Onyx Collective announced today that it has picked up “Unprisoned” as its first scripted comedy series. From creator Tracy McMillan. The eight-episode series is produced by ABC Signature and will be streamed exclusively on Hulu in the U.S., Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ in all other territories.
Inspired by McMillan’s life, “Unprisoned” is a half-hour comedy about a messy but perfectionist relationship therapist and single mom whose life is turned right-side-up when her dad gets out of prison and moves in with her and her teenage son.
Star and executive producer Kerry Washington (“Little Fires Everywhere,” “Scandal”) plays Paige Alexander, a marriage and family therapist and mom to 16-year-old Finn. Washington will produce along with executive producer Pilar Savone through their Simpson Street production company. Simpson Street is currently producing Onyx Collective’s legal drama “Reasonable Doubt” from ABC Signature.
Delroy Lindo (“Da 5 Bloods”) executive produces and stars as Edwin Alexander, Paige’s father, who has recently been released from prison. Lindo recently starred in Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” (New York Film Critics Award’s Best Actor) and “The Harder They Fall” for Netflix. He has had memorable film roles in “The Cider House Rules,” “Heist,” “Ransom” and “Get Shorty,” and previously garnered acclaim for a trio of films with Spike: “Clockers,” “Crooklyn” and “Malcolm X.” Lindo will begin production on “Blade” for Marvel Studios this summer, and he will also be starring in Neil Gaiman’s limited series “Anansi Boys.”
Creator Tracy McMillan (“Mad Men,” Marvel’s “Runaways”) serves as executive producer. McMillan also hosts the relationship reality show “Family or Fiance” on Discovery’s OWN Network.
Yvette Lee Bowser (“Living Single,” “Dear White People,” “Run the World”) serves as executive producer and showrunner.
Joy Gorman Wettels (“13 Reasons Why”) will executive produce with Anonymous Content. Jen Braeden (“Love, Victor”) is also an executive producer. The series is produced by ABC Signature.
“Unprisoned” joins Onyx Collective’s impressive slate of content, including Questlove’s Oscar®-winning documentary “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”; “The Hair Tales,” from executive producers Tracee Ellis Ross, Michaela Angela Davis and Oprah Winfrey; legal drama “Reasonable Doubt,” from executive producers Raamla Mohamed, Kerry Washington and Larry Wilmore; limited series “The Plot,” executive produced and starring two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali; award-winning documentary “Aftershock,” from directors Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee; and recently announced docuseries “Gigante,” featuring interviews with Mario Kreutzberger, also known as Don Francisco, chronicling how the political and cultural impact of “Sabado Gigante” helped shape a new demographic.
“From the moment we read the script for ’Unprisoned,’ we wanted this fresh, funny series for Onyx,” stated Tara Duncan, president of Onyx Collective and Freeform. “Tracy tells the story of an endearing but complicated father-daughter relationship with the heart and humor of someone who has lived this all too common experience. We’re thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with Kerry Washington and the teams at Simpson Street and ABC Signature.”
“From the moment Tracy McMillan brought this project to Simpson Street, we knew that it had the potential to be provocative, groundbreaking and life-affirming,” says Kerry Washington, executive producer and star. “I love this show. I love these characters and the stories that they’ve inspired. And I’m so honored to work with this extraordinarily talented group of partners.”
“This isn’t just my story,” says creator Tracy McMillan, “it’s the story of millions of people dealing with the effects of mass incarceration on their families, hearts, minds and bodies — and as writers, we wanted to come to these flawed but super-lovable characters from the place of empathy, humor and soul that they deserve.”
Washington is represented by CAA, Washington Square Arts, Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman and The Lede Company.