The series centers on a 14-year-old prodigy (Akili McDowell) from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend and relied on by his hardworking mother (Alana Arenas) to find a way out of poverty. Set in South Florida, “David Makes Man” is inspired by events in McCraney’s own life and explores childhood trauma and the power of imagination to survive.
“Tarell McCraney has brought us a gift with this series and masterfully added a beautiful new hue to our palette of dramatic storytelling on OWN,” said network president Tina Perry, announcing the renewal. “Viewers and television critics alike have embraced ‘David Makes Man’ and connected to its powerful message. We are honored to partner with the incredible producers and cast as well as our friends at Warner Horizon Scripted Television on a second season.”
The series hails from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and is executive produced by McCraney, Michael B. Jordan, Dee Harris-Lawrence, Mike Kelley, Melissa Loy and Oprah Winfrey. Ratings-wise, “David Makes Man” averaged just over 400,000 viewers per episode in Live+Same Day across its debut season.
“It was an honor when we first started and engaged with OWN to do this project and a blessing, a real gift and show of God’s grace that Ms. Winfrey picked it up for the long haul,” said McCraney.
Harris-Lawrence served as showrunner for season 1 and is set to return for the show’s second outing. The show represents the latest high-concept swing to come out of OWN which, like many cablers, is being forced to react to the threat of cord-cutting and keep up with the evolution of the TV business.
“Tarell has created an incredibly moving and powerful drama in ‘David Makes Man,’ and we are so excited that he and Dee will have the opportunity to continue to tell this unique story,” said Warner Bros. Television’s Peter Roth, Susan Rovner and Brett Paul. “We are thankful to OWN and Oprah Winfrey, as well as our producing partners Michael B. Jordan, Mike Kelley and Melissa Loy.”