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Tyler Perry’s ‘Sistas’ and ‘The Oval’ Renewed by BET

BET has officially renewed its highest rated scripted series of 2019. The Oval and Sistas are part of Tyler Perry‘s multi-year content partnership agreement with ViacomCBS, BET’s parent company.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Tyler Perry and for the renewals of our two Wednesday night programming staples, The Oval and Sistas,” BET president Scott Mills shared in a statement. “BET is committed to investing in quality programming from top industry power players and giving viewers more of the content they love and expect from the brand across our platforms.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Perry has already announced a target date to resume production on both shows – July 8. The cast and crew will be reside at the studio during filming and tested for COVED-19 upon their arrival and several times throughout production. If all goes well, with Georgia’s stay-at-home order lifted on April 30, the shows will be the first scripted TV series to resume production in the United States after nationwide TV production shut down due to coronavirus.

Written, directed and executive produced by Perry, Sistas (starring KJ Smith, Mignon Von, Ebony Obsidian, and Novi Brown) follows a group of single black women as they navigate the ups-and-downs of modern life. The Oval (starring Kron Moore, Ed Quinn, Paige Hurd) tells the story of the Franklin family placed in the White House by people of power.

Perry also currently produces two other shows for BET+, The Oval spinoff Ruthless and the comedy Bruh.  

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Film & Television

(Exclusive)’David Makes Man’ Star Arlen Escarpeta Talks Joining Season 2, Black Masculinity, and Working with Director Tarell Alvine McCraney

by Betti Halsell

No one could have painted a picture of Black masculinity more accurately than Oprah Winfrey Network’s (OWN)  TV drama David Makes Man. The series encapsulates the quality of life and its aftermath surrounding men in the Black Community.

Narrated through the lens of a brilliant male character, the audience digests a visual dissertation of unspoken experiences that shape young boys into men. Arlen Escarpeta plays JG, the younger brother of the protagonist. The Oath actor breaks down the message behind the series and the strength of silent love that happens within the masculine gender. 

David Makes Man first streamed on HBO max, but OWN has picked up season two. Director Tarell Alvine McCraney (Moonlight) grasped the eerie tones of movies like A Beautiful Mind and Six Sense, and concocted the internal struggle of a caged life as a young minority, raised below the poverty line. The viewers meet David (Kwame Patterson) as a young adult, a silent and solemn adolescent, but his thoughts are amplified enough to take over his reality. 

Jonathan Greg nicknamed J.G. (Escarpeta) has a different level of mental compression and unwavering love for his brother. He is the peaceful flute playing above the overpowering orchestra that is David’s mind. Escarpeta breaks down that love, and the slew of unspoken nuances that are carefully placed throughout the series, to alert the audience: more was said than just words. 

David Makes Man — 201 — “Barrel of Oranges” — Photo Credit: Rod Millington

David Makes Man is a story of a young adult with no visual assurance of making out of his situation alive, coming into the power of his mind, and then aligning himself with success. The audience has a personal view of one’s personal struggle with their gifts and the application of their power after it’s gained. David battles many versions of himself in hopes of finding peace in his internal war. 

JG (Escarpeta) represents another angle of warfare, one that includes him and his projection of life to other people. The local cop is currently at a crossroads in his love life. Catching up with an old flame brings out his organic nature. However, he already created a sanctity with his wife and teenage daughter. Escarpeta’s character is metaphorically facing a three-headed beast that breathes fire. Between his wife, daughter, and the old flame, someone is guaranteed to be burned by his next decision. 

David Makes Man so far has won the Peabody Award of Entertainment. Full episodes are available on OWN’s streaming service, with new episodes out on Tuesdays, 9/8c. 

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Film & Television

Sex and the City revival adds Nicole Ari Parker, Karen Pittman, and Sarita Choudhury

And Just Like That, HBO’s upcoming Sex and The City revival is bringing new characters into the world of Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte. Nicole Ari Parker, Karen Pittman, and Sarita Choudhury have joined the cast.

According to EW, Parker (Empire, Chicago P.D.) will play Lisa Todd Wexley, a Park Avenue mother of three. Choudhury (Mississippi Masala) will play Seema Patel, a single, self-made powerhouse Manhattan real estate broker. And Pittman (The Morning Show) will appear as Dr. Nya Wallace, a brilliant, yet challenging Columbia Law professor.

The decision to add the trio was made by HBO’s chief Casey Bloys, producer/star Sara Jessica Parker and showrunner Michael Patrick King. Bloys told TV Line earlier this year they did not want “to tell a story with all-white writers or an all-white cast,” and the creators “being very, very conscious about understanding that [the show’s] New York has to reflect the way New York looks today.”

The And Just Like That cast also includes Sex and The City‘s Chris Noth, David Eigenberg, Mario Cantone, Willie Garson, and Evan Handler.

The revival is currently in production in New York. HBO Max has not yet set a premiere date.

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Television

‘Lovecraft Country’ Canceled By HBO; Creator Misha Green Teases Original Plans For Season 2

One of the most celebrated series of 2020, HBO’s Lovecraft Country starring Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, and Michael Kenneth Williams, will not be renewed after all, Deadline exclusively reported.

HBO’s official statement to the publication reads, “We will not be moving forward with a second season of Lovecraft Country. We are grateful for the dedication and artistry of the gifted cast and crew, and to Misha Green, who crafted this groundbreaking series. And to the fans, thank you for joining us on this journey.”

There were no other details that would reveal why the award-winning horror/ sci-fi drama will not return for a second round.

Shortly after the announcement, Green (the show’s creator) took it to social to share ‘A taste of the Season 2 Bible’, a teaser of what could’ve been – “Lovecraft Country: Supremacy”.

This could explain why HBO pulled the plug. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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