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Sherri Shepherd’s ex-husband has been handed a court defeat. Previously, Lamar Sallywon against his famous ex-wife, which granted Sally child support of $4,100 a month which increases to $4,600 when son Lamar, Jr. turns 13. Shepherd was twice declared as responsible for the surrogate child she and Sally agreed to have before they broke up. The child biologically is not Shepherd’s because a donor egg was used. The boy is biologically Sally’s son. Sally wanted to increase the payments because he insisted Shepherd is making more money now than she was when first in court. Sally originally had his child support determined in New Jersey, but filed for the increase in California. A judge denied his request and advised Sally he’d have to go back to New Jersey where the support was originally determined. Shepherd’s legal team took the victory to the press and released statements. Her team says the suit was frivolous and filed in California on purpose because Shepherd is already paying an amount higher than typical New Jersey standards. They also say that Sally should look for employment rather than looking to Shepherd. Sally’s lawyers dispute this and as of press time, no word yet on what Sally will do from here.
We remember Mary Tyler Moore. The iconic entertainment legend was a groundbreaking performer and a barrier shattering mogul. Her big break came when the late Danny Thomas and his partner Sheldon Leonard were developing The Dick Van Dyke Show. Thomas remembered her after a failed Danny Thomas Show audition. From 1961-1966, Moore made history alongside Dick Van Dyke as The Petries, and won her first two Emmys for The Dick Van Dyke Show. In 1970, she and her former husband Grant Tinker, the legendary programmer and producer who recently passed at age 90, formed MTM Enterprises. That company rivaled Norman Lear and Aaron Spelling’s successes by producing a string of classics: The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, WKRP In Cincinnati, The White Shadow, St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, Rhoda, Phyllis, Lou Grant, The Betty White Show, and, of course, The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977). Moore’s show firmly placed women as strong, accomplished career people, which was practically forbidden on TV due to sexism. From Oprah Winfrey to Actress Candice Bergman and her cast of Murphy Brown praised Moore’s show, which was a top ten hit and part of CBS’ legendary Saturday night line-up that kept people home for the then highest-rated night of TV. Moore would also be cast by Robert Redford in his Oscar winning directorial debut Ordinary People in 1980, which won Moore a Best Actress Oscar nomination as a grieving matriarch who can’t cope with the death of one son and the growing problems of the other. Moore would endure the real life accidental death of her only son, two divorces and health challenges from diabetes before remarrying happily for over thirty years and becoming an advocate for curing diabetes. Mary Tyler Moore was 80 years old.
The Academy Award nominations are out, and the academy definitely heard and felt the #Oscarssowhite controversy of last year. Among the nominees: Denzel Washington and Viola Davis for Fences; Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures;Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris and Writer/Director Barry Jenkins for Moonlight; and Ruth Negga for Loving. Fences, Moonlight and Hidden Figures are all also up for Best Picture. There were a few notable snubs: no Directing nomination for Fences’ Denzel Washington and no Best Actress nods for Taraji P. Henson or Janelle Monae from Hidden Figures. History was made with the first African American woman nominated in the editing category, Joi McMillon for Moonlight. Jimmy Kimmel will host The Oscars Sunday, February 26th on ABC.
Meanwhile, the Oscar nominated box office smash Hidden Figures has grossed over $83 million and is still going strong. The film is about the unsung African American female mathematicians who helped NASA crack the numerical codes to insure John Glenn and crew’s trip to the moon. The three stars, Taraji P. Henson, Actress/Singer Janelle Monae and Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer are also on the cover of Essence magazine. And, Taraji P. Henson returns to her number one rated TV drama Empire on FOX Wednesday, March 22nd.
India.Arie says she stands with singer under fire Chrisette Michele. Michele has been feeling the heat from celebs (Questlove and Spike Lee) and the public for performing at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. Arie wrote an open letter and asks the critics to choose their words carefully, and states she doesn’t have to agree with Michele to support her. Michele, who has performed for President Obama in the past, says she performed for Trump so he could see us. The singer/songwriter said she didn’t hesitate when the offer was made by Trump’s team. She went in with a wolf in sheep’s clothing mentality because since she has the ear of politicians she didn’t want to waste it. Michele says she has no regrets although she never even got to meet Trump. She does say she was hurt by being cut off by her family and the criticism from Questlove and Spike Lee, who now doesn’t want to use her music in a new project. Michele says her goal was to be a bridge and at least start the conversation.
Bruno Mars has now been added to the Grammy’s upcoming telecast as a performer. He joins John Legend, Adele and Usher, who were previously announced as performers. Mars will also be a part of a Bob Marley tribute slated for the show. Beyoncé, Rihanna, Drake, Kanye West and Adele are leading the nominations. Solange, Fantasia, Barbara Streisand, Ro James and Philly’s own Musiq Soulchild are also up for awards. The 59th Annual Grammy Awards will air from L.A. with first time host The Late Late Show’s James Corden on Sunday, February 12th at 8pm on CBS.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will mark the final performance of the late Carrie Fisher, and is slated to hit the big screen December 15th.
