Courtney B. Vance Drama Series ‘Heist 88’ in the Works at FX

Courtney B. Vance The Mummy

Courtney B. Vance (CREDIT: CHELSEA LAUREN/VARIETY/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

via Variety.com

FX is developing “Heist 88,” a crime drama from executive producers Courtney B. Vance and Dwayne Johnson-Cochran. Under the script development deal between FX and the producers, Emmy-winner Vance is set to star in the project should it be picked up to series.

Set in 1988, “Heist 88” tells the true story of arch-criminal and master manipulator Armand Moore, who persuaded four young, African-American employees of First National Bank of Chicago to steal $70 million via a sophisticated take down of the banking wire system. Vance would star as Moore.

Johnson-Cochran, who co-created the NBC series “Minor Adjustments” and directed the HBO film “Love and Action in Chicago,” will write and serve as exec producer. Also executive producing alongside Vance and Johnson-Cochran are Pam Veasey and Hemingway Taylor Productions’ Anthony Hemingway and Mark Taylor.

Vance won the 2016 Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a limited series for his performance as attorney Johnnie Cochran in FX’s “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.” His most recent acting credits include the feature films “Office Christmas Party” and “The Mummy” and the HBO film “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

To read full article, go to: http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/courtney-b-vances-heist-88-1202623626/

Tracy Morgan Teams with Jordan Peele on FX Comedy Pilot

Tracy Morgan Comedy Tour

Tracy Morgan (MICHAEL BUCKNER/VARIETY/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

Tracy Morgan’s plan to star in an FX comedy series is back on track now that writer-actor Jordan Peele and John Carcieri have signed on to write a pilot for the former “30 Rock” star.

Morgan’s life was up-ended 18 months ago by a car crash that came two months after he signed a straight-to-series pact with FX Networks.

The new project will see Morgan playing a career criminal who struggles to reintegrate into society after serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Peele and Carcieri will write the pilot and executive produce with Eric Tannenbaum and Joel Zadak, an alum of Peele’s Comedy Central sketch series “Key and Peele.”

“What an unbeatable combination – Tracy Morgan and Jordan Peele – two exceptional comics joining forces with a great team of writers and producers to create and produce this pilot for FX Networks,” said Nick Grad, president of original programming for FX Networks and FX Prods. “We’ve been committed to Tracy from the start and are thrilled that Jordan, John, Eric and Joel are joining him in developing this new project.”

Morgan’s deal with the cable network in 2014 called for him to work with the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” gang — Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, and Rob McElhenney — on an unspecified concept for a comedy to air on FXX. It’s unclear whether the new pilot will be bound for FXX or the mothership FX.

Morgan suffered brain injuries and broken bones after his SUV was rear-ended on the New Jersey turnpike in June 2014. The crash killed another passenger in the car, Morgan’s longtime friend and fellow comedian James McNair.

The severity of his injuries forced the former “30 Rock” star to endure a long recuperation period. He began a slow return to the public eye last summer with emotional appearances on the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast and a hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live,” his alma mater.

Morgan at present is headlining a national comedy tour dubbed “Picking Up the Pieces” that is set to run through May. He also just wrapped work on the Weinstein Co.’s biopic “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?,” in which he plays comedian Redd Foxx opposite Mike Epps in the title role.

Peele is coming off a five-season run on the much-praised sketch comedy “Key and Peele.” He was in the ensemble of the 2014 edition of FX’s “Fargo,” and he’s recently had recurring roles on CBS’ “Life in Pieces,” and Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” among other projects.

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com

Erika Alexander Joins ‘Bosch’; Malcolm Mays In ‘Snowfall’ Pilot

Dee Rees and Shonda Rhimes Developing Historical Drama ‘Warmth of Other Suns’ For FX

Shonda Rhimes, Dee Rees Developing 'Warmth

“Pariah” and “Bessie” director Dee Rees (CINDY ORD/GETTY IMAGES FOR HBO)

The book chronicles the movement of some 6 million African-Americans from the south into the north and western regions of the country from the period of 1915 to 1970. “Warmth of Other Suns” tells much of the story through the eyes of three characters who made the journey in different decades. Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize winner for her work at the New York Times, earned a host of critical acclaim for the book.

