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'Motherland: Fort Salem' ExclusiveTeaser: Young Witches Take An Oath &Answer The Call

Posted by Iesha Marie on December 9, 2019 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (6)


Are you ready to answer the call? These witches are. HL is EXCLUSIVELY debuting a brand-new teaser of the upcoming Freeform series ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ featuring the fierce cast.

The all-new teaser for Motherland: Fort Salem has series stars Taylor Hickson, Ashley Nicole Williams, and Jessica Sutton taking their oath. They promise to go to Fort Salem for training to “harness the powers that are my birthright and join the army of the United States of America, to defend my country against all enemies foreign or domestic, as dictated by the Salem Accord.” Another voice says, “For generations, witches have protected this land. Answer the call.”

Motherland: Fort Salem will premiere in Spring 2020 on Freeform. The show will consist of 10 episodes. The series is set in an alternate, present-day America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country. Motherland: Fort Salem follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into terrifying and thrilling early deployment. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped with women on the front lines, the fight looming and terrorist threats that are strikingly familiar to our world, but with supernatural tactics and weapons.

Taylor Hickson portrays Raelle, a reluctant recruit with major authority issues whose mother recently died in the line of duty. Jessica Sutton is Tally, a kind, strong-willed and curious witch who enlisted despite her mother’s passionate disapproval. Amalia Holm rounds out the young witch recruits, playing Scylla, a playful yet dark and mischievous recruit who is not what she appears to be. Ashley Nicole Williams plays Abigail, an unquestionably alpha, smart, driven, and courageous witch who hails from the upper echelons of military witch society and is excited to be joining the ranks of the witches’ army. Demetria McKinney plays Anacostia, a tough but wryly humorous drill sergeant whose chief concern is keeping the young recruits alive through basic training.

The series was created by Eliot Laurence. Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Kevin Messick serve as executive producers.

Article by:" target="_blank">Avery Thompson


Watch Ricky Smiley Ambush Friends And Fans For The Holidays In "A Guest Who Comes To Dinner"

Posted by Iesha Marie on December 2, 2019 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

From the creator and Executive Producer of the hit series Preachers of LA comes A Guest Who Comes to Dinner, a fun food show that’s full of surprises, holiday meals, sweets and a whole lot of holiday cheer. A Guest Who Comes to Dinner features radio personality and comedian Ricky Smiley. Each episode Smiley ambushes his friends and sometimes fans collecting tasty ingredients from their pantries to make a special holiday meal in his Atlanta Dream Kitchen. The guests are then invited over to break bread with Rickey as his pal, celebrity chef James Wright Chanel, cooks up a signature holiday meal that the guests will never forget.



Rickey will surprise a few of his celebrity friends and fans including Demetria McKinney, who played his wife on The Rickey Smiley Show and rap superstar and producer Bonecrusher. In every episode, Rickey, Chef James and the guests come together to discuss what the holidays are all about—delicious food, family, relationships, faith, singing, and laughter! There’s no shortage of topics at the table like whether or not to invite the “new boo” to a holiday with the crew! How to still celebrate the holidays when a loved one is gone! Or how to be the “the gift” that keeps on giving!


Tune into this 6-episode series for relatable holiday talk and get some cooking tips for the holidays from funnymen, Rickey Smiley, Chef James and their celebrity friends! This show promises to be funny, memorable and give the guests a holiday meal that they’ll always remember.

Article by:" target="_blank">MadameNoire

'American Soul': Elton John, James Brown, Dick Clark, Richard Pryor Among Those To Be Portrayed In Season 2 Of BET Series

Posted by Iesha Marie on November 25, 2019 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)



EXCLUSIVE: We’ll be seeing a slew of music industry icons and visionaries portrayed in the upcoming second season of American Soul, the Don Cornelius-infused period drama, set for premiere on BET in 2020.

American Soul takes an unflinching look at the entrepreneur, his Soul Train dancers, crew and musicians in an unforgiving Hollywood in the 1970’s – how they work, play, rise and fall against the backdrop of Soul Train — “the hippest trip in America” and one of the most predominant television shows for African American culture.

Inspired by the personal trials and professional successes of a young, ambitious and troubled impressario Cornelius, season two of the period drama picks up two years later in 1975. As Don, played by Sinqua Walls, becomes a rising star, he continues to manage an assortment of spectacular talent that comes to his show, a shaky family life, personal health and perhaps most importantly, his own ego.

In addition to Walls, American Soul stars Kelly Price, Jason Dirden, Iantha Richardson, Katlyn Nichol and Christopher Jefferson.

Guest stars set for Season 2 include Darius McCrary (Family Matters) as James Brown, Alex Ball (NCIS) as Dick Clark, Hudson Thames (Mad Men) as Elton John, Tone Bell (Fam) as Richard Pryor, Demetria McKinney (House of Payne) as June Pointer, London Brown (Ballers) as Bootsy Collins, D.C. Young Fly (Grown-ish) as Sly Stone, Big Boi (The Bobby DeBarge Story) as George Clinton, Ledisi (Selma) as Patti LaBelle, Melanie Fiona (The Bronze) as Chaka Khan, Yung Joc (Step Up) as Gary Shider, and Christopher B. Duncan (Black Lightning) as Ray Bradley, Kearran Giovanni (Major Crimes) is set for a recurring role as Ruby Daniels.

McCrary’s James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, makes an appearance on Soul Train with his band.

Thames’ Elton John is a young British rock star in Los Angeles at the infamous Chateau Marmont eager to meet Don. When Don gets to the hotel, Elton begs to be on Soul Train and asks for an audition.

Ball’s Dick Clark is the host of American Bandstand. He and Don are basically in the same business – only Dick has already been in the game for 15 years. He makes nice when he runs into Don on the Soul Train lot, but he’s ready to lash out and let Don know who the top dog in the conversation is.

McKinney’s June Pointer is the hot-headed, trouble making member of the legendary Pointer Sisters.

Brown’s Bootsy Collins is a vibrantly attired, colorful character who is a famous member of George Clinton’s band, Parliament-Funkadelic. He used to work with James Brown and cracks jokes at his expense when Brown shows up at Clinton’s rehearsal in a huff.

Bell’s Richard Pryor, smart, quick, outrageous and crude, is a brilliant comedian who’s famous for his irreverent acts that are peppered with extremely bad words. Richard is a guest host of Soul Train where he knows he has to watch his language and behavior. Behind the scenes, however, he doesn’t.

D.C. Young Fly’s Sly Stone is the very eclectic, but often troubled front man of Sly and the Family Stone. He strolls into Soul Train to meet Don with his band, which includes a black llama. He also has a reputation of leaving before he does his show.

Giovanni’s Ruby Daniels is a beautiful femme fatale with ties to the mob. She’s a deadly acquaintance of Gerald Aims and has come to town to fill the void left by another mobster’s death. Though Don comes to know Ruby as a savior to his beloved Soul Train, Gerald knows her true intentions and fears she will surely thwart his efforts in becoming a legit businessman.

Big Boi is George Clinton, who, wearing a fur vest and star-shaped shades, appears in a purple haze at a recording studio to rehearse with Parliament-Funkadelic and two of James Brown’s band members.

Ledisi’s Patti and LaBelle perform on “Soul Train,” but the band performs to a music track while Patti sings live. Patti gets into a little riff with Tessa over her drummer’s attitude.

