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Oprah Winfrey is a roll! Her OWN cable station has made a turnaround in the ratings and its revenue. After a bumpy start, OWN is breaking records left and right. With the addition of better programming, people are tuning in and liking the shows (The Have & Have Nots, Welcome To Sweetie Pie's, Iyanla Fix My Life, Love Thy Neighbor, Oprah's Next Chapter, Oprah's Masterclass, Where Are They Now, the soap operas One Life To Live & All My Children, just to name a few). Former Football Star/Broadcaster Deion Sanders has a new reality show called Primetime debuting in a few weeks. The Next Chapter series will feature Singer Gloria Estefan on August 4th, Director (and Philly native) Lee Daniels on August 11th, Actress Lindsay Lohan on August 18th and the legendary Tina Turner on August 25th. Bishop TD Jakes returns on Sunday, September 8th with Lifeclass.
By the way, Oprah is one of the stars of Lee Daniels' The Butler. She is excellent in this move, and she is making the promotions rounds. On August 15th, she will be joining Andy Cohen on his popular show Watch What Happens Live on the Bravo network. Lee Daniels' The Butler opens in theatres August 16th, and is the true story of White House Butler Eugene Allen, who served under eight presidents between 1952-1986. The movie also stars Oscar Winner Forest Whitaker, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, Jane Fonda, Robin Williams, Mariah Carey and David Oyelowo. The Butler goes through three decades. It covers everything from the civil rights movement to Vietnam, and how it affected Allen and his family. The movie is excellent. Kudos to Daniels for an amazing movie. The acting is incredible. There is no doubt in my mind that Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey will be nominated for Oscars. The acting in this movie is great!
Director Spike Lee says get ready for a sequel to his 1988 hit movie School Daze. The movie was a big hit for Lee, and it starred Laurence Fishburne, Samuel L. Jackson, Jasmine Guy, Tisha Martin Campbell and Giancarlo Esposito.
What’s Wrong With Me Having A Love Life? The Reverend Al Sharpton is not happy with the media coverage about his personal side. Sharpton, 58, is dating Aisha McShaw, a 35-year old personal stylist. Sharpton asks Don’t I Have The Right To Date? Uhhh Reverend Al......you are still married to your first wife! Even though you are separated, you have been married for the past 24 years............ and you are a reverend! Do the math! No one knew Reverend Al was dating a younger woman. When she told a reporter about their relationship, it immediately went public. Aisha Shaw is the mother of a teenage daughter, and she has since been told to be quiet. Will the Reverend Al ever address this, or get a divorce? He has a new autobiography coming out in October. The book, The Rejected Stone, tells his story from being a street politician to elder civil rights statesmen. Sources say he will address his love life, and how he has dated younger and older women.
X-Factor Judge Simon Cowell is going to be a dad. Cowell, 53, and Socialite Lauren Silverman, 36, are expecting their first child. There's just one thing.......Silverman is married to Cowell's best friend. This is not a typo! I said it right! It’s messy. Lawyers say this is a
difficult situation, but Cowell is still excited about being a parent.
The latest issue of US Weekly has the first photos of Baby Logan with his parents Vince Herbert and Tamar Braxton. The Herbert family photos is a first look at the happy Herberts. The second season of Vince And Tamar kicks off September 5th on WeTV. And, her new talk show The Real, with Actress Tamera Mowry-Housley, Singer Adrienne Bailon, Comedienne Loni Love and Actress Jeannie Mai, is getting great reviews and ratings. The show
airs locally at 11am on FOX29. I love the chemistry between the ladies and think this show is going to be renewed. Tamar, like Oprah, is on a roll. Tamar has a new CD coming out in September called Love And War, and she's going on tour with John Legend. They will be at
the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, October 25th. Now speaking of John Legend, he is getting married to Model Chrissy Teigen in September.
Another Braxton making headlines is Toni Braxton. She is re-teaming with Babyface for the new CD Love, Marriage And Divorce. The CD comes out in September. Toni is now a divorced woman. After 12 years of marriage, she and Keri Lewis of Mint Condition have now gone their separate ways. They have two sons.
The VH1 network is working on a spinoff of Hollywood Exes. This would be the Atlanta version. Two ex-wives being mention are the exes of Cee Lo Green and Usher. Both men are said to be worried about what their exes would say about them on the show.
Singer Kelly Rowland is the covergirl for the September issue of Essence magazine.
Nick Cannon has another job. In addition to being married to Mariah Carey, hosting NBC’s America's Got Talent and co-starring on BET’s Real Husbands Of Hollywood with Kevin Hart, Cannon has now signed on as the new host of the Style network show Lifestyles Of The Rich &
Famous. Back in the 80’s, the show was made popular by Host/Creator Robin Leach. Cannon is also reviving Soul Train.
Congrats to Actress Kim Fields! The former Living Single/Facts Of Life star and her husband are expecting their second child in early December.
Whoopi Goldberg is shooting down rumors that she is feuding with Barbara Walters. Walters is leaving The View for retirement next year. Jenny McCarthy is joining the show replacing Elisabeth Hasselback, who left for FOX News. Comedienne Joy Behar has also left the show, and Today Show Host Hoda Kotbe is being talked about as another replacement. The new season of The View kicks off September 9th.
