Queens

Release Date:  10/19/21 – Series Premiere; ABC
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Director:  Tim Story
Studio(s):  ABC Signature, American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

Cast:  Eve (Brianna), Naturi Naughton (Jill), Brandy Norwood (Naomi), Taylor Selé (Eric Jones), Nadine Velazquez (Valeria), Pepi Sonuga (Lauren Rice).

Story:  Brianna, Jill, Valeria and Naomi once appeared as the “Nasty Bitches” in the 1990s. Together, the four of them not only turned the world of hip-hop upside down, but also achieved legendary status through their music. The four women are now in their forties, unworldly and largely estranged. By reuniting the four, there is now a chance to return to old fame and vigor. But will the former megastars, also known as Professor Sex, Butter Pecan, Da Thrill and Xplicit Lyrics, manage to achieve this ambitious goal?

Actress and Grammy-winning musician Brandy will play Naomi. Twenty years ago, Naomi was better known as Xplicit Lyrics — the highly skilled musical engine of the Nasty Bitches. A true artist with boundless musical talent — Naomi was certain she’d go on to mainstream success after the group’s demise. She hasn’t, singing and playing her guitar in crappy dive bars where all people want is her old persona. When the group gets back together, Naomi is reunited with the only man she ever loved, and the rival bandmate who stole that man from her. But what Naomi wants more than anything is to build a relationship with the daughter she was never really there for — if she only knew how.

Naturi Naughton plays Jill, aka Da Thrill, a founding member of the Nasty Bitches — the group she formed with her high school friends. Da Thrill lived fast, had rugged rhymes and a troubling drug habit. Today, Jill couldn’t be more put together. She’s a devout Catholic living a quiet life in Montana with her husband. But everything isn’t as idyllic as it seems. Jill is haunted by past secrets.  The Nasty Bitches reuniting allows Jill to escape her issues at home, but returning to her persona as Da Thrill conjures up difficult memories. But a friendship with a young rapper that she has almost nothing in common with will hilariously help Jill figure out the person she needs to be.

Eve will play Brianna. Twenty years ago, Brianna was Professor Sex — one fourth of the iconic 90s hip-hop group, the Nasty Bitches — rapping about money, sex and her all-around glamorous lifestyle. Today, Brianna is a proud wife and mother of five — in a stained sweatsuit who barely has a second to breathe. Not glamorous. But Brianna loves her life. The Nasty Bitches are a distant, distant memory. But when an opportunity arises for the group to reunite, Brianna will grapple with whether or not she still has the swagger and confidence that made her an icon decades ago… Eve will record and perform songs as her character.

Nadine Velazquez plays Valeria, known in the 90s as Puerto Rican rapper, Butter Pecan, is the fourth member of the group,  Valeria wasn’t an original member, added by the groups’ manager, Eric, for her effortless star quality. It worked. The ladies catapulted into superstardom with a number-one record and iconic video. Valeria quickly became the face of the group, ruffling the other members’ feathers along the way. But she could care less. She’s not here for friends, she’s here to win. Valeria is an ambitious and ruthless hustler with cunning charm born out of a difficult childhood. When we catch up with her twenty years later, she’s the only member of the group still in the limelight. Valeria hosts The Shade — America’s top-rated morning talk show. So, Valeria has no reason to reunite with the group when the opportunity arises. However, when her blind ambition trips her up, Valeria considers turning back to the only family she’s ever had: the Nasty Bitches.

Taylor Sele will play Eric Jones. In the late 90s, Eric Jones struck gold when the group he managed, the Nasty Bitches, reached the pinnacle of hip-hop. A Queens hustler through and through, Eric is always looking for how to secure his next bag, and he’s really good at it. A handsome playboy with a magnetic smile, Eric’s dalliances with women were partly to blame for the Nasty Bitches’ break up. Today, Eric remains one of the top music managers in the business, representing hip-hop’s current “it girl,” Lil Muffin. But Eric is in the throes of mid-life crisis as he takes stock of his life, past mistakes and the woman that got away. Driven by nostalgia, Eric sets the wheels in motion for the Nasty Bitches’ reunion. The question is: will he find what he’s looking for?

