Lena Waithe, one of the busiest lesbians in Hollywood, can’t stop, won’t stop.
Hot on the heels of Queen & Slim, Waithe’s feature film screenwriting debut, BET Networks has released the first look at the Emmy-winning mogul’s upcoming comedy Twenties, which is loosely based on her own start in the industry.
Waithe is a writer and executive producer of the eight-episode scripted series, which is BET’s first show centering on a queer character.
Up-and-coming actor and comedian Jonica “JoJo” T. Gibbs, BET’s first queer female lead, plays Hattie, “an aspiring television writer who dreams of glory, but seems incapable of holding down a regular job,” according to a press release. “Not one to sweat the small stuff—like being evicted—Hattie doesn’t let much faze her, and when in doubt or trouble, she turns to her best friends, Nia (Gabrielle Graham) and Marie (Christina Elmore) for help. She’s a lesbian who always falls for straight women.”
“Out of cash and desperate for a break, Hattie interviews with Ida B. (Sophina Brown), a successful Black television writer/producer who calls her out on some shady tweets Hattie made some years prior,” the synopsis continues. “But when Ida B. offers Hattie a job as a writer’s PA, Hattie may finally have her foot planted firmly on the ladder of Hollywood success.”
Waithe, 35, created Twenties, which began as a web series concept, back when she was in her early 20s.
“Twenties has been a project I’ve been dreaming about for as long as I can remember. I think a lot of people were interested, but didn’t see the vision,” Waithe said in a previous statement. “I know audiences have been waiting a long time for this one.”
Connie Orlando, BET’s head of programming, called Waithe “a leading relevant voice of our generation and a disruptor in her own right.”
“I’m deeply grateful to Lena Waithe for dragging me out of the crypt to run her groundbreaking series about women of color who are as intelligent as they are funny, as ambitious and driven as they are confused,” said Twenties co-showrunner Susan Fales-Hill, a former A Different World writer-producer. “It is exhilarating to be back in television, at BET at a moment of unprecedented multicultural inclusion in the entertainment industry.”
The Twenties cast also includes Jenifer Lewis, Sean “Big Sean” Anderson, Rick Fox, Vanessa Williams, Seth Green, Iman Shumpert, Kym Whitley, Chuey Martinez, Marsha Thomason, and Nazanin Mandi.
For her work on Netflix’s Master of None, Waithe, an outspoken champion of LGBTQ visibility and acceptance, made history as the first woman of color to win an Emmy for writing for a comedy series. Her other TV projects include Boomerang and The Chi.
Twenties is set to premiere in early 2020.
Watch the new trailer below.