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Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:20 am
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Wayne Brady, Corbin Bleu, Audra McDonald and others will appear at a press conference next month to announce the nominees, honorees and other details for the 40th NAACP Image Awards.       

      Winners will be revealed on Feb. 12 during a live telecast on Fox, The ceremony coincides with the NAACP’s 100th anniversary.


       As reported earlier, Halle Berry and Tyler Perry will co-host the awards show.  Previously announced honorees include former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, who will be presented with the NAACP Chairman’s Award.


       Tickets for the show – ranging from $50 to $500 – will be available through Ticketmaster beginning in early January.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:40 am
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Oscar winner Halle Berry and actor-screenwriter Tyler Perry will host the 40th NAACP Image Awards, which will broadcast live from Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, Thursday, Feb. 12 (8 p.m. to 10 p.m.) on FOX.


       Nominations for the annual awards show that recognizes the artistic achievements of people of color and honors projects and individuals that promote diversity in the arts will be announced Wednesday, Jan. 7 in Los Angeles. Performers and presenters will be announced shortly.      

       Previously announced honorees include former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, who will both receive the Chairman’s Award.      

       The event, which coincides with the NAACP’s 100th anniversary, is executive-produced by Vicangelo Bulluck and will kick off the organization’s year-long centennial celebration.


       “We are extremely honored to have former Image Awards winners Ms. Halle Berry and Mr. Tyler Perry host this historic event,” said Image Awards Chairperson Clayola Brown. “Halle and Tyler have broken many barriers in the entertainment industry. In this historic centennial year, their successes remind us of the immense progress that has been made in the last 100 years and gives us continued hope for the progress that our nation will achieve in the future.”




Filmmaker Tyler Perry and R&B superstar Mary J. Blige are among the luminaries to be saluted at the second annual “BET Honors.”


       The ceremony will be held on Jan. 17 and double as a kickoff to the network’s festivities surrounding the inauguration of America’s first black president, culminating Jan. 20 with BET’s first-ever Inaugural Ball.


       Magic Johnson, dance pioneer Judith Jamison, style guru B. Smith and South Carolina Congressman James E. Clyburn were also chosen to receive BET Honors, to be hosted by actress Gabrielle Union and broadcast on the network Feb. 9 at 9 p.m.      

       “‘The BET Honors’ recognizes excellence in achievement and celebrates inspiration,” said the network’s programming head Stephen Hill. “Last year’s inaugural show had a number of leave-your-seat performances dedicated to our honorees. This year, we’re finding new ways to musically pay tribute so look forward to fresh, unforgettable moments. The pride will show.”


       BET’s Inaugural Ball, to be held at DC’s Mandarin Oriental hotel, will benefit America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest non-profit alliance dedicated to the well-being of children and youth founded by Colin and Alma Powell.       

       Additionally, the Ball will support two institutions that are committed to the education and advancement of today’s youth in Washington, D.C. – Dunbar High School and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.


       Also during the historic inaugural weekend, BET will air a one-hour special, “Yes We Will! BET’s Inaugural Celebration” on Jan. 20.



Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryann Hayman @ 12:02 pm
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Actor-screenwriter Tyler Perry has emerged victorious in a federal copyright infringement lawsuit brought against him by a woman claiming his film “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” was based on her play.


      Jurors in Marshall, Texas found that Donna West did not provide enough evidence to support her claim, according to the Associated Press. In her lawsuit filed in May 2007, West argued that Perry could’ve lifted material from her play “Fantasy of a Black Woman” when it was performed three times in 1991 in Dallas, or gained access to the script in 1998 when he presented his plays at the Dallas Black Academy of Arts and Letters.     

       Perry, who testified during the trial, insisted that his screenplay is an original work.       

       “We are very pleased that the jurors understood that Tyler Perry is an incredibly talented person who has no need to copy the work of others,” attorney Veronica Lewis said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.      

       West, who lives in North Texas, asked for damages and profits made from Perry’s 2005 film, which earned some $50 million in theaters. Her attorneys plan to seek a new trial.      

       “Obviously we’re very disappointed. We thought we’d made our case,” said Willie Briscoe, one of West’s attorneys. “I believe that we conclusively demonstrated that Mr. Perry had access to Ms. West’s work, that there were striking similarities between her work and his work.”


       Also named in West’s lawsuit: the actor’s company, Tyler Perry Inc., because it sells the movie online and by mail; and Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc., which funded and distributed the film.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:09 pm
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Whoopi Goldberg, Tyra Banks, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry appear on Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Smartest People in TV, a list of small-screen titans who are driving today’s sharpest shows and deals.


