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‘American Crime Story: Impeachment’: Richard Shepard To Direct & Executive Produce Ryan Murphy’s FX Limited Series

  • Deadline
‘American Crime Story: Impeachment’: Richard Shepard To Direct & Executive Produce Ryan Murphy’s FX Limited Series
Exclusive: Emmy-winning director Richard Shepard is set to direct and executive produce American Crime Story: Impeachment, Ryan Murphy’s upcoming FX limited series about the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. He is expected to be one of several producing directors on the series, including Ep Murphy.

The third season of American Crime Story will be based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President. Beanie Feldstein will star as Lewinsky, Clive Owen as Bill Clinton, Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones and Billy Eichner as journalist Matt Drudge. It will premiere in late 2020 or early 2021.

Sarah Burgess is writing and will serve as Ep with Shepard, Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall, and Sarah Paulson. Lewinsky, Feldstein, Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan are producing.

The veteran helmer has
See full article at Deadline »

Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’ Team Unpacks The Genius Of The Legendary Singer – TCA

  • Deadline
Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’ Team Unpacks The Genius Of The Legendary Singer – TCA
“Aretha not only makes art that is timeless that runs through the fabric of our lives and endures through time, but she does what genius also should be doing and does do. She’s inclusive and ignites the genius in each and every one of us,” said Suzan-Lori Parks, executive producer and showrunner of Nat Geo’s Genius: Aretha.

Parks was present at the TCA winter press tour, along with Ep and director Anthony Hemingway, while stars Cynthia Erivo, Courtney B. Vance, and Shaian Jordan joined in via satellite.

As previously announced, the third season of the anthology series will explore the legendary Queen of Soul’s musical genius and incomparable career, as well as the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she had on music and culture around the world. Grammy Award-winner Franklin was a gospel prodigy and outspoken civil rights champion. She is widely considered to be the greatest singer of the past 50 years,
See full article at Deadline »

‘Genius: Aretha’ Star Cynthia Erivo Sent a Note of Congratulations to ‘Respect’ Star Jennifer Hudson

  • The Wrap
‘Genius: Aretha’ Star Cynthia Erivo Sent a Note of Congratulations to ‘Respect’ Star Jennifer Hudson
2020 will see dueling Aretha Franklin biopics, with Cynthia Erivo set to portray the Queen of Soul in Nat Geo’s “Genius: Aretha” and Jennifer Hudson taking on the role in the feature film “Respect.” But all involved in the Nat Geo series say there’s room for everyone.

“I haven’t spoken to Jennifer personally,” Erivo said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday. “[But] I sent her a message saying congratulations. I’m really looking forward to seeing her version in the film.”

“I’m actually excited by the fact that we get to tell her story more than once,” she said. “I think the more the merrier. There are many heroes out there who have had their story told many different times, and to have someone like Aretha to have a moment to tell her story more than once, and tell it again and again, is kind of amazing.
See full article at The Wrap »

Cynthia Erivo Talks Singing Live on Set for ‘Genius: Aretha’

  • Variety
Cynthia Erivo Talks Singing Live on Set for ‘Genius: Aretha’
Cynthia Erivo confirmed the rumor that she is indeed singing live on set for “Genius: Aretha.”

During the Nat Geo series’ Television Critics’ Association press tour pane, Erivo discussed how singing live allowed her to capture the voice and essence of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.

“Singing is my second language, the rumor is true, I do sing live on set,” Erivo said. “It allows me to connect to her music in a way, to open up and be vulnerable and to express the things that you can’t say. It means I can be in the moment and don’t have to fabricate it, it’s there in the words and the moment and the lyrics.”

Erivo also shared the moment she knew she had to say yes to playing Aretha: She was meeting with showrunner Suzan-Lori Parks for decisive talks and suddenly, an Aretha Franklin song came over the speakers.
See full article at Variety »

Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’: Cynthia Erivo Is Singing All Her Songs Live to Camera

Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’: Cynthia Erivo Is Singing All Her Songs Live to Camera
Taking a page out of Netflix’s playbook, National Geographic will premiere “Genius: Aretha” just before the Emmy qualifying deadline. “Genius” Season 3, starring Cynthia Erivo as the legendary musician, has set a Memorial Day 2020 release date, debuting four episodes on consecutive nights starting Monday, May 25.

Those four episodes are key. Emmy rules require at least half of the season’s episodes to air on or before May 31, and “Genius: Aretha” runs eight episodes. That means the new season will get in just under the wire by hitting its midway mark on May 29. National Geographic Global Television Networks President Courteney Monroe made the announcement from the TCA stage in Pasadena and said the series just started production, so the team shooting in Atlanta will be pushing to finish final cuts in the next few months.

