Back in September, ABC Family and Nicki Minaj announced that a deal was made for the "Starships" singer to have a sitcom based on her life. This series, Nicki, which is based on Minaj's childhood in Queens, immigration from Trinidad and how she found super-stardom, is expected to air sometime in 2016.
It was announced earlier this week that the series will feature Whoopi Goldberg in a guest-starring role as a neighbor named Miss Martha, Selita Ebanks (Real Husbands Of Hollywood) and Wesley Jonathan (The Soul Man), as Nicki's parents. McCarrie McCausland (The Originals) has also been cast Nicki's brother, Jaylen.
Most exciting for Minaj, however, is the actress who was chosen to play Young Nicki. Her name, Ariana Neal, is relatively unknown, but has been in Fruitvale Station and Get Hard. Minaj hand-picked the cast, including Neal, who brought the singer to tears with her audition tape. According to Minaj, after she heard Neal's audition, she immediately asked to meet her. Minaj spent a good deal of time with her to teach her to rap, stay on beat and then to show "all of the attitude she had in her lil body."
The pilot, written by Kate Angelo, will be directed by Tim Story, best known for the film, Barbershop. Nicki Minaj will also take a role in the series, serving as the narrator and executive producer. She will appear in the series, though at this point, it is unclear as to how frequently.
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