Tag: Laurence Fishburne

Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes Join Essence to Celebrate Black Women in Hollywood, Honor Debbie Allen

Honoree Debbie Allen and family (photo via blackamericaweb.com)

article by Sandy Cohen, AP via blackamericaweb.com

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Oscar host Chris Rock, producer Reginald Hudlin and film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs took an afternoon off from Academy Awards preparations to celebrate black women in Hollywood.

Rock, Hudlin and Boone Isaacs were among the guests at Essence magazine’s ninth annual awards luncheon Thursday at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Rock and Boone Isaacs didn’t speak publicly; Hudlin took the stage to present an award to legendary entertainer Debbie Allen.

The annual Essence event celebrates the achievements of black women in entertainment. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross, entertainment attorney Nina Shaw and filmmaker Thais Francis were also recognized.

Francis thanked the magazine “for creating a platform of visibility.”

“A lot of us in this audience know the importance of visibility, especially during a time, in a society, in a world, in an industry that’s telling us that we’re invisible,” she said.

Shonda Rhimes, who introduced Allen as the new producing director of “Grey’s Anatomy,” called the writer-director-choreographer-performer “a force of nature.”

Producer/writer Shonda Rhimes attends the Essence 9th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision/AP)
Shonda Rhimes (photo via blackamericaweb.com)

“Debbie blows through an environment and changes the landscape forever,” Rhimes said.

As Allen accepted the Legend Award, she said she felt like she was in church, preaching to her sisters.

“The only plate I’m going to pass is the plate of purpose,” she said, urging the women in the audience to make real connections with each other — not just to meet up for drinks, but to work on ways of changing the world.

Shaw gave similar advice as she accepted the Power Award. The attorney for such entertainers as Laurence Fishburne, Lupita Nyong’o and Ava DuVernay was introduced by Nick Cannon and Channing Dungey, who became the first African-American to head a broadcast network when she was named president of ABC Entertainment last week.

“If you are a woman who wants to be empowered, then empower other women,” Shaw said.

“Black-ish” star Ross, accompanied by her father and older sister, Rhonda, accepted the Fierce and Fearless award. Ross said she had been sick for the past week and worried she wouldn’t be able to attend the luncheon.

“I got dressed in the car,” she said. “I’m unclear if what I’m wearing is see-through. If it is, I’m sorry.”  She said the recognition from Essence “is truly one of the proudest moments I’ve experienced.”

Oprah Winfrey opened the program, which will air Saturday on OWN.

To read more, go to: http://blackamericaweb.com/2016/02/26/oprah-winfrey-shonda-rhimes-join-essence-to-celebrate-black-women-in-hollywood-honor-debbie-allen/

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

022214-fashion-beauty-naacp-image-awards-red-carpet-3-anthony-anderson.jpg
“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

Laurence Fishburne to Star in Nelson Mandela Miniseries ‘Madiba’ for BET

Laurence Fishburne Nelson MandelaLaurence Fishburne is set to play the lead role of Nelson Mandela in Madiba, a miniseries for BET Networks executive produced by the late South African hero’s grandson Kweku Mandela. The six-hour mini, directed by Kevin Hooks (Prison Break), is based on two Mandela books, Conversations With Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself. Named after Madiba, the Thembu clan to which Nelson Mandela belonged, the project tells the story of a younger Nelson Mandela during the early-60s as he deals with the political unrest engulfing South Africa.

Madiba will be produced and financed by Toronto-based Blue Ice Pictures and also produced by UK-based Left Bank Pictures and South Africa’s Out of Africa Entertainment in association with Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions. Blue Ice Pictures president Lance Samuels executive produces alongside Kweku Mandela of Out of Africa and Daniel Iron, Neil Tabatznik, Steven Silver, Andy Harries, Marigo Kehoe and Loretha Jones.

Pre-production will begin later this year, with production slated for early 2016 in South Africa.
nelsonmandelabyhimselfconversationswithmyslef“Nelson Mandela’s journey of political activism and leadership is deeply inspirational and we are proud to have the talented and award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne join Madiba to tell this triumphant story” said Stephen Hill, President of Programming, BET Networks.

Fishburne executive produces and co-stars on the ABC comedy series Black-ish and will be seen next summer in Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice. He recently signed on to star in the A&E remake of Roots and is in production on Sony’s romantic sci-fi drama Passengers starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence.

There have been a number of feature and TV movies about Mandela, with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning anti-apartheid activist and political prisoner-turned-president portrayed by such actors as Morgan Freeman, Sidney Poitier, Idris Elba, Dennis Haysbert, Terrence Howard and Danny Glover.

article by Nellie Andreeva via deadline.com

“Roots” TV Movie Adds Forest Whitaker, Anika Noni Rose, Anna Paquin, More to Cast

Roots Forest Whitaker Anna Paquin
Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin (photo variety.com)

A+E Networks has announced additional casting for “Roots,” its epic miniseries based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel as well as other researched material.

