Rapper Lil Mama Will Play Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopes in TLC Biopic

Back in November, we were given the first glimpses into a more exciting #rememberthe90s resurgence, that of Atlanta R&B group TLC, who announced their first album in more than a decade on the heels of further details about a VH1 biopic about the group, originally announced nearly a year before. Made-for-television biopics tend to be a crapshoot, but this one has promise in that it actually has the blessings of original members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, who are serving as consultants for the project, now fittingly titled Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story.

But who could play such a luminous trio? Yesterday, VH1 released a statement announcing the casting choices to play each member: Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee, Joyful Noise, one particularly intense episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit) is your Chilli, Drew Sidora (Step Up, The Game) as T-Boz, and rapper and singer-songwriter Lil Mama, she of the boisterous single “Lip Gloss,” will don the coveted eye marker to play Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, which, if T-Boz and Chilli declare you good enough to play themselves and their legendary late bandmate, all right then. The film begins shooting next month in Atlanta, under the direction of Charles Stone III (Drumline, Paid In Full) and with a screenplay from Kate Lanier, who wrote What’s Love Got to Do With It? (yay!) and Glitter (ummm…).

And, because you look like you need it and it’s the middle of the week, here’s a TLC dance party.  

Check Out the Pilot for ‘The Jon Brion Show’ Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Despite the lack of Academy recognition, it’s an indisputable fact that Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest working filmmakers of our time who has put out some of the best films of the past two decades. I mean,just think about the fact that Boogie Nights was released when Anderson was only 27—the man is a genius. No one gets better performances out of their actors—just watch this scene of Julianne Moore from Magnolia on repeat for a master class in character. But anyhow, this morning PTA decided to grace us with a video under his YouTube channel Al Rose Productions. Unrelated to The Master, the video turned out to be a long-lost pilot episode for something called ”The Jon Brion Show.” No further information necessary, I’m sold.

But okay, apparently back in in 1999/2000 Jon Brion shot a television pilot with VH1—”a variety show that would be feature music and comedy of the various performers around LA club Largo at the time (Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, etc),”—but it was turned down. So, being the master that he is, Anderson took matters into his own hands and went on to shoot his own version “The Jon Brion Show” with three test episodes. The gift that Anderson bestowed upon us this morning features performances form Elliot Smith, Brad Mehldau, and Brion himself. Cigarettes & Red Vines spoke to Anderson a while back about the pilot:

OK. What about The Jon Brion Variety Show? I heard that he originally shot a pilot for VH1 & they didn’t like it. So you went back & directed a few episodes with Jon, Aimee, Fiona, etc.?
Yeah. Jon tried to do a thing with VH1, but I never even saw what they did. He didn’t like it. I said there’s a way we can do something & we should experiment. So, we just basically shot tests for about three episodes. I paid for it myself & we just did it.

At Largo?
No. At this recording studio called Ocean Way. I rented it, got a few cameras & threw up a couple of lights. No big deal. I had Fiona sing. I had Jon sing. Elliott Smith came by. Bette Midler happened to be recording at the studio next door & was like “I want to sing!” It was insane! Next thing I know, Bette Midler is doing ‘50’s cover tunes. We’re like, “Wow”! So this was all just a test to see the possibility for a music venue or a way to capture what Jon does. I’m still convinced there’s a way to do it. I don’t exactly know how right now. The test showed me all these good things & some bad things.

So, you haven’t presented this to a cable channel or music video channel to air?
No. We’ll sort of revisit it & it will be this ever burning thing. It’s been my own personal pet thing. Once we figure how we want to do it, then we’ll figure out where we want to do it & what sort of venue is best.

Enjoy the full video below.

‘Mob Wives’ Season Three Captures Hurricane Sandy On Staten Island

VH1’s supertrailer of Mob Wives‘ season three, which debuts January 6, promises all the same death threats, trout pouts, and correctional facility visits as before. But this season there’s something "real" on the reality: Hurricane Sandy hitting Staten Island.

Staten Island is, of course, where all the ladies of Mob Wives (who are really more like Mob Daughters, Ex-Wives And Girlfriends) drink, gossip, and threaten to bust each other’s kneecaps. The first few minutes of this supertrailer are the same-old, same-old, but halfway through filming Sandy hits the Island and we see the real devastation up close.

