2019 Tony Awards: performers and presenters announced

June 3, 2019

The following is a press release from the Tony Awards:

Some of the world’s biggest stars from stage and screen will appear at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards. The list of names announced includes Darren Criss, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Samuel L. Jackson, Regina King, Laura Linney, Audra McDonald, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Michael Shannon. More presenters will be announced soon.

The Tony Awards telecast will feature an incredible line up of celebrity presenters and musical performances for Broadway’s biggest night.
James Corden will return to host the American Theatre Wing’s 2019 Tony Awards, which will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on CBS. The three-hour program will air on Sunday, June 9th 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT time delay). The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

You can also watch the Tony Awards online with CBS All Access. More info at cbs.com/all-access.

June 5, 2019 UPDATE: A second round of artists has been added to appear at THE 73rd ANNUAL TONY AWARDS(R), live from the historic Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Sunday, June 9 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. The star-studded lineup includes Sara Bareilles, Laura Benanti, Abigail Breslin, Danny Burstein, Kristin Chenoweth, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Josh Groban, Danai Gurira, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Jackson, Shirley Jones, Jane Krakowski, Judith Light, Lucy Liu, Aasif Mandvi, Sienna Miller, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Catherine O’Hara, Kelli O’Hara, Karen Olivo, Anthony Ramos, Marisa Tomei, Aaron Tveit, Samira Wiley and BeBe Winans.

Emmy and Tony Award winner James Corden will host the 2019 Tony Awards for the second time. As previously announced, Darren Criss, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Regina King, Laura Linney, Audra McDonald, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells and Michael Shannon will also take part in Broadway’s biggest night.

The TONY Awards, which honors theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. This year marks the 73rd anniversary of the TONY Awards, which were first held on April 6, 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Ballroom. The ceremony is presented by Tony Award Productions, which is a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, which founded the Tonys.

Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment will return as executive producers. Weiss will also serve as director for the 20th consecutive year. Ben Winston is a producer.

June 6, 2019 UPDATE:

Cynthia Erivo (Photo by Barry Brecheisen)

The Tony Awards telecast will feature performances by the casts of “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”; “Beetlejuice”; “The Cher Show”; “Choir Boy”; “Hadestown”; “Kiss Me, Kate”; “Oklahoma!”; “The Prom” and “Tootsie.” The evening will also feature a special performance by Tony Award winning-actress Cynthia Erivo.

Food Network debuts ‘Cupcake Championship’ series

May 30, 2019

Amirah Kassem (guest judge), Nacho Aguirre (guest judge), Kardea Brown (host) and Maureen McCormick (judge) in “Cupcake Championship” (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Food Network:

Food Network showcases the country’s most creative cupcake makers this summer in the new five-episode series Cupcake Championship, premiering Monday, July 1 at 9pm ET/PT. Hosted by Kardea Brown, each episode features four world-class cupcake experts battling to achieve new levels of edible ingenuity in two rounds of competition for a $10,000 cash prize. Judge Maureen McCormick is joined by a revolving panel of guest judges, including Nacho Aguirre, Lerome Campbell, Amirah Kassem, Stella Parks, Gesine Prado and Joshua John Russell, to determine who is named each week’s Cupcake Champion.

“The cupcakes may be small, but the artistry these bakers accomplish is huge,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network. “Our viewers will marvel at the creativity of these cupcakes – they are truly spectacular.”

Each episode kicks off with the Designer Challenge where the four contestants must create cupcakes to celebrate an event or theme, and the judges send the least successful baker home. The three remaining contestants then proceed to the Imagination Challenge, an amped-up battle to create a three-dimensional cupcake tableau with bigger displays and multiple flavor components.

In the premiere episode, the cupcake makers are challenged to make succulent plants out of cupcakes…but things get prickly when one cupcaker is eliminated by judges in the first round. The three remaining competitors take on the delicacies of beautiful flower bouquet designs to see whose flower-bouquet cupcake display will earn them the title of Cupcake Champion and the $10,000 prize. Additional challenges during the season have the competitors making edible snow globes, incredibly detailed pet designs, savory ‘food imposters’, mythical beings and even an entire planet made out of cupcakes!

Go online to find out more about this delicious competition, and head to Food Network’s Instagram page to get to know host Kardea and judge Maureen as they reveal fun facts about themselves. Stay tuned to Food Network’s Facebook page for over-the-top cupcake designs and sweet tips for making dessert masterpieces at home. Join the conversation anytime using #CupcakeChampionship.

# # #

FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Sephora closes for half-day diversity training after SZA claims she was racially profiled

May 25, 2019

by Daphne Sorenson

On the morning of June 5, 2019, beauty-store company Sephora is temporarily closing all of its U.S. retail stores, distribution centers and corporate offices for a diversity-training program for company employees. The decision came after R&B singer SZA (whose real name is Solána Rowe) went public with an accusation that she was racially profiled by Sephora. According to SZA, the incident happened on April 30, 2019, while she was shopping at a Sephora store in Calabasas, California. SZA says that she had security called on her because she was wrongfully suspected of shoplifting.

SZA tweeted that day, “Lmao Sandy Sephora location 614 Calabasas called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing . We had a long talk. U have a blessed day Sandy.”

In response to SZA’s complaint, Sephora tweeted: “You are a part of the Sephora family, and we are committed to ensuring every member of our community feels welcome and included at our stores.”

In a statement on its community page, Sephora announced: “On the morning of 6/5, every Sephora store, distribution center, and corporate office in the US will close to host inclusion workshops for our employees. These values have always been at the heart of Sephora, and we’re excited to welcome everyone when we reopen. Join us in our commitment to a more inclusive beauty community.

Ironically, SZA says she was at Sephora to shop for Fenty Beauty products. SZA was part of Fenty’s lipstick campaign in 2017. Fenty founder Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, sent a gift card and a handwritten note to SZA that read, “Go buy yo’ Fenty Beauty in peace sis! One love, Rihanna.” SZA shared these messages on an Instagram Story.

