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With the series entering its final season in 2022, showrunner Courtney Lilly and executive producers Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland are developing How to Be Black at the network. The project from 20th Television Animation and ABC Signature is based on Baratunde Thurston’s best-selling memoir of the same title.
Thurston and Lilly will write the script for How to Be Black, which focuses on the community and family that raised a young Baratunde in the Washington, D.C., of the 1980s. Should the show make it to series, it would be ABC’s first primetime animated comedy since the short-lived The Goode Family in 2009.
Lilly has worked on several animated series, including as a writer and producer on The Cleveland Show. Black-ish also produced an animated pre-election special last year.
Lilly, who earlier this year renewed his overall deal at ABC Signature, will executive produce with Thurston. Fishburne (who’s also a part of the Black-ish cast) and Sugland will also exec produce via their Cinema Gypsy Productions.
Thurston is a founding partner of media startup Puck News and creator and host of the podcast How to Citizen With Baratunde. He’s repped by Avalon Management, UTA, Schreck Rose and ID.
Lilly is repped by UTA, The Framework Collective Management and Mckuin Frankel. Cinema Gypsy is repped by CAA and Del Shaw; Fishburne is with CAA, Landmark Artists Management and Del Shaw.
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