The Hollywood Shuffle – On Our Radar, 2011

by Latoya Peterson

Mindy Kaling Book Cover

Much is afoot in Hollywood.

According to Vulture, Mindy Kaling’s future on The Office is uncertain. Kaling is both talent and a writer-director; while she may remain in her onstage role, it is unclear whether she will continue to write for the show. In the meantime, Kaling is staying busy with other film roles, her book project (pictured above) and attempting to woo Rainn Wilson toward an Orson Wells biopic by promising blackface. (Joke explained here.)

HBO believes in Treme – it’s been renewed for a third season.

NBC has cancelled Outsourced and the Event. Since Undercovers was also cancelled, what does this mean for NBC’s “More Colorful” promotion? And how will this impact their perception of minority fronted shows?

Stacy Dash returns to the small screen in the Queen Latifah-produced romantic comedy scripted series Single Ladies. She is joined by Lisa Raye, and Charity Shea as the token white friend. Mixed Media Watch ahead: Shea’s character is in a relationship with a black man – and all is not what it seems.


HawthoRNe
and Southland are returning to TNT, meaning Regina King enjoys a fourth season and Jada Pinkett Smith gets a third season.

Rules of Engagement gets a sixth season. The show features Adhir Kalyan as David Spade’s cosmopolitan and cultured assistant…who is generally a dartboard for Spade’s moronic (and sometimes racist) jokes. Not a huge fan of the show (in general, not a fan of D. Spade), but it is good to know Kalyan believes his role will expand.

Nikki Finke reports on Deadline.com that Lee Daniels struggled to get a post-Precious project off the ground:

Daniels said the film came about only after he spent a year post-Precious trying to get his film , Selma off the ground only to see it collapse just as it was nearing production. Daniels told me with all the Oscar success of Precious, not to mention his own Directing and Best Picture nomination that he thought getting projects rolling would be a snap. Not so. He says it is as hard as ever but now is extremely happy things have fallen into place for this film which likely will be aimed for a summer 2012 release according to Lerner who told me this is his 39th consecutive Cannes festival and its been very successful for the company.

His new film, The Paperboy, is described as an “artsy” thriller starring Matthew McConoughey, Zac Efron, Tobey Maguire, and Sofia Vergara. I’m a sucker for artsy action things (I keep hoping to find another Momento) so I’ll add this to the watch list.

Maggie Q still has a gig, since the CW renewed Nikita for another season. Nikki Finke pointed out strong brand recognition and heavy international sales.

Edited: Shemar Moore Forest Whitaker will be searching for new work – Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior was cancelled. (Thanks readers, for the catch! – LDP) CSI:NY is still on, leaving Hill Harper with a gig.

Annie Ilonzeh rolls into the Charlie’s Angels reboot with the heavy title of being the first black Angel. A regular on General Hospital and cast as “the hot girl” in He’s Just Not That Into You and “Beautiful Girl 2″ in Miss March, here’s to hoping this will be Ilonzeh’s breakout role.

BET, riding high of the success of The Game, continues to rebuild its anemic programing line up by re-creating Showtime at the Apollo. Jamie Foxx is attached to the project as an Executive Producer.

According to Shadow and Act, Sam Jackson will be starring in a Neo-Noir thriller called “The Samaritan.” Kerry Washington is putting in work on Eve Ensler’s “The Other Side,” a rape drama set in the Congo, and is finding time to star in Shonda Rimes’ new production Scandal.

Other nibbles that don’t deal with race/POC talent: The Great Gatsby is being remade (but no Adrian Grenier, sorry Entouragers!); Seth McFarlane inked a deal to reboot the Flintstones; Spielberg is rebooting TinTin.

  • CeCE

    I’m glad that Nikita is getting a second season. The last two episodes scared me because I thought that they were going to kill off Nikita and have Alex become the new Nikita. It had me thinking “damn, POC aren’t even safe on shows where they are the main character.” 

  • Wanderinglady

     Detroit 187, which was filmed in Detroit, was cancelled as well.  James McDaniel, one of the stars of the series, told The Detroit Free Press, “We employed more people of color than any show in the history of national network television”.

    • Melissa Silvestri

       I was disappointed that it was canceled. It was a new favorite of mine, so smart and well-written, with a multiethnic cast that didn’t just favor white characters, and though I enjoyed it a lot, I always kept feeling it was going to get canceled because it wasn’t “white” enough and more depressing subject matter.

  • Anonymous

     There’s always BBC or some other British tv show. I know I can’t wait for Being Human to resume. And I’m finally getting into Merlin. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1130483506 Cleo Hines

      I dunno if I’ll be watching Being Human (you meant the Brit version right) anymore, I mean Mitchell is gone…… so it’s kinda like what’s the point? I’m gonna give it like 2 eps to see what happens and if I can get over Mitchell no longer being there

  • thebibliophile

    The Single Ladies clip for me doesn’t come close to what Living Single was…or it doesn’t touch Girlfriends which I still miss.

    What about: (for the young ones) Tristan Wilde  on 90210, there’s the character Bonnie on Vampire Diaries (she still doesn’t have a full storyline, though), and The Good Wife has Archie Panjabi who plays Kalinda, and is freaking phenomenal http://www.cbs.com/primetime/the_good_wife/cast/archie-panjabi/ and the character is fascinating/complex and gets real screen time. She also won an Emmy last year for the role.(http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-02-14/the-good-wife-archie-panjabi-on-playing-the-mysterious-kalinda/#)

    And we all know how Glee feels about folks of color, so I will just tiptoe away from that roaring elephant…

    • Anonymous

      Vampire Diaries is pissing me off with its treatment of black characters which are almost always witches “working” for vampires. They killed off Luka’s sister so fast, we didn’t even figure out why she was working for Klaus. And Bonnie pretty much became a tool second season. And the way they killed Jonas and Luka?! Oh my god, I was so pissed off!! And while I hate Damon’s guts I really hated him when he said “I’d let Bonnie die just to save you” to Elena. He made it sound like it was HIS sacrifice. And that bitch thanked him! SMH. That show is seriously starting to piss me off. And what’s up with Caroline? I mean, the girl is not relevant to the storyline yet all she’s about is romance romance romance! Bonnie does way more than she does and she only gets Elena’s little brother. -_- I really feel like they’re together just to give him something to do b/c he’s no longer relevant. Frankly Bonnie’s too good for most of the men on the show. If not for Elena she would be much more self-preserving. I actually wanted her to interact with Elijah a little more. I find Elijah to be one of the more likable characters and his brother aint that bad. They’re definitely WAY more attractive than Steffan and Damon. 

      But totally agree. Compared to Living Single it seems like nothing. And I didn’t watch Girlfriends. 

      I will look into The Good Wife. :)

      • thebibliophile

         YES. Real talk. Bonnie’s character painfully under developed. The whole purpose of the witches it to a.) preserve nature, which harkens to the old stereotype of Black people and folks of color as being connected to the earth and b.) seemingly to constantly serve the white vampires. Has there been a vampire of color yet? I liked Vampire Diaries (shame-faced, head hanging) because it felt like an antidote to Twilight – Elena doesn’t want to be a vampire, doesn’t have a desire to die, has interests outside of her obsession with a sparkly skinned white man, and she’s getting laid (good for her! i. e.  no denial of sexuality), you know, the little things. I thought it was a descendent of Buffy in its approach.  There seemed to be a more positively womyn-centered subversion and maybe even the possibility for a feminist perspective….right. Then I realized, meh, maybe not so much. Bonnie has no plot development beyond the killing of her grandmother -  and seems in perpetual enslavement to these families. She has no family – we never even see her home, and she betrayed and tricked the only other people of color we ever see on the show. 

        In the most recent episode, they had Damon fighting for the confederacy! Now if that doesn’t make his comments about Bonnie problematic…not to mention historically inaccurate. Yes, its true that folks from WVA  fought for the confederacy but its the less likely scenario considering that WVA did not secede when VA did. WVA didn’t secede at all.  Instead WVA seceded from VA and joined the Union as a free state in 1863.  So why is Damon fighting for the confederates? Side eye.

        Basically, all of these vampire movies, tv shows, and books, to me, are noticeably upholding ideas about white male sexual prowess and domination, and white female desirability and positioning at a time when white maleness is experiencing a different kind of affect vis-a-vis being threatened by the  “other.” So the only way to make it is to be “supernatural.” Dag. I wish I could go back to suspension of disbelief. I really need to remove myself from my couch ;-D

        LaToya – this is a bit OT so if it doesn’t get posted, compeltely understand. :-) 

      • CeCE

        Just wanted to add that so far we have only seen one non black witch. I wish Bonnie got to interact with Elijah he seemed to be the only vampire who respected the witches.

  • http://twitter.com/MsGo MsGo

    I hope for the best for Single Ladies, but I hate that shows about black people tend to have a very narrow definition of what that is.

    Single Ladies does not resonate with me.

  • Anonymous

     The clip for Single Ladies was entertaining. But it makes me kinda sad. Queen Latifah, who made Living Single, has a show where most of the women could pass a paper bag test. Has the US really become this afraid of color? Oh, and I love Lisa Raye. Don’t really know anything about the other two. 

  • Rando

     Please don’t forget the actioner “Columbiana” is being released September 2 starring the incredibly awesome Zoe Saldana.

  • Kendra

    AMC’s ‘Hell On Wheels’, costarring Common as a former slave working on the transcontinental railroad is worth a mention too, I’d say. One assumes if they’re going historically accurate, there’ll be some potentially er, INTERESTING Asian portrayals as well: http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/05/03/first-look-amcs-new-western-hell-on-wheels-trailer/

    • ch555x

       SMH…if I have to hear another ex-Confederate seeking revenge story again, I’ll burn my own cross!  I’d rather have Common in the role of revenge seeker…:)

  • Wyrmofbooks

    Er, based on the link,  it is Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior that is being cancelled, not the original show.  So goodbye to Forrest Whitaker, not Shemar Moore

    • http://twitter.com/carmensognonvi Carmen Sognonvi

      Whitaker’s a great actor, but even he can’t convince me that he’s a leather-jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding, cool guy. 

  • Anonymous

    correction: criminal minds isn’t cancelled, criminal minds: suspect behavior is cancelled. so Forest Whitaker is out of a tv gig

  • Vodalus

    Ok, in that “Single Ladies” clip, that final line made me crack up big time.

  • K*

    I thought that Outsourced was really hard to watch and used a lot of stereotypes about India for jokes. They made fun of the stereotypical hick American, too, but the movie Outsourced was infinitely better, more watchable, and frankly less racist.

    • http://twitter.com/carmensognonvi Carmen Sognonvi

      Yeah I’m not sad to see “Outsourced” cancelled. As full of suck as that show as, I gotta say that the bright spot for me was  Parvesh Cheena, who plays Gupta. LOVE HIM! Really hope he gets a new gig soon.

      • K*

         I liked him a lot, too! I have seen him playing small roles in other sitcoms in the past, so hopefully this really boosts his status so he can get some other gigs.