What’s going on in the TV world?

We have so much TV news this week. Let’s get started with this new trailer for Black Lightning. The show is being brought to us by Greg Berlanti and the husband-wife creative duo of Mara Brock Akil and husband Salim Akil. It will premiere Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

grown-ish just introduced us to two of its characters. Played by Beyoncé proteges Chloe and Halle, Jazlyn and Skyler are twin track stars at the same school Zoey Johnson attends. In true black-ish fashion, the short clip managed to be both funny and also drop some social commentary about how black female athletes are treated. grown-ish premieres January 3 at 8/7c on Freeform.

Black Mirror has dropped a new trailer for the episode titled “U.S.S. Callister.” The trailer emphasizes the retro sci-fi feel of the episode. It looks like an homage to the original Star Trek. We follow a new crew member played by Cristin Milioti as she adjusts to life aboard the ship. Since this is Black Mirror, things can’t be that simple. The episode also stars Chewing Gum‘s Michaela Coel. Black Mirror returns December 29.

Dear White People
Pictured: Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe will be joining the cast of Netflix’s Dear White People for their second season. She will play an MC and reality star named P Ninny who stars in a Love & Hip Hop type show called Trap-House Tricks. “I’ve never played anyone like this character,” Waithe said about the role. “What’s so funny about her is that she’s not aware of how she’s coming off to the world. But, she’s a lot of fun. I just got be like really silly and crazy, and say crazy stuff, because that’s what happens in that world.” Just as the characters on Dear White People are going through their own self-discovery journeys, so is P Ninny. It’s also an opportunity for the show to comment on how black people are portrayed on TV.

OWN

Love Is __OWN’s new scripted TV show, has found it’s main cast members in Michele Weaver and Will Catlett. Weaver will play Nuri, a struggling sitcom staff writer trying to make a name for herself while trying to deal with unfulfilling romantic relationships. Then she meets Catlett’s Yasir. He’s an aspiring writer and director going through his own struggles. Currently unemployed, he’s down to his last two unemployment checks and living with his on-and-off again ex. After they meet, Nuri thinks she found the perfect match for her while Yasir finds inspiration to push himself harder. The show is created by Black Lightning’s Mara Brock and Salim Akil and appears to be loosely based on the beginnings of their relationship.

Stephen Glover has signed an exclusive overall production deal with FX. Glover is the younger brother of Donald Glover and serves as a writer and producer on FX’s Emmy Award-winning series Atlanta as well as on the upcoming animated series based on Marvel’s Deadpool. He will develop TV series for FX Networks and other outlets under the new deal. “We appreciate everything Stephen has done to make Atlanta one of the best comedies on TV, taking an even bigger role with his brother Donald on the untitled Marvel’s Deadpool animated series, and now creating his own projects with the same uncompromising artistry,” said Eric Schrier, who is President of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions.

Speaking of FX deals, they just signed one with Sony Pictures Television to develop a tv series based on the popular podcast and book series, Welcome to Night Vale. The creators of the podcast, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, will serve as executive producers. Gennifer Hutchison will also serve as an executive producer as well as adapt the podcast for tv. She is currently an executive producer on Better Call Saul. “We’ve never met anyone in the industry who understands our world and approach to storytelling better than Gennifer does. We are lucky to be working with her, as well as FX – a network with a long history of creating excellent television,” Fink and Cranor commented.

Entertainment Weekly released the first photos from the upcoming backdoor pilot of the Supernatural spinoff Wayward Sisters. The show stars Kathryn Love Newton as Claire. She returns to her home of Sioux Falls, South Dakota only to end up forming a monster fighting group. She’s joined by long-time Supernatural character Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) along with newcomers Alex (Katherine Ramdeen), Donna (Briana Buckmaster) and Kaia (Yadira Guevara-Prip). Clark Backo’s Patience is also part of the group. She’s a strong psychic and the estranged granddaughter of Loretta Devine’s Missouri Moseley. The backdoor pilot “Wayward Sisters” will be the tenth episode of Supernatural’s thirteenth season. It’s set to air on January 18, 2018.

David Giesbrecht/Netflix

Entertainment Weekly also gave us our first peek at season 2 of Jessica Jones. Though Jessica killed her abuser, Killgrave, at the end of last season, he still seems to haunt her. “Jessica is in a pretty dark headspace when we meet her at the top of season 2. What we’ve done again is kept the story very personal. If season 1 was in her head and in her mind, then this season will be more in her heart. It’s still a psychological thriller, but it’s more of an emotional thriller this time,” Krysten Ritter said about her character. Marvel also dropped a short trailer for season 2. Check it out below. The series drops March 8th.

