Category Archives: Hollywood

Mark Burnett’s ‘The Contender’ with Andre Ward Sets Premiere Date/Announces Fighters

12-Episode Boxing Competition Series Set to Premiere on August 24

andre ward - the contender

*LOS ANGELES ? Premium pay television network EPIX? has announced the 16 fighters who will be facing off with one another for the championship belt on the revival of boxing franchise series The Contender this fall.

The highly anticipated 12-episode season, from MGM Television and Paramount Television, will premiere on EPIX on Aug. 24, 2018 at 10 PM ET/PT.

Hosted by undefeated boxing champion Andre “Son of God? Ward, the first-of-its-kind competitive documentary series for the network will feature 16 fighters pushing their limits in grueling elimination-style fights and testing their grit and determination to achieve their boxing dreams. The fighters will be overseen by legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach, and renowned Philadelphia trainer Naazim Richardson.

?The Contender takes unscripted TV to its grittiest.  It has incredible professional fighters and real professional fights.  The edge of your seat drama and true stories sets a tone that our audiences will be expecting and I love it,? said Mark Burnett, President of MGM Television.

 ?With this new iteration of The Contender, the focus is on the gritty, personal stories of the fighters battling for boxing glory,? said Michael Wright, President, EPIX. ?It was important for us to find individuals who not only displayed the boxing chops and resilience in the ring, but who also showed a depth of heart and humor outside of it. Our 16 fighters are vivacious, tough, funny, sensitive, driven and inspiring, and we are excited for our fans to get to know their stories and root for them inside the ring and out.?

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Toni Morrison ? Unapologetic Black Brilliance

toni morrison

*A mention of America?s literary giants would be incomplete with the mention of one Miss Toni Morrison. This daughter of a steel worker and a homemaker has rightfully earned her laurels for creating works centered on African American life when its erasure from culture was commonplace.

Her poetic and bittersweet writing has earned her a Nobel Prize for Literature, a Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Truly, she is our Black intellectual.

To understand Toni Morrison?s significance, one needs to understand her work?s specialness. Her writing not only captures the pain and anguish of the countless nameless souls that were snatched away from their home and treated with cruelty but also shows their complexity, their unique link to their heritage and most importantly their humanity.

Through her books, Toni Morrison reinforces black people?s place in America history and society.

In the foreword of her book Beloved, Morrison wrote ?I wanted the reader to be kidnapped, thrown ruthlessly into an alien environment as the first step into a shared experience with the book?s population.?

Morrison understands that the role of her writing isn?t just confrontational. It serves a higher purpose. It reconstructs dark chapters of America?s past so that roads leading into empathy and light can be built.

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‘The Color Purple’ Strikes Gold at the Pantages in Hollywood

color purple

*It did not matter that there were more famous names in the audience on opening night of The Color Purple at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood than there were on stage. The tour of the Tony-winning hit Broadway musical, based on the novel by Alice Walker and the movie of the same name, is without name recognition or elaborate scenery.

In fact, the scenery is nothing more than three wooden panels and some chairs. At first, I wondered how it would work, but it did not take long for me to stop focusing on the insignificant. My attention was quickly diverted to the actors and their ability to belt out songs like nobody?s business.

The musical, like the book and movie, tells the coming of age and the enlightenment of Celie (Adrianna Hicks), a young African American girl who had her two babies, both sired by her own father (J.D. Webster), stripped away from her and who was subsequently forced to marry Mister (Gavin Gregory), only to become nothing more than an abused servant and semen repository.

With the help of two strong women, Sophia (Carrie Compere) and Shug Avery (Carla R. Stewart), Celie learns self-love, gains strength, finds self-esteem and becomes a woman who proclaims, ?I?m Here!?

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Singers Wanted: Open Auditions for ‘The Voice’ Coming to Town this Summer!

THE VOICE ? Season: 14 ? Pictured: (l-r) Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys ? (Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC)

*Honey chile listen up, this may be your time to shine! We just learned that NBC’s ‘The Voice — the hottest singing competition on TV — with four of the most successful recording artists (Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton) serving as coaches, is hitting the road this summer and wants to audition bad-ass talent at their OPEN CALL AUDITIONS!

Does this sound like you?

If so, hurry and brush up on those vocal chords — after all, you don’t want to end up like Adele and Sza.

RELATED: WHY DO STARS LIKE ADELE KEEP LOSING THEIR VOICE

The show is searching for solo artists and duos that perform all types of music: pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop, alternative, Latin, country, blues, indie.

