Up Next


TCA Diary: Octavia Spencer stars in LeBron’s new series about Madam C.J. Walker

And Eric André is working with Simpsons creator Matt Groening

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James just keeps making news that has zilch to do with basketball.

Stick to sports — for what?

Sunday, it was about a new eight-episode Netflix series on Madam C.J. Walker that he’s co-executive producing with Octavia Spencer, who will also star as Walker. The series will be adapted from On Her Own Ground, the biography of Walker written by her great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles. Kasi Lemmons, who is perhaps best known for directing Eve’s Bayou and recently directed an episode of Luke Cage, will helm the premiere episode. Janine Sherman Barrois (Claws) is showrunning.

Netflix vice president of original programming Cindy Holland made the announcement during a Q&A session Sunday at the Television Critics Association press tour. It comes the day before James opens his I Promise public school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. (I’m hoping this news will lead to a re-release or re-air of Stanley Nelson’s 1987 public television documentary about Walker, Two Dollars and a Dream.)

Today in weird stuff

Eric André, whose brand of mischievous, bro-y, black weirdo has been immortalized in his Adult Swim show with Hannibal Buress, The Eric André Show, is doing voice work for Netflix with one of his comedy heroes, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening.

André stars in Disenchantment, which begins streaming Aug. 17, opposite Abbi Jacobson (Broad City). Jacobson plays a princess named Bean in Groening’s remix of old fairy tales. Bean would rather be anything else, given that her primary duty in life is to get married. André plays Bean’s personal demon, named Luci.

Soraya Nadia McDonald is the senior culture critic for Andscape. She writes about pop culture, fashion, the arts and literature. She is the 2020 winner of the George Jean Nathan prize for dramatic criticism, a 2020 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism and the runner-up for the 2019 Vernon Jarrett Medal for outstanding reporting on Black life.