Executive Producer and Star Gabrielle Union’s ‘Bad Boys’ Spinoff Series Scores Production Commitment at NBC

CREDIT: MEDIAPUNCH/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

by Joe Otterson via variety.com

A planned “Bad Boys” spinoff series starring Gabrielle Union has landed at NBC with a pilot production commitment. Union will star as Syd Burnett, her character from “Bad Boys 2,” who was last seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel. As an LAPD detective, she can now pursue all the pleasures Los Angeles has to offer and leave her past behind. But things will get complicated when her new partner, Nancy McKenna, learns that Syd’s unapologetic lifestyle may be masking a greater personal secret.

Union will also serve as an executive producer in addition to starring. The drama series will be written and executive produced by Brandon Sonnier and Brandon Margolis, who previously worked together on NBC’s “The Blacklist.” Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the “Bad Boys” films, will executive produce along with Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Jeff Gaspin, Jeff Morrone, Doug Belgrad.

Sony Pictures Television Studios will produce in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Primary Wave Entertainment, and 2.0 Entertainment. News of the development of this series comes as Union prepares to wrap up her role in BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” which wrapped up its fourth season in September. Union stars as successful broadcast journalist Mary Jane Paul. The network announced that the show will end its run in 2018 with a two-hour finale movie.

Source: ‘Bad Boys’ Spinoff Series Starring Gabrielle Union Scores Production Commitment at NBC – Variety

FEATURE: ‘Girls Trip’ Star Tiffany Haddish’s Remarkable Rise

Comedian and actor Tiffany Haddish (photo via theatlantic.com)

by Michael P. Jeffries via theatlantic.com

When comedian Tiffany Haddish was 9, her stepfather tampered with the brakes on her mother’s car, hoping to kill his partner and her four children. Rather than going out with her mom that day, Haddish asked to stay home and look after her younger siblings—sparing her from the horrific accident that left her mother mentally impaired. As the oldest child, Haddish did what she could to help for three years, from tying her mother’s shoes to paying bills, but eventually Haddish and her siblings were placed in foster care.

Haddish used the trauma and tragedy of her upbringing to ignite what is now a blazing comedy career. As a child, the Girls Trip star was teased for being a foster kid, but Haddish has also talked about maintaining a strong sense of self worth in her recent Showtime standup special, She Ready!: From the Hood to Hollywood. “The state of California paid so much money to make sure I don’t die ‘cause they knew I was gonna be special,” Haddish tells her audience. “They knew it. They was like, ‘This one right here, she gonna be a unicorn.’ And they was right. I’m the last black unicorn, bitch!”

Haddish’s ascent in recent years—debuting on NBC’s The Carmichael Show in 2015 and appearing in the 2016 action comedy Keanu and the summer hit Girls Trip—is a testament to her talent and resilience. But her story also offers insight into what it takes for a black woman in comedy to become successful today. Haddish’s rise points to where systemic roadblocks still lie for performers of color, particularly women, when they first enter the business—and how some barriers to entry may be falling as comedy enters a new golden age, with fewer gatekeepers and more platforms for artists to reach their fans.

Even though Girls Trip has a black director and writers, Haddish faced questions about her low profile. Her agent initially told her that studio executives were looking for someone with a bigger name to play her character, Dina. Haddish told her agent to tell them, “I’ve had a name since 1979. Okay? I was born with a name.” In the end, her rare comedic gifts won out, and reviews of Girls Trip regularly singled Haddish out for praise. Continue reading

UPDATE: Hurricane Harvey Telethon on Sept. 12 to Include Beyoncé, Oprah, Kelly Rowland, Michael Strahan and More

Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, and Oprah Winfrey (photo via oprah.com)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to Variety.com, the telethon announced last Thursday on Instagram by Jamie Foxx will now also include appearances by Beyoncé, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey, among others, that on Sept. 12 will raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief.

“Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief” will air live at 8 p.m. ET across ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and basic cable channel CMT. Country superstar George Strait will appear on the telecast in concert from the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, Texas. The telecast will originate from the Universal Studios lot, Times Square and Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.

