OWN PR: Los Angeles – On the heels of OWN’s popular series “The Haves and the Have Nots” comes Tyler Perry’s new primetime drama “If Loving You is Wrong,” premiering on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Tuesday, September 9 with two back-to-back, one-hour episodes from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/PT.
With a diverse cast and storylines ranging from heartfelt to scandalous, the sexy, sleek drama takes viewers into the lives of a group of husbands, wives and friends that live and love in the same middle class neighborhood. On the surface they are true-to-life, relatable people – raising children, working jobs, finding and maintaining romance – but just below the veneer of happiness, their lives are entangled by heartbreak, deceit and lies that threaten to destroy everything.
The season premiere opens in the middle of a torrid affair between neighbors Randal (Eltony Williams, “24”) and Alex (Amanda Clayton, “John Carter”). Randal’s wife Marcie (Heather Hemmens, “Hellcats”) desperately wants children, but Randal’s attention is focused on the wife of his best friend Brad (Aiden Turner, “All My Children”). Just down the street, divorcee Esperanza (Zulay Henao, “Single Moms Club”) is trying to move on with her life, while keeping a budding relationship with Julius (Octavio Pizano, “East Los High”) a secret from her vindictive ex-husband Edward (Joel Rush, “Days of Our Lives”). Meanwhile, neighbor Kelly (Edwina Findley, “Treme”) longs to marry Travis (Denzel Wells) who is away on a relief mission in Haiti and who has promised to help her raise her 8-year-old son, Justice. Outside of the neighborhood, single mother Natalie (April Parker-Jones, “Jericho”) struggles to raise her children in the inner city. Lushion (Charles Malik Whitfield, “Law and Order”), the father of her son Frank, has returned to town and stepped up to the plate to help. In addition, Natalie grapples with the tough decision whether or not to allow her fourth son, Joey (Matt Cook), to return home once he is released from prison.
Throughout the season, “If Loving You Is Wrong” continues to follow Alex, Kelly, Marcie, Esperanza and Natalie on their quest to find love in the midst of managing very complex lives. For these women, love is an ever-present necessity in spite of the high price that sometimes must be paid.
Dallas, TX — GRAMMY®-Award Nominated Vocalist TAMELA MANN appears on ABC’s The View Tuesday, April 22. In celebration of co-host Sherri Shepherd’s birthday, Tamela will perform her mega-hit “Take Me To The King” for her friend and millions nationwide.
“Sherri is a dear friend, and I’m thrilled to be a part of her special day,” said Tamela. “It’s going to be a big celebration and time of fellowship, and I’m honored to be able to share my music with the ladies of The View and people across the country.”
Tamela’s follow up single “I Can Only Imagine” continues its run at Gospel radio this week securing the No. 1 slot for the fifth week.
Tune in to ABC on Tuesday, April 22 at 11a.m. EST to catch Tamela’s performance. Check local listings for further programming details.
ABOUT TAMELA MANN
Tamela Mann is an accomplished NAACP Image Award winner and GRAMMY® Award nominee, 7-time Stellar Gospel Music Award and two-time GMA Dove Award-winning singer, actress, songwriter, producer, and businesswoman. Starring as “Cora Simmons,” the loving and churchgoing daughter of beloved Deacon Leroy Brown and the iconic Madea Simmons on the hit TBS comedy Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns, Tamela makes millions laugh every week while she enjoys a unique personal double blessing. Continuing the role she originated in Perry’s 2004 play and 2008 film of the same name, the sassy, high spirited multi-talented singer and actress is able to work every day with David Mann, her husband who plays Leroy. Tamela’s highly successful, Dove Award-winning CD “The Master Plan” remained at the top of the Gospel sales chart for almost a year, and in 2010, Tamela released “The Master Plan Deluxe Edition” which contained not only all the songs from the best-seller, but David’s CD, “Mr. Brown’s Good Ol’ Time Church,” and a full bonus DVD of behind the scenes footage and music videos. Tamela’s two-time GMA Dove Award and seven-time Stellar Gospel Music Award-winning CD “Best Days” debuted in 2012 at #1 on several music sales charts and includes the #1 single “Take Me To The King,” which earned Tamela her first GRAMMY ® Award nomination for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance. Both the CD and single remained at #1 for a record number of weeks; the CD charted at the top for 15 weeks and the single for more than 25 weeks. Tamela and David’s new cooking and lifestyle show, “Hanging With The Manns,” along with several other film and TV productions, will be released soon.
For more information about Tamela Mann, visit http://www.tillymannmusic.com .
The magazine is launching its first “Black Men in Hollywood” dinner, an intimate affair that will salute the work of Spike Lee, Lee Daniels, Malcolm Lee, and filmmaker Tyler Perry, who will host the event.
The California Endowment’s “Sons and Brothers” campaign, which acknowledges role models for young men of color, will also be recognized.
Honorees will gather on Feb. 26 in Los Angeles on the eve of Essence’s annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, which returns to Beverly Hills to recognize best supporting actress nominee Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave,” Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and writer-director Ava DuVernay.
Madea is back — and this time she’s dressed as Santa Claus in the upcoming film Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas.
A short teaser of the film shows the iconic character employed at a mall as Santa where, one-by-one, kids sit on her lap and share their wish lists.
She quickly becomes irritable and fires off a series of amusing one-liners.
“Y’all been to the North Pole? So have I — I been on the pole,” she says before she stands and gyrates like a stripper.
This is the first clip from the film so far. The movie is expected to hit theaters on Dec. 13.
Dallas, TX — Writer, director, TV and Movie producer Tyler Perry recently spend some time in Dallas, TX for Megafest.
While attending one of the services at Bishop TD Jakes‘ Potters House in Dallas, TX the Madea creator was moved to donate $1 Million to help Jakes build a youth center.
“I’ve just been touched to give $1 million,” Tyler Perry said in the Sunday morning service. “God I don’t know what you’re doing but I heard your voice. “
In response to his huge donation, you could hear screams echoing throughout the sanctuary as congregation met his comment with approval and as he began speaking in tongues. He then said, ” When you hear the voice of God, you move.” His impromptu sermon ended with him laying his hands on Bishop Jakes saying,” I pray the Blood of Jesus will come upon you right now.”
Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey were among the other big names in attendance.
The CEO of OWN — who stars in the film based on the life of a man who served as butler to eight U.S. presidents — added a special note to audiences on the Instagram image accompanying the tweet: “Can’t wait for you all the see it. #theBUTLER.”
While she may be biased towards her own star vehicle, Winfrey is hardly the only person excited for Precious director Lee Daniel’s latest opus. The Butler, which features Forest Whitaker in the title role, is part of a coming crop of African-American films that movie critics are hailing as a stellar season for black filmmakers. Black films make a big comeback. With nearly a dozen African-American-related pictures slated for release in the coming months, the diverse offerings look refreshing compared to previous years filled with family-oriented romantic comedies, Tyler Perry-produced features, or worse few black films at all.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Tyler Perry. What is being celebrated by industry watchers is the scope, breadth, and variety of films in the black genre on tap, and the number that will likely be serious Oscar contenders. The large number of African-American films being released this year comes, as The New York Times points out in a recent feature, after “years of complaint about the lack of prominent movies by and about black Americans.” American Black Film Festival showcases the latest black cinema renaissance: ‘Fruitvale Station,’ and more.
“Black filmmakers say the wave of 2013 releases was built in large part on the creativity that has flourished on the independent-film circuit,” the Times continues.
Events such as the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) have long been part of this network that nourishes black filmmakers. Many of the coming films will be first viewed by the public at ABFF. In addition to the Sundance Film Festival favorite Fruitvale Station, the lineup of films screening at ABFF starting on June 19 in Miami sheds light on the wide scope of issues being tackled by modern black filmmakers. Beyond the festival, upcoming historical dramas The Butler and Mandela, and the holiday film Black Nativity also highlight the range of black films in the works.
Those behind the scenes attest to the renewed opportunities that have fueled these projects, and the hope that this trend will continue. Praising the uptick in quality African-American films. “The only way we can break down these barriers is to continue making movies, to keep pushing, to keep trying,” George Tillman, Jr., director of ABFF’s opening night movie, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, said.
Tillman’s film portrays the challenges of youths surviving in an area of Brooklyn untouched by gentrification. By contrast, the ABFF will close with Kevin Hart’s new comedy documentary, Let Me Explain, shot during his tour stop at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Fruitvale Station address institutional racism and police violence. Playin’ for Love, Robert Townsend’s basketball-themed romantic comedy; Full Circle, about a drug deal gone bad; and Home, focusing on mental illness, all demonstrate how distinct this boon of films is. ABFF Founder and CEO Jeff Friday said that the emphasis this year is less on marketing and selling movies for the festival, and more on spotlighting the ingenuity of these filmmakers.
“We really are now doing things that we can control, and focusing more on developing individuals, and finding opportunities for those individuals’ talent to be showcased,” he explained.
Given the breadth of films at ABFF, as well as those in theatrical release, Friday says it’s definitely a comeback year for black cinema, and a throwback to the “glory days” of the ’90s. “I know how we got away from it, I’m not sure why we came back,” Friday said. Friday’s office recently did a study of African-American movies over the years, discovering that black films and artists thrived in the mid-90s when directors like Townsend, Spike Lee, and John Singleton were in their heyday.
“I say this in a jest, but the black community kind of took [the ’90s] for granted,” he admitted. “What happened in 2000, studios shifted their focus away from niche movies… Now, you don’t move [you’re] stock price until you’ve had an Iron Man or a Star Trek. People think it’s attributed to race, but that’s not true. Hollywood, I don’t think they sit around and plot against us, like, ‘Let’s put out two black films a year.’ I don’t think they do it. It’s driven by money.”
As Friday’s study further found, even the most iconic black films of all time often tapped out at $35 million in box office earnings, a mere pittance by Hollywood standards, even if that might be a handsome return for an independent film. He found the exception to the rule, of course, was Tyler Perry. “If Tyler Perry was happening in the mid-90s when Love Jones came out,” Friday observed, “we wouldn’t be focusing [on him] so much. He would just be one of 15.”
Today, part of Perry’s power is that he can bring in the big numbers, something with which other filmmakers, especially unproven ones, have had to contend. Tillman’s movie stars a top-tier cast including Anthony Mackie, Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks. It was produced by singer Alicia Keys among other influencers. Despite Tillman’s reputable players, the 44-year-old director said it took three years to get this independent project off the ground. It was only possible through outside funding, bucking the Hollywood system.
“I went around to all the studios,” Tillman recalled. “They showed interest in the material, interest in the script, but it came down to [the question]: Who wants to see a film about a 13-year-old black kid surviving with an 8-year-old Asian kid?” After spinning his wheels and exhausting sources, Tillman looked outside Hollywood to find people who believed in his story, and wanted to see something different on screen. He was then able to produce the movie, and later sold it to studio distributors at the Sundance festival.