SZA is best known for her collaboration with Kendrick Lamar for the song “All the Stars” from the “Black Panther” soundtrack. The song was nominated for numerous awards, including an Oscar and a Grammy.

This isn’t the first accusation of discrimination that Sephora has faced on social media. There are dozens of messages from angry customers who claim that they were racially profiled as potential criminals, even though they say they didn’t do anything wrong.  Sephora has also been getting complaints on social media about discriminating against customers over the age of 40 and customers who have physical and intellectual challenges, by treating them rudely and dismissively. It looks like it took a celebrity to go public with a discrimination complaint before Sephora tried to do anything about it.

2019 Cannes Film Festival: ‘Parasite’ wins Palme d’Or; complete list of winners

Cannes Festival logo
May 25, 2019

The 72nd Annual Cannes Film Festival took place from May 14 to May 25, 2019. Here is the complete list of the event’s winners, voted for by appointed juries, and awarded at Grand Théâtre Lumière in Cannes, France, on May 25, 2019.


PALME D’OR (Best Picture)

GISAENGCHUNG (Parasite) directed by Bong Joon-Ho

The Palme d’or was awarded by Catherine Deneuve and Alejandro González Iñárritu.


ATLANTIQUE (Atlantics) directed by Mati Diop

The Grand Prix was awarded by Sylvester Stallone.


LE JEUNE AHMED (Young Ahmed) directed by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne

The Best Director Prize was awarded by Viggo Mortensen.


Antonio Banderas in DOLOR Y GLORIA directed by Pedro Almodóvar

The Best Performance by an Actor Prize was awarded by Zhang Ziyi.


Emily Beecham in LITTLE JOE directed by Jessica Hausner

The Best Performance by an Actress Prize was awarded by Reda Kateb.


LES MISÉRABLES directed by Ladj Ly

BACURAU directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles

The Jury Prizes were awarded by Michael Moore.


Céline Sciamma for PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU (Portrait of Lady on Fire)

The Best Screenplay Prize was awarded by Gael García Bernal.


To Elia Suleiman for IT MUST BE HEAVEN

The Special Mention was awarded by Chiara Mastroianni.



A VIDA INVISÍVEL DE EURÍDICE GUSMÃO (The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao) directed by Karim Aïnouz


Chiara Mastroianni for CHAMBRE 212 (On a Magical Night) directed by Christophe Honoré 


Kantemir Balagov for BEANPOLE 


LA FEMME DE MON FRÈRE (A Brother’s Love) directed by Monia Chokri

THE CLIMB directed by Michael Angelo Covino


O QUE ARDE (Fire Will Come) directed by Oliver Laxe


JEANNE (Joan of Arc) directed by Bruno Dumont


NUESTRAS MADRES directed by César Díaz presented as part of LA SEMAINE DE LA CRITIQUE

The Caméra d’or Prize was awarded by Rithy Panh, President of the Caméra d’or Jury and by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi.



THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US AND THE SKY  directed by Vasilis Kekatos


MONSTRUO DIOS directed by Agustina San Martin

The Palme d’or and the Jury Special Mention for Shorts Films were awarded by the President of the Short Films and Cinéfondation Jury, Claire Denis and by Nadine Labaki, President of the Un Certain Regard Jury.



MANO A MANO directed by Louise Courvoisier
CinéFabrique, France


HIẾU directed by Richard Van
CalArts, USA


AMBIENCE directed by Wisam Al Jafari
Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, Palestine
DUSZYCZKA (The Little Soul) directed by Barbara Rupik
PWSFTviT, Poland

The 2019 CST Artist-Technician Prize goes to Flora Volpeliere, as editor and Julien Poupard, as set and lighting designer of Ladj LY’s film LES MISÉRABLES.

A Special Mention from the Jury goes to Claire Mathon, Director of Photography of the films ATLANTIQUES (Atlantics) and PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU (Portrait of Lady on Fire).

The Jury also noted Lee Ha-jun’s outstanding work as Artistic Director of GISAENGCHUNG (Parasite)



AN EASY GIRL directed by Rebecca Zlotowski


ALICE AND THE MAYOR directed by Nicolas Parisier


STAY AWAKE, BE READY directed by An Pham Thien



I LOST MY BODY directed by Jérémy Clapin


César Díaz, “Our Mothers”


The Jokers Films, French distributor for “Vivarium” by Lorcan Finnegan


Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, “A White, White Day”

2019 BET Experience: Mary J. Blige, Cardi B, Migos, Meek Mill, YG, H.E.R., Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, among celebrity participants

May 20, 2019

The following is a press release from BET:

BET Networks announced the highly anticipated BET Fan Fest lineup as part of the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE presented by Coca-Cola® June 20 – 23, 2019. The annual festival will include the return of Genius Talks, BET Experience 3-on-3 Celebrity Basketball Tournament, Celebrity Dodgeball Game, BET X House of Fashion & Beauty, Coca-Cola Music Studio, DJ Hed presents Kicksperience sponsored by Sprite®, Casting Call along with a newly added activations, Roller-skating Party, Next Rap Star.



The BET Experience Coca-Cola Music Studio will debut some of today’s emerging acts including Elhae, Killumantii, TJ Porter, Ceraadi, Bobby Sessions, Earth Gang, Control the Sound, Happy Birthday Calvin and other special guests.


BET X House of Fashion & Beauty will be a destination that celebrates and highlights the best of urban hip hop culture through the lens of fashion, beauty, music and dance. Embracing the diversity of hip hop and the nuance manifestations of the international cultural experience, House of Fashion & Beauty will feature the authentic stories of the “streets” through a global perspective with music, fashion and beauty being at the center. Participating talent include


The always-inspirational Genius Talks returns with prominent personalities across various industries joining fans for uplifting conversation and gems of guidance based on their experiences. This year, Lena Waithe, Yara Shahidi, and Marsai Martin join the series alongside moderator, Jemele Hill, to share their knowledge and keys to success with fans. Past guests have included illustrious stars such as Snoop Dogg, Kobe Bryant, Ava DuVernay, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, DJ Khaled, Tracee Ellis Ross, Tip “T.I.” Harris and Yvonne Orji.


