Issue 18: Emmy Knockoff
MO' MONEY...Insiders are buzzing about the fact that the TV show "Girlfriends" is hanging in the balance not because of the merger of UPN and The WB--(it's believed it will make the CW fall lineup)--but because, says shock jock Wendy Williams, each of the four lead actresses are demanding a pay raise. They allegedly want a jump to $300,000 per show (up from $200,000 an episode). Hey, at least they aren't asking for a mil per show! Let's see how good a negotiator the show's exec producer Kelsey Grammer turns out to be.
SKIPPER SPIKE...We just got word that Spike Lee is going to do up the 20th anniversary of his first feature film--She's Gotta Have It -- big by, we hear, by reserving one of the largest cruise ships in the U.S. and sailing out today (Friday) four miles from the coast to celebrate. Don't know yet who's going to be on board, but we do know if you're out from shore four miles you can gamble on the open seas. Roll the dice, Spike!
WHO'S THE MAN?...A new flick screening at Brooklyn Academy of Music's (BAM) special series Sundance at BAM takes you where no hip-hop film has dared to go--the male psyche. Hip hop addresses misogyny and other heavy issues head on in Beyond Beats and Rhymes: A Hip-Hop Head Weighs in on Manhood in Hip-Hop Culture to screen later this month on various dates at BAM. Filmmaker Byron Hurt takes an in-depth look at the messages behind rap music videos to examine issues of masculinity, sexism, violence, and homophobia in hip-hop culture. Russell Simmons, Chuck D, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, and others are interviewed in the doc. Screenings May 15-21. For more info, click on this link: www.bam.org/film/series.aspx?id=77.
DON'T GO THERE...Insiders are buzzing about NYPD arrest of Troi "the hater" Torain for aggravated harassment following his formal dismissal from the highly rated Clear Channel morning show after he apparently went too far in making lewd comments regarding a rival jock's four-year-old daughter. But you did you know this? Execs at CC are supposedly already talking to Charlemagne Tha God from WHXT-Hot 103.9 Columbia, SC. We heard they even flew him in already for a deal session. Talk about speedy delivery.
ANCHOR'S AWAY, MON...Sheryl Lee Ralph's island film fest, The Jamerican Film Festival (www.jamericanfilmfestival.com/home.html) has found a new home. This year, the 6th, it will take place aboard Festival at Sea. Happening August 27- September 3, the fest and cruise head out from Long beach, Calif., with port of calls that include Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan. Too bad it doesn't stop in Jamaica--the original "port of call" for Jamerican Film Fest.
FANTASIA UPDATE...We promised to bring you more information about the Lifetime movie Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story, well here it is: Debbie Allen will direct. Viola Davis and Kadeem Hardison will play Barrino's her parents (yep, her parents!), Diane and JoJo Barrino, and Loretta Devine has been cast as her grandmother Addie Collins. A newcomer, Jamia Simone Nash, will play a young Fantasia. Scheduled to air in August. Let's see if this gives Lifetime the ratings boost it wants.
NEXT CHAPTER...Best-selling financial author Lisa Rogers-Cherry sent us over a note to tell us about a new show on I-TV, "The Product Hour," hosted by another African-American author, Marcus Parker. The show is being described as a mix between BET's "106 and Park" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show" for young folks--mixing hip-hop flavor with educational and life issues. The show, filmed in Dallas, will include celebrity performances, an on-site DJ, and Rogers-Cherry, our urban Suze Orman, will try and help the targeted teen audience keep right with their money. Airs this fall.
SEX SELLS...Black erotica cult author Zane just inked a deal with Lions Gate, insiders tell us. The studio has acquired the worldwide rights to the New York Times bestselling author's "erotically charged thriller" Addicted. Zane and Suzanne de Passe will produce. No word on when production will start, but we're sure it will be steamy!
CBS GOES BROADBAND WITH INNERTUBE
Late last week, CBS Corp. launched a new broadband channel called "innertube," an ad-supported outlet that includes specially created Web series and CBS reruns. The site streams three shows daily, such as "Greek to Chic," a makeover show for college kids; "BBQ Bill," a sketch comedy series featuring Rick Najera; "Animate This!," on which celebrities narrate animated stories from their own lives; and "Beyond Survivor," a show about reality shows. To be added later this month is "Fire Me ... Please," a canceled CBS reality series that will find new life on "innertube," as will unaired episodes of the drama "Love Monkey," another canceled network show. Viewers can access innertube can be accessed through CBS.com.
MORE LOSES FOR RADIO ONE
The nation's largest black-owned radio broadcaster, Radio One Inc., announced a net drop of 63 percent, despite higher revenue, last week. Still, the loss was less than Wall Street anticipated, so Radio One shares actually climbed. According to the Radio One financial information released, earnings fell to $2.6 million, down from $6.9 million a year earlier. Meanwhile, broadcast revenue increased 7 percent to $82.1 million, from $77 million. In a press statement, Radio One blamed overall industry declines in its broadcast markets.
With the Daytime Emmys having just aired and the prime time Emmys coming up in August, The A-List thought why not squeeze our version of The Black Emmys in between. This, of course, is not to be confused with the secretive folks who put on the Black Oscars and Black Emmys functions each year. Ours is in your face, and is The A-List way, open for debate. And, there's no table charge. It's all in fun, folks.
BEST BLACK TV JUDGE: Again, what would the world of TV be like without a black judge dispensing judicial attitude. We're going to miss the hairstyles Judge Mablean Ephriam has been flashing and her "heartfelt" talks with Baliff Joe Catalano when she leaves the show, so this one's for her.
BEST GUEST TV SHOW APPEARANCE BY RAPPER: Hip Hop Hooray for Luda on his sinister spin on "Law & Order: SVU."
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (COMEDY OR DRAMA) WHO SHOULD HAVE HAD HIS OWN SHOW AGES AGO: We'd love a full-on dose of Omar Epps.
BEST SERIES JUMPER: Aisha Thomas (who has been on "Ghost Whisperer," "CSI," "24," and "The Fifth Wheel," so far).
MOST OVERLOOKED ACTRESS ON TV: Marianne Jean-Baptiste on "Without A Trace" and--we think she's funny--Tracee Ellis Ross of "Girlfriends" were our selections.
TV FEMALE HOTTIE: Tyra Banks, of course!
AWARD FOR ACTING WITH A STRAIGHT FACE IN THE WEIRDEST PLOT ON TV: Alfre Woodard on "Desperate Housewives."
SHOW WITH SO MANY ETHNIC ACTORS YOU LOST COUNT: "Lost"
THE WHITEST SHOW ON TV: "The O.C."