OMG, y'all, I have been D-Y-I-N-G to share this with you! Urban Movie Channel, the innovative streaming platform from BET founder Robert L. Johnson, recently licensed Victoria Rowell's The Rich & The Ruthless!
Rowell and I co-wrote the 6-part scripted comedy series which will air on the platform this July. Loosely based on Rowell's novels Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva and The Young & The Ruthless: Back in The Bubbles, The Rich & The Ruthless is the comedic saga of daytime's only black-owned-and-operated soap opera.
Being Mary Jane actor Richard Brooks stars as Augustus Barringer, a soap opera creator constantly battling dwindling ratings, scheming employees and a network executive (The Young and the Restless alum Brenda Epperson) who desperately wants control of the struggling production. Rowell (who also serves as executive producer and director) portrays Augustus's wife Katherine "Kitty" Barringer, a former soap opera queen who — after multiple stints in rehab — is ready to return to the spotlight.
Aleesha Renee is Calysta Jeffries, a wildly popular soap starlet under siege from jealous costars and a lecherous producer. The Bold and the Beautiful alum Mykel Shannon Jenkins plays Calysta's on and off screen love interest, soap hunk extraordinaire Derrick Taylor. Waiting to Exhale actress Starletta DuPois plays Calysta's sage Grandma Jones, who goes gaga any time she's in the presence of her favorite soap hunk Willie Turner (comedian Michael Colyar)!
Chrystale Wilson (The Players Club) is Alison Fairchild Roberts, an aging soap queen who thinks because's she's married to the producer she rules the set. Hunter Bodine is Alison's philandering hubby Randall Roberts. Elizabeth Carlisle is flame-haired soap vixen Emmy Abernathy — Calysta's arch nemesis. Shadoe Stevens (The Late Show With Craig Ferguson) is classically-trained soap thespian Phillip McQueen. Irene Roseen (Wedding Crashers) is octogenarian soap legend Maeve Fielding.
Robert Ri chard (Chocolate City) plays Kitty and Augustus's bad boy son Max. Valenzia Algarin is the Barringers' adopted daughter Veronica. It's A Different World's Dawnn Lewis appears as wardrobe mistress Beth and soap opera legend Kimberlin Brown (The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, Port Charles) plays the mysterious Dr. Maya Cooper. For the full cast list click here.
Check out the trailer for The Rich & The Ruthless below!