EXCLUSIVE: Writer-producer Zahir McGhee, creator, executive producer and showrunner of ABC’s drama pilot Harlem’s Kitchen and known for his work on Shondaland series Scandal, Private Practice and For the People, has signed with Verve.
Harlem’s Kitchen, starring Delroy Lindo, marks the first pilot order for McGhee. Like almost all broadcast pilots, it has not been filmed because of the coronavirus-related Hollywood production shutdown, but it is considered one of the stronger prospects for a series order at ABC.
Written and executive produced by McGhee, Harlem’s Kitchen is an ensemble family drama set in a fine dining restaurant in Harlem. If picked up to series, it would be ABC’s first major drama with a primarily African American cast. It is co-produced by Mandeville Television and ABC Studios, where McGhee is under an overall deal.
McGhee, an alum of the Disney writers workshop, got his start as a writer at Shondaland where he worked for a decade with stints on the company’s ABC/ABC Studios drama series Private Practice, Scandal and For the People. He worked for six seasons as co-executive producer on Scandal and on both seasons of legal drama For the People. McGhee was most recently a consulting producer on the ABC/ABC Studios freshman drama Stumptown.
McGhee, who was previously with UTA, also is repped by attorney Matt Johnson.
Since signing an agreement with the WGA, Verve has signed such TV showrunners as Meredith Stiehm and David Slack.