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Less than two months following the announcement of the upcoming 2022 relaunch of streaming network DemiTv, President of Programming, Demetrius Malone reveals the casting of Huntsville, Alabama model Dionne Reeves Grubbs as Tammy Townsend in the upcoming dark -superhero comedy-drama, Black Shero.

Malone’s second company DemiCo National offers contract screenwriting to networks such as NBC, ABC, HULU, CW, and NETFLIX, says he has missed the freedom to fully create the characters and stories he imagines. “I have no complaints regarding the recent years of my career. In 2011, I was discovered at one of my stageplays that had less than ten people in the audience. Six months later I was a daytime soap screenwriter before millions of viewers. But the last ten years were spent writing for the characters and stories that someone else created. I missed telling my own bold stories. So, when I decided I wanted and needed to fully express myself as an artist again, I knew the story of Black Shero would give me the room to stretch my arms.”

Executives at DemiTv anticipate the action-packed Black Shero will be one of the defining original shows for the new DemiTv that will also offer syndicated content from BET, NBC,ABC, and more. “The concept of Black Shero first originated 2-3 years ago. It was my initial plan to offer Black Shero to the DemiTv viewers. But after I had no luck on casting, I pitched the script to Netflix. They had purchased another script from me in 2019, but they didn’t bite with Black Shero. However, a few months into production on DemiTv, Netflix finally made an offer. I turned it down because I’m in a different space professionally and spiritually. I didn’t want to put this show in the hands of someone else. I would never forgive myself if I sold this story and it became a mockery to black women. It was a journey to finding the right actress to assume the role of a sexy, confident, fierce, ass-kicking, full-figured African American woman. We were in talks with many many other actresses originally, but I refused to put anyone in the role that I felt may not be ready to receive the heat of the hecklers. Let’s be real. I know that the chaos will come because we are celebrating the form and function of a type of woman the media doesn’t typically honor. I refused to expose someone to that ridicule who couldn’t endure it. “ Malone says.

Black Shero follows the life of Tammy Townsend, a 40-year-old single mother in Huntsville, Alabama. After a lifetime of unfortunate events, the show begins on the heels of Tammy’s divorce, depression, and vicious court battle for custody of her children. Then enters Rickey. Portrayed by actor Dylan Dee Ragland, Rickey is Tammy’s lifelong wise-cracking, flamboyant, and sarcastic best friend. When Rickey convinces Tammy to get out of the house for a costume party, the games begin. On the walk home from the party, Rickey is attacked by group of drunks shouting homophobic insults at Rickey. While in costume as a superhero, it is that moment when Tammy finally snaps. She brutally fights off the attackers. Unbeknownst that the fight was caught on camera, the next morning Tammy and Rickey awaken to mania following news reports of a full-figured superhero the internet has now dubbed, Black Shero. Rickey and Tammy get the bright idea to monetize the instant stardom of Black Shero by staging fake fights. However, after receiving the wrong coordinates for their staged fight, Black Shero accidentally stops a culvert criminal act, leaving her the arch-enemy of a deadly organization behind a massive conspiracy.

How was Dionne Reeves Grubbs selected?

MALONE: “The truth is Dionne was always on our roster to be involved with Black Shero, but in a different capacity. Dionne is the founder of Full Figured Fierce. Full Figured Fierce is an organization of models that celebrate the full form of plus sized women. So, it was always our intention to bring Dionne aboard as a consultant on the show. But by luck she happened to be working makeup on the set of another production one day. This was immediately following my decision to not offer the role to an actress I had been in talks with for about a year. I saw Dionne that day, and I was captivated by her beauty and grace, but I had no idea she was the same lady my execs had already mentioned we needed to bring aboard. Once I put two and two together, we reached out to her for a meeting. She is a Black Shero. Everything that I want the show to serve to women, Dionne is that to women already.” Demetrius Malone.

Will Black Shero have superpowers?

MALONE: No. This story doesn’t consist of mutants, aliens, demons, or beings from other universes. The villains and heroes are all everyday people who found themselves in some of the same situations that we all find ourselves in from time to time. They just happen to have insane ass kicking, shooting, swording, and martial arts skills. Aside from the action, the show is insanely funny. The show doesn’t hold back, and it gets quite bloody and gruesome. So, this is definitely not one for family tv night.

