Ne-Yo, Naya Rivera (‘Glee’) star in Atlanta-based ‘Step Up: High Water’ for YouTube Red

LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 29: Recording artist Ne-Yo arrives at the grand opening of Intrigue Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas on April 29, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Wynn Las Vegas)

This was posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Viewers already have long-form scripted dramas on Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix without ever having to buy a cable subscription. Now rather late to the game is YouTube Red, the paid subscription service for YouTube, which is now shooting “Step Up: High Water” in Atlanta.

Atlanta’s own Ne-Yo is one of the leads, along with Naya Rivera (“Glee”) and Faizon Love (“Couples Retreat”). The series will focus on the world of Atlanta hip-hop and dance. Executive producers include Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan Tatum and Adam Shankman.

Ne-Yo plays Sage Odom, legendary founder of Atlanta’s famed High Water Performing Arts School. Rivera is Collettee, a former dancer who is now a High Water administrator whose passion for her students is only matched by her history with Sage and secrets of her own. Love plays Uncle Al, who houses twin dancers who moved from Ohio to attend the school.

Many of the dancers will come from YouTube itself including Jade Chynoweth, Lauryn McClain, Petrice Jones, Marcus Mitchell, Carlito Olivero, Terrence Green, Eric Graise and R. Marcos Taylor.

The original “Step Up” film was a surprise hit in 2006 starring the two Tatums, bringing in $114 million on a $12 million budget. This led to four sequels.

Getting into this type of scripted world is not cheap. WGN recently called it quits on scripted, unwilling to spend the $5 million per episode necessary for its prestige drama “Underground,” shot in Savannah. A&E also dropped scripted programming recently, its final effort being “Bates Motel.”

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