MTV has ordered a Jodie-centric Daria spinoff straight to series, which is set to star comedienne Tracee Ellis Ross as the voice of Jodie Abigail Landon in the title role— the actress will also serve as EP on the series. Ross originally got her start as Joan Clayton on the comedy series Girlfriends back in 2000 from 2008, but currently stars as Dr. Rainbow Johnson in ABC’s sitcom, Black-ish (2014–present).
Previously titled Daria & Jodie, the newly minted Jodie, will follow Daria’s occasional friend and classmate “as she comes into her own and enters the workplace in her first post-college job in tech.” Other former Lawndale High students and characters will also make appearances throughout the series. Grace Edwards (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) will write for the series.
MTV provided commentary on the news, “What Daria did for exploring the inanity of high school, Jodie will do for exploring the trials and tribulations of a first job. With themes of empowerment across gender and racial lines, explorations of privilege, and a wicked sense of humor, Jodie… will shine a light on the personal and professional issues all young people face in today’s complex, socially-conscious world.”
A part of an ongoing list of 90’s reworks at MTV Studios, the series’ official logline reads: “the iconic animated franchise is reinvented through the eyes of heroine Daria Morgendorffer and one of her closest friends Jodie Landon. These two smart young women take on the world, with their signature satirical voice while deconstructing popular culture, social classes, gender and race.”
Daria ran for five seasons (1997–2002) on MTV, and closely followed the ups and downs of the cynical and quick witted titular character. Throughout the series, Jodie is seen dating football player Mack Mackenzie, while making her first appearance in the episode “The Invitation.” Although a well-known figure at Lawndale High, Jodie is shown to be just as lonely and equally sardonic as Daria.
Ross also followed up with a statement of her own, “Being able to give voice to fresh, feminist and unexplored stories of young women excites me.” The actress also noted that the spinoff marks “the first adult animated show in almost 20 years that will star a black woman.”