Categories
Recap

TONIGHT! ‘Unsung Hollywood feat. A Different World’ + ‘R&B Divas L.A.’ (VIDEOS)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

MUST SEE TV for me begins tonight with TV One’s “Unsung Hollywood” spotlighting the cast of the ground-breaking television series, “A Different World” at 8 p.m. EST.

For many of us, “A Different World changed” the image of African-Americans on television by painting a picture of youth educated at a historically black university. As hard hitting topics were more frequently covered, internal battles with the network ensued, resulting in the show’s unceremonious cancellations. The cast and crew come together to discuss the creation of the show, shared behind-the-scenes stories of paramount episodes and reflect on the legacy of a show that still resonates today.

I had the pleasure of catching up with three of the show’s cast members, Charnele Brown, Dawnn Lewis and Jasmine Guy, during last spring’s SCLC Women’s Drum Major for Justice Gala. Brown currently lives in Texas and is working on a new sitcom, Lewis continues to act and sing on television and the stage. Guy, can also been seen performing on stage and in OWN hit series, “Tyler Perry’s If Loving You Is Wrong.”

My picture

Following tonight’s episode of “Unsung Hollywood” is the Season 3 Premiere of “R&B Divas L.A.” at 10 p.m. EST. According to TV One,  this year the girls are “trying” to sing to a new tune. The Divas get down and dirty as they are forced to take a “Leap of Faith” in friendship, career and love. Will our Divas be able to open up and get real, or will their ultra-egos get in their way on this roller coaster journey? And it seems the ride was too bumpy for beautiful starlet Claudette Ortiz, as she’s opted out to spend more time with her family. But Lil Mo, Chante Moore, Michel’le, Leela James and Chrisette Michelle are all returning for another chance to build on the incredible brands they have established. Also, brace for a season full of surprises, especially when two new talented Divas come into the mix—Brave Williams and Stacy Francis.

Take a look at the trailer below:

[youtube id=”clA6wT-cFGk” width=”600″ height=”350″]

“Unsung Hollywood: A Different World” airs at 8 & 9 p.m. and “R&B Divas L.A.” airs at 10 p.m.on TV One

Photo Credits: ontherecordmagazine.com, psmediatalent.com and raycornelius.com

Categories
Recap

Oprah Winfrey joins ‘Selma’ + reunites cast of ‘A Different World’ (PHOTO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

It looks like Oprah Winfrey has been bitten by the acting bug again. The media mogul has just picked up a part in the film she is also producing alongside Brad Pitt titled, Selma.  The Ava DuVernay project chronicles the march African-Americans made from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 in order to gain voting rights.

Annie featureAccording to Indie Wire, “Winfrey will play Annie Lee Cooper, a civil rights pioneer who gained notoriety in 1965 for a confrontation with then Sheriff James G. Clark, outside the Dallas County (in Selma) courthouse, where she was attempting to register to vote. The 54-year-old Cooper was ordered to go home by the Sheriff; according to reports I read, she claimed that he poked her in the back of the neck with either a billy club or a cattle prod, which prompted her to turn around and deliver a solid right hook to the sheriff’s jaw, dropping him to the ground.”

Reportedly Ms. Cooper lived to be 100 years old and passed away in 2010.

Winfrey joins a star-studded list of actors including David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Ledisi, Common, Andre Holland and most recently added Niecy Nash and Kent Faulcon.

In other Oprah Winfrey news…The cast of A Different World  reunited for a special episode of Winfrey’s, “Where Are They Now?” series.   Iconic actors Sinbad, Dawnn Lewis, Cree Summer, Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, and Darryl M. Bell were all smiles when they taped with Winfrey on last Wednesday (June 11).

A Different World in story photo

They were also joined by the show’s executive producer and legendary entertainer, Debbie Allen, who tweeted the above photo along with the following caption:  “Felt so good to be reunited with my #differentworld cast!! THANKS @Oprah

Noticeably absent from the photo were Charnele Brown (Kim Reese), original cast member Lisa Bonet, Glynn Turman (Colonel Taylor) and Lou Myers (Mr. Gaines), who passed away in 2013.  At any rate, everyone looks really  good and we can’t wait to see the episode.

Photo Credits: IndieWire.com, Selmatimesjournal.com, and Twitter/Debbie Allen

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent

Cast of ‘A Different World’ reunite at ATL’s ‘Drum Major of Justice Gala’ (PHOTOS)

A Different World’s Charnele Brown, Dawnn Lewis and Jasmine Guy

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

The SCLC Women, Inc. Drum Major for Justice Awards Gala was held Friday night at the Hyatt Regency downtown Atlanta. This year’s 35th anniversary celebration saluted three champions of civil and human rights—SCLC Women, Inc. founder Evelyn Lowery, First Lady Michelle Obama and Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin.

The evening featured moving tributes from SCLC Women, Inc. interim chair Scarlet Pressley-Brown, Elder Bernice A. King and Atlanta media mavens—Karyn Greer, Monica Pearson and Lisa Rayam. Trumpet Awards creator Zernona Clayton, Ambassador Andrew Young and his wife Carolyn Young and C.T. Vivian saluted the honorees during video presentations.

However, the real treat of the night was the reunion of A Different World  cast members Charnele Brown, Dawnn Lewis and Jasmine Guy. The three divas recognized female pioneers that had changed the course of African-American history with a dramatic reading titled A Different World, Thanks To You.

Also in attendance were gala co-chairs, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and Georgia Pacific Corporate Affairs executive Charmaine Ward. Christine King-Farris (sister of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and Rev. Joseph Lowery was there with his three daughters – Yvonne Kennedy, Karen Lowery and Cheryl Lower-Osborne.

The gala was co-hosted by actor Mykelti Williamson and radio & TV personality Mo Ivory while gospel great Dorothy Norwood closed out the evening with a medley of inspirational tunes.

Check out some pictorial highlights below:

Stop the Killing

 SCLC/Women, Inc. National Memorial STOP THE KILLING QUILT

Dr. Christine King-Ferris

 Dr. Christine King-Ferris (sister of MLK) poses with gala attendees

CAU Gospel Choir

 Clark-Atlanta University Choir perform “We Shall Overcome”

Karyn Greer and Monica Pearson

 Atlanta media mavens Karyn Greer and Monica Pearson

Sybrina Fulton speech

 Sybrina Fulton delivered a moving acceptance speech

Synbrina Fulton2

 Mykelti Williamson, Mo Ivory, Sybrina Fulton and SCLC/Women, Inc. interim chair Scarlett Pressley-Brown

Daughters of the movement

 Daughters of the Movement: Elder Bernice A. King, Nancy Hill Cooke, Mary Liuzzo Lilleboe

and a Spelman student who stood in for Elizabeth Omilami

Newcasters

Monica Pearson, Karyn Greer and Lisa Rayam

Dr. Joseph Lowery

 Rev. Joseph E. Lowery

A Different World2

 Charnele Brown, Dawnn Lewis and Jasmine Guy

Shirley Franklin

 Scarlet Pressley-Brown, Lowery and daughters, Shirley Franklin and Charmaine Ward

Dorothy Norwood

 Dorothy Norwood took the audience to church with gospel music favorites

Photo Credits: Megan Alodie for RayCornelius.com