing down in its sophomore season, returning Wednesday to its second best ratings to date. The network dominated the opening Wednesday of the season overall, with its “Rosewood,” the only series premiere on the night, benefiting from pre-“Empire” tune-in to deliver solid scores.

ABC’s comedy block returned strong, with “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs” on par with last year and “Modern Family” and “Black-ish” a hearty second to “Empire” in the 9 o’clock hour. CBS’ “Survivor” was down a bit but remains potent kicking off its 31st edition.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Empire” averaged a huge 6.5 rating/20 share in adults 18-49 and 16.0 million viewers overall — beating the ratings for all but the show’s final episode from last season. Its 9 p.m. episode on finale night in March averaged a 6.9/21 in 18-49 and 17.62 million total viewers (and its two-hour finale night average of 6.5 matched last night’s premiere).

The show had seen its overall audience grow with every episode during its first season, but that amazing streak came to an end on Wednesday.

Compared with last season’s premiere in January, “Empire” on Wednesday was up by 71% in 18-49 (6.5 vs. 3.8) and by 62% in total viewers (16.0 million vs. 9.9 million). This is the biggest improvement from season 1 premiere to season 2 premiere for any scripted series since Fox’s “House” in 2004 and 2005.

And in total viewers, “Empire” also towered over the Wednesday pack. Its 16.0 million was more than 6 million viewers higher than runner-up “Survivor” on CBS (9.6 million).

“Empire” was also a social-media superstar last night, with 1.3 million tweets sent during the episode — making it the most-tweeted one-hour broadcast drama series on record (since Nielsen began tracking about four years ago). Perhaps most impressively, and a true indication of the show’s wide appeal and reach, the tweets generated 63 million impressions.

The most-tweeted minute occurred at 9:30 p.m. with 32,363 tweets after Anika (“Boo Boo Kitty”) was dancing.

Leading off Wednesday for Fox was medical drama “Rosewood” (2.4/9 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) starring Morris Chestnut. Though it hadn’t generated much buzz leading into the season, it clearly found an opening-night audience. The 2.4 rating in 18-49 makes it the young season’s No. 4-rated series premiere, behind “Blindspot,” “The Muppets” and “Life in Pieces.” It saw a big jump in the second half-hour (2.7 vs. 2.1 at 8 p.m.), a clear sign of pre-“Empire” tune-in.

Elsewhere, ABC had to be pleased with its returning comedy block: “The Middle” (2.1/8 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), “The Goldbergs” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall), “Modern Family” (3.1/10 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) and “Black-ish” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall). “Middle” and “Goldbergs” were identical to their demo premieres of last year and topped their final nine episodes of last season.

“Modern” and “Black-ish” were down as expected, lower by 18% and 27% respectively from last year’s opening Wednesday when the competition on Fox was considerably softer (“Red Band Society” did a 1.1 in 18-49). The 2.4 for “Black-ish” matches the show’s highest rating to date opposite an episode of “Empire.”

Closing out the night, “Nashville” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) was within a tenth of its year-ago premiere.

CW aired “America’s Next Top Model” (0.4/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) and the finale of “A Wicked Offer” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.5 million viewers overall). “Arrow” and “Supernatural” kick off their seasons on Oct. 7.

article by Rick Kissell via Variety.com

Malcolm D. Lee and “Barbershop 3” Writers Kenya Barris & Tracy Oliver Reteam on Girls’ Trip Movie for Universal

Kenya Barris Tracy Oliver 2 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 Barbershop 3, 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.

article by Anthony D’Alessandro via deadline.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

“Empire” Is the Biggest International Television Hit Since “The Cosby Show”

Empire won’t stop setting trends. The show wrapped its season one finale back in March, but people all over the world are still catching on. The hit Fox show has become the first since The Cosby Show to be a hit all over the world, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Empire is now sold out in virtually every major territory worldwide. Big terrestrial broadcasters like Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1, Network Ten in Australia and France’s M6 — networks with market positions similar to Fox’s in the U.S. — have acquired the series. In the U.K., where U.S. shows of any kind have a hard time getting on major networks, it went to E4, Channel 4’s smaller digital pay TV outlet. Fox International Channels, which is a smaller pay TV player in most foreign territories, has picked up the show for multiple global markets including Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and South Africa.

