A little over a month before Naya Rivera lost her life in lake Piru, Starz announced a new season of Step Up, a series inspired by the popular dance movie franchise, which marked the Glee alumna’s return to television in a major role.
A successor to Step Up: High Water, which had aired on YouTube for two seasons, the new installment, from creator and executive producer Holly Sorensen, was to be anchored by the characters played on the original series by Ne-Yo and Rivera.
Per the official announcement, the reimagined Step Up was to center on Sage Odom (Ne-Yo) as the legendary founder of Atlanta’s famed High Water Performing Arts School and Collette (Rivera), his partner in High Water and in life. “The upcoming season will see Sage, Colette and their relationship challenged as they face criminal charges, financial ruin and powerful political enemies who want to destroy Sage and High Water.”
Some scripts for the new season of Step Up on Starz have been written, sources say, with no production timeline set because of the current coronavirus-related production shutdown. The storyline of the new season will have to undergo changes in light of Rivera’s sudden death but not right away as everyone on the show, the cast, the crew, the network and producing studio Lionsgate, are still processing the tragic news.
“Our hearts go out to Naya Rivera’s family, especially her young child, in response to the tragic news of her passing,” Starz and Lionsgate said in a joint statement. “She was a vibrant and luminous talent who will always remain a very special part of our Step Up family. Her remarkable contributions to our industry created a lasting memory that will be carried forward by everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.”
Rivera went missing July 8 while swimming with her son at lake Piru. Her body was recovered earlier today, July 13. She was 33.
Here is Rivera in her last major TV role on Step Up: High Water: