Tag: “Scandal”

“Grey’s Anatomy” Creator Shonda Rhimes Offers “MasterClass” on Writing for Television

Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes (photo via black enterprise.com)

article by Carolyn M. Brown via blackenterprise.com

Shonda Rhimes is best known as the creator, head writer, and executive producer of three hit ABC television series—Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder—under her ShondaLand production company banner.

The queen of Thursday night and creative force behind some of television’s most popular shows will offer a writing for television course on the MasterClass online platform. For the first time, Rhimes will give students an intimate, instructional look into how to write a script, pitch a pilot, and run a writer’s room. The class will include over five hours of lessons, along with exclusive access to the Grey’s Anatomy story bible, scripts of Scandal, and much more.  Pre-enrollment is now available at the MasterClass website.  You can also view the MasterClass’ official trailer.

Rhimes on Being an “F.O.D.”

Rhimes made history as the first African American woman to create and executively produce a top-10 network series, with the hit primetime show Grey’s Anatomy. The TV powerhouse also is one of ABC’s top-earning executive producers.

In the past, Rimes has mentioned that she has had to work four times as hard as her peers, while also addressing the pressure of being an African American, female, showrunner—or what she calls an “F.O.D.”: First Only Different. In her book, The Year of Yes, Rhimes writes, “When you are an F.O.D., you are saddled with that burden of extra responsibility, whether you want it or not.” She felt the pressure when she dodged reporters’ questions about diversity or race. “You can’t be raised black in America and not know,” she writes. “This wasn’t just my shot. It was ours.”

To read more, go to: Shonda Rhimes Joins MasterClass to Teach Writing for Television

Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street Productions Developing Female LAPD Drama ‘Patrol’ at ABC

Kerry Washington (BROADIMAGE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Elizabeth Wagmeister via variety.com

ABC is developing a new drama with one of the networks most trusted stars, Kerry Washington. The “Scandal” star is on board to executive produce “Patrol,” a workplace drama about four female LAPD officers who attended the police academy together five years ago and are forced to reconnect after a high-stakes, traumatic secret returns to haunt them.

The project marks the first to fall under Washington’s new overall deal with ABC, which she inked this April to develop new projects for ABC Studios — the studio behind “Patrol.”

Washington is producing the potential series by way of her recently-launched production shingle Simpson Street. The actress has been expanding her behind-the-camera work lately. Simpson Street came fresh out of the gate with HBO’s “Confirmation,” in which Washington starred as Anita Hill, marking the company’s first project.

Chitra Elizabeth Sampath, who served as a writer/producer on the first season of ABC’s “Secrets and Lies,” wrote the “Patrol” script and will serve as a co-executive producer. Along with Washington, executive producers are Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams, plus Washington’s Simpson Street producing partner Sharla Sumpter Bridgett.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/patrol-kerry-washington-series-abc-1201848288/

ABC Renews ‘The Catch’ and Orders New Shondaland Series “Still Star-Crossed”

Still Star-Crossed
“Still Star-Crossed” (PHOTO COURTESY OF ABC)

article by Elizabeth Wagmeister via Variety.com

ABC is staying in business with Shonda Rhimes.  The mega-producer has landed yet another series at the network, with “Still Star-Crossed” being handed a series order for the 2016-2017 season.  Plus, Shondaland’s newest show, “The Catch,” has been renewed for Season 2.

“Still Star-Crossed” is a departure for Shondaland, as it marks the first period drama from a company that’s known for “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away with Murder.”

Based on Melinda Taub’s book of the same name, “Still Star-Crossed” picks up where the famous story of Romeo and Juliet ends, charting the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.

The cast includes Wade Briggs as Benvolio Montague, Anthony Head as Lord Silvestro Capulet, Zuleikha Robinson as Lady Guiliana Capulet, Lashana Lynch as Rosaline, Ebonee Noel as Livia, Sterling Sulieman as Prince Escalus, Medalion Rahimi as Princess Isabella, Grant Bowler as Damiano Montague, Susan Wooldrigde as Nurse, Torrance Coombs as Paris and Dan Hildebrand as Friar Lawrence.

“Scandal” and “Grey’s” alum Heather Mitchell is writer and executive producer. Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Michael Goldstein and pilot director Michael Offer are also executive producing the ABC Studios project.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/the-catch-renewed-season-2-abc-shondaland-1201773247/

Kerry Washington Signs Overall Production Deal with ABC Studios

Kerry Washington (photo via atlantablackstar.com)
Kerry Washington (photo via atlantablackstar.com)

article by Elizabeth Wagmeister via Variety.com

ABC is building on their relationship with one of their biggest stars, as “Scandal’s” Kerry Washington has signed an overall deal with ABC Studios and ABC Signature Studios. 

