Naturi Naughton was not even born when "Fame" (1980) premiered in theaters, so she could not have predicted that she would one day be a part of the legendary film and television franchise. Before she...
Rapper 50 Cent has joined the cast of U.S. TV drama Power. The In da Club hitmaker, who also serves as the show's executive producer, has signed on for a recurring role in the series, which centres on a wealthy New York club owner who lives a double life as a drug kingpin.
Power, which was created by The Good Wife's Courtney Kemp Agboh, features Omari Hardwick, Lela Loren, Joseph Sikora and Fame star Naturi Naughton.
The show, which is currently in production in New York, is set to premiere on U.S. network STARZ next year (14).
LeAnn Rimes' new husband stars as lawyer Nick Dalton in the NBC series, which is set in publishing boss Hugh Hefner's famous Chicago, Illinois hotspot in the 1960s.
But the show, which also features actresses Amber Heard, Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Naturi Naughton, has suffered from poor ratings, with just five million viewers tuning in to its big debut on 19 September (11).
The audience figures have continued to fall, with just 3.2 million watching The Playboy Club's most recent episode, and its bad performance has prompted NBC chiefs to cancel the programme altogether.
The show will air until 31 October (11).
The pilot episode of The Playboy Club gives us a glimpse into the first Playboy Club in Chicago, which opened in 1963. The swanky club features "bunnies," who serve privileged keyholders. Each girl on the show has her own secret and it looks like the show will unfold those secrets throughout the season. So what happens when the world's most famous bunny not named Bugs meets Mad Men? Hopefully something that does more than just cater to the teenage-horn-dog in us all.
We get a voiceover from Hugh Hefner himself, which attempts to set up the anything-can-happen vibe of the 60's-era show. We meet Maureen (Amber Heard) and besides her dancing skills and a great set of teeth (yes, I said teeth), she's pretty and the pilot does a great job showing us that through constant close-ups. However, this is all we get to learn about her in the pilot, as the show seems content with holding off on her backstory. She wants to be a star of the show, and she's got a ways to go. Of course she winds up with hunky club member, Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian), who’s also dating the aging queen bunny, Carol-Lynne (Laura Benanti).
So how much is skin does NBC show on a Monday night at 10 p.m.? Is it enough to warrant the NBC Salt Lake City affiliate from refusing to air the series? Is it enough to really upset feminist activist (and Christian Bale's step-mommy), Gloria Steinem, who once protested against the clubs by going undercover as a bunny and called for a boycott of the show? Surely there's more than enough gratuitous nudity to make the Parents Television Council demand NBC pull the show from its lineup? Sadly, for the naysayers, there's more skin shown during an autopsy on a procedural than on this series. Heck, Ashton Kutcher showed more skin in his first Two and a Half Men show than was seen on this series. It's just about a girl who wants to be the best sexpot she can be and that's all harmless fun.
Also roaming around the bunny-building is the aforementioned Carol-Lynne, who relishes using her acid tongue to cut people down to size. You can sense her lack of trust in people. As queen bunny, Carol-Lynne advises bunnies how to behave while working. No chewing gum, no leaving your post to dance. One can only assume someone will break the rules every few episode so that Benanti can get some snark in.
Another character running around is the club's manager, played by a very out of place David Krumholtz. Maybe the role will grow a bit as the series goes on, but the character seems badly miscast as Krumholtz is just not smarmy enough. Besides, his biggest moment in the pilot was answering a phone call from Hef.
It's easy to see why NBC picked the show up; it’s a period piece based around the glamorous and tumultuous sixties. Considering the time period has worked for Mad Men for four years now, the peacock is trying to deliver their own version of the decade, although Mad Men uses advertising for nostalgia's sake to reflect on current times works far better than using sex, which will always just be sex.
It's pretty hard to judge any series based on its first episode. The Playboy Club is no different. You have to introduce the main characters and the main story lines and a few characters like Naturi Naughton's Brenda seem primed for meaty, juicy story lines going forward. Chicago in the sixties is also known for an excess of organized crime, which is hinted at in the pilot. While it was a bit of a lackluster first episode, NBC could have a really good show on their hands if they can nurture it correctly, but as we all know, during the fast and furious fall premieres, that's easier said than done.
