Seth MacFarlane has set up a second project under his overall deal at NBCUniversal: a limited series about the Little Rock Nine, the students at the center of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation case.
MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Productions will team with Xception Content, headed by Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, on the project. Playwright and actress Eisa Davis (Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It, Bulrusher) is writing the project, which is based on Carlotta Walls LaNier’s memoir A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High. Universal Studio Group’s UCP will produce.
Set in 1957 after the Supreme Court decision in Brown, the untitled project will follow 14-year-old Carlotta Walls as she becomes one of the first Black students to attend previously all-white Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas. She walks into an unexpectedly violent struggle against integration, which suddenly turns her and the other Black students into civil rights icons. For Carlotta — a teenager at the center of a cataclysmic moment in American history — graduating with her diploma means risking her life. But she searches for a way to keep her humanity intact at school and beyond, losing then regaining her selfhood in a coming of age leavened by humor, family, friendship, and solidarity.
The project follows on the heels of MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door choosing an adaptation of Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War and War and Remembrance as their first project at NBCUniversal. The Family Guy creator moved his overall deal there in January from his long-time home at 20th Television. MacFarlane and Seth Fisher are co-writing the limited series based on the two novels, which were previously the subject of two ABC miniseries in the 1980s.
Davis will executive produce with MacFarlane and Erica Huggins of Fuzzy Door with Boseman and Logan Coles for Xception Content. The Little Rock Nine project is the latter company’s first TV venture. Nick Marell, Coby Greenberg and Joe Micucci also exec produce. Walls LaNier will consult.
Davis is repped by Gersh and attorney Nina Shaw.