American Soul

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American Soul
AmericanSoul.png
GenreDrama
Thriller
(season 2)
Created by
Starring
Composer(s)Kurt Farquhar
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • James Bigwood
  • Carl Craig
  • Christopher Jefferson
    (season 2)
Production location(s)Atlanta, Georgia
Los Angeles
CinematographyRichard Vialet
Editor(s)
  • Jacques Gravett
  • Jamin Bricker
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time39–42 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Once A Frog Entertainment
  • Inphiniti Entertainment
  • Philoment Media
  • Jesse Collins Entertainment
Release
Original networkBET
Original releaseFebruary 5, 2019 (2019-02-05) –
present (present)
External links
Official website

American Soul is an American drama television series, created by Jonathan Prince and Devon Greggory, that premiered on February 5, 2019, on BET. The series tells the story of Don Cornelius and the creation of his legendary music and dance program Soul Train and it stars an ensemble cast including Sinqua Walls, Jason Dirden, Iantha Richardson, Christopher Jefferson, Katlyn Nichol, Jelani Winston, and Kelly Price. In April 2019, it was renewed for a second season[1]and premiered on May 27, 2020.

Premise[edit]

American Soul tells the story of Don Cornelius, "his Soul Train dancers, crew and musicians in a cutthroat Hollywood in the 1970s and how they worked, played, rose and fell against the backdrop of the show that was most responsible for the way African-American culture was perceived by the world then."[2]

The first season takes place between the first two seasons of Soul Train between 1971 and 1973. The second season will time jump two years later in 1975.[3]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius
  • Jason Dirden as Gerald Aims
  • Jelani Winston as Kendall Clarke (season 1)
  • Christopher Jefferson as Julius "JT" Tucker
  • Iantha Richardson as Tessa Lorraine
  • Kelly Price as Brianne Clarke
  • Katlyn Nichol as Simone Clarke
  • India McGee as Flo, a dancer on Soul Train
  • Perri L. Camper as Delores Cornelius, Don's former first wife
  • Christopher B. Duncan as Ray Bradley (season 2)

Recurring[edit]

  • Kelly Rowland as Gladys Knight (season 1)
  • Shannon Kane as Ilsa Dejarnette, a vindictive lawyer for Motown
  • Javon Johnson as George Johnson, founder of Afro and Ultra Sheen and a close friend of Don's (season 1)
  • Phillip Mullings Jr. as Patrick Lorriane, a LAPD detective and husband of Tessa (season 1)
  • Simeon Daise as Reggie Michaels, revolutionary gangster
  • Joseph Lee Anderson as Joseph Clarke, a Vietnam veteran, husband of Brianne, and father of Simone and Kendall, who is killed while on a tour of duty in Vietnam
  • James Devonti as Brooks Donald, a slightly bigoted business partner of Don's
  • Shannon Wallace as Private Nate Barker (season 1)
  • Njema Williams as Uncle Pete (season 1)
  • Candace West as TBA, girlfriend of JT, rival of Simone Clarke (season 2)
  • Kearran Giovanni as Ruby Daniels, an acquaintance of Gerald and ex-girlfriend of Don (season 2)
  • Michael Christopher Rodney as Woody Harley, ex-lover of Simone Clarke, rival of JT (season 2)

Guest stars[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Season 2[edit]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110February 5, 2019 (2019-02-05)April 2, 2019 (2019-04-02)
28May 27, 2020 (2020-05-27)[4]July 15, 2020

Season 1 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Man is First Destiny"Peter O'FallonStory by : Jonathan Prince & Devon Greggory
Teleplay by : Devon Greggory
February 5, 2019 (2019-02-05)0.89[5]
22"Continuous Revolution In Progress"Peter O'FallonDevon Greggory & Katlyn NicholFebruary 5, 2019 (2019-02-05)0.99[5]
33"Lost and Found"Robert TownsendAnnmarie MoraisFebruary 12, 2019 (2019-02-12)0.68[6]
44"Just Us"Robert TownsendA. Zell WilliamsFebruary 19, 2019 (2019-02-19)0.55[7]
55"Fault Lines"Peter O'FallonNathan Alan DavisFebruary 26, 2019 (2019-02-26)0.44[8]
66"What Are You Looking At?"Peter O'FallonZach AyersMarch 5, 2019 (2019-03-05)0.57[9]
77"Nothing To Fear"Chris RobinsonSara Finney-JohnsonMarch 12, 2019 (2019-03-12)0.45[10]
88"Nothing Ventured…Nothing Gained"Angela Barnes GomesAnnmarie MoraisMarch 19, 2019 (2019-03-19)0.37[11]
99"68 B.C."Angela Barnes GomesZach Ayers & Devon GreggoryMarch 26, 2019 (2019-03-26)0.41[12]
1010"Proceed With Caution"Chris RobinsonAnnmarie MoraisApril 2, 2019 (2019-04-02)0.50[13]

Season 2 (2020)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [4]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [4]U.S. viewers
(millions)
111"1975"Thomas CarterJudy McCrearyMay 27, 2020 (2020-05-27)0.74[14]
122"Fame"Thomas CarterZach AyersJune 3, 2020 (2020-06-03)0.56[15]
133"Satisfaction"John ScottYvette FoyJune 10, 2020 (2020-06-10)0.64[16]
144"Lovely Day"John ScottNorman Vance Jr.June 17, 2020 (2020-06-17)0.67[17]
155"Say You Love Me"Crystle RobersonNorman Vance Jr.June 24, 2020 (2020-06-24)0.61[18]
166"Low Rider"Crystle RobersonYvette FoyJuly 1, 2020 (2020-07-01)0.53[19]
177"Love Will Keep Us Together"Christopher JeffersonZach AyersJuly 8, 2020 (2020-07-08)TBD
188"So Long, Sucker"Sinqua WallsJudy McCrearyJuly 15, 2020 (2020-07-15)TBD

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On April 10, 2018, it was announced that BET had given a series order to the production for a first season consisting of ten episodes. Executive producers are set to include Jesse Collins, Jonathan Prince and Devon Greggory. Tony Cornelius will co-executive produce alongside Andy Horne. Greggory will write the pilot episode and Jesse Collins Entertainment will produce.[2][20][21] On September 4, 2018, it was confirmed that Greggory and Prince had created the series and that Prince would also co-write the pilot episode.[22] On November 25, 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on February 5, 2019.[23] On April 2, 2019, it was announced that the series was renewed for a second season which will premiere on May 27, 2020.[24][25]

Casting[edit]

In September 2018, it was announced that Sinqua Walls, Jason Dirden, Iantha Richardson, Christopher Jefferson, Katlyn Nichol, Jelani Winston, and Kelly Price had been cast in series regular roles and that Kelly Rowland would appear in a recurring capacity.[22][26][27] On October 12, 2018, it was reported that Shannon Kane and Perri Camper had been cast in recurring roles.[28] On December 21, 2018, it was announced that Michelle Williams, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Dennis, McKinley Freeman, and K. Michelle would make guest appearances.[29]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for the series commenced in Atlanta, Georgia on September 17, 2018[26] and was scheduled to last until December 2018.[30] In September 2018, filming for the series transpired at Pullman Yard on September 17, in Downtown Atlanta on September 18th, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 19, and at Armour Yard on September 20th.[31] In October 2018, filming continued in Atlanta with shooting taking place at Pullman Yard on October 7 and at the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center in Buckhead on October 27.[32] In November 2018, filming occurred in Sandy Springs, Georgia on November 9 with shooting place at a Robert Green designed private home and in Downtown Atlanta on November 27.[33] In December 2018, the production was working out of Palmetto on December 10 and 11.[34]

Release[edit]

Marketing[edit]

On November 25, 2018, a teaser trailer for the series premiered during the 31st Soul Train Awards.[23]

Premiere[edit]

On January 29, 2019, the series held its New York premiere at the New World Stage in New York City. Those in attendance included BET Networks President Scott Mills, executive producer Tony Cornelius, and actors Sinqua Walls, Kelly Price, Jason Dirden, Naturi Naughton, Jelani Winston, Katlyn Nichol, Shannon Wallace, Christopher Jefferson, and Iantha Richardson.[35]

On February 4, 2019, the series held its Los Angeles premiere at the Wolf Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Those in attendance included Sinqua Walls, Jason Dirden, Tami Roman, McKinley Freeman, Tank, Robert Townsend, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Tommy Davidson, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Tony Cornelius, Christina Cornelius, Scott Mills, Leon Robinson, Kenny Burns, Jesse Collins, Christopher Jefferson, Candace West, Katlyn Nichol, Iantha Richardson and India McGee.[36][37]

Reception[edit]

The series has been met with a positive response from critics upon its premiere. Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 70 out of 100 based on 4 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[38]

