- - Thursday, April 7, 2011

New broadcast network planned for black viewers

The country’s first broadcast network aimed at black audiences is set to debut this fall with free movies, sports and documentaries, according to the Associated Press.

Atlanta-based Bounce TV will be an over-the-air channel supported by sponsors, showing programs for blacks ages 25 to 54. It is designed to be carried on the digital signals of local television stations, and it doesn’t necessarily want to compete with existing cable networks such as BET, TV One or Centric, said Ryan Glover, a former Turner Broadcasting executive and member of the Bounce leadership team.

“We are basically targeting the rabbit-ear consumer,” Mr. Glover said.

As the network grows, it also plans to produce original programming. The network hopes to launch in as many as half of American television households - up to 50 million homes.

“Our audience is so desperately underserved, I think consumers will welcome a fourth option,” he said. “Hopefully in the future, there will be a fifth, sixth, and seventh offering. Bounce TV will fill the void for people who are hungry for more African-American related programming, stories, characters, sports and events.”

Bounce already has acquired the television rights to nearly 400 movies, including “The Wiz” and “Car Wash”; several Spike Lee productions, such as “Jungle Fever,” “Mo’ Better Blues” and “Do the Right Thing”; and films featuring Oscar-winner Denzel Washington, including “The Hurricane,” the Civil War epic “Glory” and “Philadelphia.”

Expanded ‘Glee’ episode a tribute to Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is getting the royal treatment on a new episode of “Glee,” Associated Press reports.

The hit Fox series will expand by a half-hour for the April 26 episode paying tribute to the pop star.

In the 90-minute episode, members of the New Directions high school glee club perform her hit “Born This Way” - and learn a lesson about self-acceptance.

Lady Gaga is an outspoken supporter of gay rights.

“Glee,” which has been on hiatus, returns with new shows April 19. The series airs at 8 p.m. Tuesdays.

Country music academy honors ‘Superstar Women’

It took Miranda Lambert no time at all to name her favorite performance during the taping of “ACM Presents Girls’ Night Out: Superstar Women of Country.”

“My favorite part of the night was Carrie Underwood,” Miss Lambert said. “She brought the house down.”

A day after her sizzling performance with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler at the Academy of Country Music Awards, Miss Underwood was at it again Monday night during a tribute to some of the iconic women of the genre that will air April 22 on CBS. She teamed with Vince Gill on “How Great Thou Art,” bringing the crowd to its feet yet again with a soaring, pitch-perfect vocal.

The academy saluted Miss Underwood, Miss Lambert, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, The Judds, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Martina McBride.

Franco’s next job? Working for Colbert

James Franco has yet another new undertaking: employee of “The Colbert Report.”

The actor appeared on the Comedy Central program Tuesday and said he wanted to work for host Stephen Colbert, according to the Associated Press.

One of Mr. Franco’s many interests is performance art, and he said he considers Mr. Colbert a great contemporary artist. Said Mr. Franco: “You rule. I want to work with you.”

The two seemed to bond over their shared interest in fusing fiction with reality - and over their mutual love of “Lord of the Rings.”

Mr. Franco earnestly pleaded to work for the show as an art consultant, and Mr. Colbert pronounced him hired.

Comedy Central didn’t immediately explain how serious Mr. Franco’s potential involvement with “The Colbert Report” might be.

2 N.Y. men arrested in DJ Megatron death

Two New York City men have been arrested in the shooting death of radio and TV personality DJ Megatron, Associated Press reports.

Police say William Williams, 21, and Richard Cromwell, 20, were arrested Wednesday on charges of murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon. It wasn’t clear whether they had lawyers.

Police say the 32-year-old disc jockey, whose real name is Corey McGriff, was shot once in the chest while walking to a store near his home on New York’s Staten Island last month.

DJ Megatron worked on BET’s “106 & Park” music countdown series, mainly in a role interacting with its live audience.

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