Lance Gross has been cast in Lee Daniels and Karin Gist’s series “Our Kind of People,” a drama headed to Fox on Tuesday nights this fall. The “Sleepy Hollow” regular joins previously announced cast members Yaya DaCosta (“Chicago Med”), Morris Chestnut (“The Resident”), Joe Morton (“Scandal”) LeToya Luckett and newcomer Alana Bright. The series is inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s book “Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class.” It is a co-production of Fox Entertainment and 20th Television.
Per the logline, “Our Kind of People” takes place in the aspirational world of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, a historical stronghold where rich and powerful Black elite have come to play for over 50 years. The series follows protagonist Angela Vaughn (DaCosta), a strong-willed, single mom who sets out to reclaim her family’s name and change the world with her revolutionary hair-care line that highlights the natural beauty of Black women. Michael Thorn, president of entertainment for Fox Entertainment, described it as “a soapy, thrilling exploration of race and class in America.”
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Gross will portray Tyrique Freeman, who is described as “a smooth, handsome man with an edge, who was born into modest circumstances but made a fortune in construction and has gained acceptance in The Bluffs.” When Angela (DaCosta) confronts Leah (Luckett) at her stuffy fundraiser, Tyrique rallies to help her and her Aunt Piggy (TBD) save face. The sizzling chemistry between him and Angela is immediately obvious, but he warns the straightforward Angela that she has to play the game if she wants entry into the elite Black community, and he offers to help in any way he can.
Gross is the first actor to win four NAACP Image Awards for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for his role on Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne.” His other television credits include “Crisis,” “Star” “Hawaii 5-0” and “MacGyver.” He is repped by Steve Gersh of Gersh and managed by Kenny Goodman of Goodmanagement; his legal representation is Meyer & Downs.
“Our Kind of People” was first put in development back in 2017 and was re-worked last year. The show from the “Star” executive producers was the first new Fox drama series ordered for this 2021-2022 season. It was also the first show to be launched out of the network’s script-to-series model and writers’ room led by Gist, which opened its doors in September 2020. The writers’ room news came three months after Fox announced the project was still in contention for an off-cycle order to fill the network’s growing scheduling needs due to COVID-19.
Executive producers Gist and Daniels are currently under overall deals at 20th Television. Pam Williams and Claire Brown will executive produce via The Gist of It Productions, and Marc Velez will executive produce for Lee Daniels Entertainment. Executive producing on behalf of Propagate are Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens and Rodney Ferrell, and Montrel McKay. Tasha Smith (“9-1-1,” “Big Sky”) will direct the pilot episode.
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