Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Black-ish's Kenya Barris just scored a $100 million Netflix deal

Image for article titled Black-ish's Kenya Barris just scored a $100 million Netflix deal
Photo: Richard Harbaugh (Getty Images)

Welcome to Development Hell, the fiery pit into which we fling recent developments in casting, distribution, and everything else that’s new and mildly interesting in the Boschian phantasmagoria of the entertainment industry.


Hey, who likes absolutely gob-smacking amounts of money? Murderous snowplow drivers? Heartwarming stories about Prince? That’s right: Damn near everybody. Never let it be said that Development Hell’s not hear to set you up, people.

  • After months of speculation, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris has just joined Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy in Netflix’s prestigious “nine-figure TV producers” club, with Variety reporting that Barris has signed a three-year deal valued at roughly $100 million to exclusively make shows for the service. The writing has been up on this particular wall for a while now; Netflix has made no secret of its desire to continue recruiting big name TV talent, and Barris announced he was stepping out of a deal with ABC Studios last month (after a series of strained encounters with the company’s parent network). Barris will continue to serve as an executive producer on Black-ish, but has already stepped down from his showrunning duties on the critically lauded series.
  • No more waiting to find out when you’ll get to see more swarthy historical Irishmen and time-displaced modern women; Starz has announced that Outlander will be back on November 4. Per Deadline, this’ll be the fourth season of the Diana Gabaldon adaptation, transplanting Jamie and Clair to the Americas for a new season of intrigue and smoldering looks.
  • Elizabeth Banks has lined up an interesting new project, with Billboard reporting that she’ll be producing and starring in a film about a Wyoming woman who famously won a date with Prince. The call-in contest in question was held back in 1986, to promote Under The Cherry Moon, and saw small-town resident Lisa Barber get taken on a date to the premiere by the man himself. (Barber later called it “the best night of my life.”) The film—titled Queen For A Day—will focus not on Prince, who won’t even show up as a character, but on the then-20-year-old Barber, plus the publicist who helped organize the event. 
  • This isn’t exactly news, per se, but it is a good reminder that revenge is a dish best served cold, and with a puttering diesel engine: Birth. Movies. Death. has an analysis of a recently released plot summary for Liam Neeson’s upcoming snowplow vengeance movie Hard Powder, and it’s pretty delightful. A brief excerpt: “Our man might’ve thought learning to drive a snow plow was only good for the actual plowing of snow, but turns out those skills can also be used for murder and starting gang wars. Who’d a thought?”
  • Lionsgate is apparently hot on Flarsky. Variety reports that the new comedy film—which sees Seth Rogen as a schlubby reporter who somehow ends up in the inner circle of Charlize Theron, a far more powerful and ambitious woman, natch—has been bumped up to a June 7, 2019 release. That’s presumably due to strong early audience reactions, which suggested that the comedy might be worth the full blockbuster treatment, perfectly suited for those people who’ve missed watching Rogen somehow score the attention and affection of far more conventionally interesting women.
  • Judd Hirsch has joined the cast of Adam Sandler’s upcoming A24 movie, Uncut Gems. Directed by Ben and Josh Safdie (recently of Good Time), the film will star Sandler as a New York jewelry dealer, with Taxi veteran Hirsch as his father-in-law. [via Deadline]
  • Jurassic Park is headed back to theaters; Mashable reports that the Spielberg dino classic will be returning to the multiplex this September, in honor of its 25th anniversary.
  • USA is getting ready to be Bourne again. (We’ve made that joke maybe a dozen times over the years, and damn but if it never gets old.) Per Deadline, the network has green-lit Treadstone, the Bourne TV expansion from Heroes creator Tim Kring. The series was given a straight-to-series order, and will explore the origins of Treadstone, the same super-secret government group that gave Jason Bourne all his nifty people-killing powers.
  • And they’ll never be Royals—not anymore, at least. Variety reports that E! has pulled the plug on its original scripted series Royals. The Elizabeth Hurley-starring series recently wrapped up its fourth season.
  • Also in E! news: The network announced a new talk show from social media fixture Busy Philipps. Busy Tonight will debut on October 28.