Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s TCA conference on the Sony lot introducing her new daytme talk show, Queen Latifah said she had “already invited the Prez and Mrs.” to be guests on the show during a visit to the White House. Latifah did not say whether POTUS and the first lady had agreed or declined to make an appearance on The Queen Latifah Show, which makes its debut September 16. The new talk host added bluntly when asked if she could see herself tapping her friends in show biz as guests: “Yes, I can picture myself doing that. I just know this is going to be the place where they want to come.” READ MORE »
EXCLUSIVE: Jada Pinkett-Smith will produce and star in Salsa. Her dance partner will be William Levy, whose name makes you think he’s an accountant, but he’s actually the hunk in the Latino soap Triunfo del Amor. Clueless … Read More »
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith will host this latest fundraiser for Michelle Obama later this month. Tickets range from $2,500-$40,000 for the event at the Smiths’ Calabasas home. Salma Hayek is also co-hosting with Hancock producer and Smith’s longtime business partner James Lassiter and his wife Mai. Roc Nation president Jay Brown and his wife Kawanna, head of Magic Johnson Enterprises, are also listed as co-hosts along with Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter and his wife Rebecca. The Lassiters held a fundraiser for the president last October at their Hancock Park home, with the Smiths, the Browns and the Carters in attendance.
Related: Romney Eyes Hollywood Return After Successful Fundraiser Read More »
With the first two grossing more than $1.1 billion worldwide, it’s a cinch we were going to see more of these guys. This time they travel through Europe with a circus. Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and Cedric the Entertainer return, with Frances … Read More »
With a slew of daytime syndicated talk show projects jockeying for a fall 2012 berth, a big one is entering the fray for fall 2013. Queen Latifah is set to host a new daytime talk show that Flavor Unit, her company with Shakim Compere, will co-produce with Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television. Compere and Overbrook’s Miguel Melendez, who were instrumental in getting the project together, will serve as executive producers with Queen Latifah and Overbrook’s Lassiter, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Queen Latifah and Smith have a lot in common — both started in hip-hop before segueing into acting and then producing and both have earned Oscar nominations. In fact, Latifah’s first role was an arc on NBC’s The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, which starred Smith, also in his first acting gig. “We’ve had a long and successful history both personally and professionally with Overbrook’s Miguel, JL, Jada and Will,” Compere said. “We share a common vision and have been wanting to collaborate for quite some time.” In addition to Queen Latifah’s work with Smith on Fresh Prince, she starred opposite his wife, Pinkett Smith, in the 1996 movie Set It Off. “We are excited to join forces with Latifah and as well as Sony Pictures TV on this new venture,” Melendez said. “This forum is the perfect place to showcase Latifah’s tremendous range of talents and unique ability to connect and inspire people.” Sony TV’s relationship with Pinkett Smith and Overbrook stems from their recent collaboration on the TNT series Hawthorne, which starred Pinkett Smith and was produced by Sony and Overbrook. Additionally, Overbrook has had a long relationship with Sony on the film side, most recently producing together the hit Karate Kid remake.
Sony could’ve fast-tracked the talk show for a fall 2012 launch but opted to give it time to develop the way the studio did with The Dr. Oz Show, which has been the No. 1 syndicated daytime talk show in women 25-54 for the past three weeks. Sony TV does not have a contender for fall 2012 as the studio has been very selective with daytime projects, taking its time to find one that it feels it can throw its full support behind. Besides, the 2012 field is overcrowded already with talk shows hosted by Katie Couric and Steve Harvey already cleared for launch, Maury spin-off Trisha Goddard close to a go after getting picked up by Sinclair a week ago, and several other shows — including Twentieth’s Ricki Lake, Warner Bros’ Bethenny Frankel and CBS TV Distribution’s Jeff Probst — looking for station clearances. Read More »
After weeks of rumors, TNT today made it official: the Jada Pinkett Smith-starring medical drama Hawthorne is being canceled after 3 seasons. Also on the bubble with a 50/50 chance of return is the network’s sophomore Memphis Beat. … Read More »
Pinkett Smith, in London on Monday promoting the launch of Sony Entertainment Television, the studio’s first branded UK channel, says the economy has made the U.S. TV marketplace even more brutal. “Shows are not being given enough time to find their feet,” says the star and executive producer of TNT’s Sony TV-produced Hawthorne. “The economy has hit the TV industry very hard; lots of people have lost their jobs.”
Pinkett Smith admits she finds both starring in and producing Hawthorne a strain. But she wanted to earn her producer chops quickly, which is why she was attracted to doing a weekly TV show. On a big movie like Karate Kid — which she also produced — everything moves slowly by comparison. “I felt that I wasn’t acquiring the skills that I wanted to,” she says. “Moving to TV, my skills got tight very quickly. On a television show you’ve got seven days to make it happen. We’re making a movie every single week.” Read More »
After a two-episode stint last season, singer-actor Marc Anthony has joined TNT’s Hawthorne as a regular for the medical drama’s upcoming third season. He will reprise his rile as Police Detective Nick Renata who developed a strong bond with Jada Pinkett Smith’s Christina Hawthorne, Chief Nursing Officer of James … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Glee creator Ryan Murphy is Sony Pictures’ top choice to direct a re-imagining of the Broadway musical Annie, with Willow Smith playing the lovable orphan. The project was recently set at Sony Pictures by Overbrook Entertainment partners James … Read More »
Veteran writer-producer John Tinker has joined TNT’s medical drama Hawthorne. He will serve as executive producer/showrunner on the Jada Pinkett Smith-starring series’ upcoming third season. Tinker replaces Glen Mazzara who ran the series fin its second season. Production on Season … Read More »
PREVIOUS: TNT Renews Medical Drama ‘Hawthorne‘
TNT has written a prescription for a third season of the powerful medical drama HAWTHORNE, starring and executive-produced by Jada Pinkett Smith (Collateral, The Matrix trilogy). TNT has ordered 10 new episodes of the hit series, which is slated to return in 2011. Created by Emmy®
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EXCLUSIVE: I hear TNT tomorrow will announce a 10-episode Season 3 pickup for the Sony TV-produced medical drama starring Jada Pinkett Smith. With The Closer, Rizzoli, Leverage, Memphis Beat and now Hawthorne all getting renewed, the only TNT summer series waiting its fate is Jerry Bruckheimer’s cop drama Dark Blue. While attracting about half of the audience of TNT’s Monday juggernauts The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles, Hawthorne has been a solid performer ratings-wise, with its audience averaging 3.4 million viewers. What’s more, it was used to successfully launch a new series this summer, the off-beat Memphis Beat. The renewal for the quirky cop show starring Jason Lee has been in the works for awhile, so Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith has attached himself to star in and produce The Legend Of Cain, an epic re-telling of the Biblical sibling tale, this time with a vampiric twist. Smith will play Cain, the original Bad Boy, and he will produce … Read More »