The annual BET Experience Celebrity Dodgeball Game returns, four teams of celebrity challengers will face off in the all-new Celebrity Dodgeball Game taking place on Friday, June 21.


The fresh interactive sneaker event, Kicksperience is back! DJ Hed Presents Kicksperince sponsored by Sprite® will highlight the sneaker culture phenomenon, bringing together generations of culture defining sneakers, streetwear brands, art, and music to the robust BET Fan Fest line-up. The electrifying pop-up will incorporate artists and tastemakers, authentic to sneaker culture, for the ultimate sneaker experience. The activation will host a sneaker customization space with renowned Artist, Chad Cantcolor, brands ranging from Puma to Sprayground, live taping of BET Digital’s Colorways & Toeboxes, and opportunities to purchase shoes on site. Selected by LA’s own DJ Hed performers include Rapsody,1TakeJay, AzChike, Azjah, GPerico, John Hart, Morgan Westbrook, Reason, Sneakk (SOB X RBE), Villain Park, Yhung T.O., Shoreline Mafia, Cupakke, Kamaiyah, and more!


A dedicated gaming lounge within the BET Experience will give gamers an opportunity to play against and with celebrities and professional gamers for an opportunity to win one-of-a-kind prizes. Fans will compete with/ against our influencers in a variety of games from NBA2k to Fortnite including iPodKing Carter, The Lopes Brothers, Cheeseaholic, iDropzBodies, Bunnny MightgameU, Sunzi, Black Krystel and more


A meet & greet experience featuringThe WickerTwinz, Essence and some of today’s up and coming hip-hop acts. Come hang and hit a challenge with some of your favorite dancers.


BJ The Chicago Kid to perform with other special guests.


Do you have what it takes to be the next Cardi B, YG, or Drake? BET Experience is looking for the “Next Rap Star” in an once-in-a-lifetime competition to showing off your skills and charisma for a distribution deal with Island Records and the chance to perform at the 2020 BET Experience.


BET is on the search for fresh new faces to hit the airwaves. Come show off your acting chops in front of an esteemed panel of casting directors and BET Executives who will select an actor to win the opportunity to potentially join the cast of a BET Movie, TV Series or commercial.


Four star-studded teams will go head-to-head for bragging rights and for a charity at the 3-on-3 Celebrity Basketball Tournament. Download the BETX ’19 App to exclusively purchase your tickets for the Celebrity Basketball Game.


The empowering night honors the innovation and marked successes of women of color across various industries who have unapologetically broken barriers in the entertainment, arts and technology industries. Additionally, The BET HER Awards will include a special spotlight on two deserving nonprofit organizations dedicated to uplift and empower women of color.


BET Networks, an entertainment powerhouse, once again brings the BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE (BETX), June 20 – 23, 2019 presented by Coca-Cola®. This four-day event will be filled with music concerts taking place at The Novo by Microsoft and STAPLES Center; the BET Fan Fest at the Los Angeles Convention Center including seminars, celebrity basketball games, celebrity meet & greets; and other special interactive events. The weekend will be capped off with the “BET Awards” on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at Microsoft Theater.

Staples Center concerts:

June 20, 2019: Mary J. Blige. H.E.R., Summer Walker, Queen Naija, Bri Steves

June 21, 2019: Meek Mill, YG, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Blueface, Roddy Ricch

June 22, 2019: Cardi B, Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby, City Girls, Trippie Redd


The BET Fan Fest wristbands return to the fan experience this year. All attendees will be required to wear their wristband upon arrival in order to enter the free BET Fan Fest. Beginning May 6, attendees will be able to register for the BET Fan Fest wristbands by downloading the BETX ’19 app or going to www.betexperience.com. The BET Fan Fest wristband grants attendees access to some of the hottest events happening during the BET Experience weekend; including the House of Fashion & Beauty, Coke Stage, DJ Hed presents Kicksperience sponsored by Sprite, and year three of the BET Casting Call. Additionally, tickets to the BETX Celebrity Basketball game will be available for purchase starting today.

VIP Packages for the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE are on sale NOW. In addition to VIP amenities throughout the weekend and incredible seats for STAPLES Center shows, four levels of BETX VIP Packages offer guests the only opportunity to purchase tickets to the highly anticipated BET Awards, broadcast live from Microsoft Theater. Full package amenities and pricing for the Diamond, Platinum, Gold Plus and Gold Packages can be found by visiting https://www.betexperience.com or by calling (877) 234-8425.

General tickets for the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE presented by Coca-Cola® are available NOW at http://www.axs.com/betexperience.


The BET Experience App is your interactive personal guide that takes you inside every installation, performance, and celebrity pop-up during BET Awards Weekend. Custom alerts let you stay up to date on all BET FanFest show schedules in real-time, celebrity meet & greets and other surprises throughout the ultimate four-day event. Go to the Apple Store or Google Play and download the BET Experience app today! Available on iOS & Android. Download it at BETExperience.com/app.

Follow the BET Experience on Twitter @betexperience for the latest and greatest and join the hottest conversation by using #BETEXPERIENCE. Feel free to also check us out online at http://www.betexperience.com.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIA)(NASDAQ:VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in nearly 85 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, France and South Korea. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET Networks around the globe.

