Rhimes working on 8 Netflix shows

Netflix is about to look more and more like Shondaland.

According to Entertainment Weekly the mastermind behind “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” Shonda Rhimes has a host of new projects in the works for Netflix. With producer Betsy Beers by her side, EW says the duo and their team will set out to create eight new shows for the streaming service, all of which center on diverse stories.

For instance, EW says that one untitled project is “based on the true story of Anna Delvey, the Manhattan socialite/con-woman, as written about in New York Magazine,” while another — “The Warmth of Other Suns” — will be “an adaptation of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Isabel Wilkerson’s novel about African-Americans feeling the Jim Crow South.”

And for Rhimes, telling a vast array stories isn’t something that just happened; instead, it was her mission.

“I wanted the new Shondaland to be a place where we expand the types of stories we tell, where my fellow talented creatives could thrive and make their best work and where we as a team come to the office each day filled with excitement,” Rhime said in a statement, according to EW. “Ted and Cindy and everyone at Netflix have been incredible partners in making that happen. This is Shondaland 2.0.”

For a full list of Shondaland 2.0 projects in the works, click here.

Aniston snags role as first female president in Netflix comedy

It looks like the United States might get its first female president after all — that’s all because of a brand-new comedy coming to Netflix.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, in a new Netflix production called “First Ladies,” Jennifer Aniston will star as America’s first female president, and playing her wife will be comedian, actor and writer Tig Notaro.

The script is also co-written by Notaro, says THR, who worked with Stephanie Allynne to tell the tale of “Beverly and Kasey Nicholson, America’s first female President and her wife, the First Lady, in a story that promises to show that behind every great woman is another great woman.”

Also working on the project are Adam McKay and Chris Hency (executive producer), reports THR, along with “Will Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum and Betsy Koch for Gloria Sanchez Productions.”

Rodriguez to star in ‘Carmen Sandiego’ remake

Netflix has found their new Carmen Sandiego — and two times over.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Gina Rodriguez will play the film’s namesake character in a live-action remake, which follows a “fictional thieving villain from the 1990s educational children’s series.”

But Rodriguez’s contributions to the streaming service’s revival of the film don’t end there; in fact, EW reports that she will also lend her voice to Netflix’s original animated series based on the character.

What’s more is that EW says “the live-action version will also be produced by Rodriguez through her I Can and I Will production company, alongside Kevin Misher and Caroline Fraser.”

Way to go, Carmen Sandiego — er, Gina Rodriguez!

Poehler to star in, direct wine-filled comedy for Netflix

If you needed a reason to love Amy Poehler even more, her latest project may be it.

According to Refinery29, the actor and friend in our heads will be making her directorial debut with a Netflix film called Wine Country, which “film follows a group of pals who head to Napa to get their grape on and celebrate one of the women’s 50th birthdays.”

As if the plot isn’t enough, Refinery29 reports that the film’s cast features all of Poehler’s besties, including ” Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Tina Fey, and Emily Spivey, who also penned the script.”

With an all-star comedic cast, it’s hard to not be excited for the film — and Poehler & Co. seems to feel the same. Netflix announced the news Wine Country‘s forthcoming release by tweeting out a video of Poehler and her co-stars singing the Kenny Loggins song, “Whenever I Call You Friend” in slightly-tipsy unison.

While there has yet to be a release date announced, one thing is for sure: this film is going to be one to watch.

Watch the “trailer” here.

Waithe makes ‘Vanity Fair’ debut

Vanity Fair’s latest cover star is making waves in more ways than one.

According to HuffPost, actor and writer Lena Waithe is starring on Vanity Fair‘s April cover, which some are saying marks “a major shift in the magazine’s largely mainstream focus by showcasing an up-and-coming black, openly lesbian woman.” The cover, photographed by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, is the first for the glossy’s new editor in chief Radhika Jones, reports HuffPost, potentially indicative of how Jones may steer the magazine in the future.

“When I thought about the kind of person I’d like to see on the cover of Vanity Fair, I thought about Lena Waithe — a member of the new creative elite remaking entertainment for her generation,” Jones wrote in a note to readers of the new issue, according to HuffPost.

Waithe is best known for her role on the hit Netflix series Master of None, says HuffPost, previously working up through the ranks of the entertainment industry while serving in a more behind-the-scenes capacity as a writer and assistant under the likes of Ava DuVernay and Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Most recently, HuffPosts says Waithe has created her own series, — The Chi, which has already been renewed for a second season on Showtime — and has another series about a queer black woman in development, not to mention she appears in Steven Spielberg’s new movie, Ready Player One.

Whatever is coming next for Waithe, we know we’ll be watching!

 

 

Blige becomes first to earn acting, songwriting Oscar nods in same year

There’s a first for everything, and for Mary J. Blige, her latest achievement is a major first.

According to Huffington Post, the R&B singer — who stars in the Netflix film “Mudbound,” which tells the story of two families living in Jim Crow-era Mississippi — earned two nominations for her contributions to the film. For her portrayal of Florence Jackson, HuffPost says Blige received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress; additionally, her song for the film, “Mighty River,” secured a nomination for Best Original Song.

With her two nominations come a place in history, says HuffPost, as she is now “the first person ever to receive an acting and songwriting nomination within the same year,” not to mention she is also “the first actor to be nominated for a film directed by a woman of color [Dee Rees].”

Also scoring a nomination for the film was Rachel Morrison, who was recognized for Best Achievement in Cinematography and scored another first, becoming the first female director of photography to be nominated in the Best Cinematography category.

Congratulations to these two talents!

 

Ryder makes comeback with L’Oreal

After returning to television with a spot on the hit series, “Stranger Things,” Winona Ryder already has a new role to prepare for.

According to W magazine, the actor recently sealed the deal to serve as a brand ambassador for L’Oreal Paris. Specifically working on their “Elvive Hair Care” campaign, W reports that the ad series “celebrates the fact that hair can make a comeback from damage.”

With the campaign aligning with Ryder’s ‘comeback kid’ storyline, Senior Vice President of Marketing at L’Oréal Paris Anne Marie Nelson-Bogle told WWD that dry, color-treated hair deserves the same second chance.

“Everyone does love a comeback, and we will be communicating that damaged hair deserves one, too,” she said. “For Winona, we know that from TV sets to the red carpet, her hair has gone through many transformations—her hair is dry and damaged.”

Ryder made her [second] comeback in an ad spot that debuted during the recent telecast of the Golden Globes, says W, starring alongside singer Camila Cabello and actor Aja Naomi King.

Next season of ‘Black Mirror’ to feature female leads

One dystopian show is getting a set of lead actors that may seem a bit utopian to some.

According to Glamour, the fourth season of the hit British series Black Mirror is hitting Netflix with an all-female set of lead actors. With Glamour reporting that only 18 of the top 50 television shows in the U.K. have female leads, the move comes as a bit of a plot twist, going against the grain of TV in not only the U.K., but in all of television.

While the decision to cast females in lead roles is something to celebrate, it wasn’t actually a conscious decision. Glamour says co-executive producer Annabel Jones told The Hollywood Reporter that having all-female protagonists just happened, as Jones and fellow co-exective producer Charlie Booker “don’t tend to think about the stories that way.”

But, she praises the result nonetheless.

“But it’s great — great! — that they’re all strong female protagonists,” she said. “I think what’s lovely about the show is that it’s not a strident statement. It’s more: Why not? We don’t even think about it from a gender perspective and I hope that’s progress. It’s more that we explore the best story and the best way to tell it.”

Netflix show to continue with Wright as star

Netflix hit House of Cards may be coming to an end, it won’t be going out without a bang.

Now that Kevin Spacey has been fired after several sexual misconduct allegationsHuffPost reports that the show will conclude with a brand-new president: Claire Underwood. That’s right — co-star Robin Wright will be ‘inaugurated’ as the show’s new president for it’s sixth and final season, says HuffPost, conveniently fulfilling the promise her character made at the end of the fifth season when she said it’s “my turn.”

Confirming the new madam president, HuffPost reports Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the move is “really exciting” and one that will offer “closure of the show for fans.”

That “closure,” however, will come in the form of an eight-episode season, says HuffPost, as opposed to the previous season’s 13 episodes.

Waithe makes history, gives ‘master’ speech at Emmys

The 69th Emmy Awards were filled with political zingers, anticipated wins and emotional acceptance speeches, but no speech was a masterful as the one from Lena Waithe.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the actor and writer on the Netflix comedy Master of None “made history when she won best writing for a comedy series at the Emmys Sunday night,” becoming the first African-American woman to earn the accolade. But after taking the stage to accept the award, Waithe’s speech was a hit parade of touching and inspiring moments.

Winning for the writing on the “Thanksgiving” episode, EW says Waithe first thanked her mother, as well as series creator Aziz Ansari. Once Waithe named girlfriend Alana Mayo, her speech took the most inspiring turn as she also thanked the “LGBTQIA community.”

“I see each and every one of you,” Waithe said, according to EW. “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is without us in it.”

Waithe closed her remarks by returning to her roots, says EW, thanking fans for making her dream, as well as that of Ansari, a reality.

“And to everybody out there who showed us so much love with this episode, thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.”

And we appreciate Lena more than she knows. Congratulations!