STILL STAR-CROSSED - ABC's "Still Star-Crossed" stars Wade Briggs as Benvolio, Lashana Lynch as Rosaline and Sterling Sulieman as Prince Escalus. (ABC/Ed Herrera)
It's May! Here's what you can look forward to during the month in terms of new black cinema and TV programming. So mark your calendars for whatever you have interest in below! Links take you to full write-ups on each project, with trailers, posters, etc.
- SHOWTIME will air the television premiere of the critically acclaimed documentary "Jackson" on Tuesday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. From award-winning director Maisie Crow ("A Life Alone," "The Last Clinic"), "Jackson" is an intimate look at the lives of three women caught in the complex issues surrounding access to abortion in the Deep South. Set against the backdrop of the fight to close the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, "Jackson" confronts the conflict over reproductive healthcare in America's Bible Belt. At one time, Mississippi had 14 abortion clinics, but now Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only clinic left. "Jackson" chronicles the many consequences of these events through Shannon Brewer, director of Jackson Women's Health Organization, Barbara Beaver, a leader of the anti-abortion movement who runs the Center for Pregnancy Choices, and April Jackson, a young mother of four faced with an unplanned pregnancy.
- NBA legend and Sports Emmy-winning commentator for TNT's "Inside the NBA," Charles Barkley, will tackle the issue of race in "American Race," a two-night television event from TNT, in which he will journey across the country to explore race from different angles, and engage in thoughtful but spirited dialogue with a diverse cross section of Americans. He brings with him an ambitious goal of building the kind of mutual understanding that can lead to productive solutions, TNT says. "American Race" will air over two nights - Thursday, May 11, and Friday, May 12 - with two episodes each night at 9 and 10 p.m. (ET/PT).
- "Mike Tyson Mysteries" returns for a 3rd season on Adult Swim, on Sunday, May 14th at 11:30pm. The quarter-hour animated adult comedy series sees Mike Tyson and the team — Yung Hee, Mike’s adopted Korean daughter and all-around buzzkill; Pigeon, a filthy disgusting man trapped in a filthy disgusting bird; and Marquess, a ghost whose favorite time of day is “wine-thirty” — back and ready to (attempt to) solve more mysteries! Highlights include: a retelling of the team’s Very First Mystery! A Mystery so complicated that Mike gives up! A trip to the car wash! Dinner at a neighbor’s house! …And those are just the highlights! Mike Tyson Mysteries stars Mike Tyson, Norm Macdonald, Rachel Ramras and Jim Rash.
- Netflix remains aggressive in ordering comedy specials seemingly in an effort to become the marquee home for them, from top talents like Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K. and others; the premiere streaming platform inked a deal with Tracy Morgan to make his much-anticipated return to stand-up in a special aptly titled "Staying Alive." The stand-up special, shot before a packed house at New Jersey's landmark Count Basie Theatre, will launch globally on Netflix Tuesday, May 16, 2017.
- Fox TV's Jamie Foxx-hosted and executive produced "Beat Shazam," is described as a unique and interactive game show in which teams of two race against the clock and each other as they attempt to identify the biggest hit songs of all time. In the end, the team with the highest score will outlast the competition and go against Shazam, the world's most popular song identification app, for the chance to win a cash prize. Executive-produced by Mark Burnett and Jeff Apploff, the straight-to-series order is scheduled to premiere on May 25, 2017, on FOX.
- The much-anticipated post-"Romeo & Juliet" TV series from Shondaland, "Still Star-Crossed," which stars British actress Lashana Lynch, is finally set to premiere on Monday, May 29, airing from 10-11pm. Based on the book by Melinda Taub, "Still Star-Crossed" is set in 16th century Verona, picking up where Shakespeare’s original work ended. The story centers on Rosaline (Lashana Lynch), described as a beautiful, intelligent and headstrong Capulet and Juliet’s cousin. Following the death of her parents, Rosaline is taken in by her aunt and uncle, Juliet’s parents Lady and Lord Capulet, and forced to work as a servant. She does her best to tolerate her aunt’s cruelty, and focuses on finding a way to free herself of the humiliation. She is eventually ordered to marry Benvolio (male lead Wade Briggs), a Montague. The diverse cast also includes (in terms of actors of African descent) Lucien Laviscount, Sterling Sulieman, and Ebonee Noel.
- Returning for its 3rd season is NBC's critical fave comedy series, "The Carmichael Show," which will premiere on May 31st, at 9pm.
- A coalition of movie theaters across the United States will launch "The Seventh Art Stand," a nation-wide series of film screenings and discussions during which participating theaters, community centers and museums will show films from the countries affected by Islamophobia and the current administration's Muslim Ban - a coalitional effort to elevate the cinemas and stories of the people affected by the executive orders inhibiting their rights to travel to the U.S. An act of cinematic solidarity against Islamophobia, the "Stand" will take place in May 1 - 31, 2017, with over 30 locations in 18 states confirmed. The movies to be screened include “Fishing Without Nets” from Somalia and more.
- Stella Meghie's sophomore feature, a film adaptation of Nicola Yoon's debut novel "Everything, Everything" for MGM studios, developed with Warner Bros, will be distributed by the latter, opening on May 19, 2017. Meghie directs from a script penned by J. Mills Goodloe, based on the YA novel that's centered around a 17-year-old girl with severe combined immunodeficiency - causing multiple allergies - which prevents her from leaving the house, only seeing her mother and her nurse, until a boy moves in next door, and she begins to fall in love with him. Amandla Stenberg, who's quite busy these days, is starring in the film as Maddy, the girl at the center of the story; she's joined by Nick Robinson who plays Olly, the boy who moves in next door.
That's it! If anything has been missed here, email firstname.lastname@example.org with details.