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Queens Season 1 - What We Know So Far

Of the many staples of 1990s pop culture that bled into the early 2000s and formed the crucible of wild aesthetic forms we now associate with "millennial nostalgia," the most specific and iconic one might be the girl group. If you grew up in those years as a fan of mainstream pop music, there was no way around it — you had your own favorite lineup of crooning divas, whether it was the internet-breaking pop futurism of TLC, the unabashed corniness of the Spice Girls, or the ironclad perfectionism of Destiny's Child.

The only thing more impressive than the influence those and many other groups exerted over the music world in the recent past is the swiftness with which they left the stage. The number of girl groups that went from world-sized giants to historical relics in the long walk from the aughts to the teens is astonishing — just ask anyone over 25. And the fact that some of pop, hip-hop and R&B's most talented artists ever have become essentially anonymous to a whole generation in the span of a few years is, of course, rife with storytelling potential.

It's in that spirit that Disney and ABC announced "Queens," their newest musical drama series, and it's got all the markings of a potential breakthrough hit for the fall TV season. Here's all the info we've got on the show as of yet.

When will Season 1 of Queens be released?

As reported by Deadline in May of this year, "Queens" will be part of ABC's fall 2021 lineup. It will be one of two new series for the network this season, along with the much-anticipated reboot of "The Wonder Years," and it's slated for Tuesday nights at 10 PM — the same block as "The Bachelorette." The official premiere of "Queens" will happen on October 19, 2021.

Outside of the U.S., however, "Queens" will not be a standard network TV offering, but a streaming series. According to What's on Disney Plus, Disney has opted to include it as part of the menu of adult-oriented Disney+ content hub Star, and as a straight-up Star+ original in Latin America, where the hub is being launched as its own separate streaming service on August 31 (via Media Play News). No release date for "Queens" has been set on those services yet, but we can expect it to be in the vicinity of the ABC U.S. premiere.

Who will be in Season 1 of Queens?

As a show all about the highs and lows experienced by hip-hop and R&B divas over the past couple of decades, it's only right that "Queens" should tap stars who have firsthand experience on the subject.

To that end, rap pioneer Eve was the first member of the show's main quartet to be cast, back in February (via Deadline), and she was quickly followed by 3LW member Naturi Naughton (via Deadline), with the two musicians-slash-actresses playing Brianna "Professor Sex" and Jill "Da Thrill," respectively. In March, Brandy also joined the cast in the role of Naomi "Xplicit Lyrics" (via Deadline). The last member of the show's four-woman central crew to be cast was also the only one who didn't have a past of her own in the music industry: Veteran actress Nadine Velazquez, who is playing Valeria "Butter Pecan" (via Deadline).

In addition to those four big names, "Queens" stars up-and-coming Nigerian actress Pepi Sonuga (also to be seen soon on "Pam & Tommy") as Atlanta rapper Lauren "Lil Muffin" Rice, and Taylor Sele as Eric Jones, the manager of the girl group to which Brandy, Naughton, Eve and Velazquez's characters used to belong.

What will Season 1 of Queens be about?

Although its story is rooted in the glamorous pop world of the 1990s, "Queens" takes place in the present, following a fictional girl group that faded from the public eye in the intervening years: The Nasty B****es, made up of four high school friends whose swagger made them "legends in the hip-hop world," per the official synopsis. Now "estranged and out-of-touch," the four members of the Nasty B****es reunite again in their 40s for another shot at superstardom, thanks to the initiative of their nostalgic former manager.

Further clues about the setup are offered by the character descriptions: Brandy's Naomi is "the highly skilled musical engine" of the Nasty B****es, whose post-disband solo career has not been as fruitful as she once hoped, and who is now "reunited with the only man she ever loved, and the rival bandmate who stole that man from her." Naughton's Jill "lived fast, had rugged rhymes and a troubling drug habit," but has since escaped to a quiet country life as a devout Catholic: the reunion will expose her past secrets and dredge up difficult memories. Eve's Brianna used to wax hedonistic about money and sex, but is now "a proud wife and mother of five — in a stained sweat suit who barely has a second to breathe," and must find out if she still has her old swagger. Velazquez's Valeria was a late addition who became the face of the group — a ruthless go-getter "with cunning charm born out of a difficult childhood," she's the only Nasty B**** who has managed to stay successful, but her old hip-hop family may be all she has left to turn to "when her blind ambition trips her up."

Finally, Sonuga's Lil Muffin is a superstar rapper whose career and image are "masterminded by a cadre of men who care more about keeping the gravy train rolling" (via Deadline). Her unlikely refuge under the four veteran rappers' wing will prove momentous for all parties involved.