Larry Wilmore and Bassem Youssef to Develop Middle Eastern Superhero Comedy at ABC

Bassem Youssef and Larry Wilmore (photos via variety.com)

by Joe Otterson via variety.com

ABC is developing a comedy about a Middle Eastern family with superpowers from Larry Wilmore and Bassem Youssef. The untitled series centers on the Sharif family, an ordinary Middle Eastern American family with two superhero parents at a time when it’s illegal to be a superhero, so they are forced to save the world in secret. The show will highlight some of the issues that immigrant families face when it comes to fitting into a society that at many times treats you like the enemy.

Wilmore and Youssef will serve as writers and executive producers on the single camera series. ABC Studios will produce. “To have ABC challenge the narrative and stereotypes that have long stuck to people in my region is something spectacular to say the least,” said Youssef. “To have only terrorist roles available for us one day, then get to play superheroes the next, is ground breaking. I am grateful to work with, Larry Wilmore, one of the most talented writers and producers in the market. SCH is unprecedented, culture-defining, and entertaining for the whole family.”

The sale of the project marks Wilmore’s first solo project under his overall deal with ABC Studios. He also serves as an executive producer on “Insecure” and “Black-ish.” Youssef is a writer and comedian who has made numerous appearances on “The Daily Show” as a commentator and also appeared on Wilmore’s former Comedy Central series, “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore.” 

“I’m beyond thrilled to have the chance to put a family like this on television,” Wilmore said. “Plus, I’ve always wanted to do a show about superheroes and to work with a real life superhero in Bassem is a double bonus.”

Source: ABC Developing Middle Eastern Superhero Comedy From Bassem Youssef, Larry Wilmore – Variety

Rapper Big Sean Makes Hefty Donation to Aid With Ongoing Flint Water Crisis

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Big Sean (image via seanandersonfoundation.org)

article by KC Orcutt via bet.com

Big Sean is wasting no time this new year, and is currently busy readying his forthcoming album, I Decided.

On top of promoting the project, the G.O.O.D. Music recording artist also made time for something else that is important to him: showing love to where he came from and giving back how he can. The Michigan native recently stopped by The Daily Show to discuss why he chose to donate money to the Flint water crisis.

During the interview, Big Sean revealed that through his foundation, he has been able to raise roughly $100,000 to help assist the people of Flint, Michigan.

“I just know it’s not even close to being over,” the rapper shares with host Trevor Noah. “In that situation, I feel like, it’s not a natural disaster. It’s something that should’ve been prevented and could’ve been prevented, so it’s just disgusting to think about the damages that these families and even kids have to go through with the lead poisoning.”

On top of the Flint water crisis being an ongoing problem since roughly April 2014, when reports first shed light on the catastrophic reality that the drinking water had been contaminated by lead, the rapper also revealed just how close to home the issue hits, explaining that his own mother had been personally affected. “It was very hard for her to deal with, but she was able, through holistic care and homeopathic remedies, was able to reverse a lot of the effects of lead poisoning,” Big Sean says.

On top of donating financially, the rapper also is giving back to the community, by way of featuring the Flint Chosen Choir in his music, incorporating the local choir on his single “Bigger Than Me.”

To read full article, go to: http://www.bet.com/music/2017/01/25/big-sean-makes-a-hefty-donation-to-the-flint-water-crisis.html

Trevor Noah to Interview President Barack Obama on “Daily Show” Dec. 12

Trevor Noah (l); President Barack Obama (r) [photo via vibe.com]

article by J’na Jefferson via vibe.com

“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah will sit-down with President Barack Obama, and their “in-depth” discussion will air on Monday, Dec. 12 on multiple channels such as Comedy Central, MTV and BET.

The interview, which will take place in the White House, will not be the President’s first time on the Comedy Central show. He was interviewed by former host Jon Stewart on the program seven times. He’s also no stranger to the late-night circuit, as he’s appeared on “The Tonight Show” with both Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon, “The Colbert Report,” “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Noah has interviewed former President Bill Clinton and the former chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, John Podesta. This will be the first time Noah has interviewed President Obama.

To read more, go to: Trevor Noah To Interview President Barack Obama

Prince Announces He’ll Be Writing Memoir, “The Beautiful Ones”, for Random House

Prince performs in Los Angeles, in March, 2014. On Friday night, at a club in Manhattan, Prince announced a book that will begin with his first memory and go “all the way to the Super Bowl” of 2007.

Prince performs in Los Angeles, in March, 2014. On Friday night, at a club in Manhattan, Prince announced a book that will begin with his first memory and go “all the way to the Super Bowl” of 2007. (CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN MAZUR / WIREIMAGE / NPG RECORDS / GETTY)

article by Sarah Larson via newyorker.com

Dearly beloved, Prince is writing a memoir. Last night, at Avenue, the club on Tenth Avenue, in the Meatpacking District, he announced the news to a group of admirers who’d been alerted that afternoon. Before he arrived, editors, journalists, and friends of Prince danced to Q-Tip and Diana Ross under orange lights and a mirrored disco ball, and waitresses in stretchy, zippered minidresses carried trays of champagne flutes. Gayle King showed up, then Trevor Noah, of “The Daily Show.” Noah told me that his favorite Prince song was “Purple Rain.” In his youth in South Africa, he said, he’d discovered Prince after becoming a fan of Michael Jackson. “Prince is our generation’s classical music,” he said.