The Step Up star features alongside fellow 'Bunnies' Amber Heard and Naturi Naughton in the new show, about publishing mogul Hugh Hefner's first Playboy Club in Chicago, Illinois.
The actresses were given special lessons on how to behave from former Playboy Bunny Pat Lacey, but Dewan-Tatum admits the one-day course was a little more intense than she had ever expected.
She tells PR.com, "We had Pat Lacey, who is an ex-Playboy Bunny and still works with Hef, come in, and we had a day of bunny training.
"You get that memo from your agent and you're like, 'OK. Maybe it's just to talk research about what it was like being a bunny.' We got there and it was strict! There's a certain way the drinks are placed on the tray. There's a certain way you have to place them on the table.
"The bunny dip, the bunny stance, the bunny perch... there were so many technical things to being a bunny. I left that day having a whole new found respect for the Playboy Bunnies and what they did for 12 hours a day."
Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, here's a first look at the scantly-clad and soft-focused world of new NBC series The Playboy Club. The sixties-set series will follow the employees of the famous Chicago club. The series is already garnering some controversy, unsurprisingly, and the NBC affiliate in Utah refuses to air the show. So far, The Playboy Club looks pretty tame by HBO standards, and this poster emphasizes the nostalgic over the sultry. I've seen skimpier outfits on the subway.
The Playboy Club stars Amber Heard, Naturi Naughton, Leah Renee, and Eddie Cibrian as the poor man's Don Draper. The show hops onto your TV set September 19. We're only watching it for the articles, we swear.
LeAnn Rimes' new husband plays lawyer Nick Dalton in the upcoming NBC series, which is based on Hugh Hefner's famous Chicago, Illinois hotspot in the 1960s.
The programme is not due to air until September (11), but members of the Parents Television Council are campaigning to have the show axed altogether, insisting it "glamorises" the pornography industry.
But Chad Hodge, executive producer of The Playboy Club, is adamant there is nothing too explicit on the show - because it's focused on the workers at the members-only club and not Hefner's Playboy publication.
He says, "It's mild compared to anything else on television. It really has nothing to do… with anything racy or trying to be exploitative, that's not the purpose of the show or the spirit of the show."
And The Playboy Club star Naturi Naughton has also defended the new series, adding, "It’s empowering because these girls are smart, they’re going to school, they’re buying property."
"We had to learn the Bunny dip, the Bunny stance, the Bunny perch. We had to do it all, so trust me, it's not easy to be a Bunny." Fame star Naturi Naughton on learning how to be a Playboy Bunny for new TV series The Playboy Club.
Eddie Cibrian, of LeAnn Rimes' engagement ring fame, has been cast in the NBC drama pilot, Playboy. The 20th Century Fox TV project is set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963 and revolves around Cibrian's character of Nick Dalton, who's described as "the ultimate playboy" and is an attorney with mysterious ties to the mob. Dalton is also credited with "knowing how to make problems disappear," and although there is no forthright mention of it, is undoubtedly pretty interested in bedding the club's waitresses before they even have time to take their bunny ears off. Also set to star in the series is Amber Heard, Laura Benanti, Naturi Naughton, Jenna Dewan-Tatum and David Krumholtz. Jeff Hephner was originally slated for the lead role, but Cibrian solidified it for himself when he told casting directors he'd be honored to do exactly what Nick would do, which is take care of their biggest problem for them.
YES! The first step in creating a show about Chicago’s Playboy Club in 1963? Cast beautiful women. You can go ahead and check that one off for NBC as they are in negotiations with Amber Heard and Naturi Naughton to star in the series. Let’s put aside our opinions of their respective acting abilities (see Heard in Pineapple Express or Zombieland; Naughton in Fame or Notorious) and remember this is a show about Playboy. In the 60s. Sure, it’ll deal with Heard’s dark past as she climbs the ranks from humble beginnings. And sure, it’ll deal with race issues as Naughton seeks to become the first African-American centerfold. But let us remember the bigger issue here - boobs. Lots and lots of boobs. Ok, it’ll be on NBC so we won’t see... anything... at all, but still, some boob is better than no boob at all, right? Lets just revel in the glory of these two women’s incredible beauty, shall we?
