Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Fox 21 Television Studios released a first-look photo of British actress Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.

The studio released a photo that shows Erivo, 32, seated at a piano in a scene from Genius: Aretha, the upcoming biographical series from National Geographic.

Tony Award winner Erivo is best known for her portrayal of American abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The movie Harriet is in theaters now.

Erivo will play Aretha in the third installment of the "Genius" series.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Franklin died of natural causes at age 76 at her home in Detroit, Michigan on August 16, 2018. She is pictured above in 1968.

Erivo told Deadline.com she has been preparing herself for the role over the last few months.

"I've been preparing myself to embody the Queen of Soul, from re-listening to her music to discovering her rare interviews and reading some amazing books on her — all to really capture Aretha's attitude and spirit. I'm truly humbled to be working alongside a very talented and musical team. Together, we'll serve the Queen and create something special."

Also featured in the cast is actor Courtney B. Vance, 59, who plays Aretha's father, Rev. C. L. Franklin.

Vance is married to actress Angela Bassett, 61. He is best known for his role in The Preacher's Wife (1996), alongside the late singer Whitney Houston.

No photo

Photos: Kevork Djansezian/Getty, Anthony Devlin/Getty

NBC has opened an investigation into racism and sexism allegations against America's Got Talent creator Simon Cowell, right.

The network tells Deadline.com they have a "deeper understanding of the facts" after meeting on Wednesday with Gabrielle Union, who was let go as a judge on the talent competition series.

Both NBC and Union called their 5-hour meeting "productive". Union, 47, asked for the meeting to hear her suggestions on improving the "toxic environment" on the set.

"The initial conversation was candid and productive," said the network. "While there will be a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts, we are working with Gabrielle to come to a positive resolution."

Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images

Deadline says NBC plans to investigate Union's allegations that Cowell is "acerbic and overlording" on the set.

"The next step in the process for NBC is to have an as yet undetermined independent investigator prioritize moving things forward," Deadline writes.

"The ball is in NBC's court to see if they can get Cowell to agree to make some changes to the way things are done on the show," an insider tells Deadline.

Another source told People magazine that Cowell "Rubbed a lot of people the wrong way" on AGT. And he is "rarely told no."

No photo

BET.com

Enough viewers tuned in to Tyler Perry's The Oval to give the new series its best television ratings since the White House soap opera premiered last month.

The Oval stars Ed Quinn as U.S. President Hunter Franklin; and actress Kron Moore stars as his bitter, long-suffering wife, Victoria Franklin. They're dysfunctional family includes Paige Hurd as daughter Gayle Franklin, and Daniel Croix Henderson as son Jason Franklin.

According to TV By the Numbers, The Oval bounced back from 0.2 to 0.3 in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic, while Tyler Perry's Sistas rose above its 0.2 to reach 0.3.

Nearly 1 million viewers tuned in to Wednesday's episode of The Oval. While Sistas drew 852 pairs of eyeballs this week.

No photo

YouTube.com/BET

In Wednesday's episode of The Oval, titled "Rats Can Smell Poison," Richard (Javon Johnson) and his son Barry (Vaughn W. Hebron) struggle over Barry's gun. The gun goes off and a stray bullet hits an innocent bystander. Barry and Richard leave the scene just as a woman begins screaming.

No photo

YouTube.com/BET

Lilly's husband, Donald (Lodric D. Collins) confronts creepy Secret Service agent Kyle (Brad Benedict), who has a crush on him. Donald orders Kyle to leave his home, and he tells Kyle he will reassign him to another detail once he gets back to the White House.

The president's creepy son, Jason, has his eye on Jean, one of the White House's pretty maids. As Jean cleans a spot on the rug, a naked Jason strolls across the hallway behind her.

No photo

YouTube.com/BET

Jean complains to White House staff supervisor Priscilla (Taja V. Simpson), who reassigns her to another section of the White House.

No photo

YouTube.com/BET

Victoria notices Gayle is missing from the breakfast table and she instructs Priscilla to go fetch her from her bedroom. Victoria gives Priscilla permission to enter Gayle's bedroom. Priscilla walks into Gayle's bedroom and interrupts her taking naked selfies.

No photo

YouTube.com/BET

Gayle rudely orders Priscilla out of her room and gets dressed for breakfast. During breakfast, Ed reassures Gayle he will take care of Barry, whom Gayle accused of trying to rape her in episode 1.

No photo

YouTube.com/BET

Ed fires Richard for allowing his son, Barry, to enter the White House without authorization. But Victoria orders Gayle to tell Ed the truth - that Barry never touched her. Gayle admits as much.

No photo

YouTube.com/BET

Later, we see Bobby (Travis Cure), the sexy airport stalker who was shot twice by Lilly (Ciera Payton), waking up on an operating table in the basement of Lilly and Donald's home.

Apparently Bobby knows creepy Kyle, who kisses him on the lips as he awakens after passing out from the pain of surgery without anesthesia.

No photo

YouTube.com/BET

Bobby angrily threatens Kyle for kissing him. After Bobby is sexually harassed by Kyle, Bobby convinces Kyle to unlock his handcuffs and let him leave the house.

Miraculously, after having undergone surgery to remove the bullets from his chest and gut, Bobby is able to get up from the operating table and walk out of the room, like nothing happened.

Donald's granddaughter. Callie (LondonRose Sellars) is still missing, after having been kidnapped by her mentally unstable mother, Ruth, with the help of cult members.

Barry and his mother, Nancy (Ptosha Storey), finally go to the police department to report the child missing. But they are informed by the detective that Ruth was killed. The episode ends with little Callie still missing.
 

No photo

Screengrab: YouTube.com/The View

Whoopi Goldberg snapped at The View's audience members for booing during a guest appearance by Donald Trump, Jr. on Thursday. Don Jr. stopped by The View with his fiancée, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Goldberg and her co-hosts were uneasy after the mostly pro-Trump crowd began booing during the question and answer session.

According to The Hollywood Reporter journalist, who was invited to sit in the audience, Whoopi yelled, "The booing is fucking us up," during a commercial break.

"It's messing with everyone's mic. You can grimace and all that. All we hear is booing," she added.

THR reported that the front row was stocked with Trump supporters, including a man wearing a Trump hat who asked, "Who killed [Jeffrey] Epstein?" during a commercial break at the end of the show.

Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images

Epstein, a billionaire financier and America's most prolific child molester, died of suicide by hanging in his jail cell earlier this year. He is pictured with President Trump in 1997.

Many believe Epstein was killed to protect high-profile pedophiles.
 

 

Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic

President Donald Trump is looking ahead to the day he leaves office - whether he is impeached or he completes his 2nd term.

Feeling nostalgic, Trump recently bragged about his reality TV competition show Apprentice, saying the show was "the greatest thing reality television has ever seen," according to the Daily Beast blog.

Sources told the Daily Beast Trump wants to host another Apprentice series when he leaves office, and he has been in talks with producer Mark Burnett about a "politics-themed" reality TV show.

"There have been several discussions between Burnett and Trump about 'The Apprentice: White House,'" according to the Beast's sources. "It is something Burnett thinks could be a money-spinner and Trump is very keen on doing."

The Apprentice was one of America's most popular reality TV shows over its fifteen season run on NBC. Trump was the show's host for 14 seasons. The show, which was billed as "The Ultimate Job Interview", was featured in various formats including a Celebrity Apprentice.

Contestants on Celebrity Apprentice included Vivica A. Fox, Kenya Moore, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Terrell Owens, Porsha Williams, Lil Jon, Arsenio Hall, La Toya Jackson, and more.
 

This is an open post where you can discuss any subject matter. This post will not be censored or moderated. Disqus may automatically moderate certain words considered offensive. There are no rules in Open Posts. So enter at your own risk.

No photo

Bravo TV

Everyone is buzzing about episode 10 of Starz's Power, which aired on Sunday, Nov. 3. In the midseason finale, titled "No One Can Stop Me", Ghost (Omari Hardwick) is shot by an unknown assailant in his nightclub Truth.

Fans were left debating if Ghost is really dead and who shot him. Some even wondered if his shooting was a dream sequence.

There are seven likely suspects, with one of them firing the shot that sent Ghost tumbling off a balcony - to his untimely death?

Courtney Kemp, Power's creator and executive producer told TV Guide, "We set up very early there were only two ways this was going to play out.

According to TV Guide, in the final moments of the finale, Ghost tells Tariq to turn himself in for murder; pisses off Tasha (Naturi Naughton) again; humiliates Rashad Tate (Larenz Tate), and infuriates Saxe (Shane Johnson), Paz (Elizabeth Rodriguez), and of course Tommy (Joseph Sikora).

Any one of them could have pulled the trigger. The mystery of who shot Ghost will play out over the final five episodes of Power.
 

No photo

Bravo TV

The Real Housewives of Atlanta returned for season 12 on Sunday, Nov. 3. In case you missed it, the middle aged cast - Porsha Williams, 36, Kandi Burruss, 43, Kenya Moore, 48, Eva Marcille, 35, and Cynthia Bailey, 51, continues the same reality TV formula that helps them to stay relevant.

This week's episode is entitled, "The Moore the Merrier" to promote the return of the second eldest cast member, Kenya Moore. The former Miss America, who was born under the Aquarius sign, welcomed her first child, a daughter named Brooklyn, in November of 2018. Kenya and the baby's father, Marc Daly, separated in early 2019.

Michelle Brown, of StraightfromtheA.com, recapped the season premiere.

Michelle says Bravo TV's producers reminds the viewers of Kenya's history of failed relationships and fake boyfriends, including Walter Jackson and Matt Jordan.

Michelle writes:

Kenya relishes in her new role as mom to her daughter Brooklyn, while struggling to maintain her long distance marriage to Marc. Porsha’s relationship with Dennis hits a rough patch after he betrays her trust. With a new baby on the way, Eva is feeling the pressure to find the perfect house for her expanding family. An unexpected guest shows up at Kandi’s restaurant to reveal some shocking news regarding Dennis. Meanwhile, Cynthia’s obsession with wanting to get engaged reaches new heights. Kenya throws a coming out party to introduce the ladies to Brooklyn, but the celebration soon takes a left turn when Eva makes an off-handed comment that rubs Kenya the wrong way.

 

No photo

YouTube.com

Execs at Tyler Perry Studios and BET are nervous about the terrible online reviews of Tyler's new scripted BET drama The Oval.

The Oval stars Ed Quinn as Hunter Franklin, the newly-elected Democratic president of the United States, who moves his family into the White House.

No photo

YouTube.com

Hunter, who is white, frequently locks horns with his handsome wife, Victoria Franklin (played by newcomer Kron Moore). Victoria, who is Black, violently objects to Hunter screwing his side pieces in the Oval Office.

No photo

YouTube.com

To further complicate Victoria's life, the couple's biracial teenage daughter, Gayle (Paige Hurd) is a shameless slut who takes after her daddy. At least she prefers Black eye candy.

At issue for most Black women is Kron's portrayal of Victoria as the typical angry Black b*tch (a common theme in Tyler's TV shows and movies).

It isn't clear what direction Tyler is taking The Oval in, but his female fans aren't willing to go along for the ride.

Fans want to support the 50-year-old Virgo, who owns the biggest Black-owned independent film studio in America. But Black women are growing tied of supporting a Black man who constantly portrays them in a negative light.

"I love Tyler Perry but I am looking for a different type of product from him," wrote one disgusted YouTube viewer.

Another annoyed viewer wrote, "What are you saying about black people that even in the White House, it's just sex and ratchetness. [sic] Wish this was a little more thought provoking, like hitting current events. Especially in an election year. Pass."

A third viewer wrote: "Another over-the-top, ridiculous fantasy melodrama from Tyler Perry. No thanks."

A male viewer wrote: "Another bedwench show trying to force race mixing".

With reviews like these BET execs are reportedly considering revamping a couple of troublesome episodes before the series debuts next Wednesday, Oct. 23.

An insider who attended a recent screening of The Oval in Atlanta whispered to Sandrarose.com, "Girl, you could hear a pin drop in the room when the preview ended."

Question: Ladies, do you plan to watch The Oval?
 

No photo

CBS

CBS is taking a huge gamble on a Chuck Lorre sitcom titled Bob Hearts Abishola, which explores the cultural differences between Africans and American Blacks. The show focuses on a relationship between a middle aged businessman and a no-nonsense nurse from Africa.

Billy Gardell (former lead of Mike & Molly) stars as Bob, while Transparent star Folake Olowofoyeku plays cardiac nurse Abishola who tickles Bob's fancy.

In the series premiere, Bob, who owns a pressure stocking company, is rushed to the emergency room after suffering a heart attack. When he awakens, he spots Abishola and immediately begins to flirt with her.

"Do people call you Abby?" he asks her. "No! Go back and wash your hands," she responds.

But Abishola really piques Bob's interest when she sings to him in her native Nigerian language.

Abishola is a single mom (her husband returned to Lagos after he was unable to find a job as a civil engineer in America).

She and her son Dele (Travis Wolfe Jr.) currently live with her relatives Auntie Olu (Shola Adewusi) and Uncle Tunde (Barry Shabaka Henley), who provide comic relief.

Abishola's relatives and friends don't take kindly to Bob - and they certainly can't see him married to Abishola.

One friend Kemi (Gina Yashere) explains, "Top of the list, Nigerian man — same tribe (Yoruba). Then, Nigerian man — different tribe (Igbo). Then, other Africans (except Tunisians and Egyptians). Obviously. Then Caribbean. Then white. Then African American."

Of course American Blacks are at the bottom of the totem pole.

Another friend named Gloria (the wonderful character actress Vernee Watson) takes offense to the disrespect Africans show American Blacks.

CBS hopes Black Americans will tune in anyway.

Actor Anthony Anderson was not amused when comedian Jamie Foxx flubbed his line during ABC's "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons’" special in front of a live audience on Wednesday night.

Read more »

Photo

Fox Television executives are probably rethinking their decision not to scrub all of actor Jussie Smollett's scenes from the 2nd half of Empire's season 5, which returned on March 13 - nearly a month after the disgraced co-lead star was arrested in Chicago for filing a false police report.

Read more »

On Monday night, the MTV Video Music Awards attempted to appeal to the growing Hispanic demographic in the U.S.

MTV tapped Hispanic rapper Cardi B to open the 2018 Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Monday night.

But the show's TV ratings fell far short of 2017's previous record-low audience.

Read more »

Issa Rae

Viewers of HBO hit show "Insecure" were irate when they learned fan favorite Lawrence (Jay Ellis) was not returning for season 3. The series' showrunner Prentice Penny said Lawrence was written out of the show so that Insecure's co-creator, writer and star Issa Rae can grow and mature.

Read more »