Tracee Ellis Ross to Star in ‘Daria’ Spinoff ‘Jodie’ on MTV

MTV will air a spinoff of late ‘90s animated series Daria, with Tracee Ellis Ross voicing the main character and executive producing the show, which is called Jodie. Daria ran from 1997 to 2002, and was itself a spinoff, of Beavis and Butthead.

Jodie will be centered around Daria’s good friend Jodie Landon, an African-American character from the original series. Jodie will follow the character as she enters the workplace in her first post-college job in tech.

“What Daria did for exploring the inanity of high school, Jodie will do for exploring the trials and tribulations of a first job,” said MTV. “Jodie will satirize workplace culture, Gen Z struggles, the artifice of social media and more.”

Other former students of Lawndale High will also appear.

“Given the passion for these characters, there was only one person who could build upon the legacy to reimagine Jodie for a whole new generation, and that person is Tracee Ellis Ross,” said Chris McCarthy president of MTV. “This marks another exciting step forward for MTV Studios as we build out a wide new slate based on the rich characters from the history in MTV Animation.”

The show will touch on empowerment across gender and racial lines and explorations of privilege, and “the personal and professional issues all young people face in today’s complex, socially-conscious world,” said the network.

Ellis Ross plays Rainbow Johnson on Black-ish.

“I am thrilled to bring this project to life with MTV, both as executive producer and by voicing Jodie’s character,” she said. “Being able to give voice to fresh, feminist and unexplored stories of young women excites me. Jodie will spin off from the cult classic Daria, and with the brilliant, sweet and sarcastic black girl magic that is Jodie Landon, we will feature a diverse cast, comprised mainly of unapologetically smart and ambitious young female characters who are vulnerable and flawed and interesting and funny.”

Grace Nkenge Edwards is the creator and head writer. She’s a writer/co-producer for Insecure on HBO. MTV’s Trevor Rose, Morgana Rosenberg and Amy Doyle will executive produce.

Ellis Ross noted that Jodie will be the first adult animated show in almost 20 years to star a black woman. “It will be a smart, funny workplace comedy full of commentary about everything from gentrification to sex to tech to call-out culture,” she said. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.