Get ready for the return of Martin Lawrence to TV.  Lawrence is currently negotiating a deal with Kelsey Grammer to do a sitcom for  either the TBS or TNT networks. Grammer is best known for his 20-year stint  playing “Dr. Fraiser Crane” on the TV shows Cheers and Frasier. Grammer just  wrapped a stint on the Starz cable series Boss. In the 90’s, Lawrence ruled the  airwaves with the Martin show on FOX, and he has wanted to return to the small  screen. Last year, he had a
developed deal with CBS, but it fell through.  Lawrence also backed out of a movie project with Jamie Foxx. Lawrence has been  in a career slump for a while and he feels returning to TV is his best  bet.

Singer Fantasia is having a hard time getting a career reboot. Fantasia took her frustration to social media, and  it backfired on her. Fantasia spoke out about gay marriage and  legalizing marijuana. Fantasia is not anti-gay, but her words were picked up by  other outlets and misquoted. Fantasia is also tired of being judged for having a  baby with a married man. She knows this has hurt her career, and she needs a hit  record. Her personal life is such a mess that she can’t even get a reality show.  Fantasia knows her fans will never understand why she is buying her baby daddy's  (Antwaun Cook) affections. Fantasia's new CD is due out in a few weeks. She is  already working on her look. She has a new stylist and already dropped a lot of  weight. Fantasia's
new album is The Side Effects Of You and comes out March  13
th featuring the lead single Lose To  Win.

Cissy Houston will be sitting down with Oprah Winfrey as she marks  the one year anniversary of the death of her daughter Whitney  Houston. Cissy will be talking about her new book, which details the  life she had with Whitney. Cissy will be Oprah's guest on Next Chapter in early  February. Oprah is lining up the big gets for her OWN cable station. Disgraced  Cycling Great Lance Armstrong will be joining Oprah on the  17th. Did he use performance enhancing  drugs? Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour De France titles. Sources say we  will see tears, and he
ask for forgiveness. If he tells the truth, will he go  to jail like Olympic Runner Marion Jones? She served a six month sentence for  lying to Feds about steroid use. Will there be a double  standard?

In more OWN news, the next few months will see Actress/Comedienne  Kim Whitley debuting her new show about raising a  baby. In late May, Tyler Perry will be debuting his new shows (The  Haves And Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor) for the network.

Speaking of Tyler Perry, he got a ringing endorsement from a surprising source........Minister Louis Farrakhan. Minister  Farrakhan called Perry one of the great, young entrepreneurs of current time.  The Minister also said he's glad Perry brought the character of “Madea” to  America's consciousness by using humor to show the greatness of black women.  These remarks came from a recent installment of Farrakhan Speaks. 

TJ Holmes and BET.....is the end near? Holmes  news/talk/variety show Don't Sleep hasn't been on the air since December  19th. That was after being scaled back  from its October premiere and five
day a week airing to Wednesday nights  only. Holmes has since popped up on MSNBC as a fill-in anchor. Reports are that  Holmes was not happy with BET's changes, and BET isn't happy with the Don't  Sleep ratings. Stay tuned!

Actor Ving Rhames has joined the cast of the medical drama Monday  Mornings. The show is produced by David E. Kelly (Chicago Hope, Ally  McBeal, Pickett Fences ) and CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Monday Mornings debuts  February 4th on the TNT cable network.

Mark  Wahlberg is starring in the film Broken City from Director Allen Hughes (Menace II Society, The Book Of Eli). The  movie also stars Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta Jones, and is about an ex-cop  with a scandalous past hired by the mayor to spy on his wife. Broken City opens  January 18th. I  got a chance to interview both Mark and Allen and reallly had a great time with  them.

Don’t look for a reunion of the 90’s TV classic In Living  Color. Show Creator Keenen Ivory Wayans shot a pilot for a new version  of the show, but FOX network execs didn’t like it and turned the new show  down.

One of the hottest reality shows is the TLC network's The Best  Funeral Ever. The special had over a million viewers  on its debut episode January 6th. Best Funeral Ever features over  the top funerals and was a Sunday night special, but look for it to back very  soon on TLC.

Our prayers and condolences go out to Singer Rebbie  Jackson. Rebbie is the quiet one in the Jackson family, and she's best  known for her 1984 hit Centipede. Rebbie’s husband Nathaniel Brown died recently  after a long battle with cancer. Rebbie and her husband were married for 44  years and had three children.

