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Donald Faison enjoys ride in new ABC sci-fi series


Donald Faison always wanted to be a part of a sci-fi thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. His wish has come true with his role in the absorbing new ABC series “Emergence” airing Tuesday nights.

He portrays newly divorced dad Alex who is forced to get involved when his estranged family is drawn into a hornet’s nest surrounding the mysterious appearance of a little girl, Piper, who may be otherworldly.  

“He’s very concerned for his daughter’s well-being with this new addition to the house,” explained the actor whose numerous credits include “Clueless,” “Remember the Titans,” “Ray Donovan,” “Scrubs,” and countless commercials and voice-over work. “Alex realizes this girl is dangerous and he’s skeptical.”

When asked if he believed there are aliens, Faison replied, “Absolutely, I believe in extra-terrestrials. Do I think that E.T. is going to come and be nice? I don’t know. I think if E.T. does come here, they’re going to try to wipe us out.”

One fun fact about the 45-year-old New York native is that he once hosted “Soul Train.”

“I wore a sweater with some baggy cargo pants trying to feel hip hop-ish,” he recalled about the experience along with being drenched with sweat while talking to people. “Don Cornelius came through and said, ‘We’re going to have you do more.’ I was like ‘OK.’ I truly enjoyed it. Just don’t think I looked the part. Shemar Moore was one of the best hosts on the show ever. That was right up his alley.”

Despite a long career spurred from his childhood love of “Star Wars,” the father of six surprisingly admitted that he hoped they don’t decide to follow in his footsteps.  

“If they do, I will definitely support them for the most part,” Faison said. “I would prefer they find their own lane. As much as it would be nice to be able to help them get their jobs, you have to have the talent to do it. Unless you do, this is a cruel, cruel, cruel business.”

These days, he is abiding words of wisdom from a friend: “Somebody told me to try to maintain my presence. Stay present in the moment and try to have fun with it. That’s probably the best advice I’ve gotten in a really long time because I can go back look at other things I did. I was so nervous and wanted to be accepted so much that I forgot to just enjoy the moment I was in. For ‘Emergence,’ I’m going to try my best to just enjoy the moment.”

YES WE CAN CAN: Original Pointer Sisters Anita, Ruth and Bonnie will re-unite for the first time publicly on Sept. 28 to celebrate the 37th anniversary of their hit song “I’m So Excited” at the Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building.

The ladies will tour “Pointer Sisters Ever After” amassed from their 50 years in show business. “I kept almost everything I wore on stage through the years,” Anita confesses of the collection that took two years to catalog. “It’s a very exciting and fun exhibit, with lots of live videos, posters, jewelry, vintage merchandise — even a disco floor!  It’s all there!” 

OLD SKOOL: NostalgiaCon – The Ultimate 80s Reunion will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center Sept. 28-29.  In addition to epic cosplay, a retro marketplace, vintage car show and the launch of the National Boombox Museum, there will be concerts featuring Doug E Fresh, Sugar Hill Gang, Monie Love and more.

Then there are the film and TV stars. Look for the original MTV VJs, Val Kilmer, the current KFC Colonel Sean Astin, John Schneider (of “The Haves and the Have Nots”), Erik Estrada, Mellow Man Ace, Michael “Turbo” Chambers from the “Breakin’” movies and “The Last Dragon” himself Taimak

SPOTLIGHT: The Los Angeles Black Music and Film Awards is set for 4 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Globe Theatre.  Presented by the Black Music Association and Academy of the Arts, this year’s event will be hosted by the voice of TV One’s “Unsung” Tyrone DuBose, comic Sheryl Underwood of CBS’ “The Talk,” and beloved singer/producer Stephanie Spruill.  

Among this year’s awardees are actors Beverly Todd, Judy Pace and Ernest Thomas; music makers Miki Howard, Jodeci and H.B. Barnum; and film directors Christina Cooper and Christopher Broughton.  

CLIPPETTES: UB40, featuring Ali Campbell and Astro along with special guest Shaggy, bring their 40th Anniversary Tour to Irvine’s FivePoint Amphitheatre on Sept. 27; as Fishbone visits the Glass House in Pomona; and Jazz at LACMA hosts Paulette McWilliams …

As reported by the Detroit Free Press, Motown mogul Berry Gordy has announced his retirement at the age of 89

Gospel singer and radio host Erica Campbell will be signing copies of her new book, “More Than Pretty” on Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble inside The Grove.  In the evening, you’ll find Dionne Warwick at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts; Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra at the Catalina Bar and Grill; and Jazzmeia Horn at The Blue Whale

Guitarist Gary Clark Jr. and UK singer Michael Kiwanuka fill the bill for the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 29

It’s red carpet time on Sept. 30 as Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chiwetel Ejiofor walk the walk of the El Capitan Theatre for the premiere of “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.”  Later rapper BJ the Chicago Kid is at the El Rey

Get your eat on with Nyesha Arrington, Wes Avila, Michelle Bernstein, Daniel Boulud, ​Wylie Dufresne, Duff Goldman, Stephanie Izard, Hubert Keller, Edward Lee, Ludo Lefebvre, Michael Voltaggio and Andrew Zimmern plating the Lexus All-Star Chef Classic (Oct. 2-5) at L.A. Live  

Oct. 3 is Dolemite Night at the Egyptian Theatre with a free first come-first served 10:15 p.m. screening of the 1975 blaxploitation classic starring Rudy Ray Moore.  It is preceded by a 7:30 p.m. advance screening of the Eddie Murphy biopic “Dolemite Is My Name” followed by a discussion with writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander. Brown Paper Tickets is handling advance sales

Concurrently, Chick Corea Trilogy with Christian McBride and Brian Blade joining the legendary pianist hits UCLA’s Royce Hall; New Orleans soul/funk/hip-hop group Tank and The Bangas perform at the Fonda Theatre; and Yanni is in concert at Glendale’s Alex Theatre. 

TC ON TV: Sept. 27 – “The Real” (Syn): Amanda Seales (“Insecure”) finishes her co-host trial with Larenz Tate (“Power”) stopping by. 

Sept. 29 – “Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC): “black-ish” vs. “The Goldbergs” “iHeartRadio Music Festival Greatest Moments” (CW): Clips feature Prince and Mary J. Blige, Pink, Shawn Mendes, Queen and more. “Godfather of Harlem” (Epix): The true story of crime boss Bumpy Johnson (portrayed by Lawrence Fishburne on the big screen in 1997’s “Hoodlum”) is retold in this series with Oscar winner Forest Whitaker in the role.  The fine cast also boasts Giancarlo Esposito, Vincent D’Onofrio, Paul Sorvino, Chazz Palminteri and Clifton Davis as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.  

Sept. 30 – “The Flintstones” (MeTV): Fred and the gang’s classic episodes are re-airing with back-to-back daily episodes 59 years to the day of its ABC premiere as the first primetime animated series.  “9-1-1” (Fox): Ronda Rousey joined the cast then quickly got injured filming this episode dealing with a massive tsunami hitting the Santa Monica Pier.

Oct. 1 – “Mr. Mercedes” (Audience): Tune in to catch Emmy winner Jharel Joseph (“When They See Us”) and Glynn Turman (“Cooley High”) shining as self-centered Judge Raines.  

Oct. 2 – “iHeartRadio Music Festival Night 1” (CW): Camila Cabello, French Montana, Halsey, Steve Aoki and others hit the stage. “David Makes Man” (OWN): The show’s star Akili McDowell is complex as a troubled teen but it is Alana Arenas as mom Gloria who is embodying the hardships of single motherhood in an amazing performance.  

Oct. 3 – “iHeartRadio Music Festival Night 2” (CW): Alicia Keys, Chance the Rapper and many more close the fest.   

TASTY QUIP: “I am so overwhelmed to have lived long enough to see this day. James Baldwin said, ‘It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the Earth as though I had a right to be here.’ I have the right! You have the right! We all have the right!” – “Pose” star BILLY PORTER upon becoming the first openly gay African-American to win an Emmy for Best Actor in a drama series. 

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

By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer