The late John Singleton‘s epic FX series Snowfall returns for a third season beginning July 10.
In this new cycle, crack cocaine is spreading like wildfire through Los Angeles. Local police fight to stem the tide, while Teddy works hard to make sure the flow of cocaine doesn’t stop. As the stakes and losses mount, our players begin to understand the destructive force set in motion and are forced to re-examine their own motivations and the cost of continuing forward.
Snowfall stars Damson Idris, Carter Hudson, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Emily Rios, Amin Joseph, Isaiah John, Marcus Henderson and more.
Netflix is putting a spotlight on entertainment icon Clarence Avant in the upcoming documentary The Black Godfather. It arrives on June 7 and will also play in select theaters.
The film, which is directed by Reginald Hudlin, chronicles the life of Avant and his influence over some of the biggest names in entertainment and sports. From Muhammad Ali to Bill Withers to Snoop Dogg and Quincy Jones, Clarence Avant has seen and done it all.
I remember attending Black Enterprise’s 100 Anniversary Celebration & Awards Dinner during the 2015 Entrepreneurs Summit, where Avant was honored for outstanding achievement in entertainment.
Ambassador Andrew Young talked about Avant’s indelible imprint on his career and that of sports icon Hank Aaron. Avant would later talked about working with the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson and his now legendary Bad Tourof 1987.
In addition to music and sports figures, Avant has also influenced presidents like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as well as former First Lady and Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Watch the trailer below and get inspired by Clarence Avant…
Check out the brand new trailer for The Kitchen starring Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy and Elizabeth Moss. It opens in theaters on August 9.
The Kitchen stars the ladies as three 1978 Hell’s Kitchen housewives whose mobster husbands are sent to prison by the FBI. Left with little but a sharp ax to grind, the ladies take the Irish mafia’s matters into their own hands—proving unexpectedly adept at everything from running the rackets to taking out the competition…literally.
The film also stars Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, Brian d’Arcy James, Margo Martindale, Common and Bill Camp. It was written and directed by Andrea Berloff.
The Kitchen was based on the comic book series created for DC Vertigo by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle. Tell us what you think.
OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network has released the Season 4 trailer for Ava DuVernay‘s popular series Queen Sugar and it-looks-epic! The award-winning drama returns on Wednesday, June 12 at 9 p.m. EST.
This new season follows the Bordelon family as they discover Nova (Rutina Wesley) is publishing her memoir which divulges long-held family secrets. Unrest, tension and heartbreak fester at home as Nova embarks on a book tour and unexpectedly encounters significant relationships from her past along the way. Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) remains in the thick of the trials and tribulations in both her personal and professional life as she continues to battle the Landry family while also trying to ensure the safety and future of her teenage son Micah (Nicholas Ashe). Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) is managing fatherhood and his complicated relationship with ex-girlfriend Darla (Bianca Lawson) after learning he is not the biological father of his son, Blue (Ethan Hutchison), and is encouraged by an old friend to create opportunities for formerly incarcerated men.
The expansive cast also includes Tina Lifford as the siblings’ free-spirited Aunt Violet who revealed her Lupus diagnosis to her family along with plans to open her own pie shop; Omar J. Dorsey as Violet’s new husband Hollywood Desonier; and Henry G. Sanders plays Prosper Denton, a farmer and longtime friend of the late Bordelon family patriarch, Ernest. Recurring guest star Timon Kyle Durrett portrays Charley’s estranged husband and pro basketball player Davis West, and guests stars include David Alan Grier, Tevin Campbell, Erica Tazel, Kendall Clark and Walter Perez.
Check out photos from the New York City premiere of Ava DuVernay‘s new Netflix movie When They See Us. The star-studded red carpet event took place at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre and was attended by the cast and a number of celebrity guests including Oprah Winfrey, Dapper Dan and the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four part limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.
When They See Us cast members in attendance included Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, Niecy Nash, John Leguizamo, Blair Underwood, Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Dascha Polanco, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.
Other special attendees included veteran actress Suzanne Douglas, Selenis Leyva (Orange Is The New Black), Antoni Porowski (Queer Eye), Brett Gray (On My Block), Carrie Preston (CLAWS) and Jenn Lyon (CLAWS)
Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon and his True Colors Theatre Company will honor TV, film and stage icon Phylicia Rashad during this year’s True Colors Applauds Awards Brunch on Saturday June 1 at 11 a.m. at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta Hotel.
