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April 19, 2014

spike lee

Spike Lee, Mike Tyson, Doug Ellin Team Up for HBO Drama Series, 'Da Brick'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jun 22nd 2011 7:11AM
Mike TysonMike Tyson's been undergoing a career resurgence of late. Since his cameo in 'The Hangover' introduced audiences to a more lighthearted side of the former boxing world champion, he's had his own TV show about pigeon fancying and appeared in the Argentine version of 'Dancing With the Stars.'

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.

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Clint Eastwood Is Not a Fan of What President Obama is Doing at the Moment (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Oct 26th 2010 4:32PM
On 'The O'Reilly Factor' (weekdays 8 PM on Fox News) Bill O'Reilly kept his viewers up to date on what two of the nation's foremost film directors think about how President Obama is doing.

First he played a clip of Spike Lee, who believes that Obama has been held up to impossible to achieve, Jesus-like standards. "He's not walking on water, but they're trying to nail him to the cross though," Lee explained, laughing.

Clint Eastwood, on the other hand, was his usual calm self when he stated his displeasure with Obama's job performance during a web interview with Katie Couric:

"I think he's nice a fellow," Eastwood said. "I enjoyed watching him campaign and winning the job, but I'm not a fan of what he is doing at the moment."

"I just don't think he's governing," Eastwood continued. "I don't think he is surrounding himself with the people he could have surrounded himself with."

Eastwood and Lee have have some pretty high profile disagreements in the past, so it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that the disagree on what currently ails President Obama.

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Spike Lee on the Gulf Oil Spill and Returning to New Orleans

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 20th 2010 10:03AM
Spike Lee filming 'If God is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise' for HBOWhen Spike Lee first planned out his new HBO documentary, 'If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise,' about the state of New Orleans and the Gulf region five years after Hurricane Katrina, he figured he'd end the movie on a high note, with the city celebrating after the Saints won the Super Bowl.

But BP changed those plans.

After the Deepwater Horizon blew up in April, starting the epic Gulf oil spill that only recently got plugged, Lee knew he had more work to do on the follow-up to 'When the Leeves Broke.'

"The film is trying to tell what has happened in the last five years since August 29, 2005. So therefore we have to include the biggest oil disaster in the history of the world," Lee told a roundtable of reporters before his TCA panel earlier this month. "If I sat here and you guys see this film and you would've said 'Spike, what the f---? How come there's no BP in this movie?' Everyone would look at me like I'm crazy. It had to be included. So we included it, we had to start shooting again."

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Spike Lee Meets a Surprising Relative (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted May 2nd 2010 9:15PM
Spike Lee Meets a Surprising RelativeDirector Spike Lee has spent his career creating movies that discuss race and politics in America. But now, on 'Who Do You Think You Are?' (Fri., 8PM ET on NBC), Lee learns some unusual secrets about his own family history. He discovers that he may have a white ancestor -- and that he may be related to slave owners.

Watch the video after the jump.

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Lisa Kudrow Answers the Question: Who Do You Think You Are?

by Nick Zaino, posted Mar 4th 2010 2:03PM
Lisa Kudrow Who Do You Think You Are?You might say genealogical research runs in Lisa Kudrow's family. Long before the former 'Friends' star decided to bring the British TV show 'Who Do You Think You Are?' to American television, her father had already written a family tree that Kudrow says takes up roughly 46 pages.

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?

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HBO Orders Follow-Up to 'When the Levees Broke,' Sets 'Treme' Premiere Date

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Jan 15th 2010 12:25PM
HBO has announced that Spike Lee's Peabody Award winning documentary 'When the Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts' will be getting the follow-up treatment.

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.

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Check out the trailer for Spike Lee's passionate Passing Strange

by Mike Moody, posted Aug 25th 2009 5:33PM
Having trouble staying awake today? This high-spirited trailer for Spike Lee's vibrant documentary/musical, Passing Strange, should help get you going.



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.

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Spike Lee's Strange heading to PBS

by Mike Moody, posted May 1st 2009 1:07PM
spike lee passing strangeTrailblazing filmmaker Spike Lee has done some great work for TV. One of my favorite Lee TV projects is Sucker Free City, his underappreciated pilot/telemovie for Showtime about San Francisco's criminal underground. And who could forget the Emmy Award-winning Hurricane Katrina doc When the Levees Broke for HBO?

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.

