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What’s going on in the TV world?

BBC

New series, new Doctor and now a new logo. BBC released the new logo for the upcoming season of Doctor Who. To quote our new Doctor, “Brilliant!” Jodie Whittaker will be taking over as the Thirteen Doctor with new showrunner Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch). Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, Bradley Walsh will be rounding out the cast as the latest companions. The new season will premiere on BBC America this fall.

We have a new trailer for season 2 of Jessica Jones. This time we get to see her going through some much-needed anger management interspersed with scenes from the first season. Needless to say, it’s not going well for our anti-heroine as she has to contend with her past and deal with new traumas, including jail. As Luke Cage said, “Jessica Jones you’re a hard-drinking, short-fused, mess of a woman.” Plan to see more of that in season 2 which premieres March 8.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is coming to the small screen. The Marvel comic is being developed into a series by Disney Channel Worldwide. Black-ish and Grown-ish executive producers Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland are behind the project. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur follows nine-year-old Lunella Lafayette, the smartest person in the Marvel Universe, and her adventures with her large, red dinosaur. The project is still in development but will most likely land at Disney Channel, Disney XD or Disney Junior.

Speaking of animated series, Netflix has just ordered 10 episodes of Tuca and Bertie. The series follows the friendship between two 30-year-old bird-women who live in the same apartment building. Tiffany Haddish will voice Tuca, a cocky, care-free toucan. Her friend, Bertie, is an anxious, daydreaming songbird. The creators and executive producers of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman are behind this project. Haddish is keeping busy. She is also starring opposite Tracy Morgan in TBS’ The Last O.G., opposite Kevin Hart in Universal’s Night School and she also signed a first-look deal with HBO.

Netflix released the teaser trailer for its reboot of the classic 1960’s science fiction series Lost in Space. The 10-episode series is set 30 years in the future when colonization of space is now a reality. It follows the Robinson family as they look for a new home in space. Unfortunately, they find themselves stranded light years away from their intended destination in a strange alien environment. There they have to battle new species and find a way to work together. Falling Skies‘ Taylor Russell will star as Judy Robinson, the brains, and brawn of her family. The series premieres on April 13.

Our favorite Floridian nail technicians are back in the promo for Claws season 2. The first season introduced us to the five ladies who make up the Nail Artisan of Manatee County salon. We followed them as they dealt with money laundering, murder cover-ups, and the mob all while trying to grow their business. Season 2 promises to be more action-packed as now they have to deal with their tenuous relationship with the Russians. The show stars Niecy Nash, Carrie Preston, Judy Reyes, Karrueche Tran, and Jenn Lyon. Claws returns to TNT summer 2018.

Photo credit: Brick Howze

YouTube star Quinta Brunson has landed a leading role in the CW’s comedic drama pilot The End of the World as We Know It. The series from Rob Thomas and Warner Bros. TV is based on the 2012 book by the same title by Iva-Marie Palmer. In the series, a prison ship carrying the universe’s most deadly aliens crashes into Southern California. Two women, Ruby (Brunson) and Kate (Gage Golightly) are recruited to help hunt down the escaped aliens who have all disguised themselves as regular humans. They go from working at a kids’ pizza place in the Valley to becoming space bounty hunters. As of now a release date hasn’t been announced.

Taye Diggs is also making the move to the CW. The Private Practice will be joining the untitled football drama based on pro football player Spencer Paysinger’s life. Executive produced by Greg Berlanti, the series follows Spencer, rising high school football player who moves from his South Central high school to play for Beverly Hills High. Diggs will be Billy Baker, the coach of the Beverly Hills High’s football teams. From a similar background as Spencer, Baker wants to see him succeed even if it brings him at odds with his own son. This is latest show in Berlanti’s CW arsenal. He is an executive producer behind The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Black Lightning and Riverdale.

The CW

Over at the CW’s The Flash, Iris West will be temporarily taking over as the titular character. In the March 13 episode, the Flash team will take on a new meta with the power to swap people’s DNA. He transfers Barry’s DNA and his powers over to Iris. When a threat against Central City pops up, Iris has to suit up as the Flash while Barry stays behind to coordinate the mission. The episode is titled “Run, Iris, Run.”

More cast shake-ups on in line for AMC’s The Walking Dead. Lauren Cohen, who plays Maggie Rhee, could soon be exiting the show. Cohen has been involved in an unsatisfying fight over her season 9 salary with AMC. While she’s isn’t seeking salary parity with the male stars, she still is expecting to earn more money. It’s not a ridiculous request from someone who has been with the series since season 2. She’s also been searching for a new role, which came in the form of the ABC pilot Whiskey Cavalier. The show is being described as “a high-octane hourlong action dramedy that follows the adventures of tough but tender FBI super agent Will Chase (codename: “Whiskey Cavalier” played by Scandel’s Scott Foley) who, following an emotional breakup, is assigned to work with badass CIA operative Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (codename: “Fiery Tribune” played by Cohen). Together, they lead an interagency team of flawed, funny, heroic spies who periodically save the world (and each other) while navigating the rocky roads of friendship, romance and office politics.” If the pilot gets ordered to series, the fate of Maggie in The Walking Dead might be in jeopardy.

CBS has been filling out the casts of its new pilots. Scandal actor Joe Morton will star opposite Brandon Michael Hall in God Befriended Me. The series centers on Miles (Hall), an atheist who finds his life changed after he is friended by God on Facebook. Morton will play Reverend Arthur Finer, the father of Miles (Hall), who while not agreeing with his son’s atheist beliefs still wants him back in his life. Suicide Squad‘s Jay Hernandez has been cast as the lead in CBS’ reboot of Magnum P.I. Thomas Magnum is a decorated ex-Navy SEAL who returns home from Afghanistan and repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator, taking on the cases no one else will with the help of his group of vets. Finally, Phillipa Soo, who played the original Elizabeth Schuyler in Hamilton on Broadway, will co-star in the new drama pilot The Code. She will play Lt. Harper, a hyper-organized and highly capable lawyer in this courtroom drama set in the military.

