Tracee Ellis Ross to Helm ‘Jodie,’ a Spinoff of ’90s Classic ‘Daria’

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Jun 14, 2019

Black-ish” favorite Tracee Ellis Ross is set to star in and executive produce “Jodie,” a revival of the adult animated ‘90s comedy “Daria,” Deadline reported yesterday (June 13). “Jodie” will kick off a series of spinoffs that are based on the MTV franchise, which ran from 1997 to 2002.

“I was in before we even sat down,” Ross told Vanity Fair about MTV approaching her for the project. “They felt that I would be the right voice to bring Jodie to life, and I was like, whaaaaaaat? It was the perfect mash-up of all of the things that I want represented in the world.”

“Daria,” itself a spinoff, centered the eponymous White high schooler beloved by viewers for her feminism and sound stances on class, race and gender. Now, Jodie—who knows full well that she’s The Black Friend in her predominantly White school—will get her satirical turn by exploring the struggles of working a first job in a Gen Z world. This will be the first adult animated series to have a Black female lead character in almost 20 years, according to Deadline.

“With the brilliant, sweet and sarcastic Black girl magic that is Jodie Landon, we will feature a diverse cast, comprised mainly of unapologetically smart and ambitious young female characters who are vulnerable and flawed and interesting and funny,” Ross told Deadline.

Animation fans of color who have long maintained that Jodie deserved her own show will be able to rejoice in knowing that the new show will bring Jodie’s sardonic brand of realness. “Jodie was woke before woke was a thing!” Ross said in Vanity Fair. “Allowing in those voices that have been pushed to the fringes, that have lived full and extraordinary lives on the edges of what culture has deemed as popular–it feels exciting and apropos.”