Television: A Movie Hit, Restyled

Showtime offers up a spiffy new Barbershop

One of the biggest laughs Chris Rock got at last year's Oscars came from a riff about movies for African-American audiences. "Black movies don't have real names," he said. "They have names like Barbershop. That's not a name. That's just a location."

It wasn't an insult exactly. Barbershop didn't pretend to be more than a funny movie about barbers. Moviegoers--black plus a substantial white crossover--didn't much mind, giving the Ice Cube hit a $75 million gross and inspiring a sequel--two, if you count Beauty Shop. But it was hardly ambitious, so it was surprising that Showtime would ask screenwriter John Ridley (Three...

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