‘Kenan’ Co-Showrunner Kenny Smith Signs Overall Deal With Universal Television

Writer, director and showrunner Kenny Smith has signed an overall deal with Universal Television to develop and produce projects across various platforms.

Smith recently joined Kenan Thompson’s NBC and UTV sitcom “Kenan” as co-showrunner after completing an overall deal with ABC earlier this year. At ABC, he took over Kenya Barris’ role as co-showrunner of “Black-ish” and developed multiple projects such as “None of the Above,” a comedy produced for Freeform.  

“Kenny is one of the most hilarious, collaborative and talented storytellers we know, and we’re thrilled to officially welcome him back to the UTV family,” said Jim Donnelly, UTV’s executive vice president of comedy development. “He elevates every project that he is a part of, and we feel lucky to be teaming up with him during such an exciting time in our business. We fully intend to utilize each of his many talents as we venture into the future!”

“The overall deal may be new, but I’ve worked with UTV many times over the years. Each experience with Pearlena, Erin, Jim and the rest of the team has been something you hope for but is sometimes hard to find,” Smith said. “They offer the kind of support that helps you maintain your voice and vision for each project. So now with my plan to expand into various areas of storytelling, UTV has shown an extraordinary belief in me as a writer, producer and director. It’s many thanks from me.” 

In the past, Smith has also worked on NBC’s “Marlon,” ABC’s “Uncle Buck” and BET’s “The Game” among others. In film, Smith wrote “Re-Education of Jack Stein,” which he was set to direct for Netflix, as well as the story of ‘80s musical artist T La Rock for 20th Century Fox.

Smith is represented by APA and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman L.L.P.

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