VH1: Los Angeles, CA — Building on the ratings success of last year’s “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” VH1 has green lit its next scripted movie, “Drumline: A New Beat” (tentative title). Entertainer and producer Nick Cannon joins movie producers Wendy Finerman, Jody Gerson and Dallas Austin, producers of the original Drumline feature film from Fox 2000, as executive producers on the project. Cannon also will appear in the movie, which is being penned by Regina Hicks and Karin Gist. Principal photography will begin in the spring, targeting a Fall 2014 premiere. The movie is produced by VH1 in partnership with Fox Television Studios.
“Drumline: A New Beat” will eschew a sequel format, instead focusing on a new set of characters at a fictional New Orleans university. The story follows Danielle (Dani) Bolton, an upper class Brooklyn girl who defies her parents in order to attend a college in Louisiana so she can join – and revitalize – their once-prominent drumline. Dani’s quest to become the first female section leader of the drumline in the school’s history will be hampered by upperclassmen (including her cousin, Tyree), her feelings for fellow band mate and rival, Jayven, and the school’s crosstown rivals.
“DRUMLINE was not just a successful film; it was a cultural happening,” says Nick Cannon. “Even though it was released over a decade ago, I am constantly approached by people on the street who tell me how much of an impact it made on them. As a producer, my thought was, ‘How do we create an updated version that would translate to today’s audience and still feel fresh and original?’ Adding a female lead character really makes sense and VH1 is the perfect network to partner with on this modernized take on what is considered a unique and classic film experience. ”
“’Drumline’ has become one of those beloved cornerstone films for a generation, always generating high ratings when we air it on VH1,” said Susan Levison, Executive Vice President of Original Programming & Production, VH1. “We’re beyond excited to revisit that ‘Drumline’ magic with Nick Cannon, Wendy Finerman, Dallas Austin and Jody Gerson to create a film that features a strong, relatable storyline, great music and a little nostalgia — all of which viewers have come to expect from a VH1 original movie.”
“Drumline: A New Beat” is the latest project fueling VH1’s successful momentum into the scripted arena. VH1 delivered the highest-rated original cable movie of 2013 among adults 18-49 with “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.” 4.5 million total viewers tuned in for its October 21 premiere, which earned a 2.9 rating in the A18-49 demo and scored as the most-tweeted TV topic that day, generating over 2 million tweets. VH1 also had the highest-rated new scripted cable series last summer in the adult 18-49 demo with its freshman series “Hit The Floor.” VH1 has carried that ratings success into 2014 with the third season premiere of “Single Ladies,” which ranked first in its time period among non-sports cable networks with adults 18-49, women 18-49 and women 18-34.
In addition to Nick Cannon, Wendy Finerman, Jody Gerson, and Dallas Austin, “Drumline: A New Beat,” will be executive produced by Maggie Malina and Michael Goldman. Susan Levison and Jill Holmes will executive produce for VH1.