Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
2/14/2007 10:23:00 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Queen Latifah. Hip Hop, Rap and TV.
In a first-of-its-kind development/production/broadcast deal, Viacom subsidiaries VH1 and BET are partnering on a one-hour pilot for the ensemble drama "Wifey," set in the world of hip hop. Under this unique arrangement, the eventual series would premiere simultaneously on both networks. Written and executive produced by Michael Elliot, the pilot will be directed by BET President of Entertainment Reginald Hudlin. The executive producers include Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere and Dedra Tate for Flavor Unit, Michael Hirschorn and Maggie Malina for VH1, and Hudlin and Byron Phillips for BET.
"Wifey" is centered on the newly-widowed wife of a hip-hop mogul who must reassemble her life as she takes over her late husband's record label. Once there, she discovers that her family's fortunes were built upon lies and crimes that now threaten to destroy everything. With the help of two female friends, they take on the male-dominated world of hip-hop.
"The premise behind 'Wifey' has tremendous promise and fits perfectly into VH1's unique ability to tell stories about music and pop culture," said Brian Graden, President, Entertainment, MTV Networks and President, LOGO. "This pilot marks the first time that VH1 has partnered with another network in such a way, so we're eager to explore all of the ideas and possibilities that will develop by teaming up with Reginald Hudlin and our friends at BET now and in the future.
"This project represents a first on several levels: BET has never jointly developed or produced a program with any other network, the premiere/revenue structure is unique, and I imagine it's the first time that a network head has directed a pilot," says Hudlin, whose last directing gig was the pilot for "Everybody Hates Chris," just a few months before he joined BET. Hudlin also helmed such box office classics as "House Party," "Boomerang," and the animated film "BeBe's Kids."
"Byron Phillips and I loved the show the minute we read the script," Hudlin added, and that, given "a common sensibility" with VH1's Hirschorn and Malina, he sees the project as "the first of many together."
Queen Latifah (a.k.a. Dana Owens), one of the project's executive producers, echoes Hudlin's enthusiasm.
"I've always wanted to do a series like this. My first business was the music business, so doing this show with the music networks VH1 and BET about the music industry is exciting for me and my partner Shakim," stated Latifah. "It's going to be a fun show."
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