Kanye West has decided to enter the world of television by way of becoming a producer. The rapper is currently in talks with cable heavy-hitter Showtime and is currently developing a limited half-hour anthology series that would star talented actor, rapper Jaden Smith as a young West.
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The television concept, simply titled, Omniverse is described as “examining the many doors of perception.” The first season is said to explore the ego of Kanye through an alternative reality. And Kanye knows all about the ego. The often-misunderstood creative has publicly and internally battled with his ego throughout his illustrious rap career. Sometimes walking on the side of crazy rather than genius. Kanye is known for dabbling in various media and culture ventures but this would be the first television series to his credit. He’ll serve as executive producer alongside Jaden Smith, Scooter Braun, Lee Sung Jin, James Shin, Scott Manson, and Miguel Melendez.
Showtime has been exploring the idea of offering its own series and this seems to be a perfect fit. It will also allow the network to compete with Netflix.
Lee Sung Jin appears to be excited about the new conceptual series stating:
“I’m honored and thrilled to be collaborating with everyone involved to present an alternate world through the eyes of a young man somewhere in the multiverse who happens to also be a Kanye West. Omniverse is not set in our world nor about our world’s Kanye West as we aim to add a new spin on alternate realities, consciousness, and push the limits of half hour narrative.”
Jaden Smith, who is also one of the executive producers, has been consistently working on his acting chops. Jaden’s recent acting credits include Netflix’s “Neo Yokio” and “The Get Down.”
Although it has been an incredibly slow process, Hollywood is beginning to see that diverse programming is the key to capturing and keeping its audience. According to the diversity report in Hollywood, film directors of color are still underrepresented by a 3:1 ratio. Film writers of color are also highly underrepresented by a 5:1 ratio. And while the numbers on television do not proportionately represent this nation’s diverse population, the numbers seem to be a little better.
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Despite being “flat” in terms of adding more diverse characters to programming for the last three television seasons, show creators of color on cable television rose to 11.2 percent during the 2016-2017 season. The greatest gain is in digital or streaming television such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, where show creators of color jumped from “just 6.2 percent in 2013-14 to 16.5 percent in [the] 2016-17 [season].
Directors of color helmed less than 11 percent of the episodes for 61 percent of the scripted shows on cable. That is a sobering reality for minority creatives in film and television. Hopefully, Omniverse will open the doors to more progressive, exciting programs by Black and other minority filmmakers, writers, and producers.