Kenya Barris attends the 30th annual Producers Guild Awards on January 19, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California; Rashida Jones attends the Tribeca Talks - Storytellers at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on May 01, 2019 in New York City.
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images), Nicholas Hunt (Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

If you thought Kenya Barris had already redefined the black family sitcom for a new generation with ABC’s Black-ish, think again. Netflix has just announced the first offering from his recently inked overall series deal, and the writer-producer will now also become one of the network’s “strong black leads.”

Barris will star and executive produce alongside Rashida Jones (The Office, Parks and Recreation) in Black Excellence, a single-camera comedy “inspired by Barris’ irreverent, highly flawed, unbelievably honest approach to parenting, relationships, race, and culture,” according to a statement from the network. Black Excellence will be produced through Barris’ production company, Khalabo Ink Society, with Black-ish and Grown-ish executive producer Hale Rothstein also onboard for the new series, which has yet to announce a premiere date.


Per a release from Netflix:

Black Excellence looks to pull the curtain back and reboot the “family sitcom” in a way we’ve never seen before. ... Barris hasn’t been shy about his desire to flip the family sitcom and what it looks like on its head; and with the series officially launching its writers room last month, he is wasting little time getting to work on exploring and pushing those boundaries.

Free from the constraints of network television, no doubt Black Excellence will give us an unfiltered look into the mind of Barris. And after significant success as a director, screenwriter and producer of projects like Claws, Angie Tribeca, the Emmy-nominated documentary Hot Girls Wanted and the Grammy-winning Quincy (chronicling the life and career of her father, Quincy Jones) Rashida Jones’ return to the screen is equally anticipated.

As for what Black Excellence means to Barris? Like his upcoming Coming to America 2, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.

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