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Tracee Ellis Ross to Star in, Executive Produce ‘Daria’ Spinoff Series at MTV

Tracee Ellis Ross is set to play a prominent role, both as a star and executive producer, in MTV’s upcoming adult animated series “Jodie.”

The series is a reimagining of the classic animated show “Daria,” and is described as a satire of the post college workplace and personal adventures of Gen Z. “Daria” was itself inspired by MTV’s “Beavis and Butthead,” based on the widespread appeal of the Daria Morgendorffer character whose wry wisdom was beyond her high school years.

The new series will center around Daria’s good friend Jodie Landon (Ellis Ross), an African American character from the original series. Viewers will follow her as she comes into her own and enters the workplace in her first post-college job in tech. Other former students from Lawndale High School will also appear.

MTV originally announced the new series would be a re-imagination of the “Daria” series which would feature the titular character. However, the network is now seeking to expand the franchise even further, revealing that “Jodie” will be the first in a series of spinoffs from the adult animated show which ran for five seasons from 1997 to 2002.

“I am thrilled to bring this project to life with MTV, both as executive producer and by voicing Jodie’s character. Being able to give voice to fresh, feminist and unexplored stories of young women excites me,” said Ellis Ross. ” We will feature a diverse cast, comprised mainly of unapologetically smart and ambitious young female characters who are vulnerable and flawed and interesting and funny….‘Jodie’ will be the first adult animated show in almost 20 years that will star a black woman. It will be a smart, funny workplace comedy full of commentary about everything from gentrification to sex to tech to call-out culture.”

The series hails from creator and head writer Grace Nkenge Edwards, known for her work on HBO’s “Insecure, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Inside Amy Schumer.”

“Given the passion for these characters, there was only one person who could build upon the legacy to reimagine Jodie for a whole new generation, and that person is Tracee Ellis Ross,” said MTV president Chris McCarthy. “This marks another exciting step forward for MTV Studios as we build out a wide new slate based on the rich characters from the history in MTV Animation.”

MTV’s Trevor Rose, Morgana Rosenberg and Amy Doyle will executive produce.

Ellis Ross recently spoke with Sarah Paulson about stepping into a directorial role on “Black-ish” as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors. She will also narrate and serve as an executive producer on the spinoff series “Mixed-ish,” which is set to debut as part of ABC’s 2019-2020 lineup.

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