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Martin Lawrence parties with the Cast of BET’s ‘Boomerang’ [PHOTOS]

Last night, BET Networks celebrated the season two premiere of its Lena Waithe and Halle Berry executive produced show BOOMERANG, at Paramount Studios. Show cast members Tequan RichmondTetona JacksonLala MilanDime DavisLeland B. Martin, Brittany Inge and RJ Walker were in attendance along with BET President Scott Mills.

Following the success of Waithe’s BOOMERANG first season, the half-hour subversive, smart, serialized comedy that is fielded by romance, friendship, gender politics and more returns for season two.

The original cast are back to deal with the ramifications of Simone and Bryson’s breakup and how it effects the group’s friendship.  Throughout the season, each of our main characters: Simone (Tetona Jackson), Bryson (Tequan Richmond), Crystal (Brittany Inge), Ari (Leland Martin), Tia (Lala Milan) and David (RJ Walker) look inward to find out who they truly are while discovering that together, they’re growing apart.

Guest stars for season two will include Jaleel WhiteJoey Bada$$, Walter Emmanuel Jones and Kim Wayans

Special guests in attendance included: Terrence JMartin LawrenceTerrence J, Lance GrossKellee Stewart, Lauren Lott, Cameron Hamilton and Lauren Speed and more.

BOOMERANG season 2 premieres TONIGHT at 10PM EST on BET.

See more pics below and watch the trailer:

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90s TV and film icon John Witherspoon dies #RIP (VIDEO)

Beloved actor, comedian and 90s film icon John Witherspoon died Tuesday (October 29) at his home. He was 77- years-old.

The family released an official statement to DEADLINE and asked for a “moment in privacy.”

“It is with deepest sorrow that we can confirm our beloved husband and father, John Witherspoon, one of the hardest working men in show business, died today at his home in Sherman Oaks at the age of 77,” Witherspoon’s family said in a statement to Deadline. “He is survived by his wife Angela, and his sons JD, Alexander, and a large family. We are all in shock, please give us a minute for a moment in privacy and we will celebrate his life and his work together. John used to say ‘I’m no big deal’, but he was huge deal to us.”

Witherspoon is perhaps best known for his outlandish father and father-figure characters in such classic black films as Hollywood Shuffle, Friday, Next Friday and Friday After Next. He also appeared as “Pops” in the hugely popular WB series The Wayans Bros., alongside Marlon and Shawn Wayans.


I’m sad. Broken. Hurt.. yet extremely grateful to God that i got to spend 5 years of my life working with one of the funniest sweetest wisest humblest loving man @johnnywitherspoon you were my tv dad and my mentor and my friend,” said Marlon on social media. “I miss you already. Something don’t feel right. This is heavy on my heart. Anyone that knows me knows how much i love pops. You have a strong wife and great kids. What an amazing family. Your boys damn near grew up on the #WayansBros set they’ll always be like my little brothers and sons. i will pass on all the jewels that you bestowed on to us. Thank you God for the many many many laughs that we shared on and off the set. You got “all the keys 🔑 “ and i know you got one to heaven’s gate. Anytime i want to laugh or to see you I’m gonna put on a episode of wayans bros and laugh until i cry. I miss already…. hope your dancing in heaven with ugly white shoes on. “Pops pops sugar pops”. #ripjohnwitherspoon #mysecondpops

Check out Witherspoon below in one of my favorite films—Boomerang—featuring Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence and David Alan Grier. I used to work at movie theater (Park 11 Theaters) when this film came out in 1992 and would always take my breaks at this point in the film so I could laugh out loud with the audience.

Thank you Mr. Witherspoon for a lifetime of laughter. #BANGBANGBANG

PHOTO CREDIT: RayCornelius.com

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Brittany Inge promoted to series regular on BET’s ‘Boomerang’

Congrats to my buddy and accomplished stage and TV actress Brittany Inge. She has been promoted to a series regular on BET’s hit series Boomerang. Inge stars as Crystal Garrett on the show, a southern-belle type who works in advertising with Bryson (Tequan Richmond) and is the childhood best friend of Simone Graham (Tetona Jackson).

