Tag: Tracy Morgan

Jordan Peele to Produce Sci-Fi Anthology Series ‘Weird City’ at YouTube Premium

by Joe Otterson via Variety.com

YouTube Premium has ordered a comedic sci-fi anthology series from co-creators Jordan Peele and former “Key & Peele” writer Charlie SandersVariety has learned.

“Weird City,” as it is called, is set in the not-too-distant future metropolis of Weird. Each episode is an exploration of issues that pertains to present day life, stories that could only be told now through the prism of sci-fi and comedy.

The series is written by Jordan and Sanders and produced by Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, Sonar Entertainment, Mosaic, and Raskal Productions. Jose Molina will serve as showrunner and executive producer. The six-episode series will debut on YouTube Premium in 2019. Emmy winner Adam Bernsteinis set to direct the first two episodes.

“Writer/creator Charlie Sanders and I collaborated on some ‘Key & Peele’ sketches that took on everything from the ‘Black Republicans’ to ‘Continental Breakfasts’ to ‘Family Matters’,” said Peele. “Now, with YouTube we present a series of comedy driven twisted-ass science fiction stories that take place in a world close to ours but just a little bit off.”

This is not the only anthology series Peele has in the works. He is also executive producing a reboot of “The Twilight Zone” at CBS All Access. 

In addition to his film work, Peele currently has multiple TV projects set up across a range of networks and streaming services. He is also an executive producer on the Tracy Morgan-led comedy “The Last OG” at TBS, which just wrapped up its first season. At HBO, he is executive producing “Lovecraft Country,” based on the book of the same name by Matt Ruff.

On the streaming side, in addition to “The Twilight Zone” reboot, Peele has set up the Nazi hunter drama “The Hunt” and a Lorena Bobbitt docu-series at Amazon. The Oscar-winner and his Monkeypaw Productions banner recently signed a first-look television deal with the streaming giant.

Source: https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/jordan-peele-youtube-premium-weird-city-1202861064/

Tiffany Haddish’s She Ready Production Company Signs First-Look Deal With HBO

by  and  via Variety.com

Tiffany Haddish has signed a first-look deal with HBO.

The two-year pact with Haddish and her She Ready production company comes on the heels of a breakout year for the comic, who won a New York Film Critics Circle best supporting actress award for her performance in 2017’s “Girls Trip.” Her book “The Last Black Unicorn,” released last month by Gallery Books, was named a New York Times best seller. Her new stand-up special “Tiffany Haddish: She Ready!” premiered on Showtime last year, and Haddish recently announced 2018 dates for her new stand-up tour.

Haddish will next star opposite Tracy Morgan in TBS’ “The Last OG,” which premieres in April on TBS. She will also star alongside Kevin Hart in Universal’s feature film “Night School,” set to premiere in September.

Among her other upcoming projects are starring roles in New Line’s “The Kitchen” and Universal’s “The Temp,” with Haddish set to serve as executive producer on the latter film. The comic also has “Limited Partners” in development at Paramount, and is set to star in and serve as an exec producer on the project. She recently wrapped production on “The Oath” alongside Ike Barinholtz.

Source: http://variety.com/2018/tv/news/tiffany-haddish-hbo-1202675335/

“Girls Trip” Star Tiffany Haddish Sets Two Movies With New Line and Universal

Tiffany Haddish (via vanity fair.com)

by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

After making history as the first black female stand-up comedian to host “Saturday Night Live,” Tiffany Haddish is looking to continue to stay busy by landing lead roles in New Line’s “The Kitchen” and Universal’s “The Temp.”

Haddish is in talks to join the ensemble of “The Kitchen,” which is the directorial debut for “Straight Outta Compton” screenwriter Andrea Berloff, who is also writing the script. The film is based on the comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle for Vertigo from DC Entertainment. The series has gained a cult following since debuting in 2014 to critical acclaim. The Irish mafia story is set in Hell’s Kitchen, N.Y., in the 1970s. When the FBI comes in and does a sweep of the mob, several men are arrested. Their wives end up taking over and running the business much more viciously than the men ever did.

“The Temp,” which is set to be produced by Will Packer, who also produced the hit comedy “Girls Trip” featuring Haddish’s breakout performance.

