The first slate of projects from the NAACP-CBS Studios production partnership has been announced, and it ranges from comedy to drama to historical limited series to a reboot of a ‘90s cult movie.
According to Deadline, Whoopi Goldberg, DL Hughley and Earthquake are all involved in projects with the studio’s president Sheila Duckworth.
“This slate is highly indicative of the kind of fare that we’re looking to put forward, which is fresh and entertaining, with a strong point of view, and we have been very fortunate to have several attachments that we think will really propel our projects in a big way,” Ducksworth told Deadline. “We’re working with Whoopi Goldberg, we’re working with DL Hughley, we’re working with Earthquake, and we have several more projects in the queue that also have big talent attachments which we’re very excited about. It’s representation at its best, it’s showing different sides of life, different opinions, different types of people that there are, and that’s our goal for all of this: to have full inclusion of all different types of viewpoints in all that we do in a fun way.”
Goldberg is set to reprise her role of Rose in the return of 1991 movie Soapdish. Just in case you’re too young to remember that far back, the film was a parody of a long-running soap opera, and starred Sally Field as a Susan Lucci style star, with Goldberg as her best friend and the show’s head writer.
The new Soapdish for Paramount+ is “a juicy, soapy, and twisty dramedy ensemble starring Goldberg who reprises her role as Rose, Head Writer for the venerable soap The Sun Also Sets.”
DL Hughley is set to star/co-create/co-write/co-executive produce a comedy based on his life. “Unfiltered, unapologetic, and opinionated radio host DL Hughley is free at work but under siege at home as he navigates life as a husband and father to an LGBTQ+ daughter, a son on the autism spectrum whose white girlfriend lives with them, and another daughter who can’t leave his credit card alone.”
The series has a script commitment plus penalty at Fox, which means if it doesn’t get made, the network has to pay the studio a significant sum.
Also co-creating a series on his life is comedian Earthquake, who stars in and co-executive produces a CBS comedy following “single dad-and-dating comedian Quake, who goes from good time dad to full time dad when his two kids move in with him, forcing him to juggle his career as a standup comedian and a D.C. comedy club owner, which includes him taking back the reins of the club’s management from his free-wheeling childhood friend.”
Trying to capitalize on the popularity of Succession, Paramount+ drama Construction is inspired by Cheryl McKissack.
The series “follows a 5th generation Black, NYC female construction magnate in the hard-knuckled male-dominated world of a trillion dollar industry in which she navigates big money; city and state politics; and above all else, family.”
“If people don’t know Cheryl McKissack, they’re going to be in for a real treat. She is really one of a kind,” Ducksworth said. “She is running the oldest and biggest minority-owned construction company in the country, she’s fifth-generation, roots in the South, has been working here in New York, doing the biggest kind of endeavors in the field of construction for decades, including Barclays Arena in Brooklyn as well as Harlem Hospital. She is renovating Terminal 1 for JFK now and has many, many projects that are in the works.”
AppleTV+ is in early development on Little Rock Nine, an eight part limited series chronicling the 1957-58 school year of the history-making Little Rock 9.
To mark the 65th anniversary of the Little Rock 9, the series follows the nine Black students at the previously all white Little Rock Central High as they deal with a year of physical and emotional abuse.
This is a strong opening list of projects from NAACP-CBS Studios. It shows that both are serious about supporting new ideas and projects. Of course, we’ll see how many actually make it to air.