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New fall lineup shows

Gail Choice | 5/25/2011, 5 p.m.

The five main broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and CW) recently unveiled their new fall line-up at the annual "Upfronts Week" in New York.

The event is like a huge party where networks spare no expense touting their new line-up to advertisers, the press and other interested parties. Although most of the programs presented won't premiere until September, they want advertising dollars now.

For the most part, it's up to television viewers like you and me to make those advertising dollars pay off. And that brings to mind ethnic viewers who like to watch television and long to see their images projected. Be warned, the new crop of programming is at best marginal, when it comes to ethnic representation. I suppose that will leave it to the cable channels, reality shows, and singing and dancing contests to fill the huge gap.

But there are some bright spots, even grounding breaking I might add.

Taraji P. Henson ("Karate Kid," "Curious Case of Benjamin Button") has a staring role in the much talked about CBS thriller "Person of Interest" starring James Caviezel ("The Passion of Christ," " The Count of Monte Cristo").

"Person of Interest" centers on ex-CIA agent Reese (Caviezel), presumed dead, who teams up with reclusive billionaire Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson) to prevent violent crimes before they can happen in New York City. Henson will play Carter, a beautiful, driven and tough homicide detective ten times smarter than her colleagues. She has a wicked sense of humor but it's an armor--between two tours in Iraq and her time on the NYPD--she's got her own fair share of ghosts.

Henson can handle this role with ease, and I'm looking forward to her character going 'toe-to-toe' with Caviezel; he is a phenomenal actor. The cast is outstanding and I'm looking for this series to be a ratings winner.

Get ready for a new threesome on ABC's "Charlie's Angels," one's blonde, one's brunette and one's Black . . . and I'm not talking about hair. Annie Ilonzeh ("Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief") is the first Black actress to star as an 'Angel' in this iconic television series which aired from 1976 to 1981.

Ilonzeh, a Nigerian-American is from Grapevine, Texas, and made her TV debut as Maya Ward on the long-running soap opera series, "General Hospital." The 27-year-old will portray Kate, an ex-cop who is a martial arts master.

There is much talk about NBC's "The Playboy Club;" the trailers make it look oh, so classy. And Naturi Naughton ("Lottery Ticket," "Notorious") is starring as one of the bunnies.

Naturi's character, Brenda is a fiercely stunning African-American bunny determined to be the first Black Playboy centerfold, and a good friend to "Bunny" the main character who gets caught up in a whirlwind of love, murder and friendship all inside "The Playboy Club."

Totally off the subject, but just to give you a heads up, The History Channel will make history with their upcoming mini-series, "The Bible." The cable network is readying a 10-hour religious docu-drama for 2013 that will include live-action and state-of-the-art CGI (graphics and animation). The project, comes from reality producer Mark Burnett who has produced such programs as NBC's "The Voice," "Survivor" just to name two.

The series, which was conceived by Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey ("Touched by an Angel"), will set out to tell the tome's stories, including Noah's Ark, the Exodus and the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in a way the channel has never done before.

Gail can be reach at hollywoodbychoice_gail@yahoo.com