*Power producer Tracey Edmonds is known for doing the culture a great service by providing quality entertainment in the form classic films and series, including “Soul Food” “College Hill,” and “Jumping the Broom.”
Now she’s gearing up for her new BET series, “Games People Play,” starring Lauren London, Sarunas Jackson, Parker McKenna Posey and Jackie Long.
“I used to tell people, I love working on shows that I would watch,” Edmonds tells MadameNoire. “I really feel like television viewers are hungry for the next really juicy, soapy, nighttime drama to watch, and that’s what we have here.”
According to the report, the show follows, “a high-profile couple going through some major dysfunction privately and publicly. We also meet the people around them who are associated with their drama, and very soon into the show, are witnesses to a murder investigation everyone gets caught up in,” writes the outlet.
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“This story is all about the L.A. high-life and that all that glitters is not gold,” Edmonds said of the series, which premieres Tuesday night at 10/9c. “I’m an L.A. girl and I’ve been through enough in my own personal story. Definitely, all that glitters is not gold in LA and in these high-profile power-couple relationships where people have to smile when they’re in public and then go home and deal with challenges and struggles. And really, we’re exploring that with this show. We have three really dynamic characters and we’re seeing the world of this L.A. high-life through their eyes.”
A breakdown of those characters is as follows:
Lauren London portrays Vanessa King, the wife of basketball star Marcus King, played by Jackson. Karen Obilom plays Nia, a struggling, talented journalist stuck doing salacious stories. Parker McKenna Posey plays Laila, a floundering actress trying to get ahead by any means necessary, the report states.
“We’ve got really strong female characters, which is something that really appealed to me. And I think there’s going to be something about all three characters that audiences can relate to,” Edmonds added.
“My taste is pretty diverse and I kind of do projects of all genres, but the projects that I most connect with are the ones where I have a personal connection with the story,” she said. “So whether it be Soul Food, I came from a really close African-American family where my grandmother was the matriarch and we’d gather at her house for Thanksgivings and stuff, so that story I really connected to. In this story is a story as well that I really connect to. Being a professional woman in Los Angeles and having to navigate my personal life with my career and family trying to balance it all, there’s a lot in all of the characters that I connect with.”
Edmonds also had the chance to spend time with London and her longtime love Nipsey Hussle shortly before his untimely death last month.
“It was such an unexpected tragedy and the timing of everything was just crazy,” she said. “Literally, Thursday, a few days before, we saw him with Lauren. That was our last day of production, and he came to spend time with all of us on set. I just keep telling everyone, I was so blown away by the love the two of them had. It was beautiful for me to see a young couple like that, and to see Black love like that.”
“He was so proud of Lauren, so he was there with her on her last day of work,” she continued. “He was telling me how proud he was of her and how proud he was of her work on the show and he was so excited about the show and everything. They had their arms around each other and were just so proud of each other and were just such a solid, beautiful couple. To see the tragedy happen just a few days later, it just blew me away. Nipsey was a beautiful, amazing spirit and he was a beacon in the community. The legacy he leaves behind in terms of all the community enrichment he did and community empowerment, he’s going to be missed by so many people.”
Meanwhile, Edmonds says viewers of “Games People Play” will find the characters quite resonating.
“In our story, there are a lot of secrets going on, a lot of lies, a lot of things people aren’t revealing and telling,” Edmonds said. “There’s a lot of stuff you’re uncovering in each episode.”
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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