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.

Alicia Keys’ Powerful No-Makeup Movement Wins Over “The Today Show” Co-Host Tamron Hall

Alicia Keys and Tamron Hall wear no make-up on “The Today Show” (photo via today.com)

article by KC Orcutt via bet.com

Alicia Keys continues to speak her truth, sticking to her word that her days of feeling forced to wear make-up due to cultural pressures are long gone.

Most recently, the Grammy-award winning singer stopped by The Today Show and not too long after they all got to talking, co-host Tamron Hall was next to support the movement to rock a natural face by wiping off her make-up while on national television.

Keys has been experiencing backlash recently for her decision to attend this year’s VMAs without make-up, with her supporting husband Swizz Beatz taking to social media to defend his wife’s choices.

With her movement continuing to gain momentum, along with Hall, co-hosts Billy Bush and Al Roker also joined in on the fun, with all agreeing to wipe their faces clean while broadcasting across the U.S. Keys also gushed at Hall’s fresh face, complimenting the co-host exclaiming, “You’re so beautiful, look at you!”

During the on-air conversation, Keys reminded everyone that her choices have nothing to do with her hating make-up, nor does she have anything against those who choose to wear make-up. For Keys, she no longer wants to feel forced to wear make-up and it’s as simple as that.

In the essay she penned earlier this summer explaining her decision to walk away from her make-up brushes, the singer wrote, “I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”

To check out some footage of Keys’ recent appearance on The Today Show, click here.

OPINION: Simone Biles Takes Olympic Gold in Women’s All-Around Gymnastics Final; Still Deserves Better Major Media Coverage

Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist Simone Biles (photo via latimes.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

You’ve surely heard about it by now, and likely seen it too – U.S. gymnast phenomenon Simone Biles easily captured individual all-around gold at the Rio Olympics Thursday by out-performing the best of the world’s best and fulfilling what many felt was her long-awaited destiny.  Teammate Aly Raisman won the silver and Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina took the bronze, repeating her finish in London four years ago.  It was the second time the U.S. women went 1-2 in the all-around, having also done so in 2008.

But what I find to be challenging about the major media coverage of Biles beyond the footage of her feats (which I could watch all day every day) is how much it focuses primarily on three things: 1)her “humble beginnings” family story  2)how “girly” she is and 3) how she is preternaturally genetically gifted for the sport she so clearly dominates.  If you need to see examples of any or all of this, simply turn on NBC to catch whatever package is running on her as they show the gymnastics competitions (I’ve personally seen the footage of her at the nail salon three separate times), go to nbcolympics.com, read pretty much any major newspaper’s feature on her (many with some tagline about what a “giant” the 4′ 8″ teen is), or heck, just click through the internet.

In addition to hearing about her once-in-a-generation, God-given talent or her twitter crush on Zac Efron, can’t we please hear, see, read and learn more about how Biles’ team crafts her routines to capitalize on her strengths?  Or how exactly did she and/or her coaches come up with her signature move for the floor routine – the Biles?  (Okay, I just found that one – it’s on inc.com – a business site!).

If I Google and scour a bit, I do find what I want – coverage of Biles’ discipline, work ethic and what kind of discrimination, if any, she faces as a black gymnast in a predominately white sport – like this very strong piece published in deadspin.com. I do believe, however, this should be the standard of mainstream media coverage on a sports superstar of Biles’ caliber, particularly from the official network covering the Olympics she is currently crushing. (Yes, it’s cute to see her dance to “Uptown Funk” with Hoda and reveal her and her teammates’ Kellogg’s cereal box on “The Today Show”, but c’mon Peacock – there is so much more to this athlete!)

Hopefully this weekend during the broadcast of the individual skills events, NBC will step it up – way up – because Biles surely will, and she deserves nothing but the best as she gives us all her best.