Lena Wayth, an Emmy-winning actor, writer and producer, is diving into audio programming in a new partnership with Audible.
Audience, Amazon’s premium audio story telling service, announces a multifaceted development agreement with Hellman Grad Productions, founded by Waithe and Ishi Shi Rajani.
The first original project under the deal has already been greenlit and is in active development: “Kim”, an original, scripted comedy series inspired by the life of actor-comedian Kim Whitley. The series follows Kim as she moves into single motherhood and Hollywood. Whitley will star in the banner of his Quick Wheat production and will be executive producing, directed by Mark Brown. In addition to Hillman Grad Productions, the series has been produced by The Mission’s Andrew Coles, Martin Chase’s Debra Martin Chase and Skydance Media. Sylvia Carasco, creative executive at Hillman Grad, will oversee “Kim” for the company.
“We are thrilled to be expanding into the podcast space in collaboration with Shravan and to continue our mission to tell people stories,” Waithe and Rajini said in a joint statement. “We are really grateful to Kim for sharing with us, not just her story, but her signed voice. Kim Whitley has always been one of the funniest women in the business, and we’re so glad she’s finally coming to the center stage!
Current projects at Hillman Grad Productions include “The Chi” for Showtime, BET’s “Twenties,” and the horror anthology series “Theme” for Amazon Studios. B.T.
“Lena is a very talented storyteller, a proven ability to capture human experience in all its complexities through her work,” said Jola Mashariki, head of Audience Studios. “With his company, Hillman Grad Productions, he develops a diverse voice and creates art that challenges the convention. . ”
Hillman Grad podcasts will join the lineup of Audio Originals, including Elizabeth Bank’s copy of “My Body, My Podcast”; “Force of Beauty,” the story of three generations of blacks; “Billy was a black woman,” a four-part podcast series that resists black femininity through the prism of legendary jazz singer Billy Holliday; And “Beginners’ Mind” with the virtuoso Celestist Yo-Yo Ma, a reflection of our deeply involved humanity.
In recent months, Audible Hollywood has announced a string of podcast deals with talent and their production shingles. These include Queen Latifa’s Flavor Unit, Laura Darnes ‘Joywalker Pictures, Kenya Barris’ Khalabo Inc. By LeBron James and Maverick Carter.
Weth represents Blue Marble Management, WME, Dell, Shaw, Munves, Tanaka, Finkelstein and Lezcano and ID. Whitley represents ICM, Untitled Entertainment and Fox Rothschild.