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Tracee Ellis Ross To Executively Produce And Star In 'Daria' Spinoff 'Jodie'

MTV has dug into their archives with good reason. The network announced Thursday (June 13) Jodie, the first spinoff series from the cult classic Daria.

Tracee Ellis Ross will voice Jodie Landon, a fan favorite from Lawndale High and an important character who helped spruce the show with wit and black girl magic in the 90s. Jodie will showcase the character's transition from college to the workplace, specifically the tech world.

While Jodie would technically be hailed as an older millennial (she graduated high school in the early aughts), the series will "satirize the post-college workplace and personal adventures of Gen Z" instead. Viewers will also find Jodie exploring workplace culture, social media in addition to privilege and gender.

The series also marks the first adult animated sitcom to center around an African-American female lead in nearly two decades.

“I am thrilled to bring this project to life with MTV, both as executive producer and by voicing Jodie’s character," Ross said in a press release. "Being able to give voice to fresh, feminist and unexplored stories of young women excites me. Jodie will spin-off from the cult classic Daria, and with the brilliant, sweet and sarcastic black girl magic that is Jodie Landon, we will feature a diverse cast, comprised mainly of unapologetically smart and ambitious young female
characters who are vulnerable and flawed and interesting and funny. It will be a smart, funny workplace comedy full of commentary about everything from gentrification to sex to tech to call-out culture."

Jodie marks the first of several series and films to come from the “Daria universe.” The show will be led by writer Grace Nkenge Edwards, the writer/co-producer of Insecure. Edwards is best known for her work on the Emmy-nominated Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Inside Amy Schumer. 

“Given the passion for these characters, there was only one person who could build upon the legacy to reimagine Jodie for a whole new generation, and that person is Tracee Ellis Ross,” said Chris McCarthy president of MTV. “This marks another exciting step forward for MTV Studios as we build out a wide new slate based on the rich characters from the history in MTV Animation.”

If Jodie continues on the stream of consciousness as its sister show, the series will probably be a hit.

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50 Cent, Joy Bryant, Nicholas Pinnock Talk New Season Of ABC's 'For Life'

Months after its debut, ABC's For Life has returned for a new season. Based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., a former-inmate-turned-lawyer, the drama series' protagonist, Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock), fights for his freedom and safety in and out of the courtroom while fighting for that of his fellow inmates. As Wallace inches closer to finding substantial evidence to exonerate himself, he reconnects with his ex-wife Marie (Joy Bryant) and pregnant teenage daughter Jasmine (Tyla Harris).

"When I met with Issac, I almost couldn't believe what he was saying to me. He went to jail, became a prison rep, came back created a case law through other people's cases, and worked his way out of jail?" said Curtis "50" Cent" Jackson in a recent interview with VIBE correspondent Jazzie Belle. "You know more people that saw things not going well [in prison] and said I'll take a bad situation before I take the worst situation and cop-out because they know the system will just wash them up and that will be the end of it."

The first season of For Life essentially covers the first 9 years of Wright's experience while in jail. This season, topics like Black Lives Matter and social justice are addressed and Wallace finally reenters society. "There are 5 different Aarons I'm playing," shared British actor Nicholas Pinnock. "One is Aaron who is the prison rep. One is Aaron who is the father and husband to Marie and Jas(mine). One is Aaron with the prison warden and his relationship with her. Another one is Aaron just as an ordinary prisoner. And then you have Aaron the lawyer...and then in Season 2, we have a sixth layer. There's Aaron on the outside."

An unspoken source of strength lies in Marie who has supported and served as a "ride or die" figure in the first season. When asked about addressing those who don't agree with her prior decision to move on to Wallace's friend, Bryant pointed out her character's humanness. "Marie had to make some hard choices when Aaron was sent away. They may not be things that people agree with. 'Oh, she's with his best friend' or whatever, but she was left holding the bag, literally," she pointed out. "Things aren't always so black and white. People have to make decisions based on where they are and what they feel they need to do at the time and everyone can have whatever opinion they want."

Watch VIBE's full interview with Bryant, Pinnock, and Jackson, who also co-executive produces the show. New episodes of For Life premieres Wednesdays at 10 pm ET on ABC.

Interview's music bed provided by Gus.

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‘Black Panther’ Sequel Will Reportedly Begin Filming In Atlanta Next Year

Filming on the highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther is set to begin next summer. Marvel Studios will start shooting the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel in July 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The series are the priority, “ a source told THR of Marvel’s film strategy going into next year. “Ramping them up takes a lot of focus. The movie machinery is well established.”

The shoot will last at least six months. Princess Shuri, the character played by Letitia Wright, who plays King T’Challa's sister Princess Shuri, could take on an expanded role given the death of Chadwick Boseman.

Narcos: Mexico actor Tenoch Huerta will reportedly join the cast, while Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Windsor Duke are also expected to return for the second installment of the Marvel film.

In September, Black Panther’s executive producer Victoria Alonso denied rumors that Boseman would appear in the film via CGI technology. “There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us,” Alonso said. “Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, in reality.”

Boseman, 43, passed away from colon cancer in August.

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There’s A Petition For LeVar Burton To Become The New Host Of ‘Jeopardy’

While fans are still mourning the death of Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, the Canadian broadcaster’s passing leaves an opening at the game show and the internet has been leaning towards LeVar Burton as a possible replacement. Not that Trebek can ever truly be replaced, but an online petition has been launched in hopes of Burton taking over the job.

The onetime Reading Rainbow host tweeted the petition on Thursday (Nov. 12). “Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much I appreciate all y’alls love and support!”

Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’alls love and support! 🙏🏾♥️

Petition · Make LeVar Burton the next host of Jeopardy! · https://t.co/60lC1WCD61 https://t.co/QFxedpuWpU

— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) November 12, 2020

So far, the petition has received more than 64,000 signatures and counting.

“Between hosting 21 seasons of the educational Reading Rainbow, playing the brainiac engineer Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: the Next Generation, and filling the roll of Kunta Kinte in the ever important mini-series Roots, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds,” reads the petition which was launched to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Jeopardy producers Mike Richards and Harry Freidman, “just how much love the public has for Burton and how much we’d all love to see him as the next host of Jeopardy!”

Trebek began hosting Jeopardy in 1984. He helmed the show for more than 30 years before announcing his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2019. Though the 80-year-old beloved game show host passed away on Nov. 8, he pre-taped enough Jeopardy episodes to air until the end of the year.

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