Empire has even conquered Asia, a notoriously difficult market for U.S. shows, with deals for such key territories as China, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong.

The best part about it all is that it’s happening to other Black television shows, like How to Get Away with MurderPower, and Black-ish, as well. Power‘s second season will be seen in France, Australia, and the United Kingdom, with more countries to be added later. Global networks are finally catching on that even people in Germany might want to catch a sitcom with –surprise! – black people.

Similarly, one German buyer tells THR when she first saw the pilot of Black-ish, “I thought it wouldn’t work on a major German network, not because of the cast but because it seemed a very niche comedy. But after a few episodes it’s become clear the show is much broader. It’s a real family sitcom of the kind that could easily work here on primetime.”

article by Ariel Cherie via blackamericaweb.com

Mike Epps and Nia Long to Star in ABC Comedy Pilot “Uncle Buck”

mikeepps

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.

nialongLike 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.

article by Nellie Andreeva via deadline.com

Networks Casting More Actors of Color This Pilot Season

More Minority Actors Showing Up on

ABC knew going in to the casting process for its drama pilot “Runner” that it was looking for a Latino leading man, as specified in the script. But the female lead role had no racial or ethnic specificity.

Paula Patton, an African-American actress, landed the role of a woman whose life is ripped apart when she learns her husband, played by Adam Rodriguez, is wrapped up in a Mexican gun-running cartel.

“Runner” is but one example this pilot season of a surge of minority actors landing starring roles in prospective new series. Industry insiders say there’s an undeniable openness to African-American, Latino and Asian thesps on the heels of the success ABC and Fox have had with shows led by diverse casts.

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TV executives have talked for years about the need for the airwaves to reflect the growing cultural diversity of America. But the 2014-15 television season has marked a turning point in the embrace of diversity as a business strategy. Fox has fielded the biggest network TV hit in years with “Empire,” a soap with a largely African-American cast. ABC has scored with Viola Davis leading “How to Get Away With Murder” and the family comedies “Blackish” and “Fresh Off the Boat.”

Such hits prove that broadcast TV in particular can no longer afford to ignore the value of discrete racial and ethnic groups. The role of  “How to Get Away With Murder’s” Annalise Keating was not specifically envisioned for an African-American actress, but the casting of Davis undoubtedly helped generate sampling among black viewers — a demographic group that has boosted the overall turnout for the show.

ABC’s success this season “proves the point that audiences are hungry for shows that are well done but also reflect the world around us,” said Channing Dungey, executive VP of drama development, movies and miniseries for ABC. “It’s not about just diversity, it’s about authenticity. Audiences are really excited to see more of themselves on the screen.”

“Runner” is an example of how this pilot season, minority actors are much more in demand than they have been in the recent past. And with “Black-ish” and “Fresh Off the Boat” drawing crossover demographics, there’s a greater appetite for shows with ethnically specific settings.

“It’s been interesting to see how much more competitive it is with diverse actors and actresses now,” said Dungey, who added that she is proud ABC helped lead the way, not just with “Murder” but with the blossoming of Kerry Washington and “Scandal” into the first successful drama in decades led by an African-American actress.

“The thing I really hope is that this isn’t a passing phase,” Dungey said. “I’m hoping this is a trend that will continue.”

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com

“Empire” Grows Audience for 7th Straight Week; Growth Spurt Fueled by Young Women, Urban Markets

Timbaland Empire Fox

In music biz terms, Fox’s “Empire” is zooming up the charts with a bullet.

On Wednesday the family soap centered on a hip-hop musical mogul continued its unprecedented growth streak by gaining audience for a seventh straight week, hitting 13.9 million. No series in the history of Nielsen’s People Meters (going back to 1991) had grown with the first five episodes following its premiere, and “Empire” has now bested that by two weeks.

The 20th Century Fox TV/Imagine TV drama stunned the industry with its Jan. 7 premiere, which averaged a 3.8 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 9.9 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. It built on its lead-in, the season premiere of “American Idol,” by 32% in  adults 18-34 and logged the net’s top premiere score in this demo in six years.

