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The long term movie deal between Lionsgate Films and Tyler Perry is coming to an end. For years, Perry partnered with Lionsgate to distribute his films, and the deal was quite lucrative. So what happened? Three words Oprah and “Madea.” Lionsgate was a big fan of the Madea franchise, but Perry has wanted to move away from that image. Lionsgate was also not thrilled about Perry's growing interests and work on Oprah Winfrey's cable outlet OWN. Perry has several shows on the network, including an occasional talk show. Who will distribute Perry's movies now? Right now his latest, Lionsgate's movie, which opens in theatres on March 14th, is Single Mom's Club with Nia Long.
Speaking of Nia, she's been on a roll. First, she's fresh from the $70 million-plus success of The Best Man Holiday, which is now on DVD. Next, she's Tyler Perry's leading lady in The Single Mom's Club. And, she's this month's Essence magazine covergirl. Meanwhile, TD Jakes is on the cover of April's Ebony magazine.
Taraji P. Henson is also doing her thing. The actress has a new movie coming out in June (Think Like A Man Too), a fall FOX TV drama (Empire) and another film this September with Idris Elba ( No Good Deeds). Finally, Henson will make her debut as the new host The 14th Annual BET Celebration Of Gospel, which will feature performances by Donnie McClurkin, Tye Tribbett, Ruben Studdard, India.Arie, SWV and Kem. There will also be a special tribute to Gospel Music Pioneer Richard Smallwood. The show airs on BET Sunday, April 6th.
Dancing With The Stars: the season 18 cast is here! Candace Cameron Bure (TV's Full House), Danica McKellar (TV's Wonder Years), Comedian & Price Is Right Host Drew Carey, Star Wars & Lady Sings The Blues Legend Billy Dee Williams and NeNe Leakes from The Real Housewives Of Atlanta. Can NeNe dance, or will she try to fight the other contestants? She definitely can't bring that Housewives attitude to this show, or those judges will cut her off. And, what about Billy Dee Williams? He wouldn't be the oldest contestant ever. Remember former Contestant Cloris Leachman was 82, but can Billy Dee do it at age 76? Williams is also known for using his slower-paced cool. We'll see if that works. This new cast enters a very new Dancing show. First, there's a new band leader in the form of Ray Chew replacing Harold Wheeler and his 28-member band. FOX Sports Reporter Erin Andrews has replaced Brooke Burke-Charvet as co-host. Burke-Charvet did land on her feet within ABC. She's landed a recurring role on ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey. Season 18 of Dancing With The Stars kicks off March 17th.
The VH1 network has cancelled Single Ladies. The Queen Latifah produced drama starred Denise Vasi, Charity Shea, LeToya Luckett, D.B. Woodside and Lisa Raye. The show started big but ended up a minor hit. There was no buzz on the show and too much internal fighting on the set about who was the star sealed its fate.
The Women Of Soul will be at The White House. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host another installment of the concert series In Performance At The White House to air on PBS. Aretha Franklin, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, Melissa Etheridge and Patti LaBelle are all scheduled to perform. Women Of Soul will air on PBS Monday, April 7th.
This Sunday, March 9th at 10pm OWN presents Lindsay. This reality show/documentary series will chronicle the road to recovery for troubled Actress Lindsay Lohan. The show will also feature her parents. Welcome To Sweetie Pie's starts a new season on March 15th on the OWN cable network as well. The show will continue to show the trials and tribulations of Ms. Robbie Montgomery, her family and their soul food business in St. Louis.
In more OWN news, the life story of Darlene Love is coming to the cable station. Love is the famed background singer and actress who got her due later in life. Love's book, My Name Is Love, details her life as a background singer for the stars including Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Aretha Franklin and others. She was tied contractually to Music Legend Phil Spector, which delayed her career for many years. Love ventured into acting becoming famous for her role Danny Glover's wife in the Lethal Weapon movies. The book also discuses her love affair with Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers. Love's story is also chronicled in the Academy Award winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, which is out on DVD. The Darlene Love movie will air on OWN later this year.
The 7th Annual Roots Picnic is happening Saturday, May 31st at the Festival Pier on Penn's Landing. Hosted by The Roots, who are the newly installed House Band for the newly installed Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The Roots Picnic lineup includes Snoop Dogg, Janelle Monae and Jhene Aiko.
The family of the late Whitney Houston continues to be at odds. This time it's daughter Bobbi Kris' husband/play brother Nick Gordon fighting her cousin, and Whitney's nephew, at a 16th birthday party. Published reports say this family function got out of control after cousin Gary Michael Houston claimed Gordon trashed the family publicly. The battle even continued on twitter.
Terry McMillan's best selling novel A Day Late And A Dollar Short will air on Lifetime April 19th. The TV movie will follow the story of a dying mother as she tries to pull her family together before she passes. Whoopi Goldberg leads and all-star cast featuring Tichina Arnold, Kimberly Elise, Anika Noni Rose and Ving Rhames.
