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BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Tracy Morgan returns to TV as ex-con in new TBS series

Comedy superstar and multiple Emmy nominee Tracy Morgan returns to television April 3 starring in “The Last O.G.,” a new TBS comedy series that he executive produces alongside creator and executive producer (and Oscar winning screenwriter for “Get Out”) Jordan Peele.

The sitcom centers on Tray (Morgan), an ex-con shocked to see just how much the world has changed when he is released from prison after a 15-year stint. Returning to his newly gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood, he discovers that his former girlfriend, Shay (played by emerging, breakout star actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish), has married an affable, successful white man (Ryan Gaul) who is helping raise the twins (Taylor Mosby and Dante Hoagland) Tray never knew existed.

Wanting nothing more than to connect with his kids, but having neither the money to support them nor himself, Tray falls back on the skills he learned in prison to make ends meet while treading on unfamiliar territory.

“The Last O.G.” also stars Cedric the Entertainer as the head of the halfway house where Tray is staying, and Allen Maldonado as Tray’s cousin Bobby, who helps him adjust to life on the outside. Look for Chrissy Metz (“This is Us”) and Malik Yoba (“Designated Survivor”) to guest star in future episodes.

LEGENDARY: Caught up with the great Patti LaBelle as she unveiled her sensational Come As You Are Tour before a sold-out crowd at The Township in South Carolina.

After a hit-filled performance by hometown girl Angie Stone, the multiple Grammy Award-winning singer came out with her “New Attitude” and tore up the stage for 17 show-stopping numbers. LeBelle performed with an impressive 12-piece band including renowned trombonist Jeff Bradshaw, who has a new recording due in June; and Kyla Jade, who is featured this season on “The Voice.”

Unlike a number of her peers these days, the taking of photos and videos was actually encouraged with some brave fans actually rewarded with lilies! At the end of her encore of “Over The Rainbow,” one guy handed her an album to sign. Miss Patti simply kissed the cover to everyone’s surprise!

LaBelle is in fine voice and looks amazing at 73. This tour is not to be missed, but in the meantime, you can check her flexing some fine acting chops Wednesday nights as the mother of Queen Latifah’s Carlotta Brown on Fox’s Lee Daniels drama “Star.”

ON AIR: LL Cool J’s “Rock The Bells Radio” has launched on SiriusXM channel 43, curated and presented by LL, as well as other rap innovators including Ice Cube, Stetsasonic, Eric B. & Rakim, Outkast, Kool Moe Dee, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Ultramagnetic MCs, Too Short, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Wu-Tang Clan, Run-DMC and De La Soul. LL says, “If you wanna be a fly on the wall in the world of classic hip-hop, [this] is for you.”

CLIPPETTES: Tessa Thompson is reuniting with her “Thor: Ragnarok” co-star Chris Hemsworth in a reboot of “Men in Black” to be helmed by F. Gary Gray (“Straight Outta Compton”)

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has acquired the Weather Channel in a deal valued at approximately $300 million

Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton”) will sign copies of his book “Failing Up,” on April 2 at Barnes and Noble on Grove Drive; where the next night also at 7, comic/actor Mike Epps will sign “Unsuccessful Thug”

A biopic on choreographer Alvin Ailey is in the works with company artistic directors Robert Battle and Emerita Judith Jamison behind the scenes, with Alicia Keys producing

Nate Parker, the “Birth of a Nation” director/actor whose career was derailed by the revelation of previous sexual harassment charges pre-#MeToo, is about to make a film based on the life of LAPD detective Ralph Waddy called “Black & Blue”

Samuel L. Jackson, Penn Jillette, director James Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron are some of the celebrities offering testimonials of a healthy diet in the enlightening documentary “Eating You Alive,” screening in U.S. cinemas only on April 5. Visit www.FathomEvents.com for details

During ABC’s “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg announced that she has joined the cast of Tyler Perry’s “The List,” making him the only director she’s filmed with twice. Also on board are Tika Sumpter and Omari Hardwick …

“Mulatto Math: Summing Up The Race Equation in America,” starring Monique DeBose and directed by Denise Dowse, is being staged at Sherman Oaks’ Whitefire Theatre through May 6.

TC ON TV: March 30 – “First Match” (Netflix): Elvire Emanuelle portrays a high school girl raised in foster homes who tries to reconnect with her ex-con father (Colman Domingo of “Fear The Walking Dead”) by joining a boys wrestling team. “Rapture” (Netflix): This eight-episode series from Mass Appeal’s Sacha Jenkins shines a light on hip-hop culture with a diverse swath of artists — Nas and Dave East, T.I., Logic, 2 Chainz and Just Blaze. “Tanked” (Animal Planet): Keyshia Cole gets her dream aquarium. “33rd Annual Stellar Awards” (TV1): Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Travis Greene, Le’Andria Johnson, Kierra Sheard, KeKe Wyatt, Snoop Dogg and others perform in this taped ceremony which also features a Mary Mary reunion!

March 31 – “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN): Trina Braxton “It Happened Here” (Reelz): Notorious B.I.G. & Tupac Shakur

April 1 – “Autopsy: The Last Hours of …” (Reelz): Muhammad Ali. “Jesus Christ Superstar Live” (NBC): John Legend stars in this Easter Sunday adaptation of the iconic Broadway rock opera with Alice Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon, Norm Lewis and Sara Bareilles. “Martin Luther King Jr: One Man and His Dream” (Reelz): Marking the 50th anniversary of his assassination, this two-hour documentary special shows viewers the landmark locations and influential figures in King’s life including Rev. Al Sharpton, Ambassador Andrew Young and singer/activist Harry Belafonte and more.

April 2 – “Epic Warrior Women” (Smithsonian): Africa’s Amazons “King In The Wilderness” (HBO): This two-hour documentary, which debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, is described as “an intimate account of the final years of MLK.” “Flipping Virgins” (HGTV): Egypt Sherrod returns for a third season of important real estate tips.

April 3 – “Fary Is The New Black” (Netflix): The French comedy star gets a stand-up special.

April 4 – “Empire” (Fox): Tisha Campbell-Martin and Nicole Ari-Parker guest-star as a girl group from Lucious and Cookie’s past. “I Am MLK Jr.” (Paramount/BET): Filmed in historic churches where King preached and heightened by the music that buoyed the civil rights movement, this special also adds perspectives from U.S. Rep. John Lewis, athletes Carmelo Anthony and Malcolm Jenkins, CNN’s Van Jones and civil rights activist Diane Nash.

April 5 – “Project Runway All Stars” (Lifetime): The 90-minute finale pits the last three designers before guest judges Catherine Zeta-Jones and Zac Posen.

TASTY QUIP: “Everyone is on a time delay. Some white people know hip-hop better than I do. Culture has shifted. Pop culture is not black. It’s not just one culture. Urban is not defined by color, it is defined by flavor.” – MARLON WAYANS to Paste

 

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to tastyclips@yahoo.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.