TV News Roundup: Amazon Casts ‘Black-ish’ Star as First American Girl; Tracey Ullman Returning to HBO

Amazon has found its first American Girl in Marsai Martin for upcoming live-action special, Tracey Ullman is returning to HBO, and more in Thursday’s TV news roundup. 


Amazon has announced that Marsai Martin (“Black-ish”) has been cast in their upcoming American Girl live-action special “Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win, an American Girl Story.” This is the first of four upcoming American Girl specials.  The special is based in 1963 Detroit, where Melody becomes aware of the racial inequality dividing the country. “Melody, 1963” is produced by Common (“Selma”), Tina Mabry (“Queen Sugar”) and executive produced by Alison McDonald (“Roots”). “Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win, an American Girl Story” is set to premiere this fall on Amazon Prime Video.


The airdate for the 48th NAACP Image Awards has been announced as February 11, 2017Submissions for the Image Awards begin on September 6 and close on October 31. The 48th NAACP Image Awards will be telecast live on TV One as a two-hour special from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, with “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson returning as host.

Showtime’s “Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee” has a release date. Oscar nominee and two-time Sundance Film Festival winner Nanette Burstein (“American Teen,” “The Kid Stays in the Picture”) delivers a deep investigation into the mysterious life of anti-virus entrepreneur John McAfee in this documentary. The film will also be making its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee” will premiere on September 24 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

HBO has announced its upcoming lineup of comedy stand-up specials and their taping dates and locations.  Jerrod Carmichael will tape his second solo special for the network this fall to debut in 2017. “T.J. Miller: Meticulously Ridiculous”  will tape Sept. 16 at the Paramount Theater in Denver as part of his “The Meticulously Ridiculous Tour,” with a debut scheduled for next year. “All Def Comedy” tapes Sept. 7 at the Avalon Theatre in Los Angeles, with debut slated for November. “Pete Holmes: Faces and Sounds” was taped in Chicago this past April at the Vic Theatre and is set to premiere later this year. Also coming to HBO, a new six-episode sketch comedy series, Tracey Ullman’s Show,” debuts October 28 at 11 p.m. It will see the HBO veteran appearing as a wide array of everyday people and famous faces, looking at modern life on the British side of the pond. In this new series, Ullman brings her masterful skills to take on such figures as Dame Judi Dench and Angela Merkel, as well as a host of others.

Bravo Media has announced the premiere date for “Yours, Mine or Ours.” The show will feature real estate agent Reza Farahan, of “Shahs of Sunset,” and interior decorator Taylor Spellman, helping couples living under separate roofs decide which place to call home. The series premieres October 3 at 10 p.m. on Bravo with back-to-back episodes.

Barry Josephson of Josephson Entertainment has announced the premiere date of “American Supergroup” on Pop. The show will follow the quest to form the best new band where 25 finalists will be selected to form 5 groups of 5 members each — best guitarist, best drummer, best bass player, best keyboards, and best vocalist. “American Supergroup” begins its 9-week run October 11 at 8 p.m. on Pop.


FYI has greenlit a new series “Stove Tots.” “This series will showcase up-and-coming young chefs, as well as their devoted and sometimes overly supportive parents, as they cut their teeth in high stakes cook-offs,” said Gena McCarthy, EVP of Programming and Development for FYI. “Unlike traditional cooking shows, viewers will see docu-style and competition formats converge in ‘Stove Tots.”

“Stove Tots” is produced for FYI by Collins Ave. Executive producers for Collins Ave are Jeff Collins, Sandi Johnson, Michael Hammond, Bryan Stinson and Laura Halperin. Alex Davies serves as co-executive producer. Executive producers for FYI are Gena McCarthy and Jordan Harman. The 13-episode series is set to premiere in 2017.


Dick Clark Productions announced today that Tim Bock has been named Senior Vice President of Production for Dick Clark Productions. Bock will be overseeing many of the company’s shows, including  the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.” He will be reporting to Amy Thurlow, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Bock was most recently Vice President of Production for ABC’s Alternative Series & Specials department.

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