The Cartoon Network's new Class of 3000 show might worry legions of Outkast fans.
Not because the show's executive producer, writer, musical director, and star, Andre 3000, the eccentric half of the multiplatinum hip-hop duo, is focusing on something else besides music--he's been doing that for years.
But with the semi-autobiographical plot of the new animated show, which debuts November 3, Andre 3000--real name Andre Benjamin--might be hinting at a future away from the bright lights of show business.
The series focuses on Sunny Bridges, a "multitalented Atlanta native [who] was at the peak of his musical career when he walked off the stage at a performance in Tokyo, leaving his brilliant career of 27 Grammys and a Nobel Prize behind." Bridges, voiced by Benjamin, heads to the prestigious Westley School for the Performing Arts in Atlanta, where he takes a group of musically gifted kids under his wing.
Those kids include ringleader Li'l D (rumored to be modeled after Andre as a kid), twins Kim and Kam Chin, Philly Phil, Tamika Jones, Edward Phillip James Lawrence III, and Madison Spaghettini Papadopoulos.
The show will be rife with music from Andre, who wrote and performed the series' theme song. Each show will feature a new song from Benjamin within the context of an animated music video.
The show debuts with a one-hour premiere on Friday, November 3, at 8 p.m. (ET, PT), on Cartoon Network. The night of the premiere kicks off at 7 p.m. (ET, PT) with a special musical event from the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta featuring special-guest-star performances.
On Friday, October 27, at 7 p.m., one week before the premiere, Cartoon Network will also air a half-hour "mockumentary" called Sunny Bridges: From Bankhead to Buckhead, chronicling the life of the show's star.
Cartoon Network has ordered 12 half-hour episodes along with the one-hour premiere. The show's co-executive producers are Tom Lynch, who is also overseeing Romeo!, starring pint-sized rapper Romeo and his father Master P., and Patric M. Verrone, a writer and producer for Futurama.
Andre reportedly hopes to release a soundtrack for the show and is on the hunt for musical guests to appear on its second season.
"Every time you drop an album, you kinda go through this whole run," he said at a press conference earlier this year. "You do TRL. You do all those shows. I think Class of 3000 will be one of those places that record companies will say, 'We want our artist to be on this show.' It'll be a cool place."