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Mary J. Blige to Produce Drug Queenpin Drama in Development at USA Network

Mary J. Blige is attached to executive produce a drama series in development at USA NetworkVariety has learned.

The project is titled “Philly Reign.” Inspired by the life of Thelma Wright. From suburban housewife to drug queenpin in under five years, the death of Wright’s husband left her two choices: let her family starve or take over the family business. With equal parts grit and grace, she forces her way to the top of the international drug game to build one of the largest cocaine and heroin operations of the 1980s.

“Empire” alums JaNeika and JaSheika James will write and executive produce. Blige will executive produce under her new Blue Butterfly Productions banner. Drew Comins of Creative Engine Entertainment and Charles Murray will also executive produce. Ashaunna Ayars and Q. Nicole Jackson will serve as co-executive producers for Blue Butterfly, with Thelma Wright and Jacky Wright also co-executive producing. The show is a co-production between eOne and Universal Content Productions.

News of the series comes just weeks after it was announced that Blige is set to appear in the first “Power” spinoff at Starz, which is titled “Power Book 2: Ghost.” Blige’s role on the show is being kept under wraps. Her other recent onscreen credits include “The Umbrella Academy” and “Mudbound” for Netflix. For “Mudbond,” she was nominated for the Academy Awards for best supporting actress and best original song.

Blige is repped APA, The Lede Company, and Grubman Shire & Meiselas. The James are repped by Industry Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson.

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