Friday, November 07, 2008


To join The A-List,
email us TODAY
For your free subscription:


THE NEW FRIENDS...The President-Elect hasn't even taken office yet, but change has already come to TV Land. NBC, former home of "The Cosby Show," has announced it is developing a comedy based on comedian's Nick Adams book Making Friends With Black People. The Mara Brock Akil (creator of "Girlfriends")/Salim Akil produced series will be a buddy comedy focusing on the state of race relations in the U.S. The Akils, who also exec produce "The Game," will write the script, which will center on two close friends--one African-American and one White who don't necessarily see things the same way. Universal Media Studios and Industry Entertainment are behind the project. Adams will serve as a co-producer on the project. America proved i was ready for a Black president, now it it ready to laugh a race relations? Ratings will tell.

LIVE ANOTHER DAY...Even though the industry was buzzing a bit last week on the recent cancellation of "Lipstick Jungle," NBC must still obviously believe in the Candace "Sex In The City" Bushnell series. Fasten your seatbelts because Bushnell is getting second chance. Seems the folks at NBC think the series, starring not a single African-American character, just needs a bit of retooling. Ah, if only some of the "shows of color" could get these resuscitation and over-the-long-haul commitments from the networks as well.

NOT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD...In international news, seems South Africa isn't too impressed with Hollywood. One community in the country known for its own thriving film production business recently nixed plans for a $14 million-Hollywood-style studio. Residents of Pella said they'd rather keep their "sacred" scrubland, which was won in battle by their forefathers, than become home to the studio that promised to attract A-list celebrities due to the growing trend of Hollywood productions being filmed on the continent. The project was proposed by Desert Star Studios and would have included a studio, production offices, stunt tracks, storehouses, workshops, a luxury resort, golf course, and private landing strip. The deal would have also created 18,000 jobs. Despite the lure of much-needed employment and cash flow, the people of Pella can't be bought--even by Hollywood.

DARN, DARN, DARN, DARN!...Talk about letting an idea marinate. The Wayans Brothers first announced their intention to bring Seventies TV series "The Munsters" to the big screen in 2004. Well, Shawn Wayans has just told MTV News that the project is finally about to start--as soon as they wrap the dance spoof Dance Flick. But, says Shawn, don't expect a Black cast. According to the Wayans brother, the characters will remain true to the original--White and green.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW...Here's another reason to keep you tied to your Blackberry--or at least VH-1 hopes so. The network and mobile application development agency Mobui have just launched the new "VH1 Watch and Discuss Live Chat" application with AT&T. This app lets you use your mobile phone to discuss VH-1 programming in real time by instant messaging with friends, fans, and--get this--VH-1 celebrities. With the popularity of the network's reality shows, chatting with pseudo celebs like Miss New York should boost business for Vh-1.

TV TIDBIT...Reported recession got you down? If so, this could be good for TV ratings. Or so a new study found. Unhappy people watch television 30% more than happy people--regardless of education, income, age and marital status. The survey polled nearly 30,000 American adults between 1975 and 2006 as part of the General Social Survey. The survey however could not determine with people tuned in to get cheered up or to wallow in their moody state. Judging from the number of hit sitcoms on the air, we surmise the latter.

QUICK TAKES...After 14 seasons, Fox has plugged the plug on "Mad TV." But word is producers--which include Quincy Jones--are looking into ways to keep the show alive maybe on another network...Jessica Alba (pictured) is teaming up with Casey Affleck for the Michael Winterbottom-directed The Killer Inside Me, an adaptation of a novel from noir author Jim Thompson...While the other "I Want To Work For Diddy" contestants hated on Kim (AKA Poprah), VH-1 feel in love with the trash-talking diva enough to give her a dating reality show based on the entrepreneur-wannabe's newly launched website BIGGIRLSONLINE.COM...The A-List said to watch out for young actress Keke Palmer. Well, now in addition to her hit films, her Nickelodeon series "True Jackson, VP" premiered to the channel's largest live-action series premiere audience ever for kids 6-11 (2 million), tweens 9-14 (2 million) and total viewers (4.8 million). Can we spot 'em or what?... Samuel L. Jackson has just signed on for Blown, opposite Jim Caviezel ("The Passion of the Christ"). The London spy thriller will be directed by British filmmaker Martha Fiennes...The L.A. theatrical production on Not A Genuine Black Man is fast generating a buzz. The semi-biographical dramedy is a one-man show featuring comedian/actor Brian Copeland (The Bucket List) is currently playing a limited run at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Loosely based on his personal experiences of “living as a Black man” in America, Copeland provides thought-provoking insights into the African American experience.

