Naya Rivera, Ne-Yo, Tech, Television, THR Online, USA, YouTube

Ne-Yo, Naya Rivera to Star in YouTube’s ‘Step Up’ Revival


The 10-episode drama also counts Faizon Love as a series regular and will feature original songs from Grammy winner Jason Boyd.

YouTube has found the cast for its upcoming Step Up revival.

Naya Rivera (Glee) and Faizon Love (Couples Retreat) have signed on to star in the drama series alongside recording artist Ne-Yo, who is set to recur on the show.

The streamer announced plans to bring Step Up to the small screen last June and is now in production on the series, dubbed Step Up: High Water, in Atlanta. The 10-episode drama, which hails from YouTube Originals and Lionsgate, is expected to bow on YouTube’s subscription streaming service Red this fall.

High Water will reunite much of the team behind the Step Up franchise, which started with the 2006 movie starring Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum and went on to gross $650 million globally across six films. Tatum and Dewan Tatum are executive producing alongside original producers Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot and Meredith Milton. Series creator Holly Sorenson (Recovery Road, Make It or Break It) is also executive producing. Shankman directs the pilot.

Four-time Grammy-winning producer Jason “PooBear” Boyd and Jared Gutstadt, co-founder and chief creative officer of music agency Jingle Punks, are creating original songs for High Water. Jamal Sims returns to the franchise to choreograph the first episode, while all remaining episodes are choreographed by Jamaica Craft.

The series centers on Atlanta’s famed High Water Performing Arts School, which is run by Ne-Yo’s Sage Odom. Rivera stars as Collette, a former dancer turned administrator who has a history with Sage and secrets of her own. Lauryn McClain (Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls) stars as Janelle, an ambitious dancer who, along with her twin brother Tal, played by Petrice Jones (iBoy), was uprooted from suburban Ohio to live with Love’s Uncle Al.

The twins meet Dondre, played by Marcus Mitchell (High Strung), who introduces them to the Atlanta party scene. The cast also includes Jade Chynoweth (The Last Ship), Carlito Olivero (Bad Samaritan), Terrence Green (Being Mary Jane), R. Marcos Taylor (Baby Driver) and newcomers Eric Graise and Kendra Oyesanya.

Step Up: High Water will join other drama series including Doug Liman’s Impulse on the $10-per-month YouTube Red.



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