Platinum [TV Series] (2003)

Run Time - 60 min.  |  
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Created by John Ridley and Sofia Coppola (whose father Francis Ford Coppola was among the producers), the weekly UPN series Platinum could be described as Dynasty for the hip-hop generation. At the center of the intrigue was a black-oriented record company called Sweetback, owned and operated by the Rhames brothers, Jackson (Jason George) and Grady (Sticky Fingaz). Though they had supped full of success, the brothers' label was in dire financial straits, forcing them to take drastic measures (some funny, some violent) to remain players in a cutthroat business. During the first few episodes, the Rhameses' biggest headache was their top artist, a pugnacious white rapper named VersIs (played by real-life rap artist Vishiss), who in addition to making enemies left and right was also romancing Jackson and Grady's kid sister Monica (Davetta Sherwood). On top of everything else, the white-dominated media despised the Rhameses, and were waiting baited breath to see them crash and burn. Others in the cast included Steven Pasquale as the brothers' long-suffering financial adviser, and N'Bushe Wright as a barracuda-like rival producer. Originally titled Empire, Platinum premiered April 14, 2003.