Starz is moving ahead with its planned revival of the Step Up TV series.
The premium cabler has now announced that it has recast the role of Colette, which the late Naya Rivera originated.
Rivera died last July following a tragic drowning incident at Lake Piru.
She was 33.
Actress and singer Christina Milian has been tapped to succeed Rivera on the third season of the series.
“Naya’s death was a terrible loss to our world that we will, frankly, never stop mourning,” Step Up series creator and executive producer Holly Sorensen said in a statement Monday.
“It was almost impossible to consider there could be someone so graceful and loving who could both help us honor our loss, while also bringing a deep reservoir of talent to our show, in so many areas.”
“Christina is an exceptional human and a dazzling performer and we are so happy she has joined our family.”
Step Up started as a Youtube original, but it was canceled after its second season.
It then emerged in May last year that Starz would be bringing the show back for a third season.
The series is inspired by the Step Up Lionsgate film franchise that grossed over $600 million at the worldwide box office and on Sage Odom (Ne-Yo) as the legendary founder of Atlanta’s famed High Water Performing Arts School and Collette, his partner in High Water and in life.
The upcoming season will see Sage, Colette, and their relationship challenged as they face criminal charges, financial ruin, and powerful political enemies who want to destroy Sage and High Water.
Tricia Helfer is set to play a new character named Erin, alongside returning stars Ne-Yo, Petrice Jones as Tal, Faizon Love as Uncle Al, Marcus Mitchell as Dondre, Jade Chynoweth as Odalie, Carlito Olivero as Davis, Terrence Green as Rigo, Eric Graise as King, and Kendra Oyesanya as Poppy.
“There is no replacing Naya. Let’s get that straight. Her spirit lives on in our memories and every part of what this show is and will be,” said Ne-Yo.
“Christina has big shoes to fill and she knows it, which speaks to her poise and respect as a person and an artist. I’m more than certain of her ability to bring an energy and light to this character that Naya’s fans as well as the rest of the world will love.”
“We’ve welcomed Christina with absolute open arms and have rallied around her with love and support. I’m excited and can’t wait for the world to see this!”
“Step Up has been an indelible part of mine and my partner, Jennifer Gibgot’s life for 16 years and never did we think we would feel so much loss as we have with Naya’s passing,” said Executive Producer Adam Shankman.
“But speaking as her friend, colleague and forever fan, nothing makes us happier then being able to celebrate the continuation of this story with the extraordinary Christina Milian and the brilliant, boundary pushing team at Starz. We promise not to disappoint.”
“I am so excited to join the Step Up family,” said Milian.
“I know I have massive shoes to fill. Naya was incredible. I hope to honor Naya, her family, friends and fans with a great performance.”
The new season is currently in production and will premiere on Starz later this year.
What are your thoughts on the news?
Hit the comments.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.