R.I.P to Singer Lou Wilson of Mandrill. Wilson died at the  age of 71 from a massive heart attack. Wilson, along with his brothers Ric and  Carlos, founded the group Mandrill in 1968. Mandrill is best known for the hits  I Refuse To Smile, Ape Is High, House Of Wood, Fencewalk and Can You Get It  (Suzie Caesar). His brothers Carlos, Ric and Wolf called Lou Wilson the  centerpiece of their music and lives.

Also  Actor Ned Wertimer died this week at the age of 89. He's best known for  playing “Ralph, the doorman” for 11 seasons on The Jeffersons beginning in 1975.  His death comes only months after Co-Star Sherman Hemsley's (“George  Jefferson”). Wertimer had something in common with his Co-star Roxie Roker  (a.k.a. Lenny Kravitz's mom), who played “Helen Willis” and half of an  interracial-married couple on and off the show. Wertimer was also half of an  interracial couple in real life. He married his wife, the distinguished  College Professor/Author/Researcher Dr. Skyne Uku, after he came to Hollywood in  the 1960's. Wertimer died at a nursing home following a fall at
his  home.

Tami  Roman, David Keith, Ella Joyce and Elise Neal will be starring in the TV One  show Belle's. The show about a family running a soul food business, and  it debuts February 1st.

The  2013 Essence Music Festival is happening July 4-7 in New Orleans. Jill  Scott, Keyshia Cole, New Edition, Brandy, LL Cool J, Mint Condition,“Uncle  Charlie” Wilson and Maxwell are schedule to perform this  year.

Speaking of Maxwell, he is hard at work on his fifth CD. He  plans on releasing the second installment of his Black Summers Night trilogy  series later this year. Last summer, he had to cancel his tour when he suffered  vocal swelling and hemorrhaging.

Funkateer George Clinton had to sell the publishing rights to his music  to pay off a million dollar debt. Clinton had to turn  over the rights to some of his biggest hits including One Nation Under A Groove,  (Not Just) Knee Deep, Mothership Connection and P. Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)  to pay off the debt to a law firm.

Boyz II Men is setting up shop in Las Vegas. Starting in  March, they will be doing a series of weekend concerts for the rest of the year  at the Mirage Casino. The Philadelphia natives just celebrated their  20th year as a group.

NeNe Leakes has reconciled with her husband Greg. Will  their reunion and renewing of their vows be a part of the new season of The Real  Housewives Of Atlanta?

Iyanla Van Zant is on the  cover of the latest issue of Essence magazine.

Ebony magazine is  celebrating Black Love with a triple cover featuring Meagan Good (Deception) & her husband Film Exec DeVon Franklin, Bishop TD Jakes & his wife  Serita and Tiny & T.I.

Get ready for Beyonce in the new year: She’s performing  halftime at the Superbowl; she’s producing a documentary about her life that  will air on HBO February 16th; and she has just signed on as the  new spokesperson for Pepsi. The $50 million Pepsi deal was announced this week  and includes Beyonce's picture on Pepsi cans with the soda giant sponsoring all  her major events. She’s also going to be the cover girl for the March issue of  Vogue magazine and for the new issue of GQ magazine. Plus, she’ll be singing the  National Anthem at President Obama's inauguration. Four years ago, Beyonce sang  Etta James' At Last for The President and First Lady Michelle Obama at the  inaugural ball.

Wendy Williams is releasing a new book of advice called Ask  Wendy. The book comes out May  7th.

R Kelly has recorded a song for the survivors of the school  shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. The song, I Know  You Are Hurting, features choirs of children and  adults.

Congratulations to Stars Wars Creator George Lucas. The 68-year old  film producer recently announced his engagement to 43-year old Investment Firm  President Mellody Hobson. Hobson is also appears as a contributor to Good  Morning America on financial issues and she's chairman of
Dreamworks  Animation studio division.

Actress Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) will be taking a job on Public TV  for the show Afro Pop. The show bills itself as the  ultimate cultural exchange.

Halle Berry, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and Bishop TD  Jakes are going to be honored at the 2013 BET Honors.  Gabrielle Union returns as host, and the show airs on BET February  11th. Performers include Ledisi, Alicia  Keys, Brandy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, The S.O.S. Band and Erykah  Badu.

Congrats to Singer Brandy! She’s in Tyler Perry's Temptation:  Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor, and she recently got engaged to longtime  boyfriend and Music Executive Ryan Press.

On Monday, March  18th,  Latin Singing Sensation Shakira will join the lineup of NBC's singing reality  show The Voice along with Usher. They'll join Judges Adam Levine and  Blake Shelton. Usher will also be starring in the movie Hands Of Stone, about  the life of Boxing Great Sugar Ray Leonard.