Black-ish Creator Kenya Barris Sees Audio As His Next Creative Outlet.


Television writer-producer-actor Kenya Barris, best known as the creator of the ABC sitcom Black-ish, has signed a deal with Audible to collaborate on a series of audio projects. The collaboration will range across genres including original scripted multi-cast fiction, unscripted nonfiction, audio-documentary, and journalistic audio. As part of the deal, Barris’ production company Khalabo Ink Society will launch a dedicated audio division headed by Gila “WeezyWTF” Shlomi.


“Audio is a space that I’ve been eager to explore and I’m beyond excited to be working with Audible as we expand Khalabo’s storytelling in this way,” said Barris in a statement. “As a creator, the purpose of art has always been about starting conversations and I cannot wait to share new stories and ideas through audio, where conversation is the art.”


Opening up potential synergies for the intellectual property created by the audio projects, Barris already has a television production deal with ViacomCBS-owned BET, a first-look film deal with Paramount, a music deal with Interscope Records, and a book deal with Random House.


The three-year development deal with Audible is reportedly to include the release of at least four audio series a year. Barris told the Hollywood Reporter that he may even host one of the shows himself. “I want us to do one called The Most Hated,” he suggested. “Each week, I want us to bring on [guests like] Drake or LeBron James — people who are the most hated this week, and just hear their side, where they’re at, how it’s affecting them.”


This deal follows Audible’s recently announced production and development deals with creatives such as Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco, Charlamagne Tha God’s GTHA World Productions, Kevin Hart’s HartBeat Productions, Steph Curry’s Unanimous Media, and Treefort Media, among others.


“Audible is honored and ecstatic to collaborate with Kenya Barris and his team at Khalabo Ink Society through this vast collaboration,” said Zola Mashariki, Head of Audible Studios in a statement. “Consistently pushing the creative envelope, Kenya is a world class creator who has the deft ability to address complex issues with fearlessness, depth and levity. His brilliant approach to storytelling will resonate widely and we simply can’t wait to share it with our global audience.”

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