“The Crossover,” a drama series based on the critically acclaimed bestselling novel in verse by Kwame Alexander, a Newbery Medal-winning and Coretta Scott King Book Awards’ Author Honoree, has been ordered to series for premiere on Disney+.
The Disney Branded Television series will be produced by 20th Television. Production begins in February.
The pilot episode was directed by George Tillman, Jr. (“The Hate U Give,” “For Life”) and was written by Kwame Alexander and Damani Johnson (“All Rise”). Executive producers include Todd Harthan (“The Resident,” “Rosewood”), Damani Johnson, Kwame Alexander, George Tillman, Jr., Bob Teitel, and Jay Marcus. Additionally LeBron James, Maverick Carter and Jamal Henderson of The SpringHill Company are joining the project as executive producers.
Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television, said, “We’re honoured to bring Kwame Alexander’s poignant, emotional and poetic story to our Disney+ audience in partnership with this outstanding group of creative talent.”
“The Crossover” introduces teen brothers Josh and JB Bell, widely considered basketball phenomenon. Through his lyrical poetry, Josh narrates the story of their coming-of-age, on and off the court, as their former professional basketball player father adjusts to life after basketball, and their mother finally gets to pursue dreams of her own.
Starring are: Jaylyn Hall as Josh Bell, Amir O’Neil as JB Bell, Derek Luke (“The Purge”) as Chuck Bell, Sabrina Revelle (“Zac & Mia”) as Crystal Bell, Skyla I’Lece (“Turn: Washington’s Spies”) as Alex, Deja Monique Cruz (“Law & Order: SVU”) as Maya, and Trevor Raine Bush (“After”) as Vondie.
Kwame Alexander is a New York Times bestselling author of 28 books, including The Undefeated, Swing and Rebound. NPR Morning Edition’s poet in residence, he is the recipient of numerous awards including The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Prize, the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award and three NAACP Image Award nominations. Alexander is co-founder of L.E.A.P., an international literacy empowerment organisation that built the Barbara E. Memorial Library and Health Clinic in the eastern region of Ghana, and the founder of VERSIFY, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt which publishes books that will engage, entertain, and empower young people to imagine a better world.