Directed and executive produced by Anthony Hemingway, who also serves as producing director on the episodes he’s not helming personally,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Genius: Aretha’: Nat Geo Series Adds Seven To Cast

  • Deadline
Exclusive: Nat Geo is rounding out its cast for Genius: Aretha, the next installment of its popular anthology from Imagine Television and Fox 21 TV Studios that stars Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul.

Newcomer Shaian Jordan is set as a series regular in a recasting. Additionally, Dear White People‘s Marque Richardson, Pauletta Washington (She’s Gotta Have It), Steven Norfleet (Watchmen) and Queen Sugar star Omar J. Dorsey have been cast in recurring roles. They join Erivo and previously announced cast Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory and Rebecca Naomi Jones. Anthony Hemingway executive produces and directs the pilot episode.

Billed as the first, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on Franklin’s life, Genius: Aretha is slated for a spring premiere on National Geographic channels in 172 countries and 43 languages.

Jordan will play Little Re, replacing Sanai Victoria who played the role in the pilot.
See full article at Deadline »

First Look: Ethan Hawke Returns To ‘The Purge’ With USA Series

  • Deadline
First Look: Ethan Hawke Returns To ‘The Purge’ With USA Series
Six-and-a-half years after Ethan Hawke starred in the Blumhouse hit The Purge he will return to the film’s dark, dystopian mythology via the namesake USA series. The episode airs December 17 at 9/8C .

Hawke will revives the role of security system salesman James Sandin in the cold open of “7:01 A.M.,” the Season 2 finale of USA’s The Purge. The flashback scene takes the story back to one week before the first national Purge Night, the annual amnesty day that allows citizens to kill and victimize others for 12 hours without fear of prosecution.

“The finale picks up as Purge Night rages on and Esme, Ryan, Marcus and Ben fight for their lives and their loved ones,” according to a synopsis from producers.

Hawke introduced the role of Sandin in the 2013 film that piled up $89 million in box office against a scant $3 million production budget. No surprise, the original film,
See full article at Deadline »

‘Genius': Nat Geo Shares First Look at Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin (Photo)

  • The Wrap
National Geographic released a first look photo of “Genius” star Cynthia Erivo in character as Aretha Franklin on Friday.

The “Harriet” star is currently in production on the third season of the anthology series, which is set to premiere on Nat Geo in May 2020.

“Over the last few months, I’ve been preparing myself to embody the Queen of Soul, from re-listening to her music to discovering her rare interviews and reading some amazing books on her — all to really capture Aretha’s attitude and spirit,” Erivo said. “I’m truly humbled to be working alongside a very talented and musical team. Together, we’ll serve the Queen and create something special.”

Also Read: Courtney B Vance Joins Nat Geo's 'Genius' as Aretha Franklin's Father

Nat Geo

Joining Erivo in “Genius: Aretha” is an ensemble cast including Courtney B. Vance, David Cross, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory,
See full article at The Wrap »

Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’ Offers First Look Of Cynthia Erivo As Queen Of Soul

  • Deadline
Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’ Offers First Look Of Cynthia Erivo As Queen Of Soul
Cynthia Erivo is transformed into the late, great Queen of Soul in a first-look photo from Genius: Aretha, the upcoming biographical series from National Geographic and Fox 21 Television Studios.

See the photo below.

Erivo, a Tony Award winner for Broadway’s 2015 The Color Purple and the star of this year’s Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet, will play Aretha Franklin in the third installment of the series (following seasons devoted to Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso).

“Over the last few months,” said Erivo, “I’ve been preparing myself to embody the Queen of Soul, from relistening to her music to discovering her rare interviews and reading some amazing books on her — all to really capture Aretha’s attitude and spirit. I’m truly humbled to be working alongside a very talented and musical team. Together, we’ll serve the Queen and create something special.”

Also featured in the cast are
See full article at Deadline »

‘Genius: Aretha’ at Nat Geo Casts David Cross (Exclusive)

  • Variety
‘Genius: Aretha’ at Nat Geo Casts David Cross (Exclusive)
David Cross has joined the cast of the upcoming third season of “Genius” at Nat Geo, which will focus on music legend Aretha Franklin.

Cross will star as music producer Jerry Wexler. Cynthia Erivo is set to play Franklin, with Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Sanai Victoria also set to star in the eight-episode season.

Cross’ Wexler is described as a scrappy, Bronx-born legendary producer who is one of the first to spot Franklin’s incredible talent and potential. He’s a street savvy music man with great ears who isn’t afraid to go into segregated clubs to find talented performers like Ray Charles and Wilson Pickett. He even coined the term “rhythm and blues.” He poached Franklin from Columbia to Atlantic Records and works with her from 1966-79 during which time she records some of her most iconic hits.
See full article at Variety »

‘Genius: Aretha’: Courtney B. Vance To Play Aretha Franklin’s Father In Nat Geo Series

  • Deadline
‘Genius: Aretha’: Courtney B. Vance To Play Aretha Franklin’s Father In Nat Geo Series
Courtney B. Vance, an Emmy winner for his performance as Johnnie Cochran in FX’s The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, is set to star opposite Cynthia Erivo in Genius: Aretha, the next installment of Nat Geo’s popular anthology series, from Imagine Television and Fox 21 TV Studios.

