*“Girlfriends” vet Tracee Ellis Ross is set to star opposite Anthony Anderson in his untitled ABC pilot (formerly “Black-ish”). The project from ABC Studios, Laurence Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy and Principato Young centers on an upper-middle-class black man (Anderson) who struggles to raise his children with some sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father, and his own assimilated, color-blind kids.
*Candice Patton, best known for her role as Tori on BET’s “The Game,” will join Jesse L. Martin and “Glee’s” Grant Gustin in the CW pilot “The Flash,” reports Deadline.com.
Based on the DC comic, the project is an origin story about Barry Allen aka The Flash (Gustin), a Central City assistant police forensics investigator who arrives in Starling to look into a series of unexplained robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in his past.
Patton will play Iris West, Allen’s fast-talking, quick-witted best friend who is also the daughter of Detective West (Martin), who serves as a surrogate father to Barry.
Rick Cosnett and Danielle Panabaker have also recently joined the cast.
*Cedric the Entertainer is headed back to the barbershop.
The CW has nabbed a barbershop competition series hosted by the comedian, who starred alongside Ice Cube, Eve and Michael Ealy in the 2002 and 2004 “Barbershop” films.
“Barber Battle” will venture to different barbershops across the country in each of the 10 episodes. The most talented barbers will compete using someone’s head to showcase their artistry – from portraits to landmarks to ballparks.
*It’s the show that won’t die.
The CW has confirmed a 21st cycle of Tyra Banks’ “America’s Next Top Model,” which will again feature men and women contestants.
Casting is currently underway, while dates for the start of production and premiere will be announced at a later date.
The announcement states:
For the past two years, “America’s Next Top Model” has played an important part in The CW’s original summer programming strategy, as the long-running reality series kicked-off during the late summer months and carried on into The CW’s fall launch. The current cycle, airing Fridays, 9-10 p.m. ET, will name the newest winner of “America’s Next Top Model” during the finale on November 15.
*She’s not even a U.S. citizen, but Nina Dobrev of the CW’s “Vampire Diaries” is willing to go naked to promote President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The Canadian star has posted a topless picture of herself on Instagram holding up a sign that reads “#getcovered,” which refers to a website that facilitates signing up for health care insurance.
She writes, “I’m Canadian. We have health care for all. If you don’t have insurance go to GetCovered, Because w/o it, you’re naked.”
Dobrev is not the only celebrity raising awareness for Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which went into effect on Tuesday. Pearl Jam star Eddie Vedder and his bend members tweeted after the launch: “If you want to make sense of the whole healthcare thing, or just want to GetCovered, check out… KnowYourOptions.”
*“Spartacus” alum Cynthia Addai-Robinson has been tapped to play the DC Comics villain Amanda Waller in the CW’s “Arrow,” following in the footsteps of Angela Bassett, Pam Grier and CCH Pounder who have suited up as the character in various projects.
In the Arrow-verse, the formidable and enigmatic Amanda Waller works for A.R.G.U.S. — Advanced Research Group United Support — a clandestine agency that has a mysterious agenda and possesses key information about the Arrow, reports TV Guide.
In the comics, Waller runs the Suicide Squad, which will be introduced in Season 2 as Deadshot (Michael Rowe) teams up with Bronze Tiger, who will be played by Michael Jai White.
Addai-Robinson, whose credits also include “The Vampire Diaries” and “FlashForward,” joins an impressive list of women who have played Amanda Waller, including Pam Grier in “Smallville,” Angela Bassett in “Green Lantern” and CCH Pounder in the animated “Justice League.”
Addai-Robinson’s potentially recurring role is slated to begin in Episode 6 of the sophomore season. “Arrow” returns Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8/7c on The CW.