Mary J. Blige is the Queen Of Hip Hop Soul and Cougars! Blige is currently divorcing her husband/ manager Kendu Isaacs. The lawyers are hashing over the issues of money now. Meanwhile, the 46-year old Blige has spotted out and about with 30-year old Actor Jason Mitchell. Mitchell played Eazy-E in the $100 million box office smash Straight Outta Compton, the bio pic of groundbreaking rap group N.W.A. Mitchell and Blige met on the set of their upcoming movie MudBound and reconnected at this past summer’s Essence Fest. After that is when things reportedly escalated beyond friendship. Mitchell, as a result, is already feeling the press heat with an alleged story of assaulting a woman at a Boston hotel and being kicked out because of it. There are no charges or an arrest stemming from the allegation. Blige is trying to keep her personal life completely private….at least until her divorce from Isaacs is settled and finalized. Posts on her social media with her and Mitchell have been deleted with no further comment.
The King Of Pop’s only daughter speaks out. Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris is on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. She’s not holding back in the interview. Paris says she was raped at age 14 by a complete stranger. This lead to her multiple suicide attempts. Now at age 18, she is finding her happiness. She’s been successfully pursuing modeling. She also considers herself African American. Why? Because that’s what her dad told her she was, and, to her knowledge, he never lied to her. Paris also says her dad dropped her hints someone was out to kill him, and she believes her father was murdered not just malpractice by Dr. Conrad Murray. Paris, who has 50 tattoos, is an heiress. She and her brothers will share the Michael Jackson estate, which will probably be worth over a billion dollars by the time they have control of it.
Philly native Kevin Hart and Emmy winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) are in town filming. The two star in the upcoming movie Untouchables. Hart has been spotted taking in a Sixers’ game and sporting an afro cut. Untouchables follows the relationship of a paralyzed man and the caregiver he hires to help him adjust to his new reality and disability.
Jill Scott is going into the greeting card business. Jilly From Philly is teaming up with Hallmark. The poetic cards are inspired by the late Maya Angelou, who worked on a similar project years ago. Angelou and Scott share a birthday, careers as singer/songwriters, actresses and activists. The Jill Scott Collection will be released through Hallmark’s Mahogany brand, and will hit shelves just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Motown Legend Smokey Robinson returns to PBS. The singer/songwriter was awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in Washington, DC. The event was taped and will air February 10th. Performers include Ledisi, Esperanza Spalding, The Tenors, JoJo, CeeLo Green, BeBe Winans and Smokey leading an all-star performance of the hit he wrote for The Temptations, My Girl. Samuel L. Jackson hosts Smokey Robinson: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song on Friday, February 10th at 9pm on PBS.
The New Edition Story has given BET its best premiere in five years. I already told you how incredible this mini-series is following the incredible careers of Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill. The premiere had more than four million viewers, and out did all other cable shows that night. The cast includes Empire star and Philly’s own Yazz the Greatest (Bryshere Y. Gray), Luke James, Elijah Kelly, Keith Powers, Algee Smith and Woody McClain as the group along with LaLa Anthony, Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple), Lisa Nicole Carson (Ally McBeal; E.R.), Sandi McCree (who’s great as Bobby Brown’s mom) and Monica Calhoun (The Best Man). Singer/Songwriter Tank, Wood Harris, (The Wire), Faizon Love (Do The Right Thing) and Duane Martin (Real Husbands Of Hollywood) are also turning in top notch performances. The New Edition Story has the original group members serving as producers. Meanwhile, check out my interview with Bell Biv DeVoe, who have a new single Run, on the wdasfm.com Patty TV page.
UnSung, the original, is back. In the spotlight this season is SWV, Fat Joe, Jon B., Lenny Williams, Case, Dave Hollister, After 7 and the finale will be a tribute to The Godfather Of Soul, James Brown. UnSung airs Wednesdays at 8pm on TV One.
Meagan Good, Kelly Rowland, Keri Hilson, Soul Man’s Kellee Stewart and Brandon T. Jackson are starring in Love By The 10th Date. The Lifetime movie follows four career women as they balance their careers at an upscale digital magazine with their not so successful dating lives. Love By The 10th Date airs this Saturday, January 28th at 8pm on Lifetime.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards have announced their nominations as well. Hidden Figures, Moonlight and Fences, three films with predominately African American casts, are up for Best Picture. Viola Davis (Fences), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) and Naomie Harris (Moonlight) are all nominated in the supporting category. Sterling K. Brown was a double nominee for his hit NBC drama This Is Us, which just got an unusual two-season renewal from NBC, and The People vs. O.J. Simpson. O.J. Simpson Co-star Courtney B. Vance is also nominated, and Uzo Aduba is nominated for her role in Orange Is The New Black. Anthony Anderson and the series Black-ish are nominees as is Thandie Newton for Westworld. The SAG Awards will air on both TBS and TNT this Sunday, January 29th.
