The long-rumored Drumline sequel is a go at VH1. The network has given the green light to Drumline: A New Beat (tentative title), its next original movie to follow the very successful TLC biopic. Nick Cannon, who played the lead in the 2002 Drumline feature in a star-making turn, will be back, reprising his role as well as executive producing alongside the Fox 2000 film’s producers Wendy Finerman, Jody Gerson and Dallas Austin. Regina Hicks and Karin Gist are writing the script, with filming slated to begin in the spring for a fall 2014 premiere. VH1 is producing with Fox TV Studios, whose parent company owns the rights to the movie. “Drumline has become one of those beloved cornerstone films for a generation, always generating high ratings when we air it on VH1,” said the network’s EVP Susan Levison.
Drumline: A New Beat is not a traditional sequel as it focuses 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,” Cannon said. “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: A New Beat is looking to build on the success of VH1’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, which drew 4.5 million total viewers in October and became the highest-rated cable movie of 2013 in adults 18-49 (2.9 rating). The network also has been getting traction with its original series: Hit The Floor, the highest-rated summer freshman series in 18-49, and Single Ladies.