Regina Hicks Inks Overall Deal With Netflix; Sets Comedy Series With Barack & Michelle Obamas Higher Ground As First Project

The Upshaws co-creator Regina Hicks is expanding her relationship with Netflix with a multi-year overall deal. Under the pact, Hicks will create, write and produce new series and other projects for the streamer. For her first project, Hicks is developing an untitled comedy series with Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground production company.

Hicks is currently co-creator and co-showrunner with Wanda Sykes for Netflix’s breakout multi-camera comedy series The Upshaws, starring Mike Epps, Sykes and Kim Fields. The series, which premiered in May, has been renewed for a second season. The Upshaws stars Epps as Bennie Upshaw, the head of a Black working class family in Indianapolis, a charming, well-intentioned mechanic and lifelong mess just trying his best to step up and care for his family. Fields plays his wife and Sykes portrays his sardonic sister-in-law.

Written by Hicks, the untitled comedy series in development will focus on the lives of four middle-aged Black women from Houston, TX and explore how they navigate a world of affluence while also balancing the everyday scenarios of women of a certain age.

Hicks also will serve as showrunner and executive produce alongside Higher Ground. Tonia Davis and Ada Chiaghana will oversee for Higher Ground.

This past spring, Hicks’ pilot Black Don’t Crack was shot for ABC with Viola Davis producing. Prior to that, she served as a co-executive producer for Showtime’s The L Word and HBO’s comedy Insecure. Her other writing credits include Marlon for NBC, Girlfriends, Sherri, State of Georgia, Instant Mom and the recent 2015 TV remake Uncle Buck. Hicks has also co-written several made-for-TV movies, including Jump In, Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2 for the Disney Channel, and the VH1 television movie Drumline 2 – A New Beat. She recently scripted the new Sister Act 3 for Disney with Karin Gist.

“Regina’s shows always feel authentic and relatable. She’s an amazing writer and producer who’s given audiences laugh-out-loud moments mixed with a lot of heart and humanity for years,” said Tracey Pakosta, Netflix’s Head of Comedy. “I can’t wait for her to expand on her work at Netflix, and I’m especially looking forward to this first project with Higher Ground.”

“I am thrilled to continue my creative journey with Tracey, Andy and the wonderful team at Netflix and to find a home here at the place with so many of my favorite shows. And I absolutely love that I now get to work with the folks at Higher Ground,” said Hicks. “Putting the voices of Black women on the screen is so important to me and I can’t think of a better team to do it with.”

Hicks is repped by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.

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