Nellie Andreeva

ABC is taking a look at what it means to be black today with Black-ish, a single-camera comedy starring Anthony Anderson. The project, which has received a script commitment with penalty, hails from ABC Studios, Laurence Fishburne‘s Cinema Gypsy and Principato Young. Written by Kenya Barris (The Game) loosely based on his personal experiences, Black-ish centers on an upper-middle-class black man who struggles to raise his children with some sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father, and his own assimilated, color-blind kids. “I decided to do this project when I looked up and realized that everywhere I go I’m constantly the fly in buttermilk,” Barris said. “I’m usually THE black guy at work. We’re THE black family in the neighborhood. My kids are basically THE black kids at school. I think it’s kind of a situation of be careful what you wish for. It’s almost in like moving on up, I’ve sort of priced myself ‘out’ of being black.” Cinema Gypsy’s Fishburne, his producing partner Helen Sugland and Tom Russo will executive produce with Anderson and Barris along with PYE’s Peter Principato, Paul Young and Brian Dobbins. There are currently no plans for Fishburne to star but I hear he will likely guest now and then if the series goes forward. There is speculation that he may play Anderson’s father but that has not been determined. The Matrix and CSI alum Fishburne, who co-stars on NBC’s Hannibal, is repped by Paradigm, Landmark Artist Management and Del, Shaw. America’s Next Top Model co-developer Barris is with Paradigm and the management team of PYE and Yorn, Barnes. Anderson, who has been alternating between comedy and drama, most recently starred on the NBC comedy series Guys With Kids. He is with by UTA and Stone Meyer.

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