HBO has gone into production on two new docuseries from Issa Rae and the Duplass brothers, respectively.
From Rae, “Seen & Heard” is a two-part documentary that explores “the history of Black television seen through the eyes of trailblazers who wrote, produced, created and starred in groundbreaking series of the past and present.”
From Mark and Jay Duplass, “The Lady and the Dale” is a docueseries that explores an “audacious 1970s auto scam centered around a mysterious entrepreneur.”
“Seen & Heard” is described as offering “cultural commentary about representation in black storytelling and feature interviews with actors, showrunners, writers, celebrities and other notable influencers as well as verité-driven segments and inventive use of archival material. The featured participants will reflect on their own experiences watching African Americans represented on television yesterday and today, while sharing insights into their current creative endeavors, personal experiences, and inspiration, providing a window into the larger evolution of Black storytellers across television history.”
“Black people have such a rich, but often unacknowledged history in Hollywood,” Rae said. “We have defined American culture and influenced generations time and time again across the globe. I’m honored to pair with Ark Media to center and celebrate the achievements of those who paved a way for so many of us to tell our stories on television.”
“Seen & Heard” is produced and directed by Phil Bertelsen (“Who Killed Malcolm X?”), and executive produced by Rae (HBO’s “Insecure”) and Montrel McKay of Issa Rae Productions, the team at 3 Arts Entertainment, including Jonathan Berry and David Becky, and the team at Ark Media (“Who Killed Malcolm X?”), including Rachel Dretzin and Esther Dere.
“The Lady and the Dale,” expected to air in 2021, is described as tracing “the story of Elizabeth Carmichael, who rose to prominence when she released a fuel-efficient three-wheeled vehicle during the 1970s gas crisis. As she wins over major carmakers and investors, a web of mystery unfolds regarding the car’s technology and Carmichael’s surprising past. A portrait of an extraordinary entrepreneur’s rise and eventual fall, the series explores a one-of-a-kind story of fraud, family and identity.”
“We are excited to be collaborating yet again with HBO in the docu-series space, and for the chance to bring the complex story of Liz Carmichael and her three-wheeled car to life,” said Mark and Jay Duplass.
The Duplass brothers will executive produce, along with Mel Eslyn, through their production company Duplass Brothers Productions (“Wild Wild Country”). Andre Gaines, Allen Bain, Nick Cammilleri, Alana Carithers and Zackary Drucker will also serve as executive producers. Other collaborations between HBO and the Duplass brothers include “Room 104,” “Animals.”, “On Tour with Asperger’s Are Us” and “Togetherness.”