Black-ish star and history-making producer Marsai Martin is producing a comedy series that's headed to Disney. Saturdays, produced by the 16-year-old’s Genius Entertainment, received a pilot order from Disney and is being led by a cast of young Black girls.
The show, according to Deadline, is written by Norman Vance, Jr. and follows 13-year-old "Paris Johnson" played by Danielle Jalade and her competitive roller skating group of friends. Vance has classic projects on his resume including Girlfriends and Roll Bounce. Charles Stone III, who directed Drumline, is slated to direct the new series.
In this show, Paris, who has been skating since the age of four, shows off and builds her skills at Saturdays, the local roller skating rink owned and run by a 90s hip hop back-up dancer, played by Grammy-nominated hip-hop star Yolanda “Yo-Yo” Whitaker. She faces some challenges though, given her sickle cell disease diagnosis that flares up and puts her determination to the test.
Golden Brooks and Omar Gooding are slated to play Paris’ parents. Daria Johns, from Nappily Ever After, and Samantha Smith have been cast to play Paris’ best friends and skate crew members, "Simone" and "Roxy" respectively.
The show has already been celebrated for its casting choices that rightfully put dark-skinned Black girls in starring roles. The show also provides on-screen representation for those who have been diagnosed with sickle cell disease.
“When we met with Marsai about this project, we couldn’t have been more impressed with her passion for diverse storytelling and commitment to female empowerment,” Rafael Garcia, a Disney exec, told Deadline. “We’re extremely excited to team up with Norman and the Genius Entertainment team to tap into roller-skating culture in a way that’s truly both authentic and aspirational for our audience.
Marsai also produced the 2019 feature film Little which earned seven NAACP Image Awards.
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