The four-night, eight-hour scripted miniseries has tapped newcomer Malachi Kirby to play lead Kunta Kinte, the Mandinka warrior captured in his homeland of the Gambia and forced into slavery in colonial America. Forest WhitakerAnna PaquinJonathan Rhys Meyers and Anika Noni Rose have also been added to the cast. Casting descriptions are below. They join Laurence Fishburne, who had already been cast as Haley.

The production, which hails from A+E Studios in association with Marc Toberoff and The Wolper Organization, also announced that Mario Van Peebles and Bruce Beresford will be directing the episodes set to air on nights two and four. Phillip Noyce and Thomas Carter had already signed on to direct the episodes for nights one and three and Grammy winner Questlove will serve as executive music producer.

“Roots” will air in 2016 and be simulcast on A&E, Lifetime and History. Will Packer, Toberoff, Mark Wolper, Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal serve as executive producers. LeVar Burton, who played Kunta Kinte in the 1977 TV movie, and Korin D. Huggins are co-executive producers. Konner, Rosenthal, Alison McDonald, and Charles Murray are writing. Dirk Hoogstra, Arturo Interian and Michael Stiller serve as executives in charge of production for History. “Roots” is distributed internationally by A+E Networks under the A+E Studios International banner.

* Forest Whitaker (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “South Paw”) will play Fiddler, a slave who tries to mentor Kunta Kinte and ends up risking his own life to help him escape.

* Anna Paquin (“True Blood”) plays Nancy Holt, the wife of a Confederate officer who happens to have her own agenda when it comes to handling the slaves.

* Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“The Tudors”) plays Tom Lea, an uneducated slave owner who is desperate to claw his way into the elite company of Southern gentility.

* Anika Noni Rose (“Dream Girls,” “The Good Wife,” “The Princess and the Frog”) plays Kizzy, Kunta Kinte’s cherished, smart daughter who maintains her family pride and warrior spirit.

* Chad L. Coleman (“The Walking Dead,” “The Wire”) plays Mingo, the stern no-nonsense slave who really keeps the Lea plantation afloat.

* Regé-Jean Page (“Waterloo Road”) plays Chicken George, Kizzy’s son who is a handsome social magnet. He knows how to transfix a crowd with a story, yet doesn’t appreciate what he has until his luck abandons him.

* Erica Tazel (“Justified”) plays Matilda, a preacher’s daughter and love interest to Chicken George.

* Derek Luke (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Antwone Fisher”) plays Silla Ba Dibba, a military trainer charged with transforming teen boys into powerful Mandinka Warriors.

article by Whitney Frielander via Variety.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

‘Selma,’ ‘Blackish,’ Taraji P. Henson Win Big at NAACP Image Awards

Taraji P. Henson
NAACP Image Awards Winner Taraji P. Henson (PHOTO CREDIT: EARL GIBSON III/WIREIMAGE)

Last night’s NAACP Image Awards was nothing but pure glam. Celebrities slayed on the red carpet while host Anthony Anderson kept the crowd laughing all night. But it was the winners who had us buzzing.

After being snubbed in the Academy Award race, Selma was the clear-cut winner in the film categories, snagging the award for Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (David Oyelowo), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Common) and Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (Carmen Ejogo).

“We did this movie because we wanted to tell their story—our story,” said Selma producer Oprah Winfrey in her acceptance speech.

Meanwhile, “Blackish” swept the television categories, taking home all the top honors for comedy series, beating out shows like “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Lies.” The show won Best Comedy Series as well as the awards for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series (Anthony Anderson), Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (Tracee Ellis Ross), Oustanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy (Laurence Fishburne) and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Yara Shahidi).

Shonda Rhimes‘ “How to Get Away with Murder” won for Outstanding Drama Series, and its star, Viola Davis, won for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series.

In the music categories, Pharrell Williams won for Outstanding Male Artist while Beyoncé won for Outstanding Female Artist. Taraji P. Henson took home the Image Award for Oustanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in No Good Deed, and Belle won for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture.

For a full list, visit www.naacpimageawards.net.

article by Taylor Lewis via essence.com

Sam Pollard Directs New Doc on Life & Legacy of August Wilson – Coming to PBS in February

August Wilson - American Masters

Coming to PBS primetime next month, as part of its AMERICAN MASTERS series, is the documentary, “August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand,” airing on February 20 at 9pm ET.

Directed by Emmy and Peabody-winner Sam Pollard (long-time Spike Lee editor, as well as a director and producer in his own right), the documentary explores the life and legacy of Tony- and Pulitzer-winning playwright August Wilson – the man some call America’s Shakespeare — from his roots as a Pittsburgh activist and poet, to his indelible mark on Broadway.

Unprecedented access to Wilson’s theatrical archives, rarely seen interviews, and new dramatic readings, bring to life his seminal 10-play cycle chronicling each decade of the 20th century African American experience. The film features new interviews with Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks, Phylicia Rashad, his widow/costume designer Constanza Romero, and others, sharing stories of the late great African American playwright’s rich theatrical canon.