Starting near the end of his short 24-year life and then told in flashback this film version of Christopher “Notorious B.I.G” Wallace’s (Jamal Woolard) rapid rise from the streets of Brooklyn to fame is told in standard-issue Hollywood biopic style. We see this Catholic honors student (played by his real life son Christopher Jordan Wallace) become a teenage drug dealer and accidental father before a chance recording finds its way to Sean “Puffy” Combs (Derek Luke) who engineers an almost immediate rise to fame fortune -- and trouble. “Biggie” now must juggle his newfound recording career a marriage to fellow artist Faith Evans (Antonique Smith) his romantic encounters with female rap comer L’il Kim (Naturi Naughton) and a major East Coast/West Coast rivalry with Tupac Shakur (Anthony Mackie) that leads to tragedy for both. As Wallace Brooklyn rapper Woolard is almost indistinguishable from the real man himself. He’s completely convincing performing B.I.G’s biggie hits and proves himself to be a first-rate dramatic actor as well -- at least in a story like this that he can clearly relate to. As his mother Angela Bassett makes the most of limited screen time (despite top billing) and expertly conveys the angst of a parent fighting a losing battle for her son. Luke again shows why he is so promising playing Puffy with just the right amount of flash and supreme confidence. Unfortunately the “balanced” portrait of Combs and many others in B.I.G’s life is tainted by the fact this film was produced by some of the real life players including his managers mother and executive producer Combs. George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food) directs this by-the-numbers account of Biggie’s life in a style we have seen countless times before. Except for a couple of occasions he doesn’t even let the rap sequences play out to give us an idea of how this guy whose songs reflected his rough Brooklyn lifestyle could climb to the top so fast. Whatever was special is lost in what appears to be a brazen attempt to sell soundtrack albums.
Cast on NBC's 1960s drama "The Playboy Club" as Bunny Brenda, a woman seeking to be the first African-American Playboy Playmate
Co-starred opposite Bow Wow and Ice Cube in the comedy "Lottery Ticket"
Played Little Inez on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning musical "Hairspray"
Formed the musical group 3LW, which stood for Three Little Women, with Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams; released their self-titled debut album and first single "No More (Baby I'm A Do Right)" in 2000
3LW released second album, "A Girl Can Mack," but shortly after, Naughton announced she was no longer a member of the group; Naughton claimed Williams allegedly threw a hot plate of food at her during a heated argument at Kentucky Fried Chicken; group rep
Cast as musical artist Lil Kim in controversial biopic "Notorious," about slain rapper Notorious B.I.G.
Played an aspiring singer-pianist in the remake of "Fame"; film also starred Kay Panabaker, Megan Mullally, and Kelsey Grammer
3LW embarked on the "MTV Total Request Live" tour along with Destiny's Child, Dream, Nelly, Eve, and Jessica Simpson
Began singing with the New Hope Baptist church choir
Naturi Naughton was not even born when "Fame" (1980) premiered in theaters, so she could not have predicted that she would one day be a part of the legendary film and television franchise. Before she was an actress, however, Naughton found fame of a different sort in the musical group 3LW until her infamous exit from the band in 2002. Her solo career flourished when she performed in Broadway's "Hairspray" and took on the role of Lil' Kim in the 2008 Biggie Smalls biopic, "Notorious." In the 2009 version of "Fame," Naughton played Denise, a singer who belts out the infectious title track originally performed by Irene Cara. In fact, Naughton's powerhouse vocals surprised everyone, immediately drawing comparisons to another singer-turned-actress seemingly coming out of nowhere to blow away listeners - Jennifer Hudson of "Dreamgirls" (2006) and "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ) fame.