Issa Rae, creator of the popular two-year-old Web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” is making the jump to network television.
Deadline reported Monday that Shondaland, the production company run by “Grey’s Anatomy” creator and producer Shonda Rhimes, has sold a half-hour comedy by Rae to ABC.
Rae, 27, will write and co-exeutive produce the show, called “I Hate LA Dudes.” According to Deadline, the comedy will center on “an aspiring journalist, new to Los Angeles, who becomes the lone female voice on a budding, male-driven internet talk show, while learning to decode the often humiliating and exasperating rules of the LA dating scene.”
Rhimes, who also produces the dramas “Private Practice” and “Scandal” for ABC, has wanted to expand into comedy, Deadline said.
Rae said in an interview with The Washington Post that Rhimes’s team has “been a dream” in terms of helping her develop the idea. “It’s a whole other level.”
Rae came to the attention of television executives after “Awkward Black Girl,” which was originally posted episode by episode on YouTube, attracted millions of viewers and won a Shorty Award, honoring the best shows in social media.
The second season of “Awkward Black Girl” was financed by YouTube’s “I Am Other Channel,” created by Pharrell Williams.
Rae says her dreams of opening up television for “relatable” people of color seem to be coming true — all at once. One of her biggest issues about black characters on mainstream television and film had been that “I don’t see me.” But, she says, the deal with ABC shows that “there are still opportunities for awkward black girls.”
The Oct. 7 edition of The Washington Post Magazine contains a profile of Issa Rae, in which she discusses the impetus for “Awkward Black Girl,” the show’s future, and her childhood years in Potomac, which she says were “like living in a Saturday-morning 'Saved by the Bell.'”