Under the new, three-year pact, Barris will continue to serve as exec producer and co-showrunner on “Black-ish,” in addition to which she will develop new TV projects for the network, cable and streaming services.
“We’re excited about being in business with Kenya for many years to come. His unique and hilarious point of view fits perfectly into the studio and network brand of smart, heartfelt storytelling,” commented ABC entertainment group president Paul Lee on Friday.
“I’m psyched to be able to call ABC Studios, the place that made my dreams (and my show) come true, my home for the next few years, and hopefully many more,” Barris said in a statement to Deadline. “I can’t wait for Paul Lee to bring me my diamond-encrusted ABC medallion’d gold chain so I can proudly wear it to the Emmys…or one the 17 ‘Straight out of Compton’ screenings I plan on attending.”
Patrick Moran, head of ABC Studios, added, “Kenya brought us a breakout hit last fall in ‘Black-ish,’ a show that drew raves from critics and viewers alike. We’re excited that he’ll continue to be at the helm of that show, and about the projects he’ll be developing for us in the future.”
“Black-ish” was the No. 1-rated new comedy series of last season in adults 18-49, averaging a 3.3 rating in Nielsen’s live plus-7 estimates while drawing nearly 9.5 million viewers overall per episode. Those are the best numbers any new ABC comedy has done airing behind anchor “Modern Family” on Wednesday.
Barris, one of Variety‘s honorees on this year’s Showrunners Impact Report, co-created and developed “America’s Next Top Model” and worked as a writer on “Are We There Yet?” and “The Game.” Also coming up, Barris will pen the script for Sony’s feature adaptation of “Good Time,” being produced by Scott Rudin and Eli Bush.