2019 BET Awards: Cardi B has the most nominations

May 20, 2019

Cardi B (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for DCP via ABC/AMA2018)

The 2019  returns live from the Microsoft Theater at LA Live on June 23, to celebrate the brightest stars across music, television, film, sports, and philanthropy. BET Networks announces the 2019 nominees with Cardi B leading the pack.  The starlet earned an impressive seven nominations, including Best Female Hip Hop Artist, two separate nods in both the Best Collaboration’ and Video of the Year’ categories, Album of the Year and the Coca-Cola® Viewers’ Choice Award. Drake follows with five nods for Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Video of the Year, Best Collaboration and the Coca-Cola® Viewers’ Choice Award. Beyoncé, Travis Scott and J. Cole all scored four nominations each, while Bruno Mars, 21 Savage, Childish Gambino, H.E.R. and Ella Mai each received three nominations.

In its 19th year, the BET Awards continues its reign as the ultimate platform showcasing the best and most beautiful aspects of the Black experience – celebrating not only the present and future of Black music, but also elevating the culture and being a driving force for social change. BET Networks recognizes artists, entertainers, and athletes across 20 categories with the 2019 BET Awards nominations. The nominations are selected by BET’s Voting Academy, which is comprised of fans and an esteemed group of entertainment professionals in the fields of television, film, music, social media, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, and the creative arts. The 2019 BET Awards will simulcast LIVE at 8pm ET across seven Viacom networks in the US including BET, BET HER, MTV, MTV 2, MTV Classic, VH1, and Logo. Internationally, the show will simulcast for the first-time on BET Africa at 2am CAT on June 24, followed by international broadcasts in the UK on June 24 at 9:00pm BST, South Korea on June 25 at 9pm KST and in France on June 25 at 9pm CEST.

Internationally, BET will honor Best International Act in-show, along with the fan-voted category Best New International Act during the live red carpet pre-show.

“18 years ago we launched the BET Awards and since then we have celebrated cool in ways that can’t be duplicated elsewhere. From Michael Jackson and James Brown busting dance moves together to Monique paying homage to Beyoncé in an unforgettable dance number to BET reuniting the Fugees we have set the tone for what cool looks like. This year we are even more so committed to continuing to create the unforgettable moments that have made the BET Awards the preeminent celebration of black culture. From the entire BET family, we congratulate each nominee and look forward to celebrating their talent and contributions at the ‘2019 BET Awards’.” – Connie Orlando, Executive Vice President, Head of Programming at BET.

The complete list of nominees for the 2019 BET Awards are:

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist

Ella Mai
Teyana Taylor

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist

Anderson .Paak
Bruno Mars
Childish Gambino
Chris Brown
John Legend

Best Group

Chloe x Halle
City Girls
Lil Baby & Gunna
The Carters

Best Collaboration

21 Savage featuring J. Cole, “A Lot”
Cardi B & Bruno Mars, “Please Me”
Cardi B. featuring Bad Bunny & J Balvin, “I Like It”
H.E.R. featuring Bryson Tiller, “Could’ve Been”
Travis Scott featuring Drake, “Sicko Mode”
Tyga featuring Offset, “Taste”

Best Male Hip Hop Artist

21 Savage
J. Cole
Meek Mill
Nipsey Hussle
Travis Scott

Best Female Hip Hop Artist

Cardi B
Kash Doll
Megan Thee Stallion
Nicki Minaj
Remy Ma

Video of the Year

21 Savage featuring J. Cole, “A Lot”
Cardi B, “Money”
Cardi B & Bruno Mars, “Please Me”
Childish Gambino, “This Is America”
Drake, “Nice for What”
The Carters, “Apes**t”

Video Director of the Year

Benny Boom
Colin Tilley
Dave Meyers
Hype Williams
Karena Evans

Best New Artist

City Girls
Juice Wrld
Lil Baby
Queen Naija

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award

Erica Campbell featuring Warryn Campbell, “All of MY Life”
Fred Hammond, “Tell Me Where It Hurts”
Kirk Franklin, “Love Theory”
Snoop Dogg featuring Rance Allen, “Blessing Me Again”
Tori Kelly featuring Kirk Franklin, “Never Alone”

Best International Act

AKA (South Africa)
Aya Nakamura (France)
Burna Boy (Nigeria)
Dave (UK)
Dossek (France)
Giggs (UK)
Mr. Eazi (Nigeria)

Best New International Act – (Fan Voted Category)

Headie One (UK)
Jokair (France)
Nesly (France)
Octavian (UK)
Sho Madjodzi (Africa)
Teniola Apata (Africa)

Best Actress

Issa Rae
Regina Hall
Regina King
Taraji P. Henson
Tiffany Haddish
Viola Davis

Best Actor

Anthony Anderson
Chadwick Boseman
Denzel Washington
Mahershala Ali
Michael B. Jordan
Omari Hardwick

YoungStars Award

Caleb McLaughlin
Lyric Ross
Marsai Martin
Michael Rainey Jr.
Miles Brown

Best Movie

“Creed 2”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse_
“The Hate U Give”

Sportswoman of the Year

Allyson Felix
Candace Parker
Naomi Osaka
Serena Williams
Simone Biles

Sportsman of the Year

Kevin Durant
LeBron James
Odell Beckham Jr.
Stephen Curry
Tiger Woods

Album of the Year

Travis Scott, “Astroworld”
Meek Mill, “Championships”
Ella Mai, “Ella Mai”
The Carters, “Everything Is Love”
Cardi B, “Invasion of Privacy”

2019 Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award

Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin, “I Like It”
Childish Gambino, “This Is No America”
Drake, “In My Feelings”
Ella Mai, “Trip”
J. Cole, “Middle Child”
Travis Scott featuring Drake, “Sicko Mode”

BET Her Award

Alicia Keys, “Raise a Man”
Ciara, “Level Up”
H.E.R., “Hard Place”
Janelle Monáe, “Pynk”
Queen Naija, “Mama’s Hand”
Teyana Taylor, “Rose in Harlem”

Connie Orlando, Executive Vice President, Head of Programming at BET will serve as Executive Producer for the 2019 BET AWARDS along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

BET Networks, an entertainment powerhouse, once again brings the BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE (BETX), June 20 – 23, 2019 presented by Coca-Cola®. This four-day event will be filled with music concerts taking place at The Novo by Microsoft and STAPLES Center; the BET Fan Fest at the Los Angeles Convention Center including seminars, celebrity basketball games, celebrity meet & greets; and other special interactive events. The weekend will be capped off with the “BET Awards” on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at Microsoft Theater. VIP Packages are the ONLY way to get BET Awards tickets, great seats to STAPLES Center shows, and exclusive access throughout the biggest summer weekend in entertainment. More information and tickets and VIP packages available at Bet.com/bet-experience.html.

