David Oyelowo Signs ViacomCBS Overall Deal, to Star in Bass Reeves Series

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David and Jessica Oyelowo have signed a TV overall deal with ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment under their Yoruba Saxon production banner, Variety has learned.

Under the deal, David is attached to star in and executive produce a series about legendary Old West lawman Bass Reeves. Reeves was known as the greatest frontier hero in American history and is also believed to be the inspiration for The Lone Ranger. Reeves worked in the post-Reconstruction era as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, capturing over 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals without ever being wounded.

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“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,” Oyelowo said. “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.”

“Bass Reeves” will be executive produced by “Yellowstone” co-creator Taylor Sheridan, David Oyelowo, Jessica Oyelowo, David Permut, David C. Glasser, Ron Burkle and Bob Yari. MTV Entertainment Studios, Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions, Yoruba Saxon, and 101 Studios will produce.

“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.”

Yoruba Saxon currently also has a first-look film deal with Walt Disney Pictures. Previous and upcoming film and television projects include: “Nightingale,” “Captive,” “Five Nights in Maine,” “Ferguson Rises,” and “The Return of The Rocketeer.”

Oyelowo is repped by CAA, Hamilton Hodell, and Del Shaw Moonves.

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