A Black Lady Sketch Show Head Writer Lauren Ashley Smith to Develop Remake of British Time-Travel Comedy for ABC

Illustration for article titled A Black Lady Sketch Show Head Writer Lauren Ashley Smith to Develop Remake of British Time-Travel Comedy for ABC
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Lauren Ashley Smith, head writer of HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show, has been tapped to write and executive produce the U.S. remake of the popular British time-travel comedy, Timewasters for ABC.


Deadline reports that the single-camera comedy, originally from Daniel Lawrence Taylor and ITV2 in the UK,will come from CBS Studios as a part of ABC’s second cycle development process for 2021. Alongside Ashley Smith, Lawrence Taylor is also expected to executive produce as are Kenton Allen and Matthew Justice from Big Talk Productions, the British production company behind the original. Currently titled The Untitled Time Travel Comedy, the U.S. version will center “four Black twenty-something New Yorkers who accidentally end up in the year 1926, despite being deeply unenthusiastic about and deeply unequipped for time travel. The series follows the foursome’s often bumbling attempts to survive and thrive in the Harlem Renaissance as it explores what it means to be Black in 2021, what it means to be Black in 1926, and the unique experience of being Black in both time periods.”

While there’s no word yet on an air date for Timewasters, Ashley Smith will no doubt be staying busy in the meantime, with the second season of A Black Lady Sketch Show, expected to air sometime this year. Produced by Robin Thede and Issa Rae, per HBO A Black Lady Sketch Show is described as “a narrative series set in a limitless magical reality full of dynamic, hilarious characters and celebrity guests.” The debut season, which featured a core cast of Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis and Quinta Brunson received rave reviews with several of their original sketches going viral thanks to social media. It also hosted a gang of hilarious cameos from popular actors such as Laverne Cox, Yvonne Orji, and Angela Bassett, who received an Emmy nomination last year for her role as Mo in a sketch entitled “Angela Bassett is the Baddest Bitch” in the series’ debut episode.



I caught the Brit version last year, or the year before, it was during the before-times from the Pandemic, they all run together; anyway, I caught the Brit version and it was actually pretty funny. I hope they keep the conceit of a modern jazz quartet back in the golden age of jazz angle the original had going for it.

I particularly liked that the “muscle” of the group wasn’t the big six foot guy, or the really burly one, but the five foot tall young, very slight, woman in it. It was a nice way to shake things up.