Soledad O’Brien to Talk About The Media on This Week’s Episode of Peacock’s Late-Night Comedy “Wilmore”

Soledad O’Brien is ready to talk ship with Larry Wilmore.

The 54-year-old half-Afro-Cuban American broadcast journalist and executive producer will appear on this week’s episode of Wilmore, the Peacock late-night comedy fronted by Wilmore.

Soledad O’Brien

The episode, which will focus on the media, will also feature The West Wing star Bradley Whitford and Saturday Night Live’s Chris Redd.

O’Brien is the host of Matter of Fact, a nationally syndicated talk show produced by Hearst Television. She is chairwoman of Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production company and distributor that she founded in 2013. She’s also a member of the Peabody Awards board of directors, which is presented by the University of Georgia‘s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

 

She previously worked as an anchor for CNN, and has worked as a correspondent for Al Jazeera America and HBO‘s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Wilmore is going into his sixth show since launching on the streamer. Other topics he has tackled include protests, voter suppression, police, class, and comparing where we are to the 2016 presidential election.

Guests have included U.S. women’s soccer co-captain Megan Rapinoe, Charlamagne Tha God, Andrew Yang, Roy Wood Jr. and Chloé Hilliard as well as his Peacock peer Amber Ruffin.

Martin Sheen & His “The West Wing” Cast Mates to Reunite for ‘When We All Vote’ Special on HBO Max

Martin Sheen is returning to the West Wing

Aaron Sorkin is reuniting his The West Wing cast, including the 80-year-old half-Spanish American actor, for the first time in 17 years with a special for HBO Max.

Martin Sheen The West Wing

Sheen, Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff and Bradley Whitford are getting back together with Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme for A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote.

The special will feature a theatrical performance of Hartsfield’s Landing, an episode from the NBC drama’s third season that featured Sheen’s President Barlet playing chess against Sam (Lowe) and Toby (Schiff), while the Chinese are playing war games in the Taiwan Strait and Josh (Whitford) is nervous about the 42 votes in a remote New Hampshire town’s election, which always predict the winner of that state’s primary.

It marks the second high-profile special of a classic NBC series produced by Warner Bros. set to air on HBO Max following the much-delayed Friends reunion special.

The West Wing reunion has long been in the works with Schiff saying in June that the gang was getting back together in support of Black Lives Matter following the death of George Floyd. The crew have reunited in various forms, including at ATX in Austin, for The West Wing Weekly podcast, and for an ad for Bridget Mary McCormack, a candidate for Michigan’s Supreme Court. However, this is the first time that it will air on television.

The team behind the Warner Bros. Television-produced series have organized the reunion to raise awareness for and support When We All Vote, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama, which was founded to increase participation in every election in America.

WarnerMedia will make a donation to When We All Vote.

Michelle Obama will make a guest appearance in the special, while additional cast members and special guests from the worlds of public service and the arts will be announced in the coming weeks.

A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote will shoot over multiple days at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles in early October. Sorkin will write original exclusive material for the special, while Schlamme will serve as director of the production.

 “Tommy and I are incredibly excited to be getting The West Wing cast back together for this staged reading and to support When We All Vote in their efforts to get all of us involved in this election,” said Sorkin.

“With A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, we are excited to revisit this legendary series and offer our passionate fans something that is substantial, meaningful and unforgettable, while also promoting an important message for our time,” added Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “Combined with WarnerMedia’s donation to When We All Vote, this special not only entertains, but also help ensure the organization can carry forth its mission to increase voter participation in every election.”

Sheen appeared on 140 episodes of The West Wing from 1999-2006. The won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of fictitious U.S. President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet.

NBC Picks Up Jimmy Smits’ Legal Drama “Bluff City Law” to Series

Jimmy Smits is Bluffingit all the way back to a television near you…

NBC has picked up to series the Memphis legal drama Bluff City Law, starring the 63-year-old Puerto Rican actor.

