Kenya Barris and Rashida Jones have found the rest of their cast for the upcoming Netflix series “#BlackExcellence.”
Genneya Walton, Iman Benson, Scarlet Spencer, Justin Clairborne, Ravi Cabot-Conyers, and Richard Gardenhire Jr. will join the eight-episode comedy series alongside Barris and Jones, who will star. The series is set to debut in 2020.
“#BlackExcellence” is inspired by Barris’ “irreverent, highly flawed, unbelievably honest approach to parenting, relationships, race, and culture,” according to Netflix, which adds that “the series uncovers and explores the messy, unapologetic and often hilarious world of what it means to be a ‘new money’ Black family trying to get it right in a modern world where ‘right’ is no longer a fixed concept.”
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Jones and Barris will executive produce along with Hale Rothstein (“black-ish,” “grown-ish”). Barris’ production company, Khalabo Ink Society, will produce the single-camera comedy under his overall series deal with Netflix.
Below are the character descriptions, per Netflix.
Kenya Barris, starring as a heightened version of himself, will play “KENYA BARRIS.” A brash, unapologetic, overly opinionated, borderline sociopathic, giant teddy bear with a heart of gold. His absurd amalgamation of personality traits mask a shocking layer of perceptiveness that has allowed him to make an OK living.
Rashida Jones will play “Joya Barris.” Confident, hard-working and even harder playing, successful at everything she’s ever tried, a pit bull in a skirt, who’s left the courtroom behind and she is now using that same tenacity to be a stay at home mom. She’s the yin to Kenya’s yang, never pulling any punches, always calling him out on his nonsense while delivering plenty of her own.
Genneya Walton (“9-1-1,” “Project Mc²”) will play “Chloe Barris.” Chloe is 18 and the effortlessly popular, under appreciative college student with an astounding level of entitlement. Her ditziness often masks her potential.
Iman Benson (“Suits,” “Alexa & Katie”) will play “Drea Barris.” Drea is 17 and she is the moral center and narrator of the show. An artistic savant and second oldest child, she’s by far the most mature person in the whole Barris household.
Scarlet Spencer (“Cousins for Life,” “Colony”) will play “Izzy Barris.” Izzy is 12 and difficult for difficulty’s sake, she’s a pain-in-the-ass contrarian whose lack of caring only makes people want to mess with her more. She’s a cat, not a dog, a tomboy who’s also the leader of the mean girls.
Justin Claiborne (“Marriage Story,” “Reverie”) will play “Pops Barris.” Pops is 10 and as lovable as he is gullible. He’s got a gooey inside which is protected by his gummy outside. He is a big-hearted, soft-souled kid who literally skips through the world with a zippity doo dah whistle.
Ravi Cabot-Conyers (“The Resident”) will play “Kam Barris.” Kam is 8 and a miscreant trouble maker and a pathological liar with the best laugh you’ve ever heard and a grin that lets him get away with anything.
Richard Gardenhire Jr. will play the recurring character of “Brooklyn Barris” Brooklyn is 3 and he’s jarringly smart and well-spoken for a toddler.