- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 15, 2006

Latifah to star on HBO

The soon-to-shoot HBO movie “Life Support” has found a considerable amount of support for its star, Queen Latifah, notes Zap2it.com.

Several actors, including Tracee Ellis Ross (star of UPN’s “Girlfriends”), have joined the cast of the movie, which centers on an HIV-positive woman (Queen Latifah) who has beaten drug addiction and counsels others in her community. It was scheduled to begin shooting this week.

In addition to Miss Ross, Wendell Pierce (co-star of HBO’s “The Wire”), Tony Rock and Evan Ross — Miss Ross’ half-brother and son of Diana Ross and her former husband, the late Norwegian shipping tycoon Arne Naess Jr. — also have signed on to the film, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Author-producer Nelson George (“The Chris Rock Show”) is directing the film and co-wrote the screenplay. The story is based on the life of his sister. Queen Latifah and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx are among the executive producers of “Life Support.”

Evan Ross will play Trace, a teenager who was born with HIV and made a living on the streets before coming to Queen Latifah’s character. Tracee Ellis Ross will play his older sister. Mr. Pierce, who plays Detective Moreland on “The Wire,” will play Queen Latifah’s husband, Zap2it.com reports.

New way for Miss A

The road to Miss America will go through Hollywood this year. Whether it leads to Las Vegas again remains to be seen.

ant will tape a seven-episode documentary series titled “Finding Miss America” in Los Angeles from Sept. 5 through 13, the Miss America Organization announced on Monday.June 12

The series is slated to air on Country Music Television for a week preceding the televised pageant finals in January (exact date still to be determined) and will show the 52 women in preliminary competition and give viewers a chance to choose which ones advance to the top 15, according to Associated Press.

However, pageant officials aren’t saying where or when the next crowning will be held. Pageant CEO Art McMaster is awaiting a final proposal from Las Vegas, which hosted the last one. He wouldn’t identify the other potential cities.

“There are a couple of other cities that are aggressively coming after us right now,” he said.

—Jettisoned by ABC after record-low ratings for the 2004 pageant, Miss America broke with 85 years of tradition last year in moving out of Atlantic City, where it was founded in 1921 as a bathing-beauty revue.

Picked up by the Nashville, Tenn.-based cable outlet, the Jan. 21 crowning of Miss Oklahoma Jennifer Berry drew 3.1 million viewers huge numbers for CMT, which never drew more than 2.9 million for a program before Miss America, AP reports.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.


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