Universal acquired the original pitch for “The Temp” from Dana Fox, who will also write the female-driven comedy. Fox will produce alongside Packer who will produce through his Universal-based Will Packer Productions. Will Packer Productions’ James Lopez will also produce and Haddish will serve as executive producer.

Haddish’s other upcoming projects include starring alongside Tracy Morgan in TBS’ “The Last OG,” which will be released in 2018; she recently wrapped production on Universal’s “Night School” opposite Kevin Hart. She also has “Limited Partners” in development with Paramount, which she will star in and serve as an executive producer on the project as well.

Outside of her film and TV projects, she is also set to release her book “The Last Black Unicorn,” which comes out Dec. 5, and just announced 2018 dates for her new stand-up tour “She Ready.”

To read full article, go to: http://variety.com/2017/film/news/tiffany-haddish-girls-trip-new-line-universal-1202614732/

‘Def Comedy Jam 25’ Special to Be Produced by Netflix to Mark 25th Anniversary of “Def Comedy Jam”

Def Comedy Jam 25 (photos via thegrio.com)

via thegrio.com

Netflix announced on Thursday that it will produce “Def Comedy Jam 25” to mark the 25th anniversary of the comedy show, to air this fall. “Def Comedy Jam” originally ran from 1992 to 1996 before being revived in 2006. The show, which was produced by Russell Simmons, helped to launch the careers of the likes of Martin Lawrence, Cedric the Entertainer and Sheryl Underwood.

The lineup of performers for the special thus far include: Lawrence, Underwood, Bill Bellamy, Cedric the Entertainer, Dave Chappelle, Mike Epps, Adele Givens, Eddie Griffin, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Kid Capri, Tracy Morgan, Craig Robinson, JB Smoove, Sommore, Joe Torry and Katt Williams.

To read original article, go to: Netflix announces ‘Def Comedy Jam 25’ to mark 25th anniversary | theGrio

“Get Out” Writer/Director Jordan Peele Signs 1st-Look Deal With Sonar Entertainment

Jordan Peele (photo via Variety.com)

article by Oriana Schwindt via Variety.com

Jordan Peele has just signed a first-look deal with Sonar Entertainment for his production company, Monkeypaw Productions. The agreement encompasses all content for television, including digital. The news comes just ahead of the premiere of Peele’s feature directorial debut with horror film “Get Out,” which is already earning rave reviews.

Peele and Keegan-Michael Key created and performed in the Emmy-winning sketch series “Key & Peele,” which concluded a five-season run on Comedy Central in 2015. “Jordan Peele is one of the brightest stars in our business — a true hyphenate — actor, writer, producer and director. We are excited to partner with him and Monkeypaw,” said Sonar CEO Thomas Lesinski.

“I am thrilled to partner with the incredible folks at Sonar Entertainment as they are committed to truly elevated quality content. Especially now as I move into this next chapter in television, my aim is to help develop untapped voices as well as my own dream shows, and continue to push the boundaries of television,” Peele said.

Monkeypaw Productions was founded by Peele in 2012.  In TV, Monkeypaw produced “Key & Peele” and is also behind Tracy Morgan’s TBS comedy series, which is set for production later this year.

To read more, go to: Jordan Peele Inks First-Look Deal With Sonar Entertainment | Variety

Tracy Morgan Teams with Jordan Peele on FX Comedy Pilot

Tracy Morgan Comedy Tour
Tracy Morgan (MICHAEL BUCKNER/VARIETY/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

Tracy Morgan’s plan to star in an FX comedy series is back on track now that writer-actor Jordan Peele and John Carcieri have signed on to write a pilot for the former “30 Rock” star.

Morgan’s life was up-ended 18 months ago by a car crash that came two months after he signed a straight-to-series pact with FX Networks.

The new project will see Morgan playing a career criminal who struggles to reintegrate into society after serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Peele and Carcieri will write the pilot and executive produce with Eric Tannenbaum and Joel Zadak, an alum of Peele’s Comedy Central sketch series “Key and Peele.”

“What an unbeatable combination – Tracy Morgan and Jordan Peele – two exceptional comics joining forces with a great team of writers and producers to create and produce this pilot for FX Networks,” said Nick Grad, president of original programming for FX Networks and FX Prods. “We’ve been committed to Tracy from the start and are thrilled that Jordan, John, Eric and Joel are joining him in developing this new project.”

