50 Cent to Host, Exec Produce Variety Series for A&E (Exclusive)

50 Cent - Publicity-H 2016
Courtesy of A&E

50 Cent is looking to reinvent the variety series.

The rapper, actor, producer and entrepreneur is teaming with A&E Network to develop 50 Cent Presents, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Developed by, starring and executive produced by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, the project is described as a potential showcase series that takes In Living Color a step further, combining sketches, stand-up, reality experiments, music, magic, dance and celebrity guest appearances. Jackson will serve as host of what's considered an innovative take on the variety format.

"I grew up watching variety shows and am excited to put my own spin on the format," said Jackson. "I hope everyone is ready to bring their talent forward; I want to show the world the best of the best.

50 Cent Presents (working title) comes as the multihyphenate continues to focus on the small screen. He also has an overall deal with Starz, where he has spent three seasons exec producing and recurring on the drama Power. Jackson is repped by APA and attorney Eric Feig.

50 Cent Presents is produced by Back Roads Entertainment with Colby Gaines overseeing for the company. 50 Cent's G-Unit Film & Television's Stephen J. Savva exec produces alongside A&E's head of programming Elaine Frontain Bryant, Brad Holcman and Sean Gottlieb. Back Roads is with APA.

"Leaning into A&E's legacy in showcasing the arts, we're setting out to redefine the traditional variety show," said Frontain Bryant. "50 Cent is the perfect partner to refresh this classic format. He is a true tastemaker across industries and we are excited to see his impressive showcase of talent."

50 Cent Presents arrives as broadcast and cable networks have continued to explore talent showcases on the unscripted side. While NBC's Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris crashed and burned, the network is looking to Maya Rudolph and Martin Short for a primetime variety series next fall. NBC has also found success this month with the debut of Little Big Shots, a kid-themed talent showcase in the vein of its summer hit America's Got Talent. On the cable side, Spike TV has found success with music-themed entry Lip Sync Battle and is plotting multiple music-themed unscripted series.