Songs, Movies & Moments: June 2017

Underground stars Aldis Hodge and Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

A Look at Entertainment

by T.J. Moore –

John Legend is hunting for a new home for his hit WGN America series Underground after the network was bought by a conservative-leaning company.

Tribune Media, the parent company of WGN, has been bought by Sinclair Broadcasting, one of the largest TV companies in the country. According to a press release, WGN canceled Underground after two season as the network plans to move away from scripted programming.

“As WGN America evolves and broadens the scope and scale of its portfolio of series, we recently announced that resources will be reallocated to a new strategy to increase our relevance within the rapidly changing television landscape,” Tribune’s president and CEO Peter Kern said in a statement obtained by Deadline. “Despite Underground being a terrific and important series, it no longer fits with our new direction and we have reached the difficult decision not to renew it for a third season.”

According to Deadline, Underground once had three candidates interested in picking the series up. BET, OWN and Hulu, which has streaming rights, have all been approached, but BET dropped out despite being close to a deal. Meanwhile, OWN is reportedly still considering the show with Hulu continuing to show interest.

Shaquille O’Neal (L) JaVale McGee

The first fashion statement of the NBA Finals has been made by Golden State Warriors’ backup center JaVale McGee.

McGee showed up for Game 1—the Warriors’ third straight Finals clash with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the first Finals game of his career—wearing a hat bearing the name and logo of Shaquille O’Neal. Retro fashion is always cool, but that is not why his hat is considered a fashion statement.

NBA fans are familiar with O’Neal’s “Shaqtin’ A Fool” segment on TNT’s NBA coverage as platform for making fun of the players’ boneheaded moves on the court. McGee was a “Shaqutin” regular as a player with the Washington Wizards and the Denver Nuggets.

“It is just really disappointing that grown men—fifty-, forth-year olds—are having ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ of a player, and then making it a hashtag and really just trying to ruin someone’s career over basketball mistakes,” McGee told Bay Area News Group reporter Anthony Slater over the summer.

Shaq briefly offered McGee, who has been a solid addition and contributor as a reserve center for the Warriors, an exemption from appearing on “Shaqutin’ A Fool” if he could go three straight games without making the kind of mistakes that has landed him on the segment in the past. One month later, Shaq revived the feud by using the ‘Shaqutin’ segment to air a parody of a movie trailer for a version of Doctor Strange featuring McGee. The Warriors center heard about the segment and clapped back on twitter, igniting a 140-character brawl in the regular season.

Just when you thought that you’ve seen it all on Reality TV, there may be a new show on the way that’s modeled after the Real Housewives franchise, but it isn’t coming from Bravo and producer Andy Cohen. The women set to be featured aren’t wives. They are mistresses. Welcome to the Real Sidechicks of Charlotte.

Whether or not this show is going to get picked up by a network remains to be seen, the creators of the show are promoting and shooting in hopes of making that happen.

Gabrielle Union

On the heels of her partnership with New York and Company, announcing her plans to release a book and launching her own haircare product line, actress Gabrielle Union isn’t through making major moves yet.

According to Deadline, the Being Mary Jane star is partnering with current BMJ executive producer Will Packer on a new film called Breaking In, which she will produce and star in. The film will reportedly be a drama about a woman who has to go to great lengths to protect her family during a home invasion. Breaking In will be directed by James McTeigue, who has directed such action films as V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin, Survivor, and a film called The Invasion. Production for Breaking In will begin in July.

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