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'Step Up' Season 3 Production Schedule 'Had Not Yet Been Determined' Prior to Pandemic

TheWrap logo TheWrap 7/13/2020 Tony Maglio
Naya Rivera et al. talking on a cell phone: naya rivera step up high water © TheWrap naya rivera step up high water

Naya Rivera's passing comes between Seasons 2 and 3 of the "Step Up" TV series, on which she starred, leaving many devastated fans wondering what will become of the show's lead female character.

The production schedule for Season 3 "had not yet been determined prior to COVID," a person with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. Production for pretty much everything in Hollywood ceased when the coronavirus pandemic came stateside in March.

Rivera played Collette Jones on the television adaptation created by Holly Sorenson. Sorenson has been writing Season 3, the person told us, though we do not currently know how many episodes had completed scripts.

Representatives for Sorenson, Starz and Lionsgate did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for an update on preproduction.

"Our hearts go out to Naya Rivera's family, especially her young child, in response to the tragic news of her passing," Starz and Lionsgate said in a joint statement on Monday. "She was a vibrant and luminous talent who will always remain a very special part of our 'Step Up' family. Her remarkable contributions to our industry created a lasting memory that will be carried forward by everyone who had the privilege of knowing her."

The "Step Up" series centered on Collette and Sage Odom (Ne-Yo) partners at Atlanta's famed High Water Performing Arts School and in life. The upcoming season was mapped out to see that relationship challenge and the couple faces criminal charges, financial ruin and powerful political enemies, according to Starz and Lionsgate.

The Lionsgate production moved from YouTube to Starz this spring, dumping the "High Water" half of the title in the process. Starz announced its series acquisition with a 10-episode order on May 28, when the premium-TV channel vowed a "reimagining" for the property.

"Holly and her team have created a new and dynamic iteration of the series that captures the hallmarks that have made the 'Step Up' franchise so successful and elevates the storytelling for the premium, global audience," Christina Davis, president of original programming for Starz, said at the time. "This, coupled with the worldwide appeal of the multi-talented, multicultural cast, will make this series a great addition to our slate."

"The latest installment of 'Step Up' not only reimagines the entire franchise but is filled with high energy, lots of heart and electrifying dance moves, and we're very excited to reunite the talented cast and creative teams for another great season," added Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs. "This collaboration underscores our ability to work successfully across our businesses to supply premium content to Starz."

"Step Up: High Water" premiered in 2018 as a YouTube Original. It followed a string of movies — some with better stars, release plans and reception than others. The franchise kicked off in 2006 with the original "Step Up" starring Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan.


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