or


[07/10/14 - 02:13 PM]
Queen Latifah Stars in and Executive Produces HBO Films' "Bessie," The Story of Iconic Blues Singer Bessie Smith, Written and Directed by Dee Rees, Shooting in Atlanta and Debuting in 2015
Michael K. Williams, Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps, Tika Sumpter, Tory Kittles, Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg, Charles S. Dutton and Mo'Nique also star.

[via press release from HBO]

QUEEN LATIFAH STARS IN AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCES HBO FILMS' "BESSIE," THE STORY OF ICONIC BLUES SINGER BESSIE SMITH, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY DEE REES, SHOOTING IN ATLANTA AND DEBUTING IN 2015

Cast Includes Michael K. Williams, Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps, Tika Sumpter, Tory Kittles, Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg, Charles S. Dutton And Mo'Nique

LOS ANGELES, July 10, 2014 - Oscar(R) nominee Queen Latifah ("Chicago") stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in HBO Films' BESSIE, written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees ("Pariah"). Currently in production in Atlanta and debuting in 2015, the film focuses on Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into "The Empress of the Blues," one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and an enduring icon today. The cast also features Michael K. Williams, Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps, Tika Sumpter, Tory Kittles, Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg, Charles S. Dutton and Mo'Nique. BESSIE is executive produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Lili Fini Zanuck, Shelby Stone and Randi Michel.

Michael K. Williams (HBO's "Boardwalk Empire"; "12 Years a Slave") stars as Bessie's husband, Jack. Khandi Alexander ("Scandal," HBO's "Treme") plays Bessie's big sister, Viola. Mike Epps ("The Hangover," "Soul Men") plays Richard, a bootlegger and romantic interest. Tika Sumpter ("Ride Along," "Sparkle") plays Lucille, a performer and romantic interest. Oliver Platt ("X-Men: First Class," "Fargo," "Chef") plays famed photographer and writer Carl Van Vechten. Bryan Greenberg ("Friends with Benefits," HBO's "How to Make It in America") portrays renowned record producer and music critic John Hammond. Tory Kittles (HBO's "True Detective"; "Olympus Has Fallen") plays Bessie's older brother, Clarence. Charles S. Dutton ("Longmire," "Alien 3") portrays Ma Rainey's husband, William "Pa" Rainey. Mo'Nique ("Precious," "The Parkers") portrays blues legend Ma Rainey.

Award-winning actress, musician, talk-show host, bestselling author and business executive Queen Latifah boasts an impressive list of honors, including a Golden Globe, Emmy(R) Award, Image Awards, Grammys and multiple SAG Awards. In 1993, with Shakim Compere, she formed the successful production company Flavor Unit Entertainment, which manages artists and produces film and television projects.

Latifah was only 19 years old when she was hailed as "first lady of rap" with the release of her hit album "All Hail the Queen." Platinum-selling and multiple-Grammy-nominated titles followed, including "The Dana Owens Album" and "Trav'lin' Light."

She made her film debut in "Jungle Fever" and has since appeared in more than 40 feature films, including "Living Out Loud," "The Bone Collector," "Bringing Down the House," "Hairspray," "The Secret Life of Bees," "Beauty Shop," "Joyful Noise" and several movies in the "Ice Age" franchise. Her role as Matron Mama Morton in "Chicago" earned her Oscar(R) and Golden Globe nominations. She won a Golden Globe and SAG Award and was nominated for an Emmy(R) for her lead role as Ana in HBO Films' "Life Support," a moving, true story about the African-American community's HIV crisis through the eyes of a survivor who is a mother, former addict and AIDS activist.

In 2013, she launched the hit talk show "The Queen Latifah Show," which returns in the fall.

Filmmaker Dee Rees was critically acclaimed for her feature film "Pariah," about a teen who struggles with her sexual identity. It won Best Independent Film from the African-American Film Critics Association and Best Cinematography Award at Sundance 2011, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. The film and Rees also received multiple nominations from the Black Reel Awards and Black Film Critics Circle.

Rees' documentary feature "Eventual Salvation" received a 2007 Sundance Documentary Fund Grant and premiered on the Sundance Channel in Oct. 2009. Her other credits include "Orange Bow," "Colonial Gods," "Inside Man" and HBO's "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts."

The New York Times selected Rees "One of the 20 Directors to Watch" and Filmmaker Magazine called her one of "25 New Faces of Independent Film."





  [july 2014]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
  


· BESSIE (HBO)





[01/16/17 - 11:39 AM]
"Taboo" Delights in FX Premiere
FX further spins the numbers for Tuesday, January 10.

[01/16/17 - 10:02 AM]
"The Great British Baking Show" Returns to PBS for a Fourth Season of Merriment in the Kitchen
PBS also announced it has committed to a fifth season of the series that has previously aired on the BBC.

[01/16/17 - 10:01 AM]
PBS Honors Extraordinary Achievements and Explores Important Conversations as Part of Black History Month Programming
PBS kicks off a new year with documentaries and specials that highlight the African-American experience through content on-air on PBS member stations and online through the PBS Black Culture Connection.

[01/16/17 - 09:37 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: NFL Playoffs Score Big for NBC, FOX
Nearly 49 million viewers turned into FOX at its peak for its Packers-Cowboys showdown.

[01/16/17 - 07:38 AM]
Steelers-Chiefs Score a Record Overnight Rating for a Primetime NFL Wild Card or Divisional Playoff Game
NBC spins the numbers for Sunday, January 15.

[01/16/17 - 05:06 AM]
TEGNA and MGM Launching BOLD, a Live, Interactive, Multi-Platform Program
BOLD will be the industry's first live multi-daypart syndicated show, spotlighting the day's essential stories, information and trending social media content in real-time across multiple screens.

[01/15/17 - 10:05 AM]
PBS and Stations Launch 24/7 PBS Kids Channel, Expanding Access to the #1 Children's Educational Media Brand on TV and Digital Platforms
The free service ensures that PBS Kids' high-quality content is available to all children and caregivers on a platform and at a time that works for them, including primetime, weekends and other out-of-school times when they are most likely to tune in.

[01/15/17 - 10:04 AM]
PBS and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios Celebrate 40th Anniversary of NASA Voyager Launch in "The Farthest" (w.t.)
The twin Voyager spacecraft revolutionized planetary science, resolved key questions about the outer planets and raised intriguing new ones about the evolution of our solar system.

[01/15/17 - 10:03 AM]
PBS and Time Inc. Announce "Beyond a Year in Space"
The two specials explore the human limitations for space travel and what a mission to Mars will require.

[01/15/17 - 10:02 AM]
PBS Announces New Summer of Adventure
Look for six new limited series that take viewers to some of the world's most amazing places and cultures.

[01/15/17 - 10:01 AM]
PBS Series "Nova" Shares the Great American Solar Eclipse with Audiences Across the U.S. in Special Day-of-Event Presentation
On Monday August 21, 2017, America's eyes will be glued to the skies as the mainland United States experiences the first total solar eclipse since 1979.

[01/15/17 - 09:38 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NFL Playoff Coverage Tops Charts for CBS
The Eye's telecast of the Texans/Patriots showdown easily wins the night.

[01/15/17 - 08:41 AM]
"Saturday Night Live" Is the #1 Non-Sports Telecast of the Night on the Big 4 Networks
NBC spins the numbers for Saturday, January 14.

[01/14/17 - 05:06 PM]
AMC Announces 2017 Winter and Spring Premiere Dates for New and Returning Original Series
The cable channel sets premieres for the martial arts drama "Into the Badlands," new epic "The Son" and the Emmy(R)-nominated "Better Call Saul."

[01/14/17 - 05:05 PM]
On the Heels of Three Golden Globe(R) Wins for "The Night Manager" AMC and the BBC Team Up Again with Best-Selling Author John le Carre
"The Spy" is being distributed internationally by Paramount and adapted by Academy Award winner Simon Beaufoy.