Money raised from the event will be distributed to a range of charities aiding recovery efforts in Houston, which was devastated last week by the storm and widespread flooding left in Harvey’s wake. The organizations include the United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Feeding Texas and the Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief.

The death toll from Harvey has hit 63, according to CBS News. Tens of thousands of people in the southeast Texas region have been displaced from homes that were damaged or destroyed after days of torrential rain and winds.

Other celebrities set to appear in live or taped segments include Karlie Kloss, Rob Lowe, Matthew McConaughey, Dennis Quaid, Adam Sandler, Ryan Seacrest, and Blake Shelton.

“Hand in Hand” was the brainchild of music manager and producer Scooter Braun’s SB Projects. Braun and Allison Kaye will serve as executive producers along with Den of Thieves’ Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager and Houston-based rapper Bernard ‘Bun B’ Freeman.

Tamron Hall to Develop Daytime Talk Show With Weinstein Television

Tamron Hall (photo via twitter.com)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to Variety.com, former Today show co-anchor Tamron Hall is returning to return to daily television after leaving NBC News in February in the wake of the Peacock’s hiring of Megyn Kelly.

Weinstein Television is working to develop a daytime talk show featuring Hall, who will co-create the program with Weinstein and serve as host and executive producer of the series. Weinstein and Hall will also collaborate to develop other non-scripted programming under the terms of their deal.

The talk show is currently untitled, and is expected to focus on current events, human-interest stories and interviews with celebrities and newsmakers. The daily series is slated to be shot in front of a live studio audience.

“I’ve been working towards developing a talk show for a long time, but needed to make sure I did it the right way and with the right person to take the lead,” said Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, in a prepared statement. “Tamron is far and away that person. She’s an exceptionally talented journalist whose interviews masterfully walk the line between entertainment and hard hitting. We couldn’t be more thrilled to begin this new venture with her.”

Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson Joins ‘The Voice’ on NBC as a Coach for Season 13 

Jennifer Hudson (photo via variety.com)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to Variety.com, Academy Award-winner and former “American Idol” contestant Jennifer Hudson will join Season 13 of NBC’s “The Voice” as a coach.  She will be coaching along with Miley Cyrus (returning for a second stint) and regulars Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Hudson was the winning coach on the U.K. edition of “The Voice” earlier this year.

“Jennifer is an extraordinary vocal talent and one of the premier voices of our time. She embodies the experience, expertise, positivity and sheer talent that “The Voice” stands for,” said Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of NBC’s alternative and reality group. “Her exceptional skills as a singer and actress have extended to film, television and Broadway, which makes her an incredible addition and a natural fit for our show.”

Hudson was just on NBC in December with her show-stopping performance in the “Hairspray Live” musical, and just released a new single, “Remember Me,” Variety reported.

Tamron Hall Creates Fund to Support Domestic Violence Survivors in Honor of Late Sister

article by Ashley Monaé via madamenoire.com

It’s been nearly 12 years since Tamron Hall lost her sister Renate to an act of domestic violence. Found beaten and floating face down in a pool in Houston, Hall has since devoted her time to advocating for domestic violence victims and speaking out of the issue.

To honor Renate and take help others dealing with the same issue, the Today co-host decided to partner with non-profit Safe Horizon, launching “The Tamron ♥ Renate Fund” in October, which is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Aimed at providing support for victims, the fund educates their friends and family members so they can learn how to become a strong support system.

In addition to the fund offering educational courses and offering resources like shelter and legal expenses for victims, families can call Safe Horizon’s 24-hour hotline (1-800-621-HOPE (4673)) as another alternative to learning how they can help victims.

Blair Underwood’s Intrepid Inc. Produces Charitable Series “GIVE” for NBC

Blair Underwood (photo via 411mania.com)

Blair Underwood (photo via 411mania.com)

article via eurweb.com

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.

To read full article, go to: http://www.eurweb.com/2016/09/blair-underwood-produces-charitable-series-nbc-titled-give/

To read the full interview with Blair Underwood, see YAHOO.