Donald Glover, “Atlanta,” “Blackish” Garner Multiple Nominations for 2017 Primetime Emmys

2017 Emmy nominees Viola Davis, Donald Glover, Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

The nominees for the 2017 Primetime Emmys were announced this morning, and among them are nods in the Best Comedy Series category for writer/creator/star Donald Glover‘s freshman FX half-hour “Atlanta” as well as writer/creator Kenya Barris‘ veteran ABC show “Black-ish,” which also garnered nods in the Lead Comedy Actor and Actress categories for its stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. Glover also picked up a nod for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Emmy winner Viola Davis was recognized again for her role as Annalise Keating in ABC’s  “How to Get Away With Murder,” and Sterling K. Brown came through in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category for his work on the popular NBC hit “This is Us.” Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton were acknowledged for their Supporting Roles in “Westworld,” as was Samira Wiley for her work in the original Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Up against Wiley in the same category is her former “Orange Is the New Black” castmate Uzo Aduba.

Additionally, Leslie Jones grabbed a nomination in the Supporting Role in Comedy category for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” and RuPaul Charles got some love in the Host for a Reality/Reality-Competition Program category for his work on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Behind the scenes, Donald Glover earned his third Emmy nomination for “Atlanta” in the directing category, and his fourth, along with his brother Stephen Glover, for Writing for a Comedy Series. Ava DuVernay & Spencer Averick were nominated in the Writing for a Nonfiction Program category for their outstanding work on the Netflix documentary “13th.” The full list of nominees follows below:

Drama Series
“Better Call Saul” (AMC)
“The Crown” (Netflix)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
“House of Cards” (Netflix)
“Stranger Things” (Netflix)
“This Is Us” (NBC)
“Westworld” (HBO)

Comedy Series
“Atlanta” (FX)
“Black-ish” (ABC)
“Master of None” (Netflix)
“Modern Family” (ABC)
“Silicon Valley” (HBO)
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)
“Veep” (HBO)

Drama Actress
Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”)
Claire Foy (“The Crown”)
Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Keri Russell (“The Americans”)
Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”)
Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)

Drama Actor
Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”)
Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld”)
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)
Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”)
Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”)
Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”)

Comedy Actor
Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”)
Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”)
Zach Galifianakis (“Baskets”)
Donald Glover (“Atlanta”)
William H. Macy (“Shameless”)
Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”)

Comedy Actress
Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”)
Tracee Ellis-Ross (“black-ish”)
Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”)
Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”)
Allison Janney (“Mom”)
Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) Continue reading

FEATURE: Director, Producer and Emmy Award-Winning Actress Regina King Has So Many Stories to Tell

Regina King (Credit: Elizabeth Weinberg for The New York Times)

article by Wesley Morris via nytimes.com

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

“The Wiz Live” Ratings Strong: NBC Musical Draws 11.5 Million Viewers

The Wiz Live! NBC

COURTESY OF NBC

It’s Also the Most-Tweeted Live Special Program on Record

Two years after NBC stunned the industry with huge ratings for its live presentation of “The Sound of Music,” the network was back at it Thursday night with “The Wiz Live,” which drew impressive numbers of its own. The event also set a Nielsen Twitter record as most social live special program in the more than four years of tracking such numbers.

Despite facing a highly-rated NFL game on CBS, last night’s live musical, whose all-star cast included Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo, Amber Riley, Uzo Aduba, Stephanie Mills and David Alan Grier, averaged a 3.4 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and about 11.5 million viewers overall from 8 to 10:45 p.m.,  according to preliminary Nielsen estimates. The only NBC entertainment series to fare better this fall is “The Voice,” whose season premiere averaged a 3.5/11 in 18-49 and 12.37 million.

According to Nielsen, roughly 269,400 people send 1.6 million tweets about “The Wiz Live!” on Thursday night and 6.4 million people saw those tweets a total of 128.9 million times. Last night’s production more than tripled the number of tweets for either “Sound of Music” (449,536) or “Peter Pan” (474,735).

