Kenny Smith Strikes Overall Deal with Universal Television, Joins ‘Kenan’ As Co-Showrunner

Kenny Smith
Courtesy of Kelsey MacNeal

Kenny Smith is moving from Disney to NBCUniversal.

The Black-ish co-showrunner has struck an overall deal with Universal Television. He was previously under a three-year overall deal at ABC Studios.

Smith will develop and produce projects across various platforms for the studio and also recently joined Universal Television’s and NBC’s comedy series Kenan as co-showrunner alongside David Caspe. The Kenan Thompson-fronted comedy is returning for a second season.

In addition to taking over from Kenya Barris as co-showrunner of ABC comedy Black-ish, he developed a number of projects at the Disney-owned studio, including None of the Above, which was ordered to pilot at Freeform.

Other TV credits include NBC’s Marlon, ABC’s Uncle Buck and BET’s The Game.

“Kenny is one of the most hilarious, collaborative and talented storytellers we know, and we’re thrilled to officially welcome him back to the UTV family,” said Jim Donnelly, EVP, Comedy Development, UTV. “He elevates every project that he is a part of, and we feel lucky to be teaming up with him during such an exciting time in our business. We fully intend to utilize each of his many talents as we venture into the future.”

“The overall deal may be new, but I’ve worked with UTV many times over the years. Each experience with Pearlena, Erin, Jim and the rest of the team has been something you hope for but is sometimes hard to find. They offer the kind of support that helps you maintain your voice and vision for each project. So now with my plan to expand into various areas of storytelling, UTV has shown an extraordinary belief in me as a writer, producer and director. It’s many thanks from me,” said Smith.

Smith is represented by APA and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman L.L.P.

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