The drama, which is inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s book Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class, is the second project to follow this model. Last month, the network opened a writers room for its Untitled Country Music Dynasty drama from writer/exec producer Melissa London Hilfers.
The move comes as Fox is moving away from only following the traditional pilot cycle with plans to order shows a number of different ways, some straight-to-series, some with writers rooms first, lower-cost presentations as well as pilots.
Written by Gist, who was showrunner of Season 1 of ABC’s Mixed-ish, Our Kind of People centers on single mom Angela Vaughn, who risks it all and moves her family to Martha’s Vineyard with hopes of taking her natural hair care line to the next level by infiltrating the African American elite in Oak Bluffs. But she soon discovers a secret about her past that just might change her position and shake up her life and this influential community forever.
20th Century TV is the studio with Fox Entertainment. Gist and her producing partner Clarie Brown exec produce via The Gist Of It Productions, which recently signed a new pod deal with 20th. Lee Daniels, Marc Velez and Pam Williams exec produce via Lee Daniels Entertainment, Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Drew Buckley, Rodney Ferrell exec produce for Propagate and Electus. Montrel McKay, who along with Silverman exec produced a previous attempt with Fox and 20th TV, also exec produces.
Our Kind Of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class was published by HarperCollins in 1999. In the non-fiction book, Graham interviewed members of some of the most prominent black families in America.
Gist is repped by 3Arts Entertainment, ICM and McKuin Frankel Whitehead, LLP.