EXCLUSIVE: TBS has locked in the main cast of Twenties, its single-camera comedy from The Chi creator and Master of None Emmy winner Lena Waithe. Jonica T. Gibbs has landed the lead, with Christina Elmore, Gabrielle Graham and Sophina Brown as co-leads in the project, created and written by Waithe nine years ago, when she was in her early 20s.
Twenties follows the adventures of a queer black girl, Hattie (Gibbs), and her two straight best friends, Marie (Elmore) and Nia (Graham), who spend most of their days talking shit and chasing their dreams. It’s a show about friendship, finding love, and messing everything up along the way.
“Queer black characters have been the sidekick for long enough; it’s time for us to finally take the lead,” Waithe said at the time of the pilot pickup.
Gibbs’ Hattie is described as a naturally beautiful, funny, charming young woman. She’s an aspiring television writer who dreams of glory, but meanwhile seems incapable of holding down a regular job. Not one to sweat the small stuff — like being evicted — Hattie doesn’t let much faze her, and when in doubt or trouble, she turns to her best friends, Nia (Graham) and Marie (Elmore), for help. She’s a lesbian who always falls for straight women. Out of cash and desperate for a break, Hattie interviews with Ida B. (Brown), a successful African American television writer/producer who calls her out on some shady tweets she made some years prior. But when Ida B. offers Hattie a job as a writer’s PA, Hattie may finally have her foot planted firmly on the ladder of Hollywood success.
Elmore’s Marie is a young feature exec with a seemingly perfect life with her seemingly perfect boyfriend, Chuck. One of Hattie’s best friends, Marie does everything by the book, and although she loves Hattie, she is always lecturing her about her carefree lifestyle.
Graham’s Nia is a “Trinidadian goddess” and “a lady in every sense of the word” who has been taught by her female relatives in the islands to hold herself in high esteem, especially in her dealings with men. Best friends with Marie and Hattie, Nia is an evolved, fit, serene yet delightfully offbeat yoga instructor who longs to meet her ideal mate and settle down — but so far, that seems a vain hope.
Brown’s Ida B. is an amazingly successful writer producer whose current hit show, “Cocoa’s Butter,” has been entertaining black women for years.
Waithe executive produces via her Hillman Grad Productions, along with her manager Andrew Coles for the Mission Entertainment.
Gibbs is with Anonymous Content. Elmore, who recurred on TNT’s The Last Ship, and Brown, whose series credits include Zoo, Numbers and Shark, are repped by SDB Partners. Brown is managed by Emery Entertainment. Graham can next be seen in Mimi Leder’s film On the Basis of Sex opposite Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer and in Flarsky opposite Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. She is repped by Thruline, Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson and Noble Caplan Abrams in Toronto.