Marlon Wayans and the minds behind South Side and Sherman’s Showcase are teaming up at Starz.
The premium cable outlet is developing a comedy series called Book of Marlon, inspired by Wayans’ life and career. Wayans and his producing partner Rick Alvarez will write the pilot episode with Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, co-creators of HBO Max’s South Side (with Sultan Salahuddin) and IFC/AMC’s Sherman’s Showcase. (Riddle also co-starred in Wayans’ 2016-17 NBC comedy Marlon.)
“We are beyond thrilled to develop this sophisticated and hilarious series with Marlon, Diallo, Bashir and Rick, who each bring their own level of artistry and authenticity to everything they touch,” said Kathryn Busby, president original programming at Starz. “I’ve long admired Diallo’s and Bashir’s work, and I’m excited to be working on a project as special as this with the incomparable Marlon Wayans at the center.”
Starz is the second home for Book of Marlon, which Wayans and Alvarez previously had set up under an overall deal with HBO Max. Riddle and Salahuddin were not involved with the previous version.
The potential series will have Wayans playing a fictionalized version of himself as he tries to reconcile being a good person and loving father with being Marlon.
“We’re excited to be in business with such enthusiastic partners. Starz is a big brand, and we are happy to bring some smiles to the table,” said Wayans in a statement. “It’s great to know that we can push the envelope and get into some good, fun trouble with this project on this platform. Diallo and Bashir are good friends and great collaborators. Book of Marlon will be smart, fun and twisted with a dash of heart and a whole lot of unapologetic humor.”
Said Riddle and Salahuddin, “We believe Marlon is a once-in-a-generation talent and we’re thrilled to finally be working with him in this capacity on a show. We can’t wait for people to get a glimpse of what his real life is like and we can’t thank STARZ enough for allowing us to do so in an unflinchingly honest way.”
Warner Bros. TV, where Riddle and Salahuddin have an overall deal, will produce Book of Marlon. Wayans and Alvarez executive produce (via their Ugly Baby Productions) with Riddle and Salahuddin (who will serve as showrunners) and Michael Rotenberg of 3 Arts Entertainment.
Starz director of original programming Alex Alberts, senior vp original programming Kathryn Tyus-Adair and senior vp unscripted programming Alice Dickens-Koblin will oversee the project for the network.
Wayans and Alvarez are repped by WME, 3 Arts and Morris Yorn. Salahuddin is repped by CAA, Imprint and Morris Yorn.