ViacomCBS and its MTV Entertainment arm have inked an exclusive overall deal for original scripted and unscripted series with British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo (Selma) and British actor and singer Jessica Oyelowo.
The partnership is through the husband-and-wife team’s production company Yoruba Saxon. LA-based 101 Studios will serve as production partner on all projects.
The first project to emerge from the deal is Bass Reeves, a limited series about the famous lawman of the Wild West, which is currently in development. David Oyelowo is attached to play the titular character and Taylor Sheridan is producer on the project.
David Oyelowo said: “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 realised through the shared ambitions we have with ViacomCBS and its signature branded platforms, alongside our seasoned and brilliant producing partners at 101 Studios.”
Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group, said: “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. As the first black deputy US 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.”