Jimmy Smits

The project hails from The Brave creator Dean Georgaris and producer David Janollari

Co-created by Georgaris and Michael Aguilar and written by Georgaris, Bluff City Law is a character-driven drama, about which you can find more if you visit website, that follows the lawyers of an elite Memphis firm that specializes in the most controversial landmark civil rights cases. Led by legendary lawyer Elijah Strait (Smits) and his brilliant daughter, Sydney Keller (Caitlin McGee), they take on the toughest David-and-Goliath cases while navigating their complicated relationship.

This marks Smits’ return to NBC and the legal drama arena. He has starred in three previous NBC series: legal dramas L.A. Law and Outlaw as well as White Housedrama The West Wing.  

Launching a new hit legal drama series has been a priority for NBC. Recent attempts included the Chicago Justice spinoff from the Chicago franchise.

In addition to Smits and McGee, the cast includes Scott ShepherdBarry SloaneMichael Luwoye, MaameYaa BoafoStony Blydenand Jayne Atkinson.

Georgaris will write and executive produce. Aguliar and Janollari will executive produce.

Bluff City Lawis produced by Universal Televisionin association with David Janollari Entertainment.

Sheen to Portray Oral Roberts in “Come Sunday”

Martin Sheen is getting religious for his next role…

The 76-year-old half Spanish American actor will portray famed Pentecostal televangelist Oral Roberts in Come Sunday.

Martin Sheen

Based on a true story, the film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a renowned evangelical minister in Tulsa, Oklahoma who stirs up controversy with his revelation that there is no hell.

The film is being directed by Joshua Marston from a script by Marcus Hinchey. The movie is based on a 2005 This American Life radio episode. The film also co-stars Broadway’s Condola Rashad as the minister’s wife.

Sheen will portray the founder of The Oral Roberts University and a mentor who treats Carlton (Ejiofor) like his own son until the young man denounces the existence of hell. Then he must publicly turn against the young pastor.

Sheen, who is one of the country’s leading activists who gives a voice to both political and human rights causes, last starred as a priest in Terrence Malick’s spiritual fable The Vessel from Cuban-American writer/director Julio Quintana. Sheen also had a supporting role in Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply and starred for seven seasons as President Bartlet on The West WingHe also enjoyed a supporting role in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie.

Miranda Takes Final “Hamilton” Bow

It’s the final curtain call for Lin Manuel-Miranda

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor, composer, rapper and writer took his final bows last night with the original cast of Hamilton, along with fellow departing stars Leslie Odom Jr. and Phillipa Soo in an emotional night at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's final Hamilton curtain call

After a few minutes, with no words spoken, the cast left the stage to the theme from The West Wing television series.

Javier Muñoz, Miranda’s alternate since the beginning of the journey Hamilton has taken from workshop to off-Broadway to its recent 11 Tony Award wins including Best Musical, takes over the title role beginning on Monday.

Among those in attendance for Miranda’s final performance, in which tickets ran upwards of $12,000 a seat, were Aaron Paul, Rosie O’Donnell, Secretary of State John Kerry, Mariska Hargitay, Edward Norton and Jennifer Lopez, who recorded a charity single with Miranda to benefit the victims of the Orlando Shooting.

A video of the final curtain call was posted on the Hamilton: An American Musical Facebook page.

Del Negro Cast in USA’s Old Hollywood Pilot “Paradise Pictures”

It’s Paradise found for Matthew Del Negro

The 42-year-old Latino actor has joined the cast of USA’s Old Hollywood pilot Paradise Pictures, written and executive produced by Suits scribe Rick Muirragui.

Matthew Del Negro

The period drama revolves around ambitious people striving to get to the top in 1940s Hollywood, when the dream factory was at its peak. Little do they know the challenges they’re about to face: the end of the studio monopolies, the blacklist and the disruptive new technology of television.

Del Negro plays Ray Aberdeen, the head of security at Paradise Pictures, and Tom Kirby’s (Morgan Spector) right-hand man. Being the studio “fixer” requires Aberdeen to clean up messes, cover up scandals and mete out justice to contract players who have crossed the line.

