Another big-time TV producer is leaving network TV for Netflix: Kenya Barris, creator of ABC’s black-ish, is exiting his development deal with the network’s production house ABC Studios, according to our sister site Variety, with a long-rumored move to the streaming giant in the works.
With the move, Barris will step down as showrunner of black-ish, handing the reins to producers Jonathan Groff and Kenny Smith for the upcoming Season 5. Barris is also the creator of the black-ish spinoff grown-ish, which debuted on Freeform earlier this year, and has a deal in place for a new Freeform comedy titled Besties. He will reportedly remain as an executive producer on all of his ABC/Freeform shows.
Rumors of Barris’ split with ABC have been churning for months, reaching a fever pitch in March when ABC pulled an episode of black-ish that addressed pro athletes taking a knee during the national anthem. (Barris and ABC both said at the time the episode was scrapped due to “creative differences.”)
Barris’ move to Netflix isn’t official yet, but reports say the streaming service has offered him a nine-figure deal to jump ship. If he does, he’ll join Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy as high-profile TV producers who switched from the major networks to Netflix in the past year.