Tuesday, August 28, 2012

African Americans on TV Guide’s TV’s Highest Paid Stars

Every year TV Guide publishes a “Who Makes What” issue where they list salaries of television stars whether by year or by episode. In the newest TV Guide report (August 13-16, 2012), the salaries of some of TV's biggest -- oldest, and newest -- stars were revealed. The approximate numbers came from conversations with agents, network executives and studio honchos.

You’d be surprised how much or how little some of these stars make. It must also be noted that some of these stars have been on their respective shows for years and or have been in the business for years and thus command a greater salary. For instance all of the adult stars of Modern Family make the same salary, but Ed O’Neill makes more because he has been in the business for a long time.

Below I have listed the African American actors (in red) on the lists and also as a barometer, I listed the top money earners as well as their nearest peers.
Below are the lists broken down into categories.

Vanessa Williams $100K
DRAMA (per episode)
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU $385000
Jeanne Tripplehorn, Criminal Minds $100,000
Terry O’Quinn, 666 Park Avenue $100,000 
Vanessa Williams, 666 Park Avenue $100,000
Madeline Stowe, Revenge $75,000
Kerry Washington, Scandal $75,000
Giancarlo Espostio, Revolution $65,000
Sam Waterston, The Newsroom $65,000
Emily VanCamp, Revenge $65,000

CeeLo Green $100K
Mariah Carey, American Idol $17 Million (per season)
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol $15 Million (per season)
Howard Stern, America’s Got Talent $15 Million (per season)
Christina Aguilera, The Voice $225,000 (per episode)
CeeLo Green (and the other 2 judges) The Voice $100,000 (per episode)
Toni Braxton, Braxton Family Values $15,000 (per episode)
Richard Harrison, Pawn Stars $15,000 (per episode)

Sherri Shepard $1.5 Mil
DAYTIME (per year)
Judy Sheindlin, Judge Judy $45 Million
Kelly Ripa, Live! With Kelly $20 million
Sherri Shepard, The View $1.5 million

Robin Roberts $6 Mil
NEWS (per year)
Matt Lauer, Today $21.5 Million
Bill O’Reilly, The O’Reilly Factor $15 Million
Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News $13 Million
Robin Roberts, Good Morning America $6 Million
Soledad O’Brien, CNN’s Starting Point $1.5 Million
Don Lemon, CNN Newsroom $500,000

Don Cheadle $150K
COMEDY (per episode)
Ashton Kutcher, Two and a Half Men $700,000
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men $600,000
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock $300,000
Dan Castellaneta, The Simpsons $300,000
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother $210,000
Modern Family (Adult Cast with the exception of Ed O’Neill) $175,000 Each
Don Cheadle, House Of Lies $150,000
Matthew Perry, Go On $150,000

Check out TV Guide Magazine to see more salaries.

Read my 2014 update of the salaries @ Shadow & Act here

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy - Cool Black Review

WARNING: I will be discussing SPOILERS from all three pictures by Christopher Nolan

In January 2003, Warner Bros. hired Memento director Christopher Nolan to direct an untitled Batman film. Nolan stated his intention to reinvent the film franchise of Batman by "doing the origins story of the character, which is a story that's never been told before". Nolan said that humanity and realism would be the basis of the origin film, and that "the world of Batman is that of grounded reality. [It] will be a recognizable, contemporary reality against which an extraordinary heroic figure arises."(Variety 2006)

Scarecrow & Ra's al Ghul 
Batman Begins (2005) When I initially saw this film I thought it was ok. I didn’t think the Scarecrow was a good villain, but the real villain was Batman’s mentor Ra's al Ghul anyway.

I thought Liam Neeson was great as Ra's al Ghul and I thought it was interesting to see where Batman—begins with Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows. Even with that the picture as a whole was only ok. I rewatched it last year and appreciated it more as a “prequel” to The Dark Knight.

That brings us to The Dark Knight (2008) and it was AWESOME! Unlike Batman Begins TDK had a very strong villain in The Joker.
The Joker

Heath Ledger as The Joker was just phenomenal and his orchestrated plan to take down Batman was great!

The film’s only draw back was its overlong ending after the introduction of Two Face and the whole ferry boat nonsense.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) brought Christopher Nolan’s trilogy full circle in more ways than one. The whole story was good as it intertwined the current villain Bane with the League of Shadows from the first picture as well as Talia al Ghul, Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter.