Emceed by media personality Brenda Wood, the True Colors Applauds Awards Brunch will include performances from the company’s 2018 – 2019 season and “Moments Make the Movement.” It will also include presentations to author and playwright Pearl Cleage; Executive Director of the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs Camille Russell Love and two companies—The Georgia Justice Project and Turner (now known as WarnerMedia). The awards are given to individuals and organizations that have positively impacted the arts community. Rashad will be receiving the coveted Jane Bishop National Theatre Award, in honor of True Colors’ late Co-Founder, who illuminated the path that led to the creation of True Colors.
In addition to honorees, True Colors will also pay homage to Co-Founding Artistic Director, Kenny Leon, who will become Artistic Director Emeritus next season, and celebrate the transition of Jamil Jude from Associate Artistic Director to Artistic Director. True Colors announced Leon’s departure from the company last fall.
“It’s time to engage a younger generation with fresh artistic leadership,” said Leon regarding the transition. “Since first meeting Jamil, I knew he was the right person to carry the torch for True Colors Theatre Company. Jamil is an inspiring artist and an empowering community leader. True Colors will continue to thrive locally under his leadership as a place where everyone’s story is told.”
TNT has released an excited new visual for the upcoming season of CLAWS and we have a behind-the-scenes look at how it all came together.
It features Niecy Nash and the girls getting all glammed up by Beyoncé’s personal stylist, Zerina Akers and some pretty lit photographs shot by renowned photographer Ruven Afanador.
Check it out below:
As previously reported, CLAWS follows follows the rise of five diverse and treacherous manicurists working at the Nail Artisan of Manatee County salon, where there is a lot more going on than silk wraps and pedicures. It’s a show about good women caught in bad places with the worse men. It’s also the story of hardworking women trying to get by in this economy, set against the surreal, bright, gritty landscape of Florida and the luscious, absurd, extreme excesses of the crime world.
When Morehouse College alumnus Stefon Bristol was preparing to finish NYU’s Graduate Film Program during the summer of 2014, he knew he wanted to make a sci-fi adventure featuring people of color.
He had the classic 1985 film Back to the Future, on repeat and he knew he wanted to do something similar with elements of his Brooklyn and Caribbean heritage. So he pulled inspiration from a family situation and created a story about a young black man going back in time to save his grandfather from being killed by a drunk driver.
But then, two unarmed African American men—Michael Brown and Eric Garner—were killed by non-black police officers and Bristol knew he had to somehow address this growing trend in his script. It was an idea that he was very sure about despite the opposite opinions from one of his film professors.
“At NYU you’re highly encouraged to make very independent, kind of fancy films and I wasn’t into that. So I went back to my roots to sci-fi-action-adventure and I wanted to do it with black people,” said Bristol during this week’s Atlanta premiere of See You Yesterday.
“A professor of mine read the script and she wasn’t happy that I had police brutality in it and she felt like it’s either the story or you don’t have that be the story. Well, I was like, ‘I’m going to make this the story’ because I remember Amadou Diallo. I remember Sean Bell and unfortunately I knew this was going to continue to happen. I just heard the other day that a young woman, who was pregnant, was shot and killed by a cop in Texas. So my instincts was correct and I decided to keep that idea in. I wrote the feature for it first and then I hired by co-writer Fredrica Bailey to help me with the short.”
With a more socially conscience message, Bristol created See You Yesterday, a coming-of-age kind of story that would now focus on two high school friends and science geeks, C.J. and Sebastian. Their latest homemade invention—backpacks that enable time travel—would be put to the test when C.J. older brother Calvin dies after an encounter with police officers. Looking for a way to make things right again, C.J. convinces Sebastian to go back in time with her to save Calvin.
Bristol’s first version of See You Yesterday was short film that won Best HBO Short at Martha’s Vinyard African American Film Festival. This new Netflix version, which debuts this weekend, is a more multi-layered story that will also reach a broader audience.
“I feel very, very happy and relieved,” said Bristol during post press for this week’s premiere. “I feel very blessed and honored and I believe it has been received well.”
Click here to watch See You Yesterday and check out my UPFRONT interview featuring Bristol, former NBA star George Lynch and media maven Jasmine Sanders.
TV One’s popular true crime series ATL Homicide returns for another season beginning Monday, June 17 at 9 p.m.
Veteran homicide detectives David Quinn and Vince Velazquez of the Atlanta Police Department are sharing some of their grittiest stories, giving audiences first-hand accounts of real-life murder investigations. The thirty-year veterans spent fifteen of those years working side by side in the homicide division.
