BET Networks has given a green light to Uptown, a three-part original scripted miniseries that will chronicle the story of Andre Harrell’s iconic New York City record label, Uptown Records, from Harrell (Honey, New York Undercover) and Jesse Collins Entertainment (The New Edition Story, The Bobby Brown Story). Uptown is scheduled to premiere on BET in 2020.
Launched in 1986, following a joint venture deal with MCA, Harrell’s Uptown Records played a vital role in the careers of some of the most influential voices in hip hop, soul and R&B, including Heavy D & The Boyz, Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Father MC, Al B. Sure, Christopher Williams, Teddy Riley, Notorious B.I.G., Sean “Diddy” Combs, and many more. Each episode will take viewers from the label’s inception to current day, featuring the music and powerhouse hit-makers that helped mold what would come to be known as the Uptown ‘sound’ and define a musical era that would impact generations to come.
Writers Charles Murray (Luke Cage, Sons of Anarchy), Carlito Rodriguez (Empire, The Leftovers) and Barry Michael Cooper (New Jack City, She’s Gotta Have It) have penned the scripts. Collins executive produces via Jesse Collins Entertainment alongside Harrell.
“We are proud to bring the story of Uptown Records to life and celebrate the indelible imprint the label has made on the industry, transforming the sound, face, and business of hip-hop and R&B,” said Scott Mills, President, BET Networks. “We look forward to partnering with music industry titan Andre Harrell and powerhouse producer Jesse Collins on the Uptown miniseries, bringing viewers premium content that reflects and celebrates Black excellence.”
“I am thrilled to partner with BET Networks and Jesse Collins Entertainment to share my story, the rise of Uptown Records and successful black entrepreneurship, and the management and cultivation of some of the most iconic artists to come out of the late 80s and 90s hip hop, R&B, and soul music era,” said Harrell.
“Andre Harrell is a true visionary and culture creator. It is such an honor to tell the story of a label and an icon that not only gave us such great music, but was the blueprint for black excellence through entertainment,” said Jesse Collins, CEO, Jesse Collins Entertainment.