Upfronts season is underway and ABC has a couple big projects on the line featuring Black women! ABC Studios has picked up the pilot for comedy The Mayor starring Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) and Shonda Rhimes’ new legal drama, For the People!

The Mayor is executive produced by Tony-award winning Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Black-ish) and stars Brown as Dina along with Brandon Michael Hall as Courtney Rose, Lea Michele as Valentina, Bernard David Jones as Jermaine Hardaway, and Marcel Spears as TK. The comedy follows young rapper Courtney Rose (Hall) who needs his big break. For years, he’s toiled away in a small inner-city apartment, making music in his junk-filled bedroom closet. Tired of waiting for opportunity, Courtney cooks up the publicity stunt of the century: Running for mayor of his hometown in California to generate buzz for his music career. Unfortunately for Courtney, his master plan goes wildly awry, ending in the most terrifying of outcomes: an election victory. With the help of his mother (Brown) and friends, including Valentina (Michele), Courtney will have to overcome his hubris if he wants to transform the struggling city he loves.

Joining Diggs on the behind-the-scenes team is writer/executive producer Jeremy Bronson (Speechless, The Mindy Project, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) and executive producer Jamie Tarses (Happy Endings). The pilot is directed by Executive Producer James Griffiths (Black-ish).

Shondaland’s For the People is set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, aka “The Mother Court,” and follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country – all as their lives intersect in and out of the courtroom. The series is created by Shondaland’s Paul William Davies and is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.

The series, created by Shondaland’s Paul William Davies and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, stars Britne Oldford as Sandra Bell, Lyndon Smith as Allison Adams, Ben Rappaport as Seth Oliver, Susannah Flood as Kate Littlejohn, Wesam Keesh as Jay Simmons, Regé-Jean Page as Leonard Knox, Ben Shenkman as Roger Gunn, Hope Davis as Jill Carlan, Vondie Curtis-Hall as Judge Nicholas Byrne and Anna Deavere Smith as Tina Krissman.

Congrats to the cast/crew of these new exciting projects! We look forward to them both! Check out the teaser for The Mayor below!



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The HBR Media Team is a collective group of black women filmmakers, writers, and studio/network executives who are passionate about bringing visibility to women of African descent working in film and television.

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