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‘Dear White People’ television series headed to Netflix

Justin Simien
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

Justin Simien is continuing the conversation as Netflix announced Thursday the production of a comedy series based on his celebrated indie film, “Dear White People.”

The film, a satire centered around the racial tensions at an Ivy League college, starred Tyler James Williams (“Everybody Hates Chris”), Tessa Thompson (“Creed”) and Teyonah Parris (“Chi-Raq”) and garnered Simien the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

“During the film’s release, I had the pleasure to speak with hundreds of students and faculty across a variety of college campuses dealing with these very issues in real time. I’m so grateful to have this platform -- not only to give a voice to those too often unheard in our culture, but to also tell great stories from new points of views,” Simien said in a news release from Netflix. “From day one, Lionsgate has been remarkably supportive of the vision for the show, and working with Netflix is every bit as harmonious as I’d imagined it would be. Bringing this show to such a vibrant platform is an honor I don’t take lightly.”

The series is the second original series Lionsgate has produced for Netflix, its first being the service’s staple series “Orange is the New Black,” which returns for its fourth season June 17.

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Simien will write all 10 of the 30-minute episodes for the series, as well as direct the first installment. Production is set to begin later this year, with the series premiering in 2017.

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