Now comes news that he's teamed up with filmmaker Spike Lee and 'Entourage' creator Doug Ellin to develop a drama series for HBO loosely based on his experiences growing up.
According to Deadline.com, 'Da Brick' is "described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America." The drama will be set in Newark, NJ -- nicknamed "brick city" -- in the current day.
'Da Brick' will be written by John Ridley ('Three Kings,' 'Third Watch'). Ellin, Ridley, Lee, Tyson and Jim Lefkowitz are all executive producing, with Tyson's wife Lakiha Tyson and Azim Spicer, CEO of Las Vegas' SpiceReel Prods., co-executive producing.
Kudrow saw the long-running original show, which investigates the family history and genealogy of celebrities, when visiting Ireland, and decided to bring it to American audiences. The only question was, would she tell her own story on the show?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the documentary is set to start shooting today, with Lee taking his eye on New Orleans and the Katrina aftermath five years later. Lee's original series won accolades for its compelling depiction of New Orleans' citizens and how they coped within the aftermath of the tragedy.
The project is set to debut in Summer 2010.
We told you about Passing Strange back in May when PBS picked it up as part of its Great Performances series. Lee's doc is a filmed version of the theatrical stage production of the Tony nominated Broadway musical of the same name. It's about a young black man who travels to Europe in the 1970s to become an artist and live a bohemian lifestyle.
Lee is returning to TV with his latest project, Passing Strange, which has just been picked up by PBS' Great Performances series at the Tribeca Film Festival. Strange is expected to air on PBS next year.
The film is a theatrical stage production of the Tony nominated Broadway musical of the same name. It's about a black man who travels to Europe in the 1970s to find himself. The music is by Mark Stewart, or Stew, an acclaimed L.A. based singer/songwriter.
In other TV news, ABC Family has canceled its fledgling series 'Roommates,' John McCain is set to host a Memorial Day weekend war movie marathon on AMC, and PBS has nabbed Spike Lee's film adaptation of the Tony-winning rock musical 'Passing Strange.'
See more of today's TV headlines, casting scoops and premiere dates after the jump.
ESPN announced several film projects, both documentary and theatrical. The network will be presenting four documentaries this fall, one of which is by acclaimed director Spike Lee. On the surface the film seems pretty bland; it's just cameras following Kobe Bryant around on game day. But I'm sure you want to hear what Lee said about his film.
ESPN Senior VP, Ron Semiao, says "ESPN Films is honored to be collaborating with such accomplished storytellers and filmmakers for such an important sports and American story." Semiao was at the Beverly Hilton yesterday along with Branch Rickey III to discuss the project. Semiao added that doing this theatrical film was a natural extension for the company which tries to serve sports fans "however they consume sports content."
Knowing that Spike Lee is creating a television drama is very exciting. I'm not sure how his work will translate onto television, but you can bet that whatever he comes up with will be thoughtful and poignant. At least, that's what I'm hoping. In the meantime, Lee is premiering a four-hour documentary on HBO on August 16th about the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.
Love is in bloom at The Office as it is Valentine's Day. We first see Pam (with her new hairdo that makes her look even more attractive than ever) describing what is going on, and then Phyllis gets a huge bouquet of flowers from her boyfriend Bob. We then learn that Michael is set to leave for New York City for a big meeting with other branch managers and Dunder Mifflin's CFO. Plus, he mentions that his boss Jan, with whom he hooked up with a few months before, will be there, and he slyly mentions the fact that it is Valentine's Day.
Jim then discusses his plans for the evening--since he broke up with his girlfriend a few weeks back, he's looking to get a few guys together to play some poker. Meanwhile, Dwight gets a box that contains a bobblehead doll of himself. He is absolutely thrilled, and we see Angela, normally very tightly wound, smile. We then learn that office chatterbox Kelly hooked up with Ryan, and she can't stop talking about it to Jim, who seems uncomfortable with the whole situation.
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