J Lee landed his first job as a writer on Seth MacFarlane’s The Cleveland Show. Now Lee is getting a shot at creating a TV series with the help of the top comedy producer. Fox has put in development 2 Black Dudes, a single-camera comedy written by Lee, with MacFarlane executive producing alongside Mike Mariano (Raising Hope) who will serve as showrunner. 20th Century Fox TV, where MacFarlane is under an overall deal, is the studio.
2 Black Dudes is described as an edgy comedy about, well, two black dudes. Originally from St. Louis, two cousins with two completely different perspectives on life, now live in Los Angeles and continuously bump heads on everything from religion, sex, politics, and being black in America all the way down to who’s the best ninja turtle.
St. Louis-born-and-raised Lee also is an accomplished classical pianist who performed at Carnegie Hall at the age of 12. He left that career path behind when he graduated in 2005 with a BA in Piano Performance and Theater and Drama and moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of a Hollywood career. Lee got his break when he was a receptionist on MacFarlane’s hit Fox animated series Family Guy, and MacFarlane hired him as a writer on spinoff The Cleveland Show. In addition to his writing duties on the animated series, Lee also voiced characters on Family Guy, American Dad and Cleveland.
Mariano succeeded creator Greg Garcia as showrunner on the final season of the Fox/20th TV comedy series Raising Hope under a multi-year deal with the studio that included a development component. The latest MacFarlane-produced animated series for Fox, Border Town, debuts January 3.