Tag: CENTRIC

TV REVIEW: BET Comedy “Zoe Ever After” Starring Brandy Hits All the Right Notes

ZoeEverAfter-16x9

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief
by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

I have to admit, I wasn’t planning on watching it, mainly because these days I don’t have the opportunity to view much television outside of what my 9 and 6 year-olds are viewing. If you want to ask me what’s happening on the Disney Channel or PBS Kids – I’m your woman. BET and Centric, not so much. But when I got an email from former colleague and uber-producer Debra Martin Chase announcing the premiere of her new sitcom “Zoe Ever After”, I made a point of setting my DVR to record it so I could carve out a moment to watch and support.

That moment came this morning, and I am so glad it did. “Zoe Ever After,” created and executive produced by Chase, Erica Montolfo-Bura and former “Moesha” lead Brandy Norwood (who stars in the titular role), is a delightful, smartly-written, acted and executed half-hour comedy about Zoe Moon, a woman restarting her life with a new cosmetics business, new love interests and a new parenting arrangement after filing for divorce from her famous boxer husband Gemini Moon (Dorian Missick).

Set in Manhattan,”Zoe Ever After” is actually filmed in Atlanta, but unlike some other half-hours shot there, its look and feel don’t come off as claustrophobic or cheap. The sets and visuals, though limited, are beautifully styled and on point. The costume design is equally striking, and if the show keeps it up, Brandy could add “fashion maven” to her actor/singer calling card.

But even more important than the look or  basic premise is how well “Zoe” deals with its themes – the difficulty of dating after a break-up, co-parenting with an ex, the struggles of running a new business (the air conditioning breaks down in Zoe’s office and she is stubbornly against taking her ex’s help to fix it, even though the contractor he sends (Ignacio Serricchio) generates more heat than the system he’s repairing), and the internal tug-of-war that occurs when you still have feelings for the person who broke your heart.

All of the actors, including intended comic relief characters, on-a-mission-to-get-married best friend and publicist Pearl (Haneefah Wood), fashionable, openly gay assistant Valence (Tory Devon Smith) and bright, adorable son Xavier (Jaylon Gordon), make strong impressions, but Brandy in particular shines as she charmingly and believably navigates dramatic moments like where she tells her ex how he always made her feel invisible, or sillier ones where she gets pooped on by a dove (which is a clever metaphor tied to a story point, believe it or not).

The preliminary ratings and social media on “Zoe’s” debut are also strong, so BET looks to have a good compliment/counterpoint to “Real Husbands of Hollywood” on its slate, and I am personally looking forward to finding more time away from “Lab Rats” and “Arthur” to see if Zoe does indeed get her “ever after.”

“Zoe Ever After” airs Tuesdays on BET. To view the premiere episode, check your local listings or access clips via BET.com.

Keke Palmer Becomes Youngest TV Talk Show Host with BET’s “#JUSTKeke” Starting June 30

The daytime talk show space continues to get crowded (Tyra Banks most recently announced that she’ll be jumping back into that space via ABC), as Keke Palmer and BET are hoping to strike gold with a new talk show targeting so-called millenials – essentially those in her age group – which Palmer will of course host.

Tentatively-titled “#JUSTKeke,” the network has ordered an initial 4-week run, starting on June 30, airing daily, Monday to Friday.  Judge Greg Mathis, apparently looking to expand his empire, will executive produce, while Telepictures is producing. 

The 20-year-old Palmer will become the youngest talk show host in TV history, with “#JUSTKeke,” besting the likes of Ricki Lake, who was 25 when she begun hosting her 1990’s daytime talk show, also aimed at her generation at the time.  Per the press announcement, “#JUSTKeke” will cover a variety of topics important to her target audience, as you’d expect, and will also include celebrity guests, and more. “I like to read quotes that touch on how I am feeling,” Palmer said. “If I am dealing with confusion, I will read quotes about clarity and peace of mind. I started posting these quotes on my Twitter page, and the fans responded so positively! I realized that many of them were dealing with similar issues, and the quotes helped to open up a genuine dialogue between us.”