Joanne the Scammer has scammed her way into a scripted tv series. The character was born from the wildly popular Twitter account based around Branden Miller’s alter ego. Super Deluxe will produce the series along with Parks and Recreation writer Joe Mande. Chelsea Peretti, who plays Gina Linetti on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, will also be a producer. As of now, the show isn’t attached to a network.

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© 2016 John Shearer

Mya Taylor will star in a recurring role in AMC’s adaptation of Sarai Walker ‘s Dietland. Previously Taylor appeared in Tangerine. She became the first transgender winner of an Independent Spirit Award for her role in that film. Dietland follows a plus sized woman preparing to undergo weight loss surgery when she finds herself caught between two rival feminist factions. The show also stars The Mindy Project’s Joy Nash and Julianna Marguiles. The script is being written by Marti Noxon who will also serve as executive producer and showrunner.

Neema Barnette will soon be directing an episode of the Amazon series Bosch. Heading into season 4, the show follows a relentless cop attempting to solve the murder of a 13-year-old boy while also standing trial for possibly killing a suspect in cold blood. Barnette has had a long career spanning back to the early 80s. She has directed episodes of The Cosby Show and A Different World. Most recently, she’s directed episodes of Queen Sugar and Being Mary Jane. She also serves as a producer and mentor for new directors on Queen Sugar. Season 4 of Bosch will most likely premiere next Spring.

There’s been a lot of doubt surrounding the future of House of Cards after several allegations against star Kevin Spacey surfaced. The producer of the show, Media Rights Capital, shut down production in November in response to the accusations. Then, Netflix reported that the sixth season would be the last one and they would no longer be employing Kevin Spacey. House of Cards was Netflix’s first original series and remains an important part of their arsenal. This week it was announced that House of Cards will be definitely resuming production for their final season in 2018. The eight-episode sixth season will only star Robin Wright.

Speaking of Netflix firing abusers, they finally cut ties with Danny Masterson. He starred in the comedy series The Ranch opposite his former That ’70s Show cast-mate Ashton Kutcher. Perhaps the most interesting part of this story is how long it took for Netflix to make this movie. Netflix almost immediately moved to suspend production and then fire Kevin Spacey after allegations were made against him. Masterson was allowed to film half of the third season of The Ranch even after three women came forward to accuse him back in March. Masterson will appear in the second half of season 2 starting on December 15th and the first 10 episodes of season three.

If you loved Retta in Parks and Recreation and want to see more of her especially in a leading role, you are in luck. Check out the trailer for the new NBC show, Good Girls. The show is about three suburban mothers who decide to rob a grocery store to help their families. It also stars Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks and The Duff‘s Mae Whitman. It premieres on February 26.

 

In Movie News…

Disney

The visuals for A Wrinkle in Time are gorgeous. Each trailer is a feast for the eyes and a testament to its wonderful CGI and cinematography. That also extends to their posters. This week they released 4 new posters of Oprah Winfrey’s Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon’s Mrs. Whatsit, Mindy Kaling’s Mrs. Who and Storm Reid’s Meg Murry. The film based on the book by Madeleine L’Engle is set to be released on March 9, 2018. If you haven’t yet, you should check out BGN Staffer Brittany’s article: Why Ava Duvernay’s A Wrinkle in Time Means So Much to Me.

At Tokyo Comic-Con, a new reel on Pacific Rim Uprising was released. It contains behind the scenes footage and interviews as well as a few peaks at new scenes. You can read our article on it here.

Marvel Television is working on a new animated film entitled Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors. This will part of a new, multi-platform animated franchise starring the next generation of Marvel heroes set to launch in 2018. The program will launch with six, four-minute digital shorts (which will follow Spider-Gwen with her new secret moniker, Ghost-Spider). The characters in the film include Ms. Marvel, Miss America, Squirrel Girl, Quake from Agents of Shield, Inferno, Patriot, Captain Marvel and the villain Hala. Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors will premiere later in 2018. You can read our article on it here.

In other news about Marvel properties, Sony released the first official trailer for its animated Spider-Man film,  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse at Brazil Comic-Con. The animation looks amazing. Sony found success teaming up with Marvel to release Spider-man: Homecoming this year. Rather than having Tom Holland’s Peter Parker as the protagonist, the animated movie will star Miles Morales. He will be voiced by The Get Down’s Shameik Moore. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are producing the film and it will be released in December 21st, 2018.

