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Starz Developing Romantic Drama From Ava DuVernay, Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff

The news was announced at the network’s inaugural #TakeTheLeadSummit

Starz is currently developing an untitled romantic drama from executive producers Ava DuVernay, Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson. Ridloff and Jackson would also star.

If the project is greenlit, it gets a straight-to-series order spanning three seasons and 18 episodes.

Kat Candler (“Queen Sugar”) will write the pilot and serve as executive producer and showrunner. Paul Garnes (“Queen Sugar”) is an executive producer.

Jeffrey Hirsch, the network president and CEO, made the announcement at the company’s first #TakeTheLead Summit.

The show would follow two polar opposites who become intertwined in a love affair that turns their worlds – and those of everyone around them – upside down.

Here is the logline for the half-hour drama: The show will “chronicle what it takes to fall and stay in a radical, rebellious love. One person is ambitious, while the other is restless. One is ready to commit, while the other debates the merits of relationships. One is Black and one is white. One is deaf and one is not. Though wildly different, the two are emotionally and physically drawn to each other despite personal expectations and public assumptions. Their attraction passionately disrupts notions of race, gender, class, physical ability, and normative culture, elevating to true love that surpasses difference.”

Ridley and Jackson have experience working together. They starred together in “Children of a Lesser God” on Broadway. The actors took part in a spotlight conversation about improving representation on screen and behind the camera at the summit.

“There is nothing like this series on TV and we are thrilled to be in development with Ava, a trailblazer and unparalleled champion of diversity. Lauren is a true inspiration and together with Joshua, a brilliant veteran actor, they will bring their incredible talents to this project – both in front of and behind the camera, Kathryn Busby, president, Original Programming, Starz, who moderated the conversation with Ridloff and Jackson, said. “This series exemplifies our #TakeTheLead mission, and we couldn’t be prouder.” 

“On behalf of my producing partner Paul Garnes and everyone at Array Filmworks, I’m thrilled to develop this passion project with Lauren, Josh and Kat,” DuVernay said. “Starz and Warner Bros. Television have made a bold production commitment to immediately explore three seasons, and we’re revved up and ready to begin what I hope will be a beautiful journey for all involved.”

Array Filmworks and Warner Bros. Television will produce the project for the cable network.

Senior vice president of original programming, Kathryn Tyus-Adair, will oversee the project for Starz.

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