Media outlets (such as The Hollywood Reporter) are reporting that writer/director of Dear White People, Justin Simien, is taking it to the small screen as Netflix have given him a ten episode series order.
The ten episodes will be thirty minutes each and hail from Lionsgate TV, with the television adaptation following a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug. The series is a send up of “post-racial” America that also weaves a universal story about forging one’s own unique path. It’s unclear if any of the films cast will be returning to the television series or if they’ll go with an entirely new cast. Devon Shepard, Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev will serve as Executive Producers on the series, which is being aimed for a 2017 debut.
Justin Simien said:
During the film’s release, I had the pleasure to speak with hundreds of students and faculty across a variety of college campuses dealing with these very issues in real time. I’m so grateful to have this platform — not only to give a voice to those too often unheard in our culture, but to also tell great stories from new points of views. From Day 1, Lionsgate has been remarkably supportive of the vision for the show, and working with Netflix is every bit as harmonious as I’d imagined it would be. Bringing this show to such a vibrant platform is an honor I don’t take lightly.
Lionsgate TV Executive Vice President, Chris Selak said:
We’re proud to expand our partnership with our friends at Netflix on a comedy that tackles racial themes with a combination of intelligence, honesty, irreverence and wit. Our original film with Roadside Attractions catapulted Dear White People into the national conversation about race, and Justin and the rest of the creative team have an opportunity to expand this world and bring its timely and universal themes to a global television audience.
It’s interesting that Simien is making a television series of Dear White People, the film was okay I thought that kind of fizzled out towards the end but I’m curious to see what he has to say further more over the course of ten episodes. I’d like for a number of the cast to return but get the feeling that Tessa Thompson might not reprise her role with her film commitments at the minute.