*Stevie Wonder is branching out beyond his musical confines as executive producer of a new musical miniseries based on Betty DeRamus’ 2005 book “Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wonder will serve as executive producer of the developing eight-hour project, tentatively titled “Freedom Run.” The miniseries will center on the story of an underground 19th century passage route through a series of love stories highlighting the men and women attempting to escape slavery.
NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke emphasized the importance of brining the Betty DeRamus’ to the small screen, telling the Reporter, “These unforgettable moments in history, which have never been told on television before, are both incredibly painful and heartwarming and need to be presented to the world. We’re honored to be adapting this emotionally affecting book in a television event.”
To go with the TV miniseries, NBC executives are also planning an accompanying Broadway musical, which Wonder will also have a hand in producing.
News of the legendary singer’s activities outside of his music comes amid the airing of an all-star Grammy tribute concert next month. Despite not having any production experience on Broadway, Wonder is more than willing to engage in new challenges while broadening his horizons.
“I’m a lover of music. It’s not really a challenge to stay relevant,” he admitted during an interview in the Feb. issue of GQ magazine. “In fact, it’s the exact same challenge to stay relevant back then as it is now.”