Brittany Inge + LaLa Milan + Tetona Jackson

Boomerang is a continuation of the 90s classic film of the same name and features the offspring of characters Marcus and Angela Graham played by Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry and Jacqueline Broyer played by Robin Givens. The BET series comes from Berry and Lena Waithe.

Inge’s castmate RJ Walker, who stars as Crystal’s ex-husband David, has also been promoted to a series regular.

Can’t wait to watch Season 2!

PHOTO CREDITS: RayCornelius.com

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UPDATE: BET’s ‘Boomerang’ adds Atlanta Actress Brittany Inge as Crystal Garrett

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

CONGRATS goes out to Atlanta actress Brittany Inge. The triple threat performer has been added to the new BET series Boomerang.

As previously reportedBoomerang is being described as a follow up to the iconic 1992 movie that featured Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry and Robin Givens.  The project will “follow the lives of Jacqueline Boyer’s (Givens) son and Marcus (Murphy) and Angela Graham’s (Berry) daughter as they attempt to step out of their parents’ shadows and make a legacy of their own.”

Previously announced actors include Tequan RichmondTetona Jackson as well as Leland B. Martin and Lala Milan.

Inge’s character, Crystal Garrett, is being described as a southern-belle type who works in advertising with Bryson (Richmond) and is the childhood best friend of Simone Graham (Jackson). Crystal can be buttoned up but she always speaks her mind. She was also once married to David (RJ Walker).

“I am over-the-moon excited to join the cast of ‘Boomerang’ as Crystal Garrett. I see this as an opportunity to represent for all of the super talented and hard working Atlanta actors who are constantly discouraged from expecting opportunities of this magnitude to come along, simply because of their zip code. If talent, hustle and drive are inside of you, it shouldn’t matter where you live. I am so grateful for BET and Paramount for this opportunity,” said Inge in a statement to RayCornelius.com.

The Boomerang pilot is written by Lena Waithe and Ben Cory Jones and directed by Dime Davis.  The series is also executive produced by Waithe and Berry.

Brittany Inge has appeared in a number of stage productions including Blackberry Daze, The Ballad of Klook and Vinette and Kenny Leon‘s Holler If Ya Hear Me. She’s also starred on a few TV series including Love Is, Atlanta, Dynasty and The Resident. She is also featured in The Hate U Give, which opened in theaters this weekend.

Way to go Brittany!!!!!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com and Instagram/BrittanyInge

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UPDATE: BET’s ‘Boomerang’ adds Tequan Richmond & Tetona Jackson

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

BET has added some famous faces to its upcoming Boomerang series executive produced by Lena Waithe and Halle Berry.

Tequan Richmond and Tetona Jackson (pictured above) are slated to play the male and female leads while Leland B. Martin and Lala Milan will serve as co-stars.

Boomerang is being described as a follow up to the iconic 1992 movie featuring Berry along with Eddie Murphy and Robin Givens.  The new project will “follow the lives of Jacqueline Boyer’s (Givens) son and Marcus (Murphy) and Angela Graham’s (Berry) daughter as they attempt to step out of their parents’ shadows and make a legacy of their own.”

RC will keep you updated as this project continues to develop.

Thanks S&A

Photo Credit: TV Source Magazine

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UPDATE: Halle Berry + Lena Waithe to executive produce BET’s ‘Boomerang’ Series

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

CONGRATS to Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry and Emmy Award-winning writer and acclaimed actress Lena Waithe. The two of them are teaming up with BET for the new Boomerang series.

According to S&A, the project will not be a reboot as previously reported but a sequel to the iconic 1992 film that featured Berry along with Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens and Grace Jones.

