Yaya DaCosta is departing her longtime role in Chicago med ahead of its seventh season to lead the upcoming Fox drama series Our Kind Of People. She is the first cast member announced to join the Lee Daniels and Karen Gist project they have with 20th Television and Fox Entertainment. Tasha Smith is also attached to direct the series.
Our Kind of People is a drama 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, a historical stronghold where the rich and powerful black elite have come to play for more than 50 years.
Gist took over writing the project from Wendy Calhoun. 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.
DaCosta’s Angela is a fashion-forward “boho” woman, an up-and-coming hair products entrepreneur. Angela grew up in a working class household and has never gotten over the fact that her wealthy father (who she never met) turned his back on them. After the death of her beloved mother Eve, Angela inherits a waterfront Main Street property on Martha’s Vineyard, and moves there with her alienated daughter Nikki. Angela intends to open a store on the island and further build her brand, and she’s hoping to gain acceptance into the Vineyard’s elite and long-standing Black community. But her way is blocked by Leah Franklin Dupont, the social arbiter who rules the roost on the island. However, Angela is a fighter who isn’t deterred…
Smith will direct the pilot and second episode of the drama which received a straight-to-series order for the 3021-22 season.
“Magic is something you create, and showrunner Karin Gist has given new life to the special story that is Our Kind of People,” said Smith. “I am honored and thrilled to bring her work to life alongside executive producer Lee Daniels, who is a wonderful producer and mentor to me.”
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.
Other casting news and production dates haven’t been revealed.