Grubbs has undergone extensive and intense preparation for the role of an action star. What has that experience been like?

MALONE: Whewwww. At first it was fine. I feel as if I shouldn’t speak on it, because she’s the one who’s physically had to go through it. However, she’s gone through getting a complete dental makeover, and physical training to improve her mobility and strength, and so much more and she chose to have it all documented on camera for other projects. At times I couldn’t watch anymore. She would scream, tears would fall, and she would need a moment; but she never stopped. I cringed and I wanted to turn away, but she kept saying, “Keep going”. At times I kind of expected her to say, “I can’t take anymore.”, but she never did. She kept saying, “It’s gonna help someone. Let’s keep going.” I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything so intense before.

Some of the people on set would have to step away. It was so difficult to watch and hear her scream, but she kept going. I’d never seen anyone show so much strength in my entire life. A few times I would look in her eyes as she stared off into space. I knew that she was pulling on the love and fuel from her husband who she lost to cancer just months ago. She accredits him to being her biggest supporter. I would hide the fact that I was wiping tears, and I even felt a bit guilty that she was undergoing such excruciating procedures and training so that she could tell this story in the best fashion. She has earned this moment in time. This lady wasn’t given anything. She has earned this. She is more badass than any man at DemiTv. "

What was your initial reaction when you were cast to play a full-figured sexy superhero?

GRUBBS: OMG!!! That was the first thought. I couldn't believe that this could happen to me, but it made so much sense. I have been fighting for my plus size community for over 10 years. This just made my fight an even bigger reality. I cried when I got in my car because we aren't seen in mainstream media as HEROS. We are usually the girl who has to hold the purses for our smaller counterparts. We are viewed as weak and lazy. This role to me will shut all of that down.

How has your family and friends responded to the news of this new endeavor?

GRUBBS: My family wasn't shocked at all. They were all literally like " it's about time." My friends say I was made for this role and I'm going to make them and my heartbeats proud. This means so much more to me than just a role. It means my children, my daughters, and nieces especially, get to see a powerful, black curvy woman fighting for what she truly believes in.

Tell us about the preparation of portraying Tammy Townsend aka Black Shero?

GRUBBS: The training is hard. It's putting my body through things I never thought I would do. But it's also showing me what I'm made of. The physical makeover, it was hard at first, painful, physically and emotionally but it was NECESSARY. I had the thoughts of what people (that know me) will think and there was a whole come apart about that for about 24 hours. Fear can literally cripple you if you let it. But then I remembered how much I had suffered the past few years and I said to myself, this is your chance to SHIFT your life. I was thinking this in the chair and then my sister, Tiffany, put her hand on my leg to let me know I wasn't alone in this.. And then I started smiling at myself and saw what a blessing GOD had out before me.

What has the experience of working with Demetrius Malone and DemiTv been like?

GRUBBS: OMG..He is STUCK WITH ME FOREVER. This entire team is so loving and caring. Each process I've been through has been nothing short of a blessing. Certain people are just angels on Earth. This whole team, DemiTv, is like nothing I have ever experienced before. I feel protected and empowered. And that's a big deal for me.

Why is this role and story so important to you?

GRUBBS: Representation MATTERS. I need the next generation to see a Strong, Powerful, Beautiful, plus size woman fighting for what she believes in. Gone are the days where the only thing a plus size black woman can be is a maid. There needs to be more movies and visuals of strength in this plus size community. My character is who she is and she knows her worth. And I am blessed to play this role with an amazing cast, with a dope storyline and... we get to change the narrative.

DemiTv Talent Coordinator Regina Miller says, “The girl is bad. Dionne is just simply bad. She’s the full package.” Malone continues by stating, “You cannot deny that you are witnessing one of the strongest and most talented people imaginable.”

After 8 years of airing it's original content on DemiTv online and the CW television network, DemiTv nears its massive relaunch. Black Shero will premiere as a part of the March 19, 2023 relaunch of DemiTv.

Viewers will be able to watch DemiTv on Apple Tv, Roku, FireTv, Android Tv, Google Tv, not to mention Android and Apple Devices, and even in their online browser.


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