Natasha Lyonne, Alia Shawkat to Develop Iraqi Immigrant Comedy ‘Desert People’ for Amazon

Shawkat and Lyonne co-created the series, which Shawkat will star on

Last Updated: September 21, 2020 @ 2:03 PM

Natasha Lyonne and Alia Shawkat are developing “Desert People,” a comedy series about Iraqi immigrants, for Amazon Prime Video, an individual with knowledge tells TheWrap.

The half-hour project, which is co-created by the “Russian Doll” star and “Arrested Development” alum, is centered on a family of Iraqi immigrants who run a gentleman’s club in Palm Springs. Shawkat will star on “Desert People” as the family’s adult daughter, who is based in Los Angeles and coming to terms with her sexuality and identity as a first-generation American.

“Desert People” will be written by Shawkat, who will executive produce alongside Lyonne, Maya Rudolph, Danielle Renfrew Behrens and Dianne McGunigle.

Amazon Studios and Animal Pictures — Lyonne, Rudolph and Renfrew Behrens’ production company, which has a first-look deal with Amazon — will co-produce the potential series. Lyonne, Rudolph and Renfrew Behrens’ banner and Amazon are also currently working together on an animated comedy series called “The Hospital.”

If it’s ordered to series, “Desert People” would mark Shawkat’s first small-screen writing credit.

Shawkat is best known for her roles in “Arrested Development” and “Search Party.” Lyonne’s top TV credits include “Orange Is the New Black” and “Russian Doll.”

Variety first reported the news that Lyonne and Shawkat’s are developing “Desert People” for Amazon.