All Articles Tagged "Shonda Rhimes"
It’s always interesting to find out which actors and actresses auditioned for popular television and film roles. Last month we told you that Lance Gross was up for the coveted role as Harrison on ABC’s popular series Scandal, but did you know that Gabrielle Union also auditioned for a role in the Shonda Rhimes-produced tele-drama? During a recent interview with CocoaFab, the 40-year-old Being Mary Jane star revealed that she was also up for a leading role in the series.
“There’s the whole group of us who auditioned for ‘Scandal’ that, not just fell in love with that project and Shonda (Rhimes), but the process, the level of respect that we were given even in the audition process and the world that Shonda created even for us trying. It was like, is there ever gonna be another situation for you like that?” Union revealed.
Although she didn’t get the part, Gabby went on to say that it’s all love and gushed about how successful her fellow “sister actresses” have been within the past couple of years.
“Luckily they’re my friends so thank God if I ever needed a loan I’d be like, ‘Well, I saw you last night on ‘Deception,’ Megan, and I know you have money!’ ‘Person of Interest’ is one of the top rated shows internationally, so my girl Taraji (P. Henson) is doing so well. And then all of the films that have come from the great work that she’s done, and Kerry (Washington) with ‘Scandal’ and ‘Django’ and the whole world is like, Gladiator! And Thandie (Newton)’s show. I’ve big got shoes to fill, but it’s dope.”
She also expressed that she hopes Black men in Hollywood will have their time to shine as well.
“Now you hope that the time of the black man is coming. You want them to have their ‘Scandal’ and their ‘Deception’ and their ‘Being Mary Jane’ and you can see black love and black dysfunction.”
Well it appears that their time may be coming sooner than later. Earlier today we reported that NBC has added a new series titled Crisis, starring Lance Gross to their 2013 fall lineup.
Could you see Gabby playing Olivia Pope on Scandal?
‘Scandal’ To Return For Another Season, Shonda Rhimes Says Writing For Season 3 Is Already In The Works!
Gladiators across the nation can release a hefty sigh of relief. Last week ABC began to announce which shows would be picked up for another season and thankfully, the popular Shonda Rhimes’ political thriller Scandal is among the renewed!
According to the Hollywood Reporter, ABC has expressed “an early vote of confidence” regarding the popular series, which was at one point, only expected to be a short-runs series. Scandal is currently a 2.4 in the coveted 18-49 demographic with 7.4 million total viewers. It sounds like a slam dunk for executive producer Shonda Rhimes, who says that writing for the new season has already begun.
Scandal star Kerry Washington also took to her Twitter page to celebrate the renewal of the hit series and thank viewers for their support.
While the rest of America is on pins and needles waiting for the season finale of Scandal, the folks over at Disney, the series’ network, are just happy Shonda Rhimes is on their team. The show has been a runaway hit for the network.
But as Forbes reports, it had been a journey for “the hottest woman in American television.” Not only does she put in an average 13-hour workday, but she multitasks like crazy. On the day of the magazine interview she was “having a dress-fitting for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner; picking songs and approving script edits for two of the most watched programs in prime time; taking her 1-year-old daughter to the doctor to investigate a mysterious bump.”
And she was writing the season finale to ABC’s hit Scandal, which has an enormous viewership of 8.3 million viewers each week and brought in an estimated $100 million in ad revenue this season.
If that weren’t enough multitasking, Rhimes has even got another magazine feature coming this week in the New York Times Magazine, that you can check out now online.
Rhimes is also the creator of ABC’s other hit show Grey’s Anatomy, making her literally the network’s savior from poor ratings. This 43-year-old single mother of two has become, as Forbes notes, “the Walt Disney Co.’s indispensable creator of an increasingly dispensable product: network television.”
Her two ABC shows are among the most valuable properties in television, pulling in more than $13 million in advertising for each week, just shy of $300 million a season, or about five percent of the network’s total revenue. Add to this tens of millions more for Grey’s syndication and licensing in other countries, which Disney shares with Rhimes’ production company, ShondaLand. Rhimes is pulling in a pretty penny as well. Forbes estimates she earned $12 million this year.
To offer some additional perspective — broadcast TV audience ratings since 2002 have dropped by half while Rhimes continues to pull them in. “Each week more than 90% of Grey’s viewers stay tuned for Scandal, which follows at 10 p.m., a time slot it has owned in the ratings since its debut,” reports Forbes. Scandal watchers generate a stunning 3,000 tweets a minute during broadcasts.
