BET Kicks Off Black History Month w/ a Big Night of Premieres: Miniseries 'Madiba' + HBCU-Set Drama 'The Quad'
Photo Credit: Still from the miniseries, "Madiba". (Photo: Marcos Cruz)

BET Kicks Off Black History Month w/ a Big Night of Premieres: Miniseries 'Madiba' + HBCU-Set Drama 'The Quad'

MADIBA – BET Networks

Still basking in the glow that was the immense success of its New Edition biopic, which aired over 3 nights last week (“The New Edition Story”), BET is likely entering tonight’s premieres with much enthusiasm and hope.

Kicking off Black History Month, the network premieres 2 new original scripted dramas this evening with high expectations: the miniseries “Madiba,” and the series “The Quad.”

First, “Madiba” is a three-part saga telling the definitive story of Nelson Mandela, that will air February 1st, 8th and 15 at 8 PM ET/PT on each night. “Madiba” will be the cornerstone of BET’s Black History Month programming. Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated actor, playwright, director, and producer Laurence Fishburne stars as Nelson Mandela. Orlando Jones, David Harewood, Michael Nyqvist and Terry Pheto are co-starring.

Madiba, based on two Mandela autobiographies, “Conversations with Myself” and “Nelson Mandela by Himself,” tells the most personal and comprehensive story of Mandela’s life, focusing on the man, and his innermost thoughts and fears as he fought and sacrificed for freedom to become an international icon. While many recognize Mandela as the face of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, this mini-series also pays homage to the many lesser known men and women who sacrificed and suffered alongside of him in South Africa’s quest for freedom. Orlando Jones plays Oliver Tambo and David Harewood stars as Walter Sisulu, two of Mandela’s closest friends, while Michael Nyqvist plays Dr. H.F. Verwoerd, the prime minister of Apartheid-era South Africa from 1958 until his assassination in 1966. Terry Pheto plays Nelson’s second wife, Winnie Mandela.


The series was filmed exclusively in South Africa and on Robben Island, and along with detailing the early years of Mandela’s personal journey, “Madiba” reveals the behind-the-scenes strategizing and bold organizing tactics he and his collaborators used to bring attention to their movement both domestically and internationally. “Madiba” is relevant in these times of racial unrest and serves as a reminder of the trials of political injustice, and giving us a roadmap of the hope and possibilities that come with being on the right side of history.

The six-hour mini-series is produced and financed by Blue Ice Pictures, and Out of Africa Entertainment Production in association with Cinema Gypsy Productions and executive produced by Blue Ice Pictures’ president, Lance Samuels. The film is directed by Kevin Hooks, the first African-American director to helm a story about Mandela’s life and legacy.

“Madiba” is written by Paul Webb, Jane Maggs, Janine Eser, Avie Luthra and Kathleen McGhee-Anderson.

Watch the event series’ trailer below, and then click to go the next page for information on ‘The Quad’:

"The Quad" pilot. Anika Noni Rose as Dr. Eva Fletcher and Jasmine Guy as Ella Grace Caldwell. (Photo: Annette Brown/BET)
“The Quad” pilot. Anika Noni Rose as Dr. Eva Fletcher and Jasmine Guy as Ella Grace Caldwell. (Photo: Annette Brown/BET)

And premiering immediately “Madiba” tonight, at 10PM, BET is bringing the black college experience to television with the launch of a new scripted dramatic series titled “The Quad.” Previously set to premiere next week Tuesday, January 31, BET pushed back the date, although by just one day, to today, Wednesday, February 1 at 10pm ET instead.

Based on a concept created by Rob Hardy, “The Quad” was created by Felicia D. Henderson and Charles Holland.

Starring Anika Noni Rose and Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “The Quad” follows the ambitious yet secretive life of Dr. Eva Fletcher (Rose), an ambitious newly elected president of the fictitious Georgia A&M University, as well as her administration, and the entering freshman class, led by Zoe, Eva’s rebellious daughter, Cedric, a talented rapper on the rise, and Bojohn, who is looking to achieve victory and success as the school’s first white starting quarterback. The staple of Georgia A&M is their prestigious marching band led by their charismatic yet ruthless leader, Art Diamond. Art’s power and influence proves a challenge for Eva but she manages to find strong allies in Ella Grace, Dean of the history department, and football coach, Eugene Hardwick. Though the students and faculty of The Quad come from different places and face different challenges, one similarity remains—everyone is looking to make a name for themselves at Georgia A&M. Dr. Fletcher is charged with saving the prestigious HBCU from bankruptcy as her marriage crumbles. The series promises to take viewers inside the unique, tradition-filled world of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

"The Quad" pilot (Photo: Eli Joshua Adé, Unit Stills Local 600, International Cinematographer's Guild, @Eli_Joshua)
“The Quad” pilot (Photo: Eli Joshua Adé, Unit Stills Local 600, International Cinematographer’s Guild, @Eli_Joshua)

“The Quad” also stars Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jasmine Guy, Peyton Alex Smith and Sean Blakemore.

“The Quad” premieres Wednesday, February 1 at 10pm ET on BET.

Below you’ll find an extended preview of the new series:

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