The show will “follow the lives of Jacqueline Boyer’s (Givens) son and Marcus (Murphy) and Angela Graham’s (Berry) daughter as they attempt to step out of their parents’ shadows and make a legacy of their own.”

“This is less of a reboot and more of a continuation of the original story. There’s no point in trying to remake a classic,” she noted of the Reginald Hudlin directed film based on a story of commitment phobia by star Eddie Murphy. It can’t be done. So we want to create something fresh that speaks to a new generation. We hope people will come to the show with an open mind and ready to embrace the new world we’ve created!” said Waithe.

Waithe actually teased her involvement with the project over the weekend by posting the above image on social media with the caption, “You’re not getting serious on me are you?” It’s a line from the movie between Boyer and Gramham.

“I’m thrilled to team up with Lena on this project as she is without a doubt a leading voice of her generation and a trail blazer in her own right,” soon-to-be Bruiseddirector Berry said in a statement Monday. “I’m truly excited to be a part of bringing this iconic and beloved film to the small screen.”

No word yet on whether Givens or Murphy will make cameos in the project.

RC will keep you posted as this continues to develop.

Photo Credits: GLAAD and Lena Waithe/Instagram

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En Vogue, Salt-n-Pepa, Spinderella & SWV to star in BET’s ‘Ladies Night’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

BET is putting a major spotlight on a few of our favorite 90s R&B and hip hop girl groups in a new unscripted series titled Ladies Night.  According to THR, the show is part of the network’s new lineup of programming that was announced during its recent upfront presentation.

Ladies Night is a 10-episode docuseries that follows the personal and professional drama of iconic girl groups—En Vogue, Salt-n-Pepa, Spinderella and SWV—as they embark on a national tour. With a run of shows across the U.S., these artists must create, choreograph and execute a night featuring all of their famous hits. With major money on the line, the OGs will need to put their pride to the side in order to launch something truly memorable.

In addition to Ladies Night, BET has also ordered a scripted series based on the 90s hit film Boomerang as well as a series from Will Packer titled Peachtree Place and a drama inspired by Soul Train creator Don Cornelius titled American Soul. It has also ordered a new reality series from T.I. titled The Grand Hustle and a true crime docuseries hosted by the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson titled True Justice.

Check out all of the shows below:

Scripted series

Boomerang

The 10-episode project comes from Paramount Television and will revolve around a successful executive who finds that his lifestyle choices have turned back on him when his new boss turns out to be a bigger deviant than he is.  The series is being described as an updated version that explores contemporary workplace dynamics, including the changing role of gender, office politics, relationships and the conflicts between Generation X and millennials.

American Soul 

The 10-episode drama is inspired by the personal and professional success of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. The series will follow Cornelius along with his Soul Train dancers, crew and musicians in a cutthroat Hollywood in the 1970s and how they work, play, rise and fall against the backdrop of the show most responsible for the way African-American culture was perceived by the world. Jesse Collins, Jonathan Prince and Devon Greggory executive produce. Don’s son, Tony Cornelius, will co-exec produce alongside Andy Horne. Greggory will pen the pilot and Jesse Collins Entertainment will produce.

Peachtree Place

The 10-episode comedy follows five 30-somethings living in Atlanta as they try to build professional and personal lives they can be proud of, but the one thing they don’t have keeps impeding their progress: love. Unresolved feelings from college are uncovered and secrets revealed, forcing these friends to finally deal with uncomfortable truths about each other. Packer exec produces; Felischa Marye will pen the series and co-exec produce; Will Packer Media’s Sheila Ducksworth will also serve as a co-EP.”

The Archer Connection

The 10-episode half-hour series follows the life of tech genius Archer Grant, a young, black, iconoclastic mastermind who has developed Archer App, a software that measures the sexual chemistry between its user and anyone in the room. In launching the app and managing its rapid growth, Archer clumsily navigates between worlds — hipster Brooklyn, bloodthirsty Wall Street, underground hip-hop, innovative Silicon Valley — while trying to avoid the treacherous grip of capitalism and his own precarious sex addiction. Co-executive produced and written by Chad Sanders.

