The series is titled “Unprisoned” and has received an eight-episode order. It is inspired by the life of series creator Tracy McMillan. In the show, a messy but perfectionist relationship therapist and single mom (Washington) has her life turned right-side-up when her dad (Lindo) gets out of prison and moves in with her and her teenage son. The show is the first comedy to be ordered to series at Onyx.
More from Variety
“From the moment Tracy McMillan brought this project to Simpson Street, we knew that it had the potential to be provocative, groundbreaking and life-affirming,” Washington said. “I love this show. I love these characters and the stories that they inspire. And I’m extremely excited to be working, once again, with both Onyx collective and ABC signature, and honored to be collaborating with this talented group of creative partners.”
McMillan created the series and serves as an executive producer. Yvette Lee Bowser is the showrunner and executive producer via SisterLee Productions. Washington and Lindo executive produce in addition to starring, with Washington executive producing via Simpson Street. Pilar Savone of Simpson Street also executive produces along with Joy Gorman Wettels of Anonymous Content and Jen Braeden. Kevin Bray directed and is executive producer on the first episode. ABC Signature is the studio. Both SisterLee and Simpson Street are under overall deals at ABC Signature.
“This isn’t just my story, it’s the story of millions of people dealing with the effects of mass incarceration on their families, hearts, minds and bodies — and as writers, we wanted to come to these flawed but super-lovable characters from the place of empathy, humor and soul that they deserve,” McMillan said.
This is now the second Onyx project in which Washington is involved. She is also an executive producer on the upcoming legal drama “Reasonable Doubt” starring Emayatzy Corinealdi. Washington is best known for her starring role in the hit ABC series “Scandal,” for which she received two Emmy nominations for best actress in a drama. She is also known for starring in the HBO film “Confirmation,” the Hulu limited series “Little Fires Everywhere,” and films like “Django Unchained” and “Ray.”
She is repped by CAA, Washington Square Arts, Hansen Jacobson, and The Lede Company.
Lindo recently earned strong praise for his performance in the Spike Lee film “Da 5 Bloods” and also played legendary lawman Bass Reeves in the film “The Harder They Fall.” He is known for his roles in other Lee films like “Malcolm X,” “Clockers,” and “Crooklyn.” He will next be seen in the Amazon-Neil Gaiman series “Anansi Boys” and in the Marvel film “Blade.”
He is repped by APA.
McMillan has previously written for shows like “Mad Men” and “Runaways.” She currently hosts the relationship reality show “Family or Fiance” on OWN. Bowser’s past credits include “Dear White People,” “Run the World,” “Black-ish,” and “Living Single.”
McMillan and Bowser are repped by WME.
“From the moment we read the script for ’Unprisoned,’ we wanted this fresh, funny series for Onyx,” said Tara Duncan, president of Onyx Collective and Freeform. “Tracy tells the story of an endearing but complicated father-daughter relationship with the heart and humor of someone who has lived this all too common experience. We’re thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with Kerry Washington and the teams at Simpson Street and ABC Signature.”
Best of Variety