BET has green lit a new, two-hour pilot/original movie starring 17-year-old Diggy Simmons (real name Daniel Simmons). Tentatively called the Untitled Diggy Simmons Project, the show is being executive produced by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil (who are the creator’s of The Game Being Mary Jane). The comedy is set to premiere next year as part of the BET Premiere Cinema movie franchise. Singer Teyana Taylor and Bria Murphy (Eddie Murhpy’s daughter) will co-star.
According to Deadline,
The Diggy Simmons project, said to have anEntourage vibe to it, is described as a fresh and edgy look at Diggy Simmons, his life as a blogger, and the close group of loyal friends who hold him down on his rise to the top. Simmons will play the main character Blake. Also cast in the project are Allen Maldonado as Manny, Blake’s best friend. Manny lives with his twin sister Tae (Teyana Taylor), who is Blake’s ex-girlfriend, after their grandmother died. Chris Brew will play Dot, a tech geek, now a student at NYU, and a childhood friend of Blake and Manny. Bria Murphy will play Manny’s girlfriend Nia. Stephanie Charles will play Sheri, Dot’s ex-girlfriend.
Diggy confirmed the news on Instagram, writing:
Not only have I been excited about this new music that’s on the way, I’m also very excited to announce that I have a new scripted television show titled#TheStartUp that has been picked up by @BET and will be going to series! Last night was the @BET Upfronts and I was accompanied by 2 of my beautiful cast mates @TeyanaTaylor and @Bria_Murphy to represent the show. I’m super excited to be apart of the BET family and can’t wait for everyone to see #TheStartUp! Last night marked a historical day in our journey.. And we’re only going up from here! Thank you Ms. Debra Lee!
Also named executive producers are Chris Lighty (we’re guessing he was involved with the project before his untimely death), Laurie Dobbins, and James Dubose. Simmons and Kevin Liles are co-executive producing. Salim Akil will also direct the film. Shooting begins later this year. Diggy is the son of Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons and brother to Angela and Vanessa Simmons. He also starred on the MTV reality television show Run’s House and is a rapper.