TV One continues its tradition of highlighting inspirational music figures with the premiere of the original film “The Bobby DeBarge Story,” which will air on Saturday, June 29 at 8 p.m., followed by an encore presentation at 10 p.m.
Debuting during Black Music Month, the film’s stars include Roshon Fegan (“Shake It Up,” “Greenleaf”) in the lead role as Bobby DeBarge, Tyra Ferrell (“Boyz N The Hood,” “White Men Can’t Jump”) as Etterlene DeBarge, Blue Kimble (“Media”) as Tommy DeBarge and Adrian Marcel as James DeBarge. Big Boi of Outkast portrays legendary music mogul Berry Gordy, while Lloyd appears as Switch member Gregory Williams.
In his first role as a leading man, Fegan brilliantly transforms into the falsetto master and takes audiences inside the tumultuous life of the former lead singer of the late 70s R&B/funk band Switch.
“The most dynamic and powerful acting role I’ve ever portrayed,” shared Fegan. “It was an honor to tell this musical legend’s life story.”
Despite his success in music, Bobby DeBarge, the eldest sibling of the world-famous pop group DeBarge struggled with fame and fortune and found his life in peril. The film explores the highs and lows of the singer’s life in the limelight, including his rise to stardom, coping with memories of his dysfunctional childhood, romantic relationships, struggles with substance abuse, incarceration and failing health.
“It was truly amazing watching the characters unfold in front of my eyes and the incredible acting that was bestowed upon this project,” said the film’s director Russ Parr. “I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by the performances that they see. Although this is a tragic story, I believe it’s told with dignity and respect to the legacy of Bobby DeBarge.” Parr is also a writer and producer known for the award-winning “The Undershepherd,” “Hear No Evil” and “35 and Ticking.”
“The Bobby DeBarge Story” is the latest addition to TV One’s successful slate of acclaimed original films that range from dramas and comedies to biopics and more. TV One’s highest-rated original film “When Love Kills” debuted #1 on cable among African-American households in its premiere time slot. Original feature films “Love Under New Management” and “Bobbi Kristina” rank at #2 and #3, respectively, in the network’s history – both were also #1 on cable among African-American households in their premiere time slots. An additional encore for “The Bobby DeBarge Story” is scheduled to air for Sunday, June 30 at 9 P.M. ET/8C and 11 P.M. ET/10C.
“The Bobby DeBarge Story” is produced for TV One by Swirl Films. Executive Producers are Eric Tomosunas and Teri DeBarge. The film is written by Norman Vance Jr., directed by Russ Parr with casting provided by Leah Daniels Butler (Leah Daniels Butler Casting) and George Pierre (Pierre Casting). For TV One, Karen Peterkin and Jason Ryan are the Executive Producers in Charge of Production, Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting and Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production.