Black Don’t Crack

Status:  Pre-Production
Genre:  Comedy
Director:  Kelly Park
Studio(s):  JuVee Production, ABC Signature
Cast:  Tisha Campbell, Essence Atkins, Sherri Shepherd, Tahj Mowry, Beth Grant, Isaiah Mustafa

Details:  Essence Atkins and Tisha Campbell are set as the two remaining leads opposite Sherri Shepherd, Tahj Mowry, Beth Grant and Isaiah Mustafa as series regulars in the pilot from writer/executive producer Regina Hicks and executive producers Viola Davis, Julius Tennon and Larry Wilmore.

Story:   Black Don’t Crack follows three former sorority sisters, played by Shepherd, Atkins and Campbell, who lost touch after college and reunite during a pivotal point in their lives. They realize sometimes it’s okay to crack and when you do, no one will be there for you like your friends.

Shepherd plays Angela Wright: A native New Yorker somewhere between 45 and death, but it’s hard to tell because “black don’t crack.” She’s a single mom who put aside her musical dreams to raise her son after her husband died. She’s been holding it down alone for years, taking care of her family instead of herself. When she is confronted with a personal crisis, she reunites with her sorority sisters to recapture the passion, ambition and sisterhood of their college glory days.

Atkins stars as Nia Hillis Davis:  A bougie, conservative politician’s wife who has lost touch with her more fun-loving college self. Though she may have many cracks in her perfect facade that she goes to great pains to cover up. While she may be perceived as uptight and snobbish, she’s ultimately a lovable neurotic who is our voice of positivity, even if a lot of the times, she’s not sure what’s going on.

Campbell is playing Tasha Marks: A hip and fabulous Atlanta restaurateur who starts trends instead of following them. She holds nothing back and is brutally honest (sometimes to a fault) with her friends, but has been avoiding a truth in her own life. She’s achieved the perfect professional life and insists that she needs no man in her life to interfere with the career she’s worked so hard to create.

Mowry is Khalil Grant Angela’s (Shepard) 20 something son: He is a recent college grad who is full of big ideas and big dreams, but has yet to get any of his start-up companies off the ground. A bit of slow starter at life, he lives in his mother’s basement and still relies on her to do his laundry and front him rent money. He is fiercely protective of his family and is gradually growing into a responsible adult.

Grant is Nancy, Angela’s (Shepard) sharp-tongued mother-in-law: She adores her grandson but is tougher on her daughter-in-law – she can be abrasive, demanding, and unaware of her prejudices. While Nancy can be a thorn in Angela’s side, the truth is they need each other. At the end of the day, the things they share — the loss of a husband, their love for Khalil – keep them from killing each other.

Mustafa is Charles Daniels, co-owner with Tasha of a restaurant and bar in Atlanta: Charles is a former pro-football player who is handsome and oozes charm and swagger. He’s full of stories from back in his glory days and is comfortable being the center of attention. He could be perceived as cocky, but he’s ultimately the kind of dependable, good guy you want in your corner.  Sources:,  Photo source:

Coins For Love

Release Date:   7/19/20; TV One

Genre:   Romance

Rating:  NR

Director:  Jamal Hill

Studio(s):   TV One, Swirl Films

Running Time:  Unknown

Cast:   Essence Atkins, Stephen Bishop, TC Carson, Kendrick Cross, Karon Joseph Riley.

Story:  TV One follows the success of its popular film Coins For Christmas with the premiere of the sequel, Coins For Love.  The sequel reunites audiences with single mother Madison Morris (Atkins), who finds herself starting over. Madison lands her dream job at a publishing company. To her dismay, however, she must complete a probationary period and will not receive her full salary until the process is over, leaving her in a financial struggle. With a new career and struggling to make ends meet, she works under the demands of her new job while raising two teens on her own. Making matters even more complicated, she finds herself torn between an old flame and a new love interest.  Alec Darby (Bishop) has also started the job of his dreams on a national sports network but soon clashes with his co-host Demarco (Cross). Madison and Alec have a chance encounter and connect to discuss their career challenges, prompting Alec to offer Madison a side gig as his personal assistant to help supplement her income. The two embark on a great working relationship, and sparks eventually start to fly but not before Alec’s ex-fiancée reemerges in the picture. Madison’s ex-husband also comes crawling back with promises of a fresh start adding to the drama. Tune in to see if the couple’s budding relationship will be able to withstand the ultimate test – their Exes – in this romantic drama.  Source:  Blackfilm, TV One.



