Just as Bobby Brown did in 1985, Woody McClain is going solo in 2018. The actor, who played the R&B/pop singer in BET’s miniseries The New Edition Story, has signed to reprise his role in the network’s two-part followup, The Bobby Brown Story.
Written by Abdul Williams and executive produced by Jesse Collins — both reprising their New Edition Story gigs — The Bobby Brown Story will pick up where the New Edition mini left off. It will chronicle the talented but troubled singer’s exit from the popular ’80s boy band through his solo success, his affair with Janet Jackson and tabloid-fodder marriage to pop icon Whitney Houston. Spanning 30 years of Brown’s life, the new project follows his story from the hard streets of Roxbury, where he turned to a life of drug dealing before being given the chance to prove himself as a solo artist.
Brown scored eight consecutive top 10 pop singles from 1988-92, but his life began to unravel after his marriage to Houston in 1992. He was arrested several times during the 1990s and 2000s, and the couple’s shared substance became a hurdle too big to overcome. They divorced in 2007, and Houston was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton on the eve of the 2012 Grammys. Their only child, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, led a difficult life after her mother’s death and died in July 2015; she had been in a coma for six months after also being found submerged in a bathtub.
BET said The Bobby Brown Story also will be a story about redemption. Through sobriety, the singer learns to be a better man, husband and father — finding love again and remarring in 2012.
Casting is under way for the other key players in The Bobby Brown Story, including Houston, Bobbi Kristina, Jackson, Teddy Riley, L.A. Reid, Babyface and others. McClain is repped by Henderson Represents, Luber Roklin Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman.
Airing over three night in late January, The New Edition Story drew record ratings for BET. Parts 1 and 3 of the miniseries posted the network’s highest-rated and most-watched telecasts in since the Season 5 premiere of The Game in 2012.