Robin Thede Breaks Record with ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

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After seeing the trailer, I fell in love and was laughing out loud. This is comedy genius. When Robin Thede’s show was cancelled on BET she didn’t wallow and sit around feeling sorry for herself, she rose up like a BOSS and created something great, something we didn’t even know that we needed until we saw it in action. It’s the first series of its kind, and representation is important. Bringing a group of talented, hilarious and smart Black women together for this series.

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A sketch comedy show starring, written by and directed primarily by black women, including the first Black woman sketch director. Produced by Issa Rae, provides a showcase for the four comedians who make up its core cast: creator Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Quinta Brunson and Gabrielle Dennis. This show hosts a slew of amazing guest stars within the far to few episodes that makes me tear up.

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Premieres on HBO on Aug 2 at 8 pm.

DEADLY DISPATCH

DEADLY DISPATCH stars Tamala Jones, DomiNque Perry, and Rapper, Bone Crusher. The film chronicles the tragic murder of Shawn, a well-liked owner of a struggling car service company. Tiffany (Jones) is a local salon owner and Shawn’s longtime, high-school best friend who becomes intertwined in the complex circumstances surrounding his death. Unsatisfied with the police’s classification of the case being a “robbery gone wrong,” Tiffany becomes suspicious of Shawn’s grieving widow Amber (Perry). Motivated to find out what really happened to her friend that fateful day, Tiffany embarks on a quest that will not only endanger her marriage, but her life as well. Will she be able to come to terms with a deep secret shared between her and Shawn while seeking justice?

Deadly Dispatch is a part of TV One’s true crime series month of Love, Lies and Murder.

DEADLY DISPATCH PREMIERES SUNDAY, JULY 28 AT 8 PM ON TV ONE!

QUEEN SUGAR IS BACK!

Queen Sugar is Back! Premiering on June 12th on OWN. The trailer has me excited and knows this will definitely be a great season.

The drama series is back for the fourth year, following the Bordelon family as they discover Nova (Rutina Wesley) is publishing her memoir which divulges long-held family secrets. Tension festers 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 the tension 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), is encouraged by an old friend to create opportunities for formerly incarcerated men.

“Queen Sugar” is produced for OWN by Forward Movement and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The executive producers are Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Paul Garnes and Anthony Sparks. The series is based on the book by Natalie Baszile.

QUEEN SUGAR PREMIERES JUNE 12 AT 9 PM ON OWN!

PODCASTS WE LOVE!

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Podcasts are nothing new but they have recently exploded on the scene. There are currently 540,000 podcasts and inceases about 2,000 each week. Think of podcasts as old school talk radio from back in the day, or informative/comedy in your ears. I have learned so much from podcasts, from writing, to therapy, to just basic comedy, my ears perk up at each listen. You can always click on your search bar however you find podcasts and search by subjects. There is something for everyone.

Below are my favorites that I listen to.

COMEDY

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Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
After 25 years at the Late Night desk, Conan realized that the only people at his holiday party are the men and women who work for him. So he has set out to change that. This podcast is a weekly opportunity for Conan to hang out and talk to people that has been on his show and hopefully find some real relationships along the way.

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Yo, Is This Racist?
Hosted by Andrew Ti and Tawny Newsome. They attempt to solve racism on a weekly basis. With the help of their comedy guests they answer questions from submitted voicemails about whether or not something in fact is actually racist. I must warn for a lot of cursing.

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The Read
Bloggers Kid Fury and Crissie cover hip-hop and pop-culture stars and their lives. They take turns throwing shade and spilling the tea with a humorous attitude. No one is safe from their scurinity except for Beyonce’ and Blue Ivy. I don’t always agree with their views but a good time. I must warn for a lot of cursing.

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How Did This Get Made?
This podcast explores the question of how bad movies can sometimes be amazing. Hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas. They watch bad movies and report back on the results. They say everything and anything about the movie and don’t hold back. A hilarious good time.

ON WRITING

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Hilliard Guess’ Screenwriter’s Rant Room
Host Hilliard Guess, a member of the WGAW, and award-winning writer and his co-hosts Lisa Bolekaja and Chris Derrick. They drop invaluable industry knowledge in an unfiltered manner. It is real talk from real working writers. I have learned more about the industry than I did in my years of schooling. Comedy mixed with knowledge. In my top five of favorite podcasts.