Bane was a good villain and was the first time we saw a true physical hand to hand combat match for Batman. Selina Kyle was a good villain/hero who walked the line between both worlds. The film was also too long and dragged on forever. The final battle was kinda anticlimactic, but the ending was a perfect way to wrap up the trilogy.

I enjoyed all three of Nolan’s pictures, but these accolades as the “best trilogy ever” are without merit. The first and last pictures were ok and the middle one was the pinnacle. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was a very good film series and a great trilogy. Let’s just leave it at that.

Additional Links: You can click each movie poster above ^ to go to the Wikipedia page about the film

Monday, August 13, 2012

All The Way 100

As of today August 13, 2012 we have over 100 thousand hits to our blog!

I started blogging about African Americans in the media way back in college in the early 2000s. I was particularly interested in what the black folk were doing in media since like forever. Way before the Internet. Yes that show is cool, but what about that black guy? LOL.

Anyway, I usually only post media reviews and or major articles now, but as always


"Cool Black" is the Internet psuedonym of Dankwa Brooks. You can read more about that in the FIRST blog entry "The Origin of Cool Black"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rick Ross - God Forgives I Don't - Cool Black Review

If albums had “Side Bs” anymore this album’s Side B would be the best. Exactly halfway through the Deluxe Edition’s sixteen tracks is where the album really takes off with the song “Hold Me Back”…and I even didn’t like that track at first.

The third single "Hold Me Back" produced by G5 was released on July 2nd, 2012 and when I read that I thought “That dumbass single?” The hook alone I thought was ignorant, but I’ll admit it grew on me. Shrug.

The next track “911” on first impression is the one that I thought THIS is what I’ve been waiting all album for! Until then I thought the album was a yawn. The orchestration "Maybach Music IV" is really good, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Even a cameo by L.A. Reid doesn’t help it.

"Maybach Music IV" (featuring Ne-Yo) was one of four tracks produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League that made the album, the others being  "Sixteen" (featuring André 3000), "Ten Jesus Pieces"(featuring Stalley) and "Triple Beam Dreams" (featuring Nas). All four tracks have great production and sound really great, but only about half of them succeed as complete songs. Those two being "Sixteen" (featuring André 3000) and "Triple Beam Dreams" (featuring Nas).

On May 15, 2012, Rick Ross released the first single from the album, titled "Touch'N You" featuring Usher produced by Rico Love and I know why because it’s HOT. The hook written by Rico Love and sung by Usher perfectly blend with Love’s production.

Less than a week later on May 21, 2012, Rick Ross gave Funkmaster Flex the green light to release the first street single, "So Sophisticated" featuring Meek Mill and that song is also HOT. It only makes good business to release great tracks as singles even it’s only to “increase hype” like the single below.

Although not a single, 3 Kings was promotionally released before the album, to increase hype. 

I DID NOT like the much hyped ‘3 Kings”. The first rapper said he was Dr. Dre, but it hardly sounds like him. He straight stole someone else’s flow and it doesn't sound right for him. He sounds like a poser. The other “kings’ on this track do nothing to help it either.

The one Pharrell song to make the album "Presidential" has a great “doo wop chant” that makes the song, but the weak vocals by Elijah Blake kill it.

The absolute stand out track on GFID, as it is being called for short, is “Diced Pineapples” produced by Cardiak the FIRST time I heard it I thought it was an instant classic.

God Forgives I Don’t isn't a hot album, but it is a good album especially “Side B”.

Below is which of the individual tracks I thought were HOT

1. "Pray for Us"  (interlude)
2. "Pirates"
3. "3 Kings" (featuring Dr. Dre and Jay-Z)
4. "Ashamed"
5. "Maybach Music IV"(featuring Ne-Yo) warm
6. "Sixteen" (featuring André 3000) HOT
7. "Amsterdam"
8. "Hold Me Back" HOT  
9. "911"  HOT
10. "So Sophisticated" (featuring Meek Mill) HOT
11. "Presidential" (featuring Elijah Blake)
12. "Ice Cold" (featuring Omarion)
13. "Touch'N You" (featuring Usher) HOT
14. "Diced Pineapples" (featuring Wale and Drake) HOT
15. "Ten Jesus Pieces"(featuring Stalley) warm

Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks
16. "Triple Beam Dreams" (featuring Nas) HOT
17. "Rich Forever" (featuring John Legend) HOT

Written by Cool Black with some information from Wikipedia