Jay and Bey attend Hennessy’s post Super Bowl bash
*Guests at DirecTV’s Pier 40 were only expecting a performance from Jay Z to celebrate the imminent Super Bowl game.
Pausing midway through his own performance, which included tracks from his recent album “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” Jay Z turned to the crowd. “Any sexy ladies in New York City tonight!” he shouted, before yelling again, “I said any sexy ladies in New York City tonight!”
On cue, in strutted Beyoncé, wearing a tight-fitting, black Tom Ford dress. “All hail to the Queen,” roared Jay Z to intense screaming from the crowd before the power couple kicked off another performance of “Drunk In Love,” according to The Daily Mail.
Actress Thandie Newton attends the Los Angeles Premiere of “Rogue” at ArcLight Cinemas on March 26, 2013 in Hollywood
*Thandie Newton this year joins the list of film actresses who have made the jump to series television, a magical land where quality roles for female leads seem to be less of a needle in a haystack.
A-list talent like Glenn Close (“Damages”) and Holly Hunter (Sundance Channel’s “Top of the Lake”) have praised the bigger character arcs of television roles and the longer time afforded to bring more nuance to a character.
Newton, whose film credits include “Beloved,” Mission: Impossible II,” “Crash” and “For Colored Girls,” premieres Wednesday (April 3) in DirecTV’s new original series “Rogue.”
“I was really keen to work on a TV show. I felt frustrated by the stunted nature of sort of adult drama, the characters that I was portraying,” the British actress told us during interviews for the series. “I really wanted to work on something that had more of an arc, more complexity, and I think the best adult drama is in television these days.”
Thandie Newton as Grace Travis in a scene from “Rogue”
Newton, 40, plays Grace Travis, an undercover detective embedded for months with a crime syndicate she suspects has a hand in the killing of her son.
When the crime boss discovers Grace’s true identity, through his mole in the police department, he offers to spare Grace’s life and help her find her son’s killer, but only if she helps him uncover a traitor in his organization. It’s a deal she can’t refuse, just as the series was an opportunity Newton couldn’t pass up.
“A couple of years before ‘Rogue’ as you see it in this incarnation, I read a script written by Matthew [Parkhill], which was the series written in three parts for the BBC, and I was really keen to be involved,” recalled Newton. “It was a fantastic story. The character is very compelling, and it’s one of the most interesting roles I’ve ever played, and I think possibly the best work I’ve ever done, which is great 20 years in.
The BBC three-parter never happened, but two years later, the script ended up with execs at DirecTV, who decided to develop the series for its satellite service and move its setting from London to Oakland, California.
Below, Newton says it didn’t really matter where the show was set.
“Rogue” premieres Wednesday, April 3, on DirecTV’s Audience Network.
Thandie Newton in a scene from her DirecTV series “Rogue,” premiering April 3, 2013
*DirecTV folks – only you will have access to Thandie Newton’s new series “Rogue,” airing this spring.
The British actress plays Grace Travis, an undercover cop whose son is killed in a drive by shooting. In her gut, she believes his death is connected to her police work, but the department takes her off the case, giving her compassionate leave as a way to get her out of their hair. Detectives are unable to find the child’s killer and solve the crime, and she’s convinced they’re burying the case for political reasons.
In the pilot, premiering April 3rd on DirecTV’s Audience Network, there’s a break in the case and Newton tries to rejoin the investigation, only to be shut down again by the department, claiming she’s a liability.
The show’s title then comes into play, as Newton goes behind the department’s back to investigate her boy’s shooting. The evidence leads to a crime family, and she infiltrates by getting a little too cozy with its boss – who may or may not be responsible for the death of her son.
“It’s all about the progressive loss of her moral compass,” said the show’s creator Matthew Parkhill. “She doesn’t know what she’s seeking initially, whether it’s justice or vengeance, and what she ends up seeking ultimately defines her, but that’s one of the questions for her as a character throughout the ten hours, what is it she will do, what is it she wants.”
Below, Newton talks about the challenge of playing a character, who is essentially playing another character while undercover.
“Rogue” premieres Wednesday, April 3 on DirecTV’s Audience Network (channel 239). Watch the trailer below.
Thandie Newton attends the launch of Reducing Domestic Violence for Peace One Day at Grosvenor House, on March 21, 2012 in London
*Deadline.com is reporting that DirecTV is looking to launch its own original drama series with the pickup of “Rogue,” a 10-episode drama with British actress Thandie Newton in talks to topline.
Written by British writer-director Matthew Parkhill , the story centers on an undercover cop (Newton) who takes on a gangster after her young son is killed in a drive-by shooting.
This would mark the first series regular role for Newton, who has been heavily pursued for pilots and series over the last few years, including this season, according to Deadline. Her only previous series gig was an arc on “ER.”
Newton was most recently seen in Tyler Perry’s “Good Deeds.”
Punch TV CEO Joseph Collins, left, and Carson High Principal Ken Keener, right.
*Carson, CA – Lights! Camera! Action!
Students at the Performing Arts and Media Academy (PAMA) at Carson High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will get real-life exposure to the professional world of the performing arts and media thanks to a new partnership between the school and Punch Television Network.
Earlier this month, PAMA and Punch TV Network signed a two-year community partnership agreement that will allow Carson High School students of all grades an exciting opportunity for real world job experience, including career orientations and internships.
“It’s great to see the community get involved in students’ education,” said LAUSD Board Vice President Dr. Richard Vladovic. “In or out of the classroom, together we can all help students reach their fullest potential, college-prepared and career-ready.”
The Performing Arts and Media Academy (PAMA) at Carson High School is a small learning community (SLC) that focuses on enriching students’ education through various performing arts and media lessons. PAMA works to develop creative and enthusiastic young people who are eager to pursue careers in performing arts and media fields.
“This provides the students of the PAMA SLC an opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge they gain at Carson High to practical situations,” said Principal Ken Keener.
Punch Television Network serves over 19 million homes and is on Direct TV channel 341.
“We enjoy working with young people and look forward to the opportunity to work with the students of Carson High,” said Punch TV CEO Joseph Collins.
The agreement will start in the fall 2011 and continue through 2013, with an opportunity for additional years in the future.