Kenya Barris is a three-time Emmy nominated writer for his shows Black-ish on ABC and it’s spin-off Grown-ish on Freeform, and he continues to work on numerous other projects. His new show Unrelated, formally called Besties, was a straight to series project ordered by Freeform in May of 2018 and was recently ordered to be redeveloped searching for a fresh take on the concept.
The show was set to follow Jessi, played by Gigi Zumbado, and Becca, played by Jordin Sparks, who evolve from strangers to sisters when they discover they have the same birth mother. Fellow cast members include Matt Shively, Kris D. Lofton, Zumbado, Jessika Van, and Davi Santos.
According to the The Hollywood Reporter, in April Freeform’s Head of Originals, Karey Burke, was replaced by Lauren Corrao. Carrao is in charge of amplifying and accelerating content while overseeing scripted and unscripted show development as well as casting and talent development. Corrao made the decision to redevelop the show upon reviewing Freeform’s slate.
Additional changes to the show include a new showrunner, Aeysha Carr, producer and writer for The Carmichael Show. Casey Johnson and David Windsor, executive producers for The Real O’Neals, were originally signed on to be the showrunners as they co-created the series with Barris and Ranada Shepard. However, upon receiving a deal with Netflix, Barris stepped down as writer from the show as well as stepped down from Black-ish and Grown-ish. However, he remains as an executive producer of the shows. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this past April Barris chose to replace Johnson and Windsor with Carr due to his unhappiness with the show’s early creative direction. The decision was an amicable one and Johnson and Windsor continue to have an overall deal with ABC Studios.
Barris continues to work on new shows including Mixed-ish premiering in September on ABC. As well as his new Netflix show, Black Excellence, which is currently in production and he will star alongside with Rashida Jones for Netflix.