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First Look at ‘OWN for the Holidays’ (VIDEO)

OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is getting into the holiday spirit with three new original Christmas movies beginning November 15.

“We are excited to bring holiday movies to OWN,” said Tina Perry, president of OWN, in a statement. “This special time of year is about spending time with the ones you love, and we think our viewers are going to enjoy watching these movies together throughout the season.”

ONE FINE CHRISTMAS – NOVEMBER 15 @ 9 P.M. EST

Legendary actress Marla Gibbs and Vanessa Williams will join Rick Fox and his daughter, Sasha Fox, in this ensemble, making the father-daughter duo’s first acting gig together. Set in the neighborhood of Christmas Street, the movie tells the individual stories of its residents, who have forgotten the importance of family during the holiday season and find themselves united as they celebrate Christmas Eve.

CAROLE’S CHRISTMAS – NOVEMBER 22 @ 9 P.M. EST

Starring Jackée Harry, Cayden K. Williams (star of OWN’s David Makes Man), and Kimberly EliseCarole’s Christmas follows Carole Jordan (Elise), a busy, overworked business woman who finds her life turned upside down after wishing she’d taken a different path in life. The only person she can trust is Iris (Harry), a woman from her “past life,” and eventually, the story finds Carole learning about gratitude.

BAKING CHRISTMAS – NOVEMBER 29 @ 9 P.M. EST

Patty (Aloma Wright), the matriarch and founder of her town’s most popular bakery, announces her intentions to retire at year’s end, which prompts her children—Jennifer (Khalilah Joi), Angela (Leigh-Ann Rose), and Anthony (Arnell Powell)—to step up and offer their ideas for the future of the family business. The determining factor as to who will lead? Why, a Christmas cake bakeoff that is bound to get messy as siblings fight for control.

Watch a sneak peek below:

PHOTO CREDITS: OWN

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#UPFRONT featuring Jackée Harry, The Quad’s Larry Rhem + GUHHATL Cast (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

This weekend’s edition of #UPFRONT was packed with a lot of star power! I caught up with CAU alumni and star of “BET’s The Quad,” Larry RhemThe popular series is back for second season and airs Tuesday nights at 10 pm.

The offspring of Hip Hop royalty were in the building. I’m talking about none other than the cast of WEtv’s “Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta.”  They stopped by to dish about their second season and the misconceptions of reality stars.

#UFPRONT also featured Emmy winning TV icon Jackée Harry. The star of “227” and “Sister,Sister” opened about her new role on “Tyler Perry’s The Paynes.” She also talked candidly about the need for more opportunities for women of color and the secret to her longevity.  I also played music from Kindred Family Soul, Victor Wooten and Alfa Mist.

“UPFRONT Inside Atlanta Entertainment Industry” is a 30-minutes arts and entertainment program that features one-on-one interviews with all of the movers and shakers in television, music, film, theater and fashion.  UPFRONT airs every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. on WCLK 91.9 and is hosted by yours truly.

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Jackée talks ‘The Paynes,’ Tyler Perry, her Grandson and more! [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

I had the distinct pleasure Thursday night of having dinner with Emmy winning actress, TV icon and Broadway star—Jackée Harry. She was in Atlanta promoting her new role on “Tyler Perry’s The Paynes,” which airs on Friday evenings at 9 p.m. on OWN.

In “The Paynes,” Cassi Davis and LaVan Davis reprise their roles as Ella and Curtis Payne, from the hit series “House of Payne.” The two are enjoying their retirement when a family death takes them on the road to Florida. It is during this trip that Curtis is roped into a real estate deal by his cousin JoAnn (played by Jackée) that will tumble their lives like clothes in a dryer. The show also features Stephanie Charles, Markice Moore, JD McCrary, Sanai Victoria and Anthony O. Dalton.

This is Jackée’s first project with Perry and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

“Tyler Perry had written the part for me and I had no idea. When I got there he said, ‘I got you’ and it’s been rich. This is the first time I’ve worked for an African-American man and woman [Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey] at the same time. They are billionaires, so it feels great!”

Jackée is also excited to be back on primetime. She burst on to the scene in the early 80s as a soap opera star on NBC’s “Another World” before landing the role of a lifetime as the sassy, sexy vamp Sandra Clark on “227.” She would later star opposite Tim Reid and the Mowry twins—Tia and Tamera—in the hit series “Sister, Sister” in the 90s. She credits her sharp wit and impeccable comedic timing (that we’ve all grown to love) as the secret to her longevity.

“Everybody ain’t Viola Davis you know. I wanted to be the greatest actress around but there’s not enough parts and comedy keeps me busy. I would love to retire and do jobs here and there but it ain’t happenin and we ain’t got that many. So since you all seem to still be enthralled I continue to go on and do it. I just don’t want to get bored,” said the veteran actress.

In addition to the new show, Jackée also has a new love in her life—her grandson Kyydyn. He is the child of her son—Frank—and has already captured her heart beyond her wildest dreams.

“His name is Kydyn and I’m in love. He’s just a fat chunk of joy you know. Just a little package and you don’t even know that you’re gonna feel that way. It was instant,” she said with stars in her eyes and that wide 1000 watt smile. “It’s made me come to another level of love I never knew I had. I’ve never been in love with a little baby. (LOL) I see little babies I like but they can go right on home. However, this one is coming with me.”

In addition to questions about her career, Jackée also chatted about adapting to social media, the current #MeToo Movement, Mo’Nique and more. Check out the full interview in next week’s edition of my radio show, UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry.

“The Paynes” starring Jackée Harry airs TONIGHT at 9 p.m. on OWN

Photo Credits: Ray Cornelius

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‘The Haves and the Have Nots,’ ‘If Loving You is Wrong’ + ‘The Paynes’ casts host Meet & Greet [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Cast members from Tyler Perry‘s hit series “The Haves and the Have Nots,” “If Loving You is Wrong” and “The Paynes” hosted the ultimate fan experience Tuesday in Harlem, NY to promote the shows’ new season which began this week on OWN. The event was co-presented by the network and the iconic radio station—WBLS.

The event included sneak peeks of “If Loving You is Wrong” and “The Paynes” and a full episode screening of “The Haves and the Have Nots.” WBLS midday personality Shaila Scott moderated the post-screening Q&A with the cast which was followed by fan photos and a reception.

Talent in attendance included Tika Sumpter, Angela Robinson and Tyler Lepley from “The Haves and the Have Nots; Eltony Williams and April Parker Jones from “If Loving You is Wrong” and Jackée Harry, Cassi Davis and LaVan Davis from “The Paynes.”

An all-new season of “If Loving You is Wrong” premieres tonight on its new day – Wednesday – at 10pm ET/PT on OWN. “The Paynes” premieres Tuesday, January 16 with two back-to-back episodes at 10pm and 10:30pm ET/PT. “The Haves and the Have Nots” airs Tuesdays at 9pm ET/PT on OWN.

See more photos + a recap of the last season of “If Loving You is Wrong” below:

Photo Credits: Bernard Smalls

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Jasmine Guy + Kim Fields +Tatyana Ali + Joseph Marcell starring in “Wrapped Up For Christmas’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Not sure how this one slipped by me but check out the trailer for Lifetime’s holiday movie, “Wrapped Up in Christmas” starring my good buddy Jasmine Guy along with Kim Fields and Tatyana Ali. It airs this Saturday, November 25 at 8 p.m. EST.

Christmas is one of Heather’s (Ali) favorite times of year but this year, as the manager of the upscale Town Center Mall, she has to be the Christmas Grinch and cancel the leases of under-performing stores. One afternoon, Heather’s niece, Molly asks the mall Santa to help find a boyfriend for her beloved aunt. Unbeknownst to Molly and Heather, “Santa” is actually Ryan (Brendan Fehr), who is working at the mall for the holidays and helping his Aunt Patty run her failing toy store. As Heather and Ryan begin to fall for each other, they have no idea of one another’s true identity: Heather who is tasked with closing his aunt’s store and Ryan who is too ashamed to tell Heather that he is the actually the mall Santa. Will Molly’s Christmas wish come true, or will Heather be stuck as the Town Center Grinch?

The film also stars Joseph Marcell, Dan LauriaJackeé Harry and Mindy Sterling.

Photo Credit: Instagram/Kim Fields

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Tyler Perry’s ‘The Paynes’ debuting on OWN January 16, 2018 (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

GUESS WHO’S BACK?

The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is pleased to announce that Cassi Davis and LaVan Davis are returning to prime time as Ella and Curtis Payne in Tyler Perry‘s new series, “The Paynes.” The show premieres on Tuesday, January 16 with two back-to-back episodes beginning at 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

As Curtis and Ella are enjoying their retirement, a death in the family takes them on the road to Florida, where Curtis is roped into a real estate deal that will tumble their lives like clothes in a dryer – with plenty of laughs and life lessons along the way. “The Paynes” also stars Emmy-winner Jackeé Harry as well as Stephanie Charles, Markice Moore, JD McCrary, Sanai Victoria and Anthony O. Dalton.

Check out a sneak peek below + click here and listen to my #UPFRONT interview with Cassi Davis earlier this year where she talked about the show and much more.

Photo Credit: OWN

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Cast of ‘227’ reunite on ‘Steve Harvey Show’ + More [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Last night, the Steve Harvey Show’s Season of Surprises continued as the show hosted a Neighborhood Block Party with a surprise reunion of TV’s favorite neighborhood family, 227.  Marla Gibbs, Jackee Harry, Hal Williams and Curtis Baldwin were all reunited in front of over 300 guests at the Universal Studios Back Lot.  Reporter Nina Parker of NBC’s Access Hollywood curated a special interview segment with the cast as they gathered for the surprise reunion.

inside photo 227

In true block party fashion, guests of the event enjoyed some of LA’s notable food trucks, which featured  “down home” dishes inspired by internet sensation and Steve Harvey Show’s own, Auntie Fee! Attendees also competed in fun trivia games for prizes and jammed to classic block party hits. While Steve, himself, was unable to attend the event, he shared a heartfelt video message with the audience in his absence.  Other celebrities in attendance included actresses Bresha Webb and Adina Porter along with reality starlet Laura Govan and model Karrueche Tran.