Besides money and ratings, Rhimes has made network history in more ways than one. She is the only African American show creator to have consecutive hit series. In fact, Scandal is the first network drama written and produced by an African-American woman with an African-American woman in the lead role. And black viewers have responded to this. It is the highest-rated scripted drama among African Americans, with 10.1 percent of black households, or an average of 1.8 million viewers, tuning in.
“What Shonda Rhimes possesses is this extraordinary instinct and compass for what our audience needs,” Paul Lee, the president of ABC Entertainment Group, told the magazine.
But Rhimes remains cautious and aware of television’s fleeting fame. “It’s not like I’ve got this power so I’m going to stomp around doing whatever I want,” she explains to Forbes. “The power is that the network trusts me.”
Click through on those two links to read more about the woman who is ruling network television. Scandal is on tonight. What do you think is going to happen? Make sure to come back to the homepage tomorrow for our recap.
‘I Thought I’d Have To Sedate Cast Members!’ Shonda Rhimes Talks Revealing The Mole To ‘Scandal’ Cast
If you’re a “Scandal” fanatic like we are, we know you’ve been sitting on pins and needles every week trying to figure out who the heck the mole is on the TV show. It’s hard enough trying to figure out whether Jake is a good guy or not and whether we really want Olivia and Fitz to be together — not to mention keeping up with Cyrus’s antics – but this mole thing has just about everybody racking their brains, including the “Scandal” cast, according to Shonda Rhimes.
The creator of the ABC drama recently talked to The Hollywood Reporter about the biggest plot of season 2 and she said this about the big reveal:
“When we revealed who the mole was to the cast, cast members literally got up from the table and ran around the table screaming, which was hilarious. Then when we revealed the twist on the twist of who the mole was, I thought I’d have to sedate cast members because people were freaking out, which was awesome. It’s not just who the mole is, it’s who the mole is working with and what’s going on there that’s even bigger than just who the mole is. We’re really proud of who the mole is, that’s a pretty surprising twist but it’s even bigger than that.”
Considering there are only two weeks left in the season, we’re all wondering if we’ll get to find out who the mole is by May 16. All Shonda let on is how the season finale sets up the third season, telling THR:
“It leads into it quite well. We’re going to leave everybody over the summer, I hope, with their mouths hanging open a little bit asking how the hell they’re going to get out of this, which is our goal. We know how we’re ending the season and now we’re trying to figure out how we’re getting out of it (laughs). We end the season in a way that explodes the premise of the show in a way that’s good and strong and hopefully sticks with bold story telling.”
Well, at least that bids well for a third season of our favorite prime time drama. Any guesses on who the mole may be?
Scandal’s latest “Woman Scorned” episode was a bit more laid back than the others but it was still full of twists and turns that left us with questions about Cyrus, about Mellie (what is she going through?), Jake and the fate of the Olitz affair. You may not have noticed that last night’s episode was directed by Tony Goldwyn (aka Fitz). We’d say he did a wonderful job. Let’s jump into some of the more memorable moments.
I know I’m not alone when I say that last night’s episode of “Scandal” took me through some changes. We knew that Huck had to have a disturbing past but I doubt any of us could have imagined that it was that tragic. Well last night we found out why. In addition to Huck’s story there were also some shocking moments from the other principle characters. Check out the most memorable moments from last night’s episode.
Does Lance Gross Strike You As A ‘Gladiator In A Suit?’ Actor Says He Auditioned For ‘Scandal’ Role But Was Beat Out By Columbus Short
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Columbus Short playing the role of smooth-talking, take-charge Harrison on ABC’s primetime political thriller, Scandal. However, actor Lance Gross recently revealed in an interview with Hot 97′s Angie Martinez that he’d actually tried out for the role and he really wanted it. Unfortunately for him producers decided to go with Columbus Short instead.
“I was up for the Scandal role. Yeah, it hurts. It hurts. But, you know he’s [Columbus Short] killing it. He was right for it,” Gross admitted.
He also shared that there are a handful of popular Black male actors that he frequently runs into at auditions.
“I always see Columbus Short, Derek Luke, Jackie Long, Robbie Jones, a little bit of everybody.”
Gross went on to insist that although they frequently audition for the same roles, there is no bad blood between the fellas.
“Everybody uplifts everybody. I feel like the girls get catty about the roles more than the guys. We don’t do that. We just go in and try to be prepared. It’s friendly competition, just like sports.”
Surprisingly, the Temptation actor also revealed that he competed against Derek Luke for the role of Diddy in the Notorious biopic.