The show is part of the network’s “True Crime Mondays,” and follows detectives Quinn and Velazquez as they recount their personal experiences solving cases, alongside dramatic re-creations that place viewers in the front seat of the action. Tackling hundreds of cold cases together from everyday ‘who-done-it’ scenarios to high-profile murder mysteries and more, the two have an undeniable chemistry in the streets of “Hotlanta” – and a track record of putting murderers behind bars.
Magnolia Pictures has released the trailer for the new documentary on Pulitzer Prize winning author and BLACK literary icon Toni Morrison.
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am is an artful and intimate meditation on the legendary storyteller and Nobel Prize winner. The film examines her life, her works and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her extraordinary career.
Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, history, America and the human condition. Look for appearance by her many admirers including Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, Walter Mosley, and Sonia Sanchez.
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am arrives in theaters on June 21.
NETFLIX is killing the film game right now. Check out the trailer for their upcoming musical drama titled BEATS. It debuts June 19.
In this coming-of-age story, a reclusive teenage musical prodigy (Khalil Everage) forms an unlikely friendship with a down-on-his-luck high school security guard (Anthony Anderson). United by their mutual love of hip hop, they try to free each other from the demons of their past and break into the city’s music scene.
Directed by Chris Robinson (ATL, “The New Edition Story”), BEATS features Everagein his feature film debut and co-stars Uzo Aduba and Emayatzy Corinealdi. BEATS is the ultimate ode to Chicago’s South Side, and its long history of creating music that forms the city’s beating heart.
Check out a sneak peek of CLEOtv’s Living By Design with Jake and Jazz “Mother’s Day Episode.” It airs tomorrow at 12 p.m.
Hosts Jake and Jazz Smollett makeover the home of single mother, Shay, who recently relocated to Los Angeles from the Midwest. Her parental duties and daily grind leave her with little time for redecorating, so she enlisted their help. The duo turn Shay’s quaint home into a “mommy and me” wonderland with refurbished, multipurpose furniture and rose gold accent pieces. For the post-reveal meal, Jake cooks up Vegetable Fried Rice with Garlic Soy Fried Shrimp and Jazz bakes a Vanilla Rose Pound Cake decorated with dried rose petals.
Living by Design with Jake and Jazz is CLEOtv’s hot new home design show with a culinary twist featuring Jake and Jazz Smollett. The sibling duo team up to transform the living, work, and play spaces of millennial families and create simple solutions to everyday home design dilemmas. Each episode features inspirational stories of participating guests, an exciting reveal of the new space and a shared meal with recipes curated by Jake and Jazz.
Kenya Barris and Rashida Jones are coming to Netflix in a new series titled Black Excellence.
Barris and Jones will executive produce as well as star in the series that is inspired by his “irreverent, highly flawed, unbelievably honest approach to parenting, relationships, race, and culture.”
According to Netflix, Black Excellence will pull the curtain back and reboot the “family sitcom” in a way we’ve never seen before.
The single-camera comedy will be produced through Barris’ production company, Khalabo Ink Society, under the multi-hyphenate’s overall series deal with the streamer. It will also be executive produced by Hale Rothstein.
Black Excellence marks Barris’ first series with Netflix since making the streamer his home less than a year ago. Barris hasn’t been shy about his desire to flip the family sitcom and what it looks like on its head; and with the series officially launching its writers room last month, he is wasting little time getting to work on exploring and pushing those boundaries.
Check out a sneak peek to It Chapter Two, opening in theaters on September 6.
Evil resurfaces in Derry as director Andy Muschietti reunites the Losers Club—young and adult—in a return to where it all began. The film is Muschietti’s follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed and massive worldwide box office hit IT, which grossed over $700 million globally.
Both redefining and transcending the genre, IT became part of the cultural zeitgeist as well as the highest-grossing horror film of all time. Because every 27 years evil revisits the town of Derry, Maine, It Chapter Two brings the characters—who’ve long since gone their separate ways—back together as adults, nearly three decades after the events of the first film.
The film stars Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Mama”) as Beverly, James McAvoy (“Split,” upcoming “Glass”) as Bill, Bill Hader (HBO’s “Barry,” “The Skeleton Twins”) as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa (TV’s “Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments”) as Mike, Jay Ryan (TV’s “Mary Kills People”) as Ben, James Ransone (HBO’s “The Wire”) as Eddie, and Andy Bean (“Allegiant,” Starz’ “Power”) as Stanley.
Reprising their roles as the original members of the Losers Club are Jaeden Martell as Bill, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, and Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben. Bill Skarsgård returns in the seminal role of Pennywise. Muschietti directed the film from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman (“IT,” “Annabelle: Creation”) based on the novel IT by Stephen King.