A two-part documentary titled Seen & Heard was greenlit for production by HBO with Issa Rae (Insecure) as an executive producer. Seen & Heard will be comprised of archived footage as well as interviews with writers, actors and showrunners. The project, which will explore Black representation in television, was announced during its virtual Television Critics Association sessions Wednesday, via The Hollywood Reporter.
The series will feature commentary about representation in Black storytelling and explore the history of Black television through the eyes of trailblazers who created groundbreaking entertainment. Interviewees will also reflect on their personal experience watching African Americans on TV in the past and present day to give further insights into their work and the inspirations behind it.
Phil Bertelesen (Who Killed Malcolm X?) is directing and producing Seen & Heard with the help of Ark Media. Rae executive produces with Montrel McKay (Road Trippp) of Issa Rae Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment’s Jonathan Berry (Happy Together) and Dave Becky (Rough Night) and Ark Media’s Rachel Dretzin (Frontline) and Esther Dare.
On Rae’s role in creating the Seen & Heard project, she said, “Black people have such a rich, but often unacknowledged history in Hollywood. We have defined American culture and influenced generations time and time again across the globe. I’m honored to pair with Ark Media to center and celebrate the achievements of those who paved a way for so many of us to tell our stories on television,” via The Hollywood Reporter.
From IMDB, Rae’s comedy Insecure follows her character Issa Dee in her awkward life experiences and struggles as an African-American woman. Rae is supported by cast members Yvonne Orji (Night School), Jay Ellis (Escape Room) and Natasha Rothwell (Like a Boss). The series was renewed for a fifth season in May of this year.
HBO has not yet given a premiere date for the Seen & Heard docuseries.