Viola Davis' JuVee Productions Sells 1960s Family Comedy 'The Zipcoders' to ABC

April 20th 2017

Viola Davis Viola Davis

As reported in the spring of this year, ABC is building on their relationship with "How to Get Away with Murder" star Viola Davis, inking an overall deal with ABC Studios, that will include the development of new projects for broadcast, cable, and streaming services through her production company, JuVee Productions (along with partner Julius Tennon).

Under that agreement comes a second project titled "The Zipcoders" - a potential family comedy series about a group of black teenagers growing up in Texas in the 1960s, and their desire to form a Beatles-like band.

Children of a divorced mother who moves her family to the east side of Austin, Texas, to live with her estranged sister, soon after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the teens form a rock 'n' roll band to the surprise of their friends, family and the community at large.

The potential series, based on an original idea from Davis and Tennon, will be scripted by Marshall Todd ("Barbershop"), who will also co-executive produce.

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"This project gives me the opportunity to tell a story that, while specific to the African American experience, doesn't travel in the usual tropes," Todd said in a statement. "As a parent, I was inspired to tell a story from the dual perspective of parents and children in a world where the rules are constantly changing. Music has always been a passion of mine, and to be able to use it to inform this particular narrative was a provocative challenge. I have found in Viola and the squad at JuVee the perfect co-conspirators dedicated to telling the types of stories that entertain while contributing to the larger cultural conversation."

"In the tradition of ABC's 'Fresh Off the Boat' and 'Black-ish,' 'The Zipcoders' offers a compelling and comical take on a family dealing with rapidly changing cultural attitudes," said JuVee head of TV Andrew Wang, who will also executive produce. "This is a show about following your own path, and it's a love letter to all the musical and artistic trailblazers who dared to be different and shifted the paradigm."

"The Zipcoders" marks JuVee Productions' second sale to ABC since inking an overall deal with the TV studio earlier this year. The other is "Headgames," which is described as a neurotic thriller drama from Chuck Rose, based on his book, which follows a Park Avenue psychiatrist who is approached by the government to work for them as a spy, feeding them crucial intel on one of his patients, a potential national security threat.

 

by Shadow and Act on April 20th 2017

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