Speaking of NBC's Today Show, Contributor (and former WDAS Intern) Tamron Hall debuts her new show, Deadline Crime with Tamron Hall, on September 1st. It’s a weekly crime investigation series on the Discovery network.
VH1 debuts their movie about the female singing group TLC in October. The
trailer is hot with Lil' Mama as Left Eye, KeKe Palmer as Chilli and Drew Sidora as T-Boz. In the 90’s, TLC became the top-selling female group, but later battled illness, tumultuous love lives, bankruptcy and the unexpected death of Left Eye. Surviving members T-Boz and Chilli are reuniting in an effort to create a TLC tour and new projects.
So what’s next for Director Ryan Coogler after Fruitvale Station? Coogler is re-teaming with his Fruitvale Station Star Michael B. Jordan in a Rocky spinoff movie. The movie will tell the story of the Grandson of “Apollo Creed.” Sylvester Stallone will be in the movie as a retired fighter turned trainer who helps Jordan in his quest to become a boxer. The movie will be called Creed and Jordan will star in the title role. The original Rocky movie came out in 1976 and Apollo Creed was played by Carl Weathers. Jordan and Coogler are getting rave reviews for the movie Fruitvale station. Fruitvale Station is in theatres now. It’s the story of Oscar Grant, III, an unarmed African American man who was shot and killed by a Bay Area transit officer. The movie also stars Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer.
Antwaun Cook has divorced his wife Paula. Antwaun was involved with Singer Fantasia, and they had a son during his marriage to Paula Cook. Antwaun is now single and dating a video model. Fantasia hasn't continued a romantic relationship with Cook. 'Tasia says they are
raising their son, but she has moved on from this hurtful relationship. Fantasia is headed to Broadway in October. She has not been on the great white way since The Color Purple. Fantasia is teaming up with Jazz Legend Wynton Marsalis in a musical production about the legendary Cotton Club.
A new movie starring Actor Wesley Snipes is coming out on DVD August 6th. The movie, called Gallowwalker, is a horror-western.
Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is another one on a roll! She is featured on the Showtime series Ray Donovan, and she is one of the stars of the new Nickelodeon TV show Instant Mom. Instant Mom stars Tia Mowry-Hardrict (The Game) as a party girl who marries a man (Michael Boatman) with kids. Sheryl Lee Ralph plays Tia's mom. The show makes it debut later this year on Nickelodeon.
NeNe Leakes from The Real Housewives of Atlanta is having problems with a lady who claims to be her wedding planner. Leaks is being sued for millions by a woman who claims she got stiffed by Leakes. Leakes says the woman is crazy, and isn't owed a dime because someone else catered. Bravo paid for Leakes' remarriage to her husband Greg, and
the ceremony is going to be featured in the reality special I Dream Of NeNe, which airs in September on the Bravo network.
Mary J. Blige will be releasing her first ever holiday CD this October.
September 16th is the season five premiere of The Wendy Williams Show.
Dr. Conrad Murray is getting out of prison early. Murray will have served two years of a four-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. Murray is expected to be released on October 28th. Sources say he is getting out early based on good behavior, but the Jackson family is not happy about these developments.
Blair Underwood returns to TV on October 2nd in the remake of the 70’s drama classic Ironside on NBC.
R Kelly has a lot of explaining to do. He recently made concert fans wait until 1am in the morning for him to hit the stage. Kelly has to realize this is not the way you treat your fans.
The 2nd Annual Founders Day for Philadanco is happening Friday, August 9th at the Dell Music Center, 33rd and Ridge Avenue. Philadanco Founder Joan Myers Brown, who was honored by President Obama a few weeks ago with the Medal of Arts, will be celebrated that night.
Will Downing is back! He teams up with Singer Avery Sunshine for the song You Were Meant Just For Me.
Congrats to Vanessa K. Bush! She was recently named the new Editor-in-Chief at Essence magazine. Bush had been doing the job (interim) since February.
Get ready for the return of Basketball Wives: Miami. Season five kicks off August 19th.
Mike Tyson is returning to boxing. Tyson is starting a boxing promotion company called The Iron Mike Production Company. Later this year, his one man Broadway show is coming to HBO.
Friends of Queen Latifah are worried about the entertainer. Latifah is set to launch her daytime talk show on September 16th, but at the same time she's caring for mother Rita, who has been sick. Friends say the stress of caring for an ailing parent and launching a new show may be too much for the Queen.
Morris Chestnut is proving to be one of the busiest men in Hollywood. His latest movie, The Best Man Holiday, the sequel to The Best Man, opens in theatres in November. Plus, Chestnut just a signed a deal for his own series on the BET network.
Season 3 of Scandal is set for a Thursday, October 3rd season premiere on ABC. The BET network just snatched up the rights for the syndication of seasons 1 and 2. They will start airing those reruns in late summer. Scandal star Kerry Washington, a.k.a. Mrs. Nnamdi Asomugha, is on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, and she’s just been nominated for an Emmy for her role as “Olivia Pope” on Scandal. The Emmy Awards air September 22nd on CBS.