In Movie News…

Black Panther continues to earn record-breaking numbers. Now it has topped Star Wars: The Last Jedi for the second highest four-day domestic opening of all time with $242 million. It fell just behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens which earned $288.1 million. It set another record as the top Monday domestic gross ever with $40.2 million, this time beating out Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Internationally, it earned $184.6 million giving it an overall total of $426.6 million. It earned $292 million in North America its first week surpassing The Avengers, to become the highest grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe title. Now it’s set to earn around $102 million in its second weekend, making it the fourth-highest second weekend gross in history. Director Ryan Coogler penned a letter thanking fans for their support. You can read it above. Check out Coogler breaking down the Busan chase scene below.

Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan have developed a fruitful relationship. First with Fruitvale Station, then Creed, and now Black Panther. That relationship isn’t over yet. Their next project will be an adaptation of Rachel Aviv’s 2014 The New Yorker essay entitled Wrong Answer. It explores the standardized test cheating scandal at Atlanta Public Schools from the point of view of one middle school. Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing the script. Jordan will play math teacher Damany Lewis. Under pressure to meet unrealistic standardized testing score standards and to save their jobs and school, he and his fellow teachers agree to forge the scores. The real-life scandal led to eleven teachers being convicted on racketeering charges.

After her star turn in the record-breaking Black Panther, Lupita Nyong’o is also moving onto her next role. She has signed on to star in Born a Crime, the film adaptation of The Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s bestselling autobiography Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. Nyong’o will play Patricia, Noah’s mother. She was an influential figure in his life during his formative years. In 2009 she survived being shot in the head by Noah’s stepfather while attending a church service. Noah is producing the film through his Ark Angel Productions. Nyong’o is also set to star in and produce an adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestseller Americanah. Black Panther co-star — and playwright in her own right — Danai Gurira is writing the script.

Black-ish and Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi is currently in negotiations to star in the film adaptation The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. The young adult novel follows Natasha Kingsley who shortly before her family is set to be deported to Jamaica meets and falls in love with Daniel Jae Ho Bae. Yoon’s novel Everything, Everything was adapted into a film starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson last year. Girls Trip scribe Tracy Oliver wrote the script for The Sun Is Also a Star.

Photo by Jason LaVeris

Kiersey Clemons has signed on to play the female lead opposite Gael Garcia Bernal in Z, the new Zorro movie. Written and directed by Jonás Cuarón, the film will reimagine Zorro as a hero in the near future. Clemons had her breakout role in Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope. She currently has a recurring role in TBS’ Angie Tribeca and will play Iris West in DC/Warner Bros.’ Flashpoint.

We have our first look at the upcoming untitled Shaft film. The film stars Jessie T. Usher as the estranged son of Samuel L. Jackson’s Detective John Shaft. He’s an FBI agent who teams up with his father to bring down a drug-trafficking and money-laundering operation in New York City. Richard Roundtree, the original Shaft, rounds out the cast. Tim Story (the Ride Along series) is directing from a script by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow. The three generations of Shaft are decked out in Musika Frere fashion. Designer Aleks Musika posted the photo to his instagram account.

Finally, in comic book film news, Joss Whedon will no longer be directing Warner Bros’ Batgirl film. In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter he said “Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story. I’m grateful to Geoff [Johns] and Toby [Emmerich] and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?” Whedon was brought onto the project in March of last year. The studio hoped that he would bring an empowering tale the DC heroine to the big screen, sort of a spiritual successor to Wonder Woman. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman proved that a female property directed by a female director could find success. Given that success, perhaps Warner Bros. should be more willing to consider a female director for Batgirl too. Then this exchange happened between writer Roxane Gay and Michele Wells, a Warner Bros vice president who also works on DC films. Hopefully, we’ll also see a Roxane Gay penned script for Batgirl.

In Other News…

W Magazine

When W Magazine asked Jordan Peele to direct a photo shoot he decided to once again subvert classic thrillers by taking on Hitchcock. As his muse, he chose singer and actress Janelle Monáe. In the photo spread, a private detective surveys a parade looking for signs of a murder. As she looks closer at the bystanders, she begins to notice they look like her. “I wanted to create a Hitchcock moment that doesn’t really exist in a Hitchcock film,” Peele said. “I didn’t want the Hitchcock heroine,” he continued. “I wanted the Hitchcock hero. That way, we can reclaim this movie that we never got to see. The fear of gender and race robs us of beautiful pieces of film…Putting Janelle in that character is all you need to create my new favorite movie.” Peele also insisted that W Magazine hire hire a female photographer, Collier Schorr. You can check out the entire photo spread entitled Noir Town at W Magazine.

Speaking of Janelle Monáe, she released two videos from her highly anticipated upcoming album Dirty Computer. Last week, I reported on the teaser trailer for the album which will feature visuals throughout the album. So far we have videos for “Make Me Feel” and “Django Jane.” You can watch the “Make Me Feel” video below. That video, in particular, is being heralded by some as a bisexual anthem. You can also hear the Prince influences in it. It’s a treat to watch and listen to.

If you have anything I missed, email me at mel@blackgirlnerds.com or tweet me at @jane_anon. Check back in next Monday for all the exciting news happening next week.

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