Billed as the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of Franklin, Genius: Aretha will begin production in December for a spring 2020 premiere on National Geographic channels in 172 countries and 43 languages.

Vance joins as Aretha’s (Erivo) father, C.L. Franklin, an influential reverend and civil rights activist known as the “Million Dollar Voice.” A star in his own right, C.L.’s legendary sermons were published and sold in record stores and broadcast on a weekly radio show, and he booked national ministry tours and public appearances. C.L. had a close but fraught relationship
See full article at Deadline »

Courtney B. Vance Joins ‘Genius: Aretha’ at Nat Geo

  • Variety
Courtney B. Vance Joins ‘Genius: Aretha’ at Nat Geo
Courtney B. Vance has joined the cast of the upcoming third season of “Genius” at Nat Geo, which will focus on Aretha Franklin.

Vance will star as Aretha’s father C.L. Franklin. Cynthia Erivo is set to play Aretha, with Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Sanai Victoria also set to star in the eight-episode season. Suzan-Lori Parks serves as showrunner and executive producer with Anthony Hemingway executive producing and directing. The season is slated to debut in the spring.

C.L. Franklin is described as an influential reverend and civil rights activist known as the “Million Dollar Voice.” A star in his own right, C.L.’s legendary sermons were published and sold in record stores and broadcast on a weekly radio show, and he booked national ministry tours and public appearances. C.L. had a close but fraught relationship with his daughter and supported her throughout her career,
See full article at Variety »

Courtney B Vance Joins Nat Geo’s ‘Genius’ as Aretha Franklin’s Father

  • The Wrap
Courtney B Vance Joins Nat Geo’s ‘Genius’ as Aretha Franklin’s Father
The Aretha Franklin season of Nat Geo’s “Genius” anthology series has added “American Crime Story” alum Courtney B. Vance to its cast.

Vance will star opposite Cynthia Erivo in “Genius: Aretha,” playing the late soul singer’s father, C.L. Franklin, an influential reverend and civil rights activist known as the “Million Dollar Voice.”

Nat Geo describes him as, “A star in his own right, C.L.’s legendary sermons were published and sold in record stores and broadcast on a weekly radio show, and he booked national ministry tours and public appearances. C.L. had a close but fraught relationship with his daughter and supported her throughout her career, most notably when he encouraged her transition from singing gospel to more popular genres.”

Also Read: 'Genius': Nat Geo Finds Its Aretha Franklin for Next Season of Historical Anthology

Suzan-Lori Parks will serve as showrunner on the new season, with
See full article at The Wrap »

Courtney B. Vance to Play Aretha Franklin's Father in 'Genius'

National Geographic has cast another award-winning actor in Genius: Aretha, chronicling the life of the late Aretha Franklin.

Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) will star opposite Grammy and Tony winner Cynthia Erivo in the third season of the anthology series. He will play Aretha's father, C.L. Franklin, an influential minister and civil rights activist — and a star in his own right.

Genius: Aretha will mark a reunion between Vance and People v. O.J. Simpson director Anthony Hemingway, who is an executive producer and producing director on the series. Nat Geo is ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

TV News Roundup: ‘Genius: Aretha’ Adds Malcolm Barrett, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Three More

  • Variety
In today’s roundup, National Geographic announced the ensemble cast joining “Genius: Aretha” and Comedy Central has ordered eight episodes of Bobby Moynihan’s digital series “Loafy.”

Casting

Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington (“The Color Purple”), Kimberly Hébert Gregory (“Vice Principals”), Rebecca Naomi Jones (“The Big Sick”), Sanai Victoria (“Black-ish”) have been cast alongside Cynthia Erivo in National Geographic’s “Genius: Aretha.” Also, Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA TV award-winner Anthony Hemingway joined the anthology series as executive producer and pilot director.

Quinn Copeland, Lauren Donzis, Oliver De Los Santos and Noah Cottrell have been cast as series regulars in Peacock’s “Punky Brewster” pilot. From Ucp and Universal Television, the multi-camera/hybrid continuation of the ’80s sitcom follows Punky (Soleil Moon Frye), now a single mother of three trying to get her life back on track when she meets Izzy (Copeland), a young girl who reminds her a lot of her younger self.
See full article at Variety »

‘Genius: Aretha’: Malcolm Barrett, Rebecca Naomi Jones Among Five Cast In Nat Geo Series; Anthony Hemingway To Direct

  • Deadline
‘Genius: Aretha’: Malcolm Barrett, Rebecca Naomi Jones Among Five Cast In Nat Geo Series; Anthony Hemingway To Direct
Exclusive: Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington (The Color Purple), Kimberly Hébert Gregory (Vice Principals), Rebecca Naomi Jones (The Big Sick) and Sanai Victoria (Black-ish) are set to co-star opposite Cynthia Erivo in Genius: Aretha, the next installment of Nat Geo’s popular anthology series, from Imagine Television and Fox 21 TV Studios. Additionally, Anthony Hemingway has been tapped to executive produce and direct the pilot episode.

