“Black Cake” is based on the upcoming book by Charmaine Wilkerson. It is a family drama wrapped in a murder mystery with a diverse cast of characters and a global setting. The story spans decades and takes place in Jamaica, Rome, Scotland, England and Southern California.
In the late 1960s, a runaway bride named Covey (Isaac) disappears into the surf off the coast of Jamaica and is feared drowned or a fugitive on the run for her husband’s murder. Fifty years later in California, a widow named Eleanor Bennett loses her battle with cancer, leaving to her two estranged children, Byron (Thomas) and Benny (Warren), a flash drive that holds previously untold stories of her journey from the Caribbean to America. These stories, narrated by Eleanor, shock her children and challenge everything they thought they knew about their family’s origin.
According to Deadline, Thomas’ Byron Bennett is a brilliant ocean scientist, whose formidable work ethic has made him a leader in his field and a popular social media influencer. His professional success comes second only to his relationship with his mother. In the wake of her death, Byron is tasked with carrying out her final wish – a task that forces a reunion with his estranged sister, Benny and brings to light harrowing secrets.
The show landed a straight to series order last fall and comes from Women of the Movement creator Marissa Jo Cerar, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment.
Zetna Fuentes (This Is Us) has been tapped to direct the pilot episode, replacing Andrew Dosunmu. Cerar will write the adaptation and will serve as showrunner on the series.
The series is executive produced by Cerar, Harpo Films’ Winfrey and Carla Gardini and Kapital Entertainment’s Kaplan, Brian Morewitz and Michael Lohmann. Harpo’s Emily Rudolf co-executive produces. Jessie Abbott is overseeing for Kapital.
Thomas can be seen next in the upcoming ITV/Britbox limited series, The Ipcress File as well as in the FX limited series Great Expectations.