Under the deal, Simien and his Culture Machine banner will develop premium television series for the studio for broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms. Aaliyah Jihad, who joined Culture Machine in 2019, will serve as creative executive.
During ‘Dear White People’s’ incredible four season run, it’s been an honor to facilitate bold-by-design, inclusive-by-default storytelling that pushes for better, more nuanced representation on screen as well as in the writers room, the director’s chair and across all departments,” Simien said. “Backed by an enthusiastic dream team at Paramount Television Studios, I’m thrilled to have the resources to apply my passion for identifying and developing the stars, storytellers and artists of tomorrow on an exponentially larger scale. As our industry grapples to attract an evolving, increasingly diverse consumer base, Culture Machine is poised and dedicated to meet that demand.”
Simien broke out with the “Dear White People” film, which was subsequently adapted into the Netflix series of the same name. The fourth and final season of the show is due to debut on Sept. 22. His second feature film, “Bad Hair,” was acquired out of Sundance with a seven-figure deal and released via Hulu. Next up, he is directing the “Haunted Mansion” film for Disney.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Justin and his wonderful team at Culture Machine into the PTVS family,” said Nicole Clemens, president of Paramount Television Studios and Paramount+ original scripted series. “Justin is a singular talent whose work consistently pushes the boundaries of storytelling and sparks necessary conversations both on-screen and off. We’ve long been fans of his and we’re looking forward to championing more of the cutting edge and essential stories that his name has become synonymous with.”
Simien is repped by CAA, Grandview, Del Shaw Moonves and Biz 3.