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David & Jessica Oyelowo Pact with ViacomCBS, MTV Entertainment


ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment Studios have signed an exclusive overall deal with David Oyelowo and Jessica Oyelowo for original scripted and unscripted series through their production company, Yoruba Saxon.

101 Studios will serve as production partner on all projects.

The first in development for the new partnership is Bass Reeves, a limited series that will bring the legendary lawman of the Wild West to life. Reeves is believed to be the inspiration for The Lone Ranger. David Oyelowo is attached to star as Reeves in the project, produced by Yellowstone‘s Taylor Sheridan.

“David and Jessica are incredibly talented artists, and we’re excited to develop our Bass Reeves project together with them and our phenomenal partner Taylor Sheridan,” said Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group. “As the first Black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River, Reeves’ story is monumental, and this limited series will bring to light one of the greatest frontier heroes in our country’s history.”

David Oyelowo said, “The stories Jess and I want to tell are boundary-busting and full of folks the likes of whom we have seldom seen on screen. The extraordinary story of Bass Reeves exemplifies just that. To collaborate with world-class talent like Taylor Sheridan to tell those stories to the widest audience possible is our dream, and we believe that can and will be realized through the shared ambitions we have with ViacomCBS and its signature branded platforms, alongside our seasoned and brilliant producing partners at 101 Studios.”

David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios, added, “We are thrilled to partner with David, Jessica and the entire team at Yoruba Saxon on this new endeavor, and we are especially excited about our first project on Bass Reeves, chronicling the legendary life of the west’s most feared lawman. We can’t wait to give audiences an exclusive look into his strength, perseverance and absolutely remarkable story through our joint venture with Yoruba and our friends at ViacomCBS.”

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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