Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi (The Sun is Also a Star) and her mother and business partner, Keri Shahidi (American Dad!), signed an exclusive deal with ABC Studios to develop and produce scripted and alternative television projects for cable, streaming and broadcast, as reported by Deadline. Deadline states that under the deal, the Shahidis will launch their own production company called the 7th Sun whose mission is “to pursue projects that touch upon themes of history, heritage, culture, and joy.”
7th Sun will be based out of ABC Studios, a part of Disney Television Studios in Burbank, CA. The Shahidis have already penned veteran executive Lajoie St. George (NBC International) to lead development for the production company.
“I’m thrilled to be partnering with my home family, ABC Studios, in this exciting next chapter, alongside my family,” said Yara in a statement via Deadline. “It’s exciting to add our production company to the roster of my peers and mentors who are actively committed to sharing meaningful stories.”
According to Deadline, ABC Studios President Jonnie Davis responded: “We can’t wait to extend and expand our relationship with the incredibly talented Yara Shahidi, who has been a member of the family since black–ish. When She’s not studying at Harvard and starring in our series grown-ish, she’s mentoring and inspiring other young people, which makes us all feel like underachievers but also very proud that she’s part of our Studio.”
Yara Shahidi first began her career at the early age of six when she started appearing in commercials and print advertisements for companies such as GapKids, The Children’s Place, and Disney. In 2009, she made her first cinematic appearance alongside Eddie Murphy (Coming to America) in Paramount Pictures Imagine That, and later appeared in Angelina Jolie’s (Maleficent) action movie Salt in 2010.
Shahidi debuted on the ABC network in 2014, appearing as Zoey Johnson on the critically acclaimed comedy series Black-ish, created by Kenya Barris (Girls Trip). While on the show, the young actress received numerous accolades for her work, including a NAACP Image Award in December 2014 for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy. In 2018, Barris and Shahidi would collaborate again on the spinoff show Grown-ish, which premiered on Freeform, a basic cable channel owned by Walt Disney Television. Grown-ish is recognized as the No. 1 live action cable comedy series of the 2019-2020 TV season among African American Adults 18-34.
Today, Yara is one of the youngest producers on the network to date. When asked about her future, Kenya Barris stated in Deadline “I’ve called her ‘McMogul’ for years and seeing all that she has accomplished should come as no surprise to anyone that knows her. This deal is just the beginning for Yara, and I’m excited to see where she takes this next chapter and the storyteller she becomes.”