Pepi Sonuga plays Lauren Rice, a sweet young woman from Atlanta. But she’s better known as Lil Muffin, a brash, colorful emcee. Ever since her debut record, Candy Cane, dropped — Muffin has been on a nonstop rocket ship to superstardom. She is hip-hop’s it girl with legions of fans, piles of cash, wild style and access to everything under the sun. What Muffin doesn’t have is control of her career and her image, both of which are being masterminded by a cadre of men who care more about keeping the gravy train rolling than Muffin’s well-being. The pressure of fame is taking its toll. But Muffin unexpectedly finds the support she needs and the sisterhood she craves when she links up with the Nasty Bitches — a group of women who know exactly what she’s going through because they lived it themselves 20  years ago.  Source:  Deadline.

Teaser:

 

Emperor

Release Date:   8/18/20; DVD (Original Release – 3/27/20; Limited)
Genre:   Drama
Rating:  PG-13
Director:  Mark Amin
Studio(s):  Hudlin Entertainment, Sobini Films
Running Time:  99 mins.

Cast:  Dayo Okeniyi (Shields Green), Naturi Naughton (Sarah Green), Kat Graham (Delores), Mykelti Williamson (Truesdale), James Cromwell (John Brown), Bruce Dern (Levi Coffin), Harry Lennix (Frederick Douglass).

Story:  Emperor is inspired by the legend of Shields ‘Emperor’ Green, a descendant of African kings turned outlaw slave in the pre-Civil War South.  Seeking freedom for his family, Emperor fights his way north, joining the daring raid on Harper’s Ferry and helping alter the course of American history.  Source(s):  Emperor, official site; IMDB.

Trailer:

 

Really Love

Release Date:   TBA
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Director:  Angel Kristi Williams
Studio(s):  MACRO
Running Time:  Unknown

Cast:  Michael Ealy, Naturi Naughton, Uzo Aduba, Jade Eshete, Tristan Mack Wilds, Kofi Siriboe

Details:  Really Love follows the life of a starving artist in gentrifying Washington D.C. who is struggling to find his place in the prestigious art world. When a young law student unexpectedly comes into his life, he must choose between a whirlwind romance and his budding career as a successful painter.

Story:  Isaiah’s creativity flows with Stevie in his life. They fall in love, but his work remains overlooked, bruising his ego. When Isaiah convinces a gallerist to take a chance on him, he pours himself into his art, which catapults his career, but doesn’t leave room for love. Frustrated, Stevie accepts a dream job in Chicago, breaking Isaiah’s heart.  A year passes without communication until Isaiah sees Stevie at his group show in Chicago. Though Isaiah’s life seems to have improved, it isn’t what he imagined without her.  Source(s):  Deadline.  Photo Source:  Blackfilm; sxsw.com.

Step Sisters

Release Date:  1/19/18; Netflix
Genre:  Comedy
Rating:  PG-13
Director:  Charles Stone, III
Studio(s):  Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF), Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Netflix
Running time:  104 mins.
Cast:  Megalyn Echikunwoke (Jamilah), Naturi Naughton (Aisha), Eden Sher (Beth), Alessandra Torresani (Amber), Gage Golightly (Libby), Matt McGorry (Dane), Lyndon Smith (Danielle).
Story:   Step Sisters centers on Jamilah who is willing to do what it takes to achieve her goals. So far, she is the black sorority president, captain of the dance crew, student representative to the college dean, and she hopes to join Harvard Law School. Overall, she has achieved what a student at her age can consider as an on-going success in school. That’s until she is ordered by the school to help the white girls of the Sigma Beta Beta win the Steptacular dance competition. If she fails, her dreams to join the Ivy League university will come to naught, which is something she cannot take. As the show continues, romance blossoms, cultures clash, but sisterhood prevails as they all step out of their comfort zone to face their challenge.  Source:  TVovermind.com; IMDB.

Trailer:

 

Step Sisters

a/k/a Ain’t No Half Steppin’

Release Date:   3/31/17; Theaters
Genre:  Comedy
Rating:  NR
Director:  Charles Stone III
Studio(s):   Broad Green Pictures, Los Angeles Media Fund.

Cast:  Megalyn Echikunwoke (Jamilah), Naturi Naughton (Aisha), Eden Sher (Beth),
Alessandra Torresani (Amber), Gage Golightly (Libby), Lyndon Smith (Danielle), Matt McGorry (Dane), Marque Richardson (Kevin), Nia Jervier (Saundra).

Story:  The story centers on an ambitious college senior (Megalyn Echikunwoke) who wants to go to law school. She teaches stepping to a group white sorority girls who risk losing their charter.  Source:  Variety.