In the first show of the Television Critics Association press tour, Disney’s Onyx Collective announced three new series orders: the true crime documentary series “Ring of Fire: The Life of Annie Mae Aquash” (working title) by Yvonne Russo, an untitled project about Car Culture hosted by Swizz Beatz and “Searching for Soul Food” hosted by Chef Alyssa Reynolds and Executive Producer Melina Matsoukas.
Onyx Collective has also scheduled the October 22 premiere for Oprah Winfrey, Tracy Ellis Ross, Michaela Angela Davis’ documentary series “The Hair Tales,” and has provided a trailer for Ramla Muhammad’s legal drama “Reasonable Doubt.” In addition, it was announced that Yara Shahidi and her production company, 7th Sun, have extended their comprehensive deal with Onyx Collective and ABC Signature.
“Ring of Fire: The Life of Annie Mae Aquash” examines the life and murder of Annie Mae Aquash. Annie Mae, a Mi’kmaq woman from Nova Scotia, Canada, was a mother, teacher, and revolutionary who fought for Aboriginal rights and her unresolved death in the 1970s for nearly 30 years. Led by Annie Mae’s daughter, The Search for Answers leads the Annie Mae case in the context of today’s epidemic of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. Ross executive produces with Amy Kaufman, Caroline Waterloo, Ezra Edelman, and Riva Marker. Laylow Pictures is produced in association with Nine Stories Productions.
In Swizz Beatz’s untitled venture, a hip-hop legend and car collector visits car-loving destinations to examine each region’s distinct car culture and bring together otherwise disparate car clubs around a shared love for all things car-related and an appreciation for what it’s like to beat the odds through sheer driving alone. . The series is produced by Jay Brown and Terran “Tai Tay” Smith of Tay Tay and Jay Brown Productions, Raymond Garcia of Major TV, Emmett Dennis of Black Drive Originals and Christian Sarabia of 51 Minds.
In Search of Soul Food follows Reynolds’ discoveries about what soul food looks like around the world. As she forages in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Appalachia, South Africa, Italy, Jamaica, Peru, and Los Angeles, she’ll also explore the stories, people, and traditions of each location, bringing with them their own flavor. Executive Producer Matsoukas is produced alongside director Rodney Lucas, Jacob Cohen Holmes and Ali Brown. Traci Curry acts as a browser. “Search for Soul Food” is produced by Woodman Park Productions, De La Revolucion, and Ventureland.
“The Hair Tales” will be shown with two episodes on Hulu and OWN, with two episodes a week on Hulu and one episode weekly on OWN in the following weeks. The documentaries connect the personal tales of remarkable black women with broader societal and historical themes of identity and beauty, and feature guests such as Winfrey, Issa Ray, Chloe Bailey, Chica, Ayanna Presley, Marsai Martin, Issey Eggleston Brassey, Dr. Noliwe Rocks, Micalen Thomas and Michelle Ndegosello. “The Hair Tales” is produced by Culture House, Joy Mill Entertainment, Tetravision and Harpo Films. Resham Nejon, Carrie Twigg, and Keisha Imani Cameron also serve as executive producers.
Reasonable Doubt follows Jax Stewart (Emayatzy Corinealdi), who has questionable ethics and wild interpretations of the law, but is ultimately the smartest and bravest defense attorney in Los Angeles who resists the justice system at every opportunity he gets. It also stars Tim Jo, McKinley Freeman, and Angela Grove. See the new section below.
Shahidi placed her first overall deal with ABC Studios in 2020 after founding 7th Sun with her mother, Keri Shahidi. The Yara star is producing “Grown-ish,” a Freeform part produced by ABC’s Black-ish. The series is now in its fifth season.
About extending the deal, Yara and Keri said: “It’s every creator’s dream to be seen, heard and done with colleagues who align with your vision and spirit. We are so grateful for the opportunity to continue creating with our Disney family and rooting for the work that Onyx Collective is doing to face the moment” .
“It is an exciting time for the leadership of Onyx Collective. When we opened our doors just over a year ago, we set out to nurture imaginative storytelling, creating highly disruptive, inclusive and entertaining narratives that will spark conversation and advance culture,” said Tara Duncan, president of Onyx Collective, who also manages Freeform. “This vision materialized in ways that we could only dream of, and we remain grateful to have a clear path at Disney General Entertainment, the company that has enabled us in our business since day one.”