Fiona’s Chaka Khan is the talented, charismatic lead singer of the funk band Rufus and appears with them on “Soul Train” singing “Once You Get Started.”

Yung Joc’s Gary Shider is a guitarist with Parliament-Funkadelic who is famous for wearing an “adult diaper” in his performances. When he offers to give the furious James Brown a shiatsu massage to calm down, Brown almost explodes.

Duncan’s Ray Bradley is a kind, down-to earth man who has adopted JT’s little sister Aiya after she ended up in the system.

Produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment, American Soul is created by Devon Greggory and Jonathan Prince. Judith McCreary will serve as showrunner. Jesse Collins, Prince, Greggory and Tony Cornelius executive produce. Andrew J. Horne and Dionne Harmon are co-executive producers.

Article:" target="_blank">Denise Petski


Demetria McKinney "Spills the Tea"

Posted by Iesha Marie on August 12, 2019 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (1)

Demetria McKinney

If you crave intrigue and drama with a capital “D,” performed by complicated, multi-layered characters who aren’t afraid to be scandalous, then Dan Garcia’s new series “A House Divided,” now on UMC (Urban Movie Channel), is perfect for your viewing pleasure.

Garcia, the creator of UMC’s officially Daytime Emmy-nominated series “Bronx SIU” digs deep in his new generational saga which stars Demetria McKinney of Freeform’s “Motherland,” and Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” as well as Lawrence Hilton Jacobs of “The Jacksons: An American Dream,” Paula Jai Parker of “Ray Donovan,” and “True Blood,” Brad James of Syfy’s “Superstition,” Sy Richardson of ABC’s “Pushing Daisies,” and Art Evans of “Die Hard 2.“

In the Bible, Luke 12:15, it reads, “Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”

If any of the characters in “A House Divided” actually read the Bible, it’s clear from their outrageous and downright sneaky behavior they didn’t believe the words that Jesus uttered in Matthew 19:24, which paints a clear picture of how wealth can prevent eternal salvation. “And again, I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Here’s the “tea”: “A House Divided” follows the direct descendants of Letty Sanders, an enslaved woman who after arriving in Los Angeles in 1821, grew to become the wealthiest Black woman in the newly formed city. Centering on the present-day members of the highly esteemed Sanders family, Cameran Sanders has raised his three children in opulent wealth. After the sudden passing of his wife amidst a brewing government investigation into the business dealings of the family-owned bank, a new woman emerges from the shadows determined to be the next Mrs. Cameran Sanders. As secrets are uncovered and scandals emerge, the Sanders family will be forced to band together for the sake of their survival or risk the ultimate demise of their long-standing legacy.

Nikki Love, VP of Development & Production for UMC describes the series as “A thrilling tale of scandal and secrecy paired with core values of love, loyalty, and family unity.”

In Proverbs 20:6, it reads, “Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?”

Everyone knows that money, or the lack thereof, can break up even the closest bonds and when wealth is added into the mix it only increases the excitement, intrigue, and temptation. Garcia adds this: “I set out to create an alluring, multifaceted drama with the story of the Sanders family and despite their many flaws, tragic losses, and setbacks, there is still a special bond that holds them together. That connection, I believe, is what makes this story so compelling.”

Bringing much of the drama in the new series as a “side chick,” is actress and singer, McKinney, who is best known for her role on the TBS sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” In “A House Divided,” her character Carissa Walker brings new color to a woman not afraid to use her sensuality to move up in the world.

Here is an edited conversation with McKinney, who plays Carissa Walker in Dan Garcia’s “A House Divided” on UMC.

Los Angeles Sentinel: Demetria, thank you for taking the time from your very busy schedule to speak with us about ‘A House Divided.’ I understand that you’re in Vancouver on a new project?

Demetria McKinney: It’s for the Los Angeles Sentinel. I am happy to make time. Did you see ‘A House Divided?’

LAS: A few episodes. I’m hooked. I love family dramas especially those that feature wealthy people. I spoke with Lawrence Hilton Jacobs last month, and he gave me some insight. Can you describe the series?

DM: (laughing) The show is about power. It’s about wealth and influence. It’s about family. It’s about love. It’s about trust. It’s about betrayal. There are so many dimensions to this show and because of that, there is something for everybody. If you’re looking for love, you got it. You’re looking for dirt and shade, you got it.

LAS: Now, describe your character, Carissa Walker, please. I hear she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty! Accurate description?

DM: (laughing) She’s not afraid to get her body dirty.

LAS: Yes. More ‘tea’ please.

DM: Oh, we have the tea. Carissa is a different breed. The side chick phenomena. She’s down to get whatever she feels she should or could get. She does not let anything get in the way with that. Her means to end are endless.

LAS: You’re done with the entire series.

DM: We shot everything within ten days. The quality is on point. Dan was very hands-on. With ‘House of Payne’ we were shooting three episodes a week so I could handle the pace of ‘A House Divided.’

LAS: What surprised you about your character?

DM: There were so many surprises. I know a couple of people like that. Even as conniving as she can be, we know her. She’s likable. If you’re not the target she’s cool-as-hell.

LAS: You’re right. We know people like her.

DM: She’s relatable.

LAS: You are now in Canada, what are you shooting there?

DM: It’s a new series on ABC’s Freeform call ‘Motherland Fort Salem.’ It’s based on witches and it’s based in the future. An hour-long drama pilot from ‘Claws’ creator Eliot Laurence and executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick. We are the nation’s army. It’s not your regular witch show. There are no wands and it has such girl power.

LAS: I’ve not heard anything about this new show? Details, please.

DM: It also stars Taylor Hickson, Amalia Holm, Kelcey Mawema and Jessica Sutton. It’s very multi-cultural. We shot the pilot last summer and I’ve been in Canada since April just grinding out the ten episodes.

LAS: That’s an unusual pace.

DM: It’s a very intricate show.

LAS: Where is the story actually set?

DM: Great question. It’s set in an alternate America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country. ‘Motherland’ follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into early deployment at Fort Salem. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with the more dominant women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are familiar to our world — but with supernatural tactics and weapons.

LAS: Can you describe your character?

DM: I’m Anacostia. The drill sergeant for the witches in military training. Women are the protectors. As the staff sergeant, my chief concern is keeping the young recruits alive through basic training. It’s so empowering to see an African American woman in such a place of power; it’s refreshing and I think it’s happening in such an important time in our culture. That’s part of the charm and magic.

LAS: So, these women were born witches?

DM: Yes, they are born witches but here, they hone in on their craft. It’s also a very exciting show. We also fight. We do a lot of stunts.

LAS: Are you doing your own stunts?

DM: Yes. Yes, I am. I’m doing my stunts and I love it.

LAS: You have such excitement in your voice.

DM: (singing) I’m so excited about it!

LAS: An organized army of all-female witches protecting a nation. A brilliant concept.

DM: It’s very exciting watching the world come alive. I feel like I’m giving birth in this show.

LAS: Anything that I might have forgotten to ask?

DM: I have new music coming out soon. I’ll be back in the studio when I’m done with ‘Motherland’ but I want everyone to be aware. I must say that Dan Garcia has done it again so tune into UBC’s ‘A House Divided’ you will not be disappointed. UBC’s not playing.

Interview by: Lapacazo Sandoval, Contributing Writer

'Saints & Sinners' returns for Season 4 on Bounce TV

Posted by Iesha Marie on July 9, 2019 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The Bounce TV original drama Saints & Sinners has returned for Season 4. The season premiered on Sunday, July 7th and JaGurl TV had the pleasure of speaking to the full cast to find out what the fans will be looking forward to for the all new season. With some much drama ending in Season 3, we can only imagine how crazy things will get in season 4.

