BET+ has arrived, and it comes bearing gifts. In addition to offering content from BET and BET’s sibling channels Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1, the streaming service will also be offering new original series, like the recently released The First Wives Club.
Based on the 1996 film by the same name, the series follows three old friends—Bree, Hazel and Ari—reconnecting after Hazel, a popular R&B singer (played by Jill Scott), has a public breakup that spirals out of control. Her and her sisterhood—who are experiencing their own life fumbles—help each other navigate life’s many unexpected turns.
The woman responsible for reimagining this classic is none other than Tracy Oliver, best known for penning the 2017 hit, Girls Trip.
Oliver’s Girls Trip credit resulted in her becoming the first African-American woman to write a film that grossed over $100 million. While her ability to provide Black audiences with the stories they’re craving that made her an ideal content creator, however it was the creative freedom BET+ offered that captured the in-demand writer’s attention.
“When we called Tracy she said, ‘you mean I don’t have to deal with the standards and practices people, and I can do anything I want,'” BET president Scott Mills shared during his remarks at the BET+ launch party last month.
And Oliver’s making good use of that freedom. While being introduced with the cast of The First Wives Club, comedian Michelle Buteau, who plays Bree, an overworked surgeon with two kids, thanked the writer and series producer.
“I’m very excited to be on the show. Big up to Tracy for casting a size 18 b*tch and making me a lead in the show. And, actually letting me have sex scenes because big b*tches need love too,” Buteau shared.
Beyond being a fun and inclusive series First Wives Club also serves as an opportunity for the world to become better acquainted with Sterling K. Brown’s equally talented wife Ryan Michelle Bathe, who rounds out the trio playing Ari, a former lawyer who’s put her husband’s life ahead of her own.
“I’m really thrilled it’s been a long time coming for this particular show and this particular journey on this show. We started filming in September of last year, but now we’re finally here a year later,” Bathe said.
Perhaps no one is more excited for the world to experience The First Wives Club than Bathe’s number one fan, her husband.
“Let me tell you! It is my turn to play the tambourine, and I couldn’t be happier. She’s been so supportive of me over these past few years, being my plus one to all of the events I go to. I’m so happy to be here for her to celebrate the beautiful work that the public finally gets a chance to see. The wife kills it.,” Brown gushed. “Shine on, bird. Shine on.”