Starz announced today that its new comedy series Run the World has begun production in Harlem, and throughout New York City. The series is created by Leigh Davenport (The Perfect Find, Wendy Williams: The Hot Topic, BET’s Boomerang) who will executive produce with showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser (Living Single, black-ish, Lionsgate’s Dear White People).
The eight-episode, half-hour series is produced by Lionsgate Television.
“Run the World is a love letter to Black women and a love letter to Harlem, that I hope inspires young, ambitious Black women to feel powerful, desirable and free,” said Leigh Davenport.
“I created this series to celebrate the amazing women in my life and to illuminate the special bonds we built living in Harlem, while pursuing our post-collegiate dreams.”
“I’m genuinely excited to be producing such a joyous, authentic and complex depiction of Black women on screen,” said Yvette Lee Bowser.
“Our series will no doubt entertain and embolden more of us to live our truest and fullest lives.”
“‘Run the World’ is the latest STARZ series that illustrates the network’s commitment to spotlighting diverse voices and stories that reflect a full spectrum of women both in front of and behind the camera,” said Christina Davis, President of Programming for Starz.
“Leigh Davenport and Yvette Lee Bowser are creating a bold and authentic scripted series that focuses on four strong and confident Black women who are smart, successful and loyal who live and thrive in Harlem – which is as much of a major character as any of the other characters in the series.”
“We’re excited to safely start production on the next empowering series from our incredible partner Yvette Lee Bowser,” said Lionsgate Television Chairman Kevin Beggs.
“We have a very talented cast and a great production team to bring Leigh Davenport and Yvette’s vision to the screen and to our friends at STARZ.”
Erika Alexander (Living Single) joins the cast in the recurring role of Barb, along with Nick Sagar (Queen of the South) as Anderson, Jay Walker (Grey’s Anatomy) as Jason, and guest star Tonya Pinkins as Gwynn (All My Children).
The previously-announced cast members include: Amber Stevens West (The Carmichael Show) as Whitney, Andrea Bordeaux (NCIS: Los Angeles) as Ella, Bresha Webb (Marlon) as Renee, Corbin Reid (Valor) as Sondi, Stephen Bishop (Moneyball, Imposters) as Matthew and Tosin Morohunfola (Black Lightning) as “Ola.”
Emmy award-winning designer-stylist Patricia Field will consult on wardrobe, alongside series costume designer, Tracy L. Cox, both known for their iconic work on Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada.
Primarily filming on location in Harlem, Run the World will feature renowned landmarks such as Marcus Garvey Park and the Harriet Tubman Memorial statue, to authentically showcase the rich cultural history and one-of-a-kind modern atmosphere of the neighborhood. Emmy-nominated set designer Diane Lederman (13 Reasons Why, The Americans) leads production design.
The show’s directors include Millicent Shelton (black-ish, STARZ Original series P-Valley) who directed the pilot, Justin Tipping (Twenties), Jenée Lamarque (STARZ Original series Vida), and Nastran Dibai who makes her directorial debut from producing (Lionsgate’s Dear White People).
Run the World is the story of a group of Black women — vibrant, fiercely loyal best friends — who work, live and play in Harlem as they strive for world domination. At its core, it’s an unapologetically female show about enviable friendship and not only surviving – but thriving together.