“There are absolutely so many surprises in this script, our fans, their heads are going to explode!” says cast member Donna Biscoe, who plays Lady Leona Byrd on the show. “And even for me, as we sat down and read the first few scripts I was just blown away at some of the stuff that goes on with Leona this season and some of the discoveries. There are a lot of surprises this season, a lot!”

Season four of Saints & Sinners follows the on-going drama that revolves around the Greater Hope Baptist Church in Cypress Georgia. Mayor EllaJohnson (Vanessa Bell Calloway) is setting her sights beyond Cypress, Georgia and using her power and influence to position herself for a state senate seat. When her mother’s (Donna Biscoe) deep buried secrets surface, they threaten the very foundation of Ella’s world as she struggles to keep her enemies at bay and her children safe.

Each cast member prepared for their roles a little differently this season, including Clifton Powell who plays Rex Fisher. “A lot of these cats (characters) are not how we are in real life; like playing Rex is easy cause I would never do half the stuff Rex does in real life, I’d probably be locked up for like a thousand years. Its kind of interesting cause this year he takes the twist and turns and then he kind of reverts back to his old self again.” said Powell.

Others, like Demetria McKinney, who plays Tamara Austin Calloway, prepared for their roles with ease. “I read through everything (scripts) kinda once, and don’t read through everything again. I like to watch everybody else’s performance the first time along with everyone else; after that first initial read through of everything, I don’t see it, so I get a chance to really really have a full experience and not be jaded.”

The season will be full of jaw dropping moments! Be sure to catch all new episodes of Saints & Sinners every Sunday at 9/8c on Bounce TV.

Article: JaGurl Ravin


'A House Divided': 1970s Star Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs Is Back in Plot-Filled Potboiler

Posted by Iesha Marie on July 5, 2019 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

A rich family living in a big Malibu mansion, affairs galore, bad business deals, prodigal sons; A House Divided has it all.

But perhaps the brightest light at the end of the tunnel is Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs in a starring role.

With A House Divided, writer Dan Garcia officially moves from daytime to primetime with this new Urban Movie Channel (UBC) soap. Divided is the second outing for Garcia, whose web series, Bronx SIU was nominated for a Daytime Emmy.

Despite regularly working through the decades, star Hilton-Jacobs is probably best remembered by an earlier generation, trivia buffs, or re-run watchers as one of the stars of the 1970s sitcom, Welcome Back Kotter. In the six-episode season, Jacobs plays Cameron Sanders, the now-elder of the Sanders clan, an old California-rich African-American banking family whose lineage goes back to an enterprising freed woman in 1800s Los Angeles.

To all appearances, Cameron (in the first episode the character says he prefers to be called Cameron instead of Mr. Sanders because it makes him feel he’s still in his thirties) appears to be a driven businessman. But in the reveal, he’s more of a middle-aged son still looking for approval from his father (David McKnight).

Jacob’s years of acting experience pays off here as he fits well into the polished older man role and emotes just the right mix of world-weariness, male ego, and vulnerability.

We learn very early on that he is cheating on his wife and that the girlfriend (Demetria McKinney) doesn’t just want him but the whole empire and, in typical soap-opera style, will stop at nothing to get it.

The show may lose some viewers in the first episode as dialogue is not only a bit cliche but clunky. For example, Kathleen Bradley-Reed is the grande dame of the clan and (Hilton’s not-so-cuckolded wife) doesn’t quite pull off the bougie b*tch role. Nor is there enough true menace in her demeanor or dialogue delivery to scare anyone off her husband.

Meanwhile their older son (Brad James) is just partying, sleeping around, and abusing substances every day, but we’re supposed to believe that no one really notices all that much. Or, maybe the Sanders are such sophisticated parents that they just want him to be “himself” as Jacob’s Cameron says in one scene.

Actress and reality star Paula Jai Parker (Hustle and Flow, Hollywood Divas) is the “daddy’s girl” daughter, freshly returned from Paris. This is never forgotten as the phrase is mentioned at least two or three times in the first three episodes.

While the elephant in the room is that Jai Parker may be too close to Jacob’s age to play his real-life daughter, this is a TV series. She pulls it off by downplaying the makeup and adopting a boho rich-girl persona. In fact, her spoiled, entitled Stephanie is on full display as she indulges in an affair with a married man (Gichi Gamba) and even goes so far as to ask him why he is still with the “dumb” woman.

Yet, she has a soft side, and, as time goes on, she may be the only person able to talk some sense into her weak-willed father.

A second son (Steph Santana) seems more concerned with getting away from his feuding family and losing himself in the world of basketball.

This little house of cards may soon topple as the SEC and FBI are on the case regarding some unscrupulous (are there ever any other kind in a primetime soap?) business dealings between the Sanders bank and a Nigerian businessman (Art Evans).

Evans, a veteran character actor who has played in everything—from an engineer (Die Hard 2) to a blues guitarist in an early biopic about LeadBelly—manages to make his turn as an arrogant, old-time, white-collar crook thoroughly engaging.

Other actors rounding out the cast include Taja V. Simpson (late of Lethal Weapon), as the family lawyer, Jimmy Walker Jr. (Black Dynamite) in an uncredited role, singer Terry Dexter as an insecure wife, and newcomer Dominique DuVernay (no relation to Ava) playing a sexy Creole housekeeper.

Watching A House Divided and other shows such as the recent Robin Givens drama, Ambitions, reminds one of the classic primetime soaps such as Dynasty (old and redux), Dallas, and Falcon Crest. Like them, these shows are filled with pretty people, unreal plot twists, murder, and mayhem. Unlike them, viewers can stream these shows all at once and not wait until next week.

Also, there’s none of that “one or two Black actors who don’t appear until the second or third season.” Twenty-first-century TV that provides the cheap thrills of the fantasy 1% wrecking each other’s lives hasn’t changed, but it’s really good to see more POC.

A House Divided starts streaming at on Thursday, July 12, 2019.

Article:" target="_blank">Diedre Johnson

UMC (Urban Movie Channel) Announces 'A House Divided'

Posted by Iesha Marie on March 31, 2019 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (4)

Following the second season renewal of its hit original series, “Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy,” UMC (Urban Movie Channel) – the first and leading streaming service for Black film and television from AMC Networks’ RLJ Entertainment – announced today a new multi-generational family drama from Dan Garcia, the creator of UMC’s officially Daytime Emmy nominated series “Bronx SIU.”

Currently in the beginning stages of production, the new series will star Demetria McKinney (Freeform’s “Motherland,” Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne”), Paula Jai Parker (“Ray Donovan,” “True Blood”), Lawrence Hilton Jacobs (“The Jacksons: An American Dream”), Brad James (Syfy’s “Superstition,” Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse”) Sy Richardson (ABC’s “Pushing Daisies”), and Art Evans (Die Hard 2, Fright Night). The series is slated for a summer 2019 premiere.

“A House Divided” follows the direct descendants of Letty Sanders, an enslaved woman who after arriving in Los Angeles in 1821, grew to become the wealthiest Black woman in the newly formed city. Centering on the present-day members of the highly esteemed Sanders family, Cameran Sanders has raised his three children in opulent wealth. After the sudden passing of his wife amidst a brewing government investigation into the business dealings of the family-owned bank, a new woman emerges from the shadows determined to be the next Mrs. Cameran Sanders. As secrets are uncovered and scandals emerge, the Sanders family will be forced to band together for the sake of their survival or risk the ultimate demise of their long-standing legacy.

“A thrilling tale of scandal and secrecy paired with core values of love, loyalty, and family unity, ‘A House Divided’ brings a mixture of excitement and intrigue that is sure to make for an exceptionally addictive drama,” said Nikki Love, VP of Development & Production for UMC. “We are excited to be working with Dan Garcia again on another project that we hope audiences will fall in love with while holding on to the edge of their seats.”

“We are very excited to create this new project in collaboration with the UMC team,” said show creator Dan Garcia. I set out to create an alluring, multifaceted drama with the story of the Sanders family and despite their many flaws, tragic losses, and setbacks…there is still a special bond that holds them together. That connection, I believe, is what makes this story so compelling.”

Article by: bigced

'Motherland: Fort Salem': Alt-History Witch Drama Starring Demetria McKinney Ordered To Series At Freeform

Posted by Iesha Marie on March 9, 2019 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Freeform's upcoming witchy alternate history series, Motherland: Fort Salem, has been officially ordered to series after being in development since 2016. One of the series stars is Demetria McKinney, who has starred Tyler Perry's House of Payne on TBS, Bounce's Saints & Sinners, BET's The Quad, and most recently the Mario Van Peebles Syfy series, Superstition.

The one-hour drama comes to Freeform from executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick and is created by Claws' Eliot Laurence. According to the network, the series will focus on an alt-reality U.S. in which witches ended their persecution 300 years ago thanks to a deal made with the U.S. government to become a protective fighting force. "Motherland: Fort Salem follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into terrifying and thrilling early deployment. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped with women on the front lines, the fight looming and terrorist threats that are strikingly familiar to our world, but with supernatural tactics and weapons," states the network.

McKinney plays Anacostia, "a tough by wryly humorous drill sergeant whose chief concern is keeping the young recruits alive through basic training." She will be joined by Taylor Hickson (Deadly Class), who plays Raelle, a reluctant recruit who has trouble with authority and grief because of her mother's death in the line of duty. Jessica Sutton (The Kissing Booth) plays Tally, a kind witch who enlisted in spite of her mother's disapproval. Amalia Holm (Playground) plays Scylla, a dark, playful recruit who carries secrets. More cast members will be announced soon.

"We're so excited to be able to tell this story rich with female empowerment, complex storytelling and an incredibly creative canon," said Freeform President Tom Ascheim in a statement. "While set in an alternative universe, 'Motherland: Fort Salem' will continue the authentic and issues-driven storylines that our network is known for, and what our audience has come to expect. We are thrilled to be working with Eliot, Will, Adam and Kevin on this exceptionally creative tale and look forward to bringing this even further to life."

Laurence said in a statement that he "couldn't ask for more loyal and nurturing partners than Gary Sanchez and Freeform," adding, "I could not be more thrilled and grateful to share this long-simmering labor of love with the world."

"Will, Adam and I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to take Eliot's vision to series," stated Messick. "Motherland: Fort Salem" is bold and original storytelling and Freeform has been incredibly supportive in helping us realize Eliot's alternate version of America. We can't wait to get started on the season."

"So excited Freeform has given a platform to one of the most original writers working today; Eliot Laurence," said McKay in his statement. "Sanchez has worked with Eliot for years and he has astounded us yet again with the imaginative and layered world of Motherland: Fort Salem."

Laurence, Maria Maggenti and Steven Adelson will executive produce along with Will Ferrell, McKay and Messick for Garay Sanchez Productions. Gary Sanchez Productions and Freeform Studios will produce the series, and Steven A. Adelson directs the pilot.

Article by:" target="_blank">Monique Jones

Bounce's First-Ever Original Movie, A Stone Cold Christmas, Reaches 1.4 Million Viewers

Posted by Iesha Marie on December 1, 2018 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (1)

ATLANTA, Nov. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A Stone Cold Christmas, Bounce's first originally-produced movie, reached more than 1.4 Million Viewers in its premiere night airings on Sunday, Nov. 25.

The 9:00 p.m. (ET) premiere of A Stone Cold Christmas delivered 468K Total Viewers posting whopping increases of +60% in Household delivery, +92% in the delivery of Persons 18-49 and +70% in P25-54. The audience grew throughout the program with viewing peaking at 565K Total Viewers. A Stone Cold Christmas encored later in the evening (1:00 a.m. ET/10:00 p.m. PT) averaging 264K Total Viewers and growing HHs by +13% with similar strong increases among P18-49 (+31%) and P25-54 (+27%).

A twist on the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, A Stone Cold Christmas stars Demetria McKinney (Saints & Sinners, Tyler Perry's House of Payne) as Mia Stone, a shrewd businesswoman and a dreadful boss, who is more concerned about money than family and friends. When Mia finds herself face-to-face with the love of her life, she is forced to deal with past decisions if she has any chance of a future. Rounding out the cast are Andra Fuller (True to the Game, Black Jesus), Fred Williamson (M*A*S*H, Hell Up in Harlem), Brittany Perry Russell (13 Reasons Why, Sparkle) and Lochlyn Munro (Scream, White Chicks). Bounce is airing A Stone Cold Christmas throughout the holiday season (check listings at

Bounce is the only emerging broadcast network producing original scripted programming of any kind. The network boasts a megahit original drama series Saints & Sinners, plus top comedies Family Time and In The Cut with a new original sitcom Last Call debuting Jan. 7, 2019. Bounce will produce and premiere three more original movies in 2019.

News by: Bounce

First-Ever Bounce Original Movie A Stone Cold Christmas Starring Demetria McKinney (Saints & Sinners) To Premiere Sun. Nov. 25 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)

Posted by Iesha Marie on November 14, 2018 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)

ATLANTA, Nov. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Bounce, the nation's fastest-growing television network designed for African-American audiences, will premiere its first Bounce Original Movie, A Stone Cold Christmas, on Sunday, November 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. CT.

A twist on the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, A Stone Cold Christmas stars Demetria McKinney (Saints & Sinners, Tyler Perry's House of Payne) as Mia Stone, a shrewd businesswoman and a dreadful boss, who is more concerned about money than family and friends. When Mia finds herself face-to-face with the love of her life, she is forced to deal with past decisions if she has any chance of a future. Rounding out the cast are Andra Fuller (True to the Game, Black Jesus), Fred Williamson (Being Mary Jane, Hell Up in Harlem), Brittany Perry Russell (Sparkle, The Preacher's Son) and Lochlyn Munro (Riverdale, Scream, White Chicks). A Stone Cold Christmas will also air throughout the holiday season.

Bounce (@BounceTV) airs on the broadcast signals of local television stations and corresponding cable carriage and features a programming mix of original and off-network series, theatrical motion pictures, specials, live sports and more. Visit for more information. Bounce is part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).

Article by: PR Newswire

Demetria McKinney Join Snoop Dogg & Tamar Braxton In 'Redemption Of A Dogg'

Posted by Iesha Marie on September 27, 2018 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Snoop Dogg stage production reveals cast Buddy Iahn | September 26, 2018 | Radio/TV/Film/Broadway, Rap/Hip Hop News Redemption of a Dogg Redemption of a Dogg tours ten cities this fall The cast for Redemption of a Dogg, the musical set against the backdrop of some of rapper Snoop Dogg’s greatest hits, has been unveiled. The playwright was written, directed and produced by NAACP award winning playwrite Je’Caryous Johnson.

The play stars Snoop and Tamar Braxton, who will be guiding the rapper along his life’s journey as “The Angel” and serving him up witty what you need to do moments as only her incredibly talented musical presence and personality can do. Braxton is the voice of women everywhere who want their man to treat them right and do right.

Also joining the cast is four-time Grammy Award Nominee Eric Benet — who’s hit songs include “Spend My Life With You,” “You’re The Only One,” “Sometimes I Cry,” — making his theatrical stage debut and play the role of Terrence, Snoop Dogg’s manager who ultimately starts managing Snoop’s life in more ways than one. Actress and singer Demetria McKinney (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Saints and Sinners, Superstition) plays the role of Shani, Snoop Dogg’s wife. Actor Omar Gooding (Baby Boy, Bounce’s Family Time, Smart Guy and Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper) appears as Ray Boogie, Snoop Dogg’s DJ and long-time friend and producer. Rounding out the principal cast is actor and comedian James “Lil’ JJ” Lewis who will take on the iconic role of Young Snoop opposite the Snoop and Braxton.

“Audiences will not be ready for what this show is going to give them,” states Johnson. “This will be unlike anything urban theatre audiences have seen. Think of merging some of the best moments of Cirque Du Soleil, Preacher’s Wife, Straight Outta Compton and Back to The Future all into one. It will be one of the most moving, visually stimulating, dramatic and musically charged shows they have seen with some of the most talented, iconic musical stars of our time. They can’t afford to miss this show."

Other cast members rounding out the ensemble are actor and comedian Billy Sorrells (MTV’s Wild ‘N Out), actor Vincent Ward (The Starter Wife, The Walking Dead), entertainer and actor Michael Strong (Vivica’s Black Magic), actresses and singers Skye Griffin and LaToya London from the first ever touring Broadway company of The Color Purple and American Idol fame.

Redemption Of A Dogg chronicles a character built around the persona of entertainment icon Snoop Dogg -a multi-faceted character who is a gangsta rapper, family man and man of God. Redemption Of A Dogg examines the internal battle one man has between preserving his life-long legacy and losing the love of his life when he is faced with choosing fame and fortune over faith and family.

Besides Snoop Dogg’s music, the show will include musical favorites and numbers from Braxton and Benet, as well as original numbers penned from the hands of Johnson and the production’s musical director, Donnie “D-Major” Boynton. In addition to the high energy, emotionally captivating musical numbers, the show will also have some high flying stunts, action sequences and surprise reveals that will leave audiences on the edge of their seats. There will also be special guests and VIP Friends that will appear in cities across the tour.

Article by:" target="_blank">Buddy Iahn

Demetria McKinney to star in Freeform's 'Motherland'

Posted by Iesha Marie on July 17, 2018 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (5)

Congrats goes out to my buddy Demetria McKinney. The music star of Bounce TV’s Saints & Sinners has landed a role on the new Freeform series, Motherland.

Set in an alternate America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country, Motherland follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into early deployment at Fort Salem. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with the more dominant women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are familiar to our world — but with supernatural tactics and weapons.

McKinney will star as Anacostia, an articulate, tough, wryly humorous staff sergeant whose chief concern is keeping the young recruits alive through basic training.

Motherland also stars Taylor Hickson, Amalia Holm, Kelcey Mawema and Jessica Sutton.

The hour-long series comes from CLAWS creator Eliot Laurence and is produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick. The pilot is directed by Steven A. Adelson.

Article by:" target="_blank">Ray Cornelius

Muny's 'The Wiz' is nearly a dream come true for Demetria McKinney

Posted by Iesha Marie on June 17, 2018 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Singer-actress Demetria McKinney always fantasized about playing Dorothy in one of her favorite musicals, "The Wiz."

"I wanted to play Dorothy so bad I didn’t know what to do with myself," McKinney says. Her introduction to "The Wiz," an African-American twist on "The Wizard of Oz," was the 1978 movie starring Diana Ross. It was an early opportunity for McKinney to see other people who looked like her.

"I remember seeing 'The Wizard of Oz' and thinking, 'OK, no slight to it, but I couldn’t relate to anything,'" McKinney recalls. "Then ‘The Wiz' came. I’m a fan of Diana Ross, a fan of Michael Jackson, it just had so many great elements, and I was able to see myself living in this dreamland, singing these songs."

McKinney, 38, never got to play Dorothy. But starting Tuesday night at the Muny, she’ll be Glinda the Good Witch, a glamorous second-choice role.

"Glinda was draped in beauty, and her heart was amazing," says McKinney, who's based in Atlanta. This will be her first time in "The Wiz."

McKinney sees the late Lena Horne, who played Glinda in the 1978 movie version of "The Wiz," as a kind of spirit guide.

"Lena Horne was as beautiful as she was talented," she says. "I had some trepidation playing Glinda after that, but the Muny makes it so comfortable there's no choice but to be great. I’m praying I do her justice and hope people can see a little glimmer of her in me."

McKinney also plays Aunt Em, which means she"ll not only get to perform "If You Believe" as Glinda but also "The Feeling We Once Had" as Aunt Em. She’s promising something different, since she's an alto soprano.

Danyel Fulton will play Dorothy. "I’m looking forward to living through her," McKinney says.

Fans of "The Wiz" will detect a few changes.

Amber Ruffin, who writes for "Late Night With Seth Meyers," was brought on board to provide new material for the script, working in conjunction with "The Wiz" original book writer William F. Brown, with the support of Charles Michael Smalls, son of "Wiz" composer Charlie Smalls. Choreography is by Camille A. Brown, who choreographed the Broadway revival of "Once on This Island." Music direction is by Darryl Archibald.

"There's really some spins on the material. You’re gonna see something new," McKinney says. "The choreography is closer to where we are now, and the songs are brightened more."

When McKinney was approached to do the musical, she quickly accepted, especially after having such a good time in the Muny's 2012 production of "Dreamgirls"; she played Deena opposite Jennifer Holliday as Effie.

"The way the Muny works is like the way they work in the Tyler Perry realm: They don’t play," says McKinney, who was cast in "Tyler Perry’s House of Payne" on TBS. "And I loved the community aspect of it and their bringing the arts to the people in a way that’s tangible and accessible. It’s such great quality. I mean ... they brought Jennifer Holliday to the Muny."

Also, after shoring up her TV credits with Bounce TV’s "Saints & Sinners," BET’s "The Quad" and Syfy’s "Superstition," she decided she wanted to do some things she hadn’t done before.

“I’d been successful in TV, and theater is a great place to sharpen your skills,” she says. “I’m still sharpening. When they called, I was like, ‘They want me back?’ It was a phenomenal experience, but you can be forgotten, especially after a stint of six years.”

McKinney had been honing her theatrical chops with the stage adaptation of "Set It Off," based on the 1996 crime drama of the same name. She was part of the cast that included Da Brat, LeToya Luckett and Kyla Pratt. The touring play sold out in April at the Peabody Opera House


She says there is talk of "Set It Off" going back on the road in the fall. "That was one of the most fun, most crazy rides I’ve ever been on. Female unity is hard to come by."

In December, she opened for Fantasia on a Christmas tour that came to the Peabody.

"Let me tell you something right now. I’ve worked with lots of different people — Musiq Soulchild, Anthony David, Ro James, R. Kelly, Charlie Wilson, Johnny Gill, Kandi Burruss — but whenever it’s time to get on the road with other females, to show female empowerment, everyone says no. It was like doing 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' all over again," says McKinney, a Season 7 guest star. "But when it came to Fantasia, who had the final say, we bonded immediately. She’s always been sweet and kind, and I was able to just be me."

McKinney is also promoting her debut R&B album "Officially Yours," which in part represents her attempt to remind fans she’s a singer first.

"I never wanted to act, though I enjoy it now," she says. "The passion for music is first and foremost, always. Music has always been my comforting place, my therapy, my boyfriend, my home. And it came after a lot of trial and tribulations."

McKinney’s biggest musical influence seems obvious: She performs a tribute to Whitney Houston at every concert, and she even played her in the 2017 TV One movie “Bobbi Kristina” about Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.

"I’ve had all these things happen in my life, and when I didn’t know how to articulate what I was feeling or how to get out of it, her music was there for me."

Article/Interview by:" target="_blank">By Kevin C. Johnson St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Demetria McKinney promote "Saints and Sinners" on Bounce TV returning April 8th at 9/8c.

Posted by Iesha Marie on April 7, 2018 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Demetria McKinney is best known for her time on “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” as well as a short stint on “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” where she managed to maintain her dignity and reputation.

Her career is currently on the rise. She has regular roles on not just one show but two: Mario Van Peeples‘ horror drama “Superstition” and Atlanta-based Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners,” which returns Sunday for a third season at 9 p.m. She released her first album last year and opened for Fantasia last year. And she’s touring with Da Brat in the play version of “Set It Off,” which recently was in Atlanta.

I spoke with her at Bounce TV headquarters yesterday in Buckhead about how her role on “Saints and Sinners” grew from a short stint to a regular role in the drama surrounding a local black church. She plays Tamara Austin Calloway, the wife of Miles Calloway (Keith Robinson), who oversees music at the church. In the first episode, screened to media for the first time Wednesday, she is convinced Miles’ mistress has kidnapped her baby.

“She was actually an organically added character,” she said. “She wasn’t supposed to be anyone of substance. She was kind of supposed to be there two or three episodes, get out of the way. Because of the dynamics they felt they could bring to the character that many women can relate to, she’s definitely grown and grown and grown.”

Tamara, she said, had been the “sheep” of the family the first two seasons but the circumstances have taken a mental toll on her.

She isn’t sure about the future of Von Peeples’ “Superstition,” also shot in Atlanta like “Saints and Sinners,” but she relates to her single mom character. She said it may leave Syfy and go to Netflix.

Article by: RODNEY

R&B Divas Keke Wyatt and Demetria McKinney Stir Up The Drama in Season Three of 'Saints and Sinners'

Posted by Iesha Marie on April 6, 2018 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The drama is back!

The much-anticipated third season of the hit drama series 'Saints and Sinners' is returning to television this Sunday, and they’ve kept the storyline smoking hot with the help of R&B divas Demetria McKinney and vocal veteran Keke Wyatt.

R&B star Demetria McKinney returns to the screen mastering her character’s untrustworthy antics, wild outbreaks and what could be, at first sight, signs of mental illness. On the other hand, Keke Wyatt brings class, sophistication, and Southern twang to her character making the star-studded cast complete.

"I love that the art of singing can transfer to whatever I'm doing creatively," McKinney said at a cast media roundtable earlier this week.

The Atlanta-grown series has made music a priority in its development. Keith Robinson (Dreamgirls) and Hip-Hop pioneer David Banner both play enormous characters that allows you to see the depth of their talent. Even to the point of not seeing them for the stars they are in real life, but only the characters in which they’re playing.

And here's the kicker: There’s an intimate scene with Keke Wyatt, Demetria McKinney and Keith Robinson surrounding a piano and the most beautiful sounds are made. You don't want to miss this! "We’re looking to have more music moments," Keith Neal, producer at Swirl Films, the show’s production company, said.

Saints and Sinners returns Sunday, April 8 at 9pm EST on Bounce. And if you’re like most who don’t really watch TV, you can binge watch seasons one, two and three - on Sunday - at It’s unlimited, and most of all, absolutely free.

Oh, and yes! If you hear about a scene that includes Clifton Powell, a chicken leg and Karlie Red, it's all true!

Article by:" target="_blank">Joshua King

Hype Chat: Demetria McKinney On Music, Acting & Lipstick Collection

Posted by Iesha Marie on December 19, 2017 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Demetria McKinney is a bona fide triple threat. The former reality tv star is an award-winning actress, a talented singer with an incredible voice and a skillful songwriter who expresses emotions in ways that instantly connect with listeners.

While most know her as Janine Payne from Tyler Perry’s House of Payne (now airing on syndication on BET), Demetria just might be one of the busiest actresses in the game. She has appeared on seasons 7 and 8 of the The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, on the Bounce TV breakout hit Saints & Sinners, BET’s The Quad. She also has recurring roles on Lifetime’s Devious Maids and on TV One’s The Rickey Smiley Show. Demetria will also be reviving her role as Janine on the new Tyler Perry show The Paynes, which debuts on OWN in 2018.

Not only does she stay on the grind, she keeps her beauty game tight! We caught up with Demetria to talk about her busy schedule, new album and, of course, all things hair and beauty!

Hype Hair: Can you tell us a little bit about your latest projects?

Demetria McKinney: Where do I start? My new album, Offcially Yours, dropped October 6. have my new series, Superstition with legendary actor/director Mario Van Peebles and I played the legendary Whitney Houston in Bobbi Kristina!

HH: What inspired the music?

DM: My life challenges. This album is really the soundtrack to my life.

HH: How would you describe your sound?

DM: It’s really soulful and true R&B.

HH: Who were some of your musical influences growing up?

DM: Chaka Khan, Celine Dion and, of course, Whitney Houston.

HH: What are some of your favorite ways to experiment with your hair?

DM: My normal style is pretty much carefree, a wash-and-go look. But I do like to show versatility according to the characters I play. For example, May Westbrook [Superstition] has to have a very clean, professional look, but the show does allow me to do that with my natural hair. Tamara Austin [Saints & Sinners] is a bit more artsy. So I like to use my hair as the greatest form of expression for whatever I am doing.

HH: What is your daily hair-care routine?

DM: My hair-care routine actually begins at night. I start with water, seal with an oil, usually castor oil, and wake up in the morning ready to shake and go. I’ve learned to keep it really simple so I don’t over manipulate and cause unnecessary breakage.

HH: What are some of your top favorite hair tips?

DM: Some of my favorite hair tips include listening to your hair. The relationship with your hair is no different from other relationships in your life. You have to get to know when it’s dry; you have to get to know when it’s happy; you have to get to know how to keep it easy. (Ha!) Listening to what it needs will give you everything you need. The other thing that I would say is, concentrate on health versus length. Length comes from healthy hair; shine comes from healthy hair. Everything great that happens on your head comes from health—and that also starts from within. Plenty of water, plenty of rest, plenty of nourishment.

HH: What hair products do you use that our readers may be able to find?

DM: Dark and Lovely’s Au Naturale line; Carol’s Daughter Monoi line is still one of my faves. And oils—whether it be castor oil, avocado oil or jojoba oil, just find the right mix for you. It definitely helps to keep my hair moisturized with the sealant.

