Tag: Debra Martin Chase

Viola Davis & Debra Martin Chase Team Up with “Empire” Writer Ayanna Floyd for TNT Drama Inspired by Michigan Prosecutor Kym Worthy

Viola Davis Kym Worthy
Viola Davis (l) and Kym Worthy (r) [image via deadline.com)
article by Nellie Andreeva via deadline.com

TNT is now developing Conviction, a legal drama inspired by the life of Kym Worthy, the chief prosecutor of Wayne County, MI, known as the toughest woman in Detroit.

Chase 1
Debra Martin Chase (photo via deadline.com)

How To Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis is executive producing the project with Debra Martin Chase (Sparkle). Empire co-executive producer Ayanna Floyd is writing the script and executive producing. The project was originally developed at ABC during the 2014-2015 season with another writer. ABC has a legal drama pilot Conviction this season, which is unrelated to this project.

Worthy became the second African-American to serve as a county prosecutor in Michigan when she was appointed chief prosecutor of Wayne County in 2004. She is known for a number of high-profile cases, like filing charges against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and her campaign to clear a massive backlog of 11,000 unprocessed rape test kits in Detroit.

Floyd
Ayanna Floyd (photo via deadline.com)

Davis and and her producing partner Julius Tennon executive produce through their JuVee Productions, Martin Chase through her Martin Chase Prods. Both companies have deals with ABC Studios, which originally developed the project when it was at ABC but is not actively involved in the TNT version. Also executive producing are Floyd as well as Kim Swann and Leah Keith who brought Worthy’s story to Hollywood. Worthy is a consultant.

To read original article, go to: http://deadline.com/2016/03/conviction-legal-drama-kym-worthy-viola-davis-debra-martin-chase-empire-tnt-1201724486/

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.

Mo’ne Davis Makes Deal for Disney Channel Biopic

mone_davis_si_coverShe is still at it.  Just 13-years-old, Mo’Ne Davis has not only made history as the first female to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series and the first Little League player to make the cover of Sports Illustrated, she also has  a book deal and a new sneaker line.  Davis is now opening up about her journey to achieving it all in a biographical movie set to premiere on Disney Channel.

“Mo’Ne is not only a top-notch athlete in three different sports — baseball, basketball and soccer — but she is an exemplary student and someone who will remind our audiences that they can do anything with hard work, dedication and belief in themselves,” said Naketha Mattocks, Vice President, Original Movies, Disney Channel.

Emmy-nominated producer Debra Martin Chase will executive produce the project, while Sheldon Candis and Justin Wilson will serve as writers for the film. Both Davis and espnW will consult on the movie.

“There are so many great things happening to me right now and it’s a very exciting time in my life,” said Davis. “A year ago, I never would have thought that Disney Channel would make a movie about me. I can’t wait to get started and I hope it will encourage other viewers to believe that dreams really do come true.”

article by Courtney Connley via blackenterprise.com

“Selma” Cast Marches in Alabama; Free Screenings in 25 Cities Planned

“Selma” director Ava DuVernay and producer Oprah Winfrey joined their cast and crew to march alongside local residents of Selma, Ala., on Sunday in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“Selma” dramatizes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (played by David Oyelowo) in 1965 as he organizes and leads a march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., and on Sunday cast members taking to the streets included Oyelowo and Winfrey, who tweeted, “Happy Super Soul Sunday every 1. We’re in Selma celebrating @SelmaMovie. How cool is that!”

Singer-songwriter John Legend, who won the Golden Globe for original song with Common for the “Selma” song “Glory,” also took to social media to promote the march. The artists performed the song with the Tuskegee University Gospel Choir on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

“In Selma, Alabama. Meet at City Hall at 4pm and March with us #Glory #MarchOn,” he posted with a photo of the bridge on Instagram.

Paramount Pictures, the film’s distributor, will host two free screenings of the film Monday for the general public at at the Selma Walton Theater.

