If there’s one flaw in writer/director Justin Simien’s 2014 feature film Dear White People, it’s that it tries to squeeze too much story into its runtime. As our own Justin Gerber wrote in his review of the film, “One can’t help but think that Dear White People may have worked better as a miniseries.” Even so, Simien’s film managed to expose issues of race and culture that are often swept under the rug and left us with ample fodder for discussion.
Those who want that discussion to continue will be pleased to hear that Netflix has given a series order to Dear White People. As Variety reports, Simien will write all 10 half-hour episodes of the show and direct the series premiere, which is expected to land on Netflix in 2017.
Simien has already expressed excitement for exploring his film’s themes through the medium of television. “During the film’s release, I had the pleasure to speak with hundreds of students and faculty across a variety of college campuses dealing with these very issues in real time,” he said in a statement. “I’m so grateful to have this platform — not only to give a voice to those too often unheard in our culture, but to also tell great stories from new points of views.”
The series will be produced by Lionsgate Television (Lionsgate’s Roadside Attractions released the original film). As the company’s executive vice president of television, Chris Selak, noted, “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.”
Chalk up one more potential success for Netflix and Lionsgate Television, a partnership that has already yielded a hit original series in Orange Is the New Black.