All Articles Tagged "Nia Long"

Nia Long To Play Roxanne Shanté’s Mom In Forest Whitaker-Produced Biopic

July 17th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Uncle Buck may have gotten the pink slip from ABC last month, but Nia Long is already preparing for her next role.

Long, fabulously 45, will be playing Roxanne Shanté’s mother in, Roxanne Roxanne, an upcoming biopic chronicling the life of the Queens, New York City rapper, who first gained attention through the Roxanne Wars and her association with the Juice Crew.

The 46-year-old MC shared a selfie of herself and Long earlier in the week via Instagram, captioning it:

“When your sister Nia Long is playing your Mama MissPeggy in the 80’s You can only feel so honored and so so blessed. #roxanneroxanne The Movie The Roxanne Shante story#plzbelieveit.”

The film, which is being produced by actor, director, and producer Forest Whitaker, is currently filming in the rapper’s hometown borough.

Roxanne, Roxanne is slated for release in 2017.



“I Feel Empowered”: Celebrities Who Bared Their Bumps To Celebrate Pregnancy

July 11th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Celebrities grace the covers of magazines and partake in photo shoots on a regular basis. No biggie, right? Well, that privilege takes on a completely different meaning for pregnant stars. For some of them who haven’t already shared the good news, posing while pregnant serves as their official baby announcement to the world. For others, a baby bump magazine cover or photo shoot is a chance to document and flaunt one of the most exciting times in their lives. Many pregnant models, actresses and singers have happily posed for magazines over the years, and some of them have even done it with zero clothing on. The result? Artful, classy, timeless images that present pregnant women in a beautiful, vibrant light. The joy and magic of pregnancy is a wondrous thing. Click on for pictures of some of your favorite celebs who bared it all – and in some instances, went fully clothed – while pregnant.

On Uncle Buck‘s Cancellation And Why Every Remake Isn’t A Good Idea

July 8th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Image: ABC

Image: ABC

If you blinked, you probably missed the short-lived run of the TV series Uncle Buck. The ABC show, which ran back-to-back episodes Tuesday nights at 9 and 9:30 p.m., ran for eight episodes, and is now canceled. An all-Black remake of the 1989 film of the same name, Uncle Buck starred Nia Long and James Lesure as the Russells, a married couple who begrudgingly enlisted the help of crazy Uncle Buck, played by Mike Epps, to be their children’s “manny,” or live-in nanny.

I’m typically not keen on remakes. One, because Hollywood suffers from remake syndrome and operates on the lazy assumption that reproduced works are automatically akin to financial success. And two, I believe there’s an overflowing fountain of unheard, highly imaginative stories that audiences have yet to tap into, especially from underrepresented creators. But Uncle Buck initially caught my attention for one reason and one reason only. Her name is Nia Long.

Yes, she’s played characters who’ve had comedic lines and moments in movies like The Best Man, Big Momma’s House and Are We There Yet? (and their respective sequels), but we’ve never seen Nia Long in a live-action sitcom. Strike that. We haven’t seen her in a live-action sitcom since The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That was eons ago. I was eager to see the actress take on a role I’m not typically used to seeing her perform. Real talk, though – why haven’t we seen Nia Long as the lead of her own damn show? Comedy, drama – she’ll slay either or. Nia, if you’re reading this, hit me up, girl. Seriously. Let’s make something happen.

But back to Uncle Buck. With the Will Packer-produced show’s lack of success (his other sitcom, Truth Be Told, met the same fate), you can’t help but wonder where it all went wrong. Well, let’s start with the network. As I mentioned, Uncle Buck, which premiered on June 14, had an eight-episode run. ABC aired two episodes of the show per week, back to back. In the TV world of yesteryear, summer was often synonymous with reruns. Not so much anymore, as there are at least 15 new and returning shows airing this summer. But summer is also testing grounds for some networks, where shows with unproven formats (like American Idol and Survivor when they first arrived on the reality and competition scenes) or, in this case, unsure networks, get exactly that – a test run.

Uncle Buck seems to have fit in the latter category. It’s as if the network said we don’t have much faith in this show so, here ya go. Take it for what you will. Don’t say we never gave you anything. It’s an odd way to operate if a network is trying to cultivate an audience. Not to mention, the first episode of Uncle Buck premiered on Hulu before it actually hit ABC’s airwaves. It’s not a move that networks typically utilize, but this is summertime and they definitely wanted a go at the streaming audience. Generate interest, earn viewers. But that didn’t quite work out.

Or was the show’s short run more of an indication of its content? It goes without saying that we’re all down for diverse, positive representations of Black families on television and film, but not even the cute Russell kids of Uncle Buck could keep audiences engaged if the material falls flat. Exhibit A: Uncle Buck uttered the line, “I don’t know karate, but I know ca-razy.” This, while trying to escape an intrusive neighbor’s drone. That line was dated long before Mike Epps uttered it (see James Brown’s “The Payback” from 1973), and it’s been said so much in the not-even-recent past that one, it’s been retired, and two, it is no longer funny. Build a show around enough of these types of moments and the audience won’t tune in week after week.

There’s also the issue of the remake. Are audiences tired of them? Or does it just depend on the material? The all-female remake of Ghostbusters is coming out next week, and it’s one of the most highly anticipated movies of the summer. A Will Smith-less Independence Day flopped at the box office and all we’ve heard in its aftermath is crickets. But Roots, which was also remade by Will Packer, fared a lot better than Uncle Buck. It’s not fair to compare these two considering that they are vastly different stories with their own respective histories, but clearly, one was favored by audiences over the other. And when you take our country’s current climate into consideration – when innocent Black men, women and children are killed at the hands of cops and their murderers aren’t punished for their heinous crimes – it’s easy to see why a classic miniseries like Roots, remake or not, made such a powerful impact. I wrote about whether or not we needed another Roots movie and the answer seemed to be a resounding yes.

Remakes don’t seem to be going anywhere, but it’s clear that viewers, myself included, want above all else, well-written, engaging and, yes, original content.

9 Times Celebs Publicly Crushed On Fellow Stars

May 11th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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DFree / Shutterstock

DFree / Shutterstock

We’ve all had a celebrity crush or two (or three or four) at some point in our lives.  That actor whose movies we HAVE to see just because they’re in them.  Heck, we’d pay to watch them read the dictionary from A to Z.  How about that singer whose silky-smooth voice can melt our hearts with a single note?  Needless to say, most of us will never meet our celebrity crushes, let alone have our fantasies about them come to life.  But there’s one special group of people for whom celebrity crushes just might turn into real-life romance: actual celebrities.  Stars meet each other at parties and award shows all the time.  One celebrity’s people call another celebrity’s people to make meetings, deals and hookups happen all the time.  It’s a pretty common occurrence that reveals one of the many perks of being a famous person: (instant) access.  Despite that, none of the following celebrity-on-celebrity crushes have resulted in coupling.  Not yet, anyway.

Mike Epps On Uncle Julius’s Death On Survivor’s Remorse: I Asked For A Raise And Was Killed Off

January 11th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Epps is moving on to “Uncle Buck.” Photo courtesy of ABC

Starz has had a lot of success lately with their original programming. Flesh and Bone is a critically-acclaimed show, Power boasts some of the network’s best ratings, and there is quite a following for the show, Survivor’s Remorse, which is produced by LeBron James. The performances on the latter are what seem to keep viewers tuned in, including Mike Epps’s work as Uncle Julius on the show.

But if you saw the Season 2 finale in October, you know that his character was involved in a pretty terrible car crash and was thrown from the vehicle. His last words were, “I wish I believed in God.” Fans weren’t sure what all that meant for the character, but it didn’t look good.

Well, Uncle Julius is dead, ya’ll. Dead, dead, dead. And it’s not simply because such a twist and turn in the storyline (killing perhaps the glue of the show) would leave fans shocked and wondering what would happen in Season 3. It’s also because Epps claims that he wanted more money to stay on the Starz program, but those behind it weren’t willing to pay up. With no raise, Epps wasn’t willing to stay with the show. Therefore, his character was killed off.

“I asked for some more money and they killed me,” Epps said at the Television Critics Association panel in Pasadena on Saturday, according to The Wrap. “That’s usually what happens on TV shows. If you remember Good Times, that’s what happened.”

