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Lifetime Sets Whitney Houston Biopic Directed By Angela Bassett

By | Thursday May 22, 2014 @ 1:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

WhitneyHoustonLifetime has greenlighted Whitney Houston (working title), an original movie about the tragic music superstar who died in 2012. Helmed by Angela Bassett in her directorial debut, Whitney Houston is set for a 2015 premiere. It chronicles the tumultuous relationship between Houston and singer-songwriter Bobby Brown — from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity through their courtship and rocky marriage, all during Whitney’s meteoric rise as a singer, actress and model. “I have such regard for both Whitney’s and Bobby’s amazing talents and accomplishments, and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story,” said Bassett. “Their humanity and bond fascinates us all.” Produced by The Sanitsky Co., Whitney Houston comes from executive producer Larry Sanitsky and writer Shem Bitterman, the team behind Lifetime’s 2013 movie Betty & Coretta. That telepic told the dual real-life stories of Coretta Scott King (Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Mary J. Blige).

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Nicole David Exits WME; Top Talent Agent Who Voiced ‘Scooby-Doo’s Velma Eyes Next Chapter

By | Monday February 4, 2013 @ 4:33pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Nicole David, a stalwart talent agent for Triad and WMA, is leaving WME. She is not retiring, but hasn’t yet figured out if she will resurface as an agent or a manager, or a producer for that matter. David has been an important figure for women in the industry, rising to prominence at a time when there weren’t that many in top jobs. David and Arnold Rifkin formed Rifkin/David in 1982, and a decade later sold that agency for upwards of $25 million to WMA. She has been at that agency ever since, continuing after its merger with Endeavor. In that time, she helped build the movie careers of talent that included the late Patrick Swayze and Whitney Houston, and her current list includes: Alicia Keys, Elijah Wood, Emma Thompson, Jaden Smith, Julia Andrews, Linda Hunt, Melanie Griffith, Rihanna and Willow Smith.

David started her career in acting and is still a member of The Actors Studio. She also voiced the role of the bespectacled sleuth Velma in the animated Hanna-Barbera series Scooby-Doo. She has also helped launch a lot of careers, giving early jobs to an impressive list of women that includes Stacey Snider, Hylda Queally, Michelle Bohan, Carla Hacken, Tracey Jacobs and Ilene Feldman, to name a few.

David today told the WME staff that she would be leaving, and she will take … Read More »

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CBS Plans Grammy Special On The Year In Music, Including Whitney Houston: TCA

By | Saturday January 12, 2013 @ 11:32am PST

Grammy Awards executive producer Ken Erlich announced today at TCA that CBS will present a documentary on “what happened this year” in music, including the Whitney Houston story. “The footage came in after the fact — we didn’t plan to do it ahead of time, but we had a meeting with [entertainment president] Nina Tassler, we put together a reel [and she thought] that would make a great show.” - Diane Haithman

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Too Soon? Whitney Houston’s Family To Star In Docu-Reality Series For Lifetime

By | Friday May 11, 2012 @ 10:15am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Lifetime The Houston Family ChroniclesShould a teenage girl grieving over the passing of her mom be the subject of a reality series? Three months after Whitney Houston’s sudden death, her family has signed on to do a reality series. Lifetime has picked up The Houston Family Chronicles, a 10-episode docu-series to premiere later this year. It will follow the lives of Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law and manager, who now manages her estate; Pat’s daughter Rayah; Whitney’s brother Gary; daughter Bobbi Kristina; and mother, Grammy-winning singer Cissy Houston, as they try to pick up the pieces after the pop star’s untimely death. The series will follow Pat and her husband, Gary, as they try to support Whitney’s teenage daughter Bobbi Kristina. In that, Pat enlists the help of her and Whitney’s inner circle, including Grammy-winner Dionne Warwick and gospel legend CeCe Winans. “The tragic loss of Whitney Houston left a void in the hearts of people all over the world, but certainly none more so than her beloved family,” said Lifetime’s EVP Rob Sharenow. “In this series, the multi-generations of the Houston family will bravely reveal their lives as they bond together to heal, love, and grow.”