Morgan’s deal with the cable network in 2014 called for him to work with the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” gang — Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, and Rob McElhenney — on an unspecified concept for a comedy to air on FXX. It’s unclear whether the new pilot will be bound for FXX or the mothership FX.

Morgan suffered brain injuries and broken bones after his SUV was rear-ended on the New Jersey turnpike in June 2014. The crash killed another passenger in the car, Morgan’s longtime friend and fellow comedian James McNair.

The severity of his injuries forced the former “30 Rock” star to endure a long recuperation period. He began a slow return to the public eye last summer with emotional appearances on the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast and a hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live,” his alma mater.

Morgan at present is headlining a national comedy tour dubbed “Picking Up the Pieces” that is set to run through May. He also just wrapped work on the Weinstein Co.’s biopic “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?,” in which he plays comedian Redd Foxx opposite Mike Epps in the title role.

Peele is coming off a five-season run on the much-praised sketch comedy “Key and Peele.” He was in the ensemble of the 2014 edition of FX’s “Fargo,” and he’s recently had recurring roles on CBS’ “Life in Pieces,” and Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” among other projects.

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com

FEATURE: After 25 Years on the Road, Leslie Jones Becomes a Comedy Star

“This is gonna be kind of a hot one,” Ali LeRoi said.

“I’ve been waiting to sit her ass down for a minute,” Owen Smith said. “One of the funniest women in the game.”

“Funniest comedian in the game,” Jones interrupted. “Not just woman. I hate that shit.” End of introduction.

Comedians are combatants: they “kill,” they “bomb,” they “destroy.” Such bluster can mask insecurity, and Jones had good reason to feel defensive. She was forty-six, and had been a standup comedian for more than a quarter century; her peers respected her, but that respect rarely translated into high-paying gigs. “I remember some nights where I was, like, ‘All right, this comedy shit just ain’t working out,’ ” she told me recently. “And not just when I was twenty-five. Like, when I was forty-five.” She was a woman in a field dominated by men, and an African-American in an industry that remained disturbingly segregated.

Although she had opened for Katt Williams and Dave Chappelle, acted in movies alongside Ice Cube and Martin Lawrence, recorded a standup special for Showtime, and made several appearances on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and BET’s “ComicView,” she worried that the gatekeepers of mainstream comedy—bookers for the “Tonight Show,” casting directors of big-budget films—had never heard her name. “Every black comedian in the country knew what I could do,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean everyone else is paying attention.” Chris Rock, who met Jones when they were both road comics in the late eighties, told me, “Black women have the hardest gig in show business. You hear Jennifer Lawrence complaining about getting paid less because she’s a woman—if she was black, she’d really have something to complain about.”

Jones spent much of her career performing in what she calls “shitty chitlin-circuit-ass rooms, where you’re just hoping the promoter pays you.” She told me that, around 2010, “I stopped only doing black clubs. I stopped doing what I call ‘nigger nights’—the Chocolate Sundays, the Mo’ Better Mondays. I knew how to relate to that audience, and I was winning where I was, but I wasn’t moving forward.” She lived in Los Angeles at the time, and she began asking for spots at the Comedy Store, where David Letterman and Robin Williams got their starts. A comedian named Erik Marino, who befriended her there, said, “She felt very strongly that she was being pigeonholed as a black comic—a BET comic.”

For a while, Jones performed at the Store at odd hours. Then, she said, “I went to the booker and I threw the race card at him. ‘Why you won’t let me go up at ten on a Friday? ’Cause I’m black?’ ” The booker gave her a prime-time slot. “She destroyed, obviously,” Marino said. “Bookers are the ones who care about black rooms versus white rooms. To us comedians, it’s, like, if you know what you’re doing and you can connect with an audience, they’re gonna laugh.”

Rock saw Jones perform at the Store in 2012. After her set, he told her, “You were always funny, but you’re at a new level now.”

“You’re right,” she responded. “But I’m not gonna really make it unless someone like you puts me on.” Rock took out his iPhone and added her name to a list labelled “Funny people.”

