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Penny has moved his overall deal from HBO to Disney’s recently launched Onyx Collective, the recently launched Disney-based shingle focused on creators of color and underrepresented creatives that is overseen by Freeform president Tara Duncan.
Under the multiple-year overall deal, Penny will create, write, direct and produce as well as supervise new projects via his A Penny For Your Thoughts Entertainment production company for across Disney’s multiple platforms. The focus will be for Hulu, which is the primary home for Onyx Collective Titles. Sources say the deal is valued in the eight-figure range.
A Penny For Your Thoughts’ Chris Pollack will continue to lead the company alongside Penny under the pact, with its development team topper Alex Soler also making the move to Disney.
The deal marks the first for Onyx Collective, which launched in May under Duncan’s oversight. Penny previously was housed with a two-year overall deal with WarnerMedia-backed HBO. That deal expires in October.
“When we mapped out our strategy and ideal partners for Onyx Collective, Prentice Penny was at the top of the vision board,” Duncan said in a statement Monday announcing the pact. “Prentice has a depth of experience telling wildly entertaining, culturally specific stories. His prolific ambitions, both as a writer and director, and his unique ability to identify trends make him the perfect creator to help build our brand. I’m honored he chose Onyx Collective to be his creative home.”
Penny, a Peabody Award-winning writer-director-producer, has overseen Insecure for HBO. The series recently wrapped filming on its fifth and final season, which will air in the fall on the premium cable network. Penny also exec produces HBO’s recently renewed Pause With Sam Jay, the late-night series he co-created and exec produces alongside the SNL writer and host. On the feature side, Penny recently made his screenwriting and directorial debut with Netflix’s Uncorked.
Sources say Penny’s relationship with HBO remains strong. He will continue to oversee projects in development at the cabler, including Pause, and completing postproduction on the final season of Insecure.
“I could not be more excited to partner with Onyx Collective for the next phase of my career,” Penny said. “The second I sat down with Dana [Walden] and Tara I knew I wanted to work with them and make this my new home. To be at the ground floor of what Tara and the entire Onyx Collective team wants to be is an honor. The types of projects that Onyx, Chris, and my fantastic team want to make line up perfectly. We are also ecstatic that we can continue to foster and develop more one-of-a-kind artists under this deal. As a writer-director-producer you always want to have as many tools at your disposal to create your art and all of the various platforms under the Disney brand just made for a beautiful marriage.”
In addition to Penny, Onyx is working directly with other producers from within the Disney fold including Insecure‘s Natasha Rothwell, who has a deal with ABC Signature, and Black Panther‘s Ryan Coogler, who has his own pact for non-Marvel titles with Disney. Duncan and Onyx are also overseeing the upcoming docuseries adaptation of the New York Times Magazine‘s “1619 Project,” produced by Oprah Winfrey.
Penny is repped by WME, Theresa Kang-Lowe’s Blue Marble Management and attorneys John Meigs and Adam Kaller.
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