Ariana Neal (Get Hard, Fruitvale Station) will star as Nicki, a role inspired by Minaj in her early years before she became a Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum superstar; Selita Ebanks (Real Husbands Of Hollywood) will play Grace, Nicki’s mom; McCarrie McCausland (Army Wives, The Originals) will play Jaylen, Nicki’s older brother; and Wesley Jonathan (The Soul Man) is Vincent, Nicki and Jaylen’s father. Whoopi Goldberg will guest star as Nicki’s neighbor, Miss Martha. Minaj is executive producer and also will appear on the show.
Kate Angelo (Sex Tape) penned the pilot and will write and executive produce the series. Minaj, Aaron Kaplan, Stella Bulochnikov, Brian Sher and Gee Roberson also will serve as executive producers. Nicki will shoot in Queens this winter with director Tim Story.
ABC Family is becoming Freeform on January 12.
Jonathan is repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Marsh Entertainment’s Sherry Marsh. Ebanks is with Global Artists Agency, Spektor Entertainment, Emancipated Talent and Rothenberg, P.C. Neal is repped by Linda Rutledge at Babes N’ Beaus and Laura Hersh at Industry Entertainment. McCausland is with Luber Roklin and CESD.