It’s official now! Kenya Barris has officially leaped to Netflix.
The streaming giant confirmed the news to Shadow and Act.
Trade publications report the deal is worth eight figures and will span three years.
“With an innate sense for what is funny, truthful and timely, Barris will continue to create stories that reflect culture through an urban, youth and female-focused lens,” the company said.
He begins producing new series at Netflix immediately.
“Kenya Barris is one of our great modern storytellers. Kenya uses his voice to make audiences more aware of the world around them, while simultaneously making them laugh. His honesty, comedic brilliance and singular point of view, combined with the creative freedom he will enjoy at Netflix, promises to create powerful new stories for all our members around the world,” said Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix.
“When my agents reached out to me about this little garage start-up called Netflix, I wasn’t sure what to think,” said Barris. “But after I talked to Ted and Cindy, I started to believe that maybe this mom-and-pop shop with only 130 million subscribers might just be something… so I decided to take a swing… a leap of faith if you will, and take a chance with the new kids on the block.”
As previously reported, this comes after Barris’ exit from an overall deal with ABC Studios, where he was said to be frustrated after many high-profile pilot passes and a disagreement over airing an NFL kneeling-themed episode of Black-ish.
Variety says the disagreement was the episode referencing 45. “According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Disney-owned ABC’s concerns were related to comments that characters made in the episode about President Donald Trump, not to the football storyline,” their report states.
Barris’ new deal will not impact Black-ish, Grown-ish or his upcoming Freeform series, Besties. They will remain on their networks for their series runs, and Barris will stay an EP on them.
He co-wrote Girls Trip, wrote new Shaft film (ironically already set up at Netflix in a groundbreaking deal with New Line) and is attached to Coming to America and Uptown Saturday Night remakes. He also had an NBC pilot, Bright Futures, starring Lilly Singh and Shameik Moore, which may now possibly find new life.