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TV News Daily: NBC Exec Dies on the Set of 'Parenthood'

by Thomas DiChiara, posted May 1st 2009 12:00PM
Nora O'BrienIt's a sad day for NBC. Nora O'Brien, a drama programming executive with the network, died on Wednesday after collapsing on the Berkley, Calif., set of the new series 'Parenthood.'

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.


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Spike Lee and Elvis Costello talk new projects - TCA Report

by Kristin Sample, posted Jul 11th 2008 4:23PM
Spike LeeAt TCA yesterday, two very big stars were on hand to discuss their new shows. Spike Lee attended the ESPN Films panel to promote his documentary Game Day with Kobe Bryant. And Elvis Costello was on hand at the Sundance Channel panel to talk about Spectacle: Elvis Costello with..., his new talk show.

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.

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Robert Redford to star in Jackie Robinson / Branch Rickey biopic - TCA Report

by Kristin Sample, posted Jul 11th 2008 1:03PM
Robert Redford ESPN Films is co-producing a film for theatrical release about legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. The film will center around their struggle to break down racial barriers in the late 40s. The project, which is yet untitled, will be produced by Robert Redford, Tracy Falco, Karen Baldwin and Andrew Cohen. Redford will star in the role of Rickey. No word on who will play Robinson.

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."

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66th annual Peabody Award winners announced

by Julia Ward, posted Apr 5th 2007 1:02PM
When the Levees Broke Peabody AwardThe Peabodys are an interesting case in a world over-saturated with award ceremonies and self-congratulatory accolades. The Peabodys don't actually have categories or even a set number of awards to give out every year. The good folks at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication just give them out as they deem necessary, and their goal isn't just to recognize local news stations or broadcast journalists. The Peabodys' aim is to hold up examples of "what can and should be done in the worlds of journalism, entertainment, documentary, education and public service," or so their press release tells me.

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Spike Lee wins journalism award for HBO doc

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 21st 2007 11:02AM
spike leeDirector Spike Lee has won a George Polk award for his documentary about the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. Called When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, the doc chronicled the natural disaster and the disastrous way the federal government responded to the humanitarian crisis. The awards are considered among the highest honors in American journalism, along with the Peabody.

Lee's documentary was four hours long and initially premiered to a New Orleans crowd before airing on HBO last August. The program was filled with news photos and video footage, and all sorts of interviews from celebrities and regular folk who recount their experience in the aftermath of Katrina. Ultimately, the federal government and the Army Corps of Engineers are blamed for the sub-par levees and the response to the disaster.

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Networks order up more pilots

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 26th 2007 2:02PM

spike leeNBC, FOX and ABC have each ordered up new pilots.

The pilot for M.O.N.Y., a new NBC drama about an average joe who becomes Mayor of New York, will be directed by Spike Lee, who also directed the pilot for the CBS series Shark and has a development deal with NBC.

Other pilot orders include Philadelphia General for FOX, directed by P.J. Hogan (My Best Friend's Wedding, 2003's Peter Pan) a comedy/drama focusing on a team of nurses; and Lipstick Jungle (NBC) and Cashmere Mafia (ABC), both of which Anna wrote about here.

Reading over the brief description of all these new shows, I can't help but notice there are a lot of series these days labeled as "comedic dramas" or something similar. It makes me wonder if perhaps it would be better to do away with such labels all together and let the audience decide for themselves whether a show is worth checking out. I understand networks and studios have to give people some idea what's on tap, but I think more and more genres are starting to meld together, and there are very few "straight comedies" or "straight dramas" left. These days it seems the effort is put toward just making an entertaining show, and not trying to remain within the confines of a "drama" or "comedy."

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Fox greenlights post-Katrina cop drama

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 24th 2007 1:41PM
foxFox gave the green light to a pilot about cops living and working in post-Katrina New Orleans. It's one of four Katrina-related projects that were being pitched to networks for the next television season, but it's the only one that is moving forward. K-Ville is an hour-long drama that tells the stories of the police officers who stayed behind when the hurricane hit.

Other New Orleans-themed shows include two more cop shows based in the city that ABC passed on, and one called NoLa that NBC passed on even with the possibility that Spike Lee would direct the pilot. It's surprising, really, that K-Ville made the cut because the crisis in New Orleans continues. If nothing else, maybe it will renew the public's interest in that very damaged city.

[Via TV Tattle]

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