Follow the Experience on Twitter and Instagram at @betexperience.

For the latest 2019 “BET AWARDS” news and updates, please visit BET.com/Awards.


BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.


Jesse Collins Entertainment (JCE) is a full service television and film production company founded by entertainment industry veteran Jesse Collins. For more than a decade, Collins has played an integral role in producing some of television’s most memorable moments in music entertainment. Collins has produced groundbreaking and award winning television programming including the BET Awards, the Grammy Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Honors, UNCF An Evening of Stars, ABFF Awards and the BET Hip Hop Awards. Collins was an executive producer of the hit TV series, Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart, the critically-acclaimed The New Edition Story, a biopic on the boy band that aired as a 3-part mini-series on BET in January 2017.  He is also the executive producer of VH1 shows Dear Mama and Hip Hop Squares with Ice Cube.  Most recently JCE executive produced The Bobby Brown Story. The mini-series picked up where The New Edition Story mini-series left off and chronicled the talented but troubled singer’s exit from the popular ’80s boy band through his solo success. It debuted on BET in September 2018 and was the highest rated non-tentpole program on the network since The New Edition Story. Next for JCE is the second season of American Soul on BET and Netflix’s upcoming series Rhythm and Flow.


The “BET Awards” is one of the most watched award shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company. The “BET Awards” franchise remains as the #1 program in cable TV history among African-Americans, and it is BET’s #1 telecast every year. It recognizes the triumphs and successes of artists, entertainers, and athletes in a variety of categories.


Netflix announces ‘The Chef Show’ starring Jon Favreau and Roy Choi

May 19, 2019

Jon Favreau, Samin Nosrat, Roy Choi and Antoni Porowski at the Netflix FYSEE Food Day at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles on May 19, 2019. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix)

The following is a press release from Netflix:

Cooking is a journey. And making a meal is about more than just food. It’s about appreciating friends, family and tradition. An opportunity to come together. To learn, to share and to celebrate different flavors, cultures and people. In “The Chef Show” (premiering June 7, 2019), actor/director Jon Favreau and award-winning Chef Roy Choi reunite after their critically acclaimed film “Chef” to embark on a new adventure. The two friends experiment with their favorite recipes and techniques, baking, cooking, exploring and collaborating with some of the biggest names in the entertainment and culinary world. From sharing a meal with the “Avengers” cast in Atlanta, to smoking brisket in Texas with world-renowned pitmaster Aaron Franklin, to honoring the legendary food critic Jonathan Gold in Los Angeles, Favreau and Choi embrace their passion for food, but more importantly their love for bringing people together over a delicious meal.

Guests on “The Chef Show” include:  Gwyneth Paltrow, Bill Burr,  Robert Downey Jr, Tom Holland, Kevin Feige, and the Russo brothers,  Andrew Rea, Evan Kleiman, Jazz Singsanong, Robert Rodriguez, David Chang, Aaron Franklin and many more.

“During the production of ‘Chef,’ I developed a much deeper understanding of the ways in which we express our emotions, share our cultures and seek meaningful connections through the act of cooking and eating,” says Favreau. “I am so nostalgic about that time and those experiences — this series gives me the perfect opportunity to get back in the kitchen and create some new memories.”

“I’ve always wanted a straight up cooking show since I was a child,” said Choi. “I grew up on Julia Child, Paul Prudhomme, Sara Moulton, and obviously Emeril’s first show had a huge impact on my life. There is something timeless and beautiful about cooking straight to camera. The only snafu was, I’m not a natural born entertainer so doing it alone was always out of the question! But then I met Jon and we built such an amazing friendship over the movie ‘Chef.’ We both kinda didn’t want it to end. And through this friendship I found my cooking soulmate and a child’s dream is now a reality. Julia and Jacques meet Jon and Roy!”

“The Chef Show” is executive produced and directed by Jon Favreau.  Roy Choi and Annie Johnson also serve as executive producers.

2019 IDCon: Joe Kenda announces end of ‘Homicide Hunter,’ John Walsh speaks his mind, Tamron Hall makes surprise appearance

May 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Investigation Discovery host Joe Kenda (center) greets fans at IDCon 2019 at Center 415 in New York City on May 18, 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Fans of Investigation Discovery (ID) were treated to up-close-and-personal experiences with the network’s stars at the fourth annual IDCon, which took place at Center 415 in New York City on May 18, 2019. The event sells out quickly every year. ID show hosts Joe Kenda, Tony Harris (who was the event’s emcee for the third year in a row), John Walsh, Callahan Walsh, Candice DeLong, Garry McFadden, Derrick Levasseur, Chris Anderson, Fatima Silva, Rod Demery and Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi all participated in the event, and most of them did meet-and-greet sessions with fans. ID show hosts Paula Zahn and Tamron Hall made brief appearances. This year’s IDCon theme was “Dangerous Minds.”

Paula Zahn made a brief introduction at IDCon 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

The event kicked off with a greeting from Henry Schleiff, group president of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America. He thanked the fans for making ID the top-rated U.S. cable network for women ages 25 to 54. Zahn also did a brief introduction on stage. Before the event started, Zahn (who hosts “On the Case With Paula Zahn”) was in the lobby mingling with fans. Hall, who made a surprise appearance on stage at the event, is set to have a very busy 2019. In addition to her hosting duties for ID’s “Deadline: Crime With Tamron Hall,” she’s launching her own nationally syndicated TV talk show this fall. She also busy being a new mother: She gave birth to her first child (a son named Moses) on April 25, 2019.

