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YouTube Star Issa Rae Developing Lady-Led HBO Comedy Series with Larry Wilmore

Cautiously Optimistic

Issa Rae was inspired by her own experiences when creating her 2011 webseries The Mis-Adventures of an Awkward Black Girl, but wasn’t motivated to finally get out there and do it until she read an article about the absence of black female nerd characters in television and movies, and the fact that her fame began with the Internet is only one reason why it’s pretty cool that HBO appears to have taken an interest in her talents.

From Deadline:

Larry Wilmore and Issa Rae have teamed to co-write a comedy series project for HBO, with Rae set to star. The project focuses on the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern day African-American woman.

If picked up, Wilmore and Rae would co-produce as well as co-write.

After the twenty-four episodes of ABG, funded partially by a successful Kickstarter campaign, Rae’s talent began to catch a lot of attention, including from Shonda Rhimes, creator and producer of Grey’s Anatomy, who backed the development of I Hate L.A. Dudes, a half-hour comedy written by Rae but yet to get picked up. At this point her unnamed HBO series is merely in development, but one can hope that between Rae and Wilmore, whose Daily Show and Bernie Mac Show experience may placate executives nervous about an internet-based (and, lets be honest, female) creator. If the show does get put into production, the comparisons to Lena Dunham‘s Girls will undoubtedly run rampant.

Rae talked about Girls to Vulture earlier this year, saying:

I’m definitely fascinated and amused by the series. I’ve seen every episode. I do love [Lena Dunham’s] voice. I do agree with the fact that there could be more diversity, but I think that’s the fault of the network, HBO, rather than Lena’s. Sometimes I can relate. Sometimes I can’t and am just looking at them like animals in a zoo. Either way, I’m watching.

I suppose if HBO is going to pass on an American Gods miniseries (which would have featured a biracial main character), this Latina female nerd can accept a series that improves HBO’s racial and gender diversity both onscreen and behind the scenes.

(story via Deadline, top pic via Newsone.)

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