PBS is premiering the film in honor of the 70th anniversary of Wilson’s birth, as well as the 10th anniversary of his death, and for Black History Month.

The DVD will be available on February 24 from PBS Distribution.

“Having the opportunity to explore Wilson’s creative process and his tenacity in looking at the African American experience in the 20th century was one of the most exciting endeavors I have ever had in my film career,” said filmmaker Sam Pollard.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via indiewire.com

Anthony Anderson to Host the 46th NAACP Image Awards

022214-fashion-beauty-naacp-image-awards-red-carpet-3-anthony-anderson.jpg

The NAACP and TV One announced Anthony Anderson will return for the second time as host for the 46th NAACP Image Awards.  Winners will be announced during the two-hour star-studded event which will broadcast LIVE on TV ONE on Friday, February 6, 2015 at 9pm/8c as a two-hour special.  A one-hour pre-show will air live from the red carpet at 8pm/7c.

Anderson, one of today’s most versatile and talented actors, currently executive produces and stars alongside Laurence Fishburne and Tracee Ellis Ross on the hit ABC series black-ish, for which he is also nominated for an Image Award this year.

“It is an honor and privilege to be asked back to host the NAACP Image Awards – the nominees this year are stellar and a testament to the talented individuals in our community,” said Anderson.  “As a 9 time Image Award nominee I could not be more proud, and I look forward to holding the record for most nominations without a win!”

In addition, also returning are Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin as Executive Producers. The production team will also include Tony McCuin as Director, Byron Phillips as Producer and Robin Reinhart as the Talent Producer.  Actor and musician Lance Reddick will be the in-show announcer.

“Building on the momentum and success from last year, we are planning an extraordinary show and securing today’s leading talent to be part of the celebration,” stated Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin, Executive Producers.  “It is an honor for us to work with the NAACP and TV One to create a show that recognizes such a diverse group of talented people and we look forward to producing one of the premier awards show telecast in America.”

Last year, the 45th NAACP Image Awards included talent such as Kevin Hart, Lupita N’yongo, Oprah Winfrey, Vin Diesel and Tyler Perry and was the most-watched programming event in the history of the TV One network.

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

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

ABC Gives Full-Season Orders to ‘Black-ish’ and ‘How to Get Away with Murder’; CBS Renews “Extant”

Blackish, Murder, Extant

According to Variety.com, television projects featuring African-American leads have fared extremely well this season.  ABC has given full-season orders to the Anthony Anderson/Tracee Ellis Ross comedy “Black-ish” and the Viola Davis vehicle “How to Get Away with Murder,” two of the highest-rated new programs on all broadcast channels.  CBS, in turn, has picked up summer sci-fi drama “Extant” for a second season.  “Extant” stars Halle Berry and is produced by Steven Spielberg.

“Murder” is the fall’s highest-rated new series in adults 18-49, and the premiere also set DVR playback records, gaining about 6 million viewers within the first three days of its airing. It is created and executive produced by Pete Nowalk (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”). Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”), Betsy Beers (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) and Bill D’Elia (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “The West Wing”) also serve as executive producers.

“Black-ish” has come on strong as the fall’s top new comedy in 18-49 (2.9 rating) and total viewers (9.1 million) in same-day viewing estimates. This week, the show saw a 12% week-to-week increase in adults 18-49, retaining about 80% of its “Modern Family” lead-in. It was created by Kenya Barris and is executive produced by Anderson, Barris, Jonathan Groff, Larry WilmoreLaurence Fishburne, Helen Sugland and E. Brian Dobbins.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Tracee Ellis Ross/Anthony Anderson Sitcom “Black-ish” Gets Picked Up By ABC

Blackish
via Instagram

You may recall in February when we reported Tracee Ellis Ross had signed on for the cast of Anthony Anderson’s pilot for “Black-ish” on ABC. Well congratulations to the pair, since ABC recently announced they will be picking up the show for their 2014-15 TV roster.

As mentioned, the series will center around Anderson’s character, an “upper-middle-class Black man who struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions from his liberal wife, old-school father and his own assimilated, color-blind kids.”

Ross recently shared the news with her 300,000+ Instagram followers:

“Yup we’re #Blackish …this is a dream and yet it’s reality! @kenyab_in_imax3d #KenyaBarris #LaurenceFishburne @AnthonyAnderson #LarryWilmore and MEEEEE …thank you ABC.”

The actress will play alongside Anderson as his liberal wife and also expressed:
“This is how I feel right now…#goodthingshappening.”

Laurence Fishburne is an executive producer of the show and make some re-occurring appearances as the old-school dad.  Anderson recently appeared in NBC’s short-lived comedy “Guys With Kids”. He’s also been tapped to host the NBC game show “Wall of Fame”. Tracee Ellis-Ross is arguably best known for her role as the ambitious Joan Clayton on the CW network’s “Girlfriends”. This will be ABC’s sixth comedy pilot this season and it’s second African-American themed drama pilot so far. We’re looking forward to some honest laughs.

article via madamenoire.com

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
%d bloggers like this: