‘The Crossover’ Pilot Based On Kwame Alexander’s Book Ordered By Disney+; George Tillman Jr. To Direct

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Nellie Andreeva
·1 min read
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Disney+ has greenlighted The Crossover, a drama pilot based on the bestselling Newberry Award-winning novel-in-verse by author, poet and educator Kwame Alexander.

Written by Alexander and Damani Johnson (All Rise) with Dee Johnson (Nashville, The Good Wife) supervising and to be directed by George Tillman Jr. (The Hate U Give, For Life), The Crossover tells the story of 14-year-old basketball phenom brothers Josh and JB Bell. The boys come of age on and off the court as their former pro-baller father adjusts to life after basketball and matriarch mother finally gets to pursue dreams of her own. This aspirational and emotional family drama is narrated entirely by Josh through his lyrical poetry. “With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . . The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I¹m delivering.”

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Alexander, Damani Johnson and Dee Johnson executive produce with Tillman, Bob Teitel and Jay Marcus via State Street Pictures (Barbershop, Soul Food).

A worldwide search is underway for young actors to play the leads. It was announced by Alexander on Instagram earlier today. (Watch the video below.)

This marks the first greenlight for a Disney+ project from 20th TV through the new Disney Branded Television division that shepherds non-Marvel/Lucasfilm/Pixar TV content for the family-friendly streaming platform.

20th TV has multiple upcoming series for Disney+, including Turner & Hooch, Mysterious Benedict Society, Just Beyond and Doogie Kamealoha, MD. Disney+ has two other upcoming series that mix coming-of-age stories and sports, Big Shot (girls basketball) and Mighty Ducks (hockey). Both shows come from ABC Signature.

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