Billed as the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of Franklin, Genius: Aretha will begin production in December for a spring 2020 premiere on National Geographic channels in 172 countries and 43 languages.

Barrett will play Ted White, Aretha’s (Erivo) first husband and business manager, who develops relationships with songwriters and producers and picks some of her biggest hits. But as Aretha gains fame, White’s heavy drinking and volatile behavior ends their marriage.
See full article at Deadline »

‘Westworld’s Jimmi Simpson Signs With ICM Partners

  • Deadline
‘Westworld’s Jimmi Simpson Signs With ICM Partners
Emmy-nominated Westworld actor Jimmi Simpson has signed with ICM Partners for representation in all areas. Simpson, who was most recently seen starring opposite Ben Kingsley and Jacki Weaver in the Epix original series Perpetual Grace, Ltd, was previously with Wme.

Simpson’s other notable credits include Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: USS Callister, for which he picked up a BAFTA nom; House of Cards; the Aaron Sorkin HBO series The Newsroom; and Anthony Hemingway’s USA anthology series Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G.

On the film side, Simpson appeared in White House Down, from director Roland Emmerich, David Fincher’s Zodiac, and Under the Silver Lake with Andrew Garfield. On Broadway, he played the title character in Sorkin’s The Farnsworth Invention, and also starred opposite Laurie Metcalf in the Circle X Theater Company production Trevor.

Simpson continues to be repped by Industry Entertainment and Hansen,
See full article at Deadline »

Sterling K. Brown-Produced ‘Washington Black’ Series in Development at Hulu (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Sterling K. Brown-Produced ‘Washington Black’ Series in Development at Hulu (Exclusive)
Sterling K. Brown and his Indian Meadows Productions banner have found a potential home for their “Washington Black” series, based on Esi Edugyan’s award-winning novel.

Hulu has given a script commitment plus penalty to the Brown-produced limited series, meaning the Disney-owned platform will be forced to pay a penalty if the project doesn’t go to pilot.

“Washington Black” tells the story of George Washington Black, an 11-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation who must flee in the company of his master’s eccentric inventor brother, Christopher Wilde, after a shocking death threatens to upend both of their lives.

The duo then embark on a globe-trotting adventure with the help of a strange flying machine. Their journey takes them through America, the cold Arctic seas, the gothic spires of old Europe, and the deserts of North Africa, all while staying one step ahead of a deadly bounty hunter.
See full article at Variety »

50 Cent, Snoop Dogg & Trey Songz ‘Power’ Up New York City for Massive Season 6 Premiere

  • Variety
“Power” is entering its final season, but you would never know if you walked by Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on Tuesday night.

Starz pulled out all the stops for its ratings powerhouse “Power,” throwing a massive premiere event, complete with a full-length concert at Madison Square Garden from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and a plethora of his famous friends. The event marked the first-ever TV premiere to be held at Msg, giving Starz the bragging rights of hosting the biggest television premiere of all time.

50 Cent, executive producer and former star of “Power,” was joined by Snoop Dogg, Trey Songz, Asap Ferg, Fetty Wap, Yfn Lucci, A Boogie, Jeremih, Lil Mo, G4 Boyz and more for a two-hour set, featuring hits like “What Up Gangsta,” “P.I.M.P.,” “Birthday Sex,” “Magic Stick” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” which had show creator Courtney A. Kemp dancing on her feet,
See full article at Variety »

‘Power’ Creator and Exec Producers Have Made Peace With Emmy Snubs

A ratings hit for Starz since its premiere in 2014, “Power” has failed to draw the same kind of attention during awards season; specifically, the series has never been nominated in any category for any of the industry’s top awards, including the Emmys, SAG Awards, and Golden Globes. And while certainly desirous of the recognition, creator/showrunner Courtney A. Kemp and executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson have grown increasingly apathetic.

“For the first couple of years, it was disappointing, because I felt we were doing something new and fresh, and I was hoping that the Emmy voters would take notice, and they didn’t,” said Kemp when asked to address the matter at the 2019 Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California. She added that she then made peace with being perpetually snubbed.

The series, which has averaged an 80% Rotten Tomatoes score over its first five seasons, has
See full article at Indiewire »
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