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TCA: ABC’s ‘Black-ish’ About Culture More Than Race, Exec Producers Say

TCA: ABC’s ‘Black-ish’ About Culture More Than Race, Exec Producers SayABC‘s new comedy series Black-ish “celebrates black more as a culture than a race,” executive producer Larry Wilmore told TV critics this afternoon at Summer TV Press Tour 2014.  “At heart it’s a family show,” he said, about a father who feels he has maybe given his kids too much and, in the process, that they’ve lost some of their heritage.

“The show is about a black family – not about a family that happens to be black,” creator Kenya Barris explained, but the issues would also be relevant if the characters were Jewish, Latino, Asian, etc. Anthony Anderson stars as an upper-middle-class man who struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles from his liberal wife, old-school father and his own assimilated, color-blind kids.
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Laurence Fishburne Set For ABC’s Anthony Anderson Pilot; Jade Catta-Preta Joins Jeff Lowell Comedy

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 2:20pm PST

fishburne1Laurence Fishburne has closed a deal as a recurring for ABC’s untitled Anthony Anderson pilot (formerly Black-ish) from ABC Studios, Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy and Principato Young. Written by Kenya Barris (The Game) and loosely based on his personal experiences, the single-camera comedy centers on an upper-middle-class black man (Anderson) who struggles to raise his children with some sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father, and his own assimilated, color-blind kids. Fishburne, repped by Paradigm and Landmark Artists Management, will play the dad.

Jade Catta-Preta (China, IL, Daddy Knows Best) jade1has signed on as a series regular in My Thoughts Exactly (aka untitled Jeff Lowell), the ABC comedy pilot from Lowell and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. ABC Studios, where Brillstein is under a TV deal, is producing. Written/exec produced by Lowell  (John Tucker Must Die), the half-hour is described as a romantic comedy that exposes the unfiltered internal monologues of a young couple embarking on a new relationship. Catta-Preta will play the role of Amy, Dana’s (Analeigh Tipton) former sorority sister who plays guitar, teaches yoga out of her apartment and trained to be a pastry chef at the Cordon Bleu. Jake McDorman also stars. Catta-Preta is repped by APA and Levity Entertainment Group.

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Comedy Starring Anthony Anderson From Laurence Fishburne Gets ABC Pilot Order

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

ABC has greenlighted Black-ish, a single-camera comedy pilot starring Anthony Anderson. The project, which had a script commitment with penalty, hails from ABC Studios, Laurence Fishburne‘s Cinema Gypsy and Principato Young. Written by Kenya Barris (The Game) loosely based on his personal experiences, Black-ish centers on an upper-middle-class black man (Anderson) who struggles to raise his children with some sense of cultural identity despite KenyaBarrisconstant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father, and his own assimilated, color-blind kids. Cinema Gypsy’s Fishburne, his producing partner Helen Sugland and Tom Russo executive produce with Anderson and Barris along with PYE’s Peter Principato, Paul Young and Brian Dobbins. There is no deal in place yet for Fishburne to act, but he had been open to doing guest appearances, and there was an idea for him to play Anderson’s father. Fun fact: The pilot order for Black-ish comes on the same day that Showtime gave a series order to a comedy titled Happyish.

Related: 2014 ABC Pilots

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Laurence Fishburne To Produce & Star In HBO Drama Based On Walter Mosley’s Socrates Fortlow Novels

By | Wednesday November 20, 2013 @ 10:56am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Fifteen years after Laurence Fishburne starred as Walter Mosley‘s Socrates Fortlow in the HBO movie Always Outnumbered written by Mosley and directed by Michael Apted, the actor-producer is revisiting the character for HBO, this time on the series side. The pay cable network is developing The Right Mistake, a drama series from Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Prods and Fox Television Studios. It is based on the series of novels by Mosley featuring Fortlow: an ex-convict who seeks redemption — while battling inner demons and external forces — after serving 27 years in prison. The books include Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, Walkin’ The Dog and The Right Mistake. Mosley and Patrick Charles are co-writing the series adaptation, with Fishburne attached to star. He is executive producing with Cinema Gypsy’s Helen Sugland and Tom Russo as well as Mosley and his partner, Diane Houslin. Charles is co-executive producing. The Right Mistake stems from the Cinema Gypsy’s first-look cable deal with FtvS. On the broadcast side, Cinema Gypsy has Black-ish, a single-camera comedy starring Anthony Anderson and written by Kenya Barris in development at ABC. The Matrix and CSI alum Fishburne, repped by Paradigm, Landmark Artist Management and Del, Shaw, also has a major recurring role on NBC’s Hannibal.

