Disney+ taps Detroit Youth Choir for new docuseries

The city of Detroit gifted the choir $1 million after their appearance on America's Got Talent

Disney + has greenlit a six-episode unscripted docuseries about the Detroit Youth Choir who captured America’s attention with their successful appearance on season 14 of America’s Got Talent in 2019.

The series, called “Choir,” began filming in the fall and will follow the lives of the Detroit Youth Choir during the 2020-2021 season. Director Anthony White has impacted the lives of more than 1,000 children over 20 years, according to Click On Detroit.

After their successful run on AGT, the city of Detroit gifted the choir $1 million after finishing in second place. Mayor Mike Duggan called the gift “a way for Detroiters to celebrate and grow the genius of our children.”

Detroit Youth Choir arrives at “America’s Got Talent” Season 14 Live Show Red Carpet at Dolby Theatre on September 10, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Founded in 1996, the Detroit Youth Choir consists of students ranging from ages 8 to 18.

Ayo Davis, EVP Creative Development and Strategy for Disney Branded Content, said the platform sought for more diverse representation which he guarantees will inspire viewers.

“Disney Branded Television continues to seek out creative talent that is diverse, inclusive and representative of our multi-cultural landscape, and we are proud to team with Anthony White and the young voices of the Detroit Youth Choir to present this true-to-life story that is sure to inspire audiences of all ages,” Davis said. “We guarantee you’ll be singing along with this joyful group as they learn lessons about music and life in general.”

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Blumhouse TV will develop two projects based on the choir including a scripted series in a collaboration with Maniac Productions and Campfire.

Variety reported last October that Queen Sugar showrunner Anthony Sparks is attached as the showrunner and executive produce for a scripted series which will explore White’s history and the histories of former choir members who were mentored and supported.

“For years I have wanted to create a series that highlights the joys and struggles of what it is to be Black, creative, and dream big in a world that often wants you to remain small or invisible. The fact that I get to do it and fuse my story with the incredibly inspirational story of Anthony White and the Detroit Youth Choir is literally a dream come true,” Sparks said of his involvement.

“I’m excited to team up with the visionary team at Blumhouse and Michael Seitzman to make some awesome television. I can’t wait to tell these amazingly human and entertaining stories.”

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Seitzman, who delivered both DYC projects, will also serve as a producer alongside Jason Blum and Jeremy Gold of Blumhouse TV. In a joint statement, Seitzman and Ross Dinerstein said they wanted to display the “day-to-day victories and failures” of the choir and share the encouragement White doled out.

“From a storytelling perspective, what we’re both attracted to the most in this story are the day-to-day victories and failures that sometimes lead to great heights, but often don’t. It’s the sharp edges sanded down by the hard work and the encouragement of Mr. White guiding these kids to find their own voices that makes this such an incredible story for both scripted and unscripted television,” Seitzman and Dinerstein said.

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