Drita D’Avanzo (the blonde one) made headlines shortly after Sandy for showing up to some relief efforts on the Island and filming scenes from the show. A volunteer who witnessed her and VH1’s film crew in action told the New York Observer, "She was not well received and was able to clear a hot coffee stand on a cold day in 2 seconds.”

Of course that part will be on the cutting room floor. 

Watch the season three trailer for Mob Wives below: 

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Ha Ha, Remember Napster?

Filmmaker Alex Winter does. He’s taking us back to the late ’90s and the battle over peer-to-peer filing-sharing in Downloaded.

Downloaded follows the rise of Napster, as told by co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, and the ensuing shitshow with the RIA, including lawsuits from Metallica and Dr. Dre. Judging by the trailer, it looks to be a little bit like The Social Network but without the Aaron Sorkin-penned quips.

According to Slashfilm, Downloaded will air at an unknown future date as an upcoming documentary on VH1’s Rock Docs. 

Here’s the trailer below:

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter

VH1 Orders New Scripted Series: ‘Bounce’

VH1, which has followed in MTV’s footsteps by cutting bumping most of its music video coverage to other channels, is now adding scripted shows to its already stuffed reality TV lineup. Following the success of the Atlanta-based drama Single Ladies, the channel has now greenlighted the production of another hour-long series, this one called Bounce starring Dean Cain, Kimberly Elise, Charlotte Ross, Taylour Paige, and Logan Browning.

According to Deadline Hollywood:

Created and written by James LaRosa, Bounce follows the lives and loves of the Los Angeles Devil Girls, the dance team for the country’s No. 1 professional basketball team. It centers on Ahsha (Paige), a sheltered woman who joins the team against the wishes of her mother Sloane (Elise), who knows this treacherous, tempting world all too well having been an original Devil Girl herself. Olivia (Ross) is the shrewd squad manager, Jelena (Browning) is the ruthless star captain of the team, and Pete Davenport (Dean Cain) is the former all-star who’s come back to coach his old team only to have to contend with the girls stealing the spotlight and distracting his players. Maggie Malina and LaRosa executive produce the series, which will begin production in 2013. The cast includes Valery Ortiz, Katherine Bailess, Jonathan McDaniel and McKinley Freeman. Sanaa Hamri directed the pilot, which marks VH1′s first hourlong pilot.

Here’s the positive: VH1 is at least bringing series featuring diverse casts to the small screen, which isn’t really happening on other mainstream cable shows. (Sorry, HBO. We love The Wire, but nothing about Girls, Veep, The Newsroom, or Game of Thones is particularly diverse. Same goes for the much-loved AMC series Mad Men, Breaking Bad, or The Walking Dead. Orrrrrr ABC Family’s Bunheads. Et cetera!) The negative? It’s not that the channel is moving away from being all about the music, albeit the softer adult-contemporary variety it was typically known for. I’m more bummed that Bounce is not based on the Gwenyth Paltrow/Ben Affleck vehicle. Remember when Bounce was supposed to be a thing? RIP Bounce: The Movie

Oh well. Dean Cain is back, so I guess that’s something.

What Should VH1 Replace ‘Celebrity Rehab’ With?

VH1 announced they will not produce a season of their misery porn series Celebrity Rehab or its spin-off Sober House in 2012. As Entertainment Weekly points out, the show was put under scrutiny last year when two former cast members, Taxi star Jeff Conaway and Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, died from drug-related causes. VH1, however, just says the shows are off the network’s slate due to “scheduling issues.”

Because of Celebrity Rehab and Sober House’s absences, there will be a gaping void to fill in VH1’s line of programming. Where else are viewers going to find tragic examples of human depravity intercut with advertisements for skin cleanser? To help VH1, we’ve thought of some new shows they can run in their stead:

Homeless Celebrity Look-a-likes with Carmen Electra
Each week, Carmen Electra visits a homeless shelter and finds down-on-their-luck men and women who look just like your fave celebs!

How’d They Die?
This game show (hosted by Nick Lachey) asks contestants to recall how Hollywood stars kicked the bucket. Bonus points for last words!

Celebrity Detox
Pretty much the same thing as Celebrity Rehab, except it takes place in Austin. (Austin is hot now!)