Palmer boasts around 1.4 million Twitter followers, and I suspect a good number of them will follow her to BET when her talk-show premieres at the end of this month.

She will join “The Wendy Williams Show,” “The Queen Latifah Show,” and new series, “The Real” (hosted by Tamera Mowry-Housley, Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon, and Jeannie Mai,) all in syndication on BET (“Latifah” and “The Real” head to the network this fall). Clearly BET is reinforcing its hold on the black female audience (it’s also rebranding Centric to become a network for black women as well).

You’ll recall that ASPiRE, the new television network from Magic Johnson Enterprises, greenlit its first talk show – “Exhale” – last year, with Angela Burt-Murray, Erin Jackson, Issa Rae, Malinda Williams and Rene Syler all hosting. That talkie is still well and alive.  BET has released a first promo for “#JUSTKeke,” calling it “a new kind of Talk Show”:

article by Tambay A. Obenson via ShadowAndAct

Centric Sets Pact with Queen Latifah, Orders Season 4 of ‘Single Ladies’

Queen Latifah

The Queen Latifah-produced scripted series Single Ladies has found new life on Centric, BET’s sibling cable channel.  Centric has ordered a fourth season of the romantic comedy series, created and executive produced by Stacy A. Littlejohnwhich previously aired on VH1, as part of a larger content development pact with Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment. Centric will also carry repeats of Latifah’s daytime syndicated talk show.

“We are thrilled to be working once again with Flavor Unit Entertainment and Queen Latifah. She does it all and we are happy to have her join us as a creative force as we continue to grow Centric into a premiere destination for African American women,” said BET Networks chairman-CEO Debra Lee.

The Single Ladies pickup was the centerpiece of Centric’s portion of BET Networks’ upfront presentation announcement in Los Angeles Tuesday.  Flavor Unit, run by Latifah and partner Shakim Compere, is already in business with BET as the producer of the scripted comedy “Let’s Stay Together.”

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com

 

2013 Soul Train Awards: Kendrick Lamar Leads Nominations

2013 Soul Train Awards
SEATTLE, WA – AUGUST 31: Kendrick Lamar performs on stage during the Bumbershoot Music Festival at Seattle Center on August 31, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Kendrick Lamar is the top nominee for the Soul Train Awards.  The rapper is up for six awards, including album of the year for “good kid, m.A.A.d city” and song and video of the year for “Poetic Justice.” R&B singers Justin Timberlake, Miguel, Robin Thicke, Chris Brown and Tamar Braxton follow with five nominations each.  See a full list of nominees here.

The latest albums from Lamar, Timberlake and Miguel will battle efforts from Jay-Z, Rihanna and Fantasia for album of the year. Lamar’s other nominations include best new artist, hip-hop song of the year and collaboration.

The Soul Train Awards will be presented Nov. 8 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The awards will air Dec. 1 on BET and Centric.

Actor-comedian Anthony Anderson will host the show.

article via huffingtonpost.com

 

BET To Air ‘Fruitvale Station’ Special Tonight After Strong Box Office Start

New York, NY – July 15, 2013 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today the special FRUITVALE STATION: The Story of Oscar Grant, a behind the scenes look at the making of the film, will premiere exclusively on BET Networks on Monday, July 15, 2013 from 7:30 – 8:00 P.M. ET/PT. The special will also re-air on CENTRIC on Friday, July 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The full-length film opened to limited release on July 12, 2013 to rave reviews and tremendous box office success, and tells the real-life story of Oscar Grant played by rising star Michael B. Jordan. Monday’s making-of special will trace the remarkable journey of this film from production to Sundance to Cannes and now in theaters across the country. TWC is proud to collaborate with BET who has championed this film from its very beginning starting with the Sundance Film Festival. BET recognized early on the importance of director Ryan Coogler’s feature debut film and the significance of Oscar Grant’s story. They have shown tremendous support for the film including – the BET Experience screening in late June, featuring the film and its star Michael B. Jordan at the BET Awards earlier this month, partnering with TWC on the film’s New York premiere on July 8th, and online features onBET.com.

article via deadline.com