*Khary Payton (“Young Justice”) and Janina Gavankar (“True Blood”) will join Ben Rappaport in USA‘s single-camera comedy pilot, “Love Is Dead,” reports Deadline.com.
Based on a French short film, the story is set at an agency that specializes in breaking up romantic relationships on behalf of those who are willing to pay to not be around when it happens. It centers on Alex (Rappaport) who, after he’s dumped by a representative of the agency, vows to find out what it is, specifically, that’s wrong with him — by taking a job at the company.
Gavankar plays Marisol Rajagopal, an icy confident and stunningly sexy professional termination associate at the Dunleavy Agency who doesn’t believe people need love to be happy and in fact thinks that they might be better off without it.
Payton will play Doubting Thomas, a former college All-American wide receiver who, after suffering a severe injury, becomes a professional relationship termination associate for the Dunleavy Agency.
*Actor Dulé Hill, star of USA Network’s “Psych,” has filed for legal separation from his wife, actress Nicole Lyn, 34. The couple wed in July 2004 and have apparently been separated since their eight-year anniversary this year.
With ’irreconcilable differences’ being cited in the documents filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the 37-year-old actor and his wife reportedly have no children.
The East Brunswick, New Jersey-bred actor is best known for his starring role on “West Wing,” and claims two Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2001 and 2002.
Lyn-whose mother is Jamaican and father, Chinese and Caucasian, is best known for her role on “Student Bodies,” a Canadian teen comedy series.
Nicole is also a deejay who performs under the name Ms. Nix.
*The USA network is taking a new programming approach on Saturday nights.
In an expansion of its Characters Unite public-service initiative, the top-rated cable network is launching a quarterly Saturday film series Nov. 17 with a special airing of “The Color Purple.”
The NBCUniversal-owned net will present the acclaimed 1985 movie with limited ads and an introduction by star Whoopi Goldberg. The telecast follows an April airing of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which was introduced by President Obama.
For NBCUniversal Cable entertainment chairman Bonnie Hammer, the project is deeply personal and dates back nearly two decades to when she created the socially conscious Erase the Hate campaign during her first stint at USA. More recently, she has championed the Characters Unite campaign, which is intended to promote diversity.
“I’m a big believer that we’re not born knowing how to hate; we’re taught to hate,” she tells THR of her motivation. “We may be more sophisticated in how we hide it, but there are still so many phobias in this world, whether it’s Islamophobia, xenophobia or homophobia. I’ve been trying to do things that expose and help teach and draw attention to all of the ‘isms’ and how we do or don’t deal with them in our world. ”
In addition to quarterly telecasts, Hammer hopes to arrange panels, classroom applications and discussions with talent, producers or directors to accompany the socially conscience films presented. Given the timing on “The Color Purple,” her plan at press time was to publish an op-ed, co-written with Goldberg.
“Purple’s” airing is set to coincide with both the United Nations’ International Day of Tolerance and the 30th anniversary of the publication of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel on which the film is based.
She has not yet licensed additional films to feature but already has taken a look at “Gentleman’s Agreement,” “Imitation of Life,” “Milk” and “Brokeback Mountain,” among others. Given the film series’ socially positive nature, Hammer says she doesn’t foresee encountering trouble licensing movies for a limited distribution window: “When you’re doing something good, it’s not as if people fight you about getting rights.”
Recording artist Ne-Yo arrives at the Loreal Style Stage at the Soul Train Awards 2012 at PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on November 8, 2012 in Las Vegas,
*Ne-Yo has added to the lineup for “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! — Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night,” while Flo Rida will honor the US Armed Forces in the 10th annual holiday special, “WWE Tribute to the Troops.”
Ne-Yo joins previously announced performers Luke Bryan and Maroon 5 for the one-hour Grammy nominations concert special, hosted by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift. The show, which will announce nominations in several categories as well as feature performances by past Grammy Award winners and/or nominees, will take place live for the first time ever at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, Dec. 5 (live 10:00 – 11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT/9:00 PM, CT) CBS.
Following the live broadcast, guests will experience a one-hour exclusive concert by Maroon 5.
Rapper Flo Rida performs onstage at the 2012 NCLR ALMA Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on September 16, 2012 in Pasadena, California
Meanwhile, “WWE Tribute to the Troops presented by Slim Jim” will air as a two-hour special on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 9 on USA Network and as a one-hour television special on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 9 on NBC.
Flo Rida joins a performance lineup that includes Kid Rock and WWE Superstars and Divas for thousands of military personnel and their families at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, VA. The show will also feature appearances by Disney’s The Muppets, Access Hollywood and NBC Sports’ Michelle Beadle and more.
Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony celebrate winning the gold medal in men’s basketball at London Olympics
*If you haven’t heard, it should come as no surprise that the US beat Spain … again in men’s basketball to win the gold medal in London.
