ABC Family Sets Cast for Nicki Minaj Comedy, Whoopi Goldberg to Guest Star

The singer announced on Instagram that Ariana Neal would play the younger version of herself.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch
Nicki Minaj

ABC Family has found its young Nicki Minaj.

Ariana Neal (Get Hard, Fruitvale Station) will play the pop star in her early years before she rose to fame in the network’s scripted comedy Nicki.

Other castmembers include Selita Ebanks (Real Husbands of Hollywood), who will play Nicki’s mom, Grace; Wesley Jonathan (The Soul Man), who will play Vincent, Nicki and Jaylen’s father; and McCarrie McCausland (Army Wives), who will play Jaylen, Nicki’s older brother. Whoopi Goldberg is also set to guest star as Nicki’s neighbor, Miss Martha. Minaj, who is executive producing, will also appear in the show, which will launch after ABC Family rebrands itself to Freeform.

The single-camera comedy is inspired by the story of Minaj and her family’s immigration from Trinidad in the early 1990s. The show will explore her life growing up in Queens, New York, and the personal and musical evolution that lead to her eventual superstardom. In October, ABC Family announced a series commitment for the half-hour comedy, which will shoot in Queens this winter with director Tim Story (Ride Along, Think Like a Man). 

Kate Angelo (Sex Tape) penned the pilot and will write and executive produce the series. Minaj, Aaron Kaplan (Life in Pieces, Kevin From Work), Stella Bulochnikov and Brian Sher (Boss) and Gee Roberson will also serve as executive producers.

Minaj took to Instagram to announce the news:

 

#ArianaNeal

A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

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