An uber successful (29 million total viewers) 3-part New Edition miniseries biopic now behind it (although encore broadcasts are scheduled for the near future), and maybe encouraged by the many fans who made public requests for the network to take on other iconic musical biopics, BET has given a green light to an hour-long scripted drama series based on the life of 43-year-old Nasir Jones, better known by his stage name Nas.
To be titled “Street Dreams,” the network has ordered a pilot that hails from Jonathan Levine (director of feature films “The Wackness,” “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane,” “The Night Before” and the short-lived USA Network medical drama series, “Rush”), and Nas himself, who will executive produce.
Of course the title “Street Dreams” is also the name of the rapper’s 1996 single from “It Was Written,” his second studio album.
Scripted by Levine, the potential series is set in New York City in the early 1990s and will chronicle the evolution of Nas, from a young man living in the Queensbridge projects, the son of a jazz musician and a Postal Service worker, to becoming a celebrated rapper and entrepreneur.
Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell (“The Place Beyond the Pines”) of Electric City Entertainment will executive produce, with Levine, Nas and Nas’ manager Anthony Saleh.
No ETA on the project at this time. As the pilot was just ordered, it’s too early to say. Should BET brass love what they see and hear in the pilot, then it might be picked up as a series, or it could become something else entirely – a miniseries, or telepic for example.
Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and has sold over 25 million records worldwide. He is also an entrepreneur through his own record label; he serves as associate publisher of Mass Appeal magazine and is the owner of a Fila sneaker store. His debut album “Illmatic” (1994) received universal acclaim from both critics and the hip hop community and is frequently ranked as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Nas is also often named as one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time.
Deadline was first to announce the news of BET’s interest in a Nas bio-series.