Fox is developing a new event series with Gina Prince-Blythewood and Brian Grazer inspired by the growing number of police-shootings against unarmed black civilians that have gained national attention in recent years. Prince-Blythewood is writing the untitled pilot with her husband, producer Reggie Rock Blythewood. Sanaa Lathan is set to star.
The series is set in Tennessee and will center on the aftermath of the shooting of a white teen by a black police officer. Sanaa Lathan has been cast as an investigator working on the case.
Ripped-from-the-headlines stories have come in many permutations on television but there appears to be a new growing trend of writers commenting further via the story. Last year, Empire was the break out hit of the year and while it appeared to be a typical sudser in the vein of Dynasty but set in the rap-world, it opened season two diving into the discussion of the high rates of black men being incarcerated.
Meanwhile, ABC aired critically-acclaimed series American Crime, an anthology series depicting the fall out from the murder of a war veteran and centering on race, class, and gender politics as it follows the racially charged murder and subsequent trial.
Networks appear to be pushing the boundaries of storytelling by focusing on intense character dramas while commenting on the topics at large in the country. As more viewers clamor to see diversity in front of and behind the camera, shows like the one Prince-Blythewood is writing look to be on a steady rise.
Prince-Blythewood and Blythewood are repped at CAA.
Sanaa Lathan is repped at ICM Partners.
Emily J | Staff Writer