Disney Channel has ordered a pilot from Marsai Martin’s Saturdays, a single-camera comedy series that follows the adventures of a girl named Paris and her competitive roller skating crew, as reported by Deadline. Saturdays will be produced by Martin’s own Genius Entertainment and written by writer-executive producer Norman Vance Jr., who has also worked on Mara Brock Akil’s Girlfriends and Roll Bounce starring Shad Moss, Nick Cannon and Meagan Good. The show will be directed by Charles Stone III who has previously worked on Drumline and black-ish.
Martin took to Twitter to announce the show and reveal the cast lineup for Saturdays including Omar Gooding, Golden Brooks, Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Yolanda “Yo-Yo” Whitaker and Yes Day‘s Danielle Jalade as the 13-year-old protagonist. The black-ish star’s parents Joshua and Carol Martin will executive produce the show, which tackles friendship, determination, skating and sickle cell disease.
“When we met with Marsai about this project, we couldn’t have been more impressed with her passion for diverse storytelling and commitment to female empowerment,” said Rafael Garcia, vice president, Development, Disney Branded Television told Deadline exclusively. “We’re extremely excited to team up with Norman and the Genius Entertainment team to tap into roller-skating culture in a way that’s truly both authentic and aspirational for our audience.”
Martin’s Little co-star and Insecure lead Issa Rae retweeted her announcement in support of her latest endeavor. “I really love this girl,” Rae said with a flowing tears of joy emoji. “Give her everything and protect her.”
Recently, Martin was tapped to guest host ABC News’ Soul of a Nation, which she described as a “time to share real stories and real conversations” on her Instagram. Genius Entertainment was founded by Martin and her parents with the mission of inspiring, illuminating, and celebrating the diverse experiences of girls and people of color, and released Little in 2019 which Martin starred in and executive produced. She also received a total of seven NAACP Image Awards for her role as Diane in Kenya Barris’ black-ish as the daughter of Bow and Dre played by Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson.