TBS is developing a scripted series based on the lyrics of Notorious B.I.G., Variety has learned.
The series, “Think B.I.G.,” will chronicle the misadventures of an inner-city teen desperately trying to create a better future for his daughter and infant son. The project is being produced and created by Mass Appeal, in partnership with Wayne Barrow of Bystorm Films and Voletta Wallace for Notorious B.I.G. Inc.
TBS has also ordered “Storyville,” a 10-episode digital animated series that will feature funny, absurd, weird, and sometimes just sheer joyful stories straight from the mouths of top celebrities. Musicians, actors, comedians, writers and artists will tell true life stories which will be animated to expose the sheer absurdity of celebrity life in all of its glory. “Storyville” will premiere this fall across TBS digital and social platforms.
“‘Storyville’ and ‘Think B.I.G.’ speak to the types of projects we will cultivate with Mass Appeal moving forward,” said Brett Weitz, executive vice president of original programming for TBS. “Mass Appeal is a leader in developing unique stories with diverse voices. There’s no better partner for us to connect with this vibrant, impassioned audience.”
TBS’s new projects are part of a larger deal with Mass Appeal. Under the agreement, Mass Appeal will develop original programming for TBS and TNT’s television and digital platforms, presenting concepts on an exclusive, first-look basis. Mass Appeal will also provide creative consultation on programming already in development, work with the networks in crafting original music solutions and licensing tracks from Mass Appeal Records; and developing music-themed specials and unscripted programs.
“The new direction that the good folks at TBS are taking is inspiring and totally akin to our position on popular culture,” said Sacha Jenkins, Mass Appeal partner and chief creative officer. “In essence, Mass Appeal’s strength lies in our ability to articulate the innermost feelings of artists and revolutionaries who are in the throes of their most potent creative moments, in a manner that is true to the creators and the movements they help spawn. I think our marriage will produce programming that will inspire a huge cross-section of people to tune in, interact and, in the case of TBS, laugh their asses off.”
Peter Bittenbender, CEO of Mass Appeal, added, “This deal is a major turning point for our business. With the help of Turner, we will now be able to accelerate our vision of growing Mass Appeal into the premier brand for exploring and expanding urban culture. We look forward to helping inspire cultural ingenuity at TBS and TNT.”
The deal was negotiated by Mark Ankner and Jad Dayeh at WME.