Games Divas Play

Based on the book by Angela Burt-Murray, the 10-episode hourlong drama takes viewers inside the high-stakes world of professional sports where everyone plays to win. With an ensemble cast of dynamic characters including an ambitious reporter, a millionaire basketball player, a desperate housewife, a scandalous groupie and a murderous stalker, the series follows three women — Nia, Vanessa and Laila — and the men in their lives. In a ruthless battle for success, these women’s passions and motivations are seldom altruistic, but their life choices and drive will determine what it really takes to stay on top. Executive produced by Tracey Edmonds of Edmonds Entertainment, Burt-Murray and Vanessa Middleton, who also serves as showrunner for the series.

Unscripted series

Finding Justice

From executive producers Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and David Leepson, the six-episode crime docuseries tells the powerful stories of heroes, leaders, advocates and change agents in African-American communities across America as they uncover injustices and fight to bring healing and change. With the grit and edge of investigative journalism and the profound heart of a powerful documentary, each episode delivers a riveting look at the faces of change in black America. Produced by Seven Bucks Productions and Leepson Bounds Entertainment.

Dream Team

In the summer of 1992, a basketball team comprised of 11 future Hall of Famers showed up at the Olympics in Spain and changed the face of sports and global culture forever. Dream Team is an intimate journey from the spark of an idea to the podium in Barcelona, examining an incomparable legacy that still resonates 25 years later. Based on acclaimed sports journalist Jack McCallum’s New York Times best-selling book that follows the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball team, the five-episode docuseries from BET and Paramount Television will explore how a group of extraordinary and complex individuals became a team — and how that team transcended sports. The five-episode limited series is directed and executive produced by Emmett and Brendan Malloy of Malloy Brothers Productions. Underground’s Trevor Engelson and Five All in The Fifth’s Douglas Banker also executive produce. McCallum will serve as a consultant for the project. The docuseries is created with the cooperation and support of USA Basketball and the NBA.

The Next Big Thing

The 10-episode music competition series highlights super-producer Swizz Beats and industry veteran Tina Davis (Def Jam, Empire, former manager of Chris Brown) as the powerhouse music icons put up-and-coming artists through the ultimate development boot camp. After being coached and challenged on performance preparation, these artists must give the best performance of their career to land a deal with one of six major record labels. Produced by Releve Entertainment, the project is executive produced by Swizz Beats, Davis and Holly Carter.

The Grand Hustle

From the streets to the boardroom, T.I. wrote the book on hustling and now he’s looking for the nation’s next big hustler to see who will come out on top. The 12-episode reality competition series is set in the streets of Atlanta, where contestants use the city to prove they have what it takes to out-hustle the rest! In the end, T.I. will choose one person to be named King or Queen of the Hustle, landing a six-figure job working at one of T.I.’s companies. Produced by 51 Minds Entertainment, The Grand Hustle is executive produced by Christian Sarabia, Clifford “T.I.” Harris, Brian Sher, Vinnie Kaufman and Johnny Petillo. Petillo also serves as showrunner for the series.

The Hustle: Brooklyn

The 10-episode coming-of-age docuseries, which is set in Brooklyn, follows a cast of young and sexy millennials with a balance of economic backgrounds, focusing on transitional moments of their lives. Produced by Entertainment One and Creature Films; Tara Long of eOne and Mark Ford and Kevin Lopez serve as executive producers.

RC will keep you posted as these projects continue to develop.

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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BET orders scripted-comedy series based on 90s hit film ‘Boomerang’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Marcus Graham, Lady Eloise and Strangé are coming to BET! Well sorta…

According to THR, BET is beefing up it’s scripted series lineup by ordering a new half-hour comedy based on the iconic 90s film Boomerang. The 10-episode project comes from Paramount Television and will revolve around a successful executive who finds that his lifestyle choices have turned back on him when his new boss turns out to be a bigger deviant than he is.

