BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Jill Scott graces Lifetime’s ‘Highway to Heaven’

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By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

“People say ordinary miracles happen every day, but I know better. Miracles are never ordinary. They’re carefully planned as my boss sees fit. Every now and then, some of us need just a little extra care. That’s where I come in.”  

So says Jill Scott’s Angela Stewart in the opening of the Lifetime original movie “Highway to Heaven,” starring the Grammy Award winner set to premiere Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. 

This contemporary take on Michael Landon‘s iconic 1980s television series, follows Scott as an angel who is sent back to Earth to help others in need. 

In the premiere movie, Angela takes on the role of a temporary school counselor and finds herself working alongside a junior high school principal (Barry Watson), as she intervenes in the lives of a troubled student (Ben Daon), his father (Robert Moloney) and his aunt (Victoria Bidewell), who are grieving the tragic loss of Cody’s mother, Melissa (Ashley Ross). 

As Angela seemingly works miracles with Cody, Bruce is stunned when he learns of the divine nature of Angela’s work. 

Just like the original series, Lifetime attempts to retain the same messages of hope and encouragement for its audience, while exploring social and emotional issues with sensitivity, joy and humor.    

Up next for Scott is a western comedy “The Outlaw Johnny Black” with Michael Jai White, Anika Noni Rose, Kym Whitley, Glynn Turman, Tommy Davidson, Russell Peters and Michael Blackson.

WILL’S WORLD: Will Smith is active this month with a new TV series, memoir, live appearance and feature film (“King Richard” opening Nov. 19).

Up first is “Best Shape of My Life,” an emotionally packed six-part unscripted series (premiering Nov. 8 on YouTube) peeling back the curtain on what makes him truly tick as he is pushed to his limits physically, mentally and emotionally.  

What starts as a docu-follow about his desire to go from the “worst shape” of his life to a new movie star body evolved into a deeper, darker and more profound journey into his psyche. 

Smith’s last special for the streamer, “The Jump,” resulted in nearly 18 million views in the first 48 hours. 

Then Nov. 11, Smith will open up live at the Dolby Theatre for “An Evening of Stories with Friends.” Every ticket includes a copy of his memoir, “WILL,” written with the help of author Mark Manson. Tickets are still available at AXS.com.  

CLIPPETTES: Keith Sweat is in concert with special guests En Vogue and Silk Nov. 5 at the YouTube Theater as 24KGoldn and Bankrol Hayden hit Anaheim’s House of Blues  

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg and artists Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley (whose national portraits of Michelle and Barack Obama will be on display at LACMA thru Jan. 2) are honorees of the 10th annual Art+Film Gala co-hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio on Nov. 6. Visit www.lacma.org for details  

Meanwhile, Playboi Carti: Narcissist Tour arrives at The Forum; and the Gipsy Kings, featuring Nicolas Reyes, are at The Greek  

ComplexCon 2021 is set for Nov. 6-7 with A$AP Rocky, a first ever DJ set by Lil Yachty, the First We Feast Lagoon and so much more. Complexcon.com has the skinny  

The Novo presents WuTang Clan’s Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and GZA on Nov. 7; as house music legend Steve “Silk” Hurley has a birthday blowout at The Globe hosted by George Daniels and Marc “M.Doc” Williams; with special guest performances by Cece Peniston, Byron Stingily (of Ten City) David Harness, Mellow Man Ace, Carrie Lucas, Shawn Christopher, Mike “Hitman” Wilson, David Sabat, Derrick Wize and others  

Multi-hyphenate creative Teyana Taylor (“We Got Love: Teyana & Iman,” “Coming 2 America”) gives a show at The Novo on Nov. 8  

Director Barry Jenkins is coming to CAAM Nov. 10 for the first in-person screening in California of “The Gaze,” a faithful homage to the ancestral inspirations drawn upon for his filming of Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad.” Afterwards, he’ll join award-winning film editor Joi McMillon in conversation    

Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago,” an extended cut of the 1985 sequel with 40 extra minutes of never-before-seen footage, debuts in movie theaters Nov. 11 for one night only. Stallone who wrote, directed and starred in the film with Carl Weathers, Dolph Lundgren, Brigitte Nielsen, Burt Young, Talia Shire and Tony Burton, will do a live streamed Q&A afterwards. For more info, visit www.fathomevents.com. 

