It seems like Kenya Barris is likely staying around for another season of black-ish despite rumors of an exit strategy but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing other projects.
The executive producer of ABC’s hit show has signed on for two new comedy projects that will grace the big and small screens.
He will executive produce a new comedy series, Besties, for freeform, the current home of his spin-off series, Grownish that stars Yara Shahidi. The show will follow two life-long best friends as they navigate adulthood and co-created the series with Ranada Shepard.
He’s also tackling the big screen in a new film for FOX that is centered on divorce. Kenya Barris will write the script and produce the currently untitled film that’s based on his own marriage struggles.
According to Deadline, ‘the gritty, pull-no-punches comedy explores exactly what happens when everyone’s favorite couple calls it quits.’
This isn’t the first time Kenya Barris will pull from his real-life relationship for ideas. He recently revealed that the struggles we watch Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Bow (Tracy Ellis Ross) confront on the latest season of black-ish were inspired by his own marriage.
“After the first couple of years of on Black-ish, my wife and I actually broke up. We got back together, and it was this really, really difficult time for me. And when I brought it up into the room, a lot of the writers had not had quite that experience, but they had been through dark moments in their own relationships. And one of the things I remember growing up is I always looked at The Cosby Show and those great sitcoms and thought, I want that to be my family. But I didn’t remember those people arguing,” he told Vulture.
“And so when I started having brutal times in my relationships, as a kid who grew up on comedy, you just don’t really see the moments. They don’t tell you about those moments. There’s no other bet in the world that you would ever take where someone will tell you, “Okay, you can buy this car, but more than half of them blow up the moment you drive off the lot. Okay, you want it?” “Yeah, you do? Okay, fine.” The odds are probably one of the worst odds in the in world. It’s counterintuitive to what we know is logical, but still, we do it because that’s how strong love is.”