Starz Is Developing Asian American Comedy Series ‘Plan A’ From ‘Dear White People’ Trio Steven J. Kung, Justin Simien and Leann Bowen


EXCLUSIVE: Starz developing new comedy series Plan A from writer and executive producer Steven J. Kung (Dear Whites, A leading man) centered on the Asian American experience. Kung will find Dear Whitesit is Justin Simienwho will be an executive producer through his production company Culture Machine, and Lean Bowen who will serve as showrunner and EP.

Plan A will tell the story of Los Angeles-based Asian Americans who strive to achieve the benchmark of the American dream – an impressive job and a satisfying love life – while navigating the cultural expectations of their parents, society and, ultimately, of themselves.

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“I’ve always wanted to watch a show about people who look like me, walking around, living their lives and taking up space,” Taiwanese-born Kung explained in a statement to Deadline. “Starz and Lionsgate gave us enormous creative freedom Plan Aand it allowed me and my amazing creative partners Justin Simien and Leann Bowen for bringing the story to an authentic, edgy and joyful place.

Simien added: “From the moment Steven presented the project to me, I was blown away. I’m so thrilled to be back with Steven and Leann to continue the playful yet bold storytelling that we put our hearts into honing while writing the TV series, Dear Whites.

Plan A will be produced by Lionsgate Television for Starz. Original Programming Directors Tara Roy and Alex Alberts will oversee the series on behalf of Starz. Jocelyn Sabo SVP, Television will oversee Lionsgate Television.

The series is the latest example of Starz’s commitment to amplifying stories about, by, and for women and underrepresented audiences as part of its #TakeTheLead initiative. The development of Plan A comes on the heels of other recently announced projects that also take the lead – Marlon Wayans’ comedy Marlon’s Booka romantic drama of Ava DuVernay, Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson, and Vida the return of designer Tanya Saracho to the network, Love song.

“We are thrilled to bring this funny yet dramatic series to Starz,” said Kathryn Busby, President of Original Programming, Starz. “The show is a wonderful blend of Justin’s visionary talent and the seminal legacy of Dear Whites, as well as the critically acclaimed creative art of Steven and Leann. We’re proud that it underscores Starz’s commitment to original, sophisticated, and entertaining storytelling that offers an authentic look at AAPI narratives, told by amazing AAPI creators.

Kung wrote for Netflix Dear Whites and he was a director on ABC Fresh off the boat during the show’s sixth season. He has told POC, queer and avant-garde stories throughout his career, including with A leading manhis feature film about anti-Asian racism in the entertainment industry.

Kung is replaced by Kaplan Stahler, Artists First and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

Simien made his directorial debut in 2014 with Lionsgate’s Dear Whites before fleshing out the story with a Netflix series of the same name three years later. He served as the show’s head writer and directed several episodes throughout its four seasons.

Then he will launch his third feature film Disney’s Haunted Mansion in March. Simien is also an executive producer of a series of television projects through his production company, Culture Machine, and recently launched a global agreement with Paramount TV.

He is replaced by CAA, Grandview and Del Shaw Moonves.

Bowen is an African-American Filipino screenwriter who recently wrote about all three seasons of Apple’s hit Ted Lasso and guilty party for Paramount+. She previously wrote for all four seasons of Netflix Dear Whites and Hulu’s Love You America with Sarah Silverman.

Bowen is replaced by 3 Arts, APA and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis.

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