'Saturdays' Creator Norman Vance Jr. On How Disney Series Is Similar to 'Roll Bounce' (Exclusive)

Saturdays will debut on the Disney Channel on Friday, March 24, and the series is about three young Black girls looking to become skating legends in Chicago. The series is similar to the popular film Roll Bounce which was written by Saturdays creator Norman Vance Jr. PopCulture.com spoke exclusively to Vance, who explained how the series is similar to Roll Bounce. 

"It's just the coming of age. It's about kids, friendships," Vance exclusively told PopCulture. "You're hanging with your friends on a Saturday and you go on these adventures. That's what I did when I was a kid. And we just wanted to have a show where we had these girls together and their friendships and showed them their growth, being with one another and showing the safe place of being at a skating rink."

(Photo: Disney)

"Because back in the day, skating rinks were kind of your safe place. That's where it is pretty neutral. So you go there and you get your first kiss there, you get your first couple skate there, so on and so forth. And you build your friendships there. So this show does the exact same thing. So it's just important now that we can see it as a series as opposed just to the film."

Roll Bounce was released in 2005 and earned a 70% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film stars Bow Wow, Chi McBride, Mike Epps, Meagan Good, Nick Cannon, Wesley Jonathan Kellita Smith and Jurnee Smollett and takes place in Chicago. The big difference between Roll Bounce and Saturdays is Roll Bounce takes place in the late 1970s while Saturdays takes place in the present day. 

But did Vance have plans to do a show like Saturdays after writing the script for Roll Bounce? "I mean, Roll Bounce was so many years ago, so maybe a little bit, but then Disney approached me and based on that movie, which is great, they wanted to do a roller skating show," Vance said. "And so I was like, 'Okay.' So we had a couple discussions about how we want to do it and what they would allow us to do. And so then I knew Marsai [Martin] and her people. And so it just felt like a great team to come together and create something that was special."

"So I think timing is everything. So maybe it didn't happen in 2006, but in 2023, it took that long to get to this point. And I think this is the best time for it. Because we have [Martin] next to me who has the eyeballs of so many young Black girls who they aspire to be like, you know what I mean? And they could be inspired by. So I just think the timing was great."

In addition to airing on Disney Channel, Saturdays will also stream on Disney+ starting Friday, March 25.