Salim & Mara Brock Akil Exiting BET, Ink Deal with WBtv
The prolific husband and wife duo known for TV shows “Girlfriends,” “The Game,” and “Being Mary Jane” are parting ways with BET Network in May 2016 to sign a three-year deal with Warner Bros TV to develop original programming for the studio through their Akil Productions.
The couple first joined BET in 2009 when the cable network picked up comedy series “The Game,” after it was cancelled by the CW. The show’s BET debut set ratings records with 7.7M viewers. Mara created and both are executive producers of “Being Mary Jane,” the network’s first one-hour scripted series, starring Gabrielle Union. Mara will continue as showrunner, segueing to an executive consultant when her WBTV deal starts.
Mara also created and executive produced “Girlfriends,” which ran for eight
seasons on The CW. Salim directed features “Sparkle” starring Whitney Houston, and “Jumping The Broom” starring Angela Bassett.
Faith-Based Film ‘War Room’ Makes $11 Million Debut
“War Room,” a Christian drama by Georgia-based filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick opened up to an outstanding $600K and made $11M by the close of the weekend despite playing in only 1,135 theaters. Interestingly, NRG thought “War Room” would only pull in $3M total. Faith-based films, however, always seem to surprise and War Room was placed No. 2 behind "Straight Outta Compton," which earned $13.2M for the third consecutive weekend.
“When we started writing the plot, it occurred to us that this movie would be more powerful or passionate as told from an African-American perspective,” Alex Kendrick told The Reporter. “I’m not sure it would have been as heart-grabbing if we hadn’t done that.”
“The African-American church is more visceral, they are more expressive and there is a powerful passion to their prayers,” Kendrick, a former pastor, continued.
Missy Elliott; Rihanna Join The Voice
Hip hop superstar, Missy Elliot will be joining the voice as an advisor for Pharrell Williams’ team. The 44-year-old will be bringing her hip hop expertise, particularly focusing on her ability to dominate a stage. Rihanna will also be appearing as a mentor joining the show as a competition-wide advisor to contestants.
The Voice premieres Monday, September 21.