Posts made in March 2021

Welcome to the Jam! NBA champion and global icon LeBron James goes on an epic adventure

Welcome to the Jam! NBA champion and global icon LeBron James goes on an epic adventure alongside timeless Tune Bugs Bunny with the animated/live-action event “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” from director Malcolm D. Lee and an innovative filmmaking team including Ryan Coogler and Maverick Carter.

This transformational journey is a manic mashup of two worlds that reveals just how far some parents will go to connect with their kids. When LeBron and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court: a powered-up roster of professional basketball stars as you’ve never seen them before. It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest-stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself. The ready-for-action Tunes destroy convention, supercharge their unique talents and surprise even “King” James by playing the game their own way.

James stars alongside Oscar nominee Don Cheadle (the “Avengers” films, “Hotel Rwanda”), Khris Davis (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” TV’s “Atlanta”), Sonequa Martin-Green (TV’s “The Walking Dead,” “Star Trek: Discovery”), newcomer Cedric Joe, Jeff Bergman (“Looney Tunes Cartoons”) and Eric Bauza (“Looney Tunes Cartoons”).

Lee (“Girls Trip,” “Night School”) directs from a screenplay by Juel Taylor & Tony Rettenmaier & Keenan Coogler & Terence Nance. The film’s producers are Ryan Coogler, LeBron James, Maverick Carter and Duncan Henderson, and the executive producers are Sev Ohanian, Zinzi Coogler, Allison Abbate, Jesse Ehrman, Jamal Henderson, Spencer Beighley, Justin Lin, Terence Nance and Ivan Reitman.

The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Salvatore Totino (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), animation producer Troy Nethercott (“Wonder Park”), production designers Kevin Ishioka (“The Mule”), Akin McKenzie (Netflix’s “When They See Us”) and Clint Wallace (upcoming “Eternals”), editor Bob Ducsay (“Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi”) and costume designer Melissa Bruning (“Rampage,” “War for the Planet of the Apes”). The music is by Kris Bowers (“Greenbook,” Netflix’s “Bridgerton”).

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a Proximity/The SpringHill Company Production, a Malcolm D. Lee Film, “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. It will be released in theaters nationwide on July 16, 2021 and will be available in the U.S. on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.


Created and Written by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika

The Series Is Produced by CBS Studios, Propagate and Fuqua Films

Photo Credits [L-R]: Eric Charbonneau (Antoine Fuqua); Tolu Awosika (Olu Odebunmi); Claudia Giner (Tolu Awosika)

LOS ANGELES – March 16, 2021 – SHOWTIME has announced that it has placed a series order for the hourlong drama SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULU NATION, executive produced and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day). An epic drama centered around one man’s personal journey from stigmatized childhood to warrior king, the series is produced by CBS Studios, Propagate and Fuqua Films and created and written by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika (The Terminal List). They also executive produce with Ben Silverman and Rodney Ferrell of Propagate. The announcement was made today by Gary Levine and Jana Winograde, Presidents of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.

Rooted in actual events, SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULU NATION tells the story of the Zulu Empire chief Shaka and his unlikely rise to power, uniting multiple tribes across vast stretches of Africa in the early 19th century to transform his power into legend, on par with history’s most seminal figures. In ferocious battles that test the body and soul, in alliances that test the bonds of love and friendship, a complex sociological system plays out that renders the human cost front and center, for the victors as well as the vanquished, all in an effort to carve out a semblance of identity, fulfillment and ultimately, survival.

“Olu and Tolu have written such an exciting and emotional origin story of an African warrior hero,” said Levine, “and Antoine’s passion for this project, coupled with his formidable talent, promises an epic series unlike any other on television.”

“This project offers a gateway to our past that is so critical to our global history and yet so often marginalized,” said Fuqua. “Through SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULU NATION, we hope to bring this saga to life, all the tears, sweat and blood, all the joy and sorrow, all the intimacy and intensity and humanity. In short, we’re going to rock the world with this one.”

In addition to Training Day, which featured an Oscar® winning performance by Denzel Washington, Fuqua has extensive credits as a director including the SHOWTIME documentary AMERICAN DREAM/AMERICAN KNIGHTMARE, as well as The Equalizer franchise, The Magnificent Seven, Southpaw, Shooter, Olympus Has Fallen and King Arthur.