Del Negro currently recurs on Scandal and had extensive arcs on The Sopranos, The West Wing, Mistresses and The United States of Tara. He most recently played Detective Hauser opposite Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara in feature Hot Pursuit.

Austin Cast in J.Lo’s “The Fosters” Pilot for ABC Family

He may no longer be a Russo on the Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place… But Jake T. Austin may soon be forming part of a new TV family.

The 17-year-old Puerto Rican, Argentine and Spanish actor has joined the cast of ABC Family‘s drama pilot The Fosters, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Jake T. Austin

The hour-long drama, executive produced by Jennifer Lopez,  centers on Stef (The West Wing‘s Teri Polo) and Lena Foster (Rescue Me‘s Sherri Saum), a mixed-race lesbian couple who are parents to a biological son Brandon (David Lambert) as well as several adopted children. When Lena decides to take in Callie (Maia Mitchell), a troubled teen with an abusive past, the girl’s disruptive ways threaten to turn the Fosters’ lives upside down.

Austin, who recently guest-starred on Law & Order: SVU and Drop Dead Diva, will portray Jesus Foster, Mariana’s bilingual fraternal twin who may not be as book smart as his sister but is more sensible and pragmatic than she is. He’s described as a charming, hyperkinetic kid who’s on Ritalin.

The casting news comes shortly after Austin wrapped his four-season stint on Wizards of Waverly Place, where he played Selena Gomez’s kid brother Max Russo, one of three wizards, for more than 100 episodes of the series. He’ll reprise the role in the network’s upcoming one-hour special.

The pilot is currently in pre-production for a November shoot in Los Angeles.

Sheen to Star in 9/11-Themed Film “September Morn”

Martin Sheen will be searching for 9/11-related answers soon…

The 72-year-old half-Spanish actor will star opposite Woody Harrelson in September Morn, a drama based on the events on 9/11.

Martin Sheen

September Morn, which is said to be similar to the film Twelve Angry Men, will be directed by B.J. Davis.

The film centers on a group that revisits and questions the independent investigation into the events of September 11, 2001, when terrorists used commercial airliners to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The film’s co-stars include La Bamba’s Esai Morales, Ed Asner, John Heard, Daniel Sunjata and Judd Nelson.

Sheen is best known for his starring role on the presidency- and White House centric series The West Wing.

Sheen Cast as U.S. President in “Machete” Sequel

Like father, like son…

Following in his father Martin Sheen’s footsteps, Charlie Sheen is about to get presidential.

Charlie Sheen

The 46-year-old part-Spanish actor has joined the cast of Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills. Like Sheen’s father, who played President Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing, the controversial actor will play the President of the United States.

Rodriguez made the announcement Thursday on Twitter, where he wrote, “I just cast Charlie Sheen in #machetekills as the President of the United States! Who better? More soon…”

Sheen, who will be starring in FX’s new series Anger Management, retweeted that message, and a representative for the controversial actor confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that negotiations are taking place.

Rodriguez is currently in production on the sequel to his Grindhouse action movie Machete,  which once again stars Danny Trejo as the title character and includes Jessica Alba, Demián Bichir, Sofia Vergara and Zoe Saldana.

In the sequel, Machete is called upon by the U.S. government to stop a cartel leader and an arms dealer who have a weapon in space.

The broadly-written part initially called for the president to be African-American and have a basketball court on the White House lawn but has since been rewritten.

Smits Headed to FX’s “Sons of Anarchy”

He may have played a detective on NYPD Blue… But Jimmy Smits’ next role will take him to the dark side.

The 56-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor has signed on for a season-long arc on Sons of Anarchy, FX’s dark biker drama.

Jimmy Smits

Smits will play Neron “Nero” Padilla, a Latino gangbanger with an exit strategy who becomes a dangerous mentor for Charlie Hunnam’s character Jax. The character of Nero is envisioned to be heavily tattooed and extremely dark.

Previously, Smits has previously starred in LA Law, for which he won an Emmy, He’s also stated in The West Wing and Outlaw.

Image courtesy of Tim Fraser.