(L-R) Jermaine Harris, Peyton Z Basnight, Omar Gooding, Daria Johns, Tim Johnson Jr., Danielle Jalade, Golden Brooks and Marsai Martin attend the red carpet screening event for Disney’s “Saturdays” at Walt Disney Studios on March 18, 2023, in Burbank, California. (Photo by Araya Doheny/Getty Images)
*Golden Brooks (“Girlfriends”) and Omar Gooding (“Barbershop”) play a lovable married couple on the new Disney Channel series “Saturdays,” and we caught up with the pair to dish about their characters in the hotly anticipated new series.
Former “black-ish” actress Marsai Martin, 18, serves as executive producer on the show along with creator Norman Vance Jr. (“Girlfriends,” “Roll Bounce”). Per the official synopsis, “Saturdays” follows 14-year-old Paris Johnson and her best friends, Simone and Ari, who hone their roller skating skills on the cool parquet floor of Saturdays, a local skating rink in Chicago. Together they form the We-B-Girlz skate crew and are determined to show and prove they have the hottest skate routines on the planet!
“Saturdays” is set on the South Side of Chicago and was shot at the famed Markham Roller Rink (not far from where I grew up!). The series stars Danielle Jalade (“Yes Day”) as Paris Johnson, Daria Johns (“Nappily Ever After”) as Simone Samson, Jermaine Harris (“The Map of Tiny Perfect Things”) as London Johnson, Peyton Basnight (“Sudden Sisters”) as Ari, and Tim Johnson Jr. (“Ballers”) as Derek “D Rok.”
As Deadline reports, Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, said “We know that audiences will fall in love with Paris, her friends and her family as they share in the love, laughter and music in this fun-filled world of roller skating.”
“Saturdays” marks Martin’s first television executive producer credit.
“Disney came to us and was like, ‘We want a roller-skating show,’ ” Martin told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It was also like, ‘OK, so we’re putting their thoughts into consideration,’ but also it just makes sense because it’s not only a big deal in our Black community, but also Chicago in general.”
When the series was announced in 2021, Martin shared the inspiration behind the project.
“I’ve always wanted to have a roller skating type of thing. Roller skating is just it! It’s so big in the Black community. It’s a fun activity in general, but just the aesthetic, the vibe of it, I’m like, ‘This needs to be shown more,’” Martin said in an interview with ET at the time. “And there’s real talent out there that loves to roller skate and I’m like, ‘We can do this for sure.’ So I’m excited about that.”
SATURDAYS – Disney’s “Saturdays” stars BACK ROW: Jermaine Harris as London Johnson, Golden Brooks as Deb Johnson. Omar Gooding as Cal Johnson, Tim Johnson Jr. as Derek “D-Rok” Troy, FRONT ROW: Peyton Basnight as Ari Stevens, Danielle Jalade as Paris Johnson, and Daria Johns as Simone Samson. (Disney/Roger Erickson)
Golden Brooks stars as Jalade’s mom, Deb; and Omar Gooding plays Jalade’s dad, Cal, and both are deliciously hilarious on the show! EUR’s Ny MaGee spoke with the pair about bringing all this Black joy to Disney Channel. Check out my exclusive conversation with the stars below.
“Saturdays” premieres March 24th on Disney Channel. Episodes one through six will be available the next day on Disney+.
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