The requirements include being legally present in the U. S., must over the age of 13,  and meet all other eligibility requirements.

So far they are set to travel to the following locations. Good luck! Continue reading

Editorial: Responses from Roseanne Barr (to Cast Members) Weakens Her Apology for Racist Tweet

*Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Will Roseanne Barr ever learn that everything that pops into her head does not need to be tweeted out to the public? She is acting just like her apparent mentor, without the benefits. He’s still on office…her unemployment became effective immediately.

But the real concern here is how weak her apology to the cast members and crew of the rebooted Roseanne show — those who lost their jobs due to her big mouth — has become.

Her whole “I should’ve known better” comment did somehow appear to show her taking responsibility for that careless tweet; where she compared former Obama Senior Adviser, Valerie Jarrett (Am I the only one who thinks the two women actually favor?) to an ape.

?Don?t feel sorry for me, guys!!-I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people,and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet.? –Roseanne Barr

But that accountability diminished when she, one: attempted to blame her actions on medication, and two: demonstrated her true colors by criticizing cast members (scroll down) who responded about how “disgusted” they were about her comment.

WTF? What did she expect them to say? Anything else would have them appearing just as dumb as her.

Yeah. I said it! Continue reading

6th Annual Web Television Awards (IAWTV) Event Announced Today: May 31st Submission Deadline

(l-r) Sandy Payne, Board Member IAWTV, The Caucus Co-chairs Robert Papazian and Tanya Hart and Tina Cesa Ward, Chairman, IAWTV. Photo Credit: Steve Cohn Photography

*Hollywood, California ? The International Academy of Web Television will host its 6th Annual IAWTV Awards at a gala celebration honoring the best in streaming series starting at 8 p.m. on August 24, 2018, in the Ahmanson Ballroom at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Red Carpet will start at 6 p.m.

The IAWTV (www.iawtv.org), a division of The Caucus of Producers, Writers & Directors (www.caucus.org), will recognize the finest creators, cast and crew of web series from around the world. The IAWTV Awards 2018 returns the ceremony to its second year at the Skirball Cultural Center.

Open to IAWTV members and non-members through the festival submission site FilmFreeway (www.filmfreeway.com), the show itself will recognize the contributions of creative professionals in 29 separate categories that run the gamut of genres and crew positions. The entire ceremony will be streamed live online. Former hosts for the show include Emmy-winners Kim Estes, Chris Hardwick and Carrie Preston; and Tony-winner and SAG Award-winner Roger Bart. The IAWTV will announce its 2018 host soon.

The submission Deadline is: Thurs, May 31st. Continue reading

Rapper Logic Officially Files for Divorce from Wife Jessica Andrea

After two years of marriage and one month of separation, famous rapper Logic (whose real name is Robert Hall) and his wife Jessica Andrea are officially getting divorced.

The pair took to social media in March to announce that they would no longer be married. According to Page Six, there were a bunch of rumors on the internet that stated marital woes caused the two to split. However, logic said infidelity had nothing to do with their decision to

The statement released on social media explained that there were no hard feelings and that it was a mutual decision.

?It?s very simple: it just didn?t work out,? Logic?s statement said. ?There is no anger involved. No fighting, no cheating, no nothing. We love each other and will continue to support each other for the rest of our lives.?

In response to the statement Logic released, Andrea retweeted what was said and added: ?I love you Bobby and love to all the fans!? The two seemed to be happy with their decision and felt that it was for the best.

TMZ says Logic officially filed for divorce on April 19, but the paperwork shows that their separation has been official since February 3. He cited ?irreconcilable differences? as the reason for the ending of their marriage. He didn’t list any shared property between both he and Andrea and didn?t mention any terms of spousal support. The two didn?t have any children together. Logic filed the documents without an attorney present or as part of his settlement.

When they first announced their separation, it didn?t seem like they would ever get back together. Now, with the official filing of the paperwork, that has been confirmed. Researchers say only about 50% of marriages have a chance of lasting. For these two, they are unfortunately part of that unlucky 50%. There is no word if they will ever try to work things out in the future.

‘Katy and Jennifer’: Lounge Theatre Presents World Premier

 

Donna Simone Johnson is “Katy.” Photo courtesy of KADM Productions

*Two women nearing their fortieth birthdays marshal their emotional resources built on their decades-long friendship to help them survive their respective devastating tragedies (a dead child, an abandoning husband) in their lives.

Can they endure? Continue reading