COURT IS IN SESSION...The jury is being selected for a court case involving actor/director Tyler Perry who is being sued over a film script. The copyright infringement case is being held in Marshall, TX. and in it screenwriter Donna West claims Perry's film Diary of a Mad Black Woman was "copied largely from the her copyrighted script." West is suing Perry, Tyler Perry Company Inc. and Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. Perry showed up for the first day of jury selection. And no, he didn't have on his Madea outfit. But odds are if he loses, Perry won't be doing community service like his alter ego.

CALL HIM BROADWAY JOE...As hip hop continues to prove it has crossover potential into various arts arena, rapper Jim Jones has just wrapped his own off-Broadway show about his life written and directed by J. Kyle Manza. The limited-run Hip Hop Monologues: Inside The Mind Of Jim Jones pulled in an impressive crowd--from theatre-goers to celebs to NY society. Could a bio pic be far off?



According to reports in, two African-American women are rumored to head Obama's FCC Chairman short list. Julia Johnson, a Florida consultant who serves as chairman of the Video Access Alliance, an advocacy and advisory group for emerging, independent and minority networks and Internet content providers, is one. Another possibility is Mignon Clyburn, who has been a commissioner for the Public Service Commission of South Carolina since 1998 and who has a background in journalism. Clyburn also is a daughter of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.

Washington Post's Steven Holmes is to join CNN as director of standards & practices. Holmes, most recently national domestic policy editor, will become the network's Executive Director for Standards and Practices. The department oversees and vets controversial pieces. At the Post for three years, Holmes spent the previous 15 at the New York Times as a reporter and editor in the Washington bureau.


Atlanta Opening Night
A revival of the Tony Award-winning musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (, traveled to Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on Tuesday evening. In celebration of the show’s 30th Anniversary, the new cast is headlined by two famous alums of "American Idol"– Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis. In spite of the unseasonable, winter-like temperatures (but encouraged by the “recession special” ticket price reduction), the cast performed to an intimate crowd. Having just debuted one-week prior in NY, the cast seemed overly rehearsed during the first act. Nervously concerned with hitting the right notes and stage marks, a connection with the audience (and each other) eluded them. However, the power and delivery of the second act, made up for that disconnect! It is here, that the vocal and performance ranges soar to new heights.

Ruben shines with humor in his rousing rendition of “Your Feets Too Big,” while joining fellow cast mate David Jennings on “Fat and Greasy” as they enlist the crowd in call-and-response.

There were two break-out talents – Trenyce Cobbins and newcomer Patrice Covington. A lesser-known contestant on "American Idol," Trenyce is pure talent! Her vocal range, acting chops and command of the stage is inviting – you simply cannot take your eyes (or ears) off of her! Ditto for Covington, whose distinctive voice consistently brings her to the forefront. --Raegan L. Burden for The Robertson Treatment


Lawyer-turned-actress Jalene Mack posin' with Forest Whitaker on the New Orleans set of Hurricane Season. The 2009 Dimension Films release also stars Isaiah Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Bow Wow, Courtney B. Vance and Lil' Wayne. The movie is based on the story of Al Collins, basketball coach for John Ehret High School in Marrero, LA, who led his Patriots to the state championship a year after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the school.

Issue #117

To join The A-List,
email us TODAY
For your free subscription:


LOVE ON THE HORIZON...Just as "Gray's Anatomy's first lesbian storyline was heating up between Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith), Smith got the boot from series creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes. Word is Rhimes didn't think the chemistry was hot enough. Even though ABC seems to be leading the way for gay and lesbian characters, a snag has been hit. Rhimes is said to take the Torres (pictured) love story featuring a Latina actress on network TV very seriously. So be on the lookout for a steamy romance coming up.

