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‘Blindspotting’ Series in Development at Starz, Jasmine Cephas Jones Cast (EXCLUSIVE)

Starz is developing a series spinoff of the Lionsgate film “Blindspotting,” Variety has learned exclusively.

In addition, Jasmine Cephas Jones has been cast in the lead role, reprising the role of Ashley from the film. The series centers on Ashley, who was nipping at the heels of a middle class life in Oakland until Miles, her partner of 12 years and father of their son, is suddenly incarcerated, leaving her to navigate a chaotic and humorous existential crisis when she’s forced to move in with Miles’ mother and half-sister. Her world is turned upside down while the neighborhood goes inside out, and she must renegotiate her relationship with a town that is caught between two conflicting identities.

The Lionsgate TV project will be a half-hour dramedy with Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs attached to write and executive produce. Casal and Diggs starred in the film in addition to writing and producing it. Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder of Snoot Entertainment, who produced the film, will executive produce the series along with Emily Gerson Saines, Ken Lee, and Tim Palen of Barnyard Projects. Palen previously served as Lionsgate’s chief brand officer and head of worldwide theatrical marketing for over 15 years.

Blindspotting” debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and received its theatrical release in July of that year. The film received widespread critical acclaim, currently holding a 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 164 reviews counted. Casal, Diggs, and Snoot Entertainment are next reteaming with Lionsgate on the film “First Sight.”

In addition to her role in “Blindspotting,” Jones is known for her dual roles in the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton,” in which she starred opposite Diggs. This would mark her first regular TV role, though she has appeared on shows like “Girls” and “Midnight, Texas.” She will also appear in the upcoming Quibi series “#Freerayshawn” and HBO’s “Mrs. Fletcher.”

Jones is repped by ICM, ATA Management & Jackoway Tyerman. Casal is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Diggs is repped by WME and Brookside Artist Management.

Should the project go to series, it would be the latest half-hour drama at Starz. The premium cabler also currently airs “Vida” and “Sweetbitter,” both of which are half-hour shows. Other current Starz shows include “Outlander,” “American Gods,” and “Power,” the last of which is ending after its current sixth season.

The “Blindspotting” series also continues Starz’ push into programming content geared toward women. Speaking at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in July, Jeffrey Hirsch, who at the time was Starz’ COO but was recently upped to president and CEO, said the network was targeting a “premium female” audience.

 

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