EXCLUSIVE: Lyriq Bent (She’s Gotta Have It), Shalini Bathina (Little Voice) and Ian Harding (Pretty Little Liars), in a recasting, are set as leads opposite Rose Rollins and Josh Lucas in Long Slow Exhale, Spectrum Originals’ upcoming drama series from L.A. Finest‘s Pam Veasey, Anton Cropper and John Dove and Paramount TV Studios.
Also joining the cast as series regulars are newcomer Enajite Esegine, Brittney Elena, Jazmine Stewart, Isabella Star LaBlanc, Carmen Flood (Brews Brothers) and Erin Croom (The Conners). Samantha Bartow (Flagged, Hollywood), Brent Sexton, Tony Gonzalez and Gabrielle Byndloss (Falcon and the Winter Soldier) will recur. After a nine-month exclusive run on Spectrum, the series will air with a second window on BET.
Created by Veasey and to be directed by Cropper, Long Slow Exhale follows J.C. Abernathy (Rollins), the successful head coach of a competitive women’s college basketball team who finds herself in the middle of a potentially career shattering sexual abuse scandal. Sorting through the secrets to unravel the truth, she is forced to make decisions that will affect her, her family and the young female athletes who depend on her.
Bent will play Garrett, J.C.’s loving husband, father of their two sons and hard-working real estate developer.
Bathina will portray Emily,’ the Associate Head Coach on the Clayton Hall Cougars.
Harding will play Eddie Hagen, the Assistant Coach of the Clayton Hall Cougars. Harding replaces Jeff Schine, who had to exit the project due to scheduling issues.
Esegine, Elena, Stewart, LaBlanc, Flood and Croom will play basketball players on the Clayton Hall Cougars.
Bartow will recur as Shannon, the star three-pointer on the Clayton Hall Cougars. Sexton will play Arlin, a former Atlanta police officer. Gonzalez will portray Davon, Corrine’s father and former professional football player and Clayton Hall superstar. Byndloss will play Vivian, J.C.’s assistant at the Drake Athletic Facility.
Cast also includes Famke Janssen, who recurs.
Veasey, who serves as showrunner, executive produces with Cropper, Bruna Papandrea and Casey Haver for Made Up Stories and Dove.
Bent currently recurs on OWN’s Delilah. He is coming off two seasons of Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It for Netflix. Other credits include Showtime’s The Affair and the horror mystery franchise Saw. Bent is repped by Buchwald and Luber/Roklin Entertainment in the U.S. and The Associates Talent Agency and Seth Management in Canada.
Bathini most recently starred as Prisha on Apple’s Little Voice. She’s repped by APA and ESI Network.
Harding played Ezra on all seven seasons of Pretty Little Liars, and was most recently seen on the big screen in Oscar-winning Ford V. Ferrari. He’s repped by Gersh, Authentic Talent & Literary Management and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman.
Newcomer Croom is a recent graduate of Michigan Drama School. She’s currently recurring on The Conners. Croom is with AKA and 11:11 Entertainment.’
Byndloss is recurring on Disney+’s Falcon and the Winter Soldier and HBO’s The Outsiders. Other TV credits include Doom Control, The Passage and Dynasty. She’s repped by Zero Gravity Management and Atlanta Models & Talent Agency.
Bartow is repped by A3 Artists Agency and Fictious. Flood is repped by Paradigm. Esegine is repped by Pantheon, CGEM Talent, and Meyer & Downs.