Kevin Durant put in 30 points, LeBron James scored 19 as the U.S. men’s basketball team defended its Olympic title, holding off the determined Spanish team 107-100 on Sunday for the gold medal — just as the Americans did in 2008.
Kobe Bryant added 17 for the US, which only led by one point after three quarters and was ahead just 97-91 when James drove the lane for a thunderous dunk and followed a miss by Spain with a 3-pointer.
In the final minute, U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski, in his final international game, took out his top stars who came to London with the goal of keeping American basketball on top. When the final horn sounded, Krzyzewski locked James in a tight embrace as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The USA” rocked the arena.
Pau Gasol scored 24 and Juan-Carlos Navarro had 21 for Spain, which had to settle for silver in the second straight Olympics.
*Centre Court at the All England Club, Wimbledon played host to the worst Olympic tennis beat down since 1920, (Suzanne Lenglen of France beat Dorothy Holman of Britain 6-3, 6-0) on this windy Saturday in London (so windy the American flag blew clean away).
Serena Williams (4th-seeded) all but completely shut out her rival and world no. 3, Maria Sharapova of Russia, in a 6-0, 6-1 annihilation during the Olympic tennis Gold Medal match. Commentators and spectators knew there would be blood from a meeting between two of the hardest hitting women on the WTA tour, but no one expected Sharapova to leave the massive puddle behind that she did. The match was over in just outside an hour.
Serena Williams, at 31 years old, emerged from the proverbial woodshed with not only an Olympic gold medal, which was the last accolade she hadn’t received over the course of her illustrious career, but also with a career Golden Slam (won all 4 major tournaments at least once and the Olympic gold medal). She is only the second woman to have done so in the history of tennis (Steffi Graf also achieved the prestigious feat). Both Williams and Sharapova were in contention for the distinction.
The match began ominously for the 6’2″ Russian, as Williams slammed down 3 aces and one unreturnable serve on the way to winning the opening game of the match and she didn’t look back. That set the stage for a 9 game run and tennis clinic, which saw Sharapova either watching balls go by that she couldn’t even touch or spraying balls all over the stadium that she simply couldn’t handle. It was winner after winner, ace after ace (24 and 10). The stunned crowd could barely catch their breath.
Media personality, Chelsea Handler, who was in Maria Sharapova’s box all week and had seemingly been the 2012 French Open winner’s good luck charm up to that point, was able to channel no such luck during the massacre; Serena Williams was simply too good and too determined.
Once the match was complete, with Sharapova winning just one game, Williams let out her signature roar, jumped repeatedly for joy and did a celebration “crip walk” at her chair.
If the score hadn’t been settled before for the upset Sharapova delivered to Williams during the Wimbledon final of 2004, today, on the world stage of the 2012 London Olympic Games, Serena Williams showed tennis fans who’s boss and the true world no. 1.
Next up, the 14-time Slam champion and 2012 Wimbledon winner will join her sister, Venus Williams, in competing for their third Olympic gold medal together in doubles. They will compete in the semis against the Czech Republic, today.
*Serena Williams is ready to take on the next challenge: the Olympics.
The champion tennis player pulled out of the World Team Tennis match in Washington last week to rest her back before the Olympic Games, but she insists she’s in better health.
“I feel really good going into these Olympic Games, and wanting to do really well,” Williams said at a news conference with the rest of the U.S. team. “I think it’s exciting to be back so soon. Usually we have to wait 12 months to walk back on Centre Court and kind of feel that moment that we felt (at Wimbledon). So for me, I’m going to be really excited with such a quick turnaround and get back on the grass where I love to play.”
Serena and her sister will be going up against the world, but as a team, is still in question. But Venus is convinced the duo is the secret weapon for the US.
“At the end of the day it’s really up to what our team captains want, and obviously being realistic and seeing who really has the best chance to win because we really want to bring medals home,” Venus said. “So it’s just about the betterment of the team and where we can do the best for USA, so I think that’s what it will boil down to.”
They are both quite attractive and their relationship is coveted by most because of how attentive the president is to his Lady.
But, President Barack Obama, when attending the USA-Brazil game at the Verizon Center in D.C. Monday night, missed a golden opportunity to show off his suave moves when the jumbotron’s “Kiss Cam” centered on him (more…)
Michael Ealy attends the "Think Like a Man" screening at the AMC Empire 25 theater on April 4, 2012 in New York City
*Michael Ealy returns to series television Friday night in the new USA series “Common Law,” which puts a twist on the age old practice of couple’s therapy.
Ealy, coming off a recurring role on CBS’ “The Good Wife,” stars with Warren Kole as dysfunctional LAPD partners Travis and Wes, respectively. They bicker constantly like an old married couple, so they get help from a no-nonsense therapist played by Sonya Walger.
“We were actually forced to go to therapy,” Ealy tells us during interviews for the series. “That wasn’t our call, it was our captain’s call. We kinda resent him for that.”
Common Law - Warren Kole and Michael Ealy
Producers noted that their relationship was an area worth examining for the course of multiple seasons.
“The specific component that sets this show apart for us as producers is we wanted to explore how men communicate with each other because there’s a difference between how men communicate versus women,” executive producer Karim Zreik told The Hollywood Reporter. “What happens when the guy you’ve been working with for seven years upsets you or you guys start fighting over something? Is it over in 10 minutes? Does it last a week? There were different elements of the male psyche we wanted to explore and there was no better way to do it than setting it in couples counseling because that is the last place men want to be.”
Below, Ealy and Kole say their characters do manage to get their job done effectively — despite not getting along.
“Common Law” premieres Friday, May 11, at 10 p.m. on USA. Watch a preview clip below.
*Rescue Me veteran Daniel Sunjata is set for a starring role in USA Network’s untitled drama pilot from White Collar creator Jeff Eastin, reports Deadline.com.
The project, from Fox TV Studios, follows four agents from various federal and local agencies (DEA, FBI, LAPD) who live at a former ganglord’s mansion-turned-safe house for undercover agents in Southern California.
Sunjata, of Irish, German, and African-American heritage, will play Paul Briggs, an atypical FBI agent with a legendary past who has traded in his suit and tie for a more zen existence. He is the senior agent in a house full of undercover agents.
Sunjata, best known for his role as Franco Rivera on FX’s firefighter drama “Rescue Me,” also did a major arc on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”
He co-stars in the Katherine Heigl feature comedy “One For The Money,” which opens next week, and will also be seen in thriller “Gone” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Mekhi Phifer speaks at Starz "Torchwood" Panel during Comic-Con 2011 on July 22, 2011 in San Diego
*Mekhi Phifer and Cheech Marin will guest-star in an episode of the USA comedy Psych, TVGuide.com reports.
Phifer, who currently stars as a not-so-dead dead man on “Torchwood: Miracle Day,” will play Drake, a member of “Blackapella,” the a cappella group Gus (Dulé Hill) belonged to in college. Drake comes to town to honor Deacon Jones (Cheech Marin), his mentor from childhood. But the deacon is shot while receiving the honor at the local community center, and the group steps in to help Shawn (James Roday) and Gus investigate.
Jaleel White and Kristy Swanson will reprise their roles as Tony and Marlowe, respectively, in the episode.
Psych returns for its sixth season on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 10/9c on USA.
*With the fastest growing major economy in the world, the communist rulers of China have begun to throw their weight around when it comes to international finances.
One of their deeply held beliefs is that the world relies too much on the American dollar and that reliance needs to be lessened.
Thus, the Chinese do not so much want to use their currency – the Renminbi (also known as the yuan) – to overthrow the global dominance of the dollar as they want to reduce the significance of the dollar when it comes to international trade.
Robert Minikin – a senior currency strategist at Standard Chartered in Hong – was recently quoted as summarizing the Chinese concern this way: “China sees the global financial system as too U.S.-centric and dollar dependent.”
China wants to change this and it is slowly doing so. Recently, a Moscow securities exchange opened direct trading between China’s renminbi and Russia’s ruble. If this market develops, the ultimate result will be to eliminate the dollar from a large portion of Chinese-Russian trade. Look for China to strike similar deals with India and possibly Brazil. Further, in the past decade China has invested massively in Africa and may soon begin to push the Africans to hold their reserves in the renminbi instead of the dollar.
What does all of this mean for Black America? It means that those thousands of manufacturing jobs America has lost to China’s cheap labor over the last decade are gone for good. This will help to keep the Black unemployment rate high for years to come. China will surely continue to manipulate its currency such that its goods remain cheap and its people remain employed.
Remember: When the value of a country’s currency rises, the cost of its goods on the international market also rises. Thus, all the talk you hear about the Obama administration forcing the Chinese to allow the value of their currency to rise is just that – talk. China will keep the value of its currency cheap and thus keep jobs in China.
It will be virtually impossible for small American manufacturers – the ones most likely to hire minorities – to compete with China’s cheap labor and cheap currency. Blacks will bare the burden of Chinese economic policies via lingering levels of high unemployment.
*Mississippi Winn didn’t get caught up in the amazing statistics that accompanied someone her age.
Only 1 in 5 million people in the industrialized world live to be 110. About 60 people that age live in the United States, with another 300 or so scattered around the globe. Nine of 10 are women.
Winn was believed to be the oldest living African-American when she died Friday afternoon in Shreveport, Louisiana, at 113.
Investigator Milton Carroll of the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office said he was not permitted to disclose a cause of death, but a relative said Winn — who was nicknamed “Sweetie” — had been in declining health since last autumn