The Roots’ Questlove and Black Thought are getting into the producing world.
Questlove and Black Thought, otherwise known as Ahmir Thompson and Tarik Trotter respectively, have signed a three-year first look deal with Universal Television Alternative Studio and Universal Television. The deal includes Thompson and Trotter’s production company, Two One Five Entertainment.
The deal will cover the development of specials as well as scripted and unscripted programming across TV and digital content platforms. This expands The Roots already influential relationship with NBC, which spans over 10 years starting with their work as the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where Questlove is also the musical director.
“This deal is very important to us as we’ve been content producers and storytellers for our entire career,” said Thompson in a statement. “A significant investment from Universal Television Alternative Studio and Universal Television in our vision allows us to share these stories on a much larger scale. Tarik and I see this as the next chapter to our careers, and we are very involved in the entire process. I’m directing, Tarik is writing and we both are producing.”
“Many of our initial projects have been music-centric content, and one of our goals is to become the premiere hub for music storytelling – a safe space for these stories to be shared across a variety of platforms,” said Trotter. “Eventually we will expand outside of music with our stories. However, as we all know, every story has a rhythm and Two One Five Entertainment will harness that rhythm and create well-produced, compelling content.”
Meredith Ahr, president of NBC Alternative and Reality Group, called The Roots “innovators and cultural tastemakers whose breadth of musical knowledge is unparalleled.”
“The band has been a cornerstone of NBC’s late-night programming for over a decade, and we are excited to extend our collaboration across a diverse slate of projects to bring even more compelling storytelling to our audience,” she said.