“We are proud to be a part of this extraordinary effort to bring this poignant and timeless American story to the diverse students of Los Angeles,” said Debra Martin Chase, chief executive of Martin Chase Productions, and T. Warren Jackson, senior vice president and associate general counsel and chief ethics officer of DirecTV, which organized the efforts in Los Angeles.

The film, which cost about $20 million to make, has pulled in about $26 million since its limited release on Christmas Day. It earned an A-plus on CinemaScore and wide praise from critics.

“It’s a really incredible movie, because it’s playing so well in so many diverse places and has all of these organic grass-roots energy around it,” Megan Colligan, president of domestic marketing and distribution, told The Times last week. “It’s big cities, it’s small cities — it’s touching people all over.”

Colligan said one passionate fan in Louisiana reached out to Paramount asking if she could screen “Selma” at the local gym because there was no theater within 50 miles of town.

“The historical drama is a tough nut to crack to make it entertaining and inspiring, and I think Ava DuVernay figured out how to do that,” Colligan said.

article by Saba Hamedy via latimes.com

Viola Davis Producing ABC Drama Based on Michigan Prosecutor Kym Worthy

Viola Davis and Kym Worthy
Viola Davis and Kym Worthy

”How To Get Away With Murder” star Viola Davis is about to step behind the camera for her next project… another ABC drama, about another powerful female lawyer.

Davis and her producing partner Julius Tennon have teamed with producer Debra Martin Chase (“Sparkle”) for “Conviction,” a legal drama inspired by the life of Kym Worthy, the chief prosecutor of Wayne County, MI, known as the toughest woman in Detroit, reports Deadline.com.

Worthy became the second African-American to serve as a county prosecutor in Michigan when she was appointed as chief prosecutor of Wayne County in 2004. She is known for a number of high-profile cases, like filing charges against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and her campaign to clear a massive backlog of 11,000 unprocessed rape test kits in Detroit.

The script is being written by Jason Wilborn (“Damages”), with Jeff Melvoin (“Army Wives”) on board as show runner.  Davis and Tennon are executive producing through their JuVee Productions, and Martin Chase through her Martin Chase Prods. ABC Studios, where Martin Chase Prods. has an overall deal, is the studio.

Also executive producing are Kim Swann and Leah Keith who brought Worthy’s story to Hollywood, and Melvoin, while Wilborn serves as co-executive producer and Martin Chase Prods.’ Charles Pugliese as producer. Worthy will serve as a consultant.

In addition to “Conviction,” Swann is developing several projects with Worthy as her producing partner. Keith is adapting her novel “A Rented Life” into a feature. At ABC and ABC Studios, Martin Chase Prods. also has a limited series in development based on the book Catherine The Great by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Massie with a script by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Cristofer (“Gia”).

article via eurweb.com

Trumpet Awards 2013 Honorees Announced

*The Trumpet Awards Foundation announced the 2013 Trumpet Awards honorees at a press conference in Atlanta.

The Trumpet Awards Ceremony is one of the most respected televised award shows saluting African American achievement in the world.  The following Trumpet Award honorees will attend and receive their award at the ceremony on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 4pm.

Chaka Khan – Legend Award
Debra Martin Chase – Entertainment Award
Michael McMillan – Community Service Award
Alonzo & Tracy Mourning – Humanitarian Award
Mayor Kasim Reed – Public Service Award
Charlie Wilson – Lifetime Achievement Award
Edward Welburn – Corporate Award

Continue reading “Trumpet Awards 2013 Honorees Announced”

Producer Debra Martin Chase Signs Deal With ABC Studios – Deadline.com

EXCLUSIVE: Feature producer Debra Martin Chase is making a major move in television with a two-year overall deal at ABC Studios. Under the pact, Chase will develop series projects through her company, Martin Chase Prods., with the help of a dedicated TV executive she is in the process of hiring. Continue reading “Producer Debra Martin Chase Signs Deal With ABC Studios – Deadline.com”