SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "JJ Watt" Episode 1779 -- Pictured: Kenan Thompson during the "Robbie" sketch on Saturday, February 1, 2020 -- (Photo by: Jake Doolittle/NBC)
Photo: NBC/Jake Doolittle/NBC
Photo: NBC/Jake Doolittle/NBC

Briefs: Kenan Thompson White House Correspondents host; BET+’s ‘Bigger’ renewed; Starz shooting wrestling drama ‘Heels’ in Atlanta

Originally posted Wednesday, February 19, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Kenan Thompson, Atlanta native and the longest running cast member in the 45-year history of “Saturday Night Live,” will be hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner.

The dinner dropped comics last year in favor of a historian. Humor, the group decided at the time, had become too divisive. 

But apparently, they changed their mind.

Thompson is not known for his political comedy and doesn’t really do stand up. 

Hasan Minhaj, who is more politically charged on his Netflix show “Patriot Act,” will join in as featured entertainment. 

The non-partisan dinner will air on C-Span April 25. Though presidents in the past used to attend, Donald Trump since he moved into the White House has chosen not to. 

"Kenan and Hasan are two of the most engaged and engaging entertainers in America. I’m thrilled they’ll help us celebrate the role of a free press in our democracy," said Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent for ABC News and president of the WHCA. "We’re looking forward to a lively evening honoring the most important political journalism of the past year."

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Will Packer’s hilarious BET+ streaming series “Bigger,” shot in Atlanta, was renewed for a second season.

“I’m so proud of this show,” Packer said. “And I can’t wait for new audiences to follow the shenanigans of this wild and crazy group of black thirtysomethings. Buckle up for season 2.”

The 10-episode first season follows single-black-woman Layne (Tanisha Long) and her close-knit group of friends as they navigate love, friendships, career ambitions and the journey to getting bigger, together. She often breaks the fourth wall. When a college acquaintance suddenly dies, the group is forced to take a deeper look at their messy lives, while asking themselves— is this it or is there something bigger and better?

Given that this is in streaming, it’s not known how many people actually has seen it but the network obviously liked it enough to give it more episodes.

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Photo: The CW

Starz is launching its first scripted series shot in Atlanta since “Survivor’s Remorse.” It’s a wrestling drama called “Heels” and features the same show runner: actor Mike O’Malley

Based out of Areu Studios, the show is now in pre-production.

Here’s the summary:

It’s about the men and women who chase their dreams in the world of small town pro wrestling. Set in a close-knit Georgia community, it follows a family-owned wrestling promotion as two brothers and rivals, Jack Spade (Amell) and Ace Spade (Alexander Ludwig), war over their late father’s legacy. In the ring, somebody must play the good guy (Ludwig) and somebody must play their nemesis, the heel (Amell). But in the real world, those characters can be hard to live up to — or hard to leave behind.

Kelli Berglund plays Crystal, a 20-year-old wrestler’s valet who yearns to transform this traditional role and compete as a wrestler. A rural-town girl of limited financial means, she’s an incredible athlete who just needs an opportunity to prove she belongs in the ring, and she’ll do whatever it takes to make that dream come true.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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