The TV adaptation is in the early stages of development. FX Prods. is shepherding with ABC Signature, the cable arm of ABC Studios, where Shondaland is based. Rees is writing the adaptation and exec producing with Shonda Rhimes and Shondaland’s Besty Beers.

Rees most recently wrote and directed HBO’s Bessie Smith biopic “Bessie,” which bows May 16. She made her feature directing debut in 2011 with the Sundance hit “Pariah.”

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com

FX Picks Up John Singleton’s TV Pilot “Snowfall”

Director/Producer John Singleton

Director/Producer John Singleton

According to Deadline.com, John Singleton’s take on the beginnings of the crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles has found a new home. Originally bought by Showtime, John Singleton’s Snowfall pilot has now been picked up by FX, Presidents of Original Programming Nick Grad and Eric Schrier announced today.

Snowfall takes us on a wild ride through one of LA’s most fascinating cultural and social periods, and no one can tell this story better than John Singleton,” said Schrier. “The pilot script by John and Eric brilliantly depicts the era through the story of three captivating characters, and we can’t wait to see John’s execution of it.”

Singleton (“Boyz In The Hood”, “Baby Boy”, “Higher Learning”, “Shaft”) co-created and co-wrote the early-1980s set Snowfall pilot with Eric Amadio and will direct the pilot for FX Productions, with production set to start this summer. Justified’s Dave Andron will serve as an Executive Producer along with Singleton, Groundswell Productions’ Michael London, Amadio and Trevor Engelson. With the drug storm about to come, Snowfall focuses on a trio of main characters – ambitious dealer Franklin Saint, ex-Mexican wrestler and now gangster Gustavo Zapata and prodigal son Logan Miller.

“I have always been fascinated with that volatile moment in time before crack changed everything,” added Singleton. “It’s a tense, insane and sexy era that touched every aspect of our culture. I couldn’t have better partners for this journey.”

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Patti LaBelle joins Angela Bassett and Gabourey Sidibe for “American Horror Story”

Patti LaBelle, Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe

Music legend Patti LaBelle is joining the cast of FX’s critically acclaimed series, American Horror Story. LaBelle joins existing cast members Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates for American Horror Story Season 4, which will focus on the last American freak show and will be set in Jupiter, Florida, in the 1950’s.

LaBelle will play Sidibe’s mother, a local townie, who begins to unravel the deadly secrets of Twisty the clown killer.

LaBelle is the second music icon to appear on the series. Stevie Nicks guest starred as herself and appeared on two episodes on Coven, the third installment of American Horror Story.

American Horror Story: Freak Show debuts in October on FX.

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article by Chris Witherspoon via thegrio.com

Tonight, President Obama Introduces the Premiere Episode of Fox’s “Cosmos”

neil degrasse tyson

Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Earlier we told you about the reboot of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey hosted by astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, which begins airing tonight at 9p/8c on Fox and other Fox Networks Group channels including National Geographic, FX and Nat Geo Mundo.

President Obama will help launch the show with a video message at the beginning of the first broadcast tonight.  The president, according to a release, will be inviting “a new generation to embrace the spirit of discovery and inspires viewers to explore new frontiers and imagine limitless possibilities for the future.”

A screening of the series was held on February 28 at the White House as part of the first-ever White House Student Film Festival.

The launch of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a reboot of Carl Sagan’s is the first multi-network effort for Fox Networks Group, which includes Fox International Channels and National Geographic Channels International, which means that the President’s introduction and the series premiere will be available on 220 channels in 181 countries, which is more than half a billion homes, reports TheWrap.

Viewers have a second chance to catch each episode at 10pm Monday on National Geographic, with added behind-the-scenes and other bonus footage.

article via eurweb.com