Fitzgerald, who Deadline revealed was leaving the cable network in May 2020, will oversee all film, television and digital media projects for the production company, which is under an overall deal at Netflix.
She was previously EVP, Scripted Programming for AMC and SundanceTV and oversaw development of shows such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul.
Her appointment comes as Akil has set her first slate of developments with the streamer, which Fitzgerald helped attract writers such as Jerron Horton and Jeanine Daniels.
Akil is developing projects including Agency, Forever, Astronaut Chicks and Stamped from the Beginning.
Agency is an hour-long drama, inspired by the real lives of sports agents, Aaron and Eric Goodwin. It follows the two Black brothers from Oakland whose relationships to each other and their family are tested when they form a sports agency to disrupt the industry and the culture.
Hour drama Forever is an inspired-by adaptation of Judy Blume’s YA romance novel, featuring two Black high schoolers in Los Angeles navigate first love and intimacy amidst social and parental pressures.
Astronaut Chicks is a half-hour comedy that follows four young, female Black friends, set in the speculative near future, who challenge each other to live a fly life, launch some dreams, and land on some purpose.
Finally, Stamped from the Beginning, which is a partnership with One Story Up, is a hybrid documentary feature adaptation of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s work of the same name, which chronicles in detail the origins and evolution of racist ideas.
“At story27, thoughtful and entertaining projects centering the humanity of the marginalized is the priority and that starts with identifying the best and most unique storytellers. Susie’s artist- friendly approach coupled with her taste and extremely impressive track record allows for story27 to be a destination and home for the next wave of creatives and writers with impactful stories to tell. I’m excited to have her at both the creative and business table with me as we grow the company through our partnership with Netflix and beyond,” said Akil.
“I’m incredibly honored to join Mara and help build the innovative team at story27,” added Fitzgerald. “Mara’s incisive storytelling through memorable characters, as well as her innate ability to identify and develop fresh talent, make her a visionary in the field. I look forward to working closely with her as she creates new work while collaborating with her to seek out new voices with relevant and unexplored narratives for the screen.”
Akil has built her offices in the Sugar Hill Arts District in West Adams and has expanded her space to include a Writers’ Colony next door.
“We have to lift as we climb,” said Akil. “And if we want the world to spin on its axis in a new inclusive direction, we have to mentor and create opportunities for the next generation by sharing knowledge that will help them cultivate their voices, so they can say what’s burning inside of them to say in an entertaining way. It matters what we put out into the world, and I’m so thrilled to have a passionate partner in Susie to help me manifest all of these dreams.”