       Goldberg and her co-hosts on “The View” were listed at No. 25.5 for “juicing their ratings by pumping up their political banter.”  During election week, “The View” reached No. 1 in total daytime viewers for the first time in 12 seasons.


       Banks, 35, ranked No. 23 on the list. EW noted, “She’s still in the running towards becoming America’s next top TV mogul. Her talk show (moving from syndication to The CW next fall) has the youngest median age in daytime, and ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ which just completed its 11th cycle, remains The CW’s highest-rated series. (Spin-off ‘Operation Fabulous’ launches next year.) Now the Emmy winner is developing other reality projects that fit the Banks ‘brand,’ like ABC’s upcoming ‘True Beauty,’ and she recently branched into film with the direct-to-DVD tween drama ‘The Clique.'”     

       Winfrey came in 6th on the tally because “her talk show still rules daytime, her first foray into reality (‘Oprah’s Big Give’) averaged 11.6 million viewers, and she’ll launch her own network — appropriately named OWN — in 2009,” said EW. “Her production company, Harpo, responsible for daytime hits ‘Dr. Phil’ and ‘Rachael Ray,’ will debut a new series next fall with Oprah staple Dr. Mehmet Oz. All this and she was funny on 30 Rock (‘Sweater capes!’).”


       Atlanta-based mogul Perry ranked 4th for proving that “one need not exist within the borders of Hollywood to become an industry heavyweight. Through his Tyler Perry Studios, he created and produced ‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’ — and persuaded TBS to buy 90 additional episodes in 2006 after a 10-show run earned major ratings. Then in August, he struck a deal with the cable net to produce a new sitcom, ‘Meet the Browns,’ based on his hit play and movie. The biggest sign of his growing success? This fall, Perry ditched his 70,000-square-foot studio for a twice-the-size production complex in Atlanta, which includes five soundstages and a backlot.”      

       Seth MacFarlane, the executive producer of “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and the forthcoming “The Cleveland Show,” topped the list. EW noted: “The apple-faced prankster secured a full-season order for a ‘Guy’ spin-off called ‘The Cleveland Show,’ and he still manages to find time to shoot his Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy Web shorts (and animated ads) for a separate deal with Google. With Guy reruns airing approximately 20 hours a week on various networks, it’s no wonder MacFarlane is now the highest-paid writer in TV.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 11:35 am
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Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” is running in the middle of the pack when it comes to cable sitcoms, but among the African-American audiences it targets, it tops anything else on television, reports Broadcasting & Cable.


       Among African-American adults age 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, “House of Payne” is the No. 1 show in all of network primetime, all of cable and all of syndication, according to its live-plus-seven (people who watch a DVR, VOD, or PC viewing of the show within seven days of its airing), season-to-date and gross-average-audience. The rating includes double-runs on stations and its cable run on TBS.           

       In primetime, “House of Payne” beats such ratings giants as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “Desperate Housewives” and “CSI” in all African-American adult demographics, notes the trade publication.       

       Among syndicated shows in black households, “Family Guy” comes closest to “House of Payne” at a 4.9 among adults 18-34. Among adults 18-49, NBC Universal’s “Maury” inches out “Family Guy” at a 4.2 to a 4.1. And among older African-American audiences “Judge Judy” and “Oprah” are in third and fourth at a 5.1 and 4.3, respectively.      

       In primetime, Fox’s “Family Guy” is “Payne’s” closest competition among African-Americans 18-34 at a 5.2. ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” wins third place among African-Americans 18-49 at a 5.2, followed by CBS’ “60 Minutes” at a 4.8. And among older audiences, “CSI: Miami” takes third at a 6.5, followed by “CSI” at a 6.1.



Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryann Hayman @ 10:08 am


Tyler Perry is in a Texas courtroom this week facing allegations of copyright infringement by a woman who claims material from his 2005 film “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” was stolen from her 1991 play, “Fantasy of a Black Woman.”


      Donna West is suing the actor-screenwriter in U.S. District Court and is seeking all profits made from the film, reports the Associated Press.


       “I can’t put my play on because the stories are basically the same and nobody wants to see that again,” she said.


       Jurors on Tuesday watched Perry’s film and listened to a reading of the script from West’s play. West testified that her script was based primarily on her own experiences. With her in the starring role, the play was performed in July 1991 at the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters at the Dallas Convention Center.      

       “The play was open to the public. Anyone could have attended,” West said.      

       In her opening remarks to the jury, Perry’s attorney, Veronica Lewis, said her client is an “immensely talented” individual “who has no need whatsoever” to use the materials of others.      

       U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis told jurors he anticipates the case will be completed by next Tuesday.