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Paper Team
A great podcast about television writing and how to launch your career in the industry. They have guests that give invaluable information, from showrunners, writers, fellowship directors, to how to network properly. It is a great resource and I learn each time.

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3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast
The official podcast of the Writers Guild of America West. They give updates on the Guild and interviews with screenwriters about screenwriting, movies, television and the business.

GENERAL

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Boss Up Moms
Moms who are also entreprenuers often find themselves in need of balance and community. Boss Up Moms are a group of women that meet weekly to discuss their success, failures and inspiration on balancing motherhood, family, and their businesses. While I am not a mother, it is very informative and great to hear how they juggle it all.

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OD Podcast
OD stands for Open Discussion and that is exactly what they do. Funny thing is they always are touching on subjects that I am currently going through. They get me and I love it. It is an unfiltered conversation about things that matter and some things that don’t matter but still great all in the same. Hosted by Alicia and Drvco who made in Atlanta and don’t let you forget it.

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Jesus and Jollof
This podcast is definitely in my top 5. They get to the core of adulting. While I may not be ready to hear everything that they say I always tuck it in the back of my head for future reference. They get me too and I love it. Hosted by Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Orji, two proud Nigerian women who are cut up at every turn but they talk about things they love, their life and how they have overcame to help us navigate life. They drop some major gems.

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Rants and Randomness
Host Luvvie Ajayi talks about things that she is loving and things that she is side-eyeing. She rants on everything from society to pop culture. Her guests from her tribe stay dropping gems. A great podcast overall.

These are just a few to get started. Subscribe and start listening to greatness.

The 12th Annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic Cinco de Mayo Party

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

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On May 5, George Lopez hosted a Cinco de Mayo party for his 12th Annual Celebrity Golf Classic for his Foundation.

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George Lopez created the foundation after in 2005 when he himself needed a transplant which was graciously given by his wife. The mission for the foundation is to create positive, permanent change for underprivileged children, adults and military families confronting challenges in education and health, as well as increasing community awareness about kidney disease and organ donation.

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“I am thankful for the kidney transplant I received in 2005, which has allowed me to pursue my two passions – playing golf and giving back to others less fortunate.” – George Lopez

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Each year his family and friends come together for the Celebrity Golf Classic to help raise awareness for kidney disease. Such a great fun event that brings awareness to a disease that affects some many people.

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In June, the foundation hosts a camp for children affected by kidney disease. Within this camp the children will experience a week-long summer session at a medical specialty camp for children that will learn new strategies of medical self-care, increase their self-confidence, and build supportive friendships with peers who have the same medical conditions.

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Everyone has someone in their life that has been affected by this disease, I know that I do. If you want to donate to this great organization you can via their website georgelopezfoundation.org.

THE 50TH NAACP AWARDS RECAP

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

The NAACP Image Awards was a fantastic good time and always great celebrating what people of color bring to the table. The wins began at the non-televised dinner held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA and then continued on to the live show at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

Among the wins, the biggest went to Black Panther, individually as well as collectively. Chadwick Boseman, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. Michael B. Jordan, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. Danai Gurira, Outstanding Supporting Actress in in a Motion Picture. Ryan Coogler, Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture. Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture. Letitia Wright, Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture. Outstanding Soundtrack/Complilation. Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture. And finally, Outstanding Motion Picture. Way to go team. Such a phenomenal movie that deserves all the recognition it has received.

Black-ish was also among big winners for the night including Outstanding Comedy Series. Power took home the Outstanding Drama Series. Maxine Waters who received the Chariman’s Award gave us a thorough lesson in political affairs, while Jay-Z was honored with the Presidents Award and Beyonce’ took home Entertainer of the Year. It was a great night.

If you missed any of the action check out the replay on TV One.

WHEN THEY SEE US – NETFLIX

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Ava DuVernay’s upcoming limited series on the brutal crime and false accusations of five teenagers that shocked NYC and the nation 30 years ago will be available to stream on Netflix on May 31. The four-part series formerly known as The Central Park Five will now be called When They See Us released an explosive trailer this morning. Just the title alone is powerful. For the many Black deaths that has spawned the Black Lives Matter movement, for the many false accusations of people of color over the years, When They See Us is a very fitting title.

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With this series Korey, Antron, Raymond, Kevin and Yusef get to tell their story of young people of color unjustly handled by the criminal justice system.

