ABC’s streaming service ABCd has acquired American Koko, the digital series created by and starring Diarra Kilpatrick. Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Viola Davis is producing through her JuVEe Productions, which she runs with her husband, producer Julius Tennon.
American Koko follows a satirical agency that solves sticky racial situations.
“Diarra is an exceptional talent in that she cannot be put in a category,” says Davis. “She has a unique voice that transcends her generation. American Koko is brutally honest about race relations but avoids the trap of being an indictment. Rather it is a bold, brave cultural reveal handled with sensitivity, vulnerability, honesty and humor. JuVee Productions continues our mission to be inclusive and this project fits perfectly with our vision.”
Kilpatrick was selected as one of the 11 2015 honorees of the WGA’s Writer’s Access Program for her drama pilot The Dirty Dozen. Her American Koko digital series, originally produced for her YouTube channel, received the Best Web Series Award at the American Black Film Festival and was lauded as a “Web Series You Should Be Watching” by Essence Magazine.
Kilpatrick also is developing The Climb for Amazon with Mark Gordon producing. She will write and star in the project.
“To be in business with the artist-friendly executives at ABC and to have the incredible guidance of Viola Davis and the team at JuVee on American Koko is a dream come true,” says Kilpatrick. “I’ve always wanted to create and perform across mediums. And I’m excited for people to hear my voice and get to know me as a storyteller and an artist.”
Kilpatrick won the LA Weekly and NAACP Theater award for Best Leading Actress in a Drama for The Red and Brown Water. She’s also garnered two Ovation nods, and five additional NAACP Theater nods, including one for Best Playwriting for her one-woman show. On the writing side, Diarra worked as a staff writer for NBC’s Mysteries of Laura. Other acting credits include Mike and Molly; Southland; Major Crimes; Hollywood Je T’aime; and Lila and Eve opposite Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez.
Kilpatrick is repped by CAA, The Gotham Group and attorney Robby Koch at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.