Boomerang is being described as an updated version that explores contemporary workplace dynamics, including the changing role of gender, office politics, relationships and the conflicts between Generation X and millennials.

In the original film, Eddie Murphy played the popular womanizer Marcus Graham who met his match in the sexy Robin Givens. Rounding out the all-star cast is Halle Berry, the late Earth KittGrace JonesTisha Campbell Martin, Lela Rochon, Martin LawrenceDavid Alan Grier, John Witherspoon, Chris Rock and the late Goeffrey Holder.

The film’s soundtrack was produced by L.A. Reid and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and featured Boyz II Men, TLC, Johnny Gill, Grace Jones, P.M. Dawn and Toni Braxton, who performed the classic “Love Shoulda Brought You Home.”

Personal Note: I am a huge fan of Boomerang and remember watching it every weekend when I worked as a movie usher in high school. It was the first time I had every seen a black man as an advertising executive. Every aspect of the film was first class…from the hair to the costumes to the banging soundtrack. I hope it translates well into a television series and have the same affect on the millennial audience as it did on me.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: JustWatch.com

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Respect

Tony-winning director and ‘7UPMan’, Geoffrey Holder dies at 84 [PHOTOS]

Geoffrey Holder/Photo Credit: GalleryHip.com

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Dancer, actor, painter, designer, photographer, fashion icon and all around “Renaissance Man,” Geoffrey Holder has died. According to the family spokesperson, Charles M. Mirotznik, Holder passed away on Sunday in Manhattan from complications of pneumonia. He was 84.

By all estimates, Holder was the epitome of Black art and culture with a career spanning over 50 years. His journey began in NYC in the 1950’s as a dancer and choreographer working with such notables as Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey, and the great Josephine Baker. During his down time, Holder was an avid painter with hundreds of colorful works showcasing his beloved homeland of Trinidad. In addition to dancing, he was an accomplished actor, appearing in a number of stage and film productions including House of Flowers, Doctor Dolittle, Annie, Boomerang, and his most famous role to date…Live and Let Die, where he played the voodoo Villain, Baron Samedi.

In 1975, Holder signed on to direct and costume design the all-black version of The Wizard of Oz  better known as The Wiz  featuring Stephanie Mills. He picked up a Tony Award for both efforts, becoming the first Black man to win in those categories. He would later go on to direct and choreograph the musical, Timbuktu, starring the legendary, Eartha Kitt.

Holder is probably best known for his role as the charismatic spokesperson for 7Up during the late 70’s and 80’s. Dressed in all white from head to toe, Holder’s “absolutely maaarvelous” would become a classic catchphrase throughout the decade.

He was survived by his wife and life dance partner, Carmen de Lavallade and their son, Leo.

Check out a few photos of Holder in his signature garb as well as a few videos of his works:

Geoffrey Holder 2

Dancer/Photo Credit: FashionBombDaily.com

Geoffrey Holder 4

Fashion Icon/Photo Credit: TheFamousPix.com

Geoffrey Holder 5

The Painter/Photo Credit: 1stdibs.com

Geoffrey Holder wiz.jpg 4

Tony winning-director of  The Wiz /Photo Credit: TheNewYorkTimes.com

Geoffrey Holder 1

Renaissance Man/Photo Credit: GalleryHip.com

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Zoe Saldana in talks to play Eartha Kitt

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

BroadwayWorld.com is reporting that Avatar  beauty Zoe Saldana is in early talks to play the late singer, actress, activist, dancer and Broadway star, Eartha Kitt in an untitled biopic for the big screen.

Reportedly, the film will follow Kitt’s rise to fame through the late 60’s including her landmark role as Catwoman on Batman  as well as her vocal opposition to the war in Vietnam, which led to her being “blackballed” by Hollywood.

