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)





[06/28/16 - 03:42 PM]
OWN Delivers 2Q 2016 Primetime Growth and Most-Watched Week in Network History
OWN spins the numbers for the quarter to date.

[06/28/16 - 02:37 PM]
Sarah Gadon to Star in Netflix and CBC Miniseries "Alias Grace"
The six-hour miniseries, inspired by the historical true story of convicted murderer Grace Marks, is written and produced by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron.

[06/28/16 - 02:29 PM]
Smithsonian Channel Goes Wild on Wednesdays This Summer with Some of the World's Deadliest Predators
Through five consecutive weeks of one-hour specials, the stunt will span the globe in search of elusive sharks, mighty lizard kings, viper queens, killer hornets and desert lions.

[06/28/16 - 12:31 PM]
Double the Episodes, Double the Surprises on the Second Season of "Cooks vs. Cons"
New episodes begin Sunday, July 10 at 10:00/9:00c on Food Network.

[06/28/16 - 12:16 PM]
Hallmark Channel's Most Recent Original Premiere Marks 4th Consecutive Week with Top HH-Rated Movie of the Week
The Hallmark Channel spins the numbers for the week of June 20-26.

[06/28/16 - 11:18 AM]
All Eyes Were on the 2016 "BET Awards" as 7.2mm Total Viewers Tuned in Across 12 Viacom Networks for the Premiere Telecast on Sunday, June 26
BET spins the numbers for Sunday, June 26.

[06/28/16 - 11:09 AM]
Bravo Media's Lavish Ladies from Down Under Return for a New Season of "The Real Housewives of Melbourne" on Friday, July 22 at 9 PM ET/PT
Newcomer Susie McLean will join returning cast members Chyka Keebaugh, Gamble Breaux, Gina Liano, Jackie Gillies, Janet Roach, Lydia Schiavello and Pettifleur Berenger.

[06/28/16 - 10:54 AM]
"ER Week" Is Back on Discovery Life with Unpredicatble Moments Leading Up to the Premiere of "Trauma Doctors"
These elite doctors take the emergency room to the streets providing on-site medical treatments that are normally only done in hospitals, transforming a patient's chance of survival.

[06/28/16 - 10:50 AM]
ESPN Remembers Legendary Coach Pat Summitt
ESPN Classic will be the home of Tennessee's National Championship title games, where Summitt led the Lady Vols to national titles in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2007 and 2008.

[06/28/16 - 10:35 AM]
U.S. Army Sgt. Elizabeth Marks to Receive Pat Tillman Award for Service at The 2016 ESPYS
Marks is also a member of the 2016 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team and is training for the 2016 Paralympic Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro in September.

[06/28/16 - 10:28 AM]
Heartwarming Documentary "Open Your Eyes," Following Nepalese Spouses on a Remarkable Odyssey to Restore Their Sight, Debuts July 18, Exclusively on HBO
The film follows Manisara and Durga, an aging couple from the remote Himalayan Mountains of Nepal, as they embark on a transformative odyssey to regain the sight they lost over the years by undergoing this life-changing procedure.

[06/28/16 - 10:21 AM]
Diane Sawyer Holds Exclusive Interview with Jaycee Dugard, on ABC News' "20/20," Friday, July 8
Sawyer interviewed Dugard in 2011 when she talked about her horrendous experience in captivity for the first time on the eve of the release of her first memoir "A Stolen Life."

[06/28/16 - 09:24 AM]
SundanceTV Greenlights Original Scripted Series "Hap and Leonard" for a Second Season
Plus: John Wirth will join as showrunner and executive producer.

[06/28/16 - 09:06 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC, "American Ninja Warrior" Hold Onto Top Spot
The Peacock leads the night among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[06/28/16 - 09:05 AM]
Fans Can Now Share Adult Swim Themed Images, GIFs, Sounds, and Custom Bumps With New App
The new Adult Swim Keyboard also features sharable soundboards and animated GIFs from the network's colorful show characters.