Joe Morton joins the upcoming Fox drama Our Kind of People as a series regular. He joins Rhyon Nicole Brown, Yaya DaCosta, Morris Chestnut, Letoya Luckett and newcomer Alana Bright. The project comes from Lee Daniels and Karen Gist with Tasha Smith attached to direct two episodes of the series.
The Fox drama Our Kind of People is inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s non-fiction book Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class. It takes place in the aspirational world of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. It is a historical stronghold where the rich and powerful black elite have come to play for more than 50 years.
The series will follow single mom Angela Vaughn (Dacosta). She risks it all and moves her family to Martha’s Vineyard with hopes of taking her natural hair care line to the next level by infiltrating the African American elite in Oak Bluffs. But when she discovers a secret about her past, it may change her position and shake up her life and this influential community forever.
Morton will play Teddy Franklin, Leah’s (Luckett) father, Raymond’s (Chestnut) step-father, and Lauren’s (Brown) grandfather. He is “smooth as butter, smart as a whip.” He was born into money and grew his family’s sanitation company into one of the largest holding companies in the world. He accomplished his present wealth and status by being more rapacious and manipulative than anyone else in the business. When Leah takes him to task for buying out Black properties for pennies on the dollar, he has no apologies to make and reminds her where her current wealth and privilege came from. He has an arcane connection to Angela’s (DaCosta) past that may soon come to light.
Bright plays Angela’s daughter.
Smith will direct the pilot and second episode of the drama which received a straight-to-series order for the 2021-22 season. This project has been in development since 2017 with Gist and Daniels coming on board in 2019. Gist is also the executive producer via TheGistofIt Produtions alongside Daniels who is executive producing under his Lee Daniels Entertainment banner.
Ben Silverman and Montrel McKay are still attached to executive produce. Along with Silverman, fellow Propagate executives Jay Weisleder, Howard T. Owens, and Rodney Ferrell will also executive produce. Pam Williams and Marc Velez of Lee Daniels Entertainment will executive produce as well. 20th Century Fox Television will produce along with Fox Entertainment.