Related: Oprah’s Interview With Whitney Houston’s Daughter Delivers Ratings Record For OWN

Pat Houston said that over the past few years she had been developing an unscripted  project about her and her family with producers Tracey Baker Simmons and Wanda Shelley. “The unexpected … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Sparkle’

By | Tuesday April 3, 2012 @ 3:17pm PDT

Sparkle looks like it has a lot going for it. It also happens to be the movie Whitney Houston finished before she died. She plays the mother of a trio of singing sisters destined for stardom during the Motown era. Title character is played by Jordin Sparks, and her sisters by Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter. Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Omari Hardwick and Cee-lo Green also star in the project directed by Salim Akil and written by Mara Brock Akil from a story by Nicholas August and Howard Rosenman. The TriStar release is slated to open August 17.

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Tyler Perry Eulogizes Whitney Houston

By | Saturday February 18, 2012 @ 3:19pm PST

Kevin Costner Eulogizes Whitney Houston

Watch the latest video at

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Kevin Costner Eulogizes Whitney Houston

By | Saturday February 18, 2012 @ 12:19pm PST

Tyler Perry Eulogizes Whitney Houston

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Whitney Houston Funeral To Stream Live

By | Thursday February 16, 2012 @ 10:13am PST

Expect the cable news networks to pick up on Whitney Houston’s private memorial service Saturday. BET News and Centric will broadcast live coverage of the services beginning at 8:30AM PT/11:30 ET. Immediately following the service BET will air a one-hour original special BET Remembers Whitney. The Associated Press reported today it will have the only camera in Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church for the service, with footage from its live stream, at, available to media outlets via satellite. The funeral is set for noon locally and is expected to last 90 minutes before Houston is laid to rest in Westfield, N.J., at the same cemetery where her father is buried. There is no plan so far for a public service for the iconic singer and movie star, who died Saturday at the Beverly Hilton at age 48 the afternoon before the Grammy Awards.

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Remembered: Jennifer Hudson To Perform Whitney Houston Tribute At The Grammys

By | Saturday February 11, 2012 @ 8:59pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

R.I.P. Whitney Houston

UPDATED: Whitney Houston’s shocking death just 24 hours before the music industry’s biggest event, the annual Grammy Awards, sent CBS, the Recording Academy and the show’s  producers scrambling to put together a fitting tribute to one of the music industry’s biggest stars. Jennifer Hudson, who like Houston came from gospel roots to enjoy a flourishing career as both a singer and actress, will perform a Houston tribute at the Grammys tomorrow night, the show’s executive producer Ken Erlich just announced. It will no doubt be a memorable moment in Grammy Awards history, just like six-time Grammy winner Houston’s performance of One Moment In Time at the 1989 show. (Watch it below). And a very highly rated Grammy Awards for CBS. Erlich said that they were in the middle of rehearsal for tomorrow’s show when the news of Houston’s death broke. “As you know she was very closely associated with the Grammys both as a performer and as a Grammy winner, and a lot of us who worked on the show worked with her a number of times, so it’s a very sad day for us, and it’s going to be tough to recover from,” he said in an interview for the CBS affiliate stations. Shortly thereafter, Erlich called Hudson, who accepted his invitation to perform. “She’s a good friend of the Grammys,” Erlich said. “She’s had some very significant appearances on the show, it felt … Read More »

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R.I.P. Whitney Houston

By | Saturday February 11, 2012 @ 5:37pm PST
Mike Fleming

Jennifer Hudson To Perform Tribute At The Grammys

Whitney Houston DeadUPDATE: I’ve confirmed that a rough cut of Sparkle was turned in, though I’m not sure whether Whitney Houston saw it before she died. Sony publicist Steve Elzer said the studio was mourning her death. The film has been scheduled for release late summer. “Like all those who knew and loved her, we are shocked and saddened and the world has lost an incomparable talent,” Elzer said. “Right now our thoughts are with her daughter, her family and her friends.”

PREVIOUS: In a most shocking development, Whitney Houston has died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. She was 48. I confirmed this news with her publicist who made the announcement today. The cause of death has not been determined yet. Houston was that rarity: a true crossover artist with tremendous success in both music and movies. Houston burst on the scene with a gospel-trained voice of an angel and the beauty to match. She seemed to have the world at her feet when she was recording platinum-selling albums. She sold 55 million records in the U.S. alone and then branched seamlessly into films, and seemed the successor to Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight in that when she sang her soaring vocals, they made the hair stand up on your neck. She made her feature starring debut in the Mick Jackson-directed The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. The film grossed $411 million … Read More »

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AP: Publicist Says Whitney Houston Dead

By | Saturday February 11, 2012 @ 5:10pm PST

UPDATE: Whitney Houston died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, news reports now say. The AP is quoting the singer-actress’ publicist Kristen Foster as making the announcement today. Deadline is trying to confirm.

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