New Edition is arguably the original boy band though they were rooted in the R&B tradition. And like the many boy bands that would come after them, they were not immune to infighting. Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Ronnie Devoe, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, and later addition Johnny Gill catapulted to national success from Boston relatively quickly after the group formed in 1978. They blew up in 1983 with the hits “Candy Girl,” “Mr. Telephone Man” and “Cool It Now,” but the original five-member group would faction off into several entities. Bobby Brown was voted out of the group in 1985 and embarked on a solo career. Gill, Brown’s replacement, would later go solo as well, and Bell, Bivins, and DeVoe went on to form Bell Biv DeVoe (BBD).
BET’s biopic, The New Edition Story, chronicles the group’s entire story in a six-hour, three-night event. The film is directed by Chris Robinson (ATL), and stars Empire’s Bryshere Y. Gray as Bivins, singer Luke James as Gill, Algee Smith as Tresvant, Elijah Kelley as Bell, Keith Powers as DeVoe, and Woody McClain as Brown. The first glimpse of the small-screen flick comes in the form of a super trailer which shows BBD rushing Brown offstage after he runs over his stage time and Brown coming back onstage to start a brawl. Check it out.
The New Edition Story airs 1/24 – 1/26 on BET — which is timed perfectly for BBD’s comeback album Three Stripes ?, out 1/27.