10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Kenya Barris' Freeform Comedy 'Unrelated' Changes Showrunners (Exclusive)
Freeform's forthcoming Kenya Barris comedy Unrelated is making a change at the top.
The straight-to-series comedy (formerly called Besties) has tapped Aeysha Carr (The Carmichael Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) to take over as showrunner. Carr, who was handpicked by Barris for the role, replaces Casey Johnson and David Windsor (The Real O'Neals), who were brought in to serve as co-creators and co-showrunners on the series starring Jordin Sparks.
Sources say Barris was behind the switch, as he was unhappy with the show's early creative direction. Barris, who co-created the series alongside Ranada Shepard, stepped down as writer on the ABC Signature-produced series after he left the studio for a lucrative overall deal with Netflix. As he is with ABC's Black-ish and its Freeform spinoff, Grown-ish, he remains deeply involved on Unrelated as an executive producer. Sources say the decision to make the showrunner change was amicable. Johnson and Windsor continue to have an overall deal with ABC Studios.
Unrelated revolves around Jesi (Gigi Zumbado) and Becca (Sparks), who go from strangers to sisters when they find out through a genetic testing company that they share the same birth mother. It's described as a contemporary ensemble comedy about identity and self-discovery. Sparks, Matt Shively, Kris D. Lofton, Zumbado, Jessika Van and Davi Santos star.
Windsor and Johnson will remain on board as executive producers alongside Barris, Shepard and Carr. The latter will reunite with co-creator Shepard after the duo previously worked on TV One scripted comedy Born Again Virgin, which was also created by Shepard. Repped by ICM Partners, 3 Arts and Stone Genow, Carr has also worked on Rel, Mixology and Everybody Hates Chris.
A premiere date for Unrelated has not yet been determined.