LADIES OF CINEMA...If you're in New York next week be sure to check out the11th Annual International Film Festival ( hosted by African American Women in Cinema and Save Africa Concerts on November 12-15. This four-day, star-studded event celebrates and highlights the work of aspiring and prominent women filmmakers of African, Latin and/or Asian Descent throughout the Diaspora. Look for Hollywood Actresses Tamara Tunie ("Law & Order," "Days of Our Lives") and Phyllis Yvonne Stickney (New Jack City) and Nollywood Superstars Patience Ozokwo (Mama G) and Ini Edo to host various events. Not to industry: Diverse voices can drive sales, so a trip to check out this unique fest makes for good busienss.

OPRAH's NEW TV DIGS...This just in: Oprah Winfrey will take her talk show out of broadcast syndication and move it to her own cable channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network, by 2011, according to the Discovery Channel. With a new TV home, to win and boost ratings Winfrey might consider revamping the show.

LOOKING FOR MR. RIGHT....Chilli's manager/agent recently brokered a deal with VH-1, which may leave the network current bachelorette--Ms. New York--behind. The formerly of the Grammy winning group TLC, the R&B singer is on the lookout for the "love of her life" and the network is going to help her find him with a new reality show. No name for the program just yet, but look for it this next season. To draw in ratings like New York and Flavor Flav, Chilli is going to have to really turn up the heat.

MORE O TO COME...We promised to keep you up to date on actor-turned-filmmaker Edward Norton's untitled Obama doc. Well, HBO has announced it picked up the film from Norton's Class 5 Films and will premiere it in 2009. The documentary crew followed Obama from his trip to Africa in the summer of 2006 and will go through through the inauguration. While it seems we all know everything we want to know about Obama, Norton promises exclusive access and behind-the-scenes insight to the 44th President. Norton, writer/producer/actor Stuart Blumberg and actor/producer Bill Migliore are producing the feature, with newcomer Amy Rice and producer-turned-director Alicia Sams directing.

CAN WE TALK?...Finally, late night television may get some color. Everyone's buzzing about the possibility of comedian George Lopez landing in late night with his own talk show. Warner Bros. is producing the program although it has yet to find a network home. We'll keep you posted.

KISS MY CONVERSE...Remember Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon? Well, the 1985 flick will receive an upgrade from Samuel L. Jackson and Wu-Tang Clan rapper/producer RZA. According to insiders, Jackson has signed on as "Sho'nuff, the Shogun of Harlem," a role previously played by the late Julius Carry, and write the screenplay. The RZA will co-produce the Columbia Pictures remake with Dallas Jackson, John Davis of Davis Entertainment and Berry Gordy's son Kerry Gordy.


Radio One Inc. has reported a loss of $266.1 million, compared to a net income of $4.7 million. Radio One's radio stations are seeing the most drop in ads and CEO Alfred Liggins said they will instead focus on TV and new media. “Our focus remains on increasing our radio market share, cutting costs and diversifying into TV and online revenues. We continue to make progress on each of these goals, by outperforming our radio markets by 170 bps year to date, restructuring our radio workforce, and generating solid revenue growth in TV One and Interactive One.” Radio One owns and operates 53 radio stations in 16 markets.



Not Ready For The Big Screen

In Jumping The Broom Noah falls flat on his face.

Let us make it clear that even with all its weaknesses, we've been fans of the LOGO TV show "Noah's Arc." No where else have we seen such embracing warm positive images of Black gay men on the small screen. We were dismayed over the untimely cancellation of the series on LOGO to pursue "a big screen theatrical expansion" of the story. We were sceptical from the beginning as the series wasn't given enough time to reach its television peak (like other shows such as "Sex In The City"). And, surprise, upon viewing this movie version of the popular TV series, our scepticism and fears were realized.

