*Production company Electus and Emmy award-winning actress Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment are teaming up to develop television’s first docu-style travelogue about and starring women – Friends in Strange Places (wt) – spotlighting the global adventures of female comedians and their famous friends.
The series will be executive produced by Flavor Unit’s Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere; Electus’ Chris Grant and Drew Buckley; Allison Mandell Hudson (repped by Rebel Entertainment Partners); and Randi Michel. Queen Latifah is repped by Shakim Compere, CAA and Randi Michel.
Featuring some of entertainment’s brightest and most hilarious female comics and their real-life celebrity friends, each episode will document the international travels and escapades of a pair of female stars. The series will celebrate the dynamism of friendships among women as they go off the beaten path – relying on their bond, comic relief and the thrill of making new memories – to sample bizarre cuisines, navigate foreign languages and unfamiliar cultural traditions, and use unconventional modes of transportation as they traverse the farthest corners of the world.
Through humorous and authentic conversations in unusual scenarios, viewers will be given unique insight into who these women are both in front of and behind the camera.
Said Latifah, “There are so many funny, brilliant women in this industry, and – with plenty of successful male-driven travel series out there – a comedic docu-series about sisterhood and adventure is just the type of uncharted territory we want to plant our flag in. I’m so excited to develop a show that not only elevates and highlights female comedians, but also brings them together for an amazing time that will also be a trip for viewers.”
Added Grant and Buckley in a joint statement, “This creative provides a hilarious, unique and personal look at the power of female friendships, and we can’t imagine a more ideal partner, and consummate dynamo, than Queen Latifah and her incredible team at Flavor Unit. We’re excited to take out to the marketplace a project that brings such a fresh perspective.”
Electus is a full-service production studio that creates, produces and sells domestically and internationally a broad range of scripted and unscripted entertainment and branded content to broadcast, cable and digital/OTT platforms around the world. With talent, production and distribution under one roof, the company’s series include Running Wild with Bear Grylls (NBC), Bear Grylls: Face the Wild (Facebook Watch), Wrong Man (Starz), The Toy Box (ABC), Jane the Virgin (The CW), Flaked (Netflix), Darkness (Discovery) and Winsanity (GSN).
Also under the Electus banner are companies Artists First (fka Principato Young Entertainment), Big Breakfast (Adam Ruins Everything for truTV, I Want My Phone Back for Facebook Watch) and Notional (the acclaimed Chopped franchise for Food). Electus has been a pioneer of developing innovative business models that team prolific brands and commerce partners – including Mattel, Toys “R” Us, Walmart and Procter & Gamble – to create global formats with universal appeal. Additionally, the company has struck strategic investment deals with such companies as Hudsun Media (House of DVF for E!) and Tim Puntillo’s Rio Bravo (Food Fighters for NBC).
Electus International’s robust distribution business represents more than 4,000 hours of content sold to more than 220 countries around the world, with Electus Digital creating and distributing original content focused on comedy and animation – including famed CollegeHumor.com as well as Dorkly and Drawfee – and spearheading marketing and media campaigns for leading brands and advertisers. Electus is an operating business of IAC [NASDAQ: IAC]. For more information, visit www.electus.com.
About Flavor Unit Entertainment
Flavor Unit Entertainment is a production company owned and operated by Queen Latifah and her partner, Shakim Compere. Flavor Unit Entertainment, has established itself as one of the most important production companies in the film industry. They began by executive producing Disney’s box office # 1 hit “Bringing Down the House” and have since worked on films such as “Beauty Shop” for MGM, “The Perfect Holiday” for Paramount, “The Cookout” with Lionsgate, and “Just Wright” with Fox Searchlight.
On the small screen, they executive produced HBO’s critically acclaimed film “Life Support” which garnered a number of awards including an Emmy nomination and Golden Globe win for Queen Latifah. Partnering again with HBO, Flavor Unit co-produced the networks’ 2015 original film “Bessie,” which went on to garner numerous accolades including a 2015 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Movie, a 2015 Emmy for Best Television Movie and earned Queen Latifah a 2016 Screen Actors Guild Award for her portrayal of the title role.
Most recently, Latifah and Compere produced “The Real MVP: The Wanda Pratt Story,” “The Best Place to Be,” “Curvy Style with Timothy Snell,” “The Perfect Match,” “The Rap Game,” and the annual VH1 special “Dear Mama.”
The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.
The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.
“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”
Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”
The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.
“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”
Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”
In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.
“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”
Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.
“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”
Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”
New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’
*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.
“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).
It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.
EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.
Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars. As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.
This year has been a year like no other. “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead. Radio Programmers click here for adds.
“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA. Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita. The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture. “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms. Click here to listen on Spotify.
Celebrate Halloween with ‘Spell’ Starring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and John Beasley / WATCH
*Today/TONIGHT is Halloween and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the release of SPELL? Enjoy the clips below to get you in the spooky spirit!
Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All Fears, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star in the terrifying thriller SPELL, coming to Premium Video-On-Demand and Digital today October 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.
While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.
DIRECTED BY | Mark Tonderai
SCREENPLAY BY | Kurt Wimmer
STARRING | Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS | Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.
Rating | R – violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language
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