Sundays (9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET) on The WB
Martial arts star Russell Wong (“Romeo Must Die”) stars in this unique drama as an ex-cop who sacrificed everything and must now rebuild his own life as a teacher and mentor to a diverse group of teenagers. From the writer and executive producer of “The Karate Kid” and “Kiss of the Dragon,” and the executive producers of “Smallville,” The WB’s “Black Sash” features a multigenerational cast, dazzling martial arts and stories of hope and redemption.
As an undercover narcotics cop, Tom Chang (Wong) paid a high price for staying true to his values. Framed and wrongly incarcerated in Hong Kong for allegedly smuggling heroine, he loses his career, his wife and the right to see his daughter. All he has left are the blazing skills of a master martial arts combatant. Now, after five years in a Hong Kong prison, Tom has come home to San Francisco, intent on restoring his life.
Once back in San Francisco, Tom’s mentor, Master Li (Mako, “Pearl Harbor”), gives Tom his martial arts school to run and a place to live in his building on the wharf. Tom finds a new family in the young men and women he trains in Chinese martial arts. His dedicated students include Tory Stratton (Missy Peregrym, “Dark Angel,” “The Chris Isaak Show“), a fiercely beautiful 17-year-old who has turned to martial arts as a way of dealing with the rage she feels over the death of her policeman father. A newcomer to the group, Trip Brady (Corey Sevier, “Between Strangers“) is the victim of a violent father. For Trip, Tom’s knowledge and kindness open the door to a new life. Bryan Lanier (Ray J, “Moesha“) is a tough-talking, streetwise teenager with a quick wit and a deep loyalty to his fellow students and to Tom. Another newcomer is the shy and warm-hearted Allie Bennett (Sarah Carter, “Undeclared”), who is searching for acceptance, friendship and for some of the skill and bravery she admires in Tory.
Tom relies on the spiritual guidance of Master Li to help him deal with issues that arise in his life and the lives of his students. He also begins the long journey of trying to win back the right to see his daughter and the acceptance of his ex-wife, Beth (Ona Grauer). Tom spends his days teaching a new generation the skills and enlightenment he learned from Master Li. His message is timeless: patience and flexibility are the keys to overcoming any obstacle.
“Black Sash” is produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Carlton Cuse (“Martial Law,” “Nash Bridges”), Robert Kamen (“The Karate Kid,” “Kiss of the Dragon”), Dylan Sellers (“The Replacements”), Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola (“Smallville”).
CREDITS FOR “BLACK SASH” ON THE WB
Day and time: Sundays, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET
Network debut: March 30, 2003
Format: A unique action-adventure drama about an ex-cop who has sacrificed everything and must now rebuild his own life while serving as a martial arts teacher and mentor to a diverse group of youths. The series features a multigenerational cast, dazzling martial arts wizardry and stories of hope and redemption.
Cast: Russell Wong as Tom Chang
Corey Sevier as Trip Brady
Missy Peregrym as Tory Stratton
Sarah Carter as Allie Bennett
Ray J as Bryan Lanier
Executive producers: Carlton Cuse, Robert Kamen, Dylan Sellers, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola
Origination: Vancouver, British Columbia
Produced by: Tollin/Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television
Media contact: Suzanne Gomez, (818) 977-4115
Tom Chang in “Black Sash”
Russell Wong is one of Hollywood’s leading actors. He stars in The WB’s new drama “Black Sash“ as Tom Chang, an ex-cop who is trying to rebuild his life after a framed narcotics bust robs him of his family. Taking over his mentor’s martial arts studio, the student becomes the teacher when his students look to him for guidance and protection.
Born in Albany, N.Y., Wong’s mother encouraged him to pursue his creative interests. He took up ballet and jazz dance and then went on to Hong Kong to focus on martial arts. He soon landed a movie deal with a Hong Kong studio.
Wong made his theatrical debut in the United States in the feature film adaptation of James Clavell’s “Taipan.” He went on to star in Wayne Wang’s “Eat A Bowl of Tea,” Abel Ferrera’s “China Girl” and played leading roles in the box office hit “New Jack City” and the critically acclaimed “The Joy Luck Club.” He was nominated for an AMMY award for best actor for his role in “Romeo Must Die,” co-starring Jet Li, Delroy Lindo, Isaiah Washington and Aaliyah. He also stars in Miramax/Dimension Films upcoming “Takedown” with Skeet Ulrich, Tom Berenger and Angela Featherstone, as well as “The Tracker” with Casper Van Dien. Wong recently wrapped production on Paramount’s murder mystery “Blackout” with Ashley Judd and Samuel L. Jackson, scheduled for release in Fall 2003.
