- - Tuesday, August 9, 2011

VH1 documentary examines hip-hop, cocaine link

VH1 is exploring the connection between hip-hop and cocaine.

According to the Associated Press, the network will air “Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation” next month. It explores the development of crack cocaine in the urban community and features rappers Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill’s B-Real, and Wu-Tang Clan members RZA and Raekwon.

The two-hour special will air at 10 p.m. on Sept. 18. It was executive produced by rapper-actor Ice-T, who also narrates the documentary.

“Planet Rock” is the latest documentary by VH1 Rock Doc, which recently earned an Emmy nomination for the special, “Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America.”

‘Wire’ actress pleads guilty to drug charges

An actress who played a Baltimore drug gang assassin in HBO’s “The Wire” pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to distribute heroin, caught by a wiretap in a joint federal-state drug probe.

Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, 31, pleaded guilty a day before her trial was set to begin, the Associated Press reports. Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill accepted the plea, suspending a seven-year sentence with credit for time served and ordering three years of supervised probation with provisions for out-of-state travel for work.

The plea allows Miss Pearson to move on with her acting career, instead of spending more than a year with charges hanging over her, attorney Benjamin C. Sutley said outside the courthouse.

“I can’t say she would have been found not guilty,” Mr. Sutley said. But Miss Pearson interrupted, saying, “I would have been found not guilty.”

Miss Pearson was one of 64 people charged in March in “Operation Usual Suspects.” The federal indictment states that since 2008, members of the conspiracy bought heroin from New York and marijuana from California and sold the drugs on the streets of Baltimore. As part of the conspiracy, the indictment alleges, members discussed how those who failed to perform required tasks were dealt with violently.

Miss Pearson was caught on a wiretap conspiring with Shawn Johnson and Jeff Gibbs, who bought heroin in bulk from New York and distributed the drugs in Baltimore, according to a statement of charges read aloud in court by prosecutor Rebecca Finn. Mr. Johnson paid Miss Pearson to store drugs and money, including drug proceeds, at her apartment in the city, Miss Finn said.

“The Wire,” which ran from 2002 to 2008, was filmed in Baltimore and put a spotlight on the city’s struggle with poverty and drug violence through the stories of the city’s police, drug organizations, schools, politicians and media. Miss Pearson’s character, which shares the nickname “Snoop,” knocks off several people for the fictitious Stanfield drug gang.

‘Kate Plus Eight’ star ready to start dating

Kate Gosselin is ready to start dating again.

In an interview with the “Today” show Monday, the divorced mother of eight said she’s trying to come up with a way she can dip into the dating pool.

“I’m definitely ready to start dating. I think there’s a lot of obstacles for me. In all honesty, I talk to my best friend about [how] wouldn’t it be great if she could go around the country and collect suitable people because the odds of me sort of bumping into someone are rare,” she said.

“I have eight kids, I have a crazy work schedule, I’m known, so there are a lot of obstacles. It’s sort of daunting.”

Miss Gosselin said her children are the biggest proponents of her quest to find a new man.

“The kids on a daily basis are just begging for me to get married again,” she said. “They bring it up all the time and I’m like, ‘I’m not dating anyone.’ “

Miss Gosselin’s reality television career began with her then-husband, Jon, in 2007 on TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus Eight.” The show received a new title (and lost a star) when the Gosselins broke up in 2009 after 10 years and eight kids together.

New episodes of “Kate Plus Eight” start Monday night, and Miss Gosselin said her adjustment to being a single mom is well-documented on camera.

“There’s some real moments, these shows that are coming up are real and raw moments. I’m not going to lie. It’s really settling in two years later being a single mom of eight kids. It’s difficult. I have a lot of difficult moments and stressful moments and you’re going to see it, the good, the bad and the ugly.”

She insists that the show will go on despite rumors to the contrary. “There is a lot of talk about it and nobody’s told me. There’s been a lot of fans and supporters who have continued to watch us through good and through bad. I just have to take this opportunity to say thank you, and we’ll still be on TV as long as you’re watching us.”

As for how she handles being the focal point of so much attention, she admits, “Most of it, I just ignore. I have a really thick skin, I don’t allow it to get to me. The things that I do see and read, I turn around. People that say, ‘You can’t do this, you’ll never do that,’ I take it as a challenge.”

Syfy reverses decision on ‘Eureka’ renewal

In a move that will definitely have some fans of “Eureka” peeved and others just confused, a Syfy spokesperson confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that it has pulled its recent six-episode renewal for a sixth season.

After Thursday’s network announcement of a sixth season, Syfy issued the following statement Monday, as first reported by Entertainment Weekly: “After painstaking consideration, we have had to make the difficult business decision to not order a season six of Eureka.”

The statement goes on to tout a holiday episode that will air in December and the 12-episode fifth season that will air next year.

When the show confirmed its order of season six, President of Original Content Mark Stern told the Hollywood Reporter in a statement, “We are hopeful that this will not be the end of the franchise.” There’s no word at this time on why the deal for season six fell through.

Season four, which premiered to 2 million viewers July 11, is currently airing with a fifth season currently in production.

Jaime Paglia and Andrew Crosby created the series. “Eureka” stars Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Neil Grayston.

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