Summer may be still on the way, but Christmas is coming. Swirl Films has announced the casting for “Christmas Ringer,” as part of BET+’s upcoming slate of original, holiday programming. Trenyce Cobbins (Weird: The Al Yankovic Story) and Tyler Lepley (Harlem, P-Valley) lead an all star cast of music superstars including platinum-selling R&B powerhouse Tamika Scott of XSCAPE (SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B), GRAMMY-winning songstress Chrisette Michele (Miracles Across 125th Street), GRAMMY-nominated singer Kelly Price (American Soul, Saints and Sinners), founding member of 112 and legendary R&B crooner Q. Parker and hit rapper Akbar V (Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta), Arischa Conner (Dopesick, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey), Jarrett Michael Collins (ATL Homicide) and Adrian Hernandez (Grey’s Anatomy) round out the cast.
“Christmas Ringer” follows the story of former singing star Nicole (Trenyce Cobbins). While she hasn’t had a chart-topper in years, Nicole has to deliver a music video in time for Christmas if she hopes to get her career back on track. When her manager-fiancé absconds with all her money, Nicole returns home to regroup and persuade her mother, Anne, to let her access her trust fund early to complete her video on time. Instead, Anne talks Nicole into taking over as choir director so that they can win the upcoming choir competition, which has a cash prize big enough to save their failing home church that Nicole’s brother, Grady, took over. Nicole is dismayed to learn that she has taken over a choir of problematic singers who seem to disgrace themselves at the competition. Under Nicole’s assured guidance — and inspired by her rekindled romance with childhood friend Jesse — the choir comes together as a cohesive unit that just may pull off a surprise victory and the career boost that Nicole needs.
TRENYCE COBBINS – NICOLE
Nicole is a beautiful young woman with an angelic singing voice who was once an established singing star, although she hasn’t had a hit in five years. Now, she has to finish and self-fund a music video by Christmas if she hopes to reestablish her career. When her manager/fiancé absconds with her money, Nicole returns home for the holidays for the first time in years to regroup.
CHRISETTE MICHELE – MICHELLE
Michelle is Nicole’s manager and friend. The attractive, all-business woman has been trying to warn Nicole all along that her current boyfriend is bad news. Her prophecies prove sadly accurate when he makes off with all of Nicole’s money, leaving her penniless.
TYLER LEPLEY – JESSE
Jesse is the handsome, former star quarterback of Nicole’s high school. His pro football hopes were ended because of an injury and he has returned to his home town to head his family’s construction business. Jesse still has a crush on Nicole and when she arrives back in town for the holidays, his old feelings flare to the surface.
TAMIKA SCOTT – CHERISE
Cherise is the snarky, egotistical lead singer of the choir. Jealous and resistant when Nicole takes over as choir director, she becomes so critical and obstructive that Nicole finally confronts her and Cherise quits in protest. She later returns in a more humble spirit, becoming a real credit to the choir, not to mention Nicole’s close friend.
AKBAR V – MIA
This understated beauty joins the choir due to her court-mandated community service after she got involved in a mall fight. Raised in foster homes, she’s tough and defensive, but that’s just a facade covering a vulnerable and lonely young woman who yearns for love. She finds a ready made family and an ardent new admirer in the church choir and she’s looking forward to the first truly joyous Christmas she has ever had.
KELLY PRICE – CLAIRE
Claire is a poised, well-dressed woman who was once the choir director at Anne’s church. Bitterly jealous of Nicole since she was just a girl, Claire has since decamped to become the lead singer at a rival church. The choir is magnificent and Claire nastily points out that Nicole’s ragtag choir has no hope of competing against them. When she realizes that Nicole’s choir are real contenders, she resorts to sabotage to win the competition.
Q. PARKER – ROLAND
Roland is a dapper, old school guy who once performed in a popular singing group. He has a velvet voice that is a real asset to Nicole’s choir, as are the smooth dance moves that he shares with the group. He soon looks upon the choir members as his family, until a sad misunderstanding disrupts their ranks.
ARISCHA CONNER – ANNE
Anne is Nicole’s mother. She’s a beautiful, warm woman who is thrilled when Nicole comes home for the first time in years. The administrator of the church where her late husband was pastor, Anne is proud of her son Grady’s work as their new pastor. However, she’s well aware that their beloved church is in deep financial difficulty. She thinks that Nicole’s arrival in their time of crisis is heaven-sent.
JARRETT MICHAEL COLLINS – GRADY
Grady has taken over as the minister of their deceased father’s church. However, Grady is struggling to keep his financially struggling church afloat. He and Nicole are estranged, because Grady feels that Nicole abandoned him and their family during a terrible time, when their father was dying and he had to shoulder the burden of their church and family alone.
ADRIAN HERNANDEZ – JORGE
Jorge is a Guatemalan who has found a supportive family with Grady and the members of his church. He works three jobs, sending most of his money to his grandmother back home. When he first sees Mia, he is smitten with her. Nicole is delighted to discover that Jorge has a wonderful voice and she soon incorporates him into her church choir, just in time for the big competition.
“Christmas Ringer” is directed by Patricia Cuffie-Jones and written by Patricia Cuffie-Jones and Gregory Adams. The film is produced for BET+ by Swirl Films. Eric Tomosunas and Greg McBride serve as executive producers along with Ron Robinson and Keith Neal serving as producers, and Abbey MacDonald serving as Co-Executive Producer for Swirl Films. Brian Rikuda and Devin Griffin also Executive Produce. Lorisa Bates and Marvin Neil serve as co-executive Producers. John Baldasare, Rene Rodriguez-Lopez and Noelle Broussard serve as consulting producers for BET Films.