On the small screen, Wong played the title role in Hallmark Entertainment’s “The Monkey King,” an adaptation of the ancient Chinese novel “Journey to the West” by Wu Chen which co-starred Thomas Gibson and Bai Ling. He is also well-known for his role in the series “Vanishing Son.”
In 1994, Wong was honored with two awards, the Image Award by the Organization of Chinese Americans and the Media Action Network for Asian American’s Media Achievement, both in recognition of his outstanding work in the entertainment industry, as well as for being an exceptional role model for Asian Americans. The Asian American Arts Foundation also honored Wong in 1997. He recently received The Bridge Builder Award for his outstanding leadership and for giving back to the community by serving as a role model for youths.
In recent years, Wong has taken classes in film production at the prestigious New York University in order to broaden his entertainment industry knowledge in all arenas, including directing. Among his many hobbies and skills are photography, golfing, boxing, singing and mime. Wong currently resides in Los Angeles, but has relocated to Vancouver for production on the series.
Trip Brady in “Black Sash”
Corey Sevier stars in his first American television series as Trip Brady, a brooding but sensitive teenager who enrolls in a martial arts class to defend himself from his abusive father in The WB’s new drama “Black Sash.”
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Sevier began his career at the early age of 6 months as a model after winning a baby contest. He continued modeling and booked his first national commercial at age six. From there, he soon landed a role in the mini-series “Family Pictures” starring Anjelica Houston and Sam Neill as his parents. Gleaning inspiration from these two gifted actors, Sevier went on to win the coveted role of young Timmy in “Lassie: The Series,” an updated version of the famous 1950’s television series. He was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Youth Program for his performance in the show.
Working with animals once again, Sevier landed his first leading role in the Disney feature “Summer of Monkeys” which won the prestigious Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. In addition to landing the part, he learned how to work with chimpanzees and how to ride a horse. Sevier scored another casting coup on his next film, “Between Strangers,” which starred screen legend Sophia Loren and Academy Award- winner Mira Sorvino. Sevier played a punk kid who beats up a homeless man played by Malcolm McDowell. His next project is the Lions Gate’s feature “Edge of Madness” in which he plays a young man who falls in love with his brother’s wife.
Although “Black Sash” is his first lead role in a television series, Sevier also played a young John F. Kennedy in the mini-series “JFK: The Reckless Years” and turned in a guest appearance in the series “Caitlin’s Way.” Putting his horseback-riding skills to good use, Sevier starred in “Little Men,” as well as in the futuristic Canadian series “AD 2030CE,” in which he played Hart Greyson, a superhero who must save the world.
Sevier is continuing with his education while working on “Black Sash” and plans to study filmmaking. He is an avid athlete who enjoys playing soccer, hockey, tennis, roller-blading and working out. He also enjoys spending time with his parents, younger brother and his cat Rascal. Sevier has currently relocated to Vancouver while in production on the series.
Tory Stratton in “Black Sash”
Newcomer Missy Peregrym makes her series regular debut as Tory Stratton in The WB’s “Black Sash.” She plays a tough-talking streetwise girl obsessed with avenging her father’s murder.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Peregrym has lived most of her life in Surrey B.C. with her father, a minister, her mother and two sisters. She began her career in front of the camera at age 18 when she started modeling. The print advertisements soon turned into commercials for Mercedes Benz, Sprint Canada and the Olympics. It wasn’t long before Hollywood came calling.
Peregrym’s first guest appearance was on the action-drama series “Dark Angel” opposite Jessica Alba. She followed that up with the role of Julia on the critically acclaimed cable series “The Chris Isaak Show.” Her next audition landed her the plum role of Tory in “Black Sash.”
A dedicated soccer player, Peregrym’s new schedule has forced her to take time away from the sport, but she picks up games whenever she can. She also enjoys snowboarding and outdoor sports on the local Vancouver mountains. Peregrym currently resides in Vancouver with her family.
