Netflix officially announced that producer Kenya Barris has signed a multi-year overall deal to produce new series exclusively at Netflix.
Barris is best known for creating ABC’s comedy series black-ish, and its spinoff Grown-ish on Freeform. He is also the writer of the movie Girls Trip.
ABC decided not to air an episode of black-ish last season, opening up a rift with Barris. The network reportedly also passed on some of his other projects.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but published reports valued the deal at $100 million
The deal is the latest as streaming companies getting into the video business snap up prominent show creators in big-money deals.
Last year, Netflix signed up Shonda Rhimes, the prolific producer of ABC series Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder and earlier this year lured Ryan Murphy away from Fox, where he made Glee and other series.
“Kenya Barris is one of our great modern storytellers,” said Cindy Holland, VP, original content at Netflix. “Kenya uses his voice to make audiences more aware of the world around them, while simultaneously making them laugh. His honesty, comedic brilliance and singular point of view, combined with the creative freedom he will enjoy at Netflix, promises to create powerful new stories for all our members around the world.”
“When my agents reached out to me about this little garage start-up called Netflix, I wasn’t sure what to think,” said Barris. “But after I talked to Ted and Cindy, I started to believe that maybe this mom-and-pop shop with only 130 million subscribers might just be something... so I decided to take a swing... a leap of faith if you will, and take a chance with the new kids on the block.”
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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