Starz developing romantic drama with Ava DuVernay

L-R: Ava DuVernay, Lauren Ridloff & Joshua Jackson

US network Starz has handed a three season pledge for a romantic drama series from director and producer Ava DuVernay – pending pickup.

The untitled project, which is still in development, has received an 18 x 30-minute script-to-series agreement, upon official greenlight, from Starz.

DuVernay (Queen Sugar, When They See Us) is set to exec produce via her Array Filmworks and its overall deal with Warner Bros. Television, which will produce the project.

Lauren Ridloff (Eternals, The Walking Dead), Joshua Jackson (When They See Us, Dr Death) and Paul Garnes (Queen Sugar, Colin In Black & White) will also exec produce, while Kat Candler (Queen Sugar, 13 Reasons Why) will write the first episode and serve as executive producer and showrunner.

Ridloff and Jackson will also star in the series, which will follow two polar opposites who become intertwined in a love affair that turns their worlds – and those of everyone around them – upside down.

The drama will chronicle what it takes to fall and stay in a radical, rebellious love. One person is ambitious, while the other is restless. One is ready to commit, while the other debates the merits of relationships. One is Black and one is white. One is deaf and one is not.

Though wildly different, the two are emotionally and physically drawn to each other despite personal expectations and public assumptions. Their attraction passionately disrupts notions of race, gender, class, physical ability, and normative culture, elevating to true love that surpasses difference.

Kathryn Busby, president of original programming at Starz said that “there is nothing like this series on TV” and called DuVernay “a trailblazer and unparalleled champion of diversity.”

DuVernay meanwhile praised Starz and Warner Bros. Television for “a bold production commitment to immediately explore three seasons,’ adding “we’re revved up and ready to begin what I hope will be a beautiful journey for all involved.”

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