A few months ago, ahead of the series premiere of her Boomerang television series, Lena Waithe said she wanted to change the face of BET.
Now, a few months later, she’s quite on her way to doing that. Boomerang, a critics’ darling, just got renewed for a season 2, and BET announced Monday that they’ve ordered Twenties to series.
The single-camera comedy has an eight-episode order at the network. If you remember correctly, Twenties was originally in development at TBS, where it was ordered as a pilot. That pilot did not move forward as a series.
The official description reads: Created and written by Waithe when she was in her early 20s the eight-episode half-hour series, follows the adventures of a queer Black girl, Hattie, and her two straight best friends, Marie and Nia, who spend most of their days talking ‘ish’ and chasing their dreams. Twenties is a scripted show about friendship, finding love, and messing everything up along the way.
“BET Networks is thrilled to partner once again with the creative visionary Lena Waithe on both BOOMERANG and TWENTIES as she is without a doubt a leading relevant voice of our generation and a disruptor in her own right,” said Connie Orlando, head of Programming, BET Networks. “BET is committed to the elevation of inclusive and authentic storytelling that viewers continue to expect from the brand.”
The series is Executive Produced by Lena Waithe, Susan Fales-Hill (who will also serve as co-showrunner), Rishi Rijani, and Andrew Coles.
“Twenties has been a project I’ve been dreaming about for as long as I can remember. I think a lot of people were interested but didn’t see the vision. I’m so grateful Scott Mills and Connie Orlando did. I couldn’t be more excited to deepen my relationship with BET. I know audiences have been waiting a long time for this one,” said Waithe.
“I’m deeply grateful to Lena Waithe for dragging me out of the crypt to run her groundbreaking series about women of color who are as intelligent as they are funny, as ambitious and driven as they are confused. It is exhilarating to be back in television, at BET at a moment of unprecedented multicultural inclusion in the entertainment industry,” said Fales-Hill.
When the project was in development at the pilot stage at TBS Jonica T. Gibbs was cast as Hattie and Christina Elmore and Gabrielle Graham were cast as Marie and Nia. Shadow And Act reached out to BET for comment on if the prior casting at TBS would follow through to BET, but the network had no comment.
Waithe is on an incredible roll right now. She just joined the cast of Westworld season 3. Aside from Boomerang, she’s also the creator and EP of Showtime’s The Chi and she’s the producer of the upcoming film, Queen & Slim, which is set at Universal. The multi-hyphenate also has other projects in development at different stages at multiple networks.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for NAACP