Variety’s Dave McNary reports…
Lee Daniels has committed to directing The Weinstein Company’s Richard Pryor biopic with Jay Z on board to produce.
The Weinstein Company had decided in May to postpone the project, titled “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said,” after Daniels, the showrunner of Fox’s hit series “Empire,” left the helming gig when he was unable to fit the movie shoot into his schedule. A start date is now set for early 2017.
The movie’s cast had been previously announced as Mike Epps as Pryor, Oprah Winfrey as his grandmother, and Kate Hudson as Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor.
The script has been written by Bill Condon. The title of the movie is taken from Pyror’s Grammy-winning live album, released in 1975.
Variety writer Gordon Cox reports…
The Writers Guild of America East has teamed with New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the department of Small Business Services for the Made in NY Writers Room, a fellowship program that aims to bolster the diversity of the writers in the city’s television writing staffs.
The six-month fellowship, which will accept open submissions starting Sept. 15, will accept 500 applicants for up to 12 writers (working either as individuals or as teams of two) to work one-on-one with New York-based showrunner mentors, including Beau Willimon (“House of Cards”) and Richard LaGravense (“The Divide”), who both attended a launch event for the program Thursday morning. Lee Daniels (“Empire”), Sarah Treem (“The Affair”), Julie Klausner (“Difficult People”), Julie Martin (“Law & Order: SVU”), and Brian Koppelman and David Levien (“Billions”) will also participate as mentors.
Writers will submit a pilot script for an original series, and each winner of the fellowship will work with a mentor to hone the script and establish industry connections. Regardless of whether they win, each applicant (up to the 500 cutoff) will receive written feedback from the two pros who read the script for evaluation.
The program could cost as much as $500,000 depending on the number of submissions, with all the money coming directly from city funding, according to MOME. The initiative’s organizers will work with several city organizations, including Ghetto Film School and New York Women in Film and Television, to reach out to writers whose perspectives are under-represented among TV writers. According to a WGAE study of data up through 2014, only 13% of television scribes were minority writers, while 29% were women.
“There’s two big goals here,” Willimon said at the launch event. “To get more series in production here in New York City, and to diversify the stories that we’re telling.”
The Made in NY Writers Room Program will accept applications via the WGAE website from Sept. 15 until Oct. 20, or until the program reaches its 500-submission cutoff.
‘Smollett Eats’ premiered August 20th on the Food Network, with sibling hosts Jussie Smollett (Empire) Jurnee Smollett ( True Blood), together with all their siblings for what may be the first time since their short-lived ABC show ‘On Our Own’ in the 90’s.
Jurnee and Jake pose for a photo before cooking, as seen on Cooking Channel’s What’s Cooking With The Smollets, Season 1.
Jake and Jazz prep to make Apricot and Mustard Glazed Baby Back Ribs, as seen on Cooking Channel’s What’s Cooking With The Smollets, Season 1.
Jake helps Jussie prep his Grilled Chicken Wings with Pineapple-Ginger Teriyaki Sauce, as seen on Cooking Channel’s What’s Cooking With The Smollets, Season 1.
Hang out with the Smolletts, as they braise, bake and grill their way through the week. From putting on the perfect kids’ birthday party to throwing a midnight BBQ for their friends, these six siblings, Jake, Jussie, Jurnee, Jocqui, Jojo, and Jazz whip up some of their family’s favorite recipes while giving us a glimpse into the relationships that make them so much fun. Baby back ribs, steak banh mi tacos and pork chili verde are just some of the mouthwatering dishes that cooking ace Jake Smollett and his brothers and sisters bring to the table. These are meals you won’t want to miss!
Will you be watching?