The Quad is BET’s brand new drama set on the campus of a Historically Black College/University (HBCU). Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls; Power; For Colored Girls) heads up the cast as the no nonsense college president. Also starring Philly’s own Kevin Savage, Ruben Santiago Hudson, Sean Blakemore and, returning to her TV HBCU roots, Jasmine Guy (A Different World). Look for my Kevin Savage interview as we give him a hometown welcome back to Philly on my Patty TV page on wdasfm.com and the WDAS Facebook. The Quad debuts on Tuesday, January 31st on BET.
The NAACP Award nominations are being led by the Nat Turner-slave revolt motion picture Birth Of A Nation. The controversial film became even more controversial when rape charges resurfaced about its Producer/Writer/Director/Actor Nate Parker then disappeared even faster when the film’s box office wasn’t strong due to the negative publicity. Birth Of A Nation has six nominations as does new Oscar frontrunner Moonlight, the coming of age story of a Miami youth in a dysfunctional home during the war on drugs. Four nominations came down for Hidden Figures, including Best Picture and Actress for Taraji P. Henson. Three nominations for the Denzel Washington-Viola Davis film Fences. Beyonce leads music with seven nominations followed closely by sister Solange with five of her own. Chance The Rapper, Kendrick Lamar and Donald Glover are all multi-nominees. Black-ish leads TV with 12 nominations, the reboot of the miniseries Roots scored nine nominations and six each for Insecure, Empire and The People vs. O.J. Simpson. Viola Davis, Beyonce, Chance The Rapper, Regina King and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are all up for Entertainer Of The Year. The 48th Annual NAACP Image Awards with Host Anthony Anderson will air live at 9pm Saturday, February 11th on TV One.
Media is an original TV drama airing on TV One. The TV movie starring Penny Johnson Jerald (The Larry Sanders Show; 24), Brian White (Scandal; Mistresses; I Can Do Bad All By Myself), Gary Dourdan (CSI; Jump The Broom), Pooch Hall (The Game), Stephen Bishop (Being Mary Jane) and Blue Kimble (Devious Maids; The Game) revolves around the double dealing and double crossing within The Jones Family who happen to be powerful media moguls. You know I’m a big night time soap opera fan, so I’ll be checking this out. Media airs Saturday, February 25th at 8pm on TV One.
The Black History Month/February issue of Ebony Magazine is Yes We Still Can, a look at the state of African Americans post-Obama.
President Barack Obama is featured on a separate special collector’s edition of Ebony magazine themed Hail To The Chief: Saluting Eight Years Of Excellence.
Alicia Keys is on the cover of Allure magazine.
Issa Rae, the breakout star of HBO’s Insecure, has a hot photo shoot in the latest edition of Elle magazine.
Essence Magazine is gearing up for its 23rd Annual Essence Fest and The Hip Hop Queen Of Soul, A Legend and The Boss will be in the house! Yes! Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Motown Legend Miss Diana Ross will headline the now legendary festival. Chaka Khan, Philly’s own Jazmine Sullivan, India.Arie, Solange, Shirley Jones of The Jones Girls, Ro James, Tweet, Shaggy, Michel’le, Yuna and Lalah Hathaway will also be performing with more acts to come. The 2017 Essence Fest will be June 29th through July 2nd in New Orleans.
Check out who’s coming to town:
Friday, February 10th – Jeffrey Osborne in concert at The Sugar House Casino. For tickets and information log onto surgarhouseentertainemnt.com.
Saturday, February 11th - Valentine’s Weekend Concert starring Erykah Badu and Tyrese at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Tickets are on sale now and for more information log onto boardwalkhall.com.
Saturday, February 11th – 70’s Soul Jam starring The Stylistics, The Dramatics, The Intruders, and Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes at The Tropicana in Atlantic City. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Sunday, February 12th – Babyface in concert at The Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, Pa.
Valentine’s Day Tuesday, February 14th – NuSoul Revival Tour starring Musiq Soulchild, Kindred The Family Soul, Avery Sunshine, Lyfe Jennings and Dwele at The Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery. For tickets and information 1-800-298-4200.
Saturday, March 18th – The All The Hits Tour Starring Lionel Richie & Special Guest Star Mariah Carey at The Wells Fargo Center. Tickets and information at wellsfargocenterphilly.com.
Friday, March 31st – The In It To Win It Tour starring Charlie Wilson, Fantasia and Johnny at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Tickets are on sale now and for more information log onto boardwalkhall.com.
Friday, March 31st – Back To The Eighties Show starring Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Al B. Sure, Jalil & Ecstasy of Whodini, Force MD’s, Cherelle, Hi-Five and More at The Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery. For tickets and information 1-800-298-4200.
Saturday, April 15th – The Philly Spring Jam starring Guy featuring Teddy Riley, Ginuwine, Jagged Edge, Dru Hill and Next at The Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery. Tickets go on sale January 17th and for information 1-800-298-4200.
Saturday, May 13th – Mothers Day Weekend concert starring Frankie Beverly & Maze, Gladys Knight and Kem at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Tickets are on sale now and for more information log onto boardwalkhall.com.