This is not Saldana’s first time portraying a musical artist. In 2012, we reported that she was playing the life of the high priestess of Soul, Nina Simone for a biopic that has yet to be released. Saldana received a lot of criticism for taking the role that many felt should have been played by an actress that resembled Simone such as Adepero Oduye or Viola Davis or even singer India.Arie.

Eartha Kitt 23.jpg23It will be interesting to see Saldana’s take on Kitt, who was known for her iconic growl  and was considered by the late Orson Wells as “the most exciting woman in the world.”

Kitt eventually regained her status as a Hollywood contender with her role as Shaleem-La-Lume in Broadway’s Timbuktu  in 1978.  She would later make guest appearances on numerous television shows and films during the 80’s and 90’s, including the scene stealing part of Lady Eloise in Eddie Murphy’s classic Boomerang.

She also enjoyed another Broadway revival in the 2000’s starring in such iconic musicals as The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella  and Nine.

Kitt died of colon cancer on Christmas Day, December 25, 2008, at her home in Weston, Connecticut. She was 81-years-old.

RC will keep you posted as more information about this project surfaces.

What are your thoughts about Zoe Saldana playing Eartha Kitt?

Photo Credit: WorldofBlackHeroes.com

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‘Black Hollywood’ returns to the ATL for 2012 Peachtree Village International Film Festival

Written by | Ray Cornelius

All eyes will be on Atlanta August 16-19 as the Peachtree Village International Film Festival rolls out the red carpet for the sixth year in a row.

The four-day festival will recognize the 20th anniversary of the film “Boomerang” featuring a rooftop party, film screening and awards brunch with the film’s director Reginald Hudlin.

The festival will also host a special opening night screening of “The Obama Effect” with a post screening conversation with the film’s lead actor Charles S. Dutton and moderated by Ed Gordon.

In addition to the screenings, this year’s festival will host a number of workshops dedicated to emerging actors and those filmmakers seeking financial and distribution assistance.

“What we have to offer our guests each year just keeps getting better and better,” says PVIFF Executive Director, Len Gibson. “After carefully monitoring the comments made by our audiences over the years, we have expanded our programming this year to include a greater focus on casting and finance to better meet their needs. Our goal is to provide our attendees with a better take-away experience in both areas when they leave the festival.”

The PVIFF is also in special partnership with the HBCU Network, See Soul, Inc., The International Soul Music Summit and The Curacao Music & Film Festival.

This year’s festival ambassador is Sparkle actor and Atlanta native Omari Hardwick.

For a complete list of film screenings, workshops and parties, log onto www.pviff.com

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Happy Birthday Martin…You So Crazy!

Martin Lawrence is without a doubt one of the funniest comedians of our time.

Lawrence first burst onto the scene in the reprise of the 70’s TV sitcom What’s Happening NowAfter the show was cancelled, Lawrence appeared in small movie roles for such films as “Do The Right Thing” and the “House Party” series with his real-life cousin Christopher “Play” Martin.  But it was after filming the movie “Boomerang” that his acting career really took off.

In 1992, Martin along with “Boomerang” co-star Tisha Campbell-Martin, starred in the Fox TV sitcom Martin. The show ran for five-consecutive seasons drawing millions of viewers each week with his memorable cast of characters including Sheneneh, Otis, Jerome, Dragonfly Jones and of course, Mama Payne.

That show ended in 1997 but it didn’t stop Martin’s star from rising.  He continued to wow audiences in such blockbuster films as “Bad Boys,” “Bad Boys 2,” “Big Mama’s House” and “Blue Streak.”

Martin is currently the executive director of the TV One show, Love That Girl and is currently planning a return to television this fall along with “Think Like A Man actress Regina Hall.

Here are a few of our favorite Martin episodes…

[youtube id=”7Zp2svDzFUQ” width=”600″ height=”350″]

[youtube id=”o14PXScNrlU” width=”600″ height=”350″]

[youtube id=”ytCchC2gbq4″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

Source: Wikipedia