The Rundown: Keeping Up On Pop Culture Randomness

And now for your fix of what’s going on with the black n’ brown folks behind the scene in entertainment, the ones you really have to root for because if Angela Bassett’s gonna get work, these people are her best shot.

This week features CW’s “The Game” getting picked up by BET, Shonda Rhimes getting a new show green-lit and screenwriter Ken Rance getting to be the brother behind a Renee Zellweger Rom-com.

BET getting in “The Game.”

The cable network has acquired off-net rights to the comedy series from CBS TV Distribution and will begin airing segs from the show’s first two seasons in February. Deal also gives BET rights to the third season, currently set to air on the CW starting in the fall.

CW has yet to reup the “Girlfriends” spinoff for a fourth year, but sources close to BET said the network is in talks with CBS about possibly adjusting the show’s economic model so that original episodes could be produced for the MTV Networks-owned basic cabler, should CW ultimately pass.

“The Game” stars Tia Mowry, Wendy Raquel Robinson and Brittany Daniels as wives and girlfriends of professional football players.

The show marks the first series acquisition made by Barbara Zaneri, the former Choice Entertainment prexy who recently joined BET as exec VP of acquisitions.

“This is something I went after the minute I got to BET,” she said. “Not only does it have really fresh African-American stars, but it has a great lineup of guest stars. People like Robin Givens and Vivica Fox — these are people who are regularly on our network.”

This is actually GOOD news for The Snob. Not because I watch “The Game.” (Because I’ve never seen an episode), but because it means BET might be getting into doing original, scripted TV … even if it’s a show they jacked from somewhere else!

And I’m a principle writer on a TV drama that is being pitched around … maybe to BET? It just happens to be a hour-long drama set in the 1950s jazz/gospel music scene of Watts in Los Angeles, Calif., based on famous Central Avenue. It features two sisters and all the black people if cast would be breathtakingly GORGEOUS! … Like, you would turn the show on once a week and drool. You know? Because I love The Sexy. But that is ALL I CAN TELL YOU FOR NOW! Other than if it gets picked up by anyone, it will be the awesome!

I promise.

More details will unfold at a later date on my personal journal page!


Shonda Rhimes getting a new show to possibly make great, then later destroy! This one set in the land of television!

Shonda Rhimes shifts from doctors to journalists in her third pilot project for the ABC network.

The creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” will executive produce a new drama about the TV-news business called “Inside the Box,” Variety reported. The show is set at a network’s Washington bureau.

This project is separate from the 2006 pilot Rhimes sold to ABC about a group of female correspondents. That project was ultimately set aside to concentrate on the “Grey’s” spinoff “Private Practice.

I have this love/hate thing going on with Shonda. On one hand, her amazing success with “Grey’s Anatomy” was like my own person Barack Obama is President moment before Barack became president because it is one of my many dreams to make it as a screenwriter and Shonda did it and was producing her own hit show and was winning Emmys and dancing all over the place and she did “color-blind” casting, producing this wonderful, talented, diverse cast on “Grey’s” and characters that I loved.

Sigh. She was my Oprah, ya’ll.

Then something went terribly, terribly awry after Denny “died” and the Ferry disaster. And there was Isaiah’s “Chokegate/gay slur” fiasco and the character assassination of almost every character I used to like, save Sandra Oh’s Cristina Yang. And then just making characters magically “gay” rather than introducing an actual gay character. Then un-gaying the fake gay character when the stunt gaying didn’t work.

And then I was all hating Shonda. And then she took Addison off the show and gave her “Private Practice” and I can’t even watch it no matter how much I like Audra MacDonald because I have an unnatural hatred for Taye Diggs based on nothing but sheer irrationality and his boringly bland handsome face. (Something about the man just BUGS me. Or maybe my heart still yearns for Isaiah’s “I’m better than you” Washington’s wonderful arrogance and acting skills. No one plays insufferable brilliant bastard like that man. Have you ever seen “Mixing Nia?” Or “Dancing In September?” You don’t know whether to screw him or murder him! Which is how I felt when he was on Grey’s.)

And now Shonda is doing a show about TV News, something I LOVE! Journalism? Something ripe for rich, fun drama? But what if she just fills it with bed-hopping and folks who turn their stunt gayness on and off with a switch? Noooooooo! Shonda, please. You’re my hero. I want to BELIEVE again!

Also: Key to fixing “Grey’s?” Three words: Jill. Marie. Jones. SERIOUSLY! Make her a hospital executive sent in to fix that place up and drive everyone mad with both fury and desire. Pretty please.

That, and just kill Izzie already. Please.


African-American screenwriter Ken Rance penned new Renee Zellweger/Harry Connick Jr. Rom-com “New In Town.”

A graduate of Howard University’s School of Communications, Rance worked his way up from an office production assistant on the acclaimed TV series ‘Roc’ to an assistant at the William Morris Agency. He subsequently went on to attend training programs and workshops, honing his skills as a writer. He based the film on his own experience.

Tracey Edmonds produced the film. Yet another person who I want to love and believe in, but I always wind up hating. (“Who’s Your Caddy?” Really, Tracey? Really? And who divorces Babyface! WHO? He wrote “Soon As I Get Home From Work.” Even if he was just bullshitting that whole song, he’s still BABYFACE! What happened there? And Eddie Murphy? Nooo!)

