Monday, May 03, 2021

Nickelodeon Greenlights All-New Comedy Series Starring Alaya “That Girl Lay Lay” High


Will Packer Media Set to Produce First Project from Overall Talent Deal
with That Girl Lay Lay

Share it: @Nickelodeon @thatgirllaylay #thatgirllaylay

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.–March 18, 2021–Nickelodeon today announced the greenlight of That Girl Lay Lay (working title), a new comedy series starring teen sensation and hip-hop artist Alaya “That Girl Lay Lay” High. The series (13 episodes) marks Nickelodeon’s first project under an overall deal with That Girl Lay Lay to develop original multiform programming and music initiatives, and build a cross-category consumer products business. Produced by record-breaking producer Will Packer (Little, Ride Along) and Will Packer Media (Bigger), the series is set to begin production this spring, with a premiere slated for this summer on Nickelodeon.

Created by David A. Arnold (Side Hustle, Fuller House, Bigger), That Girl Lay Lay follows Lay Lay (That Girl Lay Lay), an avatar from a personal affirmation app that magically comes to life, and her best friend Sadie as they navigate life as teenagers and discover who they truly are.

“We’re so excited to have That Girl Lay Lay star in a series that’s just as fierce and funny as she is,” said Zack Olin, Senior Vice President, Live Action. “At its heart, the show David A. Arnold created is about staying true to yourself, and with the immensely talented Will Packer producing, we just know that viewers are going to immediately fall in love with this series.”

“That Girl Lay Lay is a multitalented force of nature destined for mega stardom. I’m so excited about what she represents as a talented African-American girl with her own platform to showcase her unique abilities,” said Will Packer. “David A. Arnold has crafted the right show at the right time and Nickelodeon is the perfect partner.”

In That Girl Lay Lay, phone avatar Lay Lay is the perfect hype girl and best friend that anyone could ever want from their personal affirmation app.  Struggling to make her mark at school and needing a best friend to talk to, Sadie wishes upon a star that Lay Lay was real and could help teach her how to stand out.  When her wish comes true and Lay Lay is magically brought to life, the two friends learn that when they are together, they can accomplish anything.  

In addition to her new comedy series, Nickelodeon’s comprehensive strategy for That Girl Lay Lay includes supporting her music career and an exclusive line of consumer products, with merchandising agreements spanning categories such as fashion, accessories, publishing and more.

That Girl Lay Lay is a social media star and hip-hop prodigy who has taken the world by storm with her infectious energy and sharp rhymes.  She has been writing, producing, rapping and singing since the age of five, and at age 11 became the youngest female rapper to sign a recording deal and create her own imprint, Fresh Rebel Muzik/EMPIRE.  Her music videos garner millions of views, with her smash hits “Mama” and “Supersize XL” having amassed close to 90 million views on YouTube to date between the two.  

That Girl Lay Lay is produced by Will Packer Media (Bigger), with Will Packer (Little, Ride Along) and Carolyn Newman serving as executive producers and Toy Monique Hawkins overseeing.  The series is created and executive produced by David A. Arnold (Side Hustle, Fuller House, Bigger), who also serves as showrunner.  John Beck & Ron Hart (Side Hustle, Fuller House, Liv and Maddie) serve as executive producers.  Production of That Girl Lay Lay for Nickelodeon is overseen by Zack Olin, Senior Vice President, Live Action, and Shauna Phelan, Senior Vice President, Live-Action Scripted Content.

About Will Packer Media
Led by Hollywood producer Will Packer, Will Packer Media is a first-of-its-kind production and branded content company focused on the New American Mainstream audience. In partnership with Discovery, Inc. and Universal Pictures, the company produces episodic scripted and unscripted series across television and digital platforms, compelling content for brand clients, and short-form digital content for millennial audiences. Will Packer’s films have earned more than $1 billion, with ten openings at number one at the box office.

About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon, now in its 41st 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 brand includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, location-based experiences, publishing and feature films. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC).

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Update (4/21) - Alaya has revealed a first look at the logo of her brand new Nickelodeon show, That Girl Lay Lay on Instagram! According to the script Alaya is holding, one episode will be titled "Out The App":

Nickelodeon’s Next Superstar is a Houstonian

Here’s what you need to know about 13-year-old rapper Alaya “Lay Lay” High.

Image: Nickelodeon/Shutterstock

FROM THE PIONEERING SOUNDS OF Geto Boys and DJ Screw to current superstars like Travis Scott and Megan Thee Stallion, H-Town has gifted many-a-successful rappers to the world.

These days, it’s 13-year-old rapper and Pearland native Alaya High, better known as Lay Lay, rather, who youngsters are gravitating towards. And they just may be onto something.

Sure, Bayou City rappers of old have their share of Grammys, Gold and Platinum RIAA records—oh, and literally every aspect of Beyoncé’s career—but none, to our knowledge, had a TV show with Nickelodeon. 

That’s right. Earlier this summer, Lay Lay landed an overall deal with the children’s cable network to develop original content, and just a few weeks ago we learned that deal will include her very own show.

“When I first learned about my deal with Nickelodeon, I celebrated with donuts and Welch’s sparkling grape juice,” Lay Lay tells Houstonia, with so much enthusiasm you can’t help but share in her excitement. “I was just really excited because I always loved the shows on Nickelodeon.”

Called That Girl Lay Lay, the 13-episode comedy from Fuller House writer-producer David A. Arnold features our teenage viral sensation as an avatar from a “personal affirmation app” who manifests in the flesh after character Sadie wishes on a shooting star.

“It means a lot to me because I’m happy a bunch of young Black girls get to see another Black girl killing it in the industry,” Lay Lay shares. 

In addition to the show, Lay Lay, who now lives in Atlanta, will also release new merchandise and music through Nickelodeon. But this isn’t her first foray into the music biz.

A rapper through and through, the teenager has been creating music since the age of 5, when her father, rapper Acie High, inspired her to start creating everything from witty freestyles to catchy original songs. In 2018, she made her way onto the big stage when she inked a deal with Empire—becoming the youngest female rapper ever to sign with a label at the age of 11—and dropped her debut project, Tha Cheat Code, later that year.

Soon after, came the love from celebrities like 50 Cent and Mindy Kaling, a viral appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and even an impressive performance on MTV’s Wild ’N Out that left DC Young Fly speechless.

Through all of the fame and high praise from the industry, Lay Lay is a Houstonian at heart.

“I represent Houston in my work by always talking about it, and you can definitely hear the little bit of country in me in a lot of my songs,” Lay Lay says. “Anytime anybody hears me talk they’re like, ‘You’re from the south, aren’t you?’ and I’m like, ‘Yup, H-Town for life.’”

And H-Town loves her back.

No, seriously, many Bayou City legends have shown their affection for the up-and-coming star over the years. She recently partnered with “Uncle″ Bun B for a ssong and they filmed the music video outside the popular Turkey Leg Hut, where she was visited by then-Houston Rockets superstar James Harden.

Doesn’t that sound like the most iconically Houston thing that could happen? We can’t disagree.


From CHRON.:

Houston rapper That Girl Lay Lay to star in new Nickelodeon comedy series

Houston's viral star and rapper That Girl Lay Lay is taking her talents to the big screen. The freestyle rapping sensation will have a new comedy series coming to Nickelodeon.

The self-titled "That Girl Lay Lay" will consist of 13 episodes, according to Peter White at Deadline.

The show was created by David A. Arnold, a writer-producer on Netflix’s "Fuller House." The new series follows Lay Lay, an avatar from an affirmation app that comes to life and helps her best friend Sadie navigate through the world.

"We’re so excited to have That Girl Lay Lay star in a series that's just as fierce and funny as she is. At its heart, the show David A. Arnold created is about staying true to yourself, and with the immensely talented Will Packer producing, we just know that viewers are going to immediately fall in love with this series," Zach Olin, senior vice president at Live Action and Nickelodeon, said in a statement.

Lay Lay is also excited to be moving into television. In a statement, she said that the opportunity is a dream come true and is excited to join the network she grew up watching.

"I have the best fans in the world, and I can’t wait to take them on this journey with me," Lay Lay said.

The new show marks another accomplishment for Lay Lay, who became the youngest female rapper to sign a record deal via her own label, Fresh Rebel Muzik/EMPIRE, at the age of 11. She released her debut album "Tha Cheat Code"  in 2018.

Packer also sang Lay Lay's praises, calling her a "multitalented force of nature" and "destined for mega-stardom."

"I’m so excited about what she represents as a talented African-American girl with her own platform to showcase her unique abilities," Packer said in a statement.

Deadline reports that the show will begin production in the spring to premiere in the summer.


From Datebook:

Teenage Houston rapper That Girl Lay Lay becomes a multimedia sensation

The viral rapper signed a huge deal with Nickelodeon that includes a sitcom, music and merchandising.

Alaya High — known to her rapidly expanding fan base as rapper That Girl Lay Lay — has seen her image plastered on backpacks, party supplies and hoodies. She has her own line of lip gloss. She’s appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and long-running improv comedy series “Wild ’n Out.”

It’s all been a warmup for Lay Lay’s next act. The Houston native will star in her own Nickelodeon series, “That Girl Lay Lay,” set for a 13-episode summer run. She’ll also perform the theme song. It’s the first part of a larger deal that includes music and merchandise.

“I was just a regular girl, going to school, playing with my friends. Now, I’m very popular. I’m very famous. I can’t even go certain places by myself anymore,” Lay Lay says with a slight Southern drawl.

Oh, to have the confidence of a teenager. Lay Lay turned 14 in January and now lives in Atlanta. But she’s frequently back home.

“I’m very, very happy,” she says. “I’m just a Houston girl who took her dreams and went somewhere with it.”

Though she doesn’t remember it, Lay Lay started rapping at the age of 4. There are grainy YouTube videos of her freestyling about having no food in the refrigerator, vibing to the beat in her head. She recorded her first song at 5.

“I had, like, eight teeth in my mouth,” Lay Lay says. She giggles frequently between questions. “I literally was just rapping off the dome.”

She calls her parents her biggest influences because of their work ethic and positive attitudes. Lay Lay’s father is Acie High of rap duo Aqualeo, who made national headlines after a 2018 airport brawl with Tekashi 6ix9ine. Her mother, Antanique Landry, owns Fenixx Fitness in the Bellaire area.

Lay Lay would accompany her dad to the studio, often for hours, and kept a close watch on what he was doing. She eventually took over the microphone and, at age 11, convinced him to record her freestyling in the car and upload it to social media.

Two weeks later, the clips exploded on Instagram, racking up more than half a million views.

“I was at my friend’s house. We went outside to go play. I came back, and I looked at my phone, and I was like, ‘Why does my phone say 3,000 notifications? I was like, ‘Girl, I’m famous!’” Lay Lay recalls.

She was being reposted by everyone from 50 Cent to the entertainment site The Shade Room. Talk shows came calling. Major label were interested in meetings. Lay Lay eventually ended up at Empire Records, where she could have creative control, among other things.

“A lot of them weren’t trying to pay up. They were just trying to use me for my talent,” Lay Lay says. “I was like, ‘Oh, no, no, no.’”

She released her first album, “The Cheat Code,” in 2017; followed by 2019’s “All the Way Lit Up,” a holiday album; and last year’s “Recess Is Over.” Her music videos earn millions of views, and she’s collaborated with Lil Tr33zy, Young Dolph and Lil Duval. Her latest, with Bun B, called “Rich,” drops next month.

She’d like to work with female rappers but says one has yet to agree to collaborate with her. Maybe they can’t handle that Lay Lay fire.

“I do not know what it is. I hope that changes when I get older,” Lay Lay says. “But once I get to the top, I’m there. They better take it while they can.”

The window is quickly closing. (Megan Thee Stallion, if you’re reading this, here’s your chance.) Lay Lay’s Nickelodeon series is already in production. “That Girl Lay Lay” was created by David A. Arnold, a writer-producer on Netflix’s “Fuller House.” It follows Lay Lay, an avatar from a personal affirmation app that comes to life, and her best friend Sadie as they navigate life as teenagers.

Producer Will Packer, whose credits include “Girls Trip” and “Little,” calls his young star “a multitalented force of nature destined for mega stardom.” And she’s something of a rarity — a Black teenager headlining her own live-action series.

It doesn’t leave much time for hanging out with friends or watching movies at home. But Lay Lay knows all too well the grind doesn’t stop.

“I’m always tired. But I can’t really say, ‘Oh, I wish I could (rest),’ because this is what I wish for,” she says. “I wish I was this popular girl. I wish I was an inspiration for everyone. That’s what I manifested. I said I would do it, and I have it now.”

More Lay Lay

Must-see TV: My favorite show “SpongeBob” is on Nickelodeon. My favorite show “The Loud House” is on Nickelodeon. I used to always say, “I wish I was on Nickelodeon.”

Least favorite school subject: Social studies. They’re always like, “What did the Aztecs do in 1345?” Why do I have to know what they did? I wasn’t there!

H-town forever: “The Houston culture has inspired a lot of things that I do. I definitely learned most of the things I know how to do now from Houston. Bun B, Pimp C, Big Pokey, Beyoncé, Megan Thee Stallion. There’s something in the Houston water, I tell you.”


Originally published: Thursday, March 18, 2021.

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