×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

OWN Orders Drama Series From ‘Moonlight’ Co-Writer, Michael B. Jordan

The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) has given a straight-to-series order to a new drama from “Moonlight” co-writer and executive producer Tarell Alvin McCraney with Michael B. Jordan also executive producing, Variety has learned.

Marking his first television series, McCraney will create, write, and executive produce the new coming-of-age drama, with Mike Kelley and Melissa Loy also serving as executive producers under their Page Fright production banner. Jordan will executive produce through his Outlier Productions. The series, which is yet to be titled, will be produced for OWN by Page Fright and Outlier Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. It follows a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects haunted by the death of his closest friend who must choose between the streets that raised him or the higher education that may offer him a way out. Set in South Florida at the end of the Obama era, the series was inspired by events in McCraney’s own life.

“I wanted to explore the pivotal steps towards adulthood and identity, the ones we take when we think or feel we have no other choice,” McCraney said.

A playwright, actor, and producer, McCraney received an Academy Award along with director Barry Jenkins for best adapted screenplay for co-writing “Moonlight,” which also won best picture. The movie was based on McCraney’s semi-autobiographical script “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.” He also currently serves as the chair of playwriting at the Yale School of Drama.

“When Tarell shared his powerful story with us there wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” Winfrey said. “I knew this was something special that our viewers will without a doubt connect to and feel compelled to explore with us. I am honored to be working with Tarell and the rest of the producers on this project.”

McCraney’s move into television comes after Jenkins decided to dip his toes in the TV waters by writing and directing a one-hour drama series about the Underground Railroad for Amazon. That series will be based on Colson Whitehead’s best-selling book, “The Underground Railroad.” The book was an Oprah’s Book Club 2016 selection, New York Times bestseller, and the winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction.

McCraney’s series will join OWN’s expanded lineup of scripted programming. The network most recently announced the new dramedy “Love Is __” from Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil adding to its roster of current dramas “Queen Sugar” and “Greenleaf,” which have both been picked up for third seasons. The network also airs the Tyler Perry dramas “The Haves and the Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong.”

McCraney is represented by CAA, Corinne Hayoun at MANAGE-MENT, and attorney Tara Kole at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown. Kelley and Loy are both represented by CAA and attorney Harris Hartman at Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern. Jordan is represented by WME and attorney Greg Slewett at Bloom Hergott.

More TV

  • Writer-Director Dominik Moll on Series Mania

    Writer-Director Dominik Moll on Series Mania Competition Contender ‘Eden’

    LILLE, France — “I must down to the seas again,” Amaré, an teen African illegal immigrant, reads aloud in a poetry lesson at a refugee center near the beach in Greece. Thoughts of wander-lust seen comically out of place. Amaré has just been seen in the prolog to “Eden” leaping out of a dinghy beaching [...]

  • John Simm Talks ‘Cold Courage' as

    John Simm Talks ‘Cold Courage' as Lionsgate Boards International Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Simm plays a rabble-rousing populist politician in “Cold Courage,” and Lionsgate has stepped up and taken international rights to the series. Based on the series of novels by Pekka Hiltunen, the drama is billed as the biggest yet out of Finland and will bow on the Viaplay streaming service in Scandinavia. With a cast [...]

  • "Raven's Home" Executive Producer, Eunetta Boone.

    Eunetta Boone, Showrunner and Creator of 'One on One,' Dies at 63

    Writer-producer Eunetta Boone, creator of the UPN comedy “One on One” and showrunner of Disney Channel’s “Raven’s Home,” died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 63. Boone was found dead at her home of an apparent heart attack. Boone had most recently worked as showrunner on the third season of the Disney [...]

  • Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Series

    Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Starring Dominic West Ahead of Series Mania

    The BBC and Masterpiece adaptation of “Les Miserables” will play on a numerous international channels after a raft of deals were sealed for the series, which features Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins. Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic has been acquired by broadcasters in Scandinavia and southern Europe, and by several buyers [...]

  • Kevin Hart

    TV News Roundup: Kevin Hart Netflix Comedy Special Drops First Trailer

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases the official trailer for the comedy special “Kevin Hart: Irresponsible” and Josh Charles joins Showtime’s Roger Ailes series “The Loudest Voice.” DATES Season two of “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner, will premiere on Paramount Network on June 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The sophomore season will continue the story of rancher John Dutton [...]

  • adidas game of thrones

    5 New 'Game of Thrones' Collaborations Coming in Time for the Final Season

    Some of the biggest lifestyle brands in the world are jumping on the “Game of Thrones” bandwagon this spring, hoping to capitalize on the fandom and popularity of the HBO hit, as it enters its eighth and final season. From sneakers to spirits, these officially-licensed collaborations extend the characters and colors of the show beyond [...]

  • Nicole Richie

    Nicole Richie Joins Fox Comedy Pilot 'Richard Lovely'

    Nicole Richie has been cast in a series regular role in the Fox single-cam comedy pilot “Richard Lovely.” The project follows Richard Lovely (Thomas Lennon), the disgruntled author of the best-selling children’s book series, “Mr. Mouse.” He doesn’t hate children, but rather just everything about them. After a publicity fiasco involving an unexpectedly savvy 9-year-old [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content