Given the recent passing of Michael Jackson, it wouldn't surprise me if this project was fast-tracked. Some of the Jackson 5's earliest appearances were on Soul Train. In fact, there's a website now dedicated to the show.
I never watched Soul Train when I was kid. I don't think I was in the correct demographic. But everyone at least heard of Soul Train. The show's final episodes aired in 2006 but (at least in my mind) the show is more associated with its beginnings in the 70's. If the show ends up getting fully revived (and not just an awards show), the logical network to show it would be BET.
Now that Time Life is releasing DVD's of the show, it will probably be in a "best of" format (much like their release of The Muppet Show DVDs) and not complete seasons. But, I could be wrong.
This would make Flavor Flav into Rod Serling. Flav is a scary-looking person (although he doesn't have Rod's ominous demeanor) so perhaps it's a good piece of casting. There have been a few attempts to revive The Twilight Zone since its inception in the 1950's, including a movie and a couple of television series, and they've meet with less success as time progressed. Having a similar idea with a different name is probably for the best (unless that name is The Outer Limits).
I wonder if any of the contestants from Flavor of Love will have cameos?
The network is honoring some iconic names in music as well. Legendary R&B crooner Al Green will receive BET's Lifetime Achievement Award. Celebrated producer / arranger / composer Quincy Jones is set for BET's Humanitarian Award for his work in the Listen Up, a charity which connects youth with music, technology and culture.
The character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (who co-created most of the classic Marvel Comics line up) and first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966. The character's real name is T'Challa and he is the ruler of a fictional African country called Wakanda. His name predates the existence of the Black Panther Party.
There have been a few attempts to bring the character to the movie screen, one in particular in the early 1990's starring Wesley Snipes. In 2007, Marvel announced that a film based on the character was on its movie development slate.
He's a minor character as far as the Marvel universe goes, but he is the most visible black superhero they have. He has appeared in several other animated Marvel television shows before, but not in a main role.
Satire is a tricky sword to wield, and BET's current efforts to call attention to some of the less-favorable aspects of current black culture are proof of that. First, there was We Got to Do Better (formerly Hot Ghetto Mess), a series whose pilot episode was so schizophrenic I actually developed twelve different personalities while watching it. Never have I seen a TV series struggling so hard to figure out its own identity.
All of the press that came out before it read that the series would use amateur footage of people acting untoward as a means to show how we need to improve (the clips show people of all races), but the first episode kept jumping back and forth between straight satire and host Charlie Murphy sincerely pleading to the audience to improve themselves. Imagine Stephen Colbert dropping his facade every two minutes to say, "this is a joke" -- that's what watching We Got to Do Better was like.
Today on TV Squad Daily:
- Having a bad day? Life could be worse: you could be Britney or Lindsy.
- S.O.B.! It's a good thing, according to BET.
- This year's list of highest paid talent on TV is interesting, if not mathematically accurate.
Ever since I first heard about Hot Ghetto Mess, I've been intrigued. The new BET series courted some controversy from folks who felt it exploited black stereotypes, and at least two sponsors, State Farm Insurance and Home Depot, have pulled their ads. Both BET entertainment chief Reginald Hudlin and Jam Donaldson (creator of the HotGhettoMess.com site on which the new series is based) say the purpose of the series is to encourage people, in a humorous manner, to take a look at themselves and their communities and try to affect positive change. The series mixes user-submitted video clips with man-on-the-street interviews.
Speaking of change, the series is now called We Got to Do Better. The actual content of the show won't change, but the new title more clearly explains the intent of the series. I discovered this last night while trying to find Hot Ghetto Mess on my Tivo with no luck. The series, hosted by Charlie Murphy (Chappelle's Show) debuts tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10:30 p.m.
Not a lot to report animation-wise, but here's a few things you might find interesting:
The series finale of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law airs tonight at 11:45. You can also watch it on Adult Swim's site. I caught it yesterday, and all I will say is that fans will not be disappointed. Or maybe you will be, but I don't really care. I've got my own stuff to worry about.
Hot Ghetto Mess, a new series on BET based on the Web site HotGhettoMess.com, has already courted some controversy before its July 25 premiere.
The new series features user-submitted videos and street interviews meant to encourage viewers to change themselves and their communities for the better.
Or, it's a show that exploits stereotypes, and it's the reason both Home Depot and State Farm Insurance have asked to be dropped from the series.
Endemol USA, the production company behind such shows as Big Brother, Deal or No Deal and 1 Vs. 100, is developing its first project for BET.
Take the Cake will premiere July 9 at 11:00 p.m. The new series not only allows contestants to answer pop culture questions, but also allows folks at home the chance to call in and answer questions (or text their answers) and win a cash prize. The series, hosted by Tocarra and Joe Clair, will also feature guest stars, comedy bits and performances.
Endemol has has success in the past, and it's nice to see the company joining forces with BET. Still, a similar idea, Midnight Money Madness, wasn't quite strong enough to warrant a second season on TBS, so it will be interesting to see how this one fares.
BET is debuting its very first scripted series, a comedy about black slackers.
I think that means it's a comedy about black people who make slacks, but I'm not certain. I assume "black pantsers" sounds too close to "Black Panthers," and they didn't want anyone to confuse it with that particular organization.
Okay, the real story is that Somebodies is a new sitcom that will be taped in Atlanta, Georgia and will premiere sometime in October, though BET prez Reginald Hudlin said the network will wait until the major networks announce their fall lineups before a timeslot for Somebodies is chosen, which is a wise move for a smaller network like BET. The series is being executive produced by Pete Aronson and Warren Hutcherson of The Bernie Mac Show and will focus on a group of University of Georgia grads trying to decide what to do with their lives. How the ten episodes that have been ordered will develop from that point remains to be seen, but I maintain that the friends could easily go into business for themselves making slacks:
Ballers, a new sports show for BET that debuts Friday, April 20 at 10:00 p.m., hopes to draw in both sports fans and non-sports fans with a mixture of humor and lively discussion about what's happening in the world of sports.
The show will feature former NBA player John Salley, former professional football player Hugh Douglas, comedian Guy Torry (most of you would probably recognize Torry from American History X), and Claudia Jordan of Deal or No Deal.
Last week, you may have heard Stephen Colbert play a statement by John Gray, the mayor of Oshawa. Gray stated that if his city's Ontario League hockey team, the Generals, lost to the Saginaw (Michigan) Spirit -- home of team mascot Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle -- that he would declare a day in the near future "Stephen Colbert Day."
The reason for the challenge? Colbert's rips on various teams in the OHL, including saying that the Oshawa team's annual teddy bear toss was "an obvious attempt to taunt me." (He hates bears, you know.) The Spirit came through, winning the game 5-4; Colbert is requesting that his day be celebrated on March 20, which is Gray's birthday. If the Generals won, by the way, Colbert would have had to wear the team's jersey throughout one an episode of The Colbert Report.
One Night Only: The Series, a new reality show on BET, debuts tonight at 7:30pm. The new series follows a group of students from McDonogh 35 High School, the oldest African-American high school in New Orleans, as they compete for roles not in Dreamgirls, but in One Night Only: Live on the Stage, a multi-media tribute to Dreamgirls. Taped in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the series will not only focus on the upcoming musical, but on the students' efforts to rebuild their homes and communities. Watching high school kids try out for a musical doesn't really interest me, but the mix of trying to be "normal" kids while dealing with one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history might make this one worth checking out.
The series will also feature guest appearances by Jennifer Hudson, Blair Underwood, Dwayne Martin, Tisha Campbell Martin, George Faison and Damone Roberts.
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