What’s going on in the TV world?

Westworld released their first formal trailer for their second season during the Super Bowl. The trailer starts with beautiful scenes of the Westworld resort narrated Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores Abernathy. Things quickly turn dire for our cast. Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard Lowe and Thandie Newton’s Maeve Millay also make appearances.

Netflix has dropped a trailer for their new comedy series, On My Block. The show was co-created by Lauren Iungerich (Awkward) along with Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft (All Eyez on Me). It’s described as “a coming-of-age comedy about four bright and street-savvy friends navigating their way through the triumph, pain and the newness of high-school set in the rough inner city. It’s set in a predominantly Hispanic and African American part of South Central LA, and follows a fearless foursome as they enter high school and confront the challenges of adolescence and their neighborhood.” It stars Diego Tinoco (Teen Wolf) as Cesar Diaz, Jason Genao (The Get Down, Logan) as Ruby Martinez, Jessica Marie Garcia (Disney’s Liv and Maddie) as Jasmin, Sierra Capri as Monse Finnie and Brett Gray as Jamal Turner. The 10 episode series will premiere on March 16.

 

New photos of the upcoming season of Jessica Jones were released this week. We get a couple of hints about what this season will bring. It looks like Jessica will spend some time in prison between investigating. Rachael Taylor’s Trish and Eka Darville’s Malcolm are getting in on the action. Carrie-Anne Moss’ Jeri Hogarth looks very contemplative. Season 2 of Jessica Jones starts streaming on March 8.

Netflix is moving into programming for younger audiences. Part of that programming will be the new series, The Prince of Peoria. The 16 episode series will be similar to 1988 film Coming to America which starred Eddie Murphy as an African Prince who travels to Queens to find a wife. In The Prince of Peoria a 13-year-old prince from a wealthy island kingdom travels to America. There he lives incognito as an exchange student and strikes up a friendship with another boy who is his opposite in every way. No casting announcements have been made yet but hopefully, the prince will at least be black considering the inspiration. Sharla Sumpter Bridgett, Kerry Washington’s former producing partner, will serve as an executive producer.

Showtime’s The Chi has been renewed for a second season. Created and executive produced by Lena Waithe (Master of None) and executive produced by Common, the show has averaged four million viewers per week with the last episode earning 41 percent more viewers than the premiere. Ayanna Floyd Davis (Empire, Hannibal) will serve as an executive producer and showrunner for the second season. “From viewers and critics alike, the response to The Chi has been so enthusiastic from the very start that our decision to renew the series was an easy one. We love the vibrant characters and the nuanced world that Lena has created. Her vision for The Chi has clearly struck a chord, and we know she has many more moving, personal and resonant stories to tell about her beloved hometown,” said Gary Levine, President of Programming, Showtime Networks. The second season will begin filming later this year.

Hulu has released a trailer for Castle Rock. A collaboration between J.J. Abrams and Stephen King, the 10 episode series take places in a multiverse based on King’s novels. The name comes from a fictional town in Maine that served as the setting for various stories. André Holland stars as a death row attorney named Henry. He returns home to Castle Rock after receiving a call from Shawshank prison, the same one in Shawshank Redemption. The series additionally stars Melanie Lynskey, Jane Levy, Sissy Spacek, Bill Skarsgård, Scott Glenn and Terry O’Quinn.

The cast of Gabrielle Union’s untitled Bad Boys spinoff has grown with the addition of Ernie Hudson. Union will reprise her role as Special Agent Syd Burnett, an undercover DEA agent and the sister of Martin Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett, from the Bad Boys sequel. In the series, she is starting fresh with a new job as an LAPD detective. She finds a partner is Nancy McKenna, who hasn’t been cast yet. Hudson will play Joseph Burnett, Union’s father. The series has been ordered to pilot by NBC.

IMDB/Disney

Once Upon a Time continues to bring our fairy tales to life with new storylines and new characters. Jeff Pierre, star of Freeform’s Beyond is joining the cast as Prince Naveen. The character is described as “a fun-loving, freewheeling adventurer who cares little about the dangers of the world. At least, that’s how it appears. In truth, Naveen’s easy exterior hides a heart struggling with a tragic past. One he is determined to make amends for, even if it means sacrificing everything he loves in the process.” He will be introduced in the March 9 episode “A Taste of the Heights”.

Warner Bros has two Superman prequels in the works. There’s Krypton on SYFY and now Metropolis. While Krypton takes place on the planet long before Superman’s birth, Metropolis will take place here on Earth. A straight to series order has been made for DC’s digital streaming service. According to Variety, the show “will follow Lois Lane and Lex Luthor as they investigate the world of fringe science and expose the city’s dark and bizarre secrets”. The first season has a 13 episode order with an anticipated debut in 2019. John Stephens and Danny Cannon, writers and executive producers on Gotham, will serve as executive producers for Metropolis. Stephens will also serve as showrunner. Cannon will direct the first episode from a script by Stephens. This will be the fourth series on DC’s digital service following Titans and Warner Bros Animation’s Harley Quinn and Young Justice: Outsiders.

