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Idris Elba, Priyanka Chopra, and More Join Inclusivity Program to Help First-Time Directors

Idris Elba and Priyanka Chopra | Photo Credits: Getty Images

In a coordinated effort for the  ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group First Time Directors program, a star-studded array of high-profile executive producer deals with Angela Bassett, Idris Elba, Salma Hayek, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria and Courtney B. Vance and their respective production companies will produce 50 films across Paramount Network, MTV, Comedy Central and more ViacomCBS entities, for first time Black, Indigenous, persons of color and women filmmakers to tell diverse stories in their own voices. The goal is to provide opportunities for the next generation of filmmakers from marginalized groups.

The production companies include Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance's Bassett Vance ProductionsIdris Elba's Green Door
Pictures, Salma Hayek's Ventanarosa Productions, Priyanka Chopra Jonas'Purple Pebble PicturesJohn Leguizamo's Rebel Productions, and Eva Longoria's UnbelieEVAble Entertainment.

"We are thrilled to embark upon this very important journey with ViacomCBS in telling stories that are representative of communities of people who are often missing from the majority landscape of film and television," Bassett and Vance said jointly in a statement. "It means opening doors for new and fresh voices, both in front of and behind the camera, something that has always been a top priority for us. We look forward to being a part of a growing coalition of directors, producers, actors and writers who will be the change agents at the forefront of a new, multicultural, and more dynamic workforce in this industry."

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Actor-Producer-DJ Idris Elba added, "I'm incredibly proud to join a group of such extraordinary talent and welcome this commitment from ViacomCBS to introduce opportunity into their business model. When I set up Green Door one of my core philosophies was to promote and encourage a diversity of ideas from new voices who might otherwise be shut out of the industry establishment. I believe that this is a bold step forward and look forward to working with a new cohort of original storytellers across the ViacomCBS E&Y Group." 

The collaboration comes after months of civil unrest, stirred to a boiling point following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police. The Black Lives Matter movement has prompted several Hollywood entities to promise to do deeper work when it comes to showcasing and greenlighting more diverse stories. ViacomCBS announced earlier this summer its goal of having 44 percent of its writers across the broadcast network to be Black, Indigenous, or persons of color and marked 25 percent of its development budget for the 2021-22 TV season for stories helmed by people from those communities. 

The movies created by this latest venture will air on MTV, Comedy Central, and Paramount Network as well as find a streaming home on VIacomCBS' premium streaming service Paramount+.



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How to Watch UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa

Israel Adesanya, UFC 248 | Photo Credits: Harry How/Getty Images

Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa will fight in UFC 253's main event on Saturday Sept. 26 at 10/9c. Adesanya defends his middleweight championship against Costa, who is ranked second. Both are undefeated fighters whose well-known feud will finally come to blows in the ring. The pair have traded barbs in the press since Adesanya knocked out Robert Whittaker to win UFC 243 after which Adesanya challenged Costa to meet him in the Octogon. 

Wondering how you can catch the explosive match? Livestream UFC 253 on ESPN+. The early prelims and prelim fights, which start at 7/6c and 8/7c respectively, can be streamed with an ESPN+ subscription for $6.99 a month. ESPN+ is also available as part of Hulu bundle (which also includes Disney+ content) for $12.99. Both events will also air on UFC Fight Pass, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes.

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For the main event however, fans will need to need to to pay-per-view the Adesanya-Costa match via their ESPN+ subscriptions. The pay-per-view price of the match is $64.99 for current ESPN+ subscribers. New subscribers can grab a bundle with UFC 253 and an ESPN+ annual subscription for $84.98.

The other main card fights include Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Błachowicz for vacant Light Heavyweight title, Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval for the Flyweight title, Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks for the Women's Bantamweight title, and Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov for the Featherweight title. 

UFC 253 airs Sept. 26 at 7/6c on ESPN+.


Alan Arkin Will Not Return for The Kominsky Method Season 3

Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method | Photo Credits: Mike Yarish/Netflix

The Kominsky Method is losing one of its main characters ahead of the final season. TV Guide has confirmed Alan Arkin, who starred as Norman opposite Michael Douglas' Sandy for the Netflix series' first two seasons, will not be back for Season 3. Arkin's decision to leave was reportedly made well before the outbreak of COVID-19, which brought the entertainment industry to a halt this past March. It's unclear how exactly Norman will be written off the show, but fans can expect the show to address his absence when the series returns with its final episodes. 

The Kominsky Method followed the once-famous actor Sandy Kominsky, a guy not ready to give up the spotlight, and his longtime agent, Norman Newlander, as they navigate the ups and downs of their twilight years in Los Angeles—a city obsessed with young and pretty people. Season 2 saw the pair continue to deal with new obstacles like Sandy's daughter's new boyfriend Martin Schneider (Paul Reiser), a retired schoolteacher, and Norman rekindling things with Madelyn (Jane Seymour), a former flame from his past.

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The series was created by Chuck Lorre and also stars Sarah Baker, Nancy Travis and Lisa Edelstein. Deadline was the first to report Arkin's departure

Seasons 1 and 2 are currently streaming on Netflix. 



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