That’s not exactly what happened on Good Times. Esther Rolle and John Amos both took issue with the creative direction of the show. Rolle left after Season 4 and Amos’s contract wasn’t renewed after Season 3 because of his creative conflicts with Norman Lear. But I digress.

Despite his sad departure from Survivor’s Remorse, Epps isn’t shedding tears about moving on. He’s ready to stand front and center.

“[On] ‘Survivor’s Remorse, I was like 24th lead.”

So Epps is off to be the lead and play another important uncle, this time on his upcoming ABC comedy, Uncle Buck. That is, of course, why he was speaking at the TCA panel in the first place. He will star alongside Nia Long and James Lesure in the Will Packer-produced series. But will you watch? In case you missed the trailer, check it out below:


Will you stand by Survivor’s Remorse without Epps?

Why Are Folks Mad About Nia Long Saying #AllLivesMatter?

September 11th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Nia Long Instagram

Nia Long Instagram

Honestly, I don’t understand what Nia Long did wrong by using the #AllLivesMatter hashtag.

If you haven’t heard, everybody’s favorite Black movie love interest recently posted a picture of herself on Instagram. In the selfie, Long is wearing an Innocence Project t-shirt, which features the names and years of those who found themselves wrongfully convicted. The caption for the post reads:

“Now is the time for criminal justice! Join me in helping @innocence fight wrongful convictions. #AllLivesMatter #reform

The message certainly appears harmless and thoughtful enough. Long even included a link back to the Innocence Project’s fundraising campaign, which helps support the group’s efforts to free people who have been wrongfully incarcerated.

Yet, that is not how some of her fans saw it. Instead, many fans have taken to her page to express their outrage over her usage of the #ALLLivesMatter hashtag. And some folks have even accused her of being selling out.

More specifically one fan wrote:

whereintheworldismsfabulosity: How do you not understand why this is wrong?? If all lives mattered we wouldn’t need to scream about #BlackLives. You’ve been in the game too long to have to pander like this. #BlackLivesMatter is the only chant that matters until it’s not needed anymore. Maybe you need to look around at the world. Do you tell your little brown sons that #AllLivesMatter, too?? I wonder how much they’ll believe you when the police have one of them pinned to the ground (OR WORSE) for jaywalking. Shame on you, @iamnialong. Shame.”

And another fan wrote:

bokoesen: It’s appropriate u wore black in this photo cus u just caused ur own funeral boo. All lives matter is bullshit cus if they did there wouldn’t be a need for #BlackLivesMatter. Guess u forgot that sitting in ur ivory tower.”

And my personal favorite, one fan even said:

notayesfan: Minister Louis Farrakhan need to have a talk with this coon. Black folks shouldn’t support her a$$. #BlackLivesMatter @iamnialong GET IT TOGETHER.

Until Long comes out and explains why she decided to use the hashtag, we can only speculate about the true intent behind her message. But until then, I honestly feel like folks should give her the benefit of the doubt.

And yes, I get that #AllLivesMatter is an attempt by mostly White folks to mock and downplay the urgency of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and hashtag. But I also get context too. And I don’t see how using the hashtag to highlight a campaign, which largely helps Black men, is a proof that Long is not only a sell-out, but that her message was meant to counteract the Black Lives Matter movement.

If anything, it reads like a sly attempt at mocking as well as co-opting the #AllLivesMatter hashtag itself. After all if #AllLivesMatter that should include the lives of those who have been brutalized by the police, as well as those lives who have been falsely imprisoned. And yet #AllLivesMatter continue to be silent about those lives…

If anything Long should be applauded for using her platform to raise awareness for such a noble and under-supported cause. Instead folks are in their feelings about a hashtag and calling her a coon. And this is why we can’t have nice movements.

WCW: 15 Flirty Nia Long Looks

June 24th, 2015 - By Rich
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Nia Long like her gaggle of gorgeous and famous friends (Sanaa, Taraji and Gabrielle) is our BFF in our head. This haute mama has been holding it down on the screen for almost two decades! We’re not only excited about her upcoming nuptials to long time beau Ime Udoka but we can’t wait to see what she brings to her upcoming role with Key & Peele in Keanu.

