SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nickelodeon star and three-time NAACP Image Award winner Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP, Akeelah and the Bee, Madea's Family Reunion) has been cast in the network's brand-new original TV movie, Rags. The modern-day fairy tale, starring Palmer as Kadee Worth and Max Schneider (How to Rock) as Charlie Prince, began production in May in Vancouver. Set to premiere in 2012, Rags is a music-infused, modern twist on the classic Cinderella story set against the backdrop of New York City. Bille Woodruff (Honey, Beauty Shop) will direct, with original music produced by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins (American Idol, Lady Gaga, Beyonce).
"Rags gives a contemporary spin to a classic story, and is told through a relatable filter that speaks to our audience," said Marjorie Cohn, Nickelodeon's President, Development and Original Programming. "The project was brought to us by Nick Cannon, as this concept was inspired by his own reverence for The Wiz, one of his favorite movies growing up. This also marks the first collaboration on a television movie between music industry titans Rodney Jerkins and Bille Woodruff, and Keke Palmer and Max Schneider are the perfect young actors to bring this urban fairy tale to life."
"I am thrilled to work with my Nick family and bring across my vision of a classic fairy tale with a hip-hop flare," added Executive Producer Nick Cannon. "I am having such a great time working with so much amazing young talent on this project."
Rags follows the story of Charlie Prince, an orphan living with his acerbic and unloving stepfather and spoiled, simple-minded stepbrothers. Charlie's dream is to be a singer, and while he is vocally talented and can write music, he can't seem to catch a break. Kadee Worth, on the other hand, is the daughter of music mogul Reginald Worth and is an international pop phenomenon. While the world knows her as a glamorous superstar, she is secretly frustrated with singing other people's songs and wearing clothes other people choose for her. Kadee wants the world to hear and see her true talent. Despite every obstacle that gets thrown in their way, once Charlie and Kadee find one another, they each finally get what they have been looking for – a voice, a stage, an audience and each other.
Palmer has starred for two seasons as budding fashion executive True Jackson in the Nickelodeon comedy series, True Jackson, VP and can soon be seen in the upcoming television movie True Jackson, VP: "Mystery in Peru." She can also be seen in the upcoming season of TeenNick's groundbreaking hit series, Degrassi, where she performs two songs. Both specials are slated to premiere later this year.
Palmer recently finished filming Joyful Noise starring opposite Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton and will be featured on the movie's soundtrack for release in early 2012. She will also voice the role of Peaches, a young wooly mammoth, in the fourth film of the blockbuster franchise, Ice Age: Continental Drift, set to release in summer 2012. Palmer has also appeared in several feature films including Akeelah and the Bee and Madea's Family Reunion. Additionally, in anticipation of her sophomore album to be released by Interscope later this year, Palmer has already produced a video for her song "The One You Call."
Max Schneider began his professional career in the Broadway musical, 13. In 2010, Schneider was one of twenty chosen out of 6,000 applicants to attend the YoungArts Program in Miami where he specialized in musical theater. Later that year, he landed a Fall/Winter 2010 international Dolce & Gabbana advertising campaign where he was photographed with Madonna as her son by world-renowned photographer, Steven Klein. He has also acted in several off-Broadway productions including Gypsy of the Year, Recoil, HiFive Benefit, Macbeth Fleance, West Side Story, Spelling Bee, HAIR and King and I. Nickelodeon has also just announced Schneider will be starring in the upcoming live-action comedy series set to premiere in 2012, How to Rock opposite Cymphonique Miller.
Director Bille Woodruff has been at the helm of feature films including Honey, Beauty Shop and Bring It On: Fight to the Finish. He is well-known for directing music videos for a number of pop, R&B and hip-hop artists since the mid-1990s including Britney Spears, Toni Braxton, TLC, Miranda Cosgrove, Usher, Backstreet Boys, Salt-N-Pepa and Mary J. Blige. Grammy nominated music producer/composer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins has worked with a number of legendary recording artists including Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston and Brandy. Jerkins is also currently a music producer and mentor on season ten of the hit FOX series, American Idol. Additionally, Rosero McCoy (America's Best Dance Crew, Step Up) will serve as the movie's choreographer.
Rags is executive produced by Nick Cannon (TeenNick HALO Awards, Wild 'N Out, School Gyrls) as well as Marjorie Cohn, Lauren Levine (Bridge to Terabithia, Best Player) and Jessica Rhoades (Best Player, Spectacular!) in addition to Michael Goldman. Keke Palmer will serve as producer. Based on a screenplay by Jason Fuchs, Scott McAboy's Pacific Bay Entertainment is producing.
Nickelodeon, now in its 32nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).