TASTY QUIP: “And just for the record, I’m watching y’all sayin ‘Dave’ is on par [with ‘Atlanta’]. Like y’all forgot what we did. No disrespect. We got Black people on [Twitter] debating which is better, and I’m the sellout? I got receipts.” – DONALD GLOVER on fans comparing his FX show with the network’s other show starring Lil Dicky 

TC ON TV: Nov. 5 – “A Man Named Scott” (Prime Video): A documentary on the hip hop sensation aka Kid Cudi. “Finch” (AppleTV+): Tom Hanks stars in this sci-fi flick about a man, a robot and a dog. “Narcos” (Netflix): Diego Luna and Michael Pena are featured in the third season chronicling the birth of Mexican drug wars in the 1980s. “Love Joy” (Peacock): Joyelle Nicole Johnson‘s debut comedy special. “Wendy Williams” (Syn): Guest host Sherri Shepherd welcomes Sheila E. “Friday Night Vibes” (TBS): Jemele Hill and Logan Browning (“Dear White People”) join Tiffany Haddish and Deon Cole for the double feature of “Fast and Furious” and “San Andreas.” 

Nov. 7 – “A Christmas Treasure” (Hallmark): Jordan Sparks stars as a writer torn between working for the family small town newspaper or moving to New York. “E60” (ESPN): “Bonds” looks at the career of baseball great Barry Bonds as he enters the last year of eligibility for the sport’s Hall of Fame. “Dexter: New Blood” (SHO): Michael C. Hall returns years later as America’s favorite serial killer Dexter Morgan in a special event series also including Alano Miller (“Underground”) and Jamie Chung (“Lovecraft Country”). “Holiday Wars” (Food): Raven-Symoné hosts the return of the series challenging five teams of cake masters and sugar artists to create delicious mind-blowing displays. 

Nov. 8 – “Tug of Words” (GSN): A fast-paced game hosted by Ahmad Rashad where two teams compete to answer word clue questions correctly for $10,000. “Independent Lens” (PBS): “Ferguson Rises” explores the tribulations of Michael Brown Sr. seeking justice after a white police officer kills his son. “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Michael Che, Martha Stewart, Summer Walker featuring Ari Lennox 

Nov. 9 – “Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman” (History): Hosted and executive produced by the Oscar-winning actor, the eight one-hour episode series will reveal in detail history’s greatest escapes from some of the most notorious prisons in the world kicking off with Alcatraz. “Queens” (ABC): Musical performances include “Love Still Finds Us” by Naturi Naughton and “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Brandy. “Animal” (Netflix): A docu-series following the world’s most magnificent creatures with narration by Anthony Mackie, Rashida Jones, Uzo Aduba, Pedro Pascal, Bryan Cranston, Andy Serkis and more.

Nov. 10 – “Passing” (Netflix): In 1920s New York City, a Black woman (Tessa Thompson) finds her world upended when her life becomes intertwined with a former childhood friend (Ruth Negga) who’s passing as white. “Front and Center” (OVA): Nile Rodgers and Seal. 

Nov. 11 – “The Challenge: All Stars” (Para+): Season two of the competition pitting 22 cast members from the original “The Real World” and “Road Rules.” “The Game” (Para+): Hosea Chanchez, Pooch Hall and Wendy Raquel Robinson are back in this revival with new cast members Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”), Toby Sandeman (“Power Book III: Raising Kanan”) and a special appearance by Coby Bell (“Walker”). “South Side” (HBO Max): This Chicago set series with Bashir Salahuddin, Diallo Riddle and Sultan Salahuddin returns for a second season. “The Doctor Is In” (WE): In this follow-up to “Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition,” Dr. Ish Major checks in with five fan-favorites CeeLo and Shani, Joseline and Ballistic, Styles P and Adjua, Hazel E and De’Von, and Willie and Shanda, to learn how their lives have changed since leaving the mansion.

TASTY QUIP: “The bigger I get, the bigger my platform gets, I start realizing that I’m not the only woman that goes through what I go through, and it doesn’t matter what scale it’s on. Mine is just public because I’m a public figure. I want to bring things to light so other women don’t feel like they have to continue to be silent.” – MEGAN THEE STALLION to Glamour while being named the magazine’s Woman of the Year

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at tastyclips@yahoo.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.

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