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TV News Roundup: LeBron James’ ‘Shut up and Dribble’ Docu-Series Sets Showtime Premiere Date

In today’s TV News Roundup, “Shut Up and Dribble” has a premiere date and stars partner with March for Our Lives for a voting initiative. 

FIRST LOOKS

Variety has obtained an exclusive sneak peak of this week’s episode of “Empire,” which airs Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. on Fox. In the episode, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) go to visit Andre (Trai Byers). “Empire” is executive produced by Brett Mahoney, who also serves as showrunner, as well as Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, who created the series, and Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Sanaa Hamri, Dennis Hammer, Matt Pyken and Diane Ademu-John.

DATES

The first episode of docu-series “Shut Up And Dribble” will premiere Saturday, Nov. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime, the streaming service announced Tuesday. Narrated by acclaimed sports journalist Jemele Hill, the three part series gives an inside look at the shifting roles of NBA athletes in today’s political environment. The series is directed by Gotham Chopra, who also serves as executive producer alongside LeBron James and Maverick Carter. Watch the trailer below.

“Red Table Talk” with Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris is returning to Facebook Watch on Oct. 22. Will Smith will appear alongside Jada, Willow and Adrienne for the first two episodes, with a total of thirteen scheduled to roll out every Monday at 9 a.m. PT/ 12 p.m. ET. This season’s guests include Leah Remini, Ellen Pompeo, J. Cole, and Justin Baldoni, discussing topics such as mental health, forgiveness, divorce, race and domestic violence.

EVENTS

A food truck celebrating the E! People’s Choice Awards, airing Sunday, Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. ET on E!, will appear in New York City, Austin and Los Angeles in the coming weeks. Fans must place their votes for an awards category before receiving a food item representing their choice, which they can Instagram with the hashtag #PCAs. The truck will be in New York at Rockefeller Center on Oct. 2, and then at the Javits Center from Oct. 4-7. Fans can catch the truck at Austin City Limits on Oct. 12 and 13, and finally in Los Angeles from Oct. 18 through 19.

INITIATIVES

March For Our Lives has partnered with We Stand United to create a public service announcement called “My First Time,” released Tuesday. Chadwick Boseman, Don Cheadle, Rosario Dawson, Chris Evans, Scarlett JohanssonZoë Kravitz, and Mark Ruffalo appear in the video, encouraging first time voters to register and vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 6. The PSA is also launching March for Our Lives’ #TurnoutTuesdays, a weekly call-to-action meant to motivate young voters to engage in the democratic process.

In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, Disney and ABC stars are rallying behind the hashtag #ChooseKindness. Using personal testimonials and videos, ABC, Freeform and Disney Channel are rolling out a series of public service announcements throughout the month of October. Ryan Seacrest and Carrie Underwood are serving as the initiative’s primary ambassadors. Now in its sixth year, the platform partners with nonprofits GLSEN, GLAAD, PACER, ESPN’s “Shred Hate” campaign, No Bully, and Common Sense Media, to encourage kids and their families to put an end to bullying.

PROGRAMMING

The yearly “Gilmore the Merrier” marathon is returning to UPtv, which will air all seven seasons of “Gilmore Girls” on loop 24/7 between Nov. 19-25. That’s 153 straight hours. Hosting this year is Scott Patterson, who will remain in character as Luke Danes. Last year’s marathon resulted in over 5.6 million viewers, 417 million impressions on Twitter and got the hashtag #GilmoreTheMerrior trending in the U.S.

EXECUTIVE NEWS

Missy Birns-Halperin will join National Geographic as Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy at the Los Angeles office, the company announced Tuesday. Her appointment continues National Geographic’s commitment, spearheaded by chief marketing officer Jill Cress, to keep up an integrated marketing, communications and engagement team. Birns-Halperin brings nearly three decades of expertise in talent strategy that will help the company identify and nurture new talent relationships. She will work closely with explorers, photographers, scientists, authors and channel talent, and will make it her mission to continue to evolve NGP’s efforts to cultivate its brand.

AWARD SHOWS

The Television Academy has announced the recipients of the 70th Engineering Emmy AwardsKirsten Vangsness returns as the host of the ceremony to be held on Oct. 24Wendy Aylsworth receives the The Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award. Technology provider Avid receives The Philo T. Farnsworth Corporate Achievement Award. Receiving the five engineering Emmys are Artemis Digital Director’s ViewfindercineSync Review and ApprovalCodex Recording Platform and Capture MediaBlue Mix-Fi Headphones, and PRG GroundControl™ Followspot. CATS Cam receives the Engineering Plaque.

 

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