LOS ANGELES — Affluent and well-connected Black families are the focus of “Our Kind of People,” a new Fox drama series from “Empire” creator Lee Daniels.
Based on “Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class,” a 1999 nonfiction book by Lawrence Otis Graham, the series will join the network’s fall schedule, while midseason’s “The Cleaning Lady” will bring the rarity of an Asian lead character to TV.
Elodie Yung (“The Hitman’s Bodyguard”) stars as a Cambodian doctor who is driven by family circumstances to work for mobsters as a crime scene “cleaner,” Fox said Monday in announcing its 2021-22 schedule
“Our Kind of People,” according to Fox’s thumbnail description, is an “unapologetic celebration of Black resilience and achievement.” Set on Massachusetts’ fabled Martha’s Vineyard island, it stars Yaya DaCosta (“Chicago Med,” “Whitney”) and Morris Chestnut (“The Resident”).
“We’re not only saying something culturally, we’re doing something culturally,” producer Daniels told advertising buyers, who are rotating among virtual presentations of next season’s offerings from Fox and other broadcasters this week.
Fox, which touted its success with young adult viewers favored by sponsors, will add four new dramas in total next year, along with two freshman sitcoms and an animated comedy. The singing contest “Alter Ego” is set for a fall debut, with other reality shows waiting in the midseason wings.
The newcomers will fill shelf space created by the cancellation of “Bless the Harts,” “Next,” “Prodigal Son” and “Filthy Rich,” with “The Moodys” still “on the bubble,” or at risk of being axed.
The new series’ themes reflect “hope and second chances and reinvention,” Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment, said in a conference call Monday with reporters.
The other freshman dramas are fall’s “The Big Leap” starring Scott Foley, Teri Polo and Piper Perabo, about unlucky people trying to change their lives with a reality dance show, and “Monarch,” a midseason musical drama centered on “America’s first family of country music,” the fictional Romans.
“Welcome to Flatch,” set in a Midwestern town that’s under the eye of a documentary crew, and “Pivoting,” about three childhood friends seeking a new path in life, are the new comedies coming midseason, along with the animated comedy “Krapopolis.” Created by Dan Harmon (“Community”), it’s set in a mythical ancient Greece populated by humans, gods and monsters.
Returning series “9-1-1” will air this fall, with “9-1-1: Lone Star” taking over its Monday time slot at midseason.