HH: Who are some of your favorite hair inspirations?

DM: Tracee Ellis Ross has always had a head of beautiful hair; on the YouTube side, Naptural85 is amazing. I love how transparent she is. She let us see her growth all the way to waist length. She let us see when the color kind of took her down, and now she is letting us see her on the come up again. All in all, her hair is gorgeous—and so is her spirit.

HH: What are some of your favorite makeup products to use to glam up?

DM: My lip gloss from the Demetria McKinney Collection, which can be found at

HH: What is your skin-care routine, and what products do you use for your skin?

DM: As for skin care, it’s very similar to my hair-care regimen. As someone who has suffered from acne, harshness is not my friend. I remove my makeup with an oil and follow with a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil. Every now and then I will give myself a baking-soda-and-oil scrub just to get a good exfoliation and balancing of the skin. But again water, water, water! I drink lots of it. I mist my face throughout the day, and I try to just keep it as clean as possible without cleans- ing out the natural oils that are supposed to be there. Glowing, youthful skin is the goal—not a dry, ashy bucket!

HH: How would you describe your sense of fashion?

DM: I wear whatever makes me feel good. I can be a tomboy and wear ripped jeans and my Dallas Cowboys T-shirt, or I can rock a Balmain dress with a pair of red-bottoms.

HH: If you had only 15 minutes to pull a complete look together that includes hair, makeup and clothing, how would you do it?

DM: Hair would be wash-and-go; face would be simplistic, with a tinted moisturizer, a brow and a lip gloss; then a simple romper with a banging shoe. I’m a minimalist when it comes to jewelry. I would step out the door with the biggest smile ever. ’Fro on fleek!

HH: What are your purse-packing must-haves?

DM: My cell phones of course, a Red Bull, gum and a nude lipstick from my collection.

HH: Where do you derive your strength, encouragement and creativity from?

DM: From my son, who is 18 years old. Everything I do, I do for him. I have been homeless; I have lived in the projects; my mother is still married to the man who tried to molest me. Everything I have been through makes me a stronger and better person.

HH: What’s up next for you?

DM: Another album and going into filming season three of Saints & Sinners on Bounce TV.

Article by: Hype Hair

Demetria McKinney: It's Not As "Easy" As You Think

Posted by Iesha Marie on December 18, 2017 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Demetria McKinney has become one of the most recognizable faces between the small screen and her first passion—music. Her range of television credits are active from her role on Syfy’s “Superstition” with Mario Van Peebles; the drama series “Saints and Sinners;” BET’s popular “The Quad” and Tyler Perry’s sitcom “House of Payne” returning for another season in 2018.

But, if you didn’t have a chance to catch her on all of the above television shows airing on several different networks—just turn on the radio because her hit song “Easy” is a major hit.

While she was traveling on the Fantasia Christmas After Midnight Tour, The Defender sat down to discuss how McKinney balances her successful career.

You have a great deal of projects happening? How do you balance it all?

It’s funny, it’s just a testament to what’s for you in God’s time. It’s also about not being upset or stressed out about stuff—it’s human. But you got to kind of let things go.

Congratulations on the success of "Easy." How did you come up with the concept and who wrote it?

It’s an amazing love song. What I love about "Easy" is that they’re gravitating to the message. It’s great to see that in the midst of reality television where everybody is like ‘Yes, I’ll do this for that or I’ll do this for a shirt or for a car,’ people are saying ‘I’m worth love, I’m worth substance, I’m worth the mindset that agrees with mine.'

Who wrote the song?

Courtlin Jabrae, Devin Horton and myself. It was a collaborative effort.

My album is comprised of a couple of different writers-some of them are known and some of them are not, but they all speak my language. I really wanted to tell stories from my point of view. This "Easy" moment came from being tired of being approached at the bar and they think they can come at me with that same line that same thing and the minute I say 'no'-'she stuck up and she got an attitude'. I have high expectations-damn right! I deserve because I give. And sometimes as women, I feel we kind of diminish everything that we give, and we take the scraps because it’s what is available. No, you wait for the right thing and make them give it to you.

Since you have so many irons in the fire, have you had time to enjoy your personal time for yourself?

I would really love to take this wig off and sit it on the headrest as if it were my bestie. [she laughs]

But those moments where I used to be able to of walk out looking any kind of way, being any kind of way and acting silly in public, I have to be aware of this. To understand there’s consequences, and everything that comes with fame comes with a consequence. There is no way around it. Michael Jackson led a very private life for a reason. Beyoncé is private about her life for a reason because you still want to shield those things that are super important to you.

As an independent artist, we’ve seen a great deal of changes in the music business. Does it help to still have a major label in your corner?

Having a partner in radio and in finance is great, but I still had to make sure that everybody understood I am a partner. I struggled with that within my own team for a while until I had to weed out some folks who couldn’t let me be at the helm of my boat. With EOne, they ask me what would I like to do; they offer their opinions about things, but ultimately, they’re very gracious in letting me take the lead on my project.

SUPERSTITION — Pictured: (l-r) Demetria McKinney as May Westbrook, Mario Van Peebles as Isaac Hastings — (Photo by: Mitchell Galin/Xlrator Media/Syfy)

I had to build from scratch and I was building for 10 years before "Easy" really hit. I was doing A&R while I was on the road with R. Kelly and while I was out with Charlie Wilson. On tour with Fantasia right now, I’m still learning, I’m still growing because these are people who came up. They are willing to lend advice to me. I think that the biggest difference as an independent artist signed to a small label is that I get the best of both worlds.

As a Black artist, do you feel there is a dominance of White artists taking over R&B music without due respect to our culture and significant contribution?

I feel we’re in a good place and I’m going to say why. When you have an artist like an Adele who can sell the kind of records that she’s sold-who can sell out arenas and who can utilize what she’s seen of our culture-I have no problem with that. As long as you own it- if we can say I listened to James Brown. I listened to Etta James. I listen to this person and those are my influences. Ultimately in the body of work that you are doing, you are celebrating our culture and the people who started it. Now, the problem I have is when we can’t get a look because they’re doing it and they’re claiming it like it’s their own.

Article by:" target="_blank">Mary L. Datcher, Chicago Defender Sr. Staff Writer

Demetria McKinney Nominated For NAACP Image Award And Comes To The Apollo

Posted by Iesha Marie on November 22, 2017 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (2)

Rising music star and veteran actress Demetria McKinney has received a 49th Annual NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding New Artist. The Two-Hour LIVE TV special will air on TV One on Monday, January 15, 2018, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday with a One-Hour Live Red Carpet Pre-Show. For all information and the latest news, please visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at:

Along with an NAACP Image Award nomination, McKinney proudly joins Grammy Award winner Fantasia’s holiday tour, “Christmas At Midnight.” Tickets to Fantasia’s “Christmas At Midnight” tour, featuring Demetria McKinney, can be purchased here. Demetria McKinney joins Fantasia on the following dates at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY.

BET & BET Her’s 2017 Soul Train Awards will air November 26th, 2017, at 8PM ET. The annual event honoring the best in soul and R&B featured the national TV debut performance of Demetria McKinney‘s Billboard chart-topping single “Easy.” “Easy” currently sits at number 6 on Billboard’s Adult Urban AC chart.

McKinney’s debut album, “Officially Yours” is available in stores and online now. The album features the chart topping single “Easy,” and the newly released, “Happy.” “Officially Yours” was executive-produced by award-winning artist, producer and personality Kandi Burruss, Demetria McKinney and Roger Bobb. Get “Officially Yours” here.

McKinney recently portrayed the late music legend Whitney Houston in TV One’s “Bobbi Kristina” biopic, about Bobbi Kristina Brown– the only child of Whitney Houston and singer Bobby Brown. The television film premiered in early October 2017 to over 2.4 million homes, marking top rated success for the network.

Demetria McKinney is best known for her outstanding acting abilities as seen on “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” (TBS/OWN/BET), “The Quad” (BET) and “Saints & Sinners” (Bounce TV). Demetria is currently the female lead in the new series “Superstition” created by Mario Van Peebles on the SYFY Channel which premiered October 20. She will return to “Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne” spin-off “The Paynes” as Janine Payne in 2018 on OWN. Additionally, she will reprise her roles on BOUNCE TV’s “Saints & Sinners.”

For more information on Demetria McKinney visit

Article by: Harlem World Magazine

The many shades of Demetria McKinney

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 28, 2017 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

To say that 2017 has been a very busy year for actress/singer Demetria McKinney would be a gross understatement. With three TV projects, a feature-length film and the debut of her new CD, all dropping this year just go ahead and called it, “The Year of Demetria McKinney!”

In an exclusive to The Atlanta Voice, singer-actress Demetria McKinney discusses her new album and new TV projects that will be released this month.

It seems impossible that the Atlanta-based entertainer could squeeze another activity in the month of October. McKinney portrays Whitney Houston in the TV One biopic “Bobbi Kristina” which premiered at the first week of the month. Also debuting in October is her first album “Officially Yours.”

The album’s first single “Easy” has peaked at number 5 on the Billboard R&B chart. She starts filming Bounce TV’s “Saints & Sinners” at the end of October which will overlap some with the filming of her new TV series “Superstition” premiering on the SyFy channel Friday, Oct. 20 at 10 p.m.

The talented actress and singer first came to the attention of TV audiences in a supporting role on Tyler Perry’s sitcom “House of Payne” which is moving to OWN. She also appeared on the stage in a production by True Colors Theatre Company. She gained further notice with a short stint on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

McKinney took a little time out of her hectic schedule to visit The Atlanta Voice offices to talk about her many projects and her increasing fame.

Are you busy enough? But that is what you asked for, right?

Demetria McKinney: (Whew!) You have to be careful about what you ask for.

Just how true is that statement?

DM: Super true, especially lately. I’ve have been saying forever even before we lost her that my dream role would be to tell the Whitney Houston story. When the Bobbi Christina biopic came up, I was super happy and to do this. And then after a few days of filming the weight of it all set in. The responsibility settled in. The eyeballs that were going to be on me settled in. And I thought I might have played myself. I better do this right.

So how did you get over the pressure?

DM: I accepted it as an opportunity to pay homage to her. And I accepted her presence there. I’m not going to get too deep into it but I think I can speak everyone there, we felt them both there. I was surrounded by her (hearing her music everywhere) all the time. And going through the transformation, everything I had to do to be in her world, it required a lot but I think since I had been asking for it (role) for so long I had to do my due diligence.

Did you feel the pressure that Whitney felt as being this superstar – no privacy in her social life. Did you connect to that?

DM: Absolutely. Even though I wasn’t her but playing her, the criticism that was received even before any eyeballs ever saw the film was ever screened.

The attitudes that were taken even before the film had a chance to speak for itself, it was a lot. I felt like what it was to be judged. I had to understand the amount of love people had for her and how it turned into this ownership of her which I think is part of what caged her in so much where she did do some of the things she did. And why she connected with her daughter as her best friend and who genuinely loved her not just her voice, not her looks but her.

It’s been a very busy year for you so how do as a single parent keep yourself from losing contact with your son?

DM: That part has been hard. I’m really glad my son is of age now. He’s 18. So, he’s looking for that independence along with me now having to give it to him. The communication we still have is awesome. He’s still asking me for money. He still trying to be my dad by checking on where I am and what I’m wearing. We are still very much connected and we are because we were before all this began.

Have you noticed that as your stardom rises on the opposite end your privacy declines?

DM: Absolutely, I wasn’t really affected so much by the lack of privacy because I control what I put out there. Whatever that isn’t true, I can’t control that. That’s what people do. For me it’s the personal relationships. Learning who I can really trust as this thing grows and shifts and moves into something else. I’ve had to lose some people. I’ve had to cry a little bit. I’ve had to grow a lot and some people have changed and there is a difference: Plants grow. Children grow. Change can be up and down. The stock market changes every day. Figuring out those people who can grow with you instead of change on you is really something I’ve been struggling with this whole year.

What are you trying to say with this album?

DM: “Easy” (the single) is an anthem which was unexpected. The music is revealing more of who I am as a person. People have seen a little bit of me on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and as Whitney in the “Bobby Kristina” biopic, this debut album is my chance to tell who I am by my own definition. Yeah, I’m bad, but I’m vulnerable, I been hurt. I celebrate my sisters. There is just a whole lot of me on this album. No woman is one dimensional. So, ladies, if you press play no matter what mood you are in, there is something there.

McKinney also pays homage to Whitney Houston on her debut album by covering two of her songs.

DM: If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have made this album. I would have never known I wanted to sing. I wouldn’t have made it as a human being to point that I could pursue my dreams. She brought me out of some really, really tough times. I had to make sure she was a part of this.

Interview by:" target="_blank">Stan Washington | The Atlanta Voice

Actress Demetria McKinney Reveals Emotional Toll Taking on Whitney Houston Role

Posted by Iesha Marie on October 14, 2017 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (1)

(Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

Whitney Houston performs "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, November 22, 2009.

Demetria McKinney, the actress who portrayed the late legendary singer Whitney Houston in the "Bobbi Kristina" biopic that aired on TV One Saturday, said the role took an emotional toll on her.

McKinney admitted that playing Houston was the most iconic role that she's had to date. The biopic centers around Bobbi Kristina Brown, Houston's daughter with R&B star Bobby Brown, who was 22 when she died in 2015.

McKinney said she had trouble sleeping as she thought about the grief Bobbi Kristina felt over her mother's death.

"A couple weeks into filming I woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning bawling. [I] couldn't stop," McKinney told ABC radio, WJBD reports. " I could not get her off of me."

McKinney also spoke about Houston's faith and the responsibility she felt in taking on the role.

"There's something to be said for such a spiritual person. Such a faith-based person and somebody who has left such a mark on so many different people," she said. "I think that's when the responsibility kind of settled on me. The responsibility hit kinda hard."

Although Houston's life ended after a lengthy battle with drug addiction, her Christian faith had always been a vital part of her career. In 1997, Houston was awarded with the "Outstanding Mainstream Contribution to Gospel Music" honor given by the Gospel Music Association.

Houston's close friends and family spoke about her love for the Lord, including one of her closest friends, gospel singer Kim Burrell. And Pastor Shirley Caesar recalled the time when Houston spoke in tongues at Burrell's Love & Liberty Fellowship Church in Houston, Texas.

"Kim said that the power of God fell on Whitney Houston and she ran all around the church, and then she fell out on the floor and just began to speak in tongues," Caesar explained after Houston's untimely death in 2012. "For about 30 minutes (she was) lying there and praising the Lord. This girl knew that Jesus loved her."

Article by: Christine Thomasos