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by TV News Desk
MTV today announced that it will premiere the new docu-series "Washington Heights" with two back-to-back episodes on Wednesday, January 9 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The 11 episode, hour-long series shines a light on the vibrant and diverse New York neighborhood of Washington Heights, following nine best friends from the area.
Together, this compelling group of friends attempts to navigate the obstacles that stand in the way of their individual pursuits, which include fashion, music, baseball and poetry. Although they're not all blood related, they still consider each other family, as every setback, celebration and next step on the road to success brings them closer together.
"'Washington Heights' is an honest, intimate and entertaining look inside the lives, spirit and hustle of a unique group of individuals as they strive to pursue their passions," said Chris Linn, Executive Vice President, Programming and Head of Production, MTV. "The show celebrates their friendship, neighborhood pride and mutual support as they make their mark – even when the challenges are great. We are optimistic that the stories of this incredibly appealing cast will connect with our audience in a deep and meaningful way."
Here's a first look at the young people MTV will be following in "Washington Heights:"
JP (a.k.a. Audubon) represents Washington Heights through and through. He is the undisputed peacekeeper, motivator, and glue behind this tight-knit group of friends. When he's not putting out fires and making sure his friends stay on track while pursuing their respective dreams, he's chasing his own goal of making it big in hip-hop. In the meantime, there are bills to be paid and little money coming in. JP still lives at home with his mom and fears he'll have to give up his dreams to help her cover the rent.
Reyna is known as a fiery diva who doesn't shy away from trouble. While she may be confrontational, this budding singer is the first one to laugh at a joke and have a friend's back. However, if you mess with her friends, you mess with her.
Frankie might be little, but she's got a big personality with boy-crazy tendencies and always has a snappy one liner at the ready. She acts tough, but also expresses her sensitivity and struggles through the spoken word poetry she writes and performs. Frankie hopes to become an English professor, but gets constantly derailed by her feelings for Ludwin.
Ludwin, who is known for rocking a style all his own, dreams of a career as an artist. He and Frankie share a mutual attraction, but with everything going on in his life, can he step up and be everything she is looking for?
Jimmy dreams of a professional career in baseball, but the odds are against him. His father is finishing a seven-year stint in prison, and with his mother out of the picture as well, Jimmy has been on his own since he was 16. To make matters even more complicated, his girlfriend, Eliza, is an outsider in the group, causing conflict with the friends he's had his whole life.
Eliza is constantly on the outside, looking in at the group of friends from Washington Heights. Hailing from a much different life in New Jersey, she is slowly making her way in the fashion world and wants nothing but the best for her boyfriend, Jimmy. Her vision for their future is complicated when issues with Reyna erupt, causing a major rift. It's clear Jimmy will have to make a decision between the girl who has his best interests at heart and the friends he's always had.
Rico lives at home with his mother and younger brother, Fred. He is best friends with JP and a big supporter of his music. Rico's dreams change day by day; one minute, he's a model ... the next, an actor. However, his days of having his head in the clouds are numbered. He's the oldest sibling and his family needs him to step up his game, become a man, and contribute.
Fred is in direct opposition to his seemingly unfocused, less ambitious older brother, Rico. Fred is always on his hustle and is doing all he can to make it in the fashion industry.
Taylor might look like a preppy cheerleader, but she's Heights to the core. Despite her all-American good looks, Taylor's known for having an off-beat sense of style and a different perspective on what goes on with her crew of friends.
For more information, viewers can go to the "Washington Heights" show page on MTV.com. Fans can also like the "Washington Heights" Facebook page at Facebook.com/MTVwashingtonheights to take a deeper dive into the series. MTV is asking fans to join the young people of "Washington Heights" in tweeting their aspirations with the hashtag #ontherise.
"Washington Heights" will also air internationally on MTV channels around the world in 2013.
"Washington Heights" is produced by Gigantic! Productions for MTV, with Cheryl Horner Sirulnick, George McTeague and Patrick Reardon serving as Executive Producers for Gigantic! Chris Linn, Shannon Fitzgerald and Christy Spitzer are Executive Producers for MTV, with Beck Hickey, Craig Sloane and Jim Czarnecki also serving as Executive Producers. Janay Dutton and Shane Tilston are the executives in charge for MTV.