The Cos returns to TV. Bill Cosby is coming to cable's Comedy Central with a concert film of his stand up comedy. The special, Far From Finished, is directed by Robert Townsend, who also directed Eddie Murphy's record breaking comedy concert, Raw, 25 years ago. It's a reunion because Cosby, 76, was in Townsend's film Meteor Man in 1993. Cosby's Far From Finished will air on Comedy Central on November 24th, marking the 30th anniversary of 1983's Bill Cosby: Himself, the concert film that became the basis of The Cosby Show.
The MTV Video Music Awards are happening August 25th. Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Robin Thicke are leading the nominations.
At the movies this week, it’s Oscar Winner Denzel Washington in 2 Guns with Mark Wahlberg and Paula Patton. Check out Denzel and his wife Pauletta on the cover of the latest issue of Ebony magazine Washington is also returning to Broadway next spring in a revival of Raisin In The Sun with Diahann Carroll.
Former CNN Contributor Roland Martin has a new show coming to TV One. Martin is hosting a daily, one hour news show, News One Now, that will launch in September. Martin already hosts the TV One Sunday news show Washington Watch.
The 90’s singing trio SWV is getting their own reality show. Coko, Lelee and Taj will debut their show on the WE TV channel next year. SWV is coming to Philly on Thursday, August 8th in concert with Bell Biv Devoe at the Dell Music Center, 33rd and Ridge.
The movie version of Black Nativity opens in theatres November 27th starring
Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson.
The PBS network will be airing a new special, The March, commemorating the 50th
anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington. It was at that civil rights event where the Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his epic I Have A Dream speech. The special airs August 27th on PBS.
Arsenio Hall returns to late night TV in September 9th. His show will air locally on MYphl17.
Earth, Wind & Fire return with a new CD entitled Now, Then, Forever. The CD comes out September 10th.
The R&B Hall Of Fame induction ceremony takes place October 3rd. This year's honorees include The Temptations, James Brown, The O’Jays, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Miracles, Jackie Wilson, The Marvelettes and Marvin Gaye.
It's another edition of Motown-Philly as Motown Founder Berry Gordy is being honored with The Marian Anderson Award on November 19th. The festivities, including a performance tribute, will take place at the Kimmel Center at Broad and Spruce Streets.
David E. Talbert's Baggage Claim with Paula Patton, Jill Scott, Boris Kodjoe, Trey Songz, Taye Diggs, Dijmon Hounsou and Derek Luke, opens in theatres September 27th. I saw the movie in a preview screening and it’s a fun romantic comedy.
The Best Man sequel, The Best Man Holiday, with Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa and Sanaa Lathan, opens in theatres November 15th.
The Dell Music Center continues its season August 8th with Bell Biv Devoe, SWV and Dru Hill followed by:
August 15th - Stephanie Mills & Jeffrey Osborne;
August 22nd – Dave Koz, Peabo Bryson & Friends featuring Gerald Albright;
August 29th - The Funk Show starring Bloodstone, New Birth, Con Funk Shun, The Dazz
Band & Cameo.
The Dell box office is open for the general public. The Dell Music Center is located at 33rd
October 5th – Rick Watson Presents The Stage Play My Husband John. The story is about John Whitehead of McFadden and Whitehead fame and his wife Elinor Whitehead. The play is happening at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce.
WHAT’S THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This leading Lady is on top of the world. Not because of her string of hits, it because she keeps getting high. When will she slow it down so she can just be high on her success?
Check out who’s coming to town:
This Friday, August 2nd – Smooth Jazz Summer Nights – Alex Bugnon at the Great Plaza on Penns Landing.
This Saturday, August 3rd- Frankie Beverly & Maze, The Isley Brothers and Kem in concert at the Mann Center For The Performing Arts, 52nd and Parkside.
Thursday, August 8th - Bell Biv Devoe & SWV at The Dell Music Center, 33rd and Ridge.
Friday, August 9th - Smooth Jazz Summer Nights- Najee at the Great Plaza on Penns Landing.
Friday, August 16th - Smooth Jazz Summer Nights- Peter White at the Great Plaza on Penns Landing.
Saturday, August 17th- Trenton's African American Pride Festival in Trenton, NJ.
Sunday, August 18th- Ladies Night Out starring Johnny Gill, Keith Sweat, Christopher Williams and Avant at the Dell Music Center, 33rd and Ridge.
Sunday, August 18th- Diana Ross in concert at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
Friday, Saturday & Sunday -August 23rd, Aug 24th and Aug 25th - Kevin Hart comedy show at Caesars in Atlantic City.
Saturday, August 24th- Toni Braxton in concert at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.
Sunday, August 25th – Gladys Knight and The O'Jays at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
August 31st -September 1st - The Labor Day Weekend comedy show starring Sommore, Jay Pharoah, Arnez J, DL
Hughley, Mark Curry, Tony Rock and more at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Saturday, September 14th - Sinbad comedy show at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside.
Saturday, September 21st - Lionel Richie in concert at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
Saturday, November 23rd - India.Arie in concert at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside.