It was in May 2011 when the History Channel greenlit a 5-part, 10-hour docudrama series based on the bible, from Mark Burnett, the executive producer of Survivor. Titled simply, The Bible, the series was to focus on some of the most universally familiar tales from the bible. The 10-hour project, which Burnett is said to have been working on for about 4 years now, was reportedly shot on location, and includes a combo of live action and CGI (well, naturally).”This series will bring the historical stories of The Bible to life for a new generation,” said History Channel president Nancy Dubuc. The epic cast for this epic series is long; but look for Nonso Anozie as Samson (as in the story of Samson and Delilah) – the Israelite who was granted supernatural strength by God (his strength is in his hair) in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats like wrestling a lion, and slaying an entire army (photo above); and also Keith David provides voice-overs throughout. And there are others. The series now has a premiere date – 3/3/13 on History Channel. It’ll be on Blu-ray and DVD soon after. This is just one of a few Bible film projects on the horizon, as there seems to be some renewed interest in biblical tales.
A trailer for the series has arrived, and it’s embedded below:
What can we expect?
While it’s not a spoof show, the comedy which was inspired by Hart’s 2011 BET Awards show skit-turned-series will mock fun at the ever popular, all-female reality shows that have taken over.
“I’m a genius so I came up with this idea to do a show within a show,” Hart told The Insider. “Everybody watches [reality shows] and we all gossip about it. So I said, why don’t I put a group of men together that can be a version of what those women are but in a comedic form?”
All playing “versions” of themselves, the cast includes Hart, Nick Cannon, Robin Thicke, J.B. Smoove, Nelly, Boris Kodjoe and Duane Martin. Fun ensues when the guys crack jokes about …well, being husbands and living in Hollywood. For the record,
With the Los Angeles Times calling the show a “(mostly) black Curb Your Enthusiasm (indeed, Curb executive producer Tim Gibbons is an executive producer of RHH as well), there seems to be a pretty hefty amount of anticipation for the show.
2012 was a great year for the Oprah Winfrey Network. OWN, which once suffered from low ratings and management shake-ups, reached double-digit gains and soared with 11 months of consecutive ratings growth. The 2013 season looks just as bright for OWN. Over the weekend, the network revealed six new original series to its lineup. The shows include Raising Whitley, a reality series centered around the life of actress and comedienne Kym Whitley; Blackboard Wars, a docu-series about the transformation of New Orleans’ John McDonogh High School; Dogfellas, a show following dog groomer James “Head” Guiliani and Golden Sisters, a reality show starring real-life golden girls Mary, Josie & Teresa. The lineup also includes two scripted series from OWN’s joint venture with Tyler Perry. The Have and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor are both scheduled to air on May 29th.
The network has yet to release premiere dates for its new reality series, but until then, Oprah fans can look forward to seeing some familiar faces on her other hit shows. Oprahs’ Master Class is scheduled to return with appearances from Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Diahann Carroll and Berry Gordy. Oprah’s Next Chapter is set to star Cissy Houston and LL Cool J in upcoming episodes, and in March, Oprah: Where Are They Now? will show the whereabouts of former The Oprah Winfrey Show guests Bow Wow, Omarosa and Dennis Rodman.
At least that’s what NY Mag’s Vulture says they’ve learned this evening, with their sources telling them that the reboot “will never see the light of day – at least on Fox.” So does that mean another network might pick it up? Who knows! Although, quite frankly, I don’t really give a damn at this point.
Here’s how we got here… a little history.
Those of you who weren’t too keen on a reboot of In Living Color with an all-new cast of players (although still shepherded by Keenen Ivory Wayans), were thrilled when it was announced that the reboot had been put on hold, temporarily; specifically, Kevin Reilly, Entertainment President of the Fox Broadcasting Company, indicated in an August interview, that the planned In Living Color specials, reviving the sketch-comedy series, wouldn’t air anytime soon. Though several had been shot, he said a “high bar” had been set, which essentially wasn’t met in terms of writing and other contributing factors. What I interpreted from that, is that expectations were high (given the success of the original In Living Color), and, although they’d shot a few episodes already, they apparently weren’t meeting those high expectations; and so maybe it was back to the drawing board. In an interview that followed soon after Reilly’s statement over the summer, Milton “Lil’ Rel“ Howery, who was one of the planned series reboot’s new cast members, recounted the day he learned that the reboot had stalled; stating, in short, that he arrived on set, noticed a tension in the air amongst all those who were present, inquired about what was at the root of that tension, and was told that Damon Wayans didn’t want to do the show anymore (no reasons given), and that he approached David Alan Grier, asking him what was up with Damon, and Grier simply just shrugged and walked away. And so because Damon didn’t want to do the show anymore, everyone else (includingJim Carrey, whom he says was supposed to return as well), decided not to do the show either. Howery didn’t go into details explaining why Damon suddenly walked away from it. Obviously, something went down, but, in all the interviews I’ve seen Keenen Ivory Wayans give in the last several months, he never really talks in-depth about why the show was shelved. Understandably I suppose, especially if Damon was somehow at the root of it.
Unless Lil Rel wasn’t telling the whole truth.
But we were left to assume that there was likely a lot more to this than we know, and maybe it’ll all come out eventually… or maybe it won’t. One thing that I was most surprised by was Rel’s claim that just about everyone from the original series was going to return to the reboot. Unless they were returning for specials only, and not as part of the regular series cast, I’m not sure I quite understand why they would. But Howery felt like they had something worth airing, based on what was shot last year, but something obviously happened that we aren’t getting the full story on. No matter, it looks like it’s dead and buried for good, so no more speculation as to whether it’s just in limbo, or has been put to rest permanently. However, as I noted, maybe some other network will see something of value in it and pick it up; but I doubt it, and I actually hope not. Just leave it alone, move on, and create something entirely new.
I do hope that, at least, the hour’s worth of footage that was shot early last year, will be released – maybe online – so we can all see what exactly this new incarnation would’ve looked like. Or maybe a year from now, we’ll all be asking what happened to that In Living Color reboot, and Keenen will talk openly about what transpired behind closed doors, and the whole truth will be known… or not. The reboot was supposed to feature an all new cast (at least that’s what was announced publicly) including Kali Hawk, Jennifer Bartels, Jermaine Fowler, Ayana Hampton, Cyrah Hawkins and of course Rel.
There was also going to be a new set of Fly Girls: Whitney Wiley, Tera Perez, Christina Chandler, Katee Shean, and Lisa Rosenthal.
Now that the second decade of the Golden Age of television is solidly underway, everything’s different, right? It’s like ever since Tony Soprano started seeing a shrink, we don’t have to. What can a therapist tell us that a showrunner can’t? Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose — except when we do lose, because power destroys us (see: Breaking Bad), terrorism threatens us (Homeland), the cycle of poverty can’t be broken (The Wire), and we are ultimately alone (Mad Men).
These days, we grapple with humanity when we watch television, so most of us feel less guilty about neglecting books in order to do it. There are distinctions within the medium, of course, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo helps us make them. Now maybe sometimes, after a season comes to close and a few months have passed, you think, “Wait, what the hell happened on that show again? How come the world is such a mess? Am I making poor life choices?” But then you can always watch Louie. These shows are important (depending on your definition of the word). We need them (so we think). And here are the 10 moments of the year that changed everything (or at least something).