The New Edition Story is an American biographical three-part miniseries about the R&B group New Edition, from their rise to fame as a boy band from the Orchard Park Projects of Roxbury, Massachusetts, to becoming a successful adult act. It was originally broadcast on BET from January 24 through January 26, 2017, becoming the network’s first scripted miniseries. All six members of New Edition served as co-producers.
In August 2015, it was announced that BET commissioned the Television film that would air as a three night miniseries. Five of the group members, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant had signed on as co-producers while Bobby Brown did not. In addition, the band’s longtime manager Brooke Payne had also been tapped as a co-producer and the film was to be written by Abdul Williams who wrote the 2010 film Lottery Ticket. Jesse Collins of the BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood would serve as executive producer. Collins later reported that production would air in 2017. In April 2016, it was confirmed that Brown had also signed on to co-producer. It was also announced that ATL director Chris Robinson would direct the film. In November 2016, it was announced that iconic producers Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis had been recruited to oversee the music production.
Casting for the series began in Boston in January 2016. In April 2016, the network announced that Empire star Bryshere Y. Gray would portray Michael Bivins. The rest of cast included actor and singer Elijah Kelley as Ricky, R&B singer Luke James as Johnny, Algee Smith as Ralph, Keith Powers as Ronnie, and Woody McClain as Bobby Brown.In addition, Dante Hoagland, Caleb McLaughlin, Myles Truitt, Jahi Winston, and Tyler Marcel Williams would portray younger versions of Michael, Ricky, Ronnie, Ralph and Bobby respectively.In May 2016, La La Anthony, Yvette Nicole Brown, Monica Calhoun, Lisa Nicole Carson and Sandi McCree would join the cast as the mothers of the group members: Flo DeVoe, Shirley Bivins, Patricia Tresvant, Mae Bell and Carole Brown. Several others joined the cast later that month including Wood Harris as Brooke Payne, Michael Rappaport as Gary Evans, Wallace Smith as Jeff Dyson, Faizon Love as Maurice Starr, Duane Martin as Louil Silas, singer Tankas Jheryl Busby and actress/rapper Bre-Z as Peanut Bell.
Check out a review of the New Edition Story below