Under the new pact, Washington will be expanding her behind-the-camera work, developing broadcast, cable and digital projects exclusively for ABC Studios and ABC Signature, which specializes in cable and digital content.

Washington has entered into the deal by way of her recently launched production company Simpson Street. The shingle debuted its first project earlier this month with HBO’s film “Confirmation” in which Washington starred as Anita Hill. ABC Signature was also behind the TV movie, which received positive reviews.

As part of the deal, first reported by Deadline, Sharla Sumpton Bridgett (“Coach Carter”) has been brought on as a development executive and producing partner at Simpson Street.

Continue reading “Kerry Washington Signs Overall Production Deal with ABC Studios”

ABC Renews ‘Scandal,’ ‘How to Get Away With Murder’, ‘Black-ish’ and More for 2016/2017 Season

Scandal
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in “Scandal” (photo via blogs.indiewire.com)

article by Tambay A. Obenson via Shadow And Act

New ABC president Channing Dungey, who replaces exiting Paul Lee (making her the first African American to not only head ABC, but a major TV network) is already making her presence felt a mere 2 weeks into the job, announcing today the early renewals of a handful of ABC series.

Of note, “Scandal” will return for a 6th season (recall the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, said that she knows exactly how and when it will end, adding that it would be a 6 or 7 season series, at most. So can we assume that “Scandal” is near its end, now that it’s been renewed for a 6th season?); Also “How to Get Away With Murder” has been renewed for a 3rd season; and “Black-ish” will get a 3rd season.

Also renewed are: “Agents of SHIELD,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “Modern Family,” “Quantico,” “The Goldbergs,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Shark Tank,” and “The Bachelor.”

No announcement on the fate of John Ridley‘s critically-acclaimed anthology series “American Crime,” unfortunately. Although it’s still early, so I wouldn’t count it out yet.

Ridley is working on another series for the network. In December, ABC gave an early pilot order to a new crime drama from Ridley titled “Presence,” with the 2016/2017 season eyed for a premiere – assuming it goes to series eventually.

To read more, go to: http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/abc-renews-scandal-how-to-get-away-with-murder-black-ish-and-more-for-2016-2017-season-20160303

Joe Morton Promoted to Series Regular on “Scandal”

article by EURweb via blackamericaweb.com

Papa Pope is boosting his presence on “Scandal.”

The Shonda Rhimes drama has promoted Joe Morton from recurring to series regular, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Morton stars as Rowan (aka Eli Pope), the former head of black-ops group B613. He was revealed in the season two finale as Olivia Pope’s (Kerry Washington) father. The Broadway alum and former Tony nominee has had a recurring guest role since season two and won an Emmy in 2014 for the role.

The series briefly lost Morton last year after he booked a series regular role in TNT drama Proof and had a guest spot on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. He returned to Scandal after Proof was canceled following its freshman run.

Morton becomes Scandal’s newest series regular and joins Portia de Rossi (Elizabeth North) who was promoted at the end of season four; and Cornelius Smith Jr., who guest starred last season as Marcus Walker and was brought in to be the show’s newest gladiator at Pope & Associates.

Morton recently won an NAACP Image Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role on “Scandal.”

Channing Dungey Makes TV History, Becomes 1st African-American Network President

Channing Dungey
New ABC President Channing Dungey (photo via eurweb.com)

article via eurweb.com

Television history and black history has crossed paths today.

Channing Dungey, executive VP of drama at ABC, was today named entertainment president of ABC, replacing Paul Lee, who was removed after a reported power struggle with Disney/ABC Television President Ben Sherwood, according to reports.

Dungey is now the first African-American woman to lead a major broadcast network. The ABC veteran, known by industry insiders as the Shonda Rhimes’ whisperer, will now report directly to Sherwood.

“Channing is a gifted leader and a proven magnet for top creative talent, with an impressive record of developing compelling, breakthrough programming that resonates with viewers,” said Sherwood. “We thank Paul for his many accomplishments at ABC and his devotion to the ABC brand, and we wish him continued success in the future.”

Dungey, a UCLA grad who’s been with the network since 2009 (and Disney since 2004), is credited with developing many of ABC’s successful dramas, including “Scandal,” “Quantico,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” and “American Crime,” according to Variety.

Said Dungey, “I’m thrilled and humbled that Ben has entrusted me with this tremendous opportunity. And I am truly grateful to Paul for being a valued mentor and friend. I’ve had the great honor of working alongside the talented team at ABC for many years and look forward to starting this exciting new chapter with them.”

Dungey began her career as a development assistant at 20th Century Fox-based Davis Entertainment, and did stints at other companies including Steamroller Productions and Warner Bros.

Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2016/02/apollonia-calls-vanitys-death-the-end-of-an-era-for-me/#Ff0TQ4cW3ec6B2x4.99

Kerry Washington Named Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Woman Of The Year

Kerry Washington (photo via atlantablackstar.com)
Kerry Washington (photo via atlantablackstar.com)

Actress Kerry Washington has been named Woman of the Year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation’s oldest collegiate theatrical organization.

