Nick Gives 15-Yr-Old Big Break
Nickelodeon has tapped fifteen-year-old actor/comedian Lil’ JJ for the big and small screen, signing him to a development deal with Nick Movies and green-lighting a pilot for the television network. The announcement was made today by Julia Pistor, Senior Vice-President, Nickelodeon Movies and Marjorie Cohn, Executive Vice President, Development and Original Programming, Nickelodeon. The grand prize winner of BET’s comedy competition series Coming to the Stage, Lil’ JJ entered into a talent holding deal with Nickelodeon in January 2005 and currently appears on the network as the host of Friday Night Slimetime. His unique comedy is also featured as the centerpiece of a series of image spots airing on the network and he appears in several guest shots on various hit TEENick series. On the film side, he will be featured in the upcoming Nick Movie/
Nick Movies will develop the feature project for the teenage actor/comedian to star. The untitled film is based on the real-life rags-to-riches story he shares with his teacher-turned-manager, Ken Bright. Inspired by the true tale of small-town
“After watching JJ’s star rise on Nick this year, we knew that we wanted to be in business with him on the film side,” said Pistor “Hearing his and Ken's story was the topper.”
Lil’ JJ and Bright also will serve as executive producers of the film to be produced by Nickelodeon Movies’ Senior Vice President Julia Pistor and overseen for Nick Movies by Vice President Damon Ross and for Paramount by co-President, Alli Shearmur and Senior Vice President Michelle Raimo.
A multi-generational urban comedy, It Ain’t Right, will chronicle the adventures of ninth grader Trey Lewis (Lil’ JJ), who has been waiting tables and stocking shelves at his family’s legendary Snooty Fox Diner since he was tall enough to reach the counter. He often stands helpless in a blitz of well-meaning adult admonitions – e.g., “Don’t you dare”…”Didn’t I tell you?”…and with his neighborhood pals he navigates life on the ever-changing front lines of adolescence.
“Once we saw JJ and heard his unique kid point of view, we knew he was a star for Nick," said Cohn. "We've found the perfect vehicle for his comedic voice and, partnered with the talents of show creator Alison Taylor, we feel we have a hit in the making to add to our live action stable.
Alison Taylor (Lizzie McGuire) and Jerry Perzigian (The Jeffersons, The Golden Girls) are executive producers of It Ain’t Right, with Ken Bright consulting. Created by
Currently headlining the Teens of Comedy, a 20-city tour featuring five up-and-coming teenage stand-up comedians, Lil’ JJ began his professional comedy career at Juanita’s Bar and Grill in Little Rock, Arkansas in conjunction with the Mental Buffet, an open mike poetry/comedy program. He has since performed at some of the nation’s top comedy clubs including The Comedy Store and The Improv in