Speaking of Lifetime movies, A Trip to Bountiful will air this Saturday, March 8th. The movie is based on the Broadway play, which nabbed Cicely Tyson a Tony Award. Tyson will star in the movie version with Blair Underwood, Vanessa Williams and Keke Palmer.
Arsenio Hall got some great news from a one time TV rival. His late night talk show has been renewed for a second season, and none other than former competitor and Comedian Jay Leno delivered the news. In his first television appearance since stepping down from The Tonight Show, Leno surprised Hall and his audience by coming out on stage and announcing The Arsenio Hall Show has been renewed. Hall and Leno have known each other for over 30 years, but things turned sour 22 years ago. When Leno first took over Tonight, he competed with Hall's previous show, and their fierce booking wars became Hollywood legend. They've since made up, but Leno couldn't resist joking that he was the new host of the second season of The Arsenio Hall Show.
There will be a season number two for the BET smash drama Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union.
I Am Not Giving Up On My Family! Singer Robin Thicke says he is willing to change his ways after his wife, Actress Paula Patton, announced that she wanted out of their 10-year marriage. Thicke and Patton were high school sweethearts, and now have a three-year old son, Julian. What happened to make Patton want out?!!! The past year has been amazing for Thicke. He hit number 1 with the release of Blurred Lines and finally achieved the fame he always wanted. But, with the fame, along came the women and Patton had had enough of his cheating. Thicke realized his wife was serious, and now he is begging her to change her mind. He is still going ahead with his U.S. Tour, but he is vowing to stay away from the clubs and the groupies.
American Idol is losing money! Back in the day, the reality show used to make millions and stayed TV's number one show 8 seasons' straight. Now, with low ratings, the ad dollars are not coming in as before. The budget is also hurting the show. Judge Jennifer Lopez and Host Ryan Seacrest make $15 million each. The studio spends $5 million on viewer phone calls, and the show is still paying two executive producers who were fired. Ratings for American Idol are down 26 percent. Sources say the show will not be cancelled by FOX, but there may be another shakeup with the judges. Jennifer Lopez has just signed a deal with NBC to star in a new cop drama Shades Of Blue, and she may step aside from Idol for that show. Since Lopez returned to Idol, it hasn't made the big impact producers hoped.
Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal) is creating another show with Actress Viola Davis. Davis, best known for her Oscar-nominated work in the movie The Help and for the film Doubt, will be starring in the new Rhimes' TV drama How To Get Away With Murder. The show is a sexy, suspenseful- legal thriller.
Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald (Private Practice) is returning to Broadway in a musical based on the life of Billie Holiday.
Jada Pinkett Smith is returning to TV. She will be one of the stars of the FOX TV drama Gotham. Jada was last on TV with the show TNT drama Hawthorne. In Gotham, Jada will play a sadistic mob boss. In addition to her show, she will continue to be the executive producer of daytime's The Queen Latifah Show.
Spike Lee says he has completed a script for a sequel to School Daze. The original movie came out 26 years ago and starred Tisha Campbell-Martin, Kadeem Hardison, Jasmine Guy, Darryl M. Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito and Lawrence Fisburne. Lee is trying to get Fishburne to reprise his character “Dap” Dunlap in the sequel.
Congrats to Basketball Superstar Lebron James and his wife Savannah! The newlyweds are expecting their third child. James is currently on the cover of GQ magazine.
Unsung, the Hollywood edition, airs Wednesdays at 10pm on TV ONE, and upcoming shows will feature Flip Wilson, Dick Gregory, and the TV classic What's Happening.
Previews for A Raisin In The Sun with Denzel Washington and LaTanya Richardson start March 8th.
Kevin Hart and Producer Will Packer are on a roll with their movie About Last Night co-starring Regina Hall, Michael Ealy & Joy Bryant. The movie made over $40 million. The movie is funny, insightful and gives you an honest look at modern day relationships. Kevin and Regina are so funny!!!!! Up next for Kevin is a new movie with Will Ferrell called Get Hard. The movie is about a wealthy investment banker who is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. The banker prepares for prison with help from the guy who washes his car. The movie will also star Rapper/Actor T.I. It opens in theatres March 2015.
Songwriter/Producer Pharrell Williams will be producing the soundtrack for the movie Amazing Spiderman 2 featuring Jamie Foxx as Electro. The movie opens in theatres May 2nd.
Mark Wahlberg will be hosting the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards on March 29th.
Mary Mary graces the new issue of Jet magazine. Erica Campbell's new solo gospel CD Help, is due out March 24th. Meanwhile, season three of Mary Mary’s reality show will deal with infidelity, fighting with their manager and Erica's voice problems. The show airs Thursdays at 9pm.
Actor Lance Gross (House Of Payne) is returning to TV. He's co-starring in the drama Crisis. The show debuts March 16th on NBC, and Gross will play a secret service agent.
Haunted House II with Marlon Wayans opens in theatres Friday, April 14th.
Think Like A Man Too opens in theatres Friday, June 20th.
