According to Variety, Chadwick Boseman and Seth MacFarlane are teaming up to executive produce a limited series about the Little Rock Nine—the group of Black children who attended a formerly all-white high school in Arkansas in 1957 while the state violently pushed back against the desegregation of schools. Everyone has surely seen the images of the National Guard members, under orders from President Eisenhower, standing in defense of the students as they made their way into Little Rock Central High School, but this show will be based on a memoir by Little Rock Nine member Carlotta Walls LaNier (A Mighty Long Way: My Journey To Justice At Little Rock Central High), so it’s probably going to go deeper into the struggles the Black students faced even after the school was forced to admit them.
Walls LaNier herself will be a consultant on the project, with Pulitzer-winning playwright/She’s Gotta Have It TV show writer Eisa Davis handling the script. That brings us to Seth MacFarlane, whose involvement seems… surprising? It’s not that he can’t produce something like this, certainly, it’s just unexpected given pretty much every other thing he’s ever done. This isn’t a wacky sitcom satire, it doesn’t involve singing jazzy standards, and he (hopefully) won’t get to do a funny voice. If we had to guess, though, we’d say he just thinks it’s a story worth telling and he wants to use his TV clout to help make it happen. It still might result in a lot of “wait, that Seth MacFarlane?” reactions when the credits roll, but maybe that’ll convince someone to give American Dad! a shot and they’ll realize that the MacFarlane name really can be a mark of quality.
The project is being developed for Universal, but Variety doesn’t say where it might land.