Press release from TV One, May 1, 2019:
After the untimely passing of groundbreaking film director, screenwriter and producer John Singleton, TV One will honor his many accomplishments with themed episodes of its signature series UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD airing tonight Wednesday, May 1 starting at 8 PM ET/7C. The themed episodes of UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD feature candid commentary from Singleton as he shares his connections to Hollywood luminaries and film projects highlighted in the series. The featured UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD episodes include Richard Roundtree, Tupac Shakur and the film “Baby Boy” — Singleton directed the remake of Roundtree’s career-defining film “Shaft,” directed Tupac in his film “Poetic Justice” and directed the film “Baby Boy.”
TV One Programming Lineup for Singleton’s Tribute on Wednesday, May 1:
UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD: Richard Roundtree
Airs: 8 p.m. ET
In 1971, a fashion model and little-known stage actor by the name of Richard Roundtree marched through Times Square in front of film cameras and instantly asserted himself as a movie icon. Draped in leather, John Shaft gained notoriety as a no-nonsense, tough-talking detective who changed forever how blacks were portrayed on the big screen. For Roundtree, it was the beginning of a journey that would make him internationally recognized, but also trap him in typecast roles. Ultimately, Roundtree made his peace with the role, as its legacy and influence grew with time, and as a new generation of black actors came to embrace him.
This revealing episode features an in-depth interview with Mr. Roundtree, as well as members of his family, participants in the original “Shaft” movie, and Hollywood luminaries including Fred Williamson and John Singleton, who directed the 2001 remake of the iconic film.
UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD: Tupac Shakur
Airs: 9 p.m. ET
The legendary rapper Tupac actually had a passion for acting before he got into hip-hop. At the age of 12, Tupac was cast in A Raisin in the Sun at the Apollo Theater, and the desire to perform on stage stayed with him for the rest of his life. As a teen, Tupac attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he fell in love with Shakespeare and Broadway. As his rap career took off, Tupac never took his eye off his other dream. In 1991, he landed a starring role in “Juice,” which was a critical and commercial success. That led to other acclaimed roles, including standout performances in “Poetic Justice” and “Above the Rim.”
Insights from family and friends are provided by John Singleton, Ice T, Ice Cube, Andre Harrell, Duane Martin, Guy Torry, Joe Torry, Robi Reed, YoYo, Lance Gross, Malik Yoba and more.
UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD: Baby Boy
Airs: 10 p.m. ET
“Baby Boy” is an in-depth examination of a generation of African-American men, raised primarily by their mothers, who lived in a kind of limbo of non-commitment and violence, and never quite grew up. In this exhilarating, entertaining episode, Singleton, the star-studded cast, and crew come together to share an intimate behind-the-scenes look into some of their favorite scenes, and discuss the impact of this culture-defining film on the community then and now.
While “Baby Boy” does showcase acting veterans Ving Rhames and A.J. Johnson, as well as rap star Snoop Dogg, it helped not only launch the careers of most of its cast, but make stars of both leads, Tyrese Gibson and Taraji P. Henson.
The UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD marathon will allow fans and viewers to experience the Hollywood legend’s influence and how he helped shaped our culture through his filmmaking. Follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #RIPJohnSingleton.