Grapevine: Wonder and DeRamus, Mariah
Wonder to produce minseries based on DeRamus book
Stevie Wonder is set to executive produce an eight-hour miniseries for NBC based on a book by former Detroit News columnist Betty DeRamus. The series, "Freedom Run," is based on DeRamus' 2005 book "Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad." It will focus on "specific epic journeys and love stories, each based on actual people," according to an NBC release. The DeRamus book is also in the process of being developed into a stage musical, for which Wonder will compose the score. Miniseries scribes Brian Swibel, Adam Westbrook, and Charles Randolph-Wright will adapt the book for the stage. "I'm very excited," DeRamus said by phone on Friday. DeRamus, who also wrote for the editorial department at the Detroit Free Press, retired in 2006 after 17 years at The News. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1993.
Cannon files for divorce from Mariah
Nick Cannon has filed for divorce from Mariah Carey. The "America's Got Talent" host quietly filed papers on Dec. 12, TMZ.com reported Friday, making official what was a long time coming for the couple, who married in 2008. The couple has twins, Monroe and Moroccan, who turn 4 in April. In other Carey news, the "We Belong Together" hitmaker has lined up a Las Vegas residency where she will perform her No. 1 hits and other favorites from her catalog at Caesars Palace, a half mile away from Planet Hollywood, where Britney Spears is in the midst of her residency. Beginning in May, Carey will perform three shows a week; she also has a slew of dates lined up for July.
Grateful Dead to play final shows
The Grateful Dead are getting together one last time. The surviving band members will reunite for a three-show run at Chicago's Soldier Field July 3-5, Billboard.com reported Friday. Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, himself no stranger to tasty jams, will fill in for late Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia, who died in August 1995, a few weeks after the Dead played its final shows — at Chicago's Soldier Field. In another happy bit of serendipity, this year marks the Dead's 50th anniversary. Keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti will also enlist for duty at the shows. Tickets, $59.50-$199.50, go on sale Feb. 14 via Ticketmaster, and a handful of fanclub pre-sales will take place before then. For info, visit www.dead50.net.
The Kym Worthy-inspired drama "Conviction" is still in development and the well-known Wayne County prosecutor met with ABC executives this week, said Debra Martin Chase, one of the project's executive producers. Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis, who stars in the hit ABC drama "How To Get Away with Murder," is one of the executive producers behind "Conviction." Jason Wilborn ("Damages") is penning the script and Kim Swann and Leah Keith, the duo who spearheaded the plan to bring Worthy's story to the small screen, will also serve as executive producers.
Fun fact: Eminem's 10-year-old greatest hits set "Curtain Call" is currently outselling his recent Shady Records best-of "Shady XV." On this week's Billboard 200 albums chart, "Curtain Call" is No. 40 while "Shady XV" comes in at No. 55.
Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa have lined up a July 10 concert at DTE Energy Music Theatre. Tickets, $24.50-$65.75, go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.
Train will perform at DTE Energy Music Theatre July 1 with guests The Fray and Matt Nathanson. Tickets, $25.50-$75.50, go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Betty White, 93
Muhammad Ali, 73
Kid Rock, 44