John Wells Productions has set up a pair of drama projects to be developed at HBO Max. John Wells and Erin Jontow will executive produce both shows, with Warner Bros. Television producing. JWP is currently under an overall deal at the studio.
The first new project is titled “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.” It is inspired by the book of the same name by Michael Bennett and Dave Zirin. The show would be a one-hour anthology that has one goal: to make white people uncomfortable. The theme of the first season is “the danger of white liberal thought.” Each episode will take a hard look at how white liberal thought has impacted American society and contributed to the state of race relations in America today.
Rodney Barnes will serve as writer and executive producer, with Bennet also serving as executive producer. Anthony Hemingway is attached to direct and executive produce via Anthony Hemingway Productions. Lyah LeFlore will also executive produce for AHP.
The second project is titled “Ke Nui Road.” It is described as a contemporary drama set on the North Shore of Oahu, focusing on the relationships between an elite crew of heavy-water lifeguards and the teens and young adults they mentor and train in the junior lifeguard program. The junior guards program embodies the beauty, the danger, the struggle, and the spirit of aloha — all centered on the ocean — that is modern Hawaii. Matt Kester will write and executive produce.
The news comes after the main cast was announced for the HBO Max drama pilot “Red Bird Lane,” also being produced by JWP.