Emmy-winning American Crime actor Regina King has signed a two-year deal with the studio behind the acclaimed John Ridley limited series, ABC Studios, for her production company Royal Ties. King’s sister, Reina King, will serve as development executive as the two develop and produce new projects.
King won two back-to-back best supporting actress in a limited series Emmy awards for the first two seasons of ABC’s American Crime. She is back for the franchise’s upcoming third installment, slated to air in midseason. Additionally, she recently signed on to star the upcoming Netflix crime drama series Seven Seconds, from The Killing creator Veena Sud and Fox 21 TV Studios.
In addition to acting, King has been producing as well as directing episodic television. She recently helmed episodes of ABC’s Scandal and The Catch, TNT’s Animal Kingdom, OWN’s Greenleaf and Fox’s Pitch.
ABC has renewed “American Crime” for a third season.The anthology drama from creator and executive producer John Ridley ended its second season March 9. The series’ first season was nominated for 10 Primetime Emmy awards last year and won one, with actress Regina King taking home the award for best supporting actress in a supporting role in a series, limited series or motion picture made for television.
Season three, like its two predecessors will focus on a new crime in a new setting.
“AmericanCrime” averaged a 1.6 rating in adults 18-49 and a little over 6 million viewers in Nielsen’s “live plus-7” estimates. While it was down from season one when it aired on Thursdays following “Scandal,” it was fairly competitive in its Wednesday timeslot.
Ridley, an Academy Award winner for best screenplay for the feature film “12 Years a Slave,” will again serve as executive producer with Michael J. McDonald. The series is produced by ABC Studios.
Showtime has ordered “Guerrilla,” a limited series from “American Crime” creator John Ridley, starring Idris Elba. The six-episode drama will be broadcast in the U.S. on Showtime and in the U.K. on Sky Atlantic.
Ridley will write the bulk of the episodes and direct the first two. A love story set in one of the most explosive political times in U.K. history, the miniseries tells the story of a 1970s London couple who liberates a political prisoner and forms a radical underground cell. The group targets the Black Power Desk, a true-life counter-intelligence unit within Special Branch dedicated to crushing all forms of black activism. Though set against a backdrop of social upheaval and activism, the story focuses on the relationship between the two characters at its center.
“Guerrilla” will be co-produced by Fifty Fathoms and ABC Signature, and will begin production in London late this summer.
“We’re excited to partner with our friends at Sky to bring a fascinating and unexplored story spearheaded by John and Idris, two major creative talents at the top of their game,” said Showtime president and CEO David Nevins. “Guerilla will surely keep our audience at their edge of their seats.”
Elba will serve as executive producer through his Green Door Pictures with Ridley. Patrick Spence and Katie Swinden of Fifty Fathoms, Tracy Underwood of ABC Signature and Michael McDonald of Stearns Castle will also exec produce.
Ridley extended his overall deal with ABC Studios in January for three years. His “American Crime,” which ended its second season last month on ABC, received 10 Primetime Emmy Award nominations last year for season one, with star Regina King winning for outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie. In 2014, Ridley won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for “12 Years a Slave.”
“I am both humbled by and impressed with Idris’s passion toward bringing this story to life,” said Ridley. “I share his commitment for populating the culture with driven and complicated people of color, and believe we have great partners on the producorial level, and with our broadcasters Sky Atlantic and Showtime.”
Elba is a four-time Emmy nominee whose TV credits include “The Wire” and “Luther.” He was nominated for a Golden Globe award for his work in last year’s Netflix feature film “Beasts of No Nation.” His upcoming films include “Star trek: Beyond” and “The Dark Tower.”
“It’s been a long time desire of mine to collaborate with Mr. Ridley and his work here is nothing short of a masterclass in character building and story-telling,” Elba said. “TV is in for a treat.”
LOS ANGELES — Regina King’s house has a cozy seat at the foot of a hill in a section of the Los Feliz neighborhood here. The house isn’t far from the street but fosters an aura of secluded serenity anyway: A grapefruit tree guards the property. Off the rear patio is a small room with a vintage Pac-Man console and a signed LP of Prince’s “Controversy” on the wall.
On a sunny January morning, Ms. King sat in the kitchen calmly as the finishing touches were being done on her hair and makeup. She was hours from a trip to the Critics’ Choice Awards. Getting dressed would happen later. In the meantime, she wore a black one-piece unitard that unzipped in the front.
It’s easy to imagine this scene playing out regularly in her kitchen. After 30 years in the business, starting as a teenage actor on the NBC sitcom “227” and continuing with a series of notable but supporting film roles, Ms. King has made her mix of hard candor and intense warmth an asset for dramatic television. In 2015, five years after she published a short but action-packed plaint in The Huffington Post criticizing the lack of inclusion at the 2010 Emmys, she won her first Emmy for her work as Aliyah Shadeed, the Muslim-American sister of a murder suspect on John’s Ridley’s ABC anthology series, “American Crime.” Continue reading →
Viola Davis made history Sunday night as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for outstanding actress in a drama series, bringing a sisterhood of Black actresses to their feet at the announcement of her accomplishment.