Release Date:  3/14/20; BET & BET Her
Genre:  Drama/Romance
Rating:  NR
Director(s):  Cas Sigers-Beedles
Studio(s):  Nina Holiday Entertainment
Running Time:   87 mins.

Cast:  Essence Atkins (Wren), Keith Robinson (Cameron), Matt Cedeño (Mars), Kerri J. Baldwin (Tea Cup), Franceli Chapman (Viv), Imani Duckett (Luna), Marquita Goings (Courtney), Jason Graham (Ed), Chantal Maurice (Kendall), Roxzane T. Mims (Ruth), Margaret Morris (Paula), Ernestine J. Morrison (Zoey) and Jasmine Guy.

Story:  Open is a romantic drama that showcases the alternative perspective of open relationships.  As a child of divorce and a woman noticing the infidelities in the world, main character Wren (Essence Atkins) decides to ask her husband Cameron (Keith Robinson) for an open marriage, after eight years, to avoid the pain of him cheating behind her back. Navigating the struggles of her bakery business, social life and marriage, Wren finally thinks she has it all figured out until she reconnects with a childhood friend.  Looking through the lens of polygamy, Open teaches viewers the full scope of these oftentimes taboo relationships.   Source:  IMDB; Blackfilm.


Same Difference

Release Date:  6/12/19 – 6/16/19; American Black Film Festival
Genre:  Mystery
Rating:  NR
Director/Writer:  Derege Harding
Studio(s):   Datari Turner Productions
Running Time:  88 mins.
Cast:  Essence Atkins, Terrence Jenkins, Edwina Findley, Demetrius Shipp, Jr., Melvin Gregg, Ginger Gonzaga, Page Kennedy, Kandi Burruss, Affion Crockett, Lew Temple.

Story:   Same Difference follows a young woman named Tonya (Atkins) who is told that her death is imminent by a mysterious group of people who all start dying one by one. Tonya becomes compelled to let go of the past and reconcile with her estranged twin sister, also played by Atkins, who is suffering from alcohol addiction.  Source:



Release Date:  5/23/17 (VOD & DVD)
Genre:  Thriller
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  120 mins.
Director:  Corey Grant
Studio(s):   New Breed Entertainment, Breaking Glass Pictures
Cast:  David Ramsey, Shireen Crutchfield, Mckinley Freeman, Michele Weaver, Lanett Tachel, Tank, Essence Atkins, Dionne Gipson, Dean Cain, Vivica A. Fox.

Story:  Sasha and Guy’s marriage is tested when they are independently seduced by sexy, young lovers, both with dark pasts and hidden nefarious agendas.  Source:  Official Site,


Girlfriends’ Getaway 2

Girlfriends' Getaway 2Release Date:  6/14/15 (American Black Film Festival); 8/29/15 (TV One)
Genre:  Drama/Comedy
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  84 mins.
Studio:  Unknown
Director:  Roger Bobb 

Cast:  Garcelle Beauvais, Terri J. Vaughn, Essence Atkins, Malinda Williams, Stephen Bishop, Khalil Kane.

Story:  Girlfriends’ Getaway 2 reunites actresses Garcelle Beauvais, Malinda Williams, Terri J. Vaughn, and Essence Atkins from the original film. Four girlfriends travel to Puerto Rico for a destination wedding. But, what starts as a simple intimate ceremony chaotically turns into an extravagant nightmare once the bride discovers that her ceremony will be featured in a major magazine. Chaos ensues, secrets are divulged and friendships are tested. Source: Shadow and Act, AMC Theaters.  Photo Source:  Black Film.