Following the breakout success of Kenya Barris’ Grown-ish, Freeform has ordered a second comedy series from the Black-ish creator, this time multi-camera. The pickup is part of the upfront announcements by Freeform which is sharing an upfront presentation with sibling ABC this season.
Created by Barris and Born Again Virgin creator Ranada Shepard, Besties explores friendship, identity, race, and class as two lifelong best friends use each other to get through some of the toughest challenges that they will ever face – figuring out who they are and who they want to be.
Barris and Shepard executive produce via ABC Signature Studios, the cable/streaming arm of ABC Studios where Barris is under an overall deal. (He has been in talks to exit his pact.)
The series order for Besties comes exactly a year after Freeform picked up the pilot for Grown-ish, a spinoff from Black-ish originally developed and ordered by ABC, to series. The coming-of-age show, starring Yara Shahidi has drown great reviews and has been an out-of-the-gate ratings success, ranking as the #1 cable comedy season-to-date in Freeform’s core demo of women 18-34.
Barris last week also saw his Emmy-nominated series Black-ish get renewed for Season 5 by ABC. He also has comedy pilot Bright Futures, which remains in consideration at NBC. He is repped by CAA and Artists First.
Shepard created and co-executive produced comedy series Born Again Virgin, which ran on TV One for two seasons. She’s repped by APA, The Nacelle Company and Hansen Jacobsen.