Thede created, stars in, writes and exec produces the series alongside Rae and her HBO-based Issa Rae Productions banner. It features narrative sketches performed by a core cast of black women — including Thede — as well as celebrity guests. Gabrielle Dennis, Ashley Nicole Black and Quinta Brunson co-star. Lauren Ashley Smith serves as head writer on the comedy, which was picked up straight to series six months after BET canceled Thede’s late-night talk show. (Smith previously served as head writer on Thede’s BET show, The Rundown.)
“It’s been thrilling to see the audience embrace the characters that Robin, Ashley, Gabrielle and Quinta have brought to life,” HBO executive vp programming Amy Gravitt said Tuesday in a statement. “We had a blast making this groundbreaking sketch show with Robin, [director] Dime [Davis] and all of the writers and producers, and I can’t wait to see what next season holds.”
The pickup arrives after the series launched Aug. 2 to strong reviews. The show, the first sketch comedy in TV history to be written by, directed by and starring an array of black women, currently has a rare 100 percent rating among critics on RottenTomatoes.com. The Hollywood Reporter’s chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg in his review said the series “immediately carves out its own worthwhile space.”
A Black Lady Sketch Show is part of an HBO comedy slate that also includes the fifth and final season of Ballers, the sixth and final season of Silicon Valley, Barry, High Maintenance, Rae’s Insecure (returning for its fourth season in 2020), Los Espookys, Mrs. Fletcher and The Righteous Gemstones, among others, as the premium cable network continues to ramp up scripted volume under new parent company WarnerMedia.
A Black Lady Sketch Show will wrap its first season Sept. 6 on HBO.
For more news and critical analysis, showrunner and executive interviews plus recommendations on what to watch, check out TV’s Top 5, the weekly podcast hosted by The Hollywood Reporter‘s Lesley Goldberg and Daniel Fienberg.