CBS recently picked up the pilot for Red Line. Executive produced by Ava DuVernay, the series follows the shooting of a black doctor by a white cop in Chicago. Three families connected to the event are centered. Erica Weiss and Caitlin Parrish (Supergirl) will write the pilot and co-executive producer. Warner Bros Television-based Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter will also serve as executive producers. CBS also ordered a reboot of L.A. Confidential.

Finally, in case you missed it, Tracee Ellis Ross announced that she will soon be directing an episode of black-ish. Recently, Ross made news as part of the #TimesUp conversation when it was revealed that she made significantly less than her co-star Anthony Anderson. This follows in the wake of other women, including Kerry Washington, directing episodes of their shows.

In Movie News…

Last night’s Super Bowl gave teaser trailers for Solo: A Star Wars Story and Avengers: Infinity War. In Solo, we see that Han at one point tried to joined the Empire as well as a very clean Millennium Falcon and Lando looking fine in a winter coat. In the Infinity War trailer, we see more teams ups and Captain America with his new Wakandan made shield.

With the releases of the much anticipated Black Panther in February and Avengers: Infinity War in May, it’s easy to forget another Marvel movie is coming out this year. Ant-Man and the Wasp is set to come out July 6 and this week they released the first trailer. Directed by Peyton Reed, it stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne. Together they are the titular characters. Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John Kamen, Abby Ryder-Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Laurence Fishburne round out the cast.

Also in the superhero realm, the hits keep coming for Gambit. Production has been placed on hold with no indication of when it will start back up again. It was set to start filming in New Orleans in March. They still haven’t found a new director after Gore Verbinski left last month so it’s not surprising that the schedule would be pushed back once again. With a release date of next summer, they still have time to course correct hopefully with a more realistic budget. According to Screen Rant, Gambit has a budget much larger than similar solo superhero films Deadpool and Logan.

Check out the trailer for the new Netflix dramedy Irreplaceable You. It stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michiel Huisman as childhood sweethearts Abbie and Sam. Newly engaged, they should be at their happiest when they’re confronted with the tragic news that Abbie (Mbatha-Raw) has cancer. Knowing that she doesn’t have much time left, she embarks on a journey to find a replacement to take care of Sam once she’s gone. The trailer promises moments of levity amongst the dark subject matter, mainly provided by the members of Abbie’s cancer support group played by Christopher Walken, Kate McKinnon, and Steve Coogan. Irreplaceable You starts streaming on Netflix February 16, two days after Valentine’s Day.

Expect an Aretha Franklin biopic and for Jennifer Hudson to play her. Clive Davis made the announcement at his pre-Grammy party. “When the biopic of the great Aretha Franklin is filmed next year, the artist anointed by Aretha herself to play her is the next performer. Aretha personally told me that last week. This artist to us is a transcendent performer. She stops any and every show she’s in. Her voice is truly incredible. When they ask, ‘Where’s the next Aretha, where the next Aretha will come from?’ I say it’s [Hudson],” Davis said. MGM has acquired the rights and will finance the film. Straight Outta Compton‘s Scott Bernstein and music producer Harvey Mason Jr. will produce.

© 2015 Getty Images

Shameless star Shanola Hampton has been cast in the psychological thriller, Through the Glass Darkly, along with Robyn Lively. Hampton and Lively will play Amy and Charlie, two women who team up to solve the recent kidnapping of a local girl. The case is reminiscent of the disappearance of Charlie’s daughter. First-time feature director Lauren Fash will take on the project. Fash and Susan Graham wrote the script. Graham will also serve as a producer. Filming is scheduled to begin next month.

Advance ticket sales for Black Panther continues to break records. Within 24 hours of going on sale, Black Panther quickly outpaced advance sales of Captain America: Civil War. Now Black Panther advance ticket sales are higher than any other superhero movie including DC/Warner Bros’ Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It has become Fandango’s top-selling superhero of all time. Ticket sales surged after the world premiere and the lift of the social media embargo. Fandango surveyed a subset of ticket purchasers. They found that 97% are looking forward to a different kind of superhero movie; 93% were excited to see Chadwick Boseman in his own movie after seeing him in Captain America: Civil War; 86% are excited to see the Dora Milaje; and 85% are interested in seeing Wakanda.

Finally, in addition to the world premiere last week, Kendrick Lamar also released the art and tracklist for the Black Panther soundtrack. It comes out this Friday.

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.