Odebunmi and Awosika met while in school in Fullerton, California in 1995, and their upbringing as children of first-generation immigrants, both having lived in Nigeria during their formative years, influences the unique views and sensibilities they bring to their stories. They served as executive story editors on the upcoming The Terminal List, also directed and executive produced by Fuqua. They also wrote on 61st Street, from creator Peter Moffat (YOUR HONOR). In feature films, their writing credits include the African-set psychological thriller Origins.

SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULU NATION is executive produced by Antoine Fuqua, Olu Odebunmi, Tolu Awosika, Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Gregory Lipstone, Rodney Ferrell and Spencer Medof. The series is also produced by Scott Greenberg, and Michael Callas is producing for Fuqua Films.

SHOWTIME is currently available to subscribers via cable, DBS, and telco providers, and as a stand-alone streaming service through Amazon, Apple®, Google, LG Smart TVs, Oculus Go, Roku®, Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox One and PlayStation®4. Consumers can also subscribe to SHOWTIME via Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, Hulu, The Roku Channel, Sling TV and YouTube TV or directly at

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Academy Award Winner Matthew A. Cherry (“Hair Love”) to Direct the First Two Episodes of the Series from Warner Bros. Television

(L to R) Janine Sherman Barrois, Michelle Listenbee Brown, Matthew A. Cherry
To download hi-res photos, click here Photos Courtesy of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

Los Angeles – OWN announced today it has ordered to series “The Kings of Napa,” a new drama from acclaimed showrunner/writer/producer Janine Sherman Barrois (“Claws,” “Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker”), who will serve as executive producer along with Michelle Listenbee Brown (“Love Is__,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood”) and Oprah Winfrey. The series was created by Sherman Barrois under her exclusive multi-year overall deal with Warner Bros. Television to develop and produce new series. Academy Award-winning director Matthew A. Cherry (“Hair Love”) is set to direct the first two episodes.

Centered on the power struggle between the wealthy King family siblings in idyllic Napa Valley, the series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Harpo Films. Production will begin later in 2021 for an early 2022 premiere on OWN.

“We’ve been captivated for years by Janine’s incredible body of work and welcome her into OWN’s family of dynamic drama storytellers,” said Tina Perry, president of OWN. “Janine’s created compelling characters that hook viewers right from the start, and we can’t wait for her to dive in with this bold and sexy new series.”

“I’m beyond thrilled to collaborate with OWN on this groundbreaking show,” said Sherman Barrois, “and to have Academy Award winner Matthew A. Cherry’s brilliant vision bringing it to life is a dream come true.”

“The Kings of Napa” is focused on a gorgeous and picturesque Napa Valley, California, vineyard owned by the Kings, an aspirational African American family whose wealth and status lands them on the pages of design magazines and society pages. The wine business has brought the family success and acclaim, but following the patriarch’s sudden exit from the company, his three children must grapple for the reigns to the kingdom – to their own power, wealth and legacy.

“The Kings of Napa” joins OWN’s robust slate of premium scripted dramas from today’s visionary storytellers. OWN’s current drama lineup includes Ava DuVernay’s “Queen Sugar” and “Cherish the Day,” Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Peabody Award-winning “David Makes Man,” Craig Wright’s “Delilah” and Tyler Perry’s long running “The Haves and the Have Nots.”

“The Kings of Napa” is executive produced by Janine Sherman Barrois, Michelle Listenbee Brown and Oprah Winfrey. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Harpo Films.

About Janine Sherman Barrois
Writer/producer Janine Sherman Barrois executive produced and served as showrunner of the hit TNT series “Claws,” and executive produced the acclaimed Netflix limited series “Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker,” starring Octavia Spencer. Her additional credits include serving as executive producer of longtime hit series “Criminal Minds” for CBS and groundbreaking Emmy award-winning “ER” for NBC. Prior to that, she spent five seasons on NBC’s “Third Watch,” rising from story editor to co-executive producer. Sherman Barrois got her start on “Lush Life,” where she was enlisted after participating in the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop. She has been honored with multiple NAACP Image Awards and was nominated for the prestigious Humanitas Prize for her writing. Sherman Barrois is an active member of the Writers Guild of America, where she serves in the organization’s mentoring program as a judge for the Writers’ Access Project, and on the selection committee of its Showrunner Training Program.

About Matthew A. Cherry
Cherry began his entertainment career in 2007, after playing wide receiver in the National Football League. He worked as a production assistant on more than 40 commercials, and then earned his first directorial credit in 2008 on a music video featuring R&B artist Terry Dexter. He went on to direct more than 20 music videos for a wide variety of celebrated artists, including Tweet, Jazmine Sullivan, Chloe x Halle, Kindred the Family Soul, Michelle Williams featuring Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland, Snoop Dogg, and many others. He has directed numerous live action shorts and full-length feature films. His first indie feature, “The Last Fall,” was loosely based on the difficulties Cherry experienced after he retired from pro football. The film made its world premiere at SXSW in 2012 and received critical acclaim. His follow-up feature film, the innovative “9 Rides,” was shot entirely with an iPhone 6s and premiered at SXSW in 2016.

Cherry previously wrote, produced, and directed the critically acclaimed “Hair Love,” an animated short film about an African American father attempting to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. Released in 2019, “Hair Love” won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film at the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony in 2020. Cherry’s accompanying picture book of the same name (illustrated by Vashti Harrison) is a New York Times Best Seller. And he is now executive producing “Young Love,” an animated television series from Sony Pictures Animation based on the characters from “Hair Love,” for HBO Max. Cherry’s television directing work includes “The Last O.G.,” Warner Bros. Television’s “The Red Line” and “Whiskey Cavalier,” “Black-ish,” “Mixed-ish,” and the new “Saved by the Bell,” among others. He also wrote and directed the web series “Almost 30” and “Almost Home.” Cherry recently signed a first-look deal with Warner Bros Television and is set to direct the upcoming comedy heist film “The Come Up” for New Line Cinema.

About Michelle Listenbee Brown
Listenbee Brown recently served as co-executive producer on the BET+ series “Bigger,” the Warner Bros. Television and Harpo Films drama series “Love Is__,” and BET’s hit comedy series “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” starring Kevin Hart, which earned her an NAACP Image Award. Listenbee Brown started her career as a staff writer on UPN’s hit comedy series “The Parkers,” rising from staff writer to producer, before going on to co-create and executive produce “Second Time Around” for UPN. Other credits include Disney’s “The Proud Family.” She recently wrote an ensemble, female-driven feature comedy for Sony Pictures with State Street Producing, and is currently in development on a made for television motion picture for Warner Bros.

About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for a premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN’s original scripted series include popular dramas “Queen Sugar,” “Cherish the Day,” “The Haves and the Have Nots,” “David Makes Man” and “Delilah.” OWN’s Saturday night unscripted programming lineup includes “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Ready to Love,” “Put a Ring on It,” “Love & Marriage: Huntsville,” “Behind Every Man,” “Family or Fiancé,” “Black Women OWN the Conversation,” “Belle Collective” and “Black Love.” OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platform Access OWN anytime on the Watch OWN App or across mobile devices and connected TVs.

About Warner Bros. Television
One of the entertainment industry’s most-respected providers of original primetime programming since its founding in 1955, Warner Bros. Television produces original scripted drama and comedy series for multiple platforms. As of March 2021, Warner Bros. Television is producing nearly 70 scripted series for on-demand/streaming services, premium/pay and basic cable channels, and the five broadcast networks.


Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men — Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman, and via video chat, Nathan Morris — will be guest starring on season 7 of “black-ish.” When Dre’s team at Stevens & Lido need some help on a new marketing campaign, they know exactly who to call.

In its seventh season, “black-ish” continues to tell stories that shine a light on current events through the lens of the Johnson family, addressing the global pandemic, systemic racism and the movement for social justice and equality. The series stars Anthony Anderson as Andre “Dre” Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow Johnson, Laurence Fishburne as Pops, Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson, Marcus Scribner as Andre Johnson Jr., Miles Brown as Jack Johnson, Marsai Martin as Diane Johnson, Jenifer Lewis as Ruby, Peter Mackenzie as Mr. Stevens, Deon Cole as Charlie Telphy, Jeff Meacham as Josh and Katlyn Nichol as Olivia.

Further details and additional assets will be shared closer to air date. Please let me know if you’re able to share this news with your readers today!


Tonya Lewis Taylor, author of the motivational book, “Be You, Not Her” and the co-founder of the Entertainers 4 Education/I WILL GRADUATE initiative, is launching through Facebook and Instagram the
Be You, Not Her Challenge for Women’s History Month in March, 2021.

“The purpose is simple – it’s to recognize someone who stands out and blazes her own trail,” says Ms. Taylor. “One can nominate a fierce woman who is uniquely herself. This may be someone who inspires you or someone who you admire.”

Here’s how one can nominate their choice –

1)   Log onto your Facebook or Instagram account.

2)   Create a post where you tag the individual of your choice for the challenge

3)   Include their photo and a brief summary about this person within your post.

4)   Tag @iamtonyalewistaylor and three friends you choose on your post – invite them to post their choices on their pages (as well as tag Ms. Taylor) and have them invite others to the challenge.

The Be You, Not Her Challenge runs until March 31st 2021.

Website –


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PR/Media Contact
Angelo A. Ellerbee
Double XXposure Media Relations

Brown Sugar Highlights The Every-Woman This Women’s History Month

Pam Grier (Courtesy Photo)

ATLANTA, GA (March 8, 2021) – Brown Sugar, the popular subscription streaming service from Bounce, is celebrating Women’s History Month by honoring those who deserve it most: the every-woman, through both a curated collection and popular returning titles this March.

Among the highlights for March’s I’m Every Woman curated collection: Pam Grier stars in The Arena as a gladiator in ancient Rome as well as in Big Doll House where she teams up with Judy Brown and Roberta Collins to escape an island where they’ve been held hostage by unruly men; Cleopatra Jones starring Tamara Dobson as an FBI agent trying to rescue her kidnapped boyfriend and clear his name; TNT Jackson, where Jeanne Bell travels to Hong Kong to rescue her missing brother; Black Emanuelle with Laura Gemser as a photojournalist exploring her sexual identity through torrid affairs; Queen Bee at the top of her game in Beyoncé: On Top; while waiting for Rihanna’s next album to drop fans can watch Rihanna, No Regrets; Get Christy Love! which stars Teresa Graves as an undercover LA police officer; The Dempsey Sisters showcases Cymphonique Miller, Denyce Lawton and Teairra Mari returning to their musical roots; Terri Vaugh and Vanessa Williams star as sisters who team up to start a bakery with their dear friend played by Rachel True in Sugar Mamas; Lola Falana is Lady Cocoa who is released from prison and has to testify against her ex-boyfriend: a group of friends team to find their friend her true love in Ladies Book Club; and more.

New titles joining the Brown Sugar family this month include Lara and the Beat with Somekele Iyamah and Seryi Shay as the Giwa sisters fighting to save their father’s musical empire and The Penthouse where Robin Givens is held hostage by a twisted man from her music mogul father’s past.

Also new this month is season seven of In The Cut starring Dorien Wilson (The Parkers, Dream On) as Jay Weaver who is adjusting to married life with Cheryl, played by Kellita Smith (The Bernie Mac Show, The First Family), all the while co-owning the barbershop and beauty salon together. The hilarious cast added two TV veterans Mark Curry (Hanging With Mr. Cooper) and Kim Coles (Living Single) this latest season only upping the hijinks.

Returning to Brown Sugar this month are classic karate hits Black Shampoo about a hairdresser whose extramarital affairs stray into dangerous territory, The Return of Superfly starring Nathan Purdee as an ex-priest who comes to New York to bust up the crack game; The Fighting Black Kings which sees competitors from all over the world coming together for the ultimate karate tournament, the action crime comedy Let’s Do It Again directed by and starring Sidney Poitier among an all-star cast and many more.

Brown Sugar is available on Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Comcast Xfinity X1, Amazon Channels, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Kindle, Android TV, Windows/Xbox, Android and Apple smartphones and tablets and web browsers via There is a free 7-day initial trial period for subscribers with a retail price of $3.99/month thereafter. Visit for more information.

Bounce and Brown Sugar are both a part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).

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New Episode Spotlighting the Next Generation of Black Artists, Leaders and Community Activists Airs Tuesday, March 9 (10:00 – 11:00 P.M. EST) on ABC

Top Left: Marsai Martin (credit: ABC/Nick Agro); Top Right: H.E.R (credit: ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua)

Bottom (l-r): Patrisse Cullors, Chi Ossé, Tianna Arata, Sunny Hostin (credit: ABC/Nick Agro)

Marsai Martin, actress and Executive Producer of 2019 film “Little,” guest hosts the second episode of the critically acclaimed/ratings highlight primetime newsmagazine “Soul of a Nation.” This episode features the next generation of Black Americans and their unique ability to trail blaze, innovate and live on the cutting-edge no matter what they have to overcome. Martin, ABC News’ Adrienne Bankert, Sunny Hostin, Zachary Kiesch and Janai Norman lead the hour which follows TikTok influencers as they navigate the popular social media app, unpacks the importance of Afrofuturism, details the history of sneaker culture and explores the story of Miss Lucille Burden Osborne, a woman who grew up with relatives who had been enslaved. The episode concludes with a musical performance by singer H.E.R.

