Season 1    Episode 1
November 1, 1998    87m
David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams and Otis Williams are five former street corner singers who managed to become Motown legends. With a sound that's doo-wop, pop and hip-hop, they are rhythm and blues royalty. The Temptations had 16 #1 singles on the Billboard charts and received three Grammy Awards. But the climb to the top was plagued by competing egos andamp; repeated drug and alcohol abuse. In 1958 Detroit, Michigan, 17-year-old singer Otis Williams partners with 16-year-old Melvin Franklin to form The Siberians. They quickly come to the attention of Johnnie Mae Matthews who becomes their manager, producer and promoter. Meanwhile, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams are burning up the stages of Detroit as The Primes, who are already signed to Motown by entrepreneur/producer Berry Gordy. After Johnnie Mae drops The Siberians, and after The Primes disband, Paul, Eddie, Otis and Melvin join to become The Temptations, eventually adding David Ruffin to the group. With their first hit "The Way You Do The Things You Do," The Temptations begin touring with the Motortown Revue, doing the standard "one-nighters" andamp; living in cheap hotels. Life on the road proves to be difficult for the young men, which leads Paul into alcohol dependency andamp; Otis to infidelity. The hit "My Girl" sends the group soaring to the top of the charts, but personal demons plague each of the members. Even after "Cloud Nine" wins The Temptations their first Grammy, their personal lives continue to disintegrate. Eventually, the group is inducted into the 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,' but the group overall pays a heavy price. David Ruffin dies of a cocaine overdose; Eddie Kendricks develops lung cancer and Melvin Franklin dies from overmedication. Today, Otis Williams continues to tour with a revised lineup of The Temptations, keeping alive the hot sounds and memories of Eddie, David, Paul and Melvin.
Cast of Episode 1
  • Charles Malik WhitfieldOtis Williams
  • D.B. WoodsideMelvin Franklin
  • Christian PaytonPaul Williams
  • Terron BrooksEddie Kendricks
  • LeonDavid Ruffin
  • Alan RosenbergShelly Berger
  • Tina LiffordHaze
  • Jenifer LewisMama Rose
  • Chaz Lamar ShepherdAl Bryant
  • J. August RichardsRichard Street
  • Charles LeyDennis Edwards
  • Gina RaveraJosephine
  • Obba BabatundéBerry Gordy
  • Erik Michael TristanSmokey Robinson
  • Mel JacksonNorman Whitfield
  • Vanessa Bell CallowayJohnnie Mae Matthews
  • Bianca LawsonDiana Ross
  • Christopher ReidJoltin' Joe
  • Harold SurrattEdgar
  • Rhonda Ross KendrickMaxine
  • Adam Lazarre-WhiteFlynn
  • Lamman RuckerJimmy Ruffin
  • Ben CainGlenn Leonard

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