John Legend's Get Lifted production company and LeBron James' SpringHill Entertainment are teaming up with Warner Bros. Television to produce "Lean on Me," a CW drama TV series based on the 1989 movie that starred Morgan Freeman as "tough love" principal Joe Louis Clark at a troubled high school in Paterson, New Jersey. The "Lean on Me" movie was based on a true story. The TV version of "Lean on Me" hasn't announced any cast members yet, but Deadline reports that the show's lead character will be a woman named Amarie Baldwin, and the fictional school will be set in Akron, Ohio. Wendy Calhoun ("Station 19") has been tapped as the show's lead writer. Legend and James will executive produce the show with Get Lifted's Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius and SpringHill's Maverick Carter.
This wouldn't be the first time that Legend and James have been involved in the same TV project. In 2013, Legend's "My Shoes" song debuted in Nike's "Training Day" commercial, starring James.
Warner Bros. Television has also recently partnered with SpringHill for two new NBC series, according to Deadline: "Hoops," a basketball-themed drama and "Brotherly Love," a comedy loosely based on the childhood of 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, who grew up in a multi-ethnic family. The premiere dates for all these new shows are to be announced.
"Lean on Me," "Hoops" and "Brotherly Love" are among the several TV shows being produced by SpringHill Entertainment. They include "Million Dollar Mile," an athletic game show on CBS; "The Wall," a trivia game show on NBC; "Shut Up and Dribble," a three-part NBA documentary series on Showtime; "The Shop," a barbershop-set talk show on HBO; "Warriors of Liberty City," a football docuseries on Starz; and "Best Shot with Jay Williams," a docuseries on YouTube Premium
SpringHill is also producing these projects, whose premiere dates are to be announced: a Netflix drama series on Madame C.J. Walker, starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer; a U.S. version of the U.K. inner-city drama series "Top Boy" on Netflix; an HBO documentary (title to be announced) on Muhammad Ali, directed by Antoine Fuqua.
Movies in development at SpringHill Entertainment include Legendary Entertainment's "Hustle," directed by Dave Meyers, about a basketball scout who recruits an unknown player from China to join the NBA. SpringHill is also developing the New Line Cinema comedy film "Public Enemy," a re-imagining of "House Party," produced with Channing Tatum's production company Free Association.
Get Lifted has also been busy with film and TV projects, including the Emmy-winning NBC TV special "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert." As an executive producer of the show, Legend became an EGOT winner—someone who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. Other recent Get Lifted projects include the 2018 roller-rink documentary film "United Skates"; the dramatic film "Monster," which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival; the recently canceled WGN series "Underground"; and the 2017 Netflix stand-up comedy special "Neal Brennan: 3 Mics."
As previously reported, Legend is set to join NBC's "The Voice" as a coach on the show's 16th season, premiering in the spring of 2019. He's also part of the all-star lineup of performers for Q85: A Musical Celebration of Quincy Jones, which takes place Sept. 25 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Oprah Winfrey is hosting the show, which will feature performances by Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Meghan Trainor, Patti Austin, Gloria Estefan, Charlie Wilson, Ledisi, Gregory Porter, Cynthia Erivo and Gladys Knight.