Danielle Brooks as Mahalia Jackson in 'Mahalia' on Lifetime

Mahalia Jackson Finally Gets the Treatment She Deserves in Lifetime’s ‘Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia’

When thinking of great Black female role models across history, one who stands out is Mahalia Jackson. She may not be well known outside of the musical sphere, but Mahalia was an important figure in the civil rights movement. Now she’s finally getting the (television) treatment she deserves in Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia, a biopic looking at Mahalia’s gospel career and the effect her music had on history. Mahalia is played by Danielle Brooks, formerly of Orange Is the New Black. The actress is Juilliard trained, and in this project she gets to show off her phenomenal voice (Brooks won […]

Hairspray Live cast NBC

We talk with Hairspray Live! star Harvey Fierstein!

Even after two decades in a celeb-packed career, “bucket list” moments can still happen. Picking up the phone and hearing the ten-packs-of-cigs-and-a-barrel-of-rye wonder that is Harvey Fierstein’s voice growl, “Looorrrrrrrri! Are you ready for me, Looorrrrrrrri!” is one of them. A big one. A “maybe I can make this my ringtone” one. I was most certainly ready for Harvey. And for the next half hour, the Broadway legend shared with me his thoughts on the impact of live performance,  TV versus theater and — the reason for the call in the first place — Hairspray Live!, Fierstein’s second live production with NBC, which premieres tonight […]

Hairspray Live cast

Hairspray Live! We Talk NBC’s Latest Live Masterpiece with Harvey Fierstein and Maddie Baillio!

A peek at the news is all you need to reckon that America needs Tracy Turnblad now more than ever. The fearlessly sunny poster girl for body positivity, self-esteem, racial equality and the power of a good set of dance moves is the creation of avant-garde auteur John Waters, who made her the centerpiece of his 1988 feature film Hairspray. The quirky tale of the Rubenesque teen’s quest to star on, then integrate, her favorite local dance show in 1960s Baltimore was only a minor success, but its do-right-and-dance message resonated with veteran Broadway producer Margo Lion, who hired a […]

Tony Bennett Celebrates 90

NBC’s Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: We talk with the star of the show!

On a balmy September night in New York City, “Tony Bennett” has just taken the Radio City Music Hall stage. Except it’s not the Tony Bennett — the iconic crooner who marked his 90th birthday a month before. It’s actor Alec Baldwin, sporting an exact replica of the real Tony Bennett’s wavy, steely mane. Greeting his chortling audience, Baldwin launches into a bang-on Bennett impression, noting that “when you’re 90, any day above ground is cause for celebration,” then asking for a round of applause for the fire exits, just in case there’s a 90-candle birthday cake somewhere in the […]


The Dresser — Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen shine in Starz original film

The play’s the thing in The Dresser. King Lear, to be exact. And whether — apologies, Hamlet — it is to be or not to be. And a pair of Sirs make Starz’ upcoming film adaptation of the Ronald Harwood play a must-see, whether you’re a Shakespeare lover or not. The Dresser follows Sir (Sir Anthony Hopkins), an embittered, once-famous actor whose star has faded to twilight in a local Shakespeare troupe. As Sir’s anger and despair get the better of him — and World War II rages across England — Sir’s faithful dresser Norman (Sir Ian McKellen) tries to ensure that Lear […]


Grease: Live — Julianne Hough is the one that FOX wants as its Sandy!

Grease: Live premieres Sunday, Jan. 31 at 7pm ET on FOX Julianne Hough has been hopelessly devoted to Grease since she was a little girl. Growing up in a creative family, the Dancing With the Stars favorite says she and her siblings loved to act out the music-filled 1978 film that starred Olivia Newton-John as good-girl Aussie transplant Sandy and John Travolta as her greaser beau Danny. And though Hough’s three older sisters arguably had dibs on the best roles, she laughs, “I was in my own world, so I was playing Sandy regardless if I was supposed to or […]

PBS Jackie Robinson

#TCA16: PBS partners with NPR on Election 2016, gears up for Post-Downton Era

PBS announced new programming initiatives for 2016 at the TCA Winter Press Tour: PBS has entered into a strategic partnership with NPR to share news content between the two organizations as part of its PBS Election 2016 news, public affairs, documentary and digital programming surrounding the year’s politics. PBS and NPR team up to integrate content on PBS.org (beginning in February) and on the Politics section of NPR.org. PBS announced 16 for ’16 (working title), a 16-week documentary series that spotlights unforgettable presidential and vice-presidential candidates whose campaigns weren’t successful but earned them a significant place in the history books. Subjects […]

Kennedy Center Honors
Awards Shows

38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors special on CBS Tuesday

Singer-songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa and actress and Broadway star Cicely Tyson are the honorees recognized for their contributions to the arts in The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors two-hour special on CBS Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 9pm ET/PT. President and Mrs. Obama are among the guests attending the ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Photo: Credit: John P. Filo/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Matthew Morrison, Kristin Chenoweth headline TLC’s Broadway at the White House

Though it’s best known for a myriad of oddly addictive reality shows and specials, TLC gets artsy this Thanksgiving eve with its star-studded hourlong special Broadway at the White House. Hosts Matthew Morrison (currently starring in Finding Neverland) and longtime Broadway favorite Kristin Chenoweth join First Lady Michelle Obama as they welcome a group of specially chosen  high-school students for a once-in-a-lifetime, all-day symposium at the White House focusing on careers in theater. • MORE: See First Lady Michelle Obama address the Broadway at the White House audience here With the help of current Broadway performers, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue transforms into a space for students to nurture […]