Tamron Hall made a surprise appearance at IDCon 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

The biggest news out of IDCon 2019 was saved for the end. At the conclusion of Kenda’s Q&A session with ID’s senior VP of production Sara Kozak, Kenda announced that the upcoming ninth season of his popular show “Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda” would be the program’s last season. The show is based on Kenda (who is a retired police lieutenant) talking about his cases as a homicide investigator for the Colorado Springs Police Department. The ninth and final season of “Homicide Hunter” is set to premiere sometime in August 2019.

Kenda explained to the audience why “Homicide Hunter” is ending: “I don’t have enough cases remaining after Season 9 to support the continuation of the show. I didn’t want to be the guy who is the athlete who played one season too long, or the singer who remained on the stage when they lost their voice. I want to go out on the top of my game—and Season 9 is. It has been my honor to entertain you, and it’s meant a lot to me. It’s been therapeutic for me. I never cared about the money.”

Joe Kenda and Investigation Discovery senior VP of production Sara Kozak at IDCon 2019, where he announced the end of his show “Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda.” (Photo by Carla Hay)

He said about the decision to end the show: “It’s my decision, not theirs [Investigation Discovery executives]. They were shocked when I provided them with my decision a short time ago, but the reality is that I’ve always done the right thing. And this is the right thing.”

Although many people in the audience seemed surprised and disappointed over the news, they also seemed to highly respect Kenda for this decision, and he got a standing ovation. The good news for Kenda and his fans is that ID is planning another show for him. It’s too early to know the details of the new program, but ID will no doubt make the show a top priority, since “Homicide Hunter” has been one of ID’s highest-rated series. (Kenda is also treated like a rock star at IDCon.)

Investigation Discovery show host Tony Harris emceed IDCon 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

IDCon 2019 also showed sneak-preview footage of the second-season premiere of “People Magazine Investigates: Cults” (debuting June 3, 2019, at 9 p.m. ET/PT) and the special “Rebecca Zahau: An ID Murder Mystery,” which premieres May 27, 2019, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The ID Addicts Unite wall at IDCon 2019 at Center 415 in New York City on May 18, 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

After taking place for the first three years at the Altman Building (which can seat about 300 people), IDCon moved this year to Center 415, a larger event space that can seat about 600 people. There were less activations at IDCon 2019 than in previous years. (For example, there was no Truth Booth where ID fans could videorecord confessions about why they love the ID channel.) Some of the returning activations included a polygraph demonstration, a display where people could test their eyewitness skills, and a photo portrait station where attendees could get IDCon slogans super-imposed on their pictures. Also returning this year was an ID Ink station where attendees could get temporary tattoos of artwork themed for the event.

The ID Ink station gave temporary tattoos to attendees at IDCon 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

New this year was an ID Addicts Unite Wall, where attendees could take Polaroids of themselves and leave messages on Post-In notes.  There was another room featuring a wall of photos and facts of notorious criminals, such as Charles Manson, Jodi Arias and Ted Bundy.

Photos of notorious criminals lined a wall at IDCon 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

The larger event space at Center 415 also allowed for a separate room for meet-and-greets. The room had a wall decoration that simulated a height chart for mugshots. People could pose for mock mugshots in this room.  The room also featured a wall showing many of the criminal fugitives who’ve been profiled on ID’s “In Pursuit With John Walsh.”

The “In Pursuit” wall had photos of fugitives profiled on the ID show “In Pursuit With Joh Walsh.”(Photo by Carla Hay)

The Investigation Discovery website is undergoing a revamp/redesign in the near future, because IDCon 2019 had a wall with different web page designs, and attendees such as myself were polled about which designs and features we wanted the most for the new website. It looks like ID is aiming for more customized options, making it easier for users to access their preferred content on the site. It also looks like ID is considering more interactive features on the site, such as trivia questions and more exclusive bonus content from ID shows.

Investigation Discovery group president Henry Schleiff (far right) presents a mock-up of a $20,000 check to Silver Shield Foundation chief operating officer K.C. Fuchs (far left) and NYPD widow Lisa Tuozzolo (center) at IDCon 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

All proceeds for IDCon are donated to New York’s Silver Shield Foundation, an organization which provides educational support to families of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty. At the beginning of the event, Schleiff presented a mock-up of a $20,000 check to Silver Shield Foundation chief operating officer K.C. Fuchs and NYPD widow Lisa Tuozzolo, whose sergeant husband was killed during a shooting in 2016.

Members of the Center for Antiviolence Education provided a self-defense demonstration at IDCon 2019 at Center 415 in New York City on May 18, 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

There was no on-stage polygraph demonstration (as there was at IDCon in 2017 and 2018), but new in 2019 was an on-stage demonstration of self-dense techniques from the Center for Anti-Violence Education. Harris, who is a super-lively host, even jumped on stage as a volunteer participant in the demonstration.

Here were some of the highlights of IDCon 2019 panels:

Team In Pursuit 

Callahan Walsh, John Walsh and moderator Alicia Dennis on the “Team In Pursuit” panel at IDCon 2019 at Center 415 in New York City on May 18, 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Moderated by People/Entertainment Weekly senior editor of crime Alicia Dennis, the “Team In Pursuit” panel marked the IDCon debuts of John Walsh and his son Callahan Walsh, the stars of “In Pursuit With John Walsh.” John Walsh, of course, is a TV pioneer in true crime: He was the original host of “America’s Most Wanted,” which was on the air from 1988 to 2012. ID’s “In Pursuit With John Walsh,” which debuted in January 2019, has a similar concept of profiling notorious fugitives from the law and asking the public to provide any tips that will help to arrest the fugitives.

