Kerry Washington has signed an overall deal with ABC Studios for her newly launched production company Simpson Street (named after the street where Washington’s mom grew up in the Bronx).  Under the two-year agreement, Simpson ABC_Studios_logoStreet will develop broadcast, cable and digital projects exclusively for ABC Studios and ABC Signature.

“I believe strongly in the importance of having a seat at the table which makes starting this production company thrilling for me. It’s an honor to be at a point in my career when I can help generate projects that that are exciting, necessary, and truly reflect the world around us. I’m grateful to be on this journey with ABC, a network that remains unparalleled in its commitment to inclusive storytelling.” – Kerry Washington

According to Deadline, Sharla Sumpter Bridgett (former President of production at Varsity Pictures and President of film at Tollin/Robbins Productions) has been brought in to serve as development executive/producing partner at Simpson Street.  Bridgett and Washington worked together on the 2012 film A Thousand Words, in which Washington starred opposite Eddie Murphy.

Simpson Street’s first project was the HBO film Confirmation, in which Washington starred as attorney and academic Anita Hill.  The project was developed with ABC Signature, Groundswell Productions, and HBO Films.

“Kerry Washington is not only a great actress but a smart, creative producer, and we’re thrilled to have her new production company Simpson Street as part of ABC Studios.  We’re looking forward to making great television with Kerry both in front of and behind the camera.” – Patrick Moran, EVP of ABC Studios

In 2012, Washington became the first black woman to lead an American network drama series since 1974, when Teresa Graves starred in the crime drama Get Christie Love! on ABC.  Washington’s role on Scandal  represented a new era of post-racial television, in which cast members are ethnically diverse but are not defined by their race or ethnicity.  During her second season on Scandal, she went on to become the first African-American woman to be nominated in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 18 years.  At that time, the last black actress to receive a nomination was Cicely Tyson at the 47th annual Emmy Awards in 1995, when she was nominated for NBC’s Sweet Justice.  Her role on Scandal was deemed as the most complex female black lead we have ever seen on prime-time network television and has paved the way for more diverse story-telling around black women.

Washington has won a total of four NAACP Image Awards, and a BET Award.  She has been nominated for two Screen Actors guild Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Golden Globe.

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About The Author

Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime! info@hbrmedia.org

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