ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment Studios announced today an exclusive overall deal with the Emmy(R) nominated actor David Oyelowo and Jessica Oyelowo for original scripted and unscripted series through their production company Yoruba Saxon. 101 Studios will serve as production partner on all projects.
Bass Reeves, a limited series that will bring the legendary lawman of the wild west to life, is the first in development for the new partnership. Reeves was known as the greatest frontier hero in American history and is also believed to be the inspiration for The Lone Ranger. Reeves worked in the post-Reconstruction era as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, capturing over 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals without ever being wounded. Oyelowo is attached to star as Reeves in the Taylor Sheridan produced project.
“David and Jessica are incredibly talented artists and we’re excited to develop our Bass Reeves project together with them and our phenomenal partner Taylor Sheridan,” said Chris McCarthy, President and CEO, MTV Entertainment Group. “As the first Black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River, Reeves’ story is monumental, and this limited series will bring to light one of the greatest frontier heroes in our country’s history.”
“The stories Jess and I want to tell are boundary-busting and full of folks the likes of whom we have seldom seen on screen. The extraordinary story of Bass Reeves exemplifies just that. To collaborate with world-class talent like Taylor Sheridan to tell those stories to the widest audience possible, is our dream, and we believe that can and will be realized through the shared ambitions we have with ViacomCBS and its signature branded platforms, alongside our seasoned and brilliant producing partners at 101 Studios,” said Oyelowo.
“We are thrilled to partner with David, Jessica and the entire team at Yoruba Saxon on this new endeavor and we are especially excited about our first project on Bass Reeves chronicling the legendary life of the west’s most feared lawman. We can’t wait to give audiences an exclusive look into his strength, perseverance and absolutely remarkable story through our joint venture with Yoruba and our friends at ViacomCBS,” said David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios.
Bass Reeves will be executive produced by Yellowstone co-creator and Academy Award(R) nominee Taylor Sheridan, David Oyelowo, Jessica Oyelowo, David Permut, David C. Glasser, Ron Burkle and Bob Yari. MTV Entertainment Studios, Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions, Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon, and 101 Studios will produce.
About MTV Entertainment Group:
MTV Entertainment Group reaches over 1.4 billion young people around the world across streaming, social and linear platforms in 180 countries and with more than 725 million social followers – making it one of the preeminent youth media companies in the world. Connecting with its audiences through nine iconic brands including MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, Pop, Logo, Smithsonian, Paramount Net and TV Land, MTV Entertainment Studios produces award-winning series, movies and documentary films.
About 101 Studios:
101 Studios is a global entertainment company dedicated to the acquisition, financing, development, production and distribution of high-caliber, creator-driven storytelling. Founded by David C. Glasser, Chief Executive Officer, and David Hutkin, Chief Operating Officer, the studio empowers content creators through first-class collaboration and innovation. On the television side, 101 produces Taylor Sheridan’s Emmy nominated series Yellowstone, as well as Sheridan’s upcoming series Mayor of Kingstown and Yellowstone prequel 1883. Additionally, 101 Studios oversees and manages the newly formed Sports Illustrated Studios, a content platform based on the most compelling stories, characters and moments in sports past, present and future. Upcoming projects include Paradise Found based on the true story of high school football coach Rick Prinz; a docuseries about the sexual abuse and cover-up at Ohio State University, co-produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures; and the docuseries Covers, a behind-the-scenes look at Sports Illustrated’s top cover stories of all time. SI Studios has also exclusively partnered with iHeartMedia to create and distribute original podcasts through the iHeartPodcast network. On the film side, past releases include The Current War: Director’s Cut, the Sundance Audience award winner Burden as well as the family comedy The War with Grandpa.
About Yoruba Saxon:
Yoruba Saxon Productions, founded by David and Jessica Oyelowo, is focused on creating values-based content, across all platforms and for all quadrants, with an aim to shift the culture and color outside the lines. As artists and filmmakers, we are committed to expressing our love of storytelling and passion for people through entertainment for a global audience. Yoruba Saxon has a first-look deal with Walt Disney Pictures for feature length films. Previous and upcoming film and television projects include: Nightingale (HBO), Captive (Paramount), A United Kingdom (Fox Searchlight), Come Away (Relativity Media), Five Nights in Maine (FilmRise), The Water Man (RLJE Films/Netflix), Ferguson Rises (PBS), Solitary (BRON), First Gen (Disney+), and The Return of The Rocketeer (Disney+).