Tricia O’Kelley (The New Adventures of Old Christine) has been cast in a season-long recurring role on Lifetime’s Devious Maids. She’ll play Tanya, a local Beverly Hills resident. O’Kelley, repped by Domain and Art/Work Entertainment, recently recurred on ABC Family’s The Secret Life Of The American Teenager. Season 2 of Devious Maids is set to premiere April 20, when star Eva Longoria will direct the season opener.
VH1′s Big Morning Buzz Live will launch its next season on March 3 with Nick Lachey as host. He succeeds original host Carrie Keagan who recently departed the morning program after 400 live episodes. For now, Lachey has only committed for the spring but VH1 brass hope for him to stay on depending on his schedule. Singer Lachey, repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment, hosts NBC’s a capella singing competition The Sing-Off.
EXCLUSIVE: Carrie Keagan is departing VH1‘s Big Morning Buzz Live, which she has hosted since the morning program’s 2011 launch. She has done over 400 live episodes, taping her last show on December 20. “I’ve had the most wonderful time and experience hosting Buzz, and I am very grateful to have worked with the stellar production team behind the show as well as Tom Calderone and Lee Rolontz at VH1 who were incredible champions and supporters,” Keagan said. “I’m sad to leave but I am very proud to have helped launch VH1′s first morning show and look forward to its continued success.” Keagan won’t be a stranger to VH1 as she has a pilot in pre-production with them with her production company, NGTV.
“We thank Carrie for waking up before dawn for over three years, always bringing her energy, style and love of music and pop culture,” said Rolontz, EVP, Original Music Production and Development, VH1. “We are going to miss her and wish her great success in her next adventure. We also appreciate all of her efforts in helping VH1 establish a successful base in the competitive live morning talk show arena.” Big Morning Buzz Live, which was renamed Big Morning Buzz Live With Carrie Keagan last January, started a morning block for VH1, which was recently expanded with companion The Gossip Table. VH1 plans to continue Buzz, which is eyeing a March return. The future of Jason Dundas, …
Happy Endings lives on in post-cancellation, at least all of its 57 produced episodes. VH1 has acquired the three seasons of the cult comedy from producer Sony Pictures Television. This marks a rare off-network deal for VH1, which doesn’t have other acquired series on its air at the moment. Happy Endings will make its cable premiere on VH1 with a marathon of every episode beginning December 31 at 8 PM running through New Year’s Day before settling into its new home on Wednesday nights from 7-9 PM, beginning January 8. In addition to airing the show on VH1, the network has licensed rights to make the series available online via its TV Everywhere platforms and also on the new VH1 App. “Happy Endings is one of our favorite network series, and we consider ourselves lucky to be able to add it to the VH1 line-up,” said VH1′s EVP Ben Zurier. “The show’s authentic voice, memorable characters, and smart humor really stands out.” Created by David Caspe, Happy Endings aired on ABC for three seasons and came close to getting a fourth season on USA but a deal could not be reached.
Susan Levison has made her first new hire since taking the reins of VH1‘s development team in August as EVP, Original Programming & Production. Fernando Mills has been tapped as s VP, Production & Programming. He will focus on internal development and the launches of new VH1 series, working with both the West Coast Development teams and the Talent groups and reporting to Jill Holmes, SVP, West Coast Production & Development. Mills comes from Endemol-owned reality production company 51 Minds where he was SVP, Current Programming and oversaw such shows as VH1’s: T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, La La’s Full Court Life, and Marrying The Game.
VH1 has commissioned a presentation for a comedy reality series created, executive produced by and starring actresses Erin Foster and Sara Foster, daughters of David Foster. The show explores the hypocrisy of reality TV by centering around two sisters (Erin & Sara Foster) who say they would never do a reality show, but are being filmed by a camera crew. 3 Arts Entertainment and Good Clean Fun are producing, with 3 Arts’s Oly Obst, Kimberly Carver and Josh Lieberman executive producing alongside Good Clean Fun’s Jason Carbone. Last year, Erin, repped by 3 Arts and CAA, was a writer on NBC’s The New Normal. Sara, managed by Luber Roklin, co-starred on the CW’s 90210.
