BET+ greenlights The Porter (working title) along with Canada’s Public Broadcaster (CBC).
Arnold Pinnock, Annmarie Morais, Marsha Greene, Bruce Ramsay, and Aubrey Nealon teamed up to create the series. It is an original drama centering on a group of railway workers who unite to form the world’s first Black union.
The Porter is set in the the 1920s and inspired by real events. It follows the journeys of four ambitious souls who hustle, dream, cross borders and confront barriers in the fight for liberation. A fight that transcends on and off the railways that crossed North America.
The first season, set primarily in Montreal, Chicago and Detroit as the world rebuilds after the First World War, depicts another battle as it ripples through the Black community in Little Burgundy, Montreal – known, at the time, as the “Harlem of the North.” For the American and Canadian men working as railway porters, it’s a fight for equity and dignity. For the women in their lives, facing sexism and colorism, it’s a movement to claim their independence and identity. They’re young, gifted and Black, in an era that boasts anything is possible, and if change isn’t coming for them, they will come for it. By any means necessary.
Morais and Greene are writers/showrunners on the eight-part series, with Charles Officer and R.T. Thorne set to executive produce and direct. Pinnock and Ramsay are co-executive producers.
“It’s a critical time to bring Black stories to our screens. Especially those that detail the trials and triumphs of the real women and men who fought for equality before us. We look forward to working with CBC and this strong creative team to bring this story to life,” said Devin Griffin. He is the Executive Vice President and General Manager, BET+.
“Led by an extraordinary creative team, The Porter is a vital story highlighting people and events in our history. [Events] that are long overdue to be told. We are excited to partner with BET+ to bring this series to audiences on both sides of the border,” said Sally Catto. She is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual and Sports, CBC.
The Porter (wt) has been greenlit for 2021/22.