In a competitive situation, Fox has given a put pilot commitment to Diversity Hire, a provocative single-camera workplace comedy from the Empire duo of Cameron Johnson and Felicia D. Henderson, producer Darryl Taja (The Perfect Guy) and Empire studio 20th Century Fox TV, where Henderson is under an overall deal.
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Written by Johnson, Diversity Hire is described as an irreverent workplace half-hour that will comedically explore our beliefs about race, class, and gender, while pushing the boundaries of political correctness. The show centers on Zenzi Baker, a brilliant, young, African-American, programmer whose life is turned upside down when her boss embroils his successful tech company in a publicity nightmare. To save face, Zenzi, a low-level coder, is plucked from obscurity and promoted to chief diversity and inclusion officer. Her primary qualification? She’s “diverse.”
Henderson and Taja executive produce via Henderson’s 20th TV-based WaterWalk Entertainment banner. Johnson is co-executive producer. Diversity Hire is a co-production of 20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment.
This marks WaterWalk’s second sale to Fox this development season. It joins music-driven drama, Opus, starring Nicole Ari Parker, which Henderson is writing.
Under the overall deal Henderson inked with 20th TV last summer to develop new projects with her longtime manager, Taja, as her producing partner, she joined the studio’s Fox drama series Empire last season where she and Johnson met. Johnson is a writer on the family soap, currently staffed as a story editor.
“I love working with the next generation of content creators. It scratches my mentoring itch,” said Henderson. “And Cameron has this amazing, special, unique voice that is irreverent, honest, and hilarious. Developing this show with him has been a ridiculous amount of fun.”
Currently, Henderson is a consulting producer on 20th TV’s upcoming Fox series neXt, an FBI cyber-crime drama set to premiere in January 2020. She recently co-created and executive produced the BET series, The Quad, and spent two years as a co-executive producer on Netflix’s The Punisher. She also developed and executive produced Showtime’s long-running drama series Soul Food.
Henderson’s writing career began in half-hour comedy with stints on Everybody Hates Chris, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Moesha. She is repped by Epidemic Management and attorney Mark Stankevich. Johnson is repped by Kim Stenton at Myman Greenspan.
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