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Anthony Anderson Toplines ABC Comedy Written By Kenya Barris & Produced By Laurence Fishburne Who May Guest Star

By | Wednesday October 9, 2013 @ 7:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC is taking a look at what it means to be black today with Black-ish, a single-camera comedy starring Anthony Anderson. The project, which has received a script commitment with penalty, hails from ABC Studios, Laurence Fishburne‘s Cinema Gypsy and Principato Young. Written by Kenya Barris (The Game) loosely based on his personal experiences, Black-ish centers on an upper-middle-class black man who struggles to raise his children with some sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father, and his own assimilated, color-blind kids. “I decided to do this project when I looked up and realized that everywhere I go I’m constantly the fly in buttermilk,” Barris said. “I’m usually THE black guy at work. We’re THE black family in the neighborhood. My kids are basically THE black kids at school. I think it’s kind of a situation of be careful what you wish for. It’s almost in like moving on up, I’ve sort of priced myself ‘out’ of being black.” Cinema Gypsy’s Fishburne, his producing partner Helen Sugland and Tom Russo will executive produce with Anderson and Barris along with PYE’s Peter Principato, Paul Young and Brian Dobbins. There are currently no plans for Fishburne to star but I hear he will likely guest now and then if the series goes forward. There is speculation that he may play Anderson’s father but that has not been determined. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Game Of Thrones’ BitTorrent Record, Laurence Fishburne In ‘Khumba’, David Bortolucci & ‘Allure’ & More

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 9:00pm PDT

Game Of Thrones Breaks BitTorrent Piracy Record
Game Of Thrones debuted Sunday on HBO and began Monday night on the UK’s Sky Atlantic. The series hit a high with its third season premiere in the U.S., averaging 4.4M viewers, up 4% from GOT‘s previous series high posted by the second season finale. At the same time, however, the premiere broke the record for what TorrentFreak calls “the largest BitTorrent swarm ever.” According to the website, a few hours after the first torrent of the show was uploaded, the OpenBitTorrent tracker reported 163,088 people sharing one single torrent, 110,303 were sharing a complete copy of the torrent and 52,786 were still downloading. The previous record was held by Heroes. Yesterday, TorrentFreak estimated the GOT episode had been downloaded over a million times and expects it to be the most downloaded TV-show of the year, much as it was last year. Pirates in the U.S. were the most active downloaders followed by the UK and Australia.

Laurence Fishburne Joins Khumba Voice Cast
South Africa-based Triggerfish Animation Studios has added Laurence Fishburne to the voice cast of 3D animated feature Khumba. Fishburne joins Liam Neeson, AnnaSophia Robb, Jake T. Austin, Loretta Devine and Richard E. Grant in the story of a plucky half-striped Zebra who’s blamed for a drought by his superstitious herd and meets a wacky group of characters … Read More »

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Kevin Zegers To Star With Laurence Fishburne And Bill Paxton In ‘The Colony’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 2:25pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Zegers has been cast as the lead in the independent film The Colony, directed by Jeff Renfroe. Renfroe co-wrote the script with Patrick Tarr and Pascal Trottier. Zegers, Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton star in the feature about a small group of survivors in the aftermath of a future Ice Age who live underground fighting for their lives in a society that disintegrates into cannibalism and violence. Paul Barkin will produce. Zegers recently completed filming on the 12-part, $28 million British miniseries Titanic: Blood & Steel alongside Chris Noth, Derek Jacobi and Neve Campbell. His credits include Transamerica and 50 Dead Men Walking, in which he starred with Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess. He is repped by ICM.

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Laurence Fishburne Signs First-Look Cable Development Deal With Fox TV Studios

By | Thursday November 10, 2011 @ 4:48pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Laurence Fishburne, who headlined CBS’ CSI for two-and-a-half seasons, is returning to TV series, this time as a producer. Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Prods. has signed a two-year first-look development deal with Fox Television Studios for cable projects. Former  Paramount Television SVP current programming Tom Russo has been tapped as Head of Television for Cinema Gypsy Prods. He will shepherd the development of cable series under the deal with FtvS and will serve a producer on Cinema Gypsy’s projects. Fishburne and his longtime manager/production partner Helen Sugland will executive produce. “I’m looking forward to expanding our production efforts in television and partnering with Fox Television Studios,” Fishburne said. FtvS president David Madden was far more effusive in his comments about the deal with the Matrix actor. “Laurence Fishburne has won the Tony Award, the Emmy Award, and is an Academy Award nominee, as well as being universally recognized as one of the finest actors working today,” Madden said. “He did sterling work on CSI, and we know he has still much more to offer to the TV series world. We are proud to be in business with Laurence and look forward to bringing more blazing Fishburne-esque performances to the screen. And for God’s sake, he’s Morpheus!” Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Prods. first got into TV development 3 years ago when the company signed a first-look deal with CBS TV Studios, which produces CSI. The company … Read More »

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Participant Media Can Boast ‘Contagion’ #1 & ‘The Help’ #2; ‘Warrior’ #3 Disappoints; ‘Bucky Larson’ Bombs; Kevin Hart Still #10?

