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Warner Bros signs deal with Lena Waithe, announces drama based on Hoop Dreams

Warner Bros Television Group (WBTG) has inked an exclusive multi-year deal with Lena Waithe and her US production company Hillman Grad Productions.

The new partnership comes shortly after Amazon’s two-year deal with the actor and producer expired. The terms of Waithe’s new alliance with WBTG have not been disclosed.

At WBTG, Waithe and partner Rishi Rajani, president of TV and film at Hillman Grad, will produce new television programming for all the giant’s platforms, including WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, external streaming services, cable and the five broadcast networks.

The duo will produce WBTG’s project alongside: Naomi Funabashi, who was hired as senior VP of film and TV at Hillman Grad in April; director of development Rocio Melara; and creative executive Sylvia Carrasco.

The first project to emerge out of the partnership is a scripted drama inspired by documentary film Hoop Dreams, produced by Kartemquin Films.

The proposed scripted adaptation will be executive produced by Waithe, Rajani, Scott Huff, David A Stern and Colin Callender of Playground Entertainment and Steve James, Peter Gilbert and Frederick Marx.

Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (SWAT, Friday Night Lights, The Get Down, 30 for 30: Trojan War) is set to write and executive produce the coming-of-age drama, which follows two African American teenage boys in 90s Chicago experiencing the privileges and pitfalls of being high school basketball phenomenoms at the height of the Jordan era.


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