Ava DuVernay, Starz link for romantic drama series

DuVernay will produce and oversee writing for a half-hour drama series starring Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson.

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Writer, producer and director Ava DuVernay is developing a romantic drama series for Starz. The network announced the news at its inaugural #TakeTheLead Summit, which is centered around allyship and representation in TV and film. The untitled series will star Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson.

Variety reported that the show will consist of 30-minute episodes, involving two polar opposite individuals coming together in a love affair that dramatically affects both their lives and the lives of those around them. Ridloff and Jackson, who also executive produce the project, play the lead couple.

Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson attend The Inaugural STARZ #TakeTheLead Summit on May 19, 2022 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for STARZ)

DuVernay will co-produce the series, via her Array Filmworks company, along with Warner Bros. Television. She will also oversee the writing process.

“On behalf of my producing partner Paul Garnes and everyone at Array Filmworks, I’m thrilled to develop this passion project with Lauren, Josh, and Kat,” DuVernay said, Variety reports. “Starz and Warner Bros. Television have made a bold production commitment to immediately explore three seasons, and we’re revved up and ready to begin what I hope will be a beautiful journey for all involved.”

4th Annual Celebration Of Black Cinema And Television Presented By The Critics Choice Association
Ava DuVernay attends the 4th Annual Celebration of Black Cinema and Television at Fairmont Century Plaza on Dec. 6, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images,)

The main theme of the show is the tension around the conflicting personalities of the two leads. Aside from one being Black and the other being white, one party is deaf and the other is not, one is ready to commit, the other is not, one is restless, and the other is ambitious. But despite their differences, the couple is emotionally drawn to one another.

“There is nothing like this series on TV and we are thrilled to be in development with Ava, a trailblazer and unparalleled champion of diversity,” said Kathryn Busby, Starz’s president of original programming. “Lauren is a true inspiration and together with Joshua, a brilliant veteran actor, they will bring their incredible talents to this project – both in front of and behind the camera. This series exemplifies our #TakeTheLead mission, and we couldn’t be prouder.”

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