The newly rebranded Freeform has confirmed that production began this week for the scripted comedy “Nicki” from executive producer Nicki Minaj.
The series will be directed by Tim Story (“Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man”) and shot in Queens, New York. As for casting, “Nicki” stars Ariana Neal (“Get Hard,” “Fruitvale Station”), Selita Ebanks (“Real Husbands of Hollywood“), Wesley Jonathan (“The Soul Man”) and McCarrie McCausland (“Army Wives,” “The Originals”).
The network has also confirmed that Whoopi Goldberg and J.B. Smoove will guest star in the first episode.
The single-camera comedy is inspired by the story of Minaj and her family’s immigration from Trinidad in the 1990s, her growing up in Queens, New York, with her vibrant family, and the personal and musical evolution that lead to her eventual rise to stardom. In October, ABC Family announced a series commitment for the half-hour comedy.
Kate Angelo (“Sex Tape,” “Will and Grace,” “Bernie Mac”) penned the pilot and will write and executive-produce the series. Minaj, Aaron Kaplan (“Life in Pieces,” “Kevin From Work”), Stella Bulochnikov and Brian Sher (“Boss”), and Gee Roberson will also serve as executive producers.
Today marks the first day that ABC Family is officially going by Freeform, the network held a wide-array of social-media blitzes and casting Q&As for fans of “Pretty Little Liars” and “Shadowhunters”. A premiere date for “Nicki” has not been set at this time, but you can expect more guest-stars, a trailer, a bunch of teasers and a firm premiere date will be released by the network over the next few months.