Kenya Barris, creator of the hit comedy black-ish, is leaving his overall deal with ABC Studios, with rumors that he’ll be moving over to Netflix.

  • According to Deadline, Barris will terminate his deal in August.
  • The departure comes just over a year into a deal that wasn’t set to expire until 2021.
  • While Barris and ABC are parting ways, he will remain an executive producer of black-ish, grown-ish, and the upcoming series Besties.
  • Barris will also continue work on ABC Studios projects currently in development.
  • Some observers had predicted Barris’ exit after some reported tensions between Barris and ABC.
  • Back in March, ABC pulled an episode of black-ish, saying that the network and Barris were unable to reach an agreement regarding the episode’s content.
  • Additionally, a Barris project that had received a straight-to-series order was later downgraded to a pilot order after Alec Baldwin backed out of starring. Deadline reports the pilot was never produced.
  • Rumors suggest Barris could be headed for a deal at Netflix, although there’s no confirmation on that front.
  • Incidentally, powerhouse producer Shonda Rhimes left ABC for Netflix nearly a year ago.

What They’re Saying

  • Kenya Barris: “I’m very grateful to Patrick Moran and his team at ABC Studios, who have supported me every step of the way as I created the worlds of black-ish, grown-ish, and now Besties. It has been an incredible ride including a Peabody and Golden Globe win, Emmy nominations, and many other accolades. But most importantly, they’ve allowed me to realize my dream of creating my own shows and I’m so proud of the work we’ve done together. No matter what, the studio has never wavered in their support of my creative vision. Leaving is bittersweet, but between my series on the air and projects currently in development, I know I’ll continue to work with ABC Studios for a long time.”