The series was submitted by BET for fourteen categories at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, but none were selected.[39][40] Kelly Rowland received a nomination for Outstanding Guest Performance in a Comedy or Drama Series at the NAACP Image Awards.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "American Soul: Season Two Renewal Announced for BET Series". April 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (April 11, 2018). "'Boomerang' Reboot Among 3 Series Orders as BET Doubles Down on Scripted (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  3. ^ Petski, Denise (November 25, 2019). "'American Soul': Elton John, James Brown, Dick Clark, Richard Pryor Among Those To Be Portrayed In Season 2 Of BET Series".
  4. ^ a b c "American Soul - Listings". The Futon Critic. May 5, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 6, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.5.2019". ShowBuzz Daily. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (February 13, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.12.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  7. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (February 21, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.19.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  8. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (February 27, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.26.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  9. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 6, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.5.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  10. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 13, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.12.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  11. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 20, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.19.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  12. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 27, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.26.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  13. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (April 3, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.2.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  14. ^ http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-top-150-wednesday-cable-originals-network-finals-5-27-2020.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-top-150-wednesday-cable-originals-network-finals-6-3-2020.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-top-150-wednesday-cable-originals-network-finals-6-10-2020.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-top-150-wednesday-cable-originals-network-finals-6-17-2020.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-top-150-wednesday-cable-originals-network-finals-6-24-2020.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-top-150-wednesday-cable-originals-network-finals-7-1-2020.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ Augustin, Camille (April 10, 2018). "Don Cornelius Inspires 'American Soul' Drama On BET". Vibe. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  21. ^ Bennett, Jessica (April 11, 2018). "Don Cornelius Inspires New BET Drama, 'American Soul'". Ebony. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  22. ^ a b Petski, Denise (September 4, 2018). "'American Soul': Sinqua Walls To Star In BET Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood.
  23. ^ a b Mangum, Trey (November 26, 2018). "'American Soul' Teaser Trailer: BET Takes It Back To The '70s In 'Soul Train'-Inspired Drama Series". Shadow and Act. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  24. ^ "BET Networks Announces Second Season Pick Up for Series "Boomerang" and "American Soul"". The Futon Critic. April 2, 2019.
  25. ^ "BET's Critically Acclaimed Scripted Series "American Soul" Returns for Season Two Wednesday, May 27 at 10 PM ET/PT". The Futon Critic. May 5, 2020.
  26. ^ a b Petski, Denise (September 11, 2018). "'American Soul': Jason Dirden, Iantha Richardson Among Five Series Regulars Cast In BET Drama". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  27. ^ Mitchell, Gail (September 27, 2018). "Kelly Price and Kelly Rowland Join BET's 'American Soul' Cast: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  28. ^ Petski, Denise (October 12, 2018). "'American Soul': Shannon Kane & Perri Camper To Recur In BET Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  29. ^ Petski, Denise (December 21, 2018). "'American Soul': BET Drama Casts Its Diana Ross, Ike & Tina Turner & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  30. ^ Steves, Ashley (September 24, 2018). "Atlanta Now Casting: Background Roles Available on BET Series 'American Soul' Starring Sinqua Walls". Backstage. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  31. ^ Walljasper, Matt (September 27, 2018). "What's filming in Atlanta now? Sextuplets, Doom Patrol, Avengers 4 (again), and more". Atlanta. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  32. ^ Walljasper, Matt (October 29, 2018). "What's filming in Atlanta now? Doctor Sleep, The Banker, Stranger Things, Avengers, Watchmen, and more". Atlanta. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  33. ^ Walljasper, Matt (November 29, 2018). "What's filming in Atlanta now? Limited Partners, Watchmen, Stranger Things, plus unpacking the #BoycottGeorgia movement". Atlanta. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  34. ^ Walljasper, Matt (December 20, 2018). "What's filming in Atlanta now? Undercover Brother 2, Limited Partners, Watchmen, Dolly Parton's Heartstrings, and more". Atlanta. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  35. ^ Davis, Judith (February 3, 2019). "The American Soul NYC Premiere Held at New World Stage on January 29, 2019". Medium. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  36. ^ Willis, Kiersten (February 5, 2019). "Tami Roman Wows in Fitted Dress and Big Hair as She Walks 'American Soul' Red Carpet". Atlanta Black Star. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  37. ^ "Taraji P. Henson & Tracy Morgan Snap It Up At 'What Men Want' NYC Premiere + Kelly Price Cuts A Rug On The Dance Floor At 'American Soul' LA Premiere". The YBF. February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  38. ^ "American Soul: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  39. ^ "2019 Emmys: Category placements for BET shows 'American Soul' and 'Boomerang'". AwardsWatch. 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  40. ^ Travers, Ben (2019-06-17). "2019 Emmy Predictions: The 71st Annual Primetime Emmys Are Gonna Be Wild". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  41. ^ "NAACP | NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR 51st NAACP IMAGE AWARDS". NAACP. 2020-01-09. Retrieved 2020-01-09.

External links[edit]