8:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
BET Orders Miniseries Based on Hip-Hop Hit-Maker Uptown Records
BET is putting its lens on Uptown Records.
The Viacom-backed cable network has greenlit Uptown, a three-part scripted miniseries set to tell the "comprehensive" story of Andre Harrell's New York record label.
Launched in 1986, the MCA division is widely considered to have helped launch the careers of hit makers including Mary J. Blige, Notorious BIG, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Heavy D & the Boyz, Russell Simmons, Jodeci, Father MC, Al B. Sure and many more.
Over three nights, the series will explore the label's inception to present day, featuring music and the hit makers who helped mold what would eventually be known as the "Uptown sound" that defined a musical era that would impact generations to come. The series will premiere on BET's linear network at a date to be determined in 2020.
"I am thrilled to partner with BET Networks and Jesse Collins Entertainment to share my story, the rise of Uptown Records and successful black entrepreneurship, and the management and cultivation of some of the most iconic artists to come out of the late '80s and '90s hip-hop, R&B and soul music era,” said Harrell.
The series is the latest scripted mini to come from Jesse Collins, who delivered BET's ratings hit The New Edition Story and The Bobby Brown Story via his Jesse Collins Entertainment banner. Harrell will also exec produce the series alongside writers Charles Murray (Luke Cage), Carlito Rodriguez (Empire) and Barry Michael Cooper (She's Gotta Have It).
"We are proud to bring the story of Uptown Records to life and celebrate the indelible imprint the label has made on the industry, transforming the sound, face and business of hip-hop and R&B,” said BET president Scott Mills. “We look forward to partnering with music industry titan Andre Harrell and powerhouse producer Jesse Collins on the Uptown miniseries, bringing viewers premium content that reflects and celebrates Black excellence.”
Uptown joins a scripted slate at BET that includes American Soul, Boomerang, Tyler Perry's The Oval, Sistas and upcoming Ruthless and Bruh, as well as Lena Waithe's Twenties, among others.