Fox

We have our first look at Dark Phoenix. This will be Fox’s second attempt at telling this seminal X-Men story. As we can see from the title, this film will focus mainly on Jean Grey’s (Sophie Turner) transformation into the Phoenix. In the film, the X-Men are finally seen as heroes and are sent on a mission to help stranded astronauts. That’s when something unexpected happens. “Jean absorbs those solar flares and then hurls them back out into space. That’s what triggers, awakens, creates this Phoenix force and voice inside her. What appears to the world to be another heroic victory by the X-Men in saving stranded people in space we realize is the thing that begins the unraveling of Jean and the unraveling of secrets Charles told her,” director Simon Kinberg said when describing what is happening in the first picture.

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Disney/Pixar

We also have a first look at Incredibles 2. Despite the 14 years since the first film, the sequel takes place immediately after the original. Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl have to fight The Underminer, the big bad that popped up at the end of the movie. Violet and Dash stay behind to watch over Jack-Jack. Judging by the picture, the super-powered family will soon end up fighting together again, now with the addition of Jack-Jack.

Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros.

Continuing on the first look train, here’s a new photo from Ocean’s 8. In the film, Sandra Bullock stars as Debbie Ocean, the sister to Danny Ocean. This will be a new installment in the Ocean’s franchise starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt. The target of this all-female crew is the Met Gala and the score will be all those beautiful jewels. The new crew includes Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Sarah Paulson.

The cast of If Beale Street Could Talk continues to grow. Game of Thrones‘ Pedro Pascal just joined the cast. The film is directed by Barry Jenkins whose previous movie, Moonlight, won the Oscar for Best Picture and is based on the James Baldwin novel. KiKi Layne stars along with Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry and Regina King. Layne’s Tish has to find a way to prove the innocence of her fiance and the father of the child she’s carrying. The novel was adapted by Jenkins who is also producing with his Pastel label along with Annapurna Pictures and Plan B.

Quentin Tarantino is getting ready to boldly go into an unexpected franchise. He quickly went from pitching a Star Trek movie to JJ Abrams and Paramount to having a writers room assembled to choose who is going to work on it. Tarantino met with writers Lindsey Beer, Megan Amram, Mark L. Smith and Drew Pearce to go over his ideas for the film. It’s being reported that Smith, who wrote The Revenant, will most likely get the job. Tarantino had one condition, that the film be R-rated, and Paramount agreed to it. Whatever this movie will end up being, it’s definitely going to be something the Star Trek franchise hasn’t seen before.

The first trailer is out for Alita: Battle Angel. The film is based off of the 1990 manga by Yukito Kishiro. The story follows a female cyborg named Alita played by Maze Runner: The Death Cure’s Rosa Salazar in the 26th century. She is found in a garbage dump and repaired by Christoph Waltz’s Dr. Dyson Ido. In addition to being a scientist, Dr. Ido also works as a bounty hunter, a job that Alita soon joins him in. The film also stars Mahershala Ali. While the film is not lacking in the CGI department thanks to James Cameron’s influence, it is another film based on a Japanese property lacking in Asian representation. At least so far. Alita: Battle Angel is directed by Robert Rodriguez and is set to come out on July 20th, 2018.

A new trailer is also out for Ready Player One. Set in a dystopian world where people choose to spend their time in a virtual reality system known as OASIS, the film follows Wade Watts, played by X-Men: Apocalypse‘s Tye Sheridan, as he tries to win a contest that will give him both money and control of the system. Wade soon teams up with another competitor named Art3mis played by Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke. The film is Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Ernest Cline book. It premieres on March 30th.

The set of the Queen biopic has been plagued by problems that mostly stem from its director Bryan Singer. Production on the film stopped on December 1st after Singer couldn’t be located. He failed to return to set after the Thanksgiving break, forcing cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel to step up and helm the project in his absence. Mysterious absences weren’t the only problems with him. He also clashed with Rami Malek, who is playing Freddie Mercury. Tom Hollander, who plays Queen’s manager, also briefly quit the project because of Singer’s behavior. This week Fox announced that Singer was terminated from the Queen film. At the same time, Singer’s production company, Bad Hat Harry, is leaving their offices at Twentieth Century Fox. After his termination, it became very clear that Fox would not be renewing its first-look deal with him. To cap off this week for Singer, he is now being sued for the sexual assault of a 17-year-old boy in 2003. Rumors of Singer’s behavior have been around for years with little effect on his career. We’ll see if that continues in the current environment.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the sequel to 2015’s Jurassic World, released their official trailer this week. You can read our article on it here.

Finally, the deal between Walt Disney Company and Twentieth Century Fox isn’t quite dead yet. Sources say they’re close to finishing it. Fox is trying to sell their film and tv production assets estimated to worth around $60 billion. They are currently in talks with both Disney and Comcast. They have yet to reach a resolution but Disney seems to have the edge on the talks.

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.