12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Donald Glover Rap Comedy 'Atlanta' Ordered to Series at FX
Donald Glover is returning to the small screen.
FX has ordered to series Atlanta, the half-hour comedy starring the Community grad.
The 10-episode comedy, set to debut in 2016, was created by and stars actor-writer-musician Glover as one of two cousins on their way up through the Atlanta rap scene. Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Lee Stanfield and Zazie Beetz co-star.
"Atlanta draws on Donald’s considerable talents as a musician, actor and writer to give us something unique,” said FX original programming president Nick Grad. “The story is made all the more powerful by the great cast and the contributions of Donald’s fellow executive producer Paul Simms and director Hiro Murai. We can’t wait for the debut of Atlanta next year."
Atlanta will be produced in-house via FX Productions, with Glover, Simms and Dianne McGunigle of MGMT Entertainment on board as exec producers.
Glover, who raps under the name Childish Gambino, plays Earnest "Earn" Marks, a loner who returns to his hometown of Atlanta to try to make ends meet before being drawn into the rap scene when his cousin, Alfred Miles (Henry), suddenly becomes the city’s hottest thing, skyrocketing into fame. Stanfield plays Darius, Mile’s musical collaborator and right-hand man, while Beetz plays Glover’s on-and-off love interest, Van, with whom he has a daughter.
The series pickup was a long time coming. Atlanta was first put in development in August 2013 and picked up to pilot in December 2014. Atlanta marks Glover's second stab at developing a starring vehicle for himself. The Community alum developed a semi-autobiographical comedy for NBC in 2012, which did not move forward.
For FX, Atlanta joins a roster of comedies including its Zach Galifianakis/Louis C.K. comedy Baskets (also due in 2016), Louie, Married (whose season fate beyond season two remains unclear); Denis Leary comedy Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (recently renewed for a second season in 2016); and Pamela Adlon's Better Things.
The news comes as Fox has found ratings gold with hip-hop drama Empire and broadcast and cable networks alike are looking for similarly themed fare.