Lena Waithe and Pharrell Williams have teamed up via their production companies Hillman Grad Productions and i am OTHER for a new skating comedy series, Rollin’, for HBO Max.
Calaya Michelle Stallworth is penning the half-hour, single-camera comedy series which centers on “an easily corruptible newbie skater and her ragtag rink crew who find drive and deliverance on the hardwood at an ATL skating rink known for its good music, food, vibes and stellar stunts. They soon discover that walking away from your past is easier said than done — but as all skaters learn, when you fall down, you must get back up.”
Hillman Grad’s developing it under their overall deal with Warner Bros. Television Group. Stallworth is also executive producing the series alongside Waithe and Hillman Grad CEO Rishi Rajani. Naomi Funabashi, the company’s president of film and TV, is also executive producing.
Pharrell Williams and Mimi Valdés will also executive produce the show via their i am OTHER banner, with the company’s Shani Saxon serving as a co-executive producer. Hillman Grad executives Rocio Melara (VP, film and TV) and Sylvia Carrasco will help oversee the day-to-day on the series under the leadership of Funabashi.
Last year, Hillman Grad announced that they’d inked an exclusive multi-year overall deal with WBTVG — moving from Amazon in a highly competitive situation — to produce new television programming for all platforms, including HBO Max, external streaming services, cable and the five broadcast networks. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The first project announced under the new pact was the scripted drama adaptation of “Hoop Dreams,” inspired by director Steve James’ documentary. Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (“S.W.A.T.”) is set to executive produce and write that show.
Since its inception in 2015, and under the leadership of Waithe and Rajani, Hillman Grad has risen to become one of the most prominent companies in entertainment, with a mission to “create art that redefines the status quo by amplifying and celebrating the stories and voices of diverse, historically marginalized communities across all industries.” The new projects join Hillman Grad’s lineup of popular TV shows, including Showtime’s “The Chi,” which was renewed for a sixth season last month, and the upcoming BET+ original dramedy series “Birth of Cool.”
(Originally read on Variety)