May 29, 2014 

Will Smith Developing Annual New Year’s Eve Special


Stepping in the shoes of Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest, Will Smith will be developing his own Annual New Year’s Eve Special.  Smith and his production company Overbrook Entertainment are reportedly developing a New Year’s Eve television special that will parallel to Dick Clark Productions’ “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.” According to the New York Post, “As of now, it’s being shopped to the networks. It would feature musical performances, possibly one by Will.”  There is talk of his friend David Beckham joining him in this new venture. Sources say Smith’s people want to film it in Miami and include his friend David Beckham: “They want to do something with Beckham and his focus on his Miami soccer team.”  Smith and Overbrook Entertainment are looking to party town Miami as home to the new festivities.  There is no word on whether the special will be a family affair with wife Jada, son Jaden and daughter Willow.




Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer teaming up for FX Comedy “Partners”


Two TV-comedic icons will double the laughs with new series “Partners.” The FX comedy follows two opposing Chicago lawyers who are brought together by circumstance. Marcus Jackson (Lawrence) is a soft-hearted community activist going through a divorce. Allen Braddock (Grammer) is a highbrow lawyer who’s just been fired from his father’s firm. But after meeting in court, the pair develop a strong partnership and friendship. Alongside Lawrence and Grammer will co-star Telma Hopkins, Rory O’Malley, McKaley Miller, Edi Patterson and Daniele Watts. The series will air two back-to-back episodes every Monday for five consecutive weeks, reports “Partners” will premiere Monday, Aug. 4.




Angela Bassett to Direct Lifetime Original movie “Whitney Houston” detailing the life and career of the icon and her tumultuous relationship with Bobby Brown


Golden Globe Award winner and Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett will make her directorial debut with the Lifetime Original Movie Whitney Houston. Scheduled for a 2015 world premiere, “Whitney Houston” chronicles the headline-making relationship between the iconic singer, actress, producer and model, and singer, songwriter Bobby Brown, from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage.  Throughout it all, difficulties followed the superstar couple while they dealt with the overwhelming rewards and consequences of the fame and fortune created by Whitney’s meteoric rise that would soon overshadow them both. “I have such regard for both Whitney’s and Bobby’s amazing talents and accomplishments; and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story,” said Bassett.  “Their humanity and bond fascinates us all.  I’m beyond excited to have this opportunity to go behind the camera and into their world.” Produced by The Sanitsky Company, Whitney Houston will be executive produced by Larry Sanitsky (Betty & Coretta).  Shem Bitterman (Betty & Coretta) wrote the film’s script.





Original Talk Series “exhale” to air exclusively on ASPiRE this June


ASPiRE’s popular weekly original talk series “exhale” continues with four all-new episodes in June. No issue goes untouched, the talk show tackles Feminism, Childhood Health and Wellness, Education and Reinventing Your Life.  Season two of the eight-episode series continues to air through June 25th on Wednesdays at 8p.m. only on ASPiRE.  Hosted by five dynamic, successful African American women –  journalist and media maven Angela Burt-Murray; actress and comedian Erin Jackson; director, writer and actress Issa Rae; blogger, author and TV anchor Rene Syler; and actress Malinda Williams, “exhale” brings viewers honest, funny and candid discussion on a wide range of topics affecting African-American women.  Shot on location in Los Angeles, an intriguing range of special guests including Tracee Ellis Ross, Kimberle Crenshaw, Feminista Jones, Sahar Simmons just to name a few join in the conversation and fun.  ASPiRE and the hosts further connect, engage and continue dynamic, nimble dialogue with the audience through social media.  For more information, please go to, Twitter on @ExhaleTV, and Facebook at




VH1’s “The Tanning Of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop” Earns a Emmy nomination


Steve Stoute’s VH1’s “The Tanning Of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop is a contender in Outstanding Documentary Non-Fiction Series category for the Primetime Emmy Awards. The series follows an in-depth look at hip-hop as a pop cultural movement, whose profound influence eventually paved the way for the election of Barack Obama.  The series was directed by Billy Corben & Alfred Spellman and premiered on VH1 in February 2014. The documentary included interviews and footage of Hip Hop influences such as Diddy, Dr. Dre, Norman Leer, Mariah Carey,, Russell Simmons, Pharrell, Nas, Reverend Run, Rick Rubin, Fab 5 Freddy, Jimmy lovine, Al Sharpton, Cory Booker, Brett Ratner, Brian Grazer, Tommy Hilfiger, Ron Howard, and Stoute himself, among many others. The documentary is based off of former music executive Stoute’s bestselling novel, The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy. 


Category: Arts & Culture