No Good Deeds opens in theatres September 12th and stars Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson.
The Best Man Holiday hit movie is now available on DVD. Meanwhile, the cast is quite busy with new projects. Morris Chestnut is coming back to TV on the TNT drama Legends. Taye Diggs returns to TV in the TNT drama Murder In The First. Regina Hall has a starring role with Kevin Hart in Think Like A Man Too, which opens June 20th. Harold Perrineau and Terrence Howard team up with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Sabotage, which comes out April 14th.
Motown: The Musical is coming to Philly! January 6th-18th 2015. I had a chance to see it on Broadway. What an amazing musical and a great story about the Motown Story!
Babyface and Toni Braxton have returned to the top of the charts. Their hit duet single, Hurt You, is an R&B number one. Toni's last chart topper, Just Be A Man About It, was in 2000. Babyface last hit number one in 1997 with Every Time I Close My Eyes. The duo is headed to Broadway this spring in the Wynton Marsalis production After Midnight. The musical is about the Harlem Renaissance and The Cotton Club and includes many top name musicians coming in and out of the production. This will be Babyface's Broadway debut. Toni Braxton has performed on Broadway before in Beauty & The Beast and Aida. Braxton and Babyface will be in the musical March 18-30th for a limited run. Their new duet CD, Love, Marriage & Divorce, is out now. Toni Braxton is also writing her memoirs in Unbreak My Heart, which is coming out in March. In the book, Toni will talk about her career, going bankrupt, raising an autistic child and battling lupus. Braxton, who settled her tax problems last year, recently purchased a new three million dollar home.
The 17th Annual Wellness Breakfast For Men is happening on Sunday, March 9th 2014 at the Universal Institute Charter School, 1415 Catherine Street from 9am-1pm. Free breakfast, health screenings, and men of all ages are welcome. Pre-registration is preferred and for more information call 215-732-6518 ext 121.
The Meeting is a stage play by Jeff Stetson about an imagined meeting between Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcolm X. The play stars Rev., Dr. Alyn E. Waller and Tariq Karim El-Shabazz, Esq., and is happening Friday, March 21st & Saturday, March 22nd at 3 and 7pm and Sunday, March 23rd at 3pm at the Penn Charter School-Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts, 3000 West School House Lane. For more info call 215-276-7200.
WHAT’S THE UNDERGROUND BUZZ?!!!!!!!!!
These two Winners should be on top of the world. But, they don't seem to be able to get along with each other. You both just made history.
Check out who’s coming to town:
This Friday, March 7th- Jamie Foxx in concert at Revel Casino in Atlantic City.
This Saturday, March 8th- New Jack Show starring Keith Sweat, Guy, SWV and Dru Hill at The Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Saturday, March 15th- Aretha Franklin at Revel Casino in Atlantic City.
Wednesday, March 19th – Marsha Ambrosius at the Theatre of the Living Art 3rd and South.
Saturday, March 22nd - Monica & Carl Thomas in concert TD Bank Arts Center, 529 Huffville-Cross Keys Road in Sewell, New Jersey.
Saturday, April 5th - The Standing Ovation comedy show starring Sommore, Bill Bellamy, Tommy Davidson, Mark Curry and Tony Rock at the Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Sunday, April 13th- Classic Soulfest starring Bloodstone, Harold Melvin's Bluenotes, Cuba Gooding, Sr. & The Main Ingredient at The Liacouras Center, Broad and Montgomery.
Saturday, April 26th- Mike Epps comedy show at The Tower Theatre in Upper Darby.
Thursday, May 1st- Ledisi and The Robert Glasper Experiment at The Tower Theatre in Upper Darby.
Thursday, May 1st – Sunday, May 4th - The Priest Tyaire production Torn Between Two Fathers at the Merriam Theatre, 250 South Broad Street between Spruce and Locust.
Friday, May 9th- Mothers' Day Comedy Festival Featuring Teddy Carpenter, Turae Gordon and BuckWild at The Trump Plaza, 6TH Floor Empire Ballroom; get your tickets at Ticketleap.com or the Philadelphia Hair Company.
Saturday, May 10th- The Mother's Day Music Festival starring Charlie Wilson, Gladys Knight and The Heads of State: Johnny Gill/Ralph Tresvant/Bobby Brown at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Sunday, May 11th - Mothers' Day concert starring The Whispers and Howard Hewitt at Caesars Circus Maximus Theatre in Atlantic City. Showtime is 6pm.
Tuesday, May 20th- John Legend at the Kimmel Center, Broad & Spruce.
Saturday, June 7th - Boyz II Men at The Tower Theatre, 69th Street in Upper Darby.
Friday, June 20th – Diana Ross in concert at Caesars in Atlantic City.
Wednesday, July 23rd - Lionel Richie and Cee Lo Green at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden.
If you would like more info please email me at firstname.lastname@example.orgPattyjackson@clearchannel.com or check me out with my Midday reports at 10:35am, 12:35pm and 2:35pm during the day.