The Scandal star was chosen because she is a “talented and socially engaged film, TV and stage actress who keeps breaking barriers in Hollywood.”

Washington, the first black woman to headline a network TV drama since 1974, has earned Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG Best Actress nominations as well as an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress.

She will be given her pudding pot following a parade through Harvard Square and roast scheduled for Jan. 28.

Previous winners include Sarah Jessica Parker, Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor. Comedian Amy Poehler won last year.

article via blackamericaweb.com

Shonda Rhimes to Receive Norman Lear Award From Producers Guild of America

Shonda Rhimes (Photo Courtesy of PMK)

Prolific producer Shonda Rhimes will receive the 2016 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television at the 27th annual Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 23.

Rhimes is the executive producer of ABC hits including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and Private Practice. She previously received the Norman Felton Award for outstanding producer of episodic television drama from the Producers Guild for her work on Grey’s Anatomy.

“Shonda Rhimes is one of the most passionate and insightful storytellers in entertainment today. Her pioneering work on Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How o Get Away With Murder has redefined the role of women in media and spurred the debate about diversity in television,” said co-chairs Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd in a statement. “Like the intelligent, strong, and fearless characters she creates, Shonda is a true force to be reckoned with and we are privileged to honor her with this year’s Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television.”

Added Rhimes: “To be the recipient of an award bestowed upon me by my peers in the PGA is truly an honor. The fact that the award is named after a legendary producer whose work has had such an inspiring effect on my growth as a writer is genuinely gratifying. I couldn’t be more grateful for this special recognition.”

Last year the same award went to Rhimes’ fellow Grey’s Anatomy executive producer Mark Gordon. Previous recipients include Chuck Lorre, J.J. Abrams, Don Mischer, Dick Wolf, Jerry Bruckheimer, John Wells, Lorne Michaels, David L. Wolper, Don Hewitt, Garry K. Marshall, Aaron Spelling, Steven Bochco, David E. Kelley, Mark Burnett and Norman Lear himself.

Rhimes’ big-screen credits include Crossroads and The Princess Diaries 2. Her first book, Year of Yes, comes out Nov. 10.

article by Kate Stanhope via hollywoodreporter.com

FEATURE: Debbie Allen Discusses Directing TV & Her Many Roles in “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12

Director/Producer/Actor Debbie Allen (TERENCE PATRICK FOR VARIETY)

Debbie Allen rose to fame with “Fame,” serving as a director, producer and choreographer. She was also the first black woman to be Emmy-nominated in the dramatic lead actress category. More than three decades later, she has a recurring role on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and is a frequent director — and now executive producer of the show. “It’s a little crazy, but what a great life,” Allen tells Variety. “I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof that somehow landed on all fours.”

What are your new responsibilities on “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12, being a director, actor and executive producer?

I’m very involved in every episode, in terms of production design. I’m selecting the directors this season, looking over everything from makeup and hair to the actors’ concerns. I spend a lot of time with the writers, which I love.

How do you balance acting in an episode that you’re also directing and producing?

It’s actually how I started on “Fame.” I trained in acting, literature and theater, so talking to actors is something I’m really used to doing. That gives me a little bit of an edge sometimes. I know how to speak the actor’s language. On “Fame,” I started as Ms. Lydia Grant and I was the choreographer, but I soon became their favorite director because I knew how to shoot the dance and then I understood the acting. Doing it all at the same time is how I came into it.

Have you noticed a big change in your role on “Grey’s,” now that you’re an executive producer?

Very dramatic change. I’ve always been there as a director and somewhat of a den mom — it’s interesting; so many of them grew up on “Fame,” and I’ll never forget the first time I directed, Patrick Dempsey started singing “Fame” and doing jetes, and I’m like, “Stop it already. Stop it!” — so now, there are things that are my responsibility or things that I keep my eye on or things that I can mitigate. I’m responsible for a lot of things, which is a wonderful position to have. I’ve done this once before on “A Different World.” I was the executive producer and director on that show for five years. But this is different. It’s an hour, it’s in its twelfth season, but it feels like it’s brand new.

Speaking of Patrick Dempsey, how is the set different without him?

We had a great relationship. My nickname for him was “Dash” — Dash was the kid in “The Incredibles” that was running fast. He would come through the set like that. He was on the move. Racing cars defines him for real. Patrick is not there so it changes the dynamic of the story for Meredith.

How much will you be featured in this season?

Catherine Avery is still a guest star. She’s not a series regular, but I’m there so when they need me now — last year, they had to go and try to find me — they can take advantage of me, and it’s okay! I’m not mad about it.

Continue reading “FEATURE: Debbie Allen Discusses Directing TV & Her Many Roles in “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12″

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