Kick ‘em When They’re Down with Brock Lesner
UFC star Brock Lesner invites people to literally kick fallen celebrities in their rib cages.

Dumpster Divin’
A team of young, sexy guys and gals search through celebrities’ trash for old pill bottles and pregnancy tests.

Morning Links: Kanye West’s Excellent-to-Awesomeness Scale, Lady Gaga’s New Video Is Very Long

● Kanye West and Jay-Z have begun the slow roll out of their behind the Throne series, and are streaming the first episode for free. "I am on a pursuit of awesomeness," says Kanye of his method. "Excellence is the bare minimum." [NahRight]

● Brad Pitt was thoughtful in his counseling of a man who said he had contemplated suicide ahead of a Moneyball event in California. "Look, man, life is up and down, it’s a vicious cycle, but you have to go through it and deal with that,’” Pitt told him. [NYDN]

● Like Christmas come early, VH1 has announced that they’ve got a TLC Biopic in the works. [Vulture]

● "It’s not that I’ve been dishonest, it’s just that I loathe reality," explains Lady Gaga at the beginning of her 14-minute-long video for "Marry the Night," wherein she also predicts that the color mint will be huge next spring. [Gawker]

● "She’s not," offered Lindsay Lohan, when asked if Courtney Love would be coaching her clean. [Gossip Cop]

● Like scores of artists before her, Taylor Swift says she does her best work under the still of moonlight. “Usually songs hit me in the middle of the night and I end up writing [them] before dawn, so there’s no time to call somebody," she tells Billboard. [Page Six]

● Recent changes in representation (although notably not management, as was initially reported) have spurred rumors that Drake wants out of Young Money. Could it be?  [MTO]

Here Are Your ‘VH1 Divas’: Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, Florence and the Machine, and More

The lineup for VH1’s Divas was announced today. In addition to Clarkson, Blige, and Florence, Jessie J, Jennifer Hudson, and Jill Scott are also slated to perform at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom; the concert will air on VH1 on December 19.

In a press release, the cable network announced that the show will “celebrate soul” and pay tribute to the musical output of Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, Philadelphia, and London.

VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul will bring together some of the best singers across the globe, men and women alike, to honor the soulful cities that inspired these divas and their art. The cities honored include: Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia. Accompanied by one of the most exciting groups of modern soul, The Roots, with ?uestlove as musical director, each diva will pay tribute through not only their own soul-inspired songs, but some of the greatest classics that have shaped a genre.

As in previous years, this edition of VH1 Divas will benefit VH1 Save The Music Foundation and its programs to restore music education in public schools. For more information, please visit vh1savethemusic.org.

Morning Links: Lindsay Lohan Back on for Gotti, Chuck Klosterman Teaches Writers a Lesson

It was, and then it wasn’t, and now maybe it is again: Lindsay Lohan is back on for Gotti. “She was definitely out as of earlier today, but she really wanted the part,” Gotti producer Marc Fiore told People. [People] ● VH1 has green-lit a new reality show contest wherein “stars” (we use this term loosely: Heidi Montag, Ashley Dupré, Danielle Staub, Three 6 Mafia members — you get the idea) work together to launch a restaurant. The one who contributes the most gets a stake in it at the end. All you have to do is be helpful? [Vulture] ● TV on the Radio’s Gerard Smith passed away yesterday following a courageous battle against lung cancer. [TVoTR]

● Apparently Emma Watson dropped out of Brown because the other Ivy League students couldn’t stop making Harry Potter jokes, yelling “Three points for Gryffindor!” whenever she answered things correctly in class. We don’t blame her. [Gatecrasher/NYDN] ● Why such a wet blanket, Lady Gaga? Apparently she rejected Weird Al Yancovic’s “Born This Way” parody even though he was going to donate the proceeds to charity. Or so he blogged. When word of the cold-hearted denial spread, Lady Gaga was quick to make amends, having her tour manager explain that she just hadn’t had time to listen to the track yet, and that she is actually a big Weird Al fan. “Perform This Way” is now up on his site. [SOTC/Village Voice] ● FYI musicians: Chuck Klosterman will write a press release for your band so long as he doesn’t have to actually listen to your band. Seems like a fair enough deal. And, hey, it worked for this guy! [NPR]