In a competitive situation, Disney+ has landed a two-project package based on the inspirational story behind America’s Got Talent finalists the Detroit Youth Choir, from Blumhouse Television, Maniac Productions and Campfire. The streamer has picked up Choir, a six-episode unscripted docuseries about DYC, marking the first original series order for Blumhouse at Disney+.
A companion scripted series also is in development by the same production team at Disney Branded Television for the streaming service. Writer/producer and showrunner Anthony Sparks (Queen Sugar, The Blacklist) is attached to create the scripted drama series and will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Both projects had been in the works at Blumhouse for several months.
The unscripted series, which has been filming in Detroit since last fall, chronicling the 2020/2021 season of the DYC, is inspired by Artistic Director Anthony White’s story. As a teacher, mentor and father figure in the heart of Detroit, White has impacted and empowered more than 1000 kids through music for over two decades. His efforts with DYC captivated America in an incredible rise to the finale during the fourteenth season of America’s Got Talent. After AGT, the group was gifted $1M from the City of Detroit and their performance of “Glory”, co-written by John Legend, Common and Rhymefest, became one of the anthems of a summer dominated by a call for social change.
“Disney Branded Television continues to seek out creative talent that is diverse, inclusive and representative of our multi-cultural landscape, and we are proud to team with Anthony White and the young voices of the Detroit Youth Choir to present this true-to-life story that is sure to inspire audiences of all ages,” said Ayo Davis, EVP, Creative Development and Strategy, Disney Branded Content. “We guarantee you’ll be singing along with this joyful group as they learn lessons about music and life in general.”
The docuseries is directed by Rudy Valdez and produced by Maniac Productions, Blumhouse Television and Wheelhouse-backed Campfire. The scripted series is being produced by Maniac Productions and Blumhouse Television, with Campfire CEO Ross Dinerstein (Heaven’s Gate, Special, Jiro Dreams of Sushi) attached as executive producer.
“Choir is the exact right kind of feel-good, hopeful programming we need at this moment, and we’re thrilled to be establishing a relationship with Disney+, for the first time, on both a scripted and unscripted version of this particular project,” said Chris McCumber, Blumhouse Television president.
“We’re excited to work on these shows with the extraordinary kids of the DYC and Disney+. On a personal note, it’s an added thrill to be able to do this with Ayo Davis, whom I’ve worked with and been friends with for many years,” said executive producer Michael Seitzman.
“The DYC kids shocked the world with their astonishing performance on ‘America’s Got Talent’,” added Campfire CEO and Executive Producer Ross Dinerstein. “Documenting what’s next for them, and for the gifted Anthony White, is an honor for all of us.”
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