Allie Bennett in “Black Sash”
Sarah Carter stars as Allie Bennett, a shy newcomer who is trying desperately to fit in while hiding her wealthy background in The WB’s new drama “Black Sash.”
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Carter was a dedicated dancer and took part in various school plays including “The Wizard of Oz,” in which she played Dorothy. She was also a member of the debate team, which allowed her to travel all over the world. After graduation she took a year off to see Europe, then joined Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto where she was discovered while performing a monologue.
Carter quickly landed her first guest appearance in the series “Wolf Lake” and followed that up with a turn in “Dark Angel.” She then went on to star as the lead in the series “Undeclared.”
Making the leap to the big screen, Carter was cast in the psychological thriller “Mindstorm” starring Eric Roberts, Michael Ironside and Antonio Sabato Jr. She played the kidnapped daughter of a senator whose abduction ultimately unravels her dark hidden life. In January 2003, Carter can be seen in “Final Destination 2,” the sequel to the hit film “Final Destination.”
In her spare time, Carter likes to indulge in her first passion — dance. She also likes to practice yoga, curl up with a good book and go to the movies. Another passion is teaming up with her father, who is a minister, to distribute food to the needy. Although she resides in Los Angeles, she has currently relocated to Vancouver to film the series.
Bryan Lanier in “Black Sash”
Multi-talented actor/singer/producer Ray J stars as Bryan Lanier, a streetwise teenager with a heart of gold in The WB’s new dramatic action-adventure series “Black Sash.”
Raised in Southern California, the McComb, Miss. native began his pursuit of stardom at age 8, when he started doing television commercials, voice-overs and print. By age 12, Ray J was on television in a co-starring role on “The Sinbad Show.”
Other television credits include guest appearances on the series “All That,” the mini-series “Aftershock: Earthquake in New York,” with Cicely Tyson and a HBO movie with Forrest Whitaker, “The Enemy Within.”
Ray J is the brother of singer/actress Brandy. He is probably best known for his role on his sister’s series “Moesha,” playing her cousin-turned-brother — a stunning twist that was revealed in the series finale.
Ray J leapt on to the big screen in the feature film “Mars Attacks” in a pivotal scene where he saves Jack Nicholson from the attacking aliens. He also starred in the Warner Bros. film “Steel” opposite Shaquille O’Neal.
Keeping busy in the music world, Ray J’s second album, “This Ain’t a Game,” went Gold. He is currently producing his next album through his production company, Knockout Productions. The album is set for release in 2003. Recently Ray J and Brandy were awarded international Gold and Platinum awards for their cover of Phil Collins’ “Another Day In Paradise.”
Teaming up with his sister once again, Ray J and Brandy plan to design their own clothing line, American R&B. The designs will be both high-end fashion and urban casual.
Always one to give back to the community, Ray J and his family created the Norwood Kids Foundation, a charitable organization that has provided activities through performing arts for more than 250 disadvantaged and at-risk youth. In his free time, Ray J enjoys his ATVs, dirt bikes, motorcycles, spending time with his family, his dogs Sticky and Nino and his new niece. Ray J resides in Southern California. He has relocated to Vancouver while in production on “Black Sash.”
Nick Reed in “Black Sash”
Drew Fuller stars as Nick Reed, a rebellious new student who enjoys crossing the line between right and wrong. Filled with anger and resentment, Nick becomes Tom’s (Russell Wong) ultimate challenge.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Fuller was discovered by an agent when he was 12 years old after a family friend put him on the cover of UCLA magazine. After deciding to wait a few years, Fuller entered the modeling world at age 16 and quickly became a top model for such prestigious companies as Tommy Hilfiger, Prada and Club Med. His good looks helped him make the transition to commercials easily and he booked numerous commercials including J. Crew, Subway and Toyota and Pepsi opposite Britney Spears.
Fuller can be seen later this year playing real-life criminal Rod Farrell in “Vampire Clan.” He plays the drug-crazed killer who claimed he was a vampire and brutally murdered an innocent family in Florida in 1996. His next film, “The One,“ just won the audience award at The Sundance Film Festival. Other film credits include “Angels Don’t Sleep Here” and “Close Call.”
In his spare time, Fuller enjoys playing basketball, rock climbing, surfing, snowboarding and tennis. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his cat “The Chad.”
