Produced by BET Networks and Paramount Television, the 10-episode half-hour series will premiere in 2019 on BET. Ben Cory Jones is attached as showrunner and will executive produce the series along with Rishi Rajani from Hillman Grad Productions, Berry and Waithe. Waithe and Jones co-wrote the pilot episode and Dime Davis will direct the pilot episode as well as additional episodes including the finale.
“Partnering an icon such as Halle with a disruptor like Lena is a perfect blend for the creation of a project that tells a classic tale in a relevant voice”
Based on the 1992 American romantic comedy film, this new series will follow the lives of Jacqueline Boyer’s son and Marcus and Angela Graham’s daughter as they try to step out of their parents’ shadows and make a legacy of their own.
“I’m thrilled to team up with Lena on this project as she is without a doubt a leading voice of her generation and a trail blazer in her own right. I’m truly excited to be a part of bringing this iconic and beloved film to the small screen,” said Berry.
“This is less of a reboot and more of a continuation of the original story,” said Waithe. “There’s no point in trying to remake a classic. It can’t be done. So we want to create something fresh that speaks to a new generation. We hope people will come to the show with an open mind and ready to embrace the new world we’ve created!”
“Partnering an icon such as Halle with a disruptor like Lena is a perfect blend for the creation of a project that tells a classic tale in a relevant voice,” said Scott Mills, President, BET Networks. “This partnership demonstrates BET’s commitment to the continued elevation of the brand, collective creativity and authentic storytelling.”
Halle Berry has garnered praise not only for her numerous leading roles, but for her work with a range of influential organizations. For her brilliant performance in Monster’s Ball, Berry won an Academy Award for “Best Actress,” as well as a SAG Award, the Berlin Silver Bear Award and was named “Best Actress” by the National Board of Review. Berry was also nominated for a Golden Globe for “Best Actress” for her role in Frankie and Alice and previously earned an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and NAACP Image Awards for her extraordinary performance in HBO’s telefilm, INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE, which she also produced. Berry joined the prestigious list of actresses starring in the James Bond franchise with her role of “Jinx” in Die Another Day opposite Pierce Bronson, which also marked Bond’s 40th anniversary and is one of the top five grossing Bond movies of all time.
She will next be seen in Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 as an assassin named “Sofia” opposite Keanu Reeves and Anjelica Huston. The movie is set for release May 17, 2019. It was also recently announced that Berry is set to make her feature directorial debut with Bruised in which she will also star. The plot will follow a disgraced MMA fighter who must fight a rising MMA star while becoming the mother her child deserves. The movie will begin production in March of next year. Berry recently starred in 20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle starring alongside Taron Egerton, Channing Tatum, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Mark Strong and Jeff Bridges.
Berry is also an active supporter and chair member of the Jenesse Center in Los Angeles. The Jenesse Center was founded in 1980 and assists victims of domestic violence and aims to change the pattern of abuse in the lives of women and children. Berry’s other charitable efforts include the Diabetes Aware Campaign and the Make-A-Wish Foundation among others.
Emmy® Award winning writer, creator and actress Lena Waithe, first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise in the critically acclaimed Netflix series MASTER OF NONE. Waithe co-wrote the “Thanksgiving” episode, for which she received an Emmy® Award in the category of “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series” and a NAACP Image Award nomination. She currently serves as creator and executive producer of the Showtime drama series THE CHI. As a writer, producer, Waithe’s credits include STEP SISTERS and DEAR WHITE PEOPLE. Waithe’s upcoming projects include TWENTIES which she created, wrote and will produce for TBS and QUEEN & SLIM which she wrote, starring Daniel Kaluuya and directed by Melina Matsoukas. She also has THEM a horror anthology series for Amazon and HBO’s Untitled Kid Fury Project, both of which she will produce.
Most recently, Ben Cory Jones was a writer/producer on the acclaimed HBO comedy series, INSECURE starring and executive produced by Issa Rae. Between seasons one and two of working with Rae on INSECURE he was a writer on the prestige series, UNDERGROUND for WGN, produced by John Legend and created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski. The action-packed historical drama depicted the lives of enslaved people in the American South. Jones and Waithe are both producers on the Netflix comedy, STEP SISTERS, which is currently one of the top-ranked films on the streaming service.
Rishi Rajani recently left his Film/TV executive role at Jeff Robinov’s Sony-based company, Studio 8, to join Waithe as Hillman Grad Production’s VP of Production and Development.
Dime Davis is a Texas-bred storyteller who has been a writer on the last two seasons of Lena Waithe’s hit Showtime drama THE CHI. As a writer Dime has worked for other outlets such as TBS, Lionsgate, Hulu, and Centric TV and directed numerous independent projects including shorts, music videos, and web series. As part of AFI’s prestigious Directing Workshop for Women, and in collaboration with her creative partner, Elle Lorraine, Dime wrote and directed her short film, Sugar which is currently being developed into a feature film. Most recently, their film WILD WILD WEST: A BEAUTIFUL RANT BY MARK BRADFORD, a collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of the Arts, earned an official selection at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, 2018 Los Angeles Film Festival, and was awarded the coveted Best Short Short Award at the renowned Aspen Shortsfest ’18.
Stay tuned for more news on the series at www.betpressroom.com
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in nearly 85 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER (formerly CENTRIC), a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET Networks around the globe.
About Paramount Television
Paramount Television is a leading studio, developing and financing a wide range of cutting-edge and entertaining television content across all media platforms for distribution worldwide. The studio’s robust slate includes Tom Clancy’s “Jack Ryan” (Amazon), “13 Reasons Why” (Netflix), “Maniac” (Netflix), “Shooter” (USA), “Berlin Station” (EPIX), “The Alienist” (TNT), “The Haunting of Hill House” (Netflix), “Catch-22” (Hulu), “First Wives Club” (Paramount Network), “Looking for Alaska” (Hulu), “Briarpatch” (USA), “Boomerang” (BET), “Dream Team” (BET), “The Contender” (EPIX) and “Snow Crash” (Amazon), among others. Paramount Television is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a subsidiary of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a global content company with premier television, film and digital entertainment brands.