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'Daria' Spin-off 'Jodie' Lands at Comedy Central

Emmy Award-winning actress Tracee Ellis Ross to star in new series from MTV Studios, with Grace Edwards serving as creator and head writer.

Jodie, a new animated show spun-off from MTV’s iconic series, Daria, has landed at Comedy Central. The new series stars Peabody, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) as Jodie London, Daria’s high school friend. Grace Edwards (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Inside Amy Schumer) will serve as creator and head writer.

Back in June 2018, MTV launched MTV Studios to develop new series, re-imaginations, and spin-offs of shows and characters from its 35 year history. Their initial slate included a reimagined version of the feminist icon Daria, tentatively titled Daria & Jodie, with Edwards as the creator; cult sci-fi hit Aeon Flux from Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis; reality series The Real World with Bunim/Murray Productions; and an update of the Emmy Award-winning coming of age unscripted series Made. A week after the studio launch, MTV announced an exclusive streaming deal with Hulu for all 70 Daria episodes, including an unaired pilot, two TV movies and two specials.

On Jodie, an MTV Studios production, Ellis Ross serves as executive producer and voices the main character, which is based on Jodie Landon, Daria’s friend at the fictional Lawndale High. Jodie picks up with her character graduating from college and entering a complicated world.

According to Comedy Central, what Daria did for showing how inane high school was for Gen X, Jodie will do for exploring the trials and tribulations of a first job for a new generation. The show will satirize workplace culture, Gen Z struggles, the artifice of social media and more.  With themes of empowerment along gender and racial lines, explorations of privilege, and a wicked sense of humor, Jodie will shine a light on the personal and professional issues young Black women face today.

Daria originally ran for five seasons (1997-2002), beginning as a spin-off of the Beavis and Butthead franchise. Through its ensemble cast, Daria addressed key issues on the show – race, gender, class and identity – all through the lens of the wry wisdom of its main character, who was credited by cultural critics as a favorite fictional feminist that shaped a generation of women.

Best known for her role as Rainbow Johnson on ABC’s Emmy, SAG, NAACP, Critics Choice, Golden Globe and Peabody Award-winning comedy Black-ish, Ellis Ross has received numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe award and the NAACP Image Award five years in a row (2015-20).  She garnered Emmy nominations in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and Critics Choice Award nominations in 2016 and 2017.  In 2018, she became the first Black woman to open the annual TED Conference and she is a co-founding signatory of the Times’s Up movement.

Source: Comedy Central

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.

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