Tag: Paula Patton

Producer/Director Deon Taylor Launches Dark Circus Banner, Sets Snoop Dogg-Produced Series “The Thrill”

Deon Taylor (Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

by Mia Galuppo via hollywoodreporter.com

Producer/director Deon Taylor and his Hidden Empire Film Group have launched a new shingle, Dark Circus, that will produce film and television content aimed towards urban audiences, with a focus on the comedy and horror genres.

The first project set up under the banner is a Snoop Dogg-produced horror anthology series, The Thrill. It centers on a mysterious hotel, The Last Stop Inn, situated on a lonely stretch of foreboding highway, where the unlucky guests who check in each week struggle to understand the supernatural events that unfold during their stay.

The first feature release under the new label will be The House Next Door, the previously announced sequel to Meet the Blacks. Taylor directed the comedy that stars Mike Epps and Katt Williams.

“We have the resources and market expertise to deliver branded content with a unique voice — one that speaks to an urban audience,” said Taylor. “I won’t say that this market is underserved, as there are a great deal of films still finding their way to the marketplace. However, our intention is to raise the bar with Dark Circus and create an enduring brand. Partnering with Snoop on this first anthology series will have us coming out of the gates strong, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Taylor — who directed and produced the upcoming Paula Patton-starrer Traffik and is attached to direct the police drama .38 — runs Hidden Empire with partners Roxanne Avent and Robert F. Smith.

Source: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/deon-taylor-lauches-dark-circus-banner-sets-snoop-dogg-produced-anthology-series-1094982

Networks Casting More Actors of Color This Pilot Season

More Minority Actors Showing Up on

ABC knew going in to the casting process for its drama pilot “Runner” that it was looking for a Latino leading man, as specified in the script. But the female lead role had no racial or ethnic specificity.

Paula Patton, an African-American actress, landed the role of a woman whose life is ripped apart when she learns her husband, played by Adam Rodriguez, is wrapped up in a Mexican gun-running cartel.

“Runner” is but one example this pilot season of a surge of minority actors landing starring roles in prospective new series. Industry insiders say there’s an undeniable openness to African-American, Latino and Asian thesps on the heels of the success ABC and Fox have had with shows led by diverse casts.

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TV executives have talked for years about the need for the airwaves to reflect the growing cultural diversity of America. But the 2014-15 television season has marked a turning point in the embrace of diversity as a business strategy. Fox has fielded the biggest network TV hit in years with “Empire,” a soap with a largely African-American cast. ABC has scored with Viola Davis leading “How to Get Away With Murder” and the family comedies “Blackish” and “Fresh Off the Boat.”

Such hits prove that broadcast TV in particular can no longer afford to ignore the value of discrete racial and ethnic groups. The role of  “How to Get Away With Murder’s” Annalise Keating was not specifically envisioned for an African-American actress, but the casting of Davis undoubtedly helped generate sampling among black viewers — a demographic group that has boosted the overall turnout for the show.

ABC’s success this season “proves the point that audiences are hungry for shows that are well done but also reflect the world around us,” said Channing Dungey, executive VP of drama development, movies and miniseries for ABC. “It’s not about just diversity, it’s about authenticity. Audiences are really excited to see more of themselves on the screen.”

“Runner” is an example of how this pilot season, minority actors are much more in demand than they have been in the recent past. And with “Black-ish” and “Fresh Off the Boat” drawing crossover demographics, there’s a greater appetite for shows with ethnically specific settings.

“It’s been interesting to see how much more competitive it is with diverse actors and actresses now,” said Dungey, who added that she is proud ABC helped lead the way, not just with “Murder” but with the blossoming of Kerry Washington and “Scandal” into the first successful drama in decades led by an African-American actress.

“The thing I really hope is that this isn’t a passing phase,” Dungey said. “I’m hoping this is a trend that will continue.”

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com

Paula Patton Lands Lead Role In ABC Drama Pilot “Runner”

Paula Patton Medavoy Management
(KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/GETTY IMAGES)

Paula Patton will star in ABC’s drama pilot “Runner”.  Patton will play the lead, Lauren Marks, a woman whose perfect life is torn apart by one twist of fate. To uncover the truth, Lauren must follow a trail of lies that take her into the world of cartels and the illegal gun trade between the U.S. and Mexico.

Australian director Michael Offer (“How to Get Away With Murder,” “Longmire”) will direct the pilot from 20th Century Fox and ABC Studios. “Runner” was written by Michael Cooney, who will executive produce with Peter Horton, Ian Sander, Kim Moses and Jon Cowan, with Cowan as showrunner.

The project marks Patton’s first-ever TV series as a regular. She co-starred in “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” with Tom Cruise, “Deja Vu” with Denzel Washington and “Precious.” Patton will also star in “Warcraft,” alongside Travis Fimmel and Dominic Cooper, set to hit theaters in 2016.

article by Elizabeth Wagmeister via Variety.com

BET Scores Makeover Show With Celebrity Trainer Jeanette Jenkins

She’s trimmed, toned and tamed the abs of Hollywood’s elite. When the hottest names in entertainment need fitness fix, she’s the first personal trainer they dial. With a client roster that includes Kelly Rowland, Queen Latifah, Kimora Lee Simmons, Serena Williams, Paula Patton-Thicke, Chrisette Michele and many other A-list celebrities, celebrity fitness trainer Jeanette Jenkins has been around the block … and has the sweat to prove it.

Stepping down from a high-profile career and into the trenches of modern-day black American health, Jenkins has recently secured her own “makeover” show on the BET network. A move that’s a win-win for both “The Hollywood Trainer” and the television network who’s content has previously lacked in quality programming.

The show will feature Jenkins whipping everyday people into shape, helping them surpass their fitness hurdles and fears, and transform their lives from head to toe. “I’m going to have a few celebrity drop-ins every once in a while, but this show is really about the people. Showing them how they can change their lives with just what they have in their own homes and in their own environments,” Jenkins explained in an article on Uptown magazine.

Jenkins is currently soliciting participants for the show who are serious about making changes in their health and want to work towards getting the fit body they’ve always desired. As the founder and president of The Hollywood Trainer Weight-Loss Plan, which promises to teach people how to make healthy living a habit in 21 days, the Bikini Boot Camp and a DVD collection focused on blasting abs, in which she partnered with Kelly Rowland, there’s no doubt that Jenkins new makeover show will inspire people to get moving.

article by Sherrell Dorsey via frugivore.com