EXCLUSIVE: Disney+ has given a series order to The Crossover, its basketball-themed coming-of-age drama pilot based on the acclaimed bestselling novel in verse by Kwame Alexander. NBA great LeBron James, Maverick Carter and Jamal Henderson of The SpringHill Company are joining as executive producers the Disney Branded Television series produced by 20th Television .
Alexander and Damani Johnson wrote the pilot, which was directed by George Tillman, Jr. The trio executive produce with Bob Teitel and Jay Marcus. Along with SpringHill’s James, Carter and Henderson, Todd Harthan (The Resident) also has boarded the series as an executive producer under his overall deal at 20th Television. (SpringHill’s deal is with 20th TV’s Disney TV Studios sibling ABC Signature.)
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.
The cast of the series include Jaylyn Hall as Josh Bell, Amir O’Neil as JB Bell, Derek Luke as Chuck Bell, Sabrina Revelle as Crystal Bell, Skyla I’Lece as Alex, Deja Monique Cruz as Maya, and Trevor Raine Bush as Vondie. Production on the series starts in February.
“We’re honored to bring Kwame Alexander’s poignant, emotional and poetic story to our Disney+ audience in partnership with this outstanding group of creative talent,” said Ayo Davis, President, Disney Branded Television.
Alexander, who has written 28 books, including The Undefeated, Swing and Rebound, is a Newbery Medal-winning and Coretta Scott King Book Awards’ Author Honoree.