Netflix Orders ‘Dear White People’ Series

Justin Simien will write series based on his indie film; Lionsgate to produce

Netflix has ordered a comedy series based on Justin Simien’s film Dear White People. Lionsgate will produce a 10-episode, 30-minute series of the same name. Production starts later this year and the show will premiere on Netflix in 2017.

Set among a diverse group of students as they navigate a mostly white Ivy League college where racial tension is often swept under the rug, Dear White People is a satire of “post-racial” America, says Netflix. 

“Justin is a gifted storyteller whose bold, unique vision is perfectly suited to Netflix,” said Cindy Holland, VP of original content at Netflix. “His original film announced the arrival of a fresh, creative voice that had everyone talking, and we’re excited to have Justin create this new series for our members worldwide.”

Simien will write, and will direct the first episode. Devon Shepard, Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev are executive producers.

“We’re proud to expand our partnership with our friends at Netflix on a comedy that tackles racial themes with a combination of intelligence, honesty, irreverence and wit,” said Chris Selak, executive VP, Television, Lionsgate Television. “Our original film with Roadside Attractions catapulted Dear White People into the national conversation about race, and Justin and the rest of the creative team have an opportunity to expand this world and bring its timely and universal themes to a global television audience.”

Dear White People is Lionsgate’s second original series with Netflix, after Orange Is The New Black, which returns for its fourth season June 17.