Gabrielle Union Bringing "Black Girl Magic" to NBC
|thenorthstar||Oct 1, 2019|
Being Mary Jane actor Gabrielle Union will serve as executive producer on NBC’s new comedy series Black Girl Magic. Union will join forces with South Side trio Emebeit Beyene, Crystal Boyd, and Chandra Russell to develop the project.
Black Girl Magic focuses on three estranged sisters who learn a mysterious secret about their family history. That secret changes their lives and pulls them back into the magical world of New Orleans, according to Variety.
The new comedy series was created by Beyene, Boyd, and Russell, who appeared on the Comedy Central series South Side. In 2013, the three also collaborated on the series Downtown Girls, a comedy web series about four recent college graduates who turn their NYC apartment into a nightclub, according to Deadline.
Beyene and Russell celebrated the show's approval with posts on Instagram.
“This is what dedication looks like. I worked hard for this, man. Cried all year off taking so many L’s. Grateful to my team for believing in me, [Gabrielle Union] for advocating day in and day out, and most importantly, to those two ride or dies pictured next to me. Let’s do this,” Beyene wrote.
In her own post, Russell wrote: “There was more than one way to have a hot girl summer. Some of us drove the boat while others quietly closed deals. Shout out to the girls next to me who did both. And shout out to me who did it [pregnant] and tired. God is good.”
Union took to Twitter to celebrate the announcement. “I’m so proud of this project and the bombass women who created it!! It’s #BlackGirlMagic for real!! We just getting started,” she tweeted. Beyene, Boyd, and Russell will executive produce the NBC project alongside Union. The three are repped by Paradigm, Kronicle Media and attorney Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, according to Deadline.
According to Variety, Union will executive produce along with Holly Shakoor Fleischer under her 'I’ll Have Another' production banner. Robia Rashid (Atypical) and Bryan Brucks will also be executive producers of the show.
Rashid and Union have overall deals with Sony Pictures Television, the studio behind Black Girl Magic. Rashid is the creator and showrunner of the award-winning Netflix series Atypical. According to Deadline, she is represented by ICM Partners and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.
The new NBC comedy represents the second producing projected announced in September involving Union in September. The first project announced will also be produced under Sony Pictures Television. Union will executive produce a one-hour bikini bar dramedy series titled Tips under her I’ll Have Another banner along with the company’s Holly Shakoor Fleischer as co-executive producer.
The project, which is in development at Spectrum, follows a young woman who uses pole dancing at a local bikini bar to escape from her soul-sucking job and recent break up, Variety reported. The show was created by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, who will serve as writer. Neal Moritz, Pavun Shetty, and Karina Rahardja of Original Films will executive produce as well.
Union currently stars in and executive produces LA’s Finest, a spinoff of the Bad Boys film franchise. The series, a Sony project under the Spectrum Originals banner, launched in May and was renewed for a second season in June. Union reprises her character from Bad Boys 2 and stars alongside actor Jessica Alba.
LA’s Finest stars the two actors of color as the new “bad boys,” noted Variety. Alba told the magazine that it was “unprecedented” for an action series to be led by two non-white women.
“Usually we’re the token something—girlfriend, bad girl, side piece. And women in the action genre are usually pretty one note,” Alba said. She claimed that LA’s Finest is different in that aspect. “They wrote us like real people,” she said.
Union added that the show turns traditional gender roles in the action genre upside down. “We’re not saved by anybody,” she said. “We’re the ones saving people. We got to be the action heroes, comedians, and a little sexy on occasion.”
Union also serves as a judge on NBC’s competition series America’s Got Talent. She is represented by CAA, Atlas Entertainment, and Felker Toczek Gelman Suddleson.