Warner Bros. Television Group announced that it has signed a new first-look development deal with Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry (“Hair Love”).
Per Studio practice, financial terms were not disclosed, but WBTVG can confirm that it is a multi-year agreement. This marks the first deal for Cherry with WBTVG.
Under terms of the pact, Cherry will develop new television programming — comedies, dramas, longform/event series and more — for all platforms: on-demand/streaming services (including WarnerMedia’s HBO Max), premium/pay and basic cable channels, and the broadcast networks.
Quote from Matthew A. Cherry: “I am beyond excited to be joining the Warner Bros. Television family in this exciting new capacity. It’s an important time to be a Black creative working in this industry, and I look forward to creating impactful projects and partnering with other talented marginalized voices in our community.”
Prior to inking the deal with the Studio, Cherry had directed episodes of Warner Bros. Television’s limited series “The Red Line” for CBS and action-dramedy “Whiskey Cavalier” for ABC.
He will produce the future series via his company, Cherry Lane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television, Warner Horizon Scripted Television, Warner Bros. Animation or Blue Ribbon Content, depending on the platform. Warner Bros. International Television Distribution will distribute the series outside the U.S.
Cherry previously wrote, produced and directed the critically acclaimed “Hair Love,” an animated short film about an African-American father attempting to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. Released in 2019, “Hair Love” won the Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film at the 92nd Academy Awards® ceremony in February 2020, and Cherry’s accompanying picture book of the same name (illustrated by Vashti Harrison) is a New York Times Best Seller.
His first feature film, “The Last Fall,” debuted at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in 2012. His follow-up feature, the innovative “9 Rides,” which was shot entirely with an iPhone 6s, premiered at SXSW in 2016. Cherry’s additional television credits include directing episodes of “Black-ish,” “Mixed-ish,” “The Unicorn,” “Saved by the Bell” and “The Last O.G.,” as well as writing and directing the web series “Almost 30” and “Almost Home.”
Cherry began his entertainment career in 2007, after playing wide receiver in the National Football League. He worked as a production assistant on more than 40 commercials, and then earned his first directorial credit in 2008 on a music video featuring R&B artist Terry Dexter. He went on to direct more than 20 music videos for a wide variety of artists, including Michelle Williams featuring Beyoncé & Kelly Rowland, Snoop Dogg, Chloe x Halle, and many more.
Cherry is represented by ICM Partners, Blue Key Management, and The Law Offices of R. Vaughn Gill.