EXCLUSIVE: Antoine Fuqua is taking a step back on Ice, the upcoming drama series for A&T’s Audience network, from his Fuqua Films and Entertainment One. Fugua directed the opening episode and serves as an executive producer for the series which is set in the underbelly of the L.A. diamond trade.

Antoine Fuqua
Rex/Shutterstock

I hear Fuqua will remain an executive producer on Ice but will not have day-to-day involvement for the remainder of the season, which is currently past the midpoint of filming on its 10-episode order. Ice, the next original scripted series for the Audience Network, premieres  November 16 on DirecTV and U-Verse.

There is conflicting information about the reasons for the change. Some sources say that Fuqua has moved away to focus on the Scarface movie remake he has in the works. Others note that producing a TV series often proves challenging for feature directors, which may have been the case with Fuqua. He is being praised for his directing work on the pilot and is prominently featured in the series’ marketing campaign. Fuqua, who was not slated to direct more episodes beyond the first one, also executive produces the CBS midseason drama series Training Day, based on his movie.

ice

Written/exec produced by Robert Munic, Ice stars Cam Gigandet, Jeremy Sisto, Ray Winstone, Judith Shekoni, Ella Thomas, Chloe East, Raymond J. Barry, Donald Sutherland and Audrey Marie Anderson.

Jake (Gigandet) and Freddy (Sisto) are half-brothers brought together by their father Isaac (Barry), the patriarch behind G&G Diamonds and their uncle Cam (Winstone). After wildcard Freddy kills a prominent diamond dealer, his brother Jake must bail him out and save the family business from a crime lord of the Los Angeles Diamond trade (Shekoni). Jake must endure all of this while maneuvering amongst jewelry thugs, blood diamond deals, false certificates, the Feds, and Pieter Van De Bruin (Sutherland), a ruthless Afrikaner diamond merchant who now heads up an Antwerp-based diamond cartel.