Last night during the 8-11 p.m. EST window, global digital marketing technology company Amobee Brand Intelligence said “The Wiz Live!” attracted 1.374 million tweets during its three-hour telecast window — more than four times the number generated last year during the live telecast of “Peter Pan Live” (360,000). Roughly 30% of the sentiment was positive, 58% neutral and 13% negative — meaning the Twitter sentiment was 133% more positive than negative around the broadcast. Shanice Williams, the 19-year-old actress playing Dorothy, scored especially well, with only 2% of the sentiment surrounding her performance considered negative.

As expected, “The Wiz Live!” fared especially well in markets with large African-American populations. While the overall household average in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets was 7.9, the top scores came in Richmond (16.1), Norfolk (15.0), Baltimore (14.8), Washington, D.C. (13.2) and Atlanta (13.2). Joining D.C. and Atlanta as top-10 markets soaring above the national average were Philadelphia (10.3), New York (10.2) and Chicago (10.0).

article by Rick Kissell via Variety.com

“The Wiz Live!” Airs Tonight on NBC, to be 1st Live TV Program to Provide Vocal Description for Sight-Impaired

"The Wiz Live" on NBC, December 3 at 8pm EST/PST

“The Wiz Live!” on NBC, December 3 at 8pm EST/PST (photo courtesy NBC)

NEW YORK — When “The Wiz Live!” airs on NBC this Thursday, it will come alive for the blind with a voiced description of the broadcast’s sights and action integrated into its soundtrack.

NBC parent Comcast says this will be the first live entertainment program in U.S. history to be accessible in this way to those who are blind. The vocal description is a narration track interspersed between existing pauses in dialogue that describes the show’s visual elements such as facial expressions, settings, costumes and stage direction.

This enhanced broadcast of “The Wiz Live!” will be a pilot program available on local NBC stations where SAP (Second Audio Program) feeds are available. The service will be provided by Descriptive Video Works, which has provided more than 1,000 hours of live description for certain news and sports events.

“The Wiz Live!” premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. EST, with stars including Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Uzo Aduba and Common, as well as Shanice Williams as the young heroine, Dorothy.

article via accessatlanta.com

History! Viola Davis Becomes 1st Black Woman To Win Emmy For Lead Actress in Drama; Regina King and Uzo Aduba win Emmys for Supporting Roles

67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Show

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.

67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Show

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.

67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Show

For a full list of winners, click below:

2015 Emmy Awards: A List Of The Night’s Big Winners

article by Christina Coleman via newsone.com

Uzo Aduba and Amber Riley join NBC’s “The Wiz Live!”

Uzo Aduba (l) and Amber Riley (r) join the cast of NBC's "The Wiz" (Photo via eonline.com)

Uzo Aduba (l) and Amber Riley (r) join the cast of NBC’s “The Wiz” (Photo via eonline.com)

It looks like Uzo Aduba and Amber Riley are going to be playing sisters on NBC’s The Wiz Live!

Aduba will be playing Glinda the Good Witch, and Riley will be playing Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North and Glinda’s sister.

“We are so happy to welcome two actors we’ve admired and wanted so much to work with,” said executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron in a statement. “We look forward to showcasing the amazing musical talents of Amber and we are eager to introduce Uzo’s remarkable singing voice for those who know her solely as an extraordinary dramatic actress.”

These two stars join the already glamorous cast, which includes Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier and rising star Shanice Williams.

The Wiz Live! airs on Thursday, December 3 on NBC.

article via thegrio.com

Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, John Ridley, Key & Peele and Neil deGrasse Tyson are Among More Than 20 African-Americans Nominated for 2015 Primetime Emmys

2015 Primetime Emmy Nominees Viola Davis, John Ridley (top), Keegan-Michael Key and Taraji P. Henson (bottom)

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.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)