Fox Orders Comedy Put Pilot ‘Diversity Hire’ From ‘Empire’ Duo

Felicia Henderson Cameron Johnson
Courtesy of Fox Entertainment

Fox has given a put pilot order to the single-camera comedy “Diversity Hire,” Variety has learned.

The series hails from Cameron Johnson and Felicia D. Henderson. Henderson met Johnson on the Fox series “Empire,” where Henderson served as a consulting producer and writer and Johnson is currently a story editor. Johnson wrote the script for “Diversity Hire” and will co-executive produce. Henderson will executive produce along with her producing partner Darryl Taja under their WaterWalk Entertainment banner. 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment will produce, with WaterWalk currently under an overall deal at 20th TV.

The show centers on Zenzi Baker, a brilliant, young, African-American, programmer whose life is turned upside down when her boss embroils his successful tech company in a publicity nightmare. To save face, Zenzi, a low-level coder, is plucked from obscurity and promoted to chief diversity and inclusion officer. Her primary qualification? She’s “diverse.”

“I love working with the next generation of content creators,” Henderson said. “It scratches my mentoring itch. And Cameron has this amazing, special, unique voice that is irreverent, honest, and hilarious. Developing this show with him has been a ridiculous amount of fun.”

This marks the second development deal for WaterWalk at Fox this season. Previously, Henderson and Taja set up the one-hour drama “Opus” at the broadcaster, with Nicole Ari Parker attached to star. That project received a script commitment with a penalty attached. Henderson is currently a consulting producer on the upcoming Fox drama “neXt.” Her previous credits include co-creating the BET series “The Quad,” writing for and co-executive producing “The Punisher” at Netflix, and writing and co-executive producing the Fox series “Fringe.”

She is repped by Epidemic Management and attorney Mark Stankevich. Johnson is repped by Myman Greenspan.