VH1 has marked a February 2014 premiere for its latest “rock doc,” although it’s rap and not rock music that’s at the center of this 4-part documentary. The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop, based on Steve Stoute’s bestseller The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created A Culture That Rewrote The Rules Of The New Economy, takes a trip down memory lane to examine how hip-hop culture influenced music, film, television, fashion, business, race relations and the politics that opened the door for Obama’s America. “Tanning” in this case is a phrase coined by Stoute for the deep-rooted influence traditionally African-American hip-hop has had on pop culture from The Jeffersons to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing to Eminem’s 8 Mile. Billy Corben (Cocaine Cowboys, 30 for 30‘s Broke and The U) directed the docu with Alfred Spellman producing, nabbing interviews with Diddy, Dr Dre, Mariah Carey, Will.i.am, Russell Simmons, Pharrell, Nas, Reverend Run, Rick Rubin, Fab 5 Freddy, Jimmy Iovine, Al Sharpton, Cory Booker, Brett Ratner, Brian Grazer, Tommy Hilfiger, Ron Howard, Steve Stoute and more.
It’s been 20 years since her band had its ubiquitous — and only — hit, but Linda Perry has kept busy as a songwriter and producer. Now the former 4 Non Blondes singer is coming to VH1 with The Linda Perry Project, a docuseries in which she works to relaunch her record label and mentors young artists in the hope of signing them. Perry serves as an EP of the show, along with John Irwin, Damian Sullivan, Rob Buchta, and Mark Herwick. It’ll premiere in the summer. The ’90s are suddenly hot on VH1, as the Linda Perry Project announcement comes a week after the cable net drew 4.5 million viewers for its biopic about TLC.
EXCLUSIVE: After almost two decades at VH1, Shelly Tatro is departing the cable network. Tatro, who joined VH1 in 1996 as Director of Series & Specials, has served as SVP Production & Programming since 2003, overseeing such shows as Love & Hip-Hop and Best Week Ever. Her exit comes two months after Susan Levison joined VH1 as EVP Original Programming & Production, replacing Jeff Olde. Tatro previously helped develop VH1′s Where Are They Now, I Love the 80s and I Love the 70s. Before joining VH1, she was a freelance producer in New York and also was part of the launch team for Barry Diller’s home shopping network Q2.
EXCLUSIVE: In the first scripted pickup under new head of development Susan Levison, VH1 has given a pilot order to Hindsight, an hourlong scripted drama from writer Emily Fox (Jane By Design) and Timberman/Beverly. The project, previously developed at NBC, centers on Becca who, as she nears 40, is about to embark on her second wedding to Andy Kelly, but her joy is tempered by the absence of her old best friend Lolly who’s a no-show, having dropped out of their relationship years ago. As Becca mulls over her past with Lolly and the mishap of her marriage to her first husband, Sean, she wakes up on her wedding day and discovers that it’s 15 years in the past — she’s about to marry Sean, her own parents are still married, and Lolly is still in her life. Becca must now decide to either go ahead with her marriage to Sean and watch the years play out as they have before, or chuck it all and try for a re-do of the history of her life that’s still in the future. VH1 and Timberman/Beverly are producing, with Fox, Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman and Maggie Malina exec producing, along with VH1′s Levison and Jill Holmes. VH1 is looking to expand its scripted portfolio, building on the success of its first hourlong scripted series Single Ladies.
EXCLUSIVE: VH1 has ordered a presentation for a reality series toplined and executive produced by Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys. The project, produced by Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment (Hardcore Pawn: Chicago) chronicles Carter’s life as he tries to make amends with his past and prepare for his upcoming nuptials with fiancée, Lauren Kitt. Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey also exec produce. Bischoff-Hervey is repped by CAA; Carter and Kitt are with TalentWorks.
The remaining members of 1990s R&B group TLC made a return to the MTV VMAs last night as part of the marketing blitz for their new VH1 biopic. CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story stars Keke Palmer as Chilli, Lil Mama as Left Eye, and Drew Sidora as T-Boz in the telefilm premiering October 21. Here’s the new promo teasing more of the behind-the-scenes drama as TLC strikes fame, fortune, and a match or two (looks like Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ infamous 1994 mansion-burning incident makes its way into the saga):
Susan Levison has joined VH1 as EVP, Original Programming & Production. Based in Los Angeles, Levison will oversee all current VH1 original programming and development, reporting to VH1 president Tom Calderone. She replaces Jeff Olde who left in March to head programming for E!. This marks Levison’s return to the network executive ranks. She spent the last few years at FishBowl Worldwide Media where she was EVP, Head of Creative Affairs. Previously, she served as SVP, Comedy Development and VP Drama Development at Fox. Before that she was Director of Alternative Programming at the network under Mike Darnell.
