Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s Landmark Studio Group to Produce Original Interactive Interview Series “Inside the Black Box”

Cos Cob, CT

Published on: January 12, 2021

Joe Morton and Tracey Moore to Host A-List Celebrity Guests and Theater Students for In-Depth Discussions on the BIPOC Experience in Entertainment


Exclusive Premiere on Crackle Plus Networks Juneteenth 2021

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE), one of the largest operators of streaming advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) networks, today announced Landmark Studio Group’s development of a new Crackle Plus original series, Inside the Black Box, created by esteemed acting coach Tracey Moore, multi-award-winning veteran television, film, and stage actor Joe Morton (Scandal, The Good Wife, The Politician, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, Godzilla, King of the Monsters,), multi-Emmy®-Award nominated producer and creative consultant Rachel Weintraub (The View, The Gayle King Show), and TV and radio veteran David Kolin.


“Black Box” is an industry reference to an experimental theater space consisting of simple black walls and 99 seats. The series will spotlight the world’s greatest BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists, from actors and directors to producers, writers and musicians, reflecting on how their skin tone influenced their journey to success. Filmed in a theater setting, the series features an A-list roster of talent, including Debbie Allen, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Phylicia Rashad, Shonda Rhimes, Sherri Shepherd, Tamara Tunie, and more, with an audience filled with young aspiring artists. Each one-hour episode, hosted by Mr. Morton and Ms. Moore, will be filled with revealing conversation, exciting performance, workshops and discussions about the role race plays in the entertainment industry.


The unique interactive aspect of Inside the Black Box is a significant differentiating component offering at-home audiences an opportunity to participate in the forum via mobile through script reading, Q&As, and auditioning for a chance to win roles in key sponsor ads.


Slated for production in late Q1 2021 and anticipated to premiere exclusively on Crackle Plus networks on Juneteenth 2021 (June 19, 2021), Inside the Black Box is executive produced by Ms. Moore, Mr. Morton, Ms. Weintraub, Mr. Kolin, Scott Weinstock, Bob Maurer (Impractical Jokers, Project Dad) and Landmark’s (Wally’s Wonderland, Safehaven, Trigger Point) David Ozer and Tim Rouhana.


“Inside The Black Box is an innovative, interactive, interview show that brings fresh perspectives and insights on the entertainment industry through the experiences of people of color,” said Mr. Morton.


“I’m grateful and excited to have a phenomenal team to produce Inside the Black Box, a platform for people of color to honestly share their stories of trials and triumphs in the entertainment business,” stated Ms.  Moore.


“Inside the Black Box delivers a new spin on the interactive interview show with each 60-minute episode delivering a live-wire ‘themed’ discussion. We are thrilled to work with Tracey, Joe, David, Rachel and the entire production team and roster of incredible talent we plan to secure to participate in this unique and engaging series,” said Landmark’s CEO Mr. Ozer.


Ms. Moore is a renowned acting coach, casting director, and producer. Throughout her dynamic career, she has been involved in the careers of high-profile talent, including Cardi B, Busta Rhymes, Jamie Hector, Adam Rodrigues and Naturi Naughton. Ms. Moore’s “Spirited Actor” monologue and scene study workshop is legendary, and she conducts private coaching sessions with a client roster that includes Common, Eve, Missy Elliott, Ludacris and more.


Mr. Morton is an Emmy® Award winner and recipient of multiple NAACP Image Awards for his role in Shonda Rhimes’ critically-acclaimed ABC hit drama series, Scandal. He is also known for his remarkable work in Eureka, for which he also received a NAACP nomination for directing. Mr. Morton’s other notable credits include Lone Star, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Of Mice and Men, Speed, Apt Pupil, What Lies Beneath, Ali, Stealth, American Gangster, God Friended Me, Proof, Grace and Frankie, and many others.


A 10-time Emmy® Award-nominated producer and creative consultant under her company, Appropriately Selfish, LTD., Ms. Weintraub began her career in daytime television at King World Productions. She served as producer for eight seasons for ABC’s The View; was the Co-Executive Producer of The Gayle King Show for OWN; and was an original Senior Producer for the launch of CBS This Morning. Ms. Weintraub produces the America Recovers podcast with Brad Lamm & Mackenzie Phillips for Westbrook Audio. Additionally, she served as the Chief Creative Officer for The Vernā Myers Company; a Baltimore based inclusion and diversity consulting firm.


A 30+-year TV and radio veteran, who first became an on-air talent on the shows Good Day New York and A Current Affair on Fox, David Kolin began his television producing career in 1989 as an executive producer with MTV Networks. He has since produced numerous content for TV and radio including HBO, The Food Network, National Geographic Channel, Fox, and more.



Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) operates streaming video-on-demand networks (VOD). The company owns Crackle Plus, which owns and operates a variety of ad-supported and subscription-based VOD networks including Crackle, Popcornflix, Popcornflix Kids, Truli, Pivotshare, Españolflix and FrightPix. The company also acquires and distributes video content through its Screen Media subsidiary and produces original long and short-form content through Landmark Studio Group, its Chicken Soup for the Soul Originals division and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is a subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC, which publishes the famous book series and produces super-premium pet food under the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand name.



Landmark Studio Group, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, is a fully-integrated entertainment company, which aims to create compelling, engaging and entertaining content for global distribution utilizing internal distribution channels, including Crackle Plus and Screen Media Ventures, or in partnership with third party platforms. Recent projects include the feature film Willy’s Wonderland, starring Nicolas Cage; the action film series, Trigger Point; and the television series, SafeHaven, as well as projects in active development to be produced in 2021 and beyond, including the original dramedy series, Flagrant, starring Michael Rapaport. Landmark Studio Group is headquartered in New York with offices in Los Angeles.



This press release includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks (including those set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020) and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements. The Company expressly disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based. Investors should realize that if our underlying assumptions for the projections contained herein prove inaccurate or that known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from our expectations and projections.

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