And it’s only gotten bigger since. “Empire” is part of the ratings boom this season for series that feature diverse casts and executive producers — as exemplified by ABC’s success with comedies “Blackish” and “Fresh Off the Boat” and drama “How to Get Away With Murder.” But “Empire’s” audience is so big that it is clearly a big-tent hit with broad viewership across a range of demographics.

In adults 18-49, it has grown in six of the last seven weeks, with Wednesday night’s rating (5.4) — a monster 42% build on its premiere — the top score for a regularly scheduled broadcast drama since ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” in the fall of 2010.

The biggest growth spurt for “Empire” has come in women 18-34, in which last night’s rating (6.2) was 68% larger than its premiere rating (3.7).

“Empire” figures to once again rank as the week’s top-rated broadcast series in adults 18-49, having leapfrogged CBS vet “The Big Bang Theory” for the first time last week. And for the season, “Empire” is on track to finish as broadcast television’s No. 1 drama; only AMC’s “The Walking Dead” rates higher.

(Fox estimates that in the month since the “Empire” pilot aired, it has been watched by 22.6 million when all time-shifting and viewership on other nonlinear platforms are included.)

“Empire” is being driven by a young, urban audience and is faring especially well in many of the nation’s biggest cities.

Among the top 12 markets, Wednesday’s episode of “Empire” won in the 18-49 demo in every one but Boston. The top scores in those cities came from Atlanta (14.9 rating/29 share), Detroit (9.2/24), Washington, D.C. (7.8/23), Cleveland (7.5/17) and New York (7.3/20) — all well above the show’s national average of 6.0/17.

Roughly two-thirds of those age 2 and older watching “Empire” last Wednesday night (66.9%) were African-Americans. It joins ABC’s Thursday tandem of “Scandal” (42% African-American) and newcomer “How to Get Away Murder” (41%) as broadcast dramas in which more than 4 in 10 viewers are black.

In addition to “How to Get Away With Murder,” ABC has also added two solid comedies featuring minority leads (“Black-ish” and “Fresh Off the Boat”) this season while its “Cristela” has fared decently on Fridays. CW, meanwhile, has garnered critical accolades and is slowly building an audience for its comedic hour “Jane the Virgin.”

All of these series are delivering a younger skew than other shows on their networks, which only makes sense based on U.S. Census data.

According to Nielsen’s calculation of the 116 million-plus TV homes in the U.S. this season, whites make up 75% of the nation’s 50-and-older population, but they comprise 59.3% of the adults 18-49 pie — down from 63.5% just five years ago.

African-Americans make up 14.2% (up from 13.3%) and Asian-Americans have jumped to 5.6% (from 5.0), but the biggest growth spurt has come among Hispanics, which have grown from 17.6% to 20.1% of the country’s TV-viewing population.

In addition to the two-thirds of its audience that is black, “Empire” has also dominated in the top-10 Texas markets of Dallas (7.2 local rating in 18-49/19 share last night) and Houston (7.0/18), where Hispanics make up more than 40% of the population.

In fact, with about 10% of its audience Hispanic, “Empire” ranks as the season’s No. 1 new series and No. 1 broadcast drama overall with Hispanic (English-language) adults 18-49 and 18-34.

The median age for “Empire” last night was 43.5, making it the night’s youngest-skewing program on the Big Four. The net’s “Gotham” is the only other current drama on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox this season to consistently have a median age under 50.

Another indication of just how big “Empire” has become is that while roughly 63% of its 18-49 audience is female, it also ranks as the season’s No. 1 new series in men 18-49.

“Empire” is benefiting from increasingly strong buzz in social media. Based on Nielsen Social Guide and Twitter metrics, “Empire” now has the highest average number of tweets per episode during its live airings (381,770) than any other broadcast drama this season — overtaking ABC’s “Scandal” (355,012).

And last night’s episode generated a record 714,742 social comments.

Ratings for primetime shows tend to drift downward at the onset of Daylight Saving Time (which starts March 8), so it’s likely that “Empire’s” growth streak will come to an end in one of the weeks prior to its March 25 finale. But at this point, you’d be crazy to bet against it.

article by Rick Kissell via Variety.com

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