Make sure to tune in weekdays to the Steve Harvey Show on NBC at 3pm.* Check your local listings!

Steve Harvey Show Block Party (Photo @ArnoldShoots VIP Photos)
Steve Harvey Show Block Party
(Photo @ArnoldShoots VIP Photos)

Steve Harvey Show Block Party (Photo @ArnoldShoots VIP Photos)
Steve Harvey Show Block Party
(Photo @ArnoldShoots VIP Photos)

Steve Harvey Show Block Party (Photo @ArnoldShoots VIP Photos)
Steve Harvey Show Block Party
(Photo @ArnoldShoots VIP Photos)

Steve Harvey Show Block Party (Photo @ArnoldShoots VIP Photos)
Steve Harvey Show Block Party
(Photo @ArnoldShoots VIP Photos)

Photo Credits: Arnold Turner / A Turner Archives

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5-minutes with BOUNCE TV star of ‘In the Cut’ Dorien Wilson (AUDIO EXCLUSIVE)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

BOUNCE TV is set to tickle your funny bone TONIGHT with the premiere of its hilarious new original series, “In the Cut” starring Dorien Wilson.  You may remember him as Professor Stanley Oglevee on the hugely popular UPN sitcom, “The Parkers” starring Mo’Nique and Countess Vaughn. Well now he is back with a new situation comedy alongside TV vets and industry friends, Jackée Harry, Ken Lawson and John Marshall Jones. The series was created by Bentley Kyle Evans (“Martin,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Love That Girl”)  and will air in a special-six weeks summer series run Tuesday nights at 9 p.m.

RC with In the Cut actor

 Ray Cornelius with “In the Cut” star Dorien Wilson

I recently had the pleasure of talking exclusively to Wilson when BOUNCE and the BronzeLens Film Festival premiered a snippet of the show at the Neighborhood Awards. During our brief discussion, Wilson talked candidly about the series and his character. He also dished about why he would never do reality television and the advice he would give to an aspiring actor.

Check out the audio interview + a sneak peek of “In The Cut” below:

[soundcloud url=”https://soundcloud.com/ray-cornelius/dorien-wilson-interview” comments=”true” auto_play=”false” color=”ff7700″ width=”100%” height=”81″]

[youtube id=”u0w6viHzhIA” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Photo Credits: IndieWire & RayCornelius.com

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BET’s Centric to premiere ‘The First Family’ and ‘Mr. Box Office’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Last year, RC reported that the “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight was starring in a new television project entitled The First Family.  Well now 100 episodes of the sitcom have been acquired by BET from Entertainment Studios and will air this month on the Centric Network.

The First Family  is about an African-American family (not to be confused with the Obamas) residing in the White House and starring Christopher P. Duncan as President William Johnson, Kellita Smith as First Lady Katherine Johnson, Knight as Johnson’s mother, Marla Gibbs as the First Lady’s mother, Paul Rodriguez as Dictator Rafael and Jackee Harry as the First Lady’s sister.  The show will also be joined by Mr. Box Office, a comedy about the biggest movie star in the world who is sentenced to teaching English at the “toughest’ high school in America. This sitcom features Bill Bellamy as Mr. Box Office, Tim Meadows, Vivica A. Fox, former NBA star Rick Fox, Keisha Knight Pulliam, Jon Lovitz and Gary Busey.

According to Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios, “This is an historic deal.”

“We have bypassed the broadcast networks to produce two original sitcoms with hundreds of episodes that feature prominent TV and film stars, and we couldn’t be happier to have BET Networks as our cable premiere partner.”

RC will keep you posted as trailers for the shows should be released soon.

Source 

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Byron Allen announces ‘First Family’ cast

Posted by | Cyrena Rose

Byron Allen, CEO of Entertainment Studios, has ordered 104 episodes of the new scripted comedyThe First Family, about an African-American family living in the White House; not to be confused with the Obamas.

According to Hollywoodreporter, the cast are:  Christopher P. Duncan (The Jamie Foxx show) as President William Johnson, singer Gladys Knight is cast as his mother, veteran actor-comedian John Witherspoon as the President’s father,  Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons) as the First Lady’s mother, Hispanic comedian Paul Rodriguez as Dictator Rafael, Jackee Harry (Sister, Sister) as the First Lady’s sister and Kellita Smith (The Bernie Mac Show) as First Lady Katherine Johnson along with other actors.

“There’s a huge shortfall of quality family sitcoms, and we are 110 percent committed to filling that enormous void,” said Allen, who is still a comedian himself.  “Our number one priority is to deliver the highest quality content in the sitcom genre, and this initial 104-episode order is a big step in the right direction.”

The series pilot was just completed. The First Family is set to debut this fall on broadcast syndication, cable and digital media.