Nadine Ellis joins the Fox drama series Our Kind of People in recasting. She will star opposite Yaya DaCosta, Morris Chestnut and Joe Morton.
The project comes from Lee Daniels and Karen Gist with Tasha Smith attached to direct two episodes of the series.
The drama Our Kind of People is inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’ 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), who 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 she soon discovers a secret about her past that just might change her position and shake up her life and this influential community forever.
Ellis takes over the lead role of Leah Franklin-Dupont that Letoya Luckett originally was cast for. The decision was made following the table read on the project as the character is being tweaked.
Franklin-Dupont, a strong, confident, elegant businesswoman, who, along with her husband Raymond (Chestnut), sits at the top of the food chain of the wealthy, long-standing Black elite in Martha’s Vineyard. Leah feels the pressure of her position, and a responsibility to give back to the Black community. But when Angela Vaughn (DaCosta) arrives and starts to shake things up and threaten her family’s legacy, Leah makes it her mission to bar Angela from acceptance into The Bluffs before she tears down everything Leah’s family has built.
Morton stars as franklin-Dupont’s father and Rhyon Nicole Brown is cast as her daughter. L. Scott Caldwell, Lance Gross, Kyla Bary, and newcomer Alana Bright also star.
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.
Filming on the series is scheduled to begin next week as planned in Wilmington, NC. Tasha Smith (9-1-1, Big Sky) is directing the series premiere.