Vast Entertainment


Al Roker Entertainment Combines Forces with Brave Road and Vast Entertainment for Inspirational New Series


Al Roker To Produce Unique Social-Impact Television Series


NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Al Roker Entertainment, Inc., the 26-year veteran producer of programs for network, cable, digital and streaming as well as commercials and branded entertainment for both brands and non-profits, has finalized a strategic development and production partnership with Brave Road Entertainment, founded by Andrew Bishop and Vast Entertainment, founded by Lane Shefter Bishop for a new social-impact television series, titled HOPETOWN.

The project is based on the ten-book “Bring on the Blessings” series by prolific author Beverly Jenkins (Nancy Yost Lit) with the adaptation by screenwriters Shari Simpson and Charlie Shahnaian (Buchwald). HOPETOWN tells the story of a wealthy African American divorcee who determines to purchase a failing, childless town and turn it into a thriving foster-family community – but must overcome resistance from the inhabitants, unwilling to support her outside-the-box ideas. It’s an inspirational drama, shown through a multi-ethnic and multi-generational lens.
The unique element of this project is the social mission surrounding the series, whereby foster youth mentorship programs will benefit through the series’ exposure.
“As someone who grew up with foster siblings, I know how important it is for every child to be given the opportunity to grow up in a positive and supportive way,” said Al Roker, HOPETOWN’s Executive Producer. “HOPETOWN, not only inspires and entertains, it also sheds light on the importance of fostering and how foster kids benefit from being part of a connected community like the one portrayed in Beverly Jenkins books. This storytelling is uplifting and engaging and proves it really does take a village.”
“HOPETOWN represents the type of positive, socially conscious programming we are producing at Al Roker Entertainment, said Tracie Brennan, Executive Vice President at ARE. “The combination of multi-ethnic characters, pay-it-forward messaging, and much-needed societal impacts are desirable components we look for when developing creative projects like this. It also doesn’t hurt that it is an excellent script based on amazingly inspirational books.”
In a joint statement, Bishop and Shefter Bishop added, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with Al Roker Entertainment which shares our common vision of telling strong stories with the ability to create positive social change.” Frank Connelly, Exec Director of Social Impact Entertainment at Brave Road, added “What’s exciting about HOPETOWN is that it’s a TV series with the potential to raise awareness and positively impact the lives of foster youth.”
Roker is a host and weatherman of NBC’s top-rated Today Show as well as a 13X published author and owner and CEO of Al Roker Entertainment. Both Al and ARE are represented by William Morris Endeavor.
Shefter Bishop is a multi-award-winning producer, writer and director who has received numerous accolades for her work, including an EMMY, and who has made Vast Entertainment THE go-to book-to-screen company. She is repped by Lee Keele of The Gersh Agency.
Andrew Bishop is an award-winning producer and entertainment executive of both scripted and unscripted programming who founded the Brave Road to create purposeful media for the benefit of positive social impact.
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