14 items from 2015
It’s not unusual for a show to make tweaks between seasons, but CBS’ summer sci-fi series “Extant” underwent an extreme makeover for Wednesday’s second season premiere.
Only three of last season’s seven full-time regulars are still with the show (leading lady Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, Pierce Gagnon as her robo-son, Ethan, and Grace Gummer as partially robotic scientist Julie Gelineau), while season one’s male lead, Goran Visnjic, has been replaced by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Entire subplots have been dropped, and the show’s perspective is shifting away from the realm of science, to a pulpier, more action-driven, vibe.
There’s no doubt many of these changes are the result of underwhelming ratings — after bowing to 9.6 million viewers and a 1.6 rating in the 18-49 demo, the first season averaged 6.2 million viewers and a 1.1 in 18-49.
They’re also the vision of new showrunners Elizabeth Kruger »
- Geoff Berkshire
The nominees for the 2015 edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (Amaa 2015) were revealed at an invitation-only nomination dinner this weekend in Beverly Hills. Amaa announced South Africa as the host country for the 2015 event, which will be held outside Nigeria for the first time since the awards were founded in 2004. Some of the brightest stars in the African entertainment world mingled with such Hollywood celebrities as Academy Award winner Louis Gossett, Jr., Ja’Net DuBois, Lynn Whitfield and Sheryl Lee Ralph. Nigerian stars Omotola Jalade Ekeinde (“Ije”) and Patience Ozokwor (“Mama G”) attended, as did South Africa’s Terry Pheto (“Tsotsi”) and Ghanaian Lydia Forson (“Phone »
- Africa Movie Academy Awards
"Daddy Moses brings people to the promised land. He's an important character in the story of this woman's life," says Louis Gossett, Jr. during our video chat (watch below) about his role in the recent Bet limited series "The Book of Negroes." He plays a legally blind ex-slave from Virginia who helped start the first black community in Nova Scotia after the American Revolutionary War. The elderly church leader, known as "Preacher Man" to his friends and neighbors, comes to the aid of the lead character, a former slave Aminata (Aunjanue Ellis), when she arrives in Canada. -Break- Watch dozens of video chats with 2015 Emmy contenders The program is the first of its kind for Bet and was a recent Critics Choice TV Awards nominee for Best Limited Series and Best Movie/Mini Actress (Ellis). It also stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Lyriq Bent, Ben Chaplin, and Jane Alexander. This will mark the first. »
Another day, another awards show… But what made Sunday’s Critics’ Choice Television Awards different was the array of American talent taking home trophies and nominations.
Bet Networks made their Critics’ Choice debut with the “Book of Negroes.” The 35-year-old channel — which expanded its network to scripted programming in 2011 — gained its first award nominations with best limited series and series’ leading lady Aunjanue Ellis for actress in a movie or limited series. Cast members along with network CEO Debra Lee and head of programming Stephen Hill attended the awards show and after-party.
“It feels a little like someone let the door open, like, ‘Do they know?’” Ellis kidded. She got a little more serious, “I’m claiming it, it’s a movement.”
Lou Gossett Jr. spoke candidly alongside co-star Lyric Bent about the awards show’s diversity.
“It’s her turn, it’s our people’s turn, it’s been so many others’ turn, »
- Mannie Holmes
The universal story of loss, courage and triumph is powerfully being examined in the upcoming DVD release of the acclaimed mini-series, ‘The Book of Negroes.’ The show, which became Bet’s top-rated original mini-series when it had its U.S. premiere on the cable network in February, stars Aunjanue Ellis, Louis Gossett Jr. and Cuba Gooding Jr. In celebration of the program’s special edition DVD release on Tuesday, Shockya has a new exclusive clip, which features the Oscar-winning ‘Jerry Maguire’ actor discussing his character’s relationship with Ellis’ character. An epic dramatic adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel by Lawrence Hill, ‘The Book of Negroes’ depicts the extraordinary life of Aminata Diallo (Ellis)–an [ Read More ]
- Karen Benardello
Read More: What Critics Are Saying About 'The Book of Negroes' Miniseries Entertainment One is releasing Bet's acclaimed mini-series "Book of Negroes" on a special edition DVD, with over three hours of bonus programming including interviews with cast and author Lawrence Hill, deleted scenes, and a 28-page collector's book. Based on a critically acclaimed novel by Lawrence Hill, "The Book of Negroes" stars Aunjanue Ellis ("The Help," "Ray"), Golden Globe winner Louis Gossett Jr. ("Roots," "Boardwalk Empire") and Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. ("Jerry Maguire"). The series follows Aminata Diallo, an African woman whose story is filled with hardship and tragedy, but also triumph. Kidnapped by slave traders in Africa as a young girl and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata navigates her way across the world, struggling to return home, before finally achieving her freedom at the beginning of the 19th »
- Anya Jaremko-Greenwold
Following its U.S. broadcast premiere on Bet last month, "The Book of Negroes" miniseries will be available as a special edition 3-disc DVD release on April 7, 2015, exclusively from Entertainment One. The DVD set will feature more than three hours of in-depth bonus features, collectively going behind-the-scenes, deeper into history and into the minds of those involved in the production, and more. Extras include the featurettes "History of the Black Loyalists Society" and "Amistad"; ten cast interviews with stars Aunjanue Ellis, Louis Gossett Jr., Cuba Gooding Jr. and others; two exclusive interviews with best-selling author Lawrence Hill; »
- Tambay A. Obenson
The impact of the 1977 miniseries “Roots” is still being felt decades later — notably by one of its stars, Louis Gossett Jr., who played the cunning Fiddler, and won an Emmy for the role. The actor, who initially graced our pages in a casting notice for his role in 1957’s Off Broadway revival of “Take a Giant Step,” is now starring in another miniseries about slavery, Bet’s “The Book of Negroes.”
