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Katori Hall is putting down roots.
The creator and showrunner of Starz’s critical breakout P-Valley has inked an overall deal with producers Lionsgate Television. Under the pact, Hall will create and develop new projects for the studio.
P-Valley scored a speedy season-two renewal at Lionsgate-backed Starz, which picked up the series based on Hall’s acclaimed stage play, Pussy Valley, after only three episodes aired. Season two, which will return in 2021, also was expanded from eight to 10 episodes. After debuting in July, P-Valley continues to have a rare 100 percent rating among critics on aggregation site RottenTomatoes. (The audience score, 80 percent, is also worth noting.)
Hall previously told The Hollywood Reporter‘s TV’s Top 5 podcast that when she pitched the show to Starz, she had a five-year plan in mind for P-Valley. Hall also noted that multiple other outlets passed on the series before it ultimately landed at Starz. (Listen to her interview here.)
“Adapting my play from the stage to the screen was a decade-long odyssey, and I’m so grateful that the journey led me to a studio that understands the value of complex storytelling centered on marginalized people of color,” Hall said. “I’m thrilled about this partnership with Lionsgate and I look forward to continuing to tell bold, impactful stories with the ability to reach a rich, diverse, global audience.”
Hall’s deal also includes a fund to commission Black playwrights, all of whom will receive mentorship from the writer turned showrunner.
“In this unprecedented moment, Black playwrights are particularly struggling — so much so that I fear some will leave the artform forever,” Hall continued. “This would undoubtedly be a major loss. Without theater, there would be no me. In fact, there would be no P-Valley. That’s why I’ve partnered with Lionsgate on this initiative to help ensure that American Theater is more inclusive and diverse when the curtain rises again.”
Hall recently earned two Tony nominations for her work as a playwright and producer on the Broadway musical Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. She won the Olivier Award for best new play in 2010 for The Mountaintop, which was subsequently adapted for Broadway. Her work includes Hurt Village, which is in development as a feature, and The Hot Wing King.
“We’re honored to partner with Katori, a storyteller just as passionate about and dedicated to creating great, powerful stories as we are,” said Lionsgate exec vp television Scott Herbst. “Everything she pens is an incredible work of art, and we’re excited to collaborate on many more groundbreaking projects like P-Valley that cut through the clutter in today’s television landscape.”
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