Like Bobby Brown’s favorite pair of hotel gift shop sunglasses, Gabrielle Dennis as Whitney Houston works for us.
But judging from EW’s exclusive first-look photos of the Rosewood actress in character as the late pop diva in BET’s The Bobby Brown Story, things won’t be all bright in the two-part TV event, as Brown and Houston’s turbulent marriage takes center stage.
Currently in production in Atlanta, The Bobby Brown Story is a direct sequel to BET’s 2017 miniseries The New Edition Story, which starred Woody McClain as the R&B superstar during his rise to prominence as part of the successful boy band. McClain reprises the role in The Bobby Brown Story, which follows Brown through highs and lows both personal and professional as he settles into new roles as a husband and father.
As evidenced in the photo below, the couple’s only child, the late Bobbi Kristina Brown, will also feature in the narrative. Brown wrote about his time with his daughter and Houston in his 2017 memoir Every Little Step, which was released nearly two years after Bobbi Kristina died. Prior to her death, the 22-year-old spent six months in a coma after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub inside her Georgia home.
Brown and Houston married in 1992 and divorced in 2007 after several years of reported substance abuse stirred controversy throughout their headline-grabbing union. Houston died Feb. 11, 2012, from an accidental drowning in a hotel bathtub. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s autopsy found that “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use” further contributed to her death at age 48.
Dennis and McClain will be joined by fellow cast members Mekhi Phifer, Lil Rel Howery, Lance Gross, Laz Alonso, Sandi McCree, T.K. Carter, and Alyssa Goss in The Bobby Brown Story. Kiel Adrian Scott, a protege of Spike Lee’s at New York University’s graduate film program, is directing from a screenplay by returning New Edition Story writer Abdul Williams. Jesse Collins, who served as executive producer on The New Edition Story, is also on board for The Bobby Brown Story.
The Bobby Brown Story will premiere in September.