Anyway, like all writers, Rance admits he didn’t get to be involved in much of the casting or movie making process at all. (Filmmaking is really a director’s realm. Writers are often treated like the half-breed, idiot stepchildren even though they came up with the thing the director is using for their “masterpiece.”) But he still got a movie made and it did OK …

All right. It did crappy, coming in eighth at the box office, pulling down $6.8 million, (by contrast Liam Neesom’s “Taken” revenge-murdered its way to $24 million), but I’m still rooting for you, Rance! It’s not your fault! You sold your screenplay and they did WHATEVER THEY WANTED to it.

And I probably won’t see it because it sounds almost exactly like the pilot of the ABC series starring Anne Heche (You remember — or don’t remember — “Men In Trees,” where the skinny, urban blonde goes to Alaska to meet “real menfolk!” Hijinks ensue!), but, hey, gotta give the man some props! Renee Zellweger! That’s A-list, baby! Even when released in the dead of winter on Super Bowl weekend while produced by Tracey Edmonds, who produced crapfactories like “Good Luck Chuck” and “Josie and the Pussycats.” She’s like, one for 16 with “Soul Food” being the only thing she’s touched I thought was worthy of adoration.

Why? Tracey, why? You’re pretty and you have a degree! Why won’t you be good so I can love you!

11 thoughts on “The Rundown: Keeping Up On Pop Culture Randomness

  1. First, good luck on your endeavors, Danielle. And secondly, I feel your love and hate for Shonda. I used to LOVE Grey’s Anatomy. Now you’re lucky if I watch a full episode. And you may want to give Private Practice a try. Taye Diggs is not on there that much so you can just close your eyes or turn the channel when he comes on. You may miss vital points of the plot but atleast you can begin your love for Shonda again. And I like the idea of Jill Marie Jones being part of the cast. She needs a gig and that would be a great boost for her career and their ratings.

  2. LOL! I haven’t been able to watch Gray’s since the end of the first season. And why does that pic of The Game look like some CGI video game shot? Creepy!They should just stick a fork in Girlfriends. I like Monica, she was doing her thing. They shoulda got rid of Mya not Toni. I can’t STAND Mya! Ugh!

  3. Okay so maybe I’m just die-hard but I still watch Greys ….though I do co-sign on killing off Izzy and her crazy Denny-seeing self. I suppose its my intense love for Yang and Bailey that keeps me coming back for more. I’m just so Christina Yang.

  4. @ JiovanniI’m a complete Jill Marie Jones pusherwoman. Between her, Isaiah Washington and Wentworth Miller, I think they could improve just about every show. If I was an exec. they would get sick of me going "Can Jill do it?" over and over. But I’m pretty sure Jill wouldn’t complain. Besides, I think it’s time an undeniably gorgeous black woman was on a TV drama that actually is the best looking woman on the show. Not the comic relief. Not short and stout (no offense Bailey, I love you. You’re just the least sexy person on the sexy show and you happen to be the black woman). I just dream of this so I can live vicariously through.Jill could also fix Desperate Housewives. Why Alfre Woodard when they could have had a winner with Jill and someone like Blair Underwood as her hubby? Do they not realize how many people would tune in just to watch the sparks fly off THAT?ANYWAY …@ HollinsprincessI’m not much better. I’m still watching the show too, screaming, "JUST DIE ALREADY!" at both Denny and Izzie, praying something will save it from itself.

  5. I, too, have a love/hate relationship with Shonda. Private Practice should have never come into fuition. There was no reason to create a spin-off for Addison. Addison is one of my favorite characters on Grey’s. She was on of the reasons why I loved the show. Callie was the other reason (let me just say I hate what Shonda has done to her character). I would watch Grey’s and actually feel for the characters, root for them, cry with them. Yes – I was really into the show. Now they all get on my nerves and I think every single one of them needs to go away – except McSteamy (need the eye candy). They’re nothing but caricatures.And yeah….kill Izzie already. PLEASE! And take Meredith with her!

  6. Yay for Ken Rance. This just goes to show that excellence can trump connections. He went to Howard and I’m over the moon.

  7. What I wouldn’t give to have seen the original movie as Ken Rance intended starring Gabrielle Union or Angela Basset. Instead, the directors produced yet another cookie cutter version of city mouse versus country mouse ala Brigit Jones Goes to Fargo. Needless to say, I will not be viewing this movie.

  8. I sooo miss Dr. Preston Burke. After he left I just couldn’t stomach Grey’s anymore. Same thing happened with Girlfriends when my JMJ left.

  9. Yes, I am still faithful to Grey’s but I agree that the characters have changed drastically. What has happened to Meredith? Sometimes I find myself not even caring if she makes an appearance or not but the show is NAMED after her. Oh, and that Denny thing has been pissing me off! I’m glad that’s over. This week looks really good so we’ll see. Private practice is okay; I think ABC made a smart move by putting it right on after Grey’s. However, I agree with the person who is upset that Addison had to leave in the first place. It’s like the show is completely unnecessary. Last comment: I would love to see Toni (JMJ) on anything!

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