John Walsh (whose 6-year-old son Adam was kidnapped and murdered in 1981) also founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) as a result of this tragedy. Serial killer Ottis Toole, who confessed to Adam’s murder while in prison for other crimes, died of liver failure in 1996. Evidence uncovered in 2008 proved that Toole committed the murder.

“I will always be the heartbroken father of a murdered child. There’s no such thing as closure,” John said on the panel. He added that after the end of his CNN show “The Hunt With John Walsh,” he thought he would be retired from hosting a true-crime TV show. But he was convinced to change his mind in 2018.

“America has descended into this incredible level of gun violence and homicides,” John said. “About a year ago, the FBI and  U.S. marshals came to me and said, ‘2018 looks like it’s going to be the most violent year in the history of America.’ They were right. ‘We need you. You have this bond with the public.’ So I went to Henry Schleiff … and they said, “We’d love to have you on ID. Would you come out of retirement?'” John added that one of the main reasons he had wanted to retire was because he didn’t want to travel as much as he did when he was hosting his other TV shows. Therefore, his son Callahan does most of the on-site reporting for “In Pursuit.”

Callahan talked about the work that NCMEC does, including educating people about child safety; doing age-progression portraits to show what children who’ve been missing for years would liked now; and helping law-enforcement with witness tips and evidence. “We had over 18 million reports in last year alone,” Callahan said. He also noted that technology has been a double-edged sword, since it’s helped capture criminals with more sophisticated methods of gathering evidence, but technology has made it easier for people to lure kids into danger.

During the segment where audience members could ask questions, someone asked John what he thinks of the controversial issue of people trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border. John didn’t hold back on his opinions, as he replied: “It’s a nightmare! … I’ve been all along that border. Every portion of that border is managed by criminal enterprises on the Mexican side. It’s a huge business.”

John said he thinks that U.S. politicians are part of the problem too. “I’ve been going to Capitol Hill since 1981. I’ve never seen a more mean-spirited, vitriolic Congress. They’re in gridlock. They’re not doing what you want them to do. The public has to say to the United States Congress, ‘You’ve got to quit this B.S.! We’ve sent you there to make this country safe and take care of us. You better get busy and do something about illegal immigration!'”

The Walshes couldn’t stay for the IDCon meet-and-greet sessions because they had to travel to a charity event for NCMEC. But their presence at IDCon was much-appreciated, and there’s a high probability that they’ll be at IDCon in 2020.

Scales of Justice

Fatima Silva, Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi, Garry McFadden and moderator Michelle Sigona on the “Scales of Justice” panel at IDCon 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Three sides of law enforcement—defense attorney Fatima Silva (co-star of “Reasonable Doubt”), prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi (star of “True Conviction”) and sheriff Garry McFadden (star of “Homicide City: Charlotte”)—gathered for the “Scales of Justice” panel, moderated by CrimeFeed.com’s Michelle Sigona, to discuss their perspectives on getting justice. The panelists talked about the importance of discovery, the legal term for evidence presented in a case.

Police investigators are on the front lines of discovery. McFadden said that in handing over evidence to the prosecution, “Sometimes as detectives, we don’t think that one sheet of paper or that text message is important. If we don’t produce that information, and later on in an appeal, that comes up, the defense team will come after us, and that person is released on a technicality. And that’s happened.”

“Reasonable Doubt” takes another look at cases of convicted criminals who say they didn’t commit the crime. In many cases on “Reasonable Doubt,” the show couldn’t find enough evidence to prove that the conviction was incorrect. As a defense attorney, Silva says that people accused of crimes can avoid many problems with their cases if follow this advice: “Respect law enforcement, but also know your right to remain silent.”

Silva says she can sympathize with friends and family members who want to prove that there was a wrongful conviction, but when it looks like the defendant probably committed the crime, “At some point, you want to give them that peace so that they can say, “I still love that person, but I can’t wake up every day and do this fight anymore.'”

Nicolazzi echoed that belief as a prosecutor, as she talked about her main goals in her work: “If I can bring any amount of relief to all of the people that are impacted by these cases.” When asked what her definition of justice is, she said: “Getting it right.”

As for the impact that technology such as social media, smartphone footage and body cams have had on criminal cases, McFadden said there are pros and cons. “It’s a challenge,” he said. McFadden also noted that although it may seem that this new technology makes it easier for law enforcement to gather evidence, law enforcement also has to spend a lot of time verifying the “authenticity,” since the technology can be manipulated.

Dangerous Minds 

Derrick Levasseur, Rod Demery, Candice DeLong, Chris Anderson and moderator April Neale on the “Dangerous Minds” panel at IDCon 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Moderated by Monsters & Critics features writer April Neale, the “Dangerous Minds” panel featured hosts of popular ID shows. The panelists were detective Derrick Levasseur (“Breaking Homicide”); detective Rod Demery (“Murder Chose Me”); FBI profiler Candice DeLong (“Deadly Women”); and detective Chris Anderson (“Reasonable Doubt”).

DeLong said that many homicides might be prevented if people didn’t dismiss death threats.  “A lot of people with murder on their mind telegraph their intent. If someone is talking about murder, take them seriously. Go to the police.” She got a little choked up when she talked about a child kidnapping case that deeply affected her emotionally. After the child was found and DeLong accompanied him to the airport to reunite with his parents, the child ran back to her to thank her for finding him.

The panel also talked a lot about methods of interrogating suspects. Demery said that in an interrogation, one of the tell-tale signs that a confession is coming is when the suspect “drops his or her head.” DeLong added that she likes to “play dumb” in interrogations, because “constantly underestimated” as an investigator can lead people to reveal evidence they wouldn’t reveal under other circumstances.

Anderson added that although he doesn’t have a problem with police lying to suspects in order to get a confession (a tactic that’s legal in the U.S. but not in many other countries), he did acknowledge that this tactic can sometimes lead to false confessions. “It depends on the interrogator and the suspect.” Anderson also said that one of the worst ways to handle an interrogation is to allow it to deteriorate into “shouting match” between the investigator and the suspect. When that happens, the suspect has “taken control of the interview,” said Anderson.

