Mara Brock Akil launches new production company at Netflix

Under her recent deal at the streaming giant, Brock Akil has created story27, with plans set for four new series.

Television producer and writer Mara Brock Akil has launched a new production company under her recent deal at streaming giant Netflix. 

Brock Akil’s new company, story27, will be headed by Susie Fitzgerald, its president of development and production. Before joining story27, Fitzgerald served as executive vice president of scripted programming for AMC and SundanceTV. 

Television producer and writer Mara Brock Akil has launched story27, a new production company, under her recent deal at streaming giant Netflix. (Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

“At story27, thoughtful and entertaining projects centering the humanity of the marginalized is the priority, and that starts with identifying the best and most unique storytellers,” Akil told Variety. “Susie’s artist-friendly approach coupled with her taste and extremely impressive track record allows for story27 to be a destination and home for the next wave of creatives and writers with impactful stories to tell. I’m excited to have her at both the creative and business table with me as we grow the company through our partnership with Netflix and beyond.”

Fitzgerald will oversee all film, television and digital media projects for story27. 

“I’m incredibly honored to join Mara and help build the innovative team at story27,” said Fitzgerald. “Mara’s incisive storytelling through memorable characters, as well as her innate ability to identify and develop fresh talent, make her a visionary in the field. I look forward to working closely with her as she creates new work while collaborating with her to seek out new voices with relevant and unexplored narratives for the screen.”

Brock Akil is the creative genius behind Girlfriends on UPN and The CW plus its spin-off, The Game, on the latter. She also created Being Mary Jane, which aired on BET, and was previously a partner in Akil Productions with her husband, producer-director-writer Salim Akil. Together, the couple produced Love Is for OWN.

Akil developed then served as showrunner of Black Lightning on The CW, the spin-off of which, Painkiller, he’s reportedly producing. story27 is Brock Akil’s first solo production company.

According to Variety, the first slate of projects from story27 include four series, among them Agency, an hour-long drama inspired by the lives of Aaron and Eric Goodwin, two legendary sports agents. Forever is a young adult drama about two Black teens in Los Angeles navigating life.

 Stamped from the Beginning is a hybrid documentary-feature adaptation of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi‘s book by the same name about the origins and evolution of racist ideas. Astronaut Chicks is a four-person buddy comedy set in the near future about friends challenging each other to live purposeful lives. 

“We have to lift as we climb,” Brock Akil asserted. “And if we want the world to spin on its axis in a new inclusive direction, we have to mentor and create opportunities for the next generation by sharing knowledge that will help them cultivate their voices, so they can say what’s burning inside of them to say in an entertaining way.

“It matters what we put out into the world,” she said, “and I’m so thrilled to have a passionate partner in Susie to help me manifest all of these dreams.”

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