For those that are unfamiliar with the case, these five teens, four Black and one Hispanic were apprehended in connection to the assault and brutal rape of Trisha Meili, a White female jogger on the night of April 19, 1989. Before the trial began, the FBI tested the DNA of the rape kit and found that it did not match any of the boys but as fitting as the title suggests they were in the park so they must have done it, right? Regardless of the evidence to clear them the teens were convicted in 1990. In 2002, Matias Reyes, a convicted murder and serial rapist serving a life sentence in prison confessed to the crime and DNA evidence confirmed that he was indeed the attacker on the night in question. However, Reyes was not prosecuted for the rape and murder due to statute of limitations expiring by the time of his confession.

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The teens now men convictions were overturned in 2002. In 2003, they sued the City of New York for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and emotional distress. The city refused to settle for over a decade until new Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and supported the settlement, the city settled the case for $41 million in 2014 and their names were finally cleared.

This whole case and what’s happening in society has me singing the old Michael Jackson song “They Don’t Care About Us”.

Written and Directed by Ava DuVernay. This series will go beyond 1989 and what happened after.

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The series stars Emmy Award® Nominee Michael K. Williams, Academy Award® Nominee Vera Farmiga, Emmy Award® Winner John Leguizamo, Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Felicity Huffman, Emmy Award® Nominee Niecy Nash, Emmy Award® Winner and two-time Golden Globe Nominee Blair Underwood, Emmy Award® and Grammy Award® Winner and Tony Award® Nominee Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.

Thank you Ava for continuing to expose the injustice of people of color.

NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINATIONS

 BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

The NAACP Award nominations are in and HBO and Netflix lead with 22 and 20 Nominations in the Television categories. Marvel leads with 13 nominations in Film categories. RCA leads with 11 nominations in the music categories. The nominees were announced on February 13, 2019 at a press conference. Winners will be announced live during a Two-Hour live special on TV One on Saturday, March 30, 2019 in Los Angles, California.

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“With TV One as our partner for the 50th Anniversary of the NAACP Image Awards, we are delighted to have a platform to showcase artists and individuals of color and celebrate their talents and contributions.” – NAACP President Derrick Johnson.

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In its 50th year, The NAACP Image Awards is the foremost multicultural awards show celebrating the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

Maxine Waters Leads Discussion On Housing Finance Reform

In addition to the standard awards categories, our favorite auntie Congresswoman Maxine Waters will be honored with the NAACP Chairman of the Year Award which is given to individuals who demonstrate exemplary public service and use their platforms to create agents of change.

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SPIN-OFFS ARE WHERE IT’S AT

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Freeform renews two of our favorites. Grown-ish, the spin-off from Black-ish created by Kenya Barris. Also, Good Trouble, the spin-off from The Fosters.

Catch both of them on Freeform and the Freeform app.

AN EVENING WITH ANGELA BASSETT

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Had a priceless evening with Hollywood Confidential on Monday night at the Saban Theatre. The phenomenal, talented, iconic Angela Bassett graced the stage and dropped some gems and inspired us all to never lose our fire and to go after our dreams. Angela Bassett was also given the Icon Award by Essence at the end of the night. So, yes priceless moments.

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Thank you so much to Hollywood Confidential and creator Steve Jones for allowing us to be in the room to hear from a legend and a master at the game.

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About Hollywood Confidential:

In seeking to provide a solution, entertainment executive Steve Jones and his company, Brand Maverick Entertainment, launched a free panel series entitled The Hollywood Confidential, designed to educate aspiring actors, producers, writers and directors on the inner workings of entertainment from the perspective of industry veterans.

Specifically, The Hollywood Confidential is a forum where Hollywood’s elite come together for a discussion to reveal tips, strategies, and secrets, as well as recount their own behind-the-scenes experiences as some of the industry’s most respected power players.

Serving the entertainment community since 2013, The Hollywood Confidential has reached thousands of attendees and has additionally pulled in over 20 million impressions online. The panel consistently features an array of topnotch talent and executives with the likes of Golden Globe nominee Michael Ealy, Actresses Sanaa Lathan, Brandy, Tichina Arnold, Meagan Good, Kimberly Elise, KeKe Palmer, executives Cori Murray (entertainment director, ESSENCE magazine), Endyia Kinney-Sterns (VP of Development, OWN Network), and Kimberly Hardin (casting director credited with the discovery of J. Lo, Halle Berry, and Taraji P. Henson) amongst it’s past participants.

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Make sure you follow Hollywood Confidential on social media to know when the next installment will be. I am not sure how they will top Angela Bassett but it is only up from here.