SATURDAY PM: This is shaping up as 2011′s lousiest box office weekend in North America with only $70M total grosses. Yes, even worse than Hurricane Irene’s. A lot of surprises in this weekend’s numbers and a fuller analysis is coming. But no surprise which new North American movie is No. 1:

1. With $8M Friday and +20% for $9.7M Saturday, it’s a $24M weekend for Warner Bros’ Contagion playing in 42% more theaters — 3,222 — than its nearest newcomer. This Participant Media-backed disease movie looked like yet another yikes-you’re-all-going-to-die formula pic. But I’m surprised it didn’t generate more appeal what with Oscar-winning Steven Soderbergh directing 6 Academy Award winners or nominees: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, and Laurence Fishburne. (Readers are urging me to include Oscar-honored John Hawke and Elliott Gould as well…) That added oomph to credited screenplay writer Scott Burns’ material. “Yes, it was important to be provocative and to scare people,” a Warner Bros exec tells me about the $60M-budget pic. “But both the print and trailer and TV campaign present a more well-rounded view of the mystery. We did sell the visceral experience — a smart and thrilling look at a  killer virus, the science behind it, and the aftermath.” Warner Bros took the film to Venice to solid reviews and conducted an aggressive consumer campaign. Besides, adult movies are working at the box office.

2. Entering its 5th weekend in release, DreamWorks/Disney’s hit dramedy The Help which is also backed by Participant Media made $2.7M Friday and $4M Saturday going to $9.4M from 2,935 locations for the weekend. It’s estimated new cume of $137.8M by Monday.

3. This seemingly anticipated mixed martial arts drama Warrior starring Tom Hardy (Bane in the next Batman) and Joel Edgerton was only released for 1,869 runs. It opened with $1.8M Friday and $2.1M Saturday for what was just a dismal $4.8M weekend. Another very disappointing opening for Lionsgate which was very high on this actioner. Did last weekend’s sneaks let some wannasee steam escape? Will this hurt Hardy whom Hollywood execs consider a hot soon-to-be-star?

4. Focus Features’ adult holdover The Debt earned $1.4M Friday (-45% from a week ago) from 1,874 theaters and a projected $4.5M weekend for an estimated $21.6M cume by Monday.

5. Sony Pictures’ holdover Colombiana made $1.1M Friday and $1.9M Saturday from 2,354 runs for a $4M weekend and $29.8M cume.

But I have it on good authority that Sony execs were hiding out at the Toronto Film Festival (where better-than-expected Moneyball officially premiered Friday night) rather than get tagged by its Columbia Pictures’ R-rated Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star which had one of the most annoying TV ad campaigns I’ve ever been assaulted by. Mercifully, its box office take was miniscule: $540K Friday and $570K Saturday for only a $1.2M weekend. That wasn’t even enough to make it into the Top 10 much less Sony’s hoped-for $4M. Fortunately the budget is purportedly just $10M. Usually Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production banner gives Sony box office gold: stupid pics popular with audiences. But this was fool’s gold.

Before I give you the rest of the Top 10, you should know that Kevin Hart’s Laugh At My Pain was No. 10 Friday despite Hartbeat Productions and Codeblack Entertainment releasing it into only 99 theaters. It opened to $758K Friday and an estimated weekend of $2M. But it may ultimately be beaten by The Weinstein Co’s Spy Kids 4D. (I’ll know Sunday AM.) Hart’s fans turned out for this profanity-filled film version of his recent stand-up tour. It offers less than an hour of Hart onstage but also includes such bonus footage as Hart touring his old neighborhood in Philadelphia and faking a bank heist. Directed by Leslie Small, this 1-hour, 28-minute pic and its entry into the Top 10 now establishes Hart as a bonafide star beyond just his YouTube videos which have drawn tens of millions of views. Look for the major studios to take notice.

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First Look At Henry Cavill As ‘Man Of Steel’

Mike Fleming

Warner Bros today released a first photo of British actor Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel, the franchise reboot that’s being directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan. Cavill stars with Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Antje Traue, Julia Ormond, Russell Crowe, Chris Meloni, Harry Lennix and Laurence Fishburne. Currently in production, Man of Steel is slated for release on June 14, 2013:

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Laurence Fishburne To Play Perry White In ‘Man Of Steel’

By | Tuesday August 2, 2011 @ 10:38pm PDT

Laurence Fishburne has landed the role of Daily Planet editor Perry White in Warner Bros and Legendary’s Man of Steel, which Zack Snyder is directing ahead of a June 2013 release. Fishburne joins a cast that includes Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe and Christopher Meloni. The Oscar-nominee recently opted not to renew his contract to continue on CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

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Laurence Fishburne Leaves ‘CSI’

By | Tuesday June 7, 2011 @ 8:08pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After two-and-a-half seasons, Laurence Fishburne is leaving CSI. The Oscar-nominated actor’s deal on the show was up and he opted not to renew it. He is expected to return to features full-time. It was a major coup for CBS to land Fishburne as a successor to original star William Petersen who left the series in December 2008. But when he last renewed his contract for CSI last May, Fishburne only did it for one season. After ten-and-a-half seasons as CBS’ Thursday 9 PM anchor, CSI is moving to Wednesday 10 PM this fall. I hear CBS and the veteran crime drama’s producers were not surprised by Fishburne’s decision. “Nobody expected him to be on the show for 7 years, it’s Laurence Fishburne,” one insider said. Fishburne will next be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s thriller Contagion. With Fishburne gone and Marg Helgenberger only returning part-time, CSI is in a similar position to another veteran crime procedural, Law & Order: SVU where Chris Meloni left and Mariska Hargitay is coming back but not full-time.

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