Blair Underwood recently joined the cast of ABC’s hit drama “Quantico,” and fans may not know that he’s also executive producing another series coming to NBC Saturdays starting October 1 titled “GIVE.”
“GIVE” is executive produced through Underwood’s production company, Intrepid Inc. (and his partners Gary Reeves & Tommy Morgan, Jr.), along with Bungalow Media & Litton Entertainment. The series will introduce viewers to the world of philanthropy through the stories of small charities making a big impact.
The series features NBC News correspondent and founder of UNICEF’s Next Generation, Jenna Bush Hager, and various passionate celebrity philanthropists from the worlds of film, television, music, sports, and business including, Derek Hough, Bethany Mota, Jillian Rose Reed and Top Chef’s Kristen Kish.
Unite4Good Foundation will award these various charities at the end of every episode – after celebrities go “undercover” to see where they see the grant money best being utilized.
Blair Underwood is set as the male lead in ABC’s untitled Meaghan Oppenheimer drama pilot, executive produced by Reese Witherspoon. Written by Oppenheimer, the project follows the personal and professional life of Gemma, a ruthless divorce attorney in Dallas, which begins to unravel when her emotionally damaged, love-addicted sister resurfaces, triggering self-destructive tendencies and exposing long-hidden family secrets.
Underwood will play James, Gemma’s boss and sometime-lover. Gemma’s law professor and mentor for years, who instilled in her a sense of cutthroat ambition, he is the one person unafraid to belittle her.
Underwood’s last turn starring in a television series was on NBC’s quickly-canceled remake of “Ironside.” His availability put Underwood in high demand this pilot season with multiple offers. He most recently worked with ABC and ABC Studios on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where he had a recurring role. Underwood will next be seen in a guest stint on CBS’ The Good Wife.
In the ongoing quest to reinvent the police procedural, NBC has revamped the 1967-75 hit “Ironside.” The original starred Raymond Burr as a San Francisco cop paralyzed by a sniper’s bullet and confined to a wheelchair, thus forced to solve crimes using his wits. This time around, the action moves to New York City and Blair Underwood takes the chair.
“Ironside” will air on NBC Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. this fall.
April marks Austism Awareness Month, and in support of the cause, Centric will premiere, Colored My Mind: The Diagnosis, a short documentary that tackles the impact of the disorder on families. Spearheaded by Attorney Shannon Nash and LaDonna Hughley, wife of comedian D.L. Hughley, the 30-minute documentary was inspired by the mission of their Los Angeles-based non-profit of the same name.
Nash and Hughley, alongside actress Tisha Campbell-Martin; Tammy McCrary, sister and manager of Chaka Khan, and administrator Donna Hunter, share their stories of raising children with the disorder. Each woman’s candid story is paired with dramatizations featuring noted actors Blair Underwood and Nicole Ari Parker.
One in 70 boys has autism, with African-Americans and Latinos being diagnosed later than Caucasians. Boys are also four times more likely to have autism than girls.
Director Nia T. Hill provides a captivating and emotional look into the often overlooked world of autism. The documentary addresses and uncovers the truths about why some Black and Brown children are not receiving the same medical diagnoses or are misdiagnosed. The narratives explore “sadness, strength, joy, and the ultimate hope that binds us all to fight for a better tomorrow.”
NBC has given a pilot order to a reboot of the 1967 detective drama “Ironside” to star Blair Underwood, reports Deadline.com.
The new version, written by Mike Caleo and produced by Universal TV, centers on a tough, sexy and acerbic police detective (Underwood) relegated to a wheelchair after a shooting who is hardly limited by his disability as he pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases in the city.
According to Deadline, NBC’s pickup hinged on Underwood playing the lead. The “LA Law” alum’s casting stems from a development/talent holding deal he signed with Universal TV in August. The actor recently starred in A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway and his series credits also include NBC’s “The Event.”
The original “Ironside” series, from Universal TV, ran on NBC from 1967 to 1975 with Raymond Burr as the paralyzed Chief of Detectives. The show’s opening, seen below, featured theme music by Quincy Jones.