BET Networks “COOL IT NOW” with the Reveal of the “NEW EDITION: THE MOVIE” Cast

Apr 21, 2016
By ViacomCBS Staff

Bryshere Y. Gray, Elijah Kelley, Luke James, Keith Powers, Algee Smith and Woody McClain Join the Cast of BET’s Much-Anticipated Three-Part Miniseries

Chris Robinson to Direct Series with Principal Photography Starting in Los Angeles in May 2016

JCE Films, a Division of Jesse Collins Entertainment to Produce

COOL IT NOW! BET Networks announces cast of the much-anticipated New Edition biopic: NEW EDITION: THE MOVIE. Bryshere Y. Gray (Empire), Elijah Kelley (The Butler, The Wiz Live!), Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Luke James, Keith Powers (Straight Outta Compton) and new comers Algee Smith and Woody McClain have joined the cast of the original miniseries based on the iconic music group New Edition. Acclaimed director Chris Robinson (ATL) signs on as director with Brooke Payne, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant and Bobby Brown signed on as co-producers for the film. Written by Abdul Williams (Lottery Ticket) the three-night miniseries event is scheduled to premiere on BET in 2017 with principal photography starting in Los Angeles in May 2016.

  • Bryshere Y. Gray will play Michael Bivins as an adult and Dante Hoagland will play Michael as a child.
  • Elijah Kelley will play Ricky Bell as an adult and Caleb McLaughlin will play Ricky as a child.
  • Luke James will play Johnny Gill.
  • Algee Smith will play Ralph Tresvant as an adult and Jahi Winston will play Ralph as a child.
  • Keith Powers will play Ronnie DeVoe as an adult and Myles Truitt will play Ronnie as a child.
  • Woody McClain will play Bobby Brown as an adult and Tyler Williams will play Bobby as a child.

New Edition laid the foundation for how modern-day boy bands look, feel, and sound. Boyz II Men, N’SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and New Kids On The Block all took their cues from Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph and Johnny. After 30 years of breaking hearts on the record and from the stage, New Edition finally gets the biopic that their stellar tenure in entertainment so richly deserves. This 3-part miniseries follows the group from their humble beginnings as kids in Boston to global megastardom - weathering the highs and lows of controversy, personnel changes, and the ultimate cost of fame.

NEW EDITION: THE MOVIE” is executive produced by Jesse Collins (Real Husbands of Hollywood) for JCE Films, a division of Jesse Collins Entertainment; and directed by Chris Robinson (ATL).

For more information on NEW EDITION: THE MOVIE log on to and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #NewEditionBET.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

About Jesse Collins Entertainment

Jesse Collins Entertainment is a full service television and film production company founded by entertainment industry veteran Jesse Collins. For more than a decade, Collins has played an integral role in producing some of television’s most memorable moments in music entertainment. Formerly Executive Producer/EVP of Cossette Productions, Collins has produced ground-breaking and award winning television programming including the BET Awards, the GRAMMY Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Honors, UNCF An Evening of Stars, ABFF Awards and the BET Hip Hop Awards. Collins is an executive producer of the hit TV series, Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart and the upcoming original miniseries based on the iconic music group New Edition. He has worked with a myriad of superstar talent including Will Smith, Chris Rock, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Prince and Mariah Carey. Follow Jesse Collins Entertainment @JesseCollinsEnt on Twitter and Instagram and go to for more information on the company.

BET Networks
Luis Defrank, 212-205-3156
Jesse Collins Entertainment
Staci R. Collins Jackson, 312-600-7774