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Viola Davis to Play Michelle Obama in a New Showtime Series ‘First Ladies’

Viola Davis is set to play our forever First Lady Michelle Obama in the new Showtime scripted White House series titled First Ladies, Deadline reported. Davis will executive produce via her JuVee Productions with Aaron Cooley (The Guns of Ridgewood: A Western of Modern America), who is also writing the script.

“Proud to spotlight these brave, extraordinary women,” the Oscar winner tweeted on Monday.

Per Showtime’s description, First Ladies is set in the East Wing, where many of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic first ladies. The series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of our most enigmatic heroes. The first season will center around Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama.

Davis currently stars in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, which airs its sixth and final season this fall.

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Film & Television

‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Reboot In the Works

The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air is making a return with Bel-Air! The one-hour project is based on Morgan Cooper’s record-breaking fan film (more than 7.5 million views to date) that reimagines the classic 1990s sitcom based on Will Smith’s journey from the streets of Philadelphia to his uncle’s mansion in Bel-Air as a drama. Per Deadline, Bel-Air  “will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions, and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today, while still delivering the swagger and fun nods to the original show.”

Cooper will direct and co-executive produce Bel-Air. Showrunner Chris Collins (The Man in the High Castle, The Wire) will co-write, executive produce.

The project is being developed by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Universal Television and is currently being pitched to multiple streamers, including NBC’s Peacock, Netflix, HBO Max and Amazon.

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Film & Television

Danielle Brooks to Star in ‘Robin Roberts Presents: The Mahalia Jackson Story’

Tony Award nominee, SAG, and Grammy Award-winning actress Danielle Brooks (Orange is The New Black) will portray gospel music icon and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson in a new Lifetime biopic.

The film will follow Jackson’s life and career as she began singing at an early age and went on to become one of the best-known gospel singers in U.S. history.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the movie is a part of a four-film deal Lifetime has signed with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts and her Rock’n Robin Productions. Roberts previously worked with Lifetime as an executive producer on Stolen by My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story, a drama starring Niecy Nash.

Tony winner Kenny Leon (Broadway’s A Raisin in the Sun, Fences, American Son) is set to direct the biopic. This is a reunion between Leon and Brooks as they previously worked on the stage production of Much Ado About Nothing

The news of The Mahalia Jackson Story comes following the success of Lifetime’s The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel (2020) which became the cabler’s highest-rated original movie since 2016 with 2.7 million viewers.

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Television

Netflix Acquires Rights to 7 Classic Black TV Shows, Including ‘Sister Sister’, ‘Moesha’ and ‘Girlfriends’

Netflix is bringing seven most iconic Black sitcoms from the late ’90s and early ’00s to its platform.

On Wednesday (July 29), the streaming giant’s social media account @StrongBlackLead announced that the shows will be launching on the site from August to October. The post was accompanied by a video of the leads from each series sharing the exciting news and thanking fans for petitioning Netflix to bring more classic Black sitcoms to the subscribers.

Here is the full of shows and when they will launch.

MOESHA – August 1

THE GAME, s. 1-3 – August 15

SISTER SISTER – September 1

GIRLFRIENDS – September 11

THE PARKERS – October 11

Half & Half – October 15

One on One – October 15

Which show are you most excited about? Let us know, comment below!

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