New York, NY — November 1 —Along with a stellar cast The New Edition Story includes a collective of award-winning producers and directors, including iconic music powerhouses James “Jimmy Jam” Harris, Terry Lewis and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, executive producer Jesse Collins and award-winning director Chris Robinson. THE NEW EDITION STORY will air as a six-hour, three-night event on January 24, 25 and 26, 2017 at 9 PM ET/PT on BET.
The much-anticipated biopic follows the famed group (Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell and Johnny Gill) from their humble beginnings as kids in Boston to global mega stardom — weathering the highs and lows of controversy, personnel changes and the ultimate cost of fame.
The New Edition Story is the brainchild of Collins, who says the idea first came to him when he was producing 25 Strong: The BET Silver Anniversary Special (2005) and New Edition was set to perform. “New Edition was pure magic on stage. The first time I got to see the behind-the-scenes challenges that they were dealing with to function as a group was during production of the special. I reached out to Michael Bivins after the show and we started the process to produce a film based on the group,” said Collins. “Ten years later, after production delays, we were finally able to tell their story.”
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, with 17 Grammy Award wins collectively (11 for Babyface, six for Jam and Lewis, with each receiving awards for Producer of the Year), were already an integral part of the careers of the members of New Edition. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis produced New Edition’s seminal 1988 double Platinum-selling album Heart Break, their highest selling album to date, and produced Ralph Tresvant’s solo breakout No. 1 single “Sensitivity” and Johnny Gills No. 1 single “Rub You The Right Way.” Heart Break ushered in a new, mature sound for the band, introduced Johnny Gill into the group after the group voted out Bobby Brown and featured five singles, including No. 1 and No. 2 Billboard R&B tracks “Can You Stand the Rain” and “If It Isn’t Love,” respectively.
“Terry and I came in at a pivotal time when they were having internal issues and growing pains. Fans will get the true real behind-the-scenes story of this key phase in their personal lives and careers,” said Harris. Lewis added, “Their songs are like a time capsule, not only capturing the quintessential 80’s R&B sound but also document the New Edition journey particularly transitioning from a boy band to adult stars. ”
Edmonds will serve as the music producer for the first half of The New Edition Story, but ironically he and producing partner L.A. Reid were responsible for crafting almost half of the hits, including the Grammy-Award winning “Every Little Step,” from Bobby Brown’s explosive 1988 sophomore solo album, ‘Don’t Be Cruel.’ “I learned a lot about Bobby and the band dynamic during the making of ‘Don’t Be Cruel.’ But I also lived and breathed 80’s R&B because I was performing with my band (The Deele) and producing with L.A. Reid, so I make sure the feeling was captured,” said Babyface.
Chris Robinson, is responsible for a long list of iconic music videos for the likes of Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell, Diddy, Usher, T.I., Nas, Mary J Blige, Alicia Keys, Common, Boyz II Men and more. His biggest goal was to capture the band’s distinct look and feel. “We went through great pains to get every detail right because true New Edition fans and 80’s babies will know since that was such a distinctive and colorful era. I think we succeeded, “said Robinson.
The star-filled The New Edition Story cast INCLUDES Bryshere Y. Gray Elijah Kelley, Luke James, Keith Powers, Algee Smith, Woody McClain as NEW EDITION along with La La Anthony, Yvette Nicole Brown, Monica Calhoun, Lisa Nicole Carson, Sandi McCree Wood Harris, Michael Rapaport, Faizon Love, Duane Martin Tank and Bre-Z.
The New Edition Story is executive produced by Jesse Collins (Real Husbands of Hollywood) for JCE Films, a division of Jesse Collins Entertainment; directed by Chris Robinson (ATL) and co-produced by Brooke Payne, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant and Bobby Brown.
For a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, plus exclusive clips and photos from THE NEW EDITION STORY, log on to http://www.BET.com/shows/the-new-edition-story.html and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #NewEditionBET.
(Photo: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA/REX/Shutterstock)