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Comedian Lena Waithe Inks Deal With BET to Write Pilot ‘Twenties’ (Exclusive)

Lena Waithe, writer and producer known for YouTube series such as “Dear White People,” has signed a deal to write a pilot script for BET based on her YouTube series “Twenties,” Variety has learned.

The show will be produced by Flavor Unit.

“Twenties” focuses on the experiences of a few twentysomething black women trying to find their voice and place in society. “Twenties” debuted on YouTube last August. Waithe hopes the pilot will reach a wide range of demographics and use its wit to spark meaningful conversation.

“We want to be entertaining, but we also want to make people think and not just sit back mindlessly,” Waithe said. “We really want them to sit up and pay attention.”

Waithe, who cites shows including “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “A Different World” as influences, said she likes to use comedy to give voice to groups that aren’t always illuminated in humor.

“My goal is to shoot the most amazing pilot possible,” Waithe told Variety. “But for people to not just love it today but for them also to watch it 20 years from now.”

Variety named Lena Waithe one of its 10 Comedians to Watch in 2014. She is also the producer of the film “Dear White People,” which is set to bow Oct. 17 and a writer for Fox’s “Bones,” and she says she is working on a project with fellow producer and writer Issa Rae.

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