Production began this week for the scripted comedy “Nicki” from executive producer Nicki Minaj. Directed by Tim Story (“Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man”) and shot in Queens, New York, “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”). 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. Part of the Disney/ABC Television Group, Freeform (the new name for ABC Family) is distributed in 94 million homes. The network connects to audiences and goes beyond entertainment with bold original programming and immersive social engagement. The network delivers a unique mix of quality original and acquired series, plus fan favorite movies and the holiday events “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas”. The Freeform app is a service which allows viewers with participating TV subscription services access to 24/7 live viewing of the network, as well as continued on-demand access via a wide array of devices.