“Breaking Homicide” is about helping families get answers for unresolved or disputed murder cases. Each episode ends with Levasseur telling the families about any new evidence that was uncovered in the show’s investigation. He said that the biggest change in the show’s second season is “not only telling the family what we found, but me going back to the police departments, sitting in their actual building, telling them what we have, and saying, ‘Hey now go do something about it. Here’s your chance.’ We really stepped it up a notch.” The second season of “Breaking Homicide” premieres on June 3, 2019, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. By the way, Levasseur has become quite the star heartthrob at IDCon, based on all the squeals he got from women in the audience.

DNA evidence, which has become the center of many investigations, has its pros and cons, according to Anderson. He elaborated: “The down side to DNA evidence, investigators will wait and make their whole case dependent on DNA or forensics evidence, rather than getting out there and pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, talking to people and interviewing people. The hard-nosed type of policing that some of our veteran guys did back in the day has become a lost art. Forensics should work hand-in-hand with your investigating.”

Kenda Confidential

Kathy Kenda, Joe Kenda and Investigation Discovery senior VP of production Sara Kozak at IDCon 2019. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Moderated by ID executive Kozak, this panel was a Q&A with Kenda, who was later joined on stage by his wife Kathy.  Except for the announcement that “Homicide Hunter” was ending, Joe Kenda didn’t really much that was new. During the segment when audience members could ask questions, Kenda said that even though Boulder, Colorado, was out of his jurisdiction when he was a police detective, he was asked to work on the notorious JonBenét Ramsey murder case, eight days into the case in 1996.

Kenda said, “My question to [the Boulder Police Department] was, ‘Are the press accounts accurate of what you’ve done far?'” When they told him, Kenda said he replied, “You’re doomed … That case cannot be prosecuted in court. There’s no way to do it. Fatal investigative errors. They couldn’t get in a courtroom with a confession. That’s the reality.” The JonBenét Ramsey murder case remains unsolved.

The “Homicide Hunter” star also said that since his retirement, two of the 31 unsolved cases that he had when he retired have since been solved by DNA evidence. “They [the suspects] were the people I suspected,” he said, “and they’ve been proven to be the killer and have been convicted in court. ” Of the remaining 29 unsolved cases, Kenda says, “I absolutely know who killed in 17 of [those cases], but I can’t prove it.” He added that he thinks about all of his unsolved cases “all the time.”

Netflix announces ‘Next in Fashion’ competition show, hosted by Tan France and Alexa Chung

May 17, 2019

Tan France and Alexa Chung of “Next in Fashion” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

The following is a press release from Netflix:

“Next In Fashion” is a high-stakes competition series coming soon to Netflix featuring some of the world’s best and quietly innovative designers who compete for a chance to become the next big name in fashion. Hosted by fashion designer and TV personality Tan France (“Queer Eye”) and designer, model and global style icon Alexa Chung, “Next in Fashion” begins with 18 designers who face challenges centering on a different trend or design style that has influenced the way the entire world dresses.

These talented contestants have worked for major brands and dressed A-list celebrities, and will now compete head-to-head to see who has the skill, originality and determination to win the grand prize: $250,000 and an opportunity to debut their collection with luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter.

“Next in Fashion” is created and produced by theoldschool and is Executive Produced by Robin Ashbrook and Yasmin Shackleton with co-Executive Producer Adam Cooper.

Additional Details:

  • Co-Hosts: Tan France and Alexa Chung

  • Guest Judges: Elizabeth Stewart and Eva Chen are recurring guest judges with additional guest judges to be announced at a later date

  • Executive Producers:  Robin Ashbrook, Yasmin Shackleton and co-executive producer Adam Cooper

  • Season 1 # of episodes: 10

Instagram:  @NextInFashion

Dennis Quaid returns for ‘A Dog’s Journey,’ the sequel to ‘A Dog’s Purpose’

May 17, 2019

Dennis Quaid in “A Dog’s Journey” directed by Gail Mancuso. (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)

The following is a description from Universal Pictures:

Some friendships transcend lifetimes. In “A Dog’s Journey,” the sequel to the heartwarming global hit “A Dog’s Purpose,” beloved dog Bailey finds his new destiny and forms an unbreakable bond that will lead him, and the people he loves, to places they never imagined.

Bailey (voiced again by Josh Gad) is living the good life on the Michigan farm of his “boy,” Ethan (Dennis Quaid) and Ethan’s wife Hannah (Marg Helgenberger). He even has a new playmate: Ethan and Hannah’s baby granddaughter, CJ. The problem is that CJ’s mom, Gloria (Betty Gilpin), decides to take CJ away. As Bailey’s soul prepares to leave this life for a new one, he makes a promise to Ethan to find CJ and protect her at any cost.

Thus begins Bailey’s adventure through multiple lives filled with love, friendship and devotion as he, CJ (Kathryn Prescott), and CJ’s best friend Trent (Henry Lau) experience joy and heartbreak, music and laughter, and few really good belly rubs.

Directed by Emmy winner Gail Mancuso (TV’s “Modern Family”), “A Dog’s Journey” is produced by Gavin Polone (“A Dog’s Purpose”), and written by W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon, and Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarsky, based on the best-selling novel by Cameron. The film, from Amblin Entertainment and Reliance Entertainment, in association with Walden Media and Alibaba Pictures, will be distributed by Universal Pictures domestically, and by Universal Pictures and Amblin Partners internationally.

Cast: Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin, Henry Lau, Kathryn Prescott, with Dennis Quaid and Josh Gad

Director: Gail Mancuso

Screenplay By: W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon and Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarsky

Based on the novel by: W. Bruce Cameron

Producer: Gavin Polone

Executive Producers: Seth William Meier, Lasse Hallström, Luyuan Fan, Wei Zhang