Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons Debuts New HBO Series 'Any Given Wednesday'

The premiere contained conversations with guests Charles Barkley and Ben Affleck, and they did not hold anything back.

After launching his website "The Ringer" this month, the influential Simmons debuted his weekly HBO television talk show Any Given Wednesday last night (June 22) at 10 p.m. EST. It included a little bit of everything, expecting to cover pop-culture topics in sports, technology, arts and entertainment. This type of show hasn't really been seen before. The main feature is the two sit-downs Simmons has with different celebrities. The premiere featured conversations with NBA great Charles Barkley and actor Ben Affleck. The show will feature two new guests every week. Season one will contain 20 episodes.

Simmons graced the big screen at the start, staring deep into the teleprompter as he relayed his opinions on the NBA Finals. Revealing he even has LeBron in his top 3 players of all-time after his performance. Other skits included making fun of how Under Armour markets their biggest athlete, Steph Curry to fill up the rest of the half hour. Bill even gave them some tips on what commercials could work in the future, which was funny.

The first conversation, a sit down with the Chuckster, Charles Barkley. The conversation revolved around LeBron's rank on the Mount Rushmore in the NBA. The Hall of Famer wouldn't budge off his top 5 saying "My Top 5 never gon' change." (Michael Jordan, Oscar Roberston, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain). He has LeBron in the top 10 though, at around 8 or 9 with Magic, Bird, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, but behind Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan for now. Chuck did pay some respect to LeBron, saying "It's probably been the greatest career ever." Classic Barkley.

Watch a clip from the conversation below.

Next, Bill spoke to actor, Ben Affleck. The Bostonian did not hold back as the conversation quickly turned to the saga known as "deflategate," as Batman came to the defense of his friend, Tom Brady. Affleck was fired up, getting red in the face dropping 16 F-bombs throughout the conversation. It was pretty entertaining seeing an actor getting worked up like a diehard fan. He went after the league, calling it "the ultimate bullsh*t f**king outrage in sports." Ben was so on edge there was speculation he was slurring words because he was drunk, which Simmons put to rest on Twitter this morning (June 23).

Take a look at the tomato faced actor's rant below.

Any Given Wednesday faced mixed reviews from critics after its debut episode.

Be sure to tune in next Wednesday (June 29) at 10 p.m. EST to check out the second episode of Any Given Wednesday to decide for yourself. The guests are yet to be announced.

Check out the whole first episode below if you missed out.

Great Job Bill!

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The Game Reboot Lands At Paramount+ Streaming Service

A revival of the BET’s The Game is officially in development under the ViacomCBS digital subscription streaming service Paramount+, which was originally branded as CBS All Access.

The series reboot was announced on Tuesday (Sept. 15), along with a list of original and rebooted shows headed for the streaming outlet which includes a limited series chronicling the making of The Godfather, a new edition of VH1’s Behind the Music, and the true crime docuseries, The Real Criminal Minds. The programming will join CBS All Access’ list of more than 20,000 episodes and movies across BET, MTV, CBS, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, and more.

Although no details have been released about The Game revival, the series will fall under BET’s Paramount+ programming from CBS Television Studios and Garment Productions. It’s unclear if any of the show's original cast members like, Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall, and Wendy Raquel Robinson, will be involved in the new installment.

The hit sports series was created by Mara Brock Akil, as a spinoff of her other hit sitcom, Girlfriends. Akil recently inked an overall deal with Netflix to develop new projects for the streamer. The company also acquired the rights to Girlfriends, Sister, Sister, Moesha, and The Parkers.

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50 Cent Developing Starz Series About Beef With The Game

Add a couple more credits to 50 Cent’s long list of TV projects. The rapper-turned-TV-producer inked a deal to develop two new series for Starz, one of which will explore his feud with The Game, the cable network announced on Monday (Sept. 14).

The seasonal anthology series tentatively titled, Moment in Time: The Massacre, chronicles “true stories in which iconic hip hop moments collided with the sensational and sometimes criminal events behind the scenes.” Season one focuses on the beef between Fif and Game that “led to an all-street war, pitting G-Unit against music impresario Jimmy Henchman.”

Henchman, The Game’s former manager, is currently serving life for the murder-for-hire of a G-Unit affiliate. Moment in Time will be written and executive produced by Abdul William, who penned The Bobby Brown Story, The New Edition Story, Lottery Ticket, and Lifetime’s forthcoming Salt-N-Pepa mini series.

Inspired by the life of sports agent and attorney Nicole Lynn, who serves as executive producer, the second series follows a Black female sports agent’s rise up the ranks in the male dominated industry of sports agents. Tash Grey will produce the series and pen the script. Grey’s notable credits include the Power spinoff Raising Kanan, Snowfall, P-Valley, and the true-crime drama, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Both series will be executive produced by 50 Cent and his G-Unit Film & Television imprint.

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Netflix Acquires ‘Malcolm & Marie’ Starring Zendaya, John David Washington

Netflix has acquired the rights to the film Malcolm & Marie staring Zendaya and John David Washington in a $30 million deal during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The streaming giant beat out HBO, Amazon, Searchlight, Apple and MGM among others in a bidding war over the film, Deadline reports.

Shot on 35mm black and white film, Malcolm & Marie, tells the story of a filmmaker (portrayed by Washington) who returns home with his girlfriend after a celebrating the premiere of his latest movie. Things take a turn as revelations about the couple’s relationship rise to the surface, changing the mood of the evening.

Malcolm & Marie

— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 8, 2020

Malcolm & Marie was written, directed and produced by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who penned the script in less than a week. Aside from starring in the romantic drama, Zendaya and Washington serve as executive producers on the project.

“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my ‘Euphoria’ family, for coming together during such uncertain times,” Levinson said in a statement. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”

The film was shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic at a quarantine location in California in mid-June. Over the course of the two week shoot, heavy precautions were taken to ensure the health and safety of the cast and crew including social distancing, increased sanitary measures, and daily temperature checks.

Netflix’s acquisition of Malcolm & Marie follows an onslaught of TIFF films scooped up by  the company, with Halle Berry’s Bruised among the lot. The film marks Berry’s directorial debut and was sold to Netflix for a reported $20 million.

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