Gabrielle Union Shines In New BET Series
BET’s anticipated new show “Being Mary Jane,” starring Gabrielle Union, won’t debut until early next year, but recently the network released a two-hour pilot of the groundbreaking series about an independent, successful news anchor looking for true love while supporting her dysfunctional family.
Also starring seasoned actors Margaret Avery, Omari Hardwick, Raven Goodwin, Richard Roundtree and Tika Sumpter, the Atlanta-based drama “represents real life” and Union as the lead delivers.
“For a lot of us of a certain age, it’s our life,” Gabrielle told “Access Hollywood.”
“Nobody wants to admit to being Mary Jane but there are quite a few of them. I recognize her in my friends, myself and family.”
Created and produced by Salim & Mara Brock-Akil — the husband-and-wife duo behind “Girlfriends,” “The Game,” and “Sparkle — the drama is already receiving critical acclaim for it’s modern take on what it means to be a single black woman balancing a career with love and family.
Former L.A. Focus Writer Nabs Weekly KTLA Gig
Former L.A. Focus entertainment editor, Jasmine Simpkins, now senior producer for Kevin Frazier’s Productions website, “Hip Hollywood”, is moving on up. Simpkins now joins Jillian Barberie Thursdays on KTLA for her new show “Hollywood Mix.”
“It’s exciting. It happened so fast,” said Simpkins, who has also produced for BET, AOL, and TV One. “My boss, Kevin Frazier, had a meeting with them and he suggested that I be the talent for this show. He told me about it, we went in so I can meet everybody, and then boom.”
Barberie, who previously hosted “Good Day L.A.” on Fox, is now at KTLA bringing viewers a mix of one-on-one interviews, celebrity news, fashion, health and beauty tips to the new program, which premiered last month, and has brought “Hip Hollywood” on board to discuss the latest in entertainment news.
“Jillian knows celebrities so my goal is to bring her stuff that she doesn’t already know and bring an interesting perspective to it,” Simpkins said.
“Hollywood Mix” airs daily at 5:30pm on KTLA 5.
Nick Cannon To Relaunch “Soul Train” on NBC
The “America’s Got Talent” host and star of “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” Nick Cannon is relaunching the 70s show “Soul Train” with his NCredible Entertainment production company.
“It means so much for our culture,” said Cannon after revealing that he was a Soul Train dancer at age 15. “There was even a time when Mr. Cornelius pulled me to the side and asked me to host a television show for him. I couldn’t do it at the time [due to contracts]; now, to be a producer as well as a host — in the same capacity he did it, as a great businessman with the brand — is what I plan to do.”
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