The big news at this year’s Turner Upfront promotional caucus in New York was that TBS landed Charles Barkley for a multi-year contract extension for the Emmy award-winning “Inside the NBA” sports show, also featuring Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson Jr. and Kenny “The Jet” Smith.
The annual soiree, a trendy industry staple that promotes upcoming TV shows to ad execs, typically has dozens of highlights. Among this year’s high points:
• Barkley’s ridicule of O’Neal’s many products endorsements. “Shaq sells soda giving folks diabetes,” he deadpanned.
• O’Neal asks Sharon Stone, the star of TNT’s “Agent X,” if she would she marry him.
• When “The Jet” complained of Barkley texting him during his reality show “Meet the Smiths,” Sir Charles tells him: “Kenny, You have a beautiful family, but I don’t care what y’all do at home.”
Upcoming shows that appear promising are TBS’ Rashida Jones comedy “Angie Tribeca”; the first “Live Nation Awards;” CNN’s “The Eighties;” the inaugural “NBA Awards Show;” and “The Dunk King,” a reality competition for $100,000.
Meanwhile, W. Kamau Bell, comic and former host of FX’s “Totally Biased,” will go places blacks don’t frequently visit in his CNN series “United Shades of America.” Bell explained: “Like a Klan rally, like Alaska, and Asheville [N.C.].” It premieres next Black History Month.
The high-profile event featured bellinis and mimosas, passed pulled pork sliders and franks in blankets. In the house were: TNT’s Jennifer Beals (“Proof,” produced by Kyra Sedgwick), Sean Bean (“Legends”) and Ed Burns (“Public Morals”); CNN’s Lisa Ling, Michaela Pereira, Bill Weir and Morgan Spurlock; HLN’s Robin Meade; TBS’ Conan O’Brien, and Gerald McRaney (Sharon Stone’s co-star, last seen in “House of Cards.”)
Embattled CNN anchor Don Lemon told TASTY CLIPS he could care less what folks think of him on social media, saying it’s all good for business. “I have an opinion too,” said Lemon before breaking into a big grin and laughing.
ONE VISION: “I feel like I’m the opening act for Ricky Martin,” former President Bill Clinton told the mad men and media assembled for the morning Univision Upfront at NY’s Lyric Theater on 42nd St. “We all do,” replied his interviewer, Fusion “AM Tonight” host Alicia Menendez.
Under the theme of “This Way Forward,” Clinton discussed subjects ranging from immigration to entrepreneurial opportunities. He got deep on his recent trip to Africa, referencing original man in Tanzania, before being abruptly told to “wrap it up” by Menendez.
They were openers, after all.
Trailers for “Esmeraldas,” “La Vuida Negra II,” “El Color de la Pasion” and the comedic telenovela, “Antes Muerta Que Lichita” led into the a.m.’s only non-presidential standing ovation for Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld, best known as the beloved “Don Francisco,” retiring longtime host of “Sabado Gigante.”
The network is creating a scholarship in Francisco’s honor and he promised to be visible. Univision, whose flagship station is L.A.’s KMEX, also will air the Miss Universe pageant, and America’s first nationally televised Social Media Awards.
As for Martin, before closing the presentation with a sizzling set, it was announced he’s returning as judge with fellow music star Alejandro Sanz for a second season of band talent search “La Banda.” The series, which counts Simon Cowell as a producer, will get a spin-off searching for a Latina supergroup.
THE MINGLE: TASTY CLIPS met the lovely Mica Hughes from BRAVO’s reality show “Blood Sweat and Heels,” at the Univision luncheon held at Manhattan’s cavernous Gotham Hall. This fete, with umbrellas and twirling girls overhead, had empanadas, tacos, spicy chicken and rice, sliders and granitas. The signature cocktail was a mix of vodka, lime and Jarritos, a popular Mexican soda.
MORE UPFRONT: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was outside the tents of the Fox Upfront in Central Park pointing out the first visible star to a small group. His “Star Talk” show on NGC May 25 has President Jimmy Carter stopping by.
Andy Samburg, named host of the Emmys, gave a taste of his dry wit by observing the success of diversity in television. “Now that the networks have learned this, I’m sure it’ll never be a problem again,” quipped Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star.
CLIPPETES: Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, and Duran Duran are headliners for the third annual Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival, Sept. 25-27 in Las Vegas. Along with Imagine Dragons, Kid Cudi, Hozier, Run The Jewels and Ghostface Killah, pop-up appearances from celebrity chefs and local dining hot spots serving their best are promised…
Apparently, Janet Jackson has a tour along with a Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis produced album on the way…
B.B. King’s Bluesville, the channel created by SiriusXM in partnership with the music icon, is inviting listeners to share personal memories, favorite songs and more at 866-267-0454 during their tribute programming over the Memorial Day weekend…
FX’s “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson” has found its Bronco-driving A.C. Cowlings character in Malcolm Jamal Warner… The 10-episode series will debut this fall…
Ex-slave turned famed lawman Bass Reeves will be the subject of a HBO miniseries produced by Morgan Freeman, and written by John Sayles…
A biopic of Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of slain civil rights martyr Emmett Till, is in development by Chaz Ebert, the wife of the late film critic Roger Ebert…
“Who Is Gil Scott-Heron?” screens at The Regent Theater (448 S. Main St.) on May 28. Check out clips from the film and as well as a just released album called “Nothing New” at www.gilscottheron.net.
TASTY QUIP: “Does anyone perform live anymore? Really? That’s why it’s about OldSkool, #notafraid#idare2bereal#ICON#BringIt#Billboards2015” – SHEILA E on Facebook
TC ON TV: May 22 – “The Lincoln Awards” (PBS): Arturo Sandoval, Aloe Blacc, Gregory Porter, Harvey Keitel, Rhiannon Giddens and Jerry Lewis salute military families…
May 27 – “Celebrity Wife Swap” (ABC): Hines Ward/Verne Troyer…
May 28 – “Lip Sync Battle” (SPIKE): Queen Latifah takes on Marlon Wayans in the season finale.
LISTEN HERE: Now that you’ve seen the unforgettable Queen Latifah in the biopic of “Empress of the Blues” Bessie Smith, you can pick up “Bessie (music from the HBO Film).” The album features “Gimme A Pigfoot and A Bottle Of Beer (2015 Remix),” a postmodern mash-up of the two giants; modern performances of classics including “Laugh Clown Laugh,” by Cécile McLorin Salvant; and authentic recordings from Fats Waller & His Rhythm, Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra, Sippie Wallace and Kid Ory’s Creole Orchestra.
TASTY QUIP: “Nobody that put out records 25 years ago is going to have a No. 1. Not Paul [McCartney], Stevie [Wonder], Bruce [Springsteen], Mick [Jagger] or Keith [Richards]. Not Prince, not anyone. So if [Mariah Carey] can get on the radio, we’ve done damn good. Would we like to have a No. 1? F— yeah, I’m greedy. But it’s not realistic.” – Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. REID to Billboard,
“Tasty Clips” is an entertainment column published in The Wave to update readers on the activities and accomplishments of black celebrities and artists on television, in music and at the movies. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to email@example.com.