While Lifetime’s music biopics tend to generate buzz (I, for one, can’t wait for Britney Ever After to air), BET’s current musical event has all the real-life drama you could want with a lot less camp. On BET’s premiere night, January 24 at 9 p.m. ET, The New Edition Story will depict the rise to fame of one of the most iconic boy bands in history.
However, I’m curious as to how many episodes The New Edition Story will have and how much of the band’s career it will cover, given that the group founded over 40 years ago and its influence is still felt in the music industry today.
BET is not exaggerating when it bills The New Edition Story as a “event.” Starting on Tuesday, BET will air the miniseries for three consecutive nights, each with a two-hour instalment.
More than 40 years of music history will be compressed into The New Edition Story’s three parts. The miniseries commences in 1978, when group members Bobby Brown (Woody McClain), Ricky Bell (Elijah Kelley), Mike Bivins (Bryshere Y. Gray), and Ralph Tresvant (Algee Smith) are just getting their starts.
After music mogul Maurice Starr (Faizon Love) discovers New Edition, the episode follows the group as they add a fifth member in Ronnie DeVoe (Keith Powers) and achieve overnight success with their debut single “Candy Girl.”
The rest of the miniseries will detail how Bobby’s increasingly antisocial behaviour eventually has him kicked out of the band, after which Ralph leaves and Johnny Gill (Luke James) is brought in.
As Bobby’s fame grows, the other members of the band go their separate ways. The members of New Edition will reunite for a tour at the end of the miniseries, but the experience will ultimately drive a wedge between them and send them in different directions.
It appears like The New Edition Story will provide a rather in-depth analysis of the group’s history. To me, it feels like three two-hour episodes is about the appropriate number to convey this story, but I won’t know for sure until the miniseries airs.
There doesn’t appear to be a “correct” number of episodes for a television music biography. Many films in this genre, such as CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story and Behind the Candelabra, may be best suited to the feature length format. However, many music biopics, including The Temptations, The Jacksons: An American Dream, and The Beach Boys: An American Family, are presented as multi-part event series like The New Edition Story.
If The New Edition Story is half as good as the aforementioned music biopics, which I wholeheartedly endorse, then it will be well worth your time to watch it on consecutive nights.