News

The American Film Institute and SAG-AFTRA are pledging to work toward 1 million hours of mentorship as part of President Obama’s United We Serve initiative.  Obama will announce the commitment on Friday as part of the White House Student Film Festival, which will showcase projects from 15 students tied to the theme “The Impact of Giving Back.” The selections for the festival were made in collaboration with the AFI.  Among those expected at the event are AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale, SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard, Participant Media’s Chad Boettcher, SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White, Terrance J, Jake Johnson, LaLa Anthony, Michael Ealy, Joe Morton, director Steve McQueen, producer Bianca Stigter, Amber Riley, Hillary Swank, Kal Penn and producer Will Packer.

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Instagram is the new everything and Will Packer (@willpowerpacker — 97.8K followers) has one of the most followed industry Instagram pages.  He tells THR, “Social media is my bedrock, my grass-roots connection to my audience.  Celebrity used to be about mystery — not knowing what stars were doing — but now celebrity is about knowing everything.”

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Mark-Paul Gosselaar is returning to NBC.  The Franklin & Bash star — and Saved by the Bell alum — has booked the leading role in NBC’s comedy pilot People Are Talking.  He joins a cast that includes Bad Judge‘s Tone Bell, who plays Mitch’s best friend and neighbor. Bresha Webb and Brooke Ishibashi co-star.  Nash will pen the script for the multicamera comedy and executive produce the Universal Television comedy alongside Will Packer Productions’ Will Packer and Korin Huggins.

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Mike Epps has been tapped for the title role in Uncle Buck, ABC‘s single-camera comedy pilot based on the classic John Hughes film starring John Candy. Also cast in the project, from Universal TV and Will Packer Productions, is Nia Long.

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