Emmy Magazine Features
As fans prepare for a good cry over The Best Man: The Final Chapters, its principals cheer the beloved franchise that proved love conquers even long-standing stereotypes. "I wanted to make a universal love story," says creator Malcolm D. Lee. "People want to fall in love, feel secure, have friendships — these things are not... specifically Black."
In the new FX series Kindred, a Black woman is powerless against forces that send her hurtling through time — to the antebellum South — then back to the present day. "It's difficult subject matter," allows showrunner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, a descendant of slaves on both sides of his family. "But living with it, wrestling with it — that can be productive."
After initially passing on a Chippendales project, Kumail Nanjiani was drawn back to the story — now a Hulu limited series — as star and executive producer. But the real-life tale that starts in a '70s L.A. strip club (dubbed Destiny II) — where men take it off for women — is darker than you'd expect.
Finding projects that make her happy — and offer something new — is essential to Niecy Nash-Betts. The strategy is clearly working, because the actress-producer is everywhere these days. "Anything is possible," says the star–executive producer of ABC's The Rookie: Feds. "It's never too late."