The New Edition Story Pulls No Punches. This Clip With BBD Throws Them.
To say that New Edition has a cinematic history is an understatement. The Boston, Massachusetts group has had a few high profile personnel shifts, reunions, and plenty of hits in its several carnations. Starting in the late 1970s, Bobby Brown, Michael Bivens, and Ricky Bell formed a singing group on the streets of Beantown set on becoming the “new edition” of the Jackson 5. After a lot of practice, persistence and the eventual additions of Ralph Tresvant and Ronnie Devoe, the group swarmed onto the early 1980s scene with hits and fans chasing close behind.
One of the prototypical “Boy Groups” of the ’80s and ’90s, New Edition set the standard for crazed followings and sold out arenas, as well as inner-turmoil and troubles with the law. Together, these men influenced Boyz II Men and New Kids On The Block in tandem, as well as N*SYNC and 112. By the turn of the 1990s, Bobby Brown had been ousted from the group by vote—to quickly build a huge solo career. After some successful years with Johnny Gill (who would also eventually go solo as well), Bell, Bivens, and Devoe would form a group of their own—Bell Biv Devoe. By 1990, on the same label, and sometimes the same touring bill, these acts (three separate, at times) competed to the point of altercation.
That is exactly where BET premieres its first extended clip from The New Edition Story. The glimpse goes back in time to capture one night, three acts, and a lot of ego. Following June’s debut trailer, this preview should raise some eyebrows in preparation for the three-night, six-hour series directed by ATL‘s Chris Robinson beginning on January 24, 2017. As a bonus, the day of the final premiere (January 27), B.B.D. will release their first album in 15 years, care of Three Stripes.
As appearing in this conflict-driven trailer, Bryshere Y. Gray plays “Michael Bivins,” Elijah Kelley portrays “Ricky Bell,” Luke James appears as “Johnny Gill;” Algee Smith will take the part of “Ralph Tresvant;” Keith Powers plays “Ronnie Devoe,” while Woody McClain plays the incensed “Bobby Brown.” A separate cast will play the group in the younger stages of New Edition’s vast career, spanning five decades.
According to BET, the film series will star veteran actors including Wood Harris (“Brooke Payne”), Michael Rapaport (“Gary Evans”), Faizon Love (“Maurice Starr”), Duane Martin (“Louil Silas), Tank (“Jheryl Busby”), and Bre-Z (“Peanut Bell”).