Just under a month after the California Film Commission plucked this year’s recipients of the state’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program in a lottery, we learned today who the winners are. Fox’s movie musical revolving around the songs of the Beach Boys and Universal’s Scarface reboot are among the 11 feature films getting a piece of this year’s incentive pie. (See the full list below.) In a rare runaway production reversal, a victory for those who want to bring Hollywood home and a very early renewal, BET’s Being Mary Jane will be relocating from Atlanta to L.A. for its upcoming third season thanks to the Golden State’s tax credits. This is the first news of the high-rated Gabrielle Union-starring show, which just got its official second-season green light back in February, getting a third season. Being Mary Jane joins 12 other basic cable TV series and two TV movies getting money to be made here.
Related: It’s Time To End Lottery For Calif. Tax Credit Program (Video)
Unlike the years since the credits were first introduced in 2009, the list of initially successful projects was not released almost right away by the state Commission because it wanted to make sure everyone was truly eligible. But now that due diligence has been done and the lucky ones have been privately informed, the Commission has revealed that a total of 26 … Read More »
BET announced its first miniseries as part of its upcoming lineup presented to advertisers at its upfront today in New York. The network also confirmed an eighth season for The Game, Season 3 for The Real Husbands Of Hollywood and a previously announced second season for Being Mary Jane, along with renewals for video countdown series 106 And Park. Cuba Gooding Jr., Louis Gossett Jr and Aunjanue Ellis star in the six-part miniseries The Book Of Negroes, a historical drama based on the Commonwealth Prize-winning novel by Lawrence Hill. It tells the story of Aminita Diallo, who was abducted at age 11 from her village in West Africa and sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. The story follows her capture and her enslavement in America, eventually ending with her emancipation in England. BET is producing in partnership with eOne and The CBC. Read More »
Gary Dourdan has been cast in a recurring role on BET’s Being Mary Jane and a guest starring gig on Fox’s Glee. On Being Mary Jane, which stars Gabrielle Union as a successful TV news anchor, he’ll play Sheldon Armstrong, a smoothly charming and casually handsome retired civil trial attorney who made a fortune suing corrupt corporations. He’s coming out of retirement to pursue his charitable outreach. He’s famous for never having given an interview in his life — but when Mary Jane (Union) sets out to interview him, he is quite taken with her and just might change his mind. On Glee, Dourdan plays D’Shon, Mercedes’ (Amber Riley) record producer. Dourdan, whose credits include CSI and Mistresses, is repped by Prestige Talent Agency and managed by ATA.
Sammi Hanratty has booked a recurring role on WGN America’s Salem. She’ll play Dottie, a leader among her peers whom Mercy (Elise Eberle) knows a little from school. She’s a confident young girl who brings her classmates over to talk with Mercy. She’s in awe of Mercy’s power and wants her to put it to particular use. Repped by Paradigm and Zero Gravity Management, Hanratty’s credits include Chosen, The Unit and Pushing Daisies.
Canadian country music singer and actress MacKenzie Porter has been cast as a series regular in AMCs Western drama series Hell On Wheels, from Entertainment One, Endemol USA and Nomadic Pictures. Porter, repped by Red Management in Canada and KLWGN Entertainment, will play Naomi, Cullen Bohannon’s (Anson Mount) wife and mother of his child who is torn between the restrictive Mormon way of life (all she’s ever known), and the exotic adventure promised by life with her gentile husband outside the Mormon fort. Principal photography on the series’ fourth season begins later this month in Calgary. Porter was last seen in the features Tom, Dick & Harriet and Killer Among Us.
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EXCLUSIVE: Mike Epps is adding a seasoned presence to Starz’s scripted comedy series Survivor’s Remorse, joining a cast of mostly 20-something up-and-comers as a regular. Additionally, Epps has booked a recurring role on the second season of the BET drama Being Mary Jane. Survivor’s Remorse, executive produced by NBA star LeBron James and Mike O’Malley, is set in the world of professional basketball. It follows Cam Calloway (Jessie T. Usher), a basketball phenom in his early 20s who is thrust into the limelight after signing a multimillion-dollar contract with a pro team. Read More »
Stephen Bishop (Moneyball) has been upped to a series regular on BET’s Being Mary Jane, which stars Gabrielle Union as a successful TV news anchor. Bishop will play David, a man Mary Jane brings back into her life to work things out. Bishop, repped by Greene & Associates, Weiner Management and Dave Feldman, next will be seen in Miss Meadows opposite Katie Holmes.
True Detective‘s Tory Kittles has signed on to Intruders, BBC America’s eight-episode original series. Written by Glen Morgan, Intruders is about a secret society devoted to chasing immortality by seeking refuge in the bodies of others. It centers on ex-cop Jack Whalen (John Simm), who has escaped a dark, violent past for a seemingly quiet life with his wife, Amy (Mira Sorvino). When she goes missing, Jack starts an investigation that forces him to confront his past. Kittles will play Gary Fischer, a handsome attorney and old friend of Whalen’s (Simm) who quietly asks him to investigate a mysterious double homicide. Kittles, repped by APA and Circle of Confusion’s Frank Frattaroli, recently wrapped feature American Heist and has a recurring on FX’s Sons Of Anarchy.
An average of 3.3 million viewers tuned in to check out BET‘s first original scripted drama series, Being Mary Jane at 10 PM Tuesday, after which an immediate repeat clocked 1.8 million. BET boasted that made it the No. 1 original series debut on cable for the 2013-14 TV season. Being Mary Jane stars Gabrielle Union as a successful TV news anchor, and hails from Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, the duo behind BET’s flagship comedy The Game.
Being Mary Jane actually was first unveiled to viewers in July as a 90-minute TV movie, paired with the midseason return of BET’s The Game. That pilot premiere proved a winner for the cable network, becoming the night’s highest-rated show on cable, and the second-highest-rated program on all of TV with a 2.0 demo rating. Only NBC’s America’s Got Talent did better in adults 18-49 that night with its 2.3 rating. Being Mary Jane attracted an average of 4 million viewers that night and, based on that July success, Deadline reported the network went ahead and quietly ordered a second season. Read More »
BET‘s drama Being Mary Jane is not slated to debut as a regular series until early next year but I hear the network has already quietly ordered a second season, following the 90-minute pilot’s big premiere in July when it drew 4 million viewers and a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating. Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union as a successful TV news anchor, hails from Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, the duo behind BET’s flagship comedy The Game, which is in production on Season 7.
Meanwhile, I hear BET has pulled the plug on comedy Reed Between The Lines. The show, got off to a solid start with Tracee Ellis Ross starring as Dr. Carla Reed, a successful psychologist trying to balance her family and career, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner as her husbad. It was renewed for a second season in April 2012 but underwent a revamp later that year when Ross departed. BET is yet to schedule Season 2. The first season of Reed spawned a spinoff, Young Man On Campus starring Jacob Latimore, which didn’t go past the pilot stage.
BET today unveiled its slate of new and returning series to advertisers at its upfront presentation in Los Angeles. Mara Brock Akil was front and center as her hit comedy series The Game was renewed for a seventh season, and her newest project, drama Being Mary Jane, originally picked up as a movie, was formally ordered to series. Other new series pitched to advertisers include a revival of standup showcase ComicView after a five-year hiatus, a weekly talk show starring Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Burns BBQ, a reality series produced by Arthur Smith. The network had the attendees on their feet with a performance by Chaka Khan, who sang her anthem Tell Me Something Good. With multiple cable networks, including OWN, looking to tap into the strong and loyal Black TV audiences, BET’s president of original programming Loretha Jones touted BET as being “better connected” to the African-American community than any other network. Here are details about BET and sibling Centric’s new and returning series:
NEW PROGRAMMING ON BET:
· BEING MARY JANE– From the producers of the award-winning, record breaking BET comedy THE GAME, GIRLFRIENDS and box-office hits JUMPING THE BROOM and SPARKLE comes an original series starring the gorgeous and talented Gabrielle Union. The series is a follow up to the release of the BEING MARY JANE movie of the week slated to launch on BET this summer. Read More »