All images courtesy of WENN

WCW: 15 Flirty Nia Long Looks

Nia Long Engaged To Longtime Boyfriend Ime Udoka

May 26th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Nia Long


After a few days of speculation, it has been confirmed that Nia Long is engaged to longtime boyfriend Ime Udoka. The rumors began swirling this weekend after Nia was spotted in California rocking a noticeably large diamond ring.

Although the couple has not spoken about their engagement yet, a rep for Long confirmed the engagement to E! News earlier today. The Love Jones actress shares one son, 3-year-old Kez Udoka, with the San Antonio Spurs assistant coach. Long is also mother to 14-year-old Massai Dorsey II, who appeared alongside his famous mom in 2014 Tyler Perry film, The Single Moms Club.

Long and Udoka have been the target of speculation and breakup rumors for years. Throughout their courtship, especially after the birth of Kez, Long was frequently met with questions about when she and Udoka would tie the knot.

“I don’t know [if we’ll be getting married anytime soon],” the actress said in 2013. “You know, he’s assistant coaching for the Spurs, so we spend a lot of time going back and forth to San Antonio. It’s tough. It’s hard. It’s a challenge. But we are committed to one another and our babies. You know, you just do what you gotta do. It was a great opportunity for him, coming from being a player. It was like the perfect way to parlay into his coaching career and so I have to support that.”

It looks like they were able to find a way to balance it all. We’re confident that Miss Nia is going to make a beautiful bride.

Nia Long


Nia Long


Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

[Watch] First Look At Nia Long & Mike Epps In ABC’s “Uncle Buck”

May 13th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Last week, we told you that an “Uncle Buck” reboot starring Nia Long and Mike Epps is heading to ABC this fall. The network has since dropped a trailer to promote the forthcoming series. In case you missed our previous report on the series, check out ABC’s brief synopsis below.

Based on the hit movie of the same name, the new comedy Uncle Buck is coming to ABC. Mike Epps is a fun-loving but irresponsible guy who needs a job and a place to stay. By happy coincidence, his nieces and nephew’s Nanny has just quit and his brother and sister-in-law need his help. His unconventional personality just may make him the right fit for the family and they may be the answer to his problems, too.

Judging by the trailer, the show has a bit of a “Blackish” feel to it. Hopefully, it does well with viewers. Mike Epps on primetime television definitely isn’t a bad thing.

Take a sneak peek at the new series below. Will you be tuning in?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

ABC Orders “Uncle Buck” Reboot Starring Nia Long And Mike Epps

May 8th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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ABC/Mitchell Haaseth

ABC/Mitchell Haaseth

Mike Epps and Nia Long will be heading to the small screen in an upcoming television adaptation of 1980s film, Uncle Buck, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The pilot was recently picked up by ABC. Epps has been cast to play Uncle Buck, who is described as a less-than-responsible middle-aged man who is out of work and scores a job looking after his brother’s children.

Long will be playing the role of Buck’s sister-in-law Cindy Russell while James Lesure has been cast as Buck’s brother and Cindy’s husband.

Iman Benson, Sayeed Shahidi and Aalyrah Caldwell also star in the series produced by Will Packer. Of course, this isn’t the first time producers have taken a stab at an on-screen adaptation of the late 80s classic. In 1990, CBS aired a sitcom based on the comedy, but it was cancelled before the season ended.

Of course, reboots are commonly associated with drama—especially when they don’t include talent from the original project. According to Deadline, the families of both John Candy and John Hughes have complained about ABC turning the movie into a sitcom. Their statement reads:

Disappointment has been expressed by both the John Hughes and John Candy families over the conduct and decision by the ABC Network and Universal Television to develop a comedy series based on the feature film Uncle Buck. Rather than either entity providing advance information to the Estates, the families learned of the project’s potential via the media.

The families feel a strong attachment to the original film which symbolized the great and unique collaboration between Hughes and Candy. Recalling that the director was displeased with first Uncle Buck TV show effort which failed on CBS in 1990, it is well expected that he would not be supportive of this current attempt.

Apparently, ABC is moving forward with the reboot anyway. Scheduling details have yet to be announced.

Do you think you’ll be checking this out when it airs?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise