A miniseries about the rise of the late Andre Harrell’s Uptown Records is still in the works and moving ahead at BET following the veteran music executive’s death. But with production throughout the television business shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, no premiere date or timetable for the start of shooting has been set.
“We are mourning the loss of a cultural icon, Andre Harrell, a chief architect of the modern hip-hop and R&B sound,” BET president Scott Mills said in a statement. “Andre was tremendously excited about sharing the origin story of Uptown Records, and its pivotal role in the urban music landscape. With his tragic passing, BET is committed to ensuring that the Uptown limited series event tells both the Uptown story and Andre’s story — that of the incredible music innovator, man and friend to so many.”
In December, BET ordered “Uptown,” a three-part miniseries about record label Harrell founded in 1986 and which helped launch the careers hip-hop artists such as Heavy D & The Boyz, Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Father MC, Al B. Sure, Christopher Williams, Teddy Riley, Notorious B.I.G., and Sean “Diddy” Combs. Harrell was set to serve as an executive producer on the miniseries alongside Jesse Collins of Jesse Collins Entertainment, with Charles Murray, Carlito Rodriguez and Barry Michael Cooper writing the scripts. Production on the miniseries, which was initially slated to premiere sometime in 2020, had not started prior to the industry-wide shutdown that began in March.
Harrell was reported to have died Thursday night at his home in West Hollywood, Calif. His ex-wife, Wendy Credle, told the New York Times that Harrell died of heart failure.