Executive Producer of “Black Sash”
Executive producer of The WB’s new action-adventure series “Black Sash,” Carlton Cuse was born in Mexico City, then moved to Orange County, Calif. He attended Harvard University, graduating with a degree in American History.
Cuse began his writing career on the television series “Crime Story.” Following this, he co-created and executive produced the critically acclaimed Warner Bros. series “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” He also created and executive produced the series “Martial Law” which won the TV Guide Award for Favorite New Series. Most recently he created and executive produced all six seasons of the successful series “Nash Bridges.”
Cuse currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three children and occasionally practices martial arts in his spare time.
ROBERT MARK KAMEN
Executive Producer of “Black Sash”
Veteran feature writer Robert Mark Kamen makes his first foray into television as the creator and executive producer of The WB’s new action-adventure series “Black Sash.”
Kamen graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in literature, then continued on to the University of Pennsylvania to complete his Ph.D. in American Studies.
After reading one of Kamen’s scripts, producer Stanley Jaffe was so impressed that he hired him to write for the movie “Taps,” a military drama starring a then-unknown Tom Cruise. Next came the film “Split Image,” followed by the blockbuster hit “Karate Kid,” which was almost an autobiographical concept for Kamen. The script was based on his own 20-year study of Okinawan Karate. The sequels, “Karate Kid II” and “Karate Kid III,” came soon after. Other credits include “Lethal Weapon 3,” “A Walk in the Clouds” with Keanu Reeves, “Gladiator,” a film about underground boxing, “The Power of One,” “The Fifth Element,” “Kiss of the Dragon” and, most recently, “The Transporter.” His next film, “Danny the Dog,” is scheduled to start shooting this spring.
Kamen currently lives in New York with his wife, Lorna and daughter, Vittoria. He also owns Kamen Estate Wines in Sonoma Valley, California. The vineyard produces limited quantities of high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah wines.
MIKE TOLLIN & BRIAN ROBBINS
Executive Producers of “Black Sash,” “Smallville”
and “What I Like About You”
The award-winning producing/directing team of Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins are known for the scope and diversity of their projects. With three studio features and nine television series in production in the last six months alone, as well as a first-look deal with Paramount Pictures and a growing management division, Tollin/Robbins Productions (TRP) is now an inescapable part of the Hollywood landscape.
Currently one of the hottest production companies in primetime television, TRP has two series on The WB, the returning hit “Smallville” and the comedy series “What I Like About You,” with “Black Sash” slated to premiere in March.
Directors as well as producers, Tollin and Robbins take an artistic, story-driven view of development, as reflected in the company’s films including “Big Fat Liar,” starring Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes (“What I Like About You”); “Summer Catch,” starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Jessica Biel (“7th Heaven”) the film that marked Tollin’s directorial debut; and the Robbins-directed films “Hardball,” starring Keanu Reeves and Diane Lane, and “Varsity Blues,” starring Jon Voight and James Van Der Beek (“Dawson’s Creek”). Robbins also directed the upcoming feature, “The Perfect Score,” a teenage heist movie about a group of high school students who steal the SAT, while Tollin will direct the film “Radio,” a true story based on the remarkable friendship between a mentally handicapped young man and a high school football coach, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris.
An award-winning television provider since its inception, TRP is currently in a joint venture with Warner Bros. to create and produce network, cable and first-run programming. In addition to primetime shows, the company also produces “All That” and “The Nick Cannon Show.”
The foundation for TRP’s
swift ascent was built with a series of documentaries produced after the
company’s launch in 1993. First was “Hardwood Dreams,” a gripping inner-city
sports story narrated by Wesley Snipes that went on to win the prestigious
Crystal Heart Award, a Cine Golden Eagle and the NBPC’s Prized Pieces Award.
“Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream” was honored with a Peabody Award, as well as Oscar and Emmy nominations. TRP’s third film, “The Show,” a colorful look at hip-hop artists such as Run DMC, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Notorious B.I.G. was one of the highest-grossing documentaries of the year and spawned a platinum-selling album.
Alongside its wide-ranging production slate, TRP has bolstered its growing pool of talent and resources by launching a management division under the guidance of Michael Goldman, whose clients include Amanda Bynes, Nick Cannon and Dan Schneider.