“I wanted to play Diddy in ‘Notorious.’ I went out for that. Derek got it. I think he did good. Derek did a great job. I love the movie.”
No disrespect to Lance, but my Olivia Pope gut instincts tell me that the folks over at Shondaland made the right decision when they selected Columbus to play Harrison.
Turn the page to watch Lance chat it up with Angie. Do you think he would’ve made a better Harrison?
Gladiators, can we have a moment to talk, please?
Do the writers think that because so many other things have been going on with the show we have forgotten than Harrison Wright’s (played by Columbus Short) personal life and past has been virtually ignored? That’s not what’s happening, is it?
I thought that since we are in the midst of a three week Scandal hiatus (that hate mail goes to ABC, not to Shonda Rhimes or ShondaLand), it would be a good time to discuss a very important matter.
Back in February, The Hollywood Reporter did an interview with Rhimes and they asked her what was going on with his character. Her response was:
I consider Harrison to be the gun on the wall that we haven’t fired on purpose. The story of Harrison and his past — he used to work for Adnan Salif and then he went to jail — that thing that’s going to unfold, that’s a giant story that we want to unpack when it suits us most. We’ve been holding onto it. We will be getting glimpses and hints as to what’s to come.
Two weeks later, I tweeted him right before the first three week hiatus this year asking if Harrison would get a storyline this season and he told me, “It’s coming.” Now, what he said to me isn’t as important as what Shonda said but I wanted to point it out anyway just in case any of you thought you had an e-chance with him. You don’t, we go together as of February 21st. I thought I’d put that out there now.
Back to Shonda’s answer. I get that Shonda and the writing team don’t work in a way that’s best conducive to us as viewers. If you do that, you’ll never satisfy everyone and probably hate the show as the creators/writers. So, I do get it. However, that interview was posted in early February so where are the glimpses and hints? I don’t think we’ve missed anything; all Harrison has been doing is working, working, working.
We’ve only seen him in the office asking Olivia what she wants him to do, almost like a right hand man. When he’s not doing that, he’s busy reminding Abby and Quinn that they’re “gladiators” and sometimes, questions don’t need to be asked. Wait. Is the latter a clue? I guess it could be but no one there really asks questions (besides Quinn) so that can’t be it. It’s fine to be Olivia’s right hand or be the “cheerleader” when the team is starting to question why they’re still involved in the company. But it’s not fine to be just that when there’s clearly more to him than that and the ability to be a lady charmer when necessary. I’m just really lost about this whole thing.
The reality is that there will only be four episodes left in season two when Scandal returns on April 25th. Yes, four episodes is more than enough time for a Harrison storyline to unfold but is that going to happen? Look at what he’s up against: (1) Huck and Quinn looking like they might have a late night hook up; (2) David, Abby and their unresolved issues in their love affair and; (3) we don’t know who the hell Jake is and why he’s been stalking Olivia. The last one alone is likely going to take up most of the episodes since Olivia is the main character.
This is not looking good. I mean, a fine and smart brother like that is getting no shine in Washington, D.C.? Chocolate City? Am I the only one who thought he was going to get with the black woman who was an executive at the company on the March 21st episode (the one where the woman had the affair with the Supreme Court Justice candidate)? They let that one go too.
Let’s be clear: I’m still here for Scandal. It’s a smart show with a super fly lead character. I just want to know when the brother will get some love – or hell, some hate.
What do you say? Do you think we’ll get any insight on Harrison’s background when the show comes back? What would you like to see happen with him?
One Of These Names Is Not Like The Other…A Look At TIME’s Interesting ‘Most Influential People’ Picks
TIME magazine just released its annual list of the Most Influential People in the World, and as these things go every year, there are some people who unquestionably should be on this list and others who we’re scratching our head over. After a lively and heated debate in the office this morning, I’ve come to the conclusion that influence means different things to different people — and perhaps TIME should revise this list to be called the most influential people of the week, month, or quarter, as some of these pop culture choices appear to be hot right now — as in April 18, 2013 right now — but hardly for the entire year.
But before we debate, let’s shout out the black folks who made the list:
- Jay-Z : Not only did the Jigga man make the list, he snagged one of the mag’s covers and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, no less, wrote his profile. #Winning
- Valerie Jarrett
- Shonda Rhimes
- Lebron James
- Barack Obama
- Omotola Jalade Ekeinde
- Michelle Obama
- Joyce Banda
- Frank Ocean
- Joaquim Barbosa
- Mario Balotelli
And now for the interesting/confusing ones:
- Christina Aguilera: In the world? Perhaps the singing competition world, and I’m not even sure that assessment would be completely accurate. This seems like a wild card, we need one more influencer who’s female addition. Can we say reaching?
