Black-ish Creator Sells New Political Series to ABC

Black-ish creator/executive producer Kenya Barris and co-executive producer, Vijal Patel have sold a new family comedy to ABC that has Emmy winner Felicity Huffman attached to star and executive produce. Reportedly, the deal is one biggest half-hour sales so far this season.

Written by Barris and Patel, the Untitled Political Project (aka Libby & Malcolm) is a family comedy that takes a very real look at how today’s “politics of division” play out between two opposing pundits who also happen to be married. Polar opposites: one’s black, one’s white; one’s left, one’s right. Bitter rivals at work on their pundit show “Black & Wright,” they have to turn conflict into compromise at home when it comes to raising their kids. Huffman will play the wife.

Barris has not been shy about delving into searing political commentary on Black-ish, which has tackled topics like race and police brutality. While exploring this subject matter is rarely seen on TV, there is a tradition regarding blending family comedy and politics that goes all the way back to All In the Family.

Barris and Patel recently shared in the first best comedy series Emmy nomination for Black-ish, which Barris created, executive produces and show runs. The acclaimed comedy series kicked off its third season last week.

Barris has been on a roll, this is the second high-profile sale for him and his production company this season. Also at ABC, Barris executive produces the action dramedy Unit Zero, starring/executive produced by Toni Collette and written by another Black-ish writer-producer, Lindsey Shockley. David Gordon Green is attached to direct.

Huffman’s involvement in the Kenya/Patel comedy means that she will no longer be attached to the ABC/ABCS fashion biz dramedy House Of Moore. In addition, a starring role on the Kenya/Patel comedy would not interfere with Huffman’s commitment to John Ridley’s ABC/ABCS anthology series American Crime, which has earned her two Emmy nominations. She would be able to continue on American Crime concurrently with the comedy should both be picked up for next season.