Netflix Casts Mary J. Blige in ‘The Umbrella Academy’

Grammy Award-winning R&B singer and Academy Award-nominated actress Mary J. Blige has signed on to appear in Netflix’s new live-action series The Umbrella Academy, the network said Monday (Feb. 12).

The series, based on the popular comics and graphic novels of the same name, follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes who come together to solve their father’s mysterious death. Blige plays Cha-Cha, an unorthodox assassin who travels through time to kill assigned targets, according to Netflix. 

The Umbrella Academy is being produced by Universal Cable Productions, with Steve Blackman (Fargo, Altered Carbon), serving as executive producer and showrunner. Additional executive producers include Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg and Gerard Way.

Blige returns to Netflix after co-starring in the streaming service’s film Mudbound, which earned Blige a 2018 Oscar nomination for best supporting actress as well as a best original song nomination for "Mighty River."

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.