Music mogul, entrepreneur, and now actress, is there anything Nicki Minaj hasn’t tried?
As the cheers and congratulations simmer from her recent announcement, fans are anticipating a new scripted comedy sitcom from ABC Family. Both the network and the star revealed the upcoming series will revisit Minaj’s life growing up in Queens, New York.
Born Onika Maraj in Saint James, Trinidad, Minaj migrated to New York in the 1990s as a young child. Minaj admitted her eccentric family dynamic and creative personality were crucial in her development from average teen to stardom.
“Nicki is an international superstar, yet not everyone knows how inspiring and hilarious her true story is, and we can’t wait to share it with the world,” said ABC Family’s EVP of programming and development, Karey Burke.
“This is one of the more unique adventures I’ve embarked on,” said Minaj. “I couldn’t be more proud and excited to team up with an amazing group of people to give the world something really special.”
The LaGuardia High School graduate, a prestigious music and arts high school in New York City with notable alumni such as Omar Epps, Jackee Harry, and Eartha Kitt, dabbled in acting prior to her rise as a musical icon.
Minaj made her acting debut with a voice role for Ice Ace: Continental Drift and a co-starring role in the feature comedy, The Other Woman. Last year, Minaj appeared on Saturday Night Live where she was a musical guest and performed in a couple of skits where she portrayed Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé.
Despite numerous interviews over the years in which Minaj described her childhood as something less than sitcom-comedy friendly, the show’s executives are focusing on the lighter aspects of her upbringing. The still-untitled sitcom will shoot the pilot episode this winter in Queens. The show is expected to be picked up for its first season.
“Nicki Minaj is a force to be reckoned with at everything she touches,” said Burke.
The project, from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, will be the third series for ABC Family, along with drama Chasing Life and comedy Kevin From Work. The six-and-a-half-year old production company has seven on-air series — Secrets & Lies on ABC, The Mysteries Of Laura on NBC, Life In Pieces on CBS, Instant Mom on Nick as well as Chasing Life and Kevin From Work, and the upcoming comedy Divorce on HBO.
The show will be written by Kate Angelo who started her writing career in TV with Will & Grace and The Bernie Mac Show.
Minaj, who is still on her international Pinkprint tour has already informally begun the search for who will portray young Onika Maraj on the show. Fans tweeted their suggestions and Jackee Harry playfully mentioned portraying Nicki’s mother Carol Maraj.
Who’s going to play #YoungNicki ?!?! aaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! @ABCFamily
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) September 29, 2015
Minaj, Kaplan, and Angelo will executive produce the project, as well as Stella Bulochnikov, Brian Sher, and Gee Roberson.