Continue reading “FEATURE: After 25 Years on the Road, Leslie Jones Becomes a Comedy Star”

Tracy Morgan Makes Return to “Saturday Night Live”, Boosts Ratings (VIDEO)

tracy morgan (snl screenshot)
Tracy Morgan hosts “Saturday Night Live” (photo via nbc.com)

If by chance you missed it, last night (10-17-15) – for the first time since a multi-vehicle crash left him in a coma – funny man Tracy Morgan returned to “Saturday Night Live” to host the long-running show.

“I’m back. It feels so good to be here. You may have seen on the news I was in a terrible car accident a year ago. It was awful. But it also showed me how much love and support I have in this world,” Morgan said during the show.

Morgan’s return to “SNL” also lifted ratings for the latenight show, which, according to Variety.com, was up week-to-week and matched its top overnight demo score since last winter.  Compared to its October 2014 average, “SNL” was up 8% in overnight household rating (from 3.9) and even in adults 18-49. The show hasn’t done a higher 18-49 overnight rating since the Jan. 31 show hosted by J.K. Simmons.

In his opening monologue, the comedian observed that some folks have been wondering if he has full mental capacity after his June 2014 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. Well, he just used that as fodder and cracked this response:

“People were wondering, ‘Can he speak? Does he have 100-percent mental capacity?’ But the truth is I never did. I may even be a few [IQ] points higher now.”

He was joined in one sketch by “30 Rock” co-stars Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer. Fey broke character to inject a serious note: “We’re so happy you’re OK. We’re even happier you’re ready to make people laugh again.”

During the show Morgan also brought back two of his familiar characters — Astronaut Jones and animal expert Brian Fellow.  To see his opening monologue, click below:

article via eurweb.com; additions from Variety.com

Tracy Morgan Marries Megan Wollover – See the Beautiful Couple!

tracy-morgan-1024
Tracy Morgan and Megan Wollover (photo via people.com)

Tracy Morgan is a married man!

Fourteen months after a horrific highway crash left him fighting for his life, the comedian wed his long-time fiancée Megan Wollover in an intimate and moving ceremony Sunday night, Morgan’s rep tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“After almost losing Tracy last year, I am so grateful to finally be married to the love of my life,” Wollover tells PEOPLE.  As close friends and family, including Maven, Morgan’s 2-year-old daughter with Wollover, 28, looked on, the couple exchanged vows during an emotional ceremony.

“We have been through so much and our love is stronger for it,” says Wollover, an emotional lifesaver for the comedian after his June 7, 2014, accident when a Walmart tractor-trailer slammed into his limousine on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Morgan, 46, whose painstaking road to recovery included learning to stand, sit and walk again, has been determined “to walk my wife down the aisle” by his wedding day, he told PEOPLE in June.

“I don’t want to walk my wife down the aisle with a cane or in a wheelchair,” he said. “So I had to go hard with the therapy … I had to get better. There was no ifs, ands or buts about it.”

Having made it to the altar – with not a cane in sight – the newlyweds are looking forward to sharing many more milestones together.  As Wollover tells PEOPLE, “I’m so excited to see what our future holds and feel so blessed to spend the rest of my life with Tracy!”

Morgan also recently announced he is returning to host “Saturday Night Live” in October, which is also expected to be another milestone in his recovery.

article by Elizabeth Leonard via people.com

Tracy Morgan Returning to “Saturday Night Live” as Host on October 17

Tracy Morgan performs at Mount Airy Casino Resort on Feb. 1, 2014, in Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania  (BILL MCCAY/GETTY IMAGES)

Tracy Morgan has been on the mend from last year’s accident — and will be ready to return to TV this fall.

The actor/comedian will host “Saturday Night Live” on October 17, marking his first major appearance since suffering extensive injuries in a deadly accident — involving a Walmart truck and a limousine-bus — that killed his good friend, comic James McNair.

“SNL” announced this exciting news on Monday in a tweet.  In June, Morgan, a former “SNL” cast member, told NBC’s “Today” show that he hoped to return to work as soon as he could, saying, “When I’m there, you’ll know it. I’ll get back to making you laugh. I promise you.”

Looks like he’s keeping his promise.

Hopefully before or soon after his “SNL” appearance, Morgan will accept his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – an honor that was announced this June.  Recipients of  Walk of Fame awards have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before they expire. Upcoming star ceremonies are normally announced ten days prior to dedication on the official website www.walkoffame.com.

article by Lauren Morass via cbsnews.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson