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Tavis Smiley kicks off the sixth season of his late night PBS talk show on Monday, January 5, with two-time Academy Award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman.


       Other guests booked during the first two weeks include founder Berry Gordy (Jan. 9), Notorious B.I.G.s mother Voletta Wallace with actor Jamal Woolard (Jan. 14) and Lionel Richie (Jan. 16).      

       On Jan. 20, Smiley will broadcast an Inauguration-Day special featuring highlights from President-Elect Barack Obama’s six appearances on the “Tavis Smiley” show, including his first in March 2004 – four months prior to the rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention that catapulted Obama to the national stage, and only three months into the first season of “Tavis Smiley” on PBS.      

       “We are living through exciting and challenging times,” says Smiley.  “I am so grateful for the continuing opportunity to help advance those conversations that help us stay enlightened, encouraged and empowered.”         

       Additional guests during the first two weeks of the sixth season include Marisa Tomei (Jan. 6), “24’s” Carlos Bernard (Jan. 7), “Frost/Nixon” director  Ron Howard with actor Frank Langella (Jan. 8), “The Mentalist” star Simon Baker, actress Emma Thompson and actor Eric Braeden (Jan. 13), job training expert and author Bill Strickland, author Ben Barber and country star Glen Campbell (Jan. 15).      

       “This is a terrific all-star line up,” says executive producer Neal Kendall. “We’ve challenged ourselves and our viewers. The message is clear: ‘Expect More.’ Our goal is to make our sixth season on PBS the best ever. The range of issues discussed, the wide cross-section of political viewpoints, the in-depth conversations with people we rarely get to hear from – all of these factors contribute to our ability to provide an unmatched viewer experience in the late night TV talk genre.”       

       Additional plans during season six include special remote broadcasts that will be announced early next year.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 12:12 pm
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Lionel Richie has enlisted Akon and Ne-Yo as co-writers on his upcoming album “Just Go,” due Feb. 17 from Island.


      “Just Go” is the follow-up to 2006’s “Coming Home,” which has sold 444,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.      

      The set’s first single, “Good Morning,” was just shipped to urban adult-contemporary radio stations, reports Billboard.com.      

      Richie, the father of socialite Nicole Richie, was due to perform last night on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and Dec. 31 on Dick Clark’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” A world tour begins March 13 in Dublin.