TBS has ordered a comedy pilot from Chicagoan and The Chi and Master of None writer Lena Waithe. Twenties will be about a queer black girl named Hattie and her two straight best friends, and Waithe previously described it as “my Master of None about life in my 20s, set in LA.”
Waithe’s star has grown exponentially lately. Twenties is the second original series deal she has snagged in recent months, the first being The Chi, a drama set in the south side and which premiered last month on Showtime to positive reviews. In September, she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for best comedy writing, for her work on Netflix’s Master of None episode in which her character, Denise, comes out to her family.
“I get a lot of people hitting me up on Twitter and Instagram and they message me telling me, ‘Hey, I’m queer and brown and see myself in you and that character,'” Waithe told the Reader about her experience playing Denise. “It means a lot to me. I didn’t realize how revolutionary the character was.”
For Waithe, Twenties is an opportunity to further put the experiences of queer black individuals front and center.
“I always wanted to tell a story where a queer black woman was the protagonist and I’m so grateful to TBS for giving me a platform to tell this story,” Waithe said in a statement. “Queer black characters have been the sidekick for long enough, it’s time for us to finally take the lead.”
My heart is so full today. Grateful that TBS believed in me and this show. I’m gonna keep fighting to get it on TV so ya’ll can see all my blood, sweat, and tears. I REALLY want ya’ll to meet Hattie and her crew. #Twenties https://t.co/MpQrWN6PBU
— Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe) February 14, 2018
Twenties joins shows like Full Frontal With Samantha Bee and the upcoming Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish project The Last O.G. on TBS, which has rebranded its network to focus on live-action comedies and pulling in younger audiences.