"Isn't 'Cube' Italian?" joked the host. Each armed with a bucket of snow, they proceeded to make and throw snowballs at targets. The smaller the target, the more points rewarded, and whoever earned the most points in under a minute won the game. Though a snowball novice, Ice Cube had better aim. He was up by four points (with 30 seconds left) when he turned to Fallon and pummeled him with snow. Fight!
The Hollywood vet is currently starring in the number one movie in the country, 'The Expendables,' and TBS has just picked up his freshman sitcom 'Are We There Yet?' for an additional 90 (90!) episodes.
The family comedy, loosely based on the 2005 Ice Cube movie of the same name, ranked among the top 10 new cable shows for the last quarter, scoring an average of 2.8 million viewers an episode. Almost half of those viewers are in the key 18-49 demo.
Heck, I haven't even written about last night's AMC cocktail party and the comic stylings of Jon Hamm yet. That'll come when I get a chance. The latest info and quips will always be on our Twitter feed if you're curious.
For now, though, some highlights of the day:
Crews was always the funniest character on Everybody Hates Chris, and seeing him as the fish out of water marrying into an instant family should give him plenty of opportunity for laughs. It's nice to see that shows featuring predominantly African American casts are still being developed somewhere since they've left network television completely now with the cancellation of The CW's comedies.
Ice Cube is producing a new reality series pilot for A&E called Good in the Hood. The plan is for each episode to be introduced by Ice Cube and then focus on a former gang member, drug dealer or robber as they try to help somebody in a similar situation turn their life around.
I've expressed my distaste for reality programming in the past, but this is a good example of how many sub-genres existed within the reality show genre, and not all of them are that bad. I really like the idea of people who once took from society do what they can to give something back, and to understand that it is possible to change. It's a great idea, and if done well, I think A&E may have another hit on its hands.
Fellow rappers Ludacris and 50 Cent have also voiced their discontent with Oprah's lack of hip-hop artists on her show. Oprah was pretty clear with Ludacris, when he was on a year ago for Crash, that she did not approve of his dirty and derogatory lyrics. However, she did defend herself on an NYC radio station after 50 Cent accused her of banning rappers from her show. She said she even has a little 50 Cent on her iPod, and she loves Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, and Jay-Z.
So. Is this just a ploy by these guys to get some face time on Oprah or what?
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Kaplan said that Cube is a great choice for the role. "He has shown what kind of crossover appeal he has," he told the program.
Of course, Kaplan probably couldn't care less about a Kotter remake, since he's been busy playing professional poker for the last couple of decades. But he could not have said a word, or even refused to talk about it. So Cube and company should be happy with Kaplan's endorsement.
Although, to be honest, I don't even think Ice Cube will ever have a better 'fro than Gabe did. Gabe wins the hair war, hands down.
Anyway. Ice Cube has signed on to play the lead role in the movie, as well as produce it. He'll be the teacher who returns to his old, inner-city school to help rough kids get an education. I wonder if John Travolta will do a cameo?
So, which one of ya'll are watching Black.White? I think the show sounds interesting, but I can't help but be turned off by the transformation of one race to another, which I don't think ever looks natural, even if it is done by a highly-qualified team of cinematic make-up artists. The best one can hope for is to try and not look creepy and disconcerting, which I think is impossible.
That seems to be the least of the show's problems, though. It turns out some people weren't happy with the original pilot, and some things had to be changed before it hit the airwaves last Wednesday. A sequence that allegedly took place at an exclusive "all white" country club involving one of the show's characters, Brian Sparks, disguised as a white man, was previewed on Oprah. That scene was changed when the owner of the pro-shop insisted his was a public facility where anyone could play. References to it being exclusive were deleted when the show aired.
So what do you guys think? Ice Cube is calling Black.White a "social experiment" but is it in danger of relying too heavily on the "forced reality" of other shows? Can it still make its point despite that?
F/X found huge success with its MySpace page for the Carver mystery on Nip/Tuck last season and is hoping for the same "viral" marketing in the case of Black.White, which premieres March 8 at 10 pm.
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