TV News Roundup: 50 Cent to Play Himself in Fox Comedy Series and More

50 Cent A&E variety show
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50 Cent lands a Fox comedy series, in which he’ll play himself, plus NBC sets a premiere date for “The Biggest Loser” in today’s television news roundup…

Development News:

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is teaming up with exec producer Will Packer for a single-camera comedy titled “My Friend 50,” which has landed at Fox with a script order after receiving multiple offers, sources confirm to Variety.

Jackson — who stars in “Power” on Starz — will serve as an exec producer and will also recur in the series, should the project be picked up. The potential series, first reported by Deadline, revolves around Amanda Kramer, an unstable 20-something who believes that joining 50 Cent’s entourage is the answer to all her problems. Her unlikely journey with 50 Cent’s crew takes the form of a bizarre documentary commissioned by the most unreliable narrator in history — Amanda. “My Friend 50” hails from Will Packer Prods., Jackson’s G-Unit Film & Television and Universal TV where Packer in under a deal. Ava Tramer (“Angie Tribeca”) penned the script.

Premiere Dates:

NBC is retooling reality staple “The Biggest Loser” and bringing it back in January, filling the Monday timeslots occupied this fall by “The Voice” and “Blindspot.”

The network said Monday that “Loser,” which hasn’t aired since wrapping its most recent season last January, will premiere Jan. 4 at 9 p.m., airing two hours weekly and following new comedies “Superstore” and “Telenovela.” “Voice” and “Blindspot” are back on Feb. 29.

“Biggest Loser” is getting an extreme makeover for its return, as it will feature new host Bob Harper following Alison Sweeney’s departure, a new “Temptation” theme, an updated state-of-the-art gym, a new logo and some format changes. This season will also see the return of the team vs. team competitions.

Casting News:

“Rosewood” is welcoming two new characters, played by Joy Bryant and Sherri ShepherdVariety has confirmed.

The “Parenthood”alum will make her debut on the Fox series on March 9, playing Dr. Erica Kincaid, a cardiologist with a “big and bold personality” who takes Rosewood (Morris Chesnut) on as a brand-new patient, according to Entertainment Weekly, who also reports Bryant is a potential love interest for the title character.

Shepherd joins the medical show, which landed a full-season pickup, in a major recurring role, which Deadline first broke. The former “View” co-host will play Dr. Anita Eubanks, an old friend of Rosewood, and the new ME who is confident, flirty, playful, smart, wise-cracking and good at her job. During her arc, Anita does Rosewood a favor and provides him with some unexpected information.


Fuse has renewed three series: docuseries “Transcendent,” comedian Gabriel Iglesias’ unscripted series “Fluffy Breaks Even” and docuseries “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce,” the network’s top original program among its core adults 18-34 audience.

“By partnering with some of the most talented, creative people in television — both in front of and behind the camera — we have developed a line-up that is forming connections with an audience that has proven incredibly hard to reach: multicultural Millennials,” said Lynnette Ramirez, SVP, original content for Fuse Media. “Gabriel Iglesias is an extraordinary talent, and one of the most in-demand comic voices in the business; ‘Big Freedia’ is larger than life and remains the star of the network’s most popular show; and thanks to our partners at World of Wonder, we not only get to keep bringing ‘Freedia’ to our viewers, but also introduce the world to the stunning cast of our best new series ever among millennials, ‘Transcendent.’ We can’t wait to see the newest seasons of these series, and to announce our new programs in development in the coming weeks.”

Exec Shuffle:

AMC Networks announced two new hires for its growing AMC Studios; they’ve tapped Valerie Cabrera as senior vice president of distribution and Melissa Landau as senior vice president of business affairs. Both report to Rick Olshansky, co-head of AMC Studios and executive vice president of business affairs for AMC Networks.

Cabrera, who is based in Los Angeles, oversees all off-network distribution efforts of owned programming on behalf of AMC, BBC America, SundanceTV, IFC and WE tv. She will also lead and execute the company’s content distribution strategy in domestic and international territories across all forms of linear, non-linear and digital television distribution. She was previously EVP of TV international for Entertainment One.

Landau is based in New York and she negotiates agreements around original programming, productions, acquisitions and development. She also handles licensing agreements with studio partners and related activities for AMC Studios, focusing primarily on BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV. She previously spent several years in business and legal affairs roles at Viacom, most recently as SVP of business affairs and deputy general counsel for Comedy Central and TV Land.

Rick Kissel contributed to this report.