Exclusive: BET orders series from 44 Blue, Whoopi Goldberg

U.S. net BET has picked up a 44 Blue- and Whoopi Goldberg-produced docuseries focusing on the actor's daughter Alex Martin, for its Centric cable channel. (Pictured L-R: Goldberg, 44 Blue's Stephanie Drachkovitch)
January 26, 2015

U.S. net BET has picked up a 44 Blue- and Whoopi Goldberg-produced docuseries on the actor’s daughter Alex Martin for its Centric cable channel.

Titled According to Alex, the 6 x 30-minute series – which has been in the works since last May – is produced by the Wahlburgers firm and Goldberg’s production company One Ho Productions.

It centres on Martin, her husband Bernard and their children, but focuses on her relationship with her childhood best friend Leisa. The show – which is slated to debut in April, though an exact date has not yet been set – follows the women as they raise their children together and support one another through the trials of family life.

Tom Leonardis - a producer at One Ho Productions – says audiences can expect to see Goldberg (pictured above, left) come “in and out” of the show, but adds that the series is not based on the actor and The View host.

“What the viewer can expect is not to see Whoopi everyday, but they can expect to feel her presence and know that this is a product of Whoopi,” he tells realscreen.

Describing the family-oriented series, Leonardis says: “A lot of networks passed because they want drama that is mean-spirited and that’s not this. It’s two women who really do have a great time. Alex has a full house. She was a mom at 15 and she’s been married to the same man three times and now Whoopi’s a great-grandmother.”

44 Blue co-founder and executive VP Stephanie Drachkovitch (pictured above, right) says the series came about a year ago, when Leonardis pointed out there could be a story in Goldberg’s family.

“It was a story that wasn’t really being told on television about this upbeat, aspirational, inspirational relationship between two best friends, and looking at their families and raising a family together,” the exec explains.

The series is the latest project for 44 Blue, which – in addition to a third season of Wahlburgers - recently produced two series for A&E that debuted this month: the series Donnie Loves Jenny, which follows the relationship between actor Donnie Wahlberg and comedian Jenny McCarthy, premiered on January 7; and the docuseries Nightwatch, on a team of New Orleans-based emergency responders, kicked off on January 22.

According to Alex was ordered by BET’s senior VP of original programming Charlie Jordan Brookins.  Executive producers include One Ho’s Goldberg and Leonardis, 44 Blue’s Drachkovitch, Martin and co-executive producer Esther Frank.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.