10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Lena Waithe Comedy 'Twenties' Gets TBS Pilot Order
TBS is investing in Emmy winner Lena Waithe.
The Turner-owned cable network has handed out a pilot order to Twenties, the long-gestating comedy from the Master of None and The Chi writer-actress.
The single-camera comedy, created, written and exec produced by Waithe, is based on her YouTube series of the same name. The comedy revolves around Hattie, a queer black girl, and her two best friends, Marie and Nina, who together spend their days talking shit and chasing their dreams. Twenties explores friendship, finding love and screwing everything up along the way.
"I wrote Twenties back in 2009,” Waithe said. “I always wanted to tell a story where a queer black woman was the protagonist and I'm so grateful to TBS for giving me a platform to tell this story. Queer black characters have been the sidekick for long enough, it's time for us to finally take the lead."
Twenties is being produced via Waithe's Hillman Grad Productions banner, with her manager Andrew Coles exec producing for The Mission Entertainment. (Watch part one of the YouTube presentation for Twenties below.)
This marks the latest iteration of the comedy. In 2014, Waithe — then a comedian best known for YouTube series Dear White People and a writer on Fox's Bones — scored a pilot order at Viacom-owned BET for Twenties. Flavor Unit produced the pilot.
TBS' deal for Twenties comes as Waithe has become an in-demand voice thanks to her Emmy win for writing the "Thanksgiving" episode of Netflix's Master of None, which followed her character's coming out over multiple years. With the win, Waithe became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing. Waithe also scored an early season two renewal at Showtime for drama The Chi, which she created.
For TBS, Twenties is the cabler's only pilot currently in the works. Should Twenties move to series, it would join a comedy-focused slate that also includes Angie Tribeca, The Detour, The Guest Book, People of Earth, Search Party, Wrecked, The Last OG and more.
Waithe is repped by WME and Del Shaw.