But Davis’ win was the second history-making moment of her night — as Vanity Fair points out, the nomination of lead actress, alongside Taraji P. Henson’s nomination, was the first time multiple women of color have been considered for the award at the same time.
The significance of the moment was not lost on Henson, who stood to embrace Davis as she made her way to the stage. In a powerful speech that amplified the voices of Black women who have called for more representation in TV, media and film, Davis noted that roles for Black women are scarce in a whitewashed Hollywood.
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there,” she said.
A quote from Harriet Tubman, which she recited at the top of her acceptance speech, served as a succinct but profound outline of what many Black actresses are facing in the world of film, even in 2015.
“In my mind I see a line and over that line I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.”
You can watch her speech here:
But Davis’ win was not the first exceptional moment for Black women at the 2015 Emmy Awards. Orange Is The New Black star Uzo Aduba also made her own history when she accepted the Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama Series, making her the first actress to win both a drama and a comedy award for the same role.
Hollywood veteran and favorite Regina King also took home an award for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie for “American Crime.” It was King’s first nomination and win.
For a full list of winners, click below:
2015 Emmy Awards: A List Of The Night’s Big Winners
Jimi: All Is By My Side star André Benjamin has been cast opposite Regina King on the second season of John Ridley’s ABC drama series American Crime. Benjamin will play architect Michael Lacroix. He and his wife, Terri, are prominent members of the community in which they reside. A true power couple, they have both the financial means, as well as the acumen needed to fiercely defend their son when he becomes entangled in a scandal at an elite private school.
In addition to King, Benjamin joins returning stars Lili Taylor, Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Elvis Nolasco and Richard Cabral — all of whom will be playing new characters in a new setting. Season 2 is filming in Austin. Ridley executive produces American Crime with Michael J. McDonald for ABC Studios.
“Personally, I couldn’t be more excited than to work again with André,” said Ridley in a statement. “He is an amazing individual, a true artist, and All is by My Side is one of the reasons I was given the reins on American Crime. Folks at ABC were absolutely moved by André’s performance in the film, and by the overall language of cinema we used in telling the story. It’s fair to say American Crime might not exist were it not for our previous collaboration.”
2015 Primetime Emmy Nominees Viola Davis, John Ridley (top), Keegan-Michael Key and Taraji P. Henson (bottom)
The 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced today, and it’s clear that diverse casting in television is finally impacting more than ratings. Eighteen African-American actors and actresses were acknowledged by the Television Academy for their work on the small screen this past season, including best actress in a drama nominees Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) and Viola Davis (“How To Get Away With Murder”), Queen Latifah for the HBO movie “Bessie”, Angela Bassett for limited series “American Horror Story” and Cicely Tyson for her guest turn on “How To Get Away With Murder.”
Other acting nominees include David Oyelowo for the limited series “Nightingale”, Anthony Anderson and Don Cheadle for their respective comedy leads in “Black-ish” and “House of Lies”, Uzo Aduba for “Orange Is The New Black”, Khandi Alexander for her guest role on “Scandal”, Andre Braugher for his supporting role in the comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, Keegan-Michael Key for his comedy sketch show “Key & Peele” Niecy Nash for her supporting role in “Getting On”, Tituss Burgess for his supporting comedic role in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” , Michael Kenneth Williams for his supporting dramatic role in “Bessie”, Regina King for “American Crime”, Mo’Nique for her portrayal of Ma Rainey in “Bessie”, Tituss Burgess and Reg E. Cathey for his guest role on “House Of Cards.”
Additionally, Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley (“12 Years A Slave”) scored big with 10 nominations for his critically-acclaimed ABC series “American Crime”, including Best Limited Series and Writing for a Limited Series. Additionally, writer/director Dee Rees (“Pariah”) is nominated for writing as well as directing for “Bessie.”
More writing nods went to Key and Jordan Peele for “Key & Peele” and the “Key & Peele Super Bowl Special”. Key & Peele were also acknowledged in the Short-Form Live Action category for “Key & Peele Presents Van And Mike: The Ascension”. Beyoncé continues to dominate all media with a nod in the Special Class Program category for “Beyoncé and Jay Z On The Run.”
Astrophysicist-turned-television personality and host Neil deGrasse Tyson was rewarded for his ventures into the entertainment space with two nominations: one as narrator for “Hubble’s Cosmic Journey” and the other for his nascent talk show “Star Talk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson.”
The 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on September 20, hosted by Andy Samberg and broadcast live on Fox from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
To see a full list of all the nominees, click here.