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Michael Che Gets His Own HBO MAX Show + Idris Elba Inks First-Look Deal With Apple

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Big projects are in the works for Michael Che, Idris Elba & Colin Kaepernick! Deets on Michael’s new HBO Max comedy show, Idris’ new deal with Apple and Colin’s overall deal with Disney inside…

 

Michael Che is out here doing BIG things!

The “Saturday Night Live” star is getting his own original sketch comedy series. The untitled project will feature six-episodes, produced by Universal TV, which is owned by NBC where “SNL” is housed. So, good news is he likely will be able to continue hosting the “Weekend Update” on “SNL.” Get those checks!

According to Deadline, each episode of the show will follow a theme or incident – i.e. police brutality, unemployment, etc. He’ll use sketches and vignettes to illustrate what it feels like to experience this from a Black vantage point. Now, THIS is what we need.

The show is less about being “right” and more about being honest even IF its controversial. We’re DEF here for this. Hopefully, white people will be too.

“I’m really excited to be working on this show with HBO Max” said Michael Che. “It’s a project I’ve been thinking about for a while and we have a lot of sketches we want to shoot so please wear your masks so that we can go into production.”

The Untitled project will be executive produced by Che, Lorne Michaels, and Erin Doyle.

In case you haven’t heard, Michael made headlines when he paid the rent for all of the tenants living in the same public housing complex as his grandmother, who died in April of Coronavirus. Loves it!

As for another new gig...

Black Hollywood is inking deals and making major moves.

Idris Elba and his Green Door Pictures productions company just inked a first-look deal at Apple. Woot!

Under the deal, Idris’ production company will produce both new series and features for Apple’s streaming platform, Apple TV Plus.

Variety reports:

Jay Hunt, Apple’s creative director for Europe, led the deal. Elba is repped by WME, The Artists Partnership and Ziffren Brittenham. Elba is the latest high-profile star to sign a deal with Apple. Others include Oprah Winfrey, Alfonso Cuaron, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Justin Lin, Kerry Ehrin, Jason Katims, Lee Eisenberg, Monica Beletsky, Sharon Horgan, Alena Smith and Simon Kinberg. It was also announced last week that Apple had signed an overall deal with the Maurice Sendak Foundation. Under that deal, the foundation will develop new projects based on Sendak’s books and illustrations.

What shows are you expecting to see from Idris?

Also...

Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick is getting to those coins!

The former 49ers quarterback has inked an overall first-look deal wit The Walt Disney Company via his Ra Vision Media. The NFLer-turned-activist wants to tell scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity. The new platform will put Black and Brown directors and producers in positions to tell the stories that need to be told.

Deadline reports:

Disney said the deal will extend across all Walt Disney Platforms including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar, and ESPN’s The Undefeated. Kaepernick will work closely with The Undefeated, which is expanding its portfolio across Disney, to develop stories from the perspective of Black and Brown communities.

Good news! His first project is already in production.

The first project in development under the deal is an exclusive docuseries produced by ESPN Films chronicling Kaepernick’s life. Using extensive new interviews and never-seen-before archival material that documents his last five years, Kaepernick will tell his story from his perspective. Libby Geist, Kevin Merida and Connor Schell will executive produce for ESPN. Jemele Hill, who previously worked for both ESPN and The Undefeated, is a producer on the project. Further details will be announced.

“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” Colin said. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”

“During this unprecedented time, The Walt Disney Company remains committed to creating diverse and inclusive content that resonates and matters,” said Bob Iger, Disney’s executive chairman. “Colin’s experience gives him a unique perspective on the intersection of sports, culture and race, which will undoubtedly create compelling stories that will educate, enlighten and entertain, and we look forward to working with him on this important collaboration.”

Let's go!

Photos: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images North America/Splash/ Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images North America

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