- Jennifer Lawrence: Is it just me or is Jennifer Lawrence just the different white girl flavor of the year? You know the innocent, aloof blue-eyed girl who acts like she doesn’t really want to be famous but doesn’t mind hitting every red carpet to pick up an award. I’ve yet to understand her mass appeal…but I also haven’t seen ”Silver Linings Playbook” yet, maybe I’d understand her magnificence afterward.
- Justin Timberlake: I know Justin’s album just sold a bazillion copies and I have noticed a couple of big band, rat pack redux copy cats since he came back…OK so maybe he is influential. But the boy just came back after a 10-year hiatus. Can we see how much of the attention is based on consistently hot music as opposed to his hyped up return to music. This just seems a bit premature.
- Miguel: I’m not denying Miguel’s artistic prowess, but the reality is on a mass level people just don’t know who he is. Remember Kelly Clarkson at the Grammys? Plus Miguel just said so himself on The Breakfast Club, acknowledging not enough people are hip to who he is yet. I feel like someone who just got word of who Miguel is last month thought, “yeah, let’s add this guy.” At the end of the day this is still a great look for him though.
- Hello, Hillary Clinton! The former U.S. Secretary of State hasn’t sat down since leaving her latest post, and everyone knows she’s gearing up to run for president in 2013. She’s got a heavy influence right now.
- Rihanna: I’m not really mad she wasn’t on the list, but with all the accolades the great people of Europe have just bestowed upon her (the new Princess Diana?), TIME might be slipping by not acknowledging her global influence.
Check out the full list of influential people here. Who would you add or remove?
Halt The Hiatuses: “Scandal” Fan Starts Change.org Petition To Get ABC Execs To Stop All The Breaks Between New Episodes
I’m sure most folks who watch Scandal have noticed throughout the season that the show has had quite a few breaks between new episodes from time to time. Hell, the show is currently on hiatus-mode until April 25, which will have put the series on “sleep mode” for three long weeks. While this does happen with many sitcoms, fans of Scandal are just about sick of it, and they’re letting their voice be heard.
According to Shadow and Act, a petition, from Change.org of course, has been started to encourage fans to hit up Anne Sweeney, the president of entertainment for ABC, but to do so in a polite manner. Word is, it is the ABC execs who are putting the show on so many breaks, as Shonda Rhimes has already made it clear that she is just the creative, but has nothing to do with any scheduling issues (“I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHEN SHOWS AIR. I do not have anything to do with the fact that we are not on for 3 weeks. #donottweetmeyourcrazy”). Here’s what the petition creator, T R Mason, had to say:
There are very few TV shows on prime time television written by, much less starring people of color. The broadcast networks have made great strides in recent years by diversifying the faces we see on prime time TV however there is more that can be done. Putting a show like Scandal on repeated hiatus is a surefire way to lose fans and viewers.
Gladiators/Scandalistas/Scandalists everywhere have not gotten over our initial shock that there will be no Scandal AGAIN for 3 more weeks. Instead of whining and complaining, we are doing something about it! Shonda Rhimes is NOT the reason there’s another hiatus. It’s the TV execs at Disney/ABC Television Group. Let your voices and displeasure be heard by contacting Anne Sweeney, the President of ABC Entertainment…
Or send her a nice little profanity free email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let her know how unhappy we all are and maybe, just maybe they’ll pick up enough episodes that we Gladiators won’t have to be on hiatus AGAIN against our will. So bombard ABC with your unhappiness by emailing, calling, faxing etc. Mount up Gladiators! Mount up!
Who knew you all called yourselves gladiators?? But anyway, it could have a lot to do with the production of new episodes. The show could be doing so well that new episodes are being ordered, and Lord knows it doesn’t take a day to roll out one of those juicy episodes (more like a week). And as Shadow and Act pointed out, it also could have a lot to do with the need to make money, which is often done by saving a network’s biggest moneymaking shows for the “sweeps” periods during months like February and May, when they can sell advertising space for big dollars. Ratings will be high when shows come to an end in May, so big ratings equals more money networks can ask for from advertisers.
So was a petition necessary? While some only sign petitions for more pressing issues (because we know Change.org has made any and everything, big and minute–as in small–worth a petition), I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to remind those at ABC that fans are becoming unhappy. But then again, you “Scandalistas” aren’t going anywhere! What else is there to really watch on TV right now?