Freeform’s highly anticipated series “Motherland: Fort Salem,” premiering on March 18. - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Friday, February 28, 2020

Freeform’s highly anticipated series “Motherland: Fort Salem,” premiering on March 18.

Demetria McKinney (“The Saints and Sinners”) and Ashley Nicole William star in Freeform’s highly anticipated series “Motherland: Fort Salem,” premiering on March 18.   

For some background, set in an alternate, present-day America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country, “Motherland: Fort Salem” follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into terrifying and thrilling early deployment.

In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with women on the front lines, fighting looming terrorist threats that are strikingly familiar to our world, but with supernatural tactics and weapons. 

Demetria McKinney (“The Saints and Sinners”) plays Anacostia, a tough but wryly humorous drill sergeant whose chief concern is keeping the young recruits alive through basic training.

Ashley Nicole Williams plays Abigail, an unquestionably alpha, smart, driven and a courageous witch who hails from the upper echelons of military witch society and is excited to be joining the ranks of the witches’ army.

The ten-episode, one-hour drama is written and created by Eliot Laurence and produced by Freeform Studios and Gary Sanchez Productions. Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick serve as executive producers for Gary Sanchez Productions (“Succession,” “Vice”). Gary Sanchez Productions recently produced “Vice,” which was nominated for eight Academy Awards®, and HBO’s critically acclaimed series “Succession.” Eliot Laurence, Maria Maggenti and Steven Adelson will also serve as executive producers on the series. The pilot was directed by Steven A. Adelson (“Riverdale,” “Siren”).

Demetria Dyan McKinney (born August 27, 1979) is an American actress and singer. From 2006 to 2012 she starred in the TBS sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Her other series regular roles include Tv One sitcom The Rickey Smiley Show, Bounce TV prime time soap opera Saints & Sinners and Syfy horror drama Superstition. Her stage credits include playing Coretta Scott King in the Rhythm and Blues Opera I Dream (2010), and well as role of Deena Jones in Dreamgirls (2012). In 2017, McKinney played Whitney Houston in the TV One film Bobbi Kristina. She released her debut album Officially Yours in 2017. Plays Cedric's mother in the BET series The Quad.

Ashley Nicole Williams was born in Dallas, Texas on August 20, 1998. Williams began her infatuation with acting at the age of 5, and began taking classes with acting coach Cathryn Sullivan shortly after. After a workshop with different Dallas Agents at Sullivan's studio, Ashley signed with the Kim Dawson Agency (in Dallas) where she booked multiple commercials and modeled for JCPenny. Williams trained with Sullivan continuously, taking her workshops, getting in front of numerous LA agents, casting directors, and producers. On her first trip to LA, Williams signed to the CESD Talent Agency and her dreams where taking off from there. Upon her return, Williams attended another workshop, this time at casting director Amber Horn's studio, where she signed with Manager Andrew Edwards of Zero Gravity Management.

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