EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Mitchenor (Lethal Weapon) is set as a new series regular opposite Ryan Michelle Bathe, Jill Scott and Michelle Buteau in the upcoming second season of BET+’s The First Wives Club. Additionally, Gary Dourdan (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Jordan Carlos (The Drew Barrymore Show), Essence Atkins (Ambitions) and Mikhail Keize (She Had To Ask) join in recurring roles.
Developed by Girls Trip co-writer Tracy Oliver, The First Wives Club series, like the movie that starred Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn, is set in New York City. It follows Ari (Bathe), Bree (Buteau) and Hazel (Scott), who band together after their marriages fall apart and find strength in their sisterhood — and of course a little revenge.
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Mitchenor will play Jayla Wright. Intelligent, confident, a first rate attorney hungry for a big case, Jayla is a sorority sister of Bree, Ari and Hazel. On Ari’s recommendation, Kat hires Jayla to represent entrepreneur Maxine Hart in her high profile divorce case. Jayla impresses both Kat and Maxine with her sense of humor, her understanding of Maxine’s state of mind, and her fearlessness at facing off against a formidable legal opponent.
(L-R) Essence Atkins, Mikhail Keize, Jordan Carlos and Gary Dourdan
Courtesy of Riker Brothers; Marie Thomas; MTV; Lisa Roze
Dourdan will recur as Dr. Malcolm Reynard. Salt and pepper goatee gorgeous, intelligent, professional, with a sense of humor, Dr. Reynard is the new hospital administrator, and he and Bree have an instant spark. Impressed by Bree professionally and personally, Dr. Reynard wants to throw Bree’s name into the ring as the new Chief of Surgery–and he’d like to take her out to dinner to talk it over.
Carlos will play Curtis. Nerdy, persistent, smart, straightforward, Curtis is Hazel’s assistant. Efficient and on top of things, but frustrated by Hazel, Curtis has been doing everything in his power to keep Hazel’s business affairs in order while she gives him the run-around every time he needs her to sign off on something. Curtis makes it very clear to Hazel that she’s behind on everything she promised to deliver to Sony–who signs her checks AND Curtis’ — and that she hired him to help her whip her business into shape.
Atkins will portray Maxine Hart, a self-made millionaire going through a messy divorce. She is quite the handful for Jayla. Chic, aspirational, very successful, Maxine owns a business that discreetly provides escorts for celebrities and high income clientele looking to have a little fun on the side, and she’s made a fortune. Humiliated and outraged when her husband has a process server serve her divorce papers during her TED Talk, Maxine is frazzled and upset and out for his blood. She meets with her lawyer, Jayla, and Kat, and is infuriated to learn that she’s going to be giving her husband a sizable chunk of her hard-earned money
Keize is Nigel, Hazel’s younger, Jamaican boyfriend she has met during her tour. He is a huge distraction for Hazel, making Curtis’ job hard and Hazel’s goal to get her label off the ground even harder.
Oliver writes the series and executive produces with Karen Rosenfelt, Scott Rudin, a producer on the First Wives Club movie. and Tony Hernandez of JAX Media. Paramount TV produces.
Mitchenor is coming off Lethal Weapon on Fox. She also starred in Chi-Raq opposite Wesley Snipes, and was the lead in the A&E drama pilot The Infamous from Anthony Hemingway. She’s repped by A3 Artists Agency, Luber Roklin Entertainment, and Brecheen, Feldman, Breimer, Silver & Thompson.