“Billie Jean” began playing. People screamed. Prince appeared on a glass-lined balcony, descending a staircase and standing a few feet above us like a pastor or a king. He had a roundish cloud of hair and wore a gleaming gold-and-purple striped pajama suit. “The good people of Random House have made me an offer I can’t refuse!” he said. He was writing a book, he told us. “It’s going to be called ‘The Beautiful Ones.’ ” We cheered. “I literally just got off the plane. I’m going to go home and change and put some dancing clothes on. Props to my brother Harry Belafonte.” People looked around. Prince put large, insectile sunglasses on. “Now I can see,” he said.

Spiegel & Grau, the Random House imprint, is scheduled to publish “The Beautiful Ones” in fall 2017. “You all still read books, right?” Prince asked. “My brother Dan”—Dan Piepenbring of the Paris Review—“is helping with it. He’s a good critic. That’s what I need. Not a yes man.” Prince said that the book would begin with his first memory and go “all the way to the Super Bowl.” He played the Super Bowl in 2007, in a torrential storm, singing “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Baby I’m a Star,” and “Purple Rain” on an enormous illuminated Love Symbol, accompanied by dancers, fireworks, a glowing marching band, and a stadium full of backup singers. Like everything Prince does, it felt strangely mythic.

To read more, go to: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/prince-announces-his-memoir-funkily?mbid=rss

Kevin Hart Set As First Guest On ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’

Kevin Hart: What Now Movie

Comedian Kevin Hart (GUSTAVO CABALLERO/GETTY IMAGES)

“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” has set comedian Kevin Hart as the guest for its Sept. 28 premiere.

Comedy Central’s flagship series returns next week with South African comedian Noah succeeding Jon Stewart behind the anchor desk. Other guests lined up for premiere week include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, musician Ryan Adams and Whitney Wolfe, founder and CEO of Bumble.

Noah’s debut will add even more heat to the late-night landscape, which has become decidedly more competitive in the past few weeks with Stephen Colbert’s launch on CBS.

Trevor Noah, Steve Bodow, Jen Flanz, Tim Greenberg, Jill Katz and Adam Lowitt are executive producers of “Daily Show.” Chuck O’Neil, who just earned an Emmy for his work on Stewart’s final season, returns as director.

article by Cynthia Littleton via variety.com

Larry Wilmore’s ‘The Nightly Show’ Renewed for 2nd Season by Comedy Central

The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore

“Nightly Show” host Larry Wilmore (photo via Variety.com)

Comedy Central has picked up freshman late-night entry “The Nightly Show” for another season, ensuring host Larry Wilmore and crew will be in position through the end of 2016.

The Viacom-owned network confirmed details published previously by CNNMoney.com. Wilmore is said to have discussed details of the pickup during a taping of his program on Monday evening.  The move keeps Wilmore, who has stood apart from the wee-hours pack by delving into edgy humor about race, gender and culture, on Comedy Central through the 2016 election for U.S. President.

Wilmore and his team, which includes executive producer Rory Albanese, head writer Robin Thede, and contributor Mike Yard, have taken an experimental approach to late-night comedy, showing a willingness to rip up the show’s playbook and try new things. The program provides a sometimes gritty alternative to the broadcast-network options around midnight by having the host explore everything from the sex scandal surrounding Bill Cosby to gang activity in Baltimore.

“Nightly Show” will get a new lead-in on Monday, September 28, when Trevor Noah takes over as host of “The Daily Show,” which has been on hiatus since Jon Stewart stepped down in August. Comedy Central’s third late-night offering, “@midnight,” has been airing in the 11 p.m. slot normally accorded “The Daily Show”  and will do so for a period of a few weeks.

article by Brian Steinberg via Variety.com

It’s Official: Trevor Noah Will Succeed Jon Stewart as Host of Comedy Central’s “Daily Show”

Daily Show Trevor Noah

(IMAGE COURTESY OF COMEDY CENTRAL)

Trevor Noah, a South African comedian with a low profile in the United States, will inherit one of the most-watched pulpits in latenight TV: Jon Stewart’s desk on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show.”

The Viacom-owned outlet said the comic’s debut as host would be announced at a later date.

In choosing Noah, a 31-year-old of mixed-race parentage, Comedy Central is banking that following a tried-and-true formula will keep the program that is arguably the linchpin of its schedule top of mind among its core audience of young male viewers. Twice now, executives at the network have identified an up-and-coming talent, and we’re rewarded on both occasions with a higher profile for the show. Noah will be only the third host of the program, following an early stint by Craig Kilborn and Stewart’s well-chronicled reign.

Noah has “such a unique and powerful voice,” said Michele Ganeless, Comedy Central’s president, in an interview Monday morning. Executives feel he is “a gifted comedian and storyteller,” she added. “He was not a new face to us, but he will be to a lot of people.” Stewart himself was involved as an “adviser” in the selection process, she said.

Noah has the kind of experience that would seem to be de rigueur for a host of “The Daily Show,” which, under Stewart has not only made fun of headlines of the day, but also of the news outlets that deliver them. Noah has hosted numerous television shows, including his own latenight talk show in his native country, “Tonight With Trevor Noah.” And he is no stranger to analyzing controversial topics. Born in South African to a black South African mother and a white Swiss father, he once told an audience, “I was born a crime,” according to a 2013 report in the Wall Street Journal.

With that sort of willingness to discuss sensitive topics head-on, Noah would appear to fit the bill being written under Kent Alterman, the network’s president of original programming. In the recent past, Comedy Central has sought people able to articulate a unique world view. The network has found success with programs featuring comedienne Amy Schumer as well as Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, a duo who star in the program “Broad City.”

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