Did you read the review of “Roots”?
I must have. It comes from the old Broadway system of reading the reviews the next morning. Nobody expected it. We thought we would never work again. We thought it would never go any further. Up until that time, no one spoke about slavery and those atrocities in present-day society. So it was a cathartic thing. We were all shocked. Of course, we acted like we knew it all along.
What do »
- Debra Birnbaum
There's only one rule as far as the kinds of performance that get nominated for Oscars go: Someone has already been nominated for a role just like it. While it was thrilling to watch Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, and Jk Simmons pick up expected Oscars for their work this year, it cannot be denied that many of their roles have obvious Oscar forebears. Here are four performances you should watch next if you loved "Still Alice," "The Theory of Everything," "Boyhood," and "Whiplash." If you liked Julianne Moore in "Still Alice," watch Bette Davis in "Dark Victory" Julianne Moore copes with the inevitability of a devastating condition in "Still Alice," and her decline is both grim and undeniably cinematic. Her emotional and physical transformations serve as the movie's entire plot, and her family's shifting response to her progressing Alzheimer's is just as compelling. In Oscar history, we actually »
- Louis Virtel
This Sunday, over 3,000 dolled-up guests will traverse 500 feet of red carpet on their path into the 87th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre (where it’ll be hosted for the 14th time). But before they reach for that first glass of Piper-Heidsieck brut during the ritzy Oscar cocktail hour, a series of events, benefits, award shows and gifting suites will properly launch the festivities. Here’s where the industry’s brightest will be primping, prepping, donating and gallivanting in the days leading up to Hollywood’s biggest night.
Icon Mann Industry Panels
Where: L.A. SAG-aftra office, 11 a.m.
Why you don’t want to miss it: Industry vets will examine the evolution of black male characters throughout film history and »
- Jasmin Rosemberg
Billed as being “in the tradition of ‘Roots,’ ” but perhaps closer in scope to its sequel “Queen,” “The Book of Negroes” is an ambitious six-hour miniseries, anchored by the splendid Aunjanue Ellis, slated to air over successive nights on Bet. Augmenting its ties to the genre’s past with cameos by Louis Gossett Jr. and Jane Alexander, this Canadian-South African coproduction of Lawrence Hill’s Oprah-blessed novel (released in the U.S. as “Someone Knows My Name”) provides a familiar if sobering account of African-American history circa the Revolutionary War, with all the requisite irony of its “All men are created equal” idealism.
Directed by “The Wire” alum Clement Virgo, who also wrote the screenplay with Hill , the story is told from the perspective of Ellis’ Aminata Diallo, stolen from her family in Africa as a young girl, and sold into slavery in 1761. A skilled midwife, fluent in several »
- Brian Lowry
Director: Daniel Petrie Jr.
Running Time: 111 minutes
Hitting cinema screens in 1991 Toy Soldiers was the directorial debut of Daniel Petrie Jr., and it’s finally making its way to Blu-Ray and DVD. Graced with the cult classic title, the film delivers a balance of action, adventure and a hint of comedy. There are some off the wall moments, but it all adds to the charm of a 90s teen movie.
Set in The Regis School, or “Rejects” School as it’s known by its misfit students, is the last stop boarding school for rebellious teens. Dean Parker (Louis Gossett, Jr.) manages to keep these disorderly boys in check, with the exception of Billy Tepper (Sean Astin) and his friends; Joey (Wil Wheaton), Snuffy (Keith Coogan), Ricardo (George Perez), Hank (T.E. Russell), and »
- Ciham Messouki
To celebrate the release of Toy Soldiers, the the classic 90s teen action movie starring Sean Astin, Louis Gossett Jr., Wil Wheaton, Keith Coogan and Andrew Divoff – coming to DVD and Blu-ray 26th January 2015 – we have Three copies to giveaway thanks to our friends at 101 Films.
Regis High School, an exclusive prep school for delinquent teenage boys, becomes the target of a terrorist attack from Columbian drug lord and terrorist Louis Cali, who has travelled to the Us to free his drug kingpin father. With a team of ruthless mercenaries, Cali invades Regis High School in an attempt to capture the son of the federal judge presiding over his father’s trial. As Cali takes the students hostage, the FBI and Us Army remain helpless. Within the school, however, is a group of rebellious and mischievous students, led by Billy Tepper and Joey Trotta, who decide to put their expertise »
- Phil Wheat
Stars: Sean Astin, Louis Gossett Jr., Wil Wheaton, Keith Coogan, Andrew Divoff, R. Lee Ermey, Denholm Elliott, George Perez, T.E. Russell, Shawn Phelan, Michael Champion, Mason Adams | Written by Daniel Petrie Jr., David Koepp | Directed by Daniel Petrie Jr.
Regis High School, an exclusive prep school for delinquent teenage boys, becomes the target of a terrorist attack from Columbian drug lord and terrorist Louis Cali, who has travelled to the Us to free his drug kingpin father. With a team of ruthless mercenaries, Cali invades Regis High School in an attempt to capture the son of the federal judge presiding over his father’s trial. As Cali takes the students hostage, the FBI and Us Army remain helpless. Within the school, however, is a group of rebellious and mischievous students, led by Billy Tepper and Joey Trotta, who decide to put their expertise in avoiding authority to good use. Now »
- Phil Wheat
14 items from 2015
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