The production company founded by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter of the hip-hop collective The Roots signed a first-look deal with Universal Television Alternative Studio and Universal Television.
Under the three-year deal, Thompson and Trotter’s production company, Two One Five Entertainment, will develop scripted, unscripted, and special programming across NBC’s television and digital content platforms.
“This deal is very important to us as we’ve been content producers and storytellers for our entire career,” said Thompson in a statement sent to BLACK ENTERPRISE. “A significant investment from Universal Television Alternative Studio and Universal Television in our vision allows us to share these stories on a much larger scale. Tarik and I see this as the next chapter to our careers, and we are very involved in the entire process. I’m directing, Tarik is writing and we both are producing.”
The Roots’ have worked with NBC for over a decade. The Grammy award-winning group has been the official house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon since the show premiered in 2014. The Roots also served in the same role on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from 2009 to 2014. Meanwhile, Thompson currently serves as the show’s musical director.
“Many of our initial projects have been music-centric content, and one of our goals is to become the premiere hub for music storytelling – a safe space for these stories to be shared across a variety of platforms,” added Trotter. “Eventually we will expand outside of music with our stories. However, as we all know, every story has a rhythm and Two One Five Entertainment will harness that rhythm and create well-produced, compelling content.”
Previously, Two One Five Entertainment produced the AMC docuseries, Hip Hop Songs that Shook America, along with Black Woodstock, a documentary that explored the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The company also worked on the Broadway productions Soul Train the Musical and Black No More in partnership with Oscar winnerJohn Ridley and.
“The Roots are innovators and cultural tastemakers whose breadth of musical knowledge is unparalleled,” said Meredith Ahr, President, of NBC Alternative and Reality Group. “The band has been a cornerstone of NBC’s late-night programming for over a decade, and we are excited to extend our collaboration across a diverse slate of projects to bring even more compelling storytelling to our audience.”