To put it bluntly, the movie is a "Hot Ghetto Mess."

From the opening scene of Jumping The Broom, you get the feeling that this movie is doomed, a fish out of water. There is Noah (Darryl Stephens), dressed flawlessly for a wintry day on a boat by Martha's Vineyard but actually filmed in Nova Scotia. Yea, you read right, NOVA SCOTIA! If LOGO wanted to find a way to doom a Black gay urban drama/comedy, the best thing to do is to film it where there are no Black gay people of color.

That's just one of the many problems with Jumping The Broom.

All of the main characters are back, two years after the car accident that left Wade (Jensen Atwood) either dead or badly hurt. We didn't know for sure in that last episode but he's fine and in love with Noah in the movie and has whisked him to a home owned by his folks (who still don't know he's gay) to marry in a small ceremony. All of Noah's friends--Alex (Rodney Chester), Chance (Doug Spearman), and Ricky (Christian Vincent)--tag along. It just all felt incomplete. Having Trey (Gregory Kieth) in the movie by video phone and an adopted child was wasteful. Moments of intense drama cut short by either bad editing or the fear of going too deep for the 'target audience' made some of the more promising scenes flat.

But I have to give kudos to the actors for making the best of a bad situation. The best performance by far was given by Baby Gat (Jason Steed) and Brandy (Jennia Fredrique). They were colourful, flawless, and added much needed depth and comedy to a rather trite boring story.

The ending of the movie was very unceremonious. With Wade and Noah being married, one would expect to feel joy and excitement. Instead you feel like someone was cleaning up a mess they made. A show with such talent and potential gone to waste. TV series turned into movies are suppose to make the characters larger than life. In Noah's Arc: Jumping The Broom, they all seemed to be minimized to a speck of dust. Rating: C+--Anthony Davis


Stargate: Continuum, MGM Home Entertainment

Stargate: Continuum is the second straight-to-DVD movie of the popular Sci-Fi Channel series (and original motion picture). In this movie, the SGI team are on a mission to witness a Tok'ra extraction ceremony of Baddie Ba'al (Cliff Simon) but things go horribly wrong when members of the SGI team began to disappear and soon everyone else. The remaining SGI members, Colonel Cameron Mitchell (Ben Browder), Colonel Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping), and Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) realize that Ba'al somehow has gone back in time on Earth and altered their history to which SGI was never created. Through a series of traveling to other systems and times, the remaining members try to set their timeline straight and keep Ba'al from conquering Earth.

The whole someone goes back in time to change the present/future story line has been done so many times, and badly, that when one is presented with the synopsis that their favorite characters are going back in time to create a different future and sustain the present, one rolls their eyes. There are way too many logical questions like if Baal went back in time to stop SG1 from ever coming into existences, why didn't he just conquering Earth at the same time? How was Ba'al able to do this in the first place? And the questions continue.

It's entertaining, if you're a die heart fan and you like mediocre Sci-Fi. But if you're looking for something to too Wow you, this is not the movie for you. Rating: B- --A.D.


The stars gatherin' at the Ahmanson Ballroom in the Skirball Cultural Center to support children's at the Dream Believe Achieve Gala in L.A. The gala benefited three non-profit organizations who work together to provide educational, recreational and cultural opportunities for the children and families of South Los Angeles: Challengers Boys & Girls Club (, ICEF Public Schools (, and the Success Through the Arts Foundation ( The Dream Believe Achieve Inspiration Gala was an evening filled with musical performancesand messages of hope to benefit the children and families of South Los Angeles. Hosted by Don Cheadle (pictired with Alfre Woodard) and featuring musical performances by Jackson Browne, Earth Wind & Fire, Smokey Robinson and others, the Gala will benefit three non-profit organizations who work together to provide educational, recreational and cultural opportunities for the children and families of South Los Angeles: Challengers Boys & Girls Club, ICEF Public Schools, and the Success Through the Arts Foundation. In addition to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, other luminaries in attendance included Herbie Hancock, Halle Berry, and Louis Gosset Jr. (Photo by Anthony Davis)