During their Television Critics Association press tour this past Sunday, Netflix made the announcement that they’ve picked up a limited series about the life of entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker.
The eight-episode series will be executive produced by Octavia Spencer, who will also star in the project as Madam C.J. Walker, and LeBron James. According to Variety, it will recount the untold story of how Walker, a black hair care pioneer and mogul, overcame hostile turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, and tumultuous marriages to become America’s first black, self-made female millionaire. The series is based the book “On Her Own Ground,” written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles, who will serve as a consultant.
Madam C.J. Walker was the daughter of slaves, orphaned at seven, married at 14, and widowed at the age of 20. She would spend the next two decades laboring as a washerwoman for $1.50 a week. By her death in 1919, Walker managed to build a beauty empire from the ground up, amassing wealth unprecedented among black women and devoting her life to philanthropy and social activism. Her contribution to African American hair care is unmatched.
The first episode will be directed and also executive produced by Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”). Other executive producers include Janine Sherman Barrois, Elle Johnson, Maverick Carter, Mark Holder, and Christine Holder. Nicole Asher will serve as the writer.
Maverick Carter is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of SpringHill Entertainment, a production company he founded with NBA superstar LeBron James.
“It’s so exciting for all of us to keep building SpringHill, see it mature, and continue to find its voice. We are really focused on growing with authenticity and substance,” Carter said. “For us, this is totally about great stories and great partners. Partnering with Octavia to tell the story of Madam C.J. Walker is the ideal first project for SpringHill to take an important step into scripted drama.”
Actress Octavia Spencer is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.
Netflix has been on the top of their game bringing over some of televisions best writers and producers to create content for the streaming service. Powerhouse producers Shonda Rhimes and Kenya Barris both made the decision to leave ABC Studios this year to begin producing shows for Netflix.