The second episode of this historic six-episode series will air Tuesday, March 9 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m. EST) on ABC. Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu.

The second episode of “Soul of a Nation” includes the following stories and conversations:

Young Black content creators have made their voices heard on the wildly popular social media platform TikTok, despite accusations that it has become a vehicle for misappropriation and questionable practices. Norman speaks with influencers Jalaiah Harmon (Atlanta) and Taylor Cassidy (St. Louis, Mo.) as they take viewers behind the scenes of their viral videos and the business that is their brand.
What do fantasy, technology, fashion, and activism have to do with survival for the Black community? Everything, according to Afrofuturists. Bankert’s report will unpack Afrofuturism as a philosophy, aesthetic, genre and tool for social change with examples ranging from Black Panther to Sun Ra to a STEM educator who wants to inspire the next generation solve the world’s biggest challenges. She speaks with Ruth E. Carter, Ytasha Womack and Justin Shaifer at Atlanta’s SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, Chicago’s Adler Planetarium and New York’s Spyscape, respectively.
Actor Sterling K. Brown narrates the story of 95-year-old Miss Lucille Burden Osborne, the great-granddaughter of Charles McGruder – her enslaved ancestor who was deployed to neighboring plantations as a breeder and created a homestead for his many children after emancipation. Osborne takes viewers on a journey through her family’s complicated past to the future they are now building, thanks to their ancestor.
Hostin moderates a provocative recurring conversation called “In the Kitchen,” where each week a group of talkers and thinkers join her for a candid discussion on current events and the theme of the week. This episode features Tianna Arata, Chi Ossé and Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter.
ESPN’s The Undefeated explores sneaker culture in the Black community. From commercials to music videos, kicks have come a long way from the basketball court to the cover of Vogue. The piece not only explores the past, but where the trends are going for the next generation. Viewers will hear from rapper/actress Saweetie, comedian/actor Deon Cole, Black Lives Matter activist Janaya Future Khan, athlete Mo’ne Davis, Superbowl winning quarterback Tyrod Taylor, YouTube influencers PrettyBoyFredo and Lexi Vee, hip hop historian and author Wes Jackson and The Undefeated’s Domonique Foxworth, Soraya McDonald and Justin Tinsley.
Kiesch sits-down with H.E.R. to discuss her music and her songwriting process. To close out the show H.E.R performs “Fight For You,” from Warner Bros. Pictures’ film “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

“Soul of a Nation,” the first broadcast network newsmagazine that aims to put Black life in America front and center, will present viewers with a unique window into authentic realities of Black life and dive deeper into this critical moment of racial reckoning. It will travel across the country, unpacking issues critical to Black Americans through intimate storytelling, and bridge the past, present and future through a variety of voices and experiences from athletes, entertainers, performers and screenwriters. Each episode will explore a specific theme, including spirituality, Black joy, activism in sports and the racial reckoning that erupted after George Floyd’s death, and familiar faces – performers, activists, scholars and clergy – will gather for an entertaining and provocative conversation “in the kitchen” about current events. A special performance featuring some of the nation’s greatest musicians or spoken word artists will close out each show.

“Soul of a Nation” is executive produced by Eric Johnson and Robe Imbriano, Chantre Camack serves as Executive Editorial Producer, James Adolphus is series director and Marie Nelson is the series creator and Senior Vice President of Integrated Content Strategy at ABC News.

“Soul of a Nation” is the latest original programming from ABC News which has a renewed focus on telling diverse stories across the news division. Previous programming includes the #1-rated “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming,” three-day division-wide series “Pandemic – A Nation Divided” on the disparity in race and class amid the pandemic, “America in Pain: What Comes Next?” on the protests and outrage across the country in response to the killing of George Floyd and police brutality and systemic racism against Black Americans, the month-long reporting series “Turning Point” and pre-election special “America’s Future: The Power of the Latino Vote.”

Follow “Soul of a Nation” (#SoulOfANation) on Instagram and Twitter

For more information, follow ABC News PR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

— ABC –