Here’s your first real look at VH1‘s biopic of female R&B group TLC, starring Keke Palmer as Chilli, Lil Mama as Left Eye, and Drew Sidora as T-Boz. The 2-minute CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story teaser is light on behind the scenes story but highlights some painstaking reenactments of the group’s most totally ’90s moments and music videos, including their iconic “Waterfalls” video. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, the two surviving members of TLC who also consulted on and exec produced the pic, announced they’ve re-signed with LA Reid and Epic Records for the October 15 release of a new album of greatest hits and new songs, including the Ne-Yo penned “Meant To Be” which appears in the film. The TLC blitz continues as Lil Mama joins T-Boz and Chilli at this week’s Mixtape Festival performing in place of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in a 2002 crash. Charles Stone III (Drumline) is directing from a script by Kate Lanier (What’s Love Got To Do With It). CrazySexyCool will premiere on VH1 on October 21:
The daily pop culture series will feature gossip columnists dishing on hot topics in a panel format. The Gossip Table will premiere on VH1 on Monday, June 3 at 9 AM as a summer replacement for Big Morning Buzz Live With Carrie Keagan, which is on summer break. Big Morning Buzz executive producer Shane Farley is exec producing Gossip via his Cypress E Prods.
Alex Winter’s documentary about the rise and fall of Napster will open at Manhattan’s Village East Cinema on Friday, June 21 and the Sundance Sunset Cinemas in Los Angeles on June 28, VH1 announced today. Focusing on Napster and its founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, Downloaded examines the rise of digital media sharing and “VH1 is so proud of this timely project, and we want to showcase it in as many ways as possible,” said Brad Abramson, Vice President, Programming and Production, VH1 in a statement today. This comes on the heels of VH1′s distribution deal with AOL. Additional theatrical bookings for Downloaded are scheduled for Albuquerque, Austin, Chicago, Columbus, Grand Rapids, Martha’s Vineyard, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as other cities to be announced, in partnership with specialty distributor Richard Abramowitz of Abramorama. On July 1, the film will debut on several On Demand platforms including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and XBOX, in partnership with digital entertainment curator FilmBuff. Produced by VH1 for its rockDocs series, Downloaded premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Following the theatrical and On Demand windows, VH1 will air the film, most likely in 2014. Downloaded is written, directed and executive produced by Alex Winter and executive produced by Maggie Malina.
Letoya Luckett, Damien Wayans and Lesley-Ann Brandt have been added to VH1‘s series Single Ladies. They are set for major recurring/possible regular roles. Luckett will play Felicia Price, the icy and aloof founder and Senior Partner of Price Management, one of the most influential music management companies in the world. Wayans will play David Berenger, April’s (Charity Shea) main foil at Price Management — a masterful sycophant, and a slick manager on the Atlanta music scene. Brandt, repped by Innovative and New Wave Entertainment, plays Naomi Cox, a demure, sexy, scheming gold-digger who is a constant thorn in Keisha’s (LisaRaye McCoy) side. Luckett and Wayans are repped by Resolution.
Days Of Our Lives alum Darin Brooks is returning to daytime with a role on CBS’ The Bold & The Beautiful. He will play Wyatt Fuller, a bold, sexy and mysterious young man who unexpectedly finds himself in the midst of the Forresters, Logans and Spencers. Brooks is repped by UTA and KLWGN.
They look just like it was the early 1990s. VH1 today put out the first photo from its upcoming biopic Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story. Left to right, there’s Drew Sidora as Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Keke Palmer as Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, and Lil’ Mama as Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in the upcoming TV movie about the R&B/hip-hop/pop group. Drumline’s Charles Stone III is directing from a screenplay by What’s Love Got To Do With It’s Kate Lanier. The film started production in March in Atlanta where Chilli, Left Eye and T-Boz started their rise to multi-platinum fame as one of the most successful musical trios of all time. The two surviving members of the group, Chilli and T-Boz, serve as consultants and executive producers on the movie. The pic is scheduled to come out toward the end of the year.