EXCLUSIVE: Amber Ruffin has another scripted project in the works with NBCUniversal.
The comedian, who writes for Late Night with Seth Meyers and hosts The Amber Ruffin Show, has been developing an adaptation of You’ll Never Believe What Happened To Lacey, the book she wrote with her sister Lacey Lamar, for Peacock.
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It comes after her last scripted project, her Non-Evil Twin pilot, did not move forward at NBC.
However, NBCUniversal remains keen to work with Ruffin, once the writers and actors strikes have ended. Ruffin and her writing partner Jenny Hagel signed an overall deal with Universal Television last year, through their new production company Straight To Cards.
It also comes as the future of her Peacock variety series The Amber Ruffin Show is unclear.
The show has run for three seasons on the streamer after launching in September 2020. The first two seasons were weekly, airing every Friday, but the third season, which launched in September 2022, only consisted of five specials.
In February, when Non-Evil Twin, which was written by and set to star Ruffin, was handed a pilot order, the company said it would continue to develop specials around the show.
However, we understand that no additional episodes have been ordered and it’s not clear whether the show will return for these specials.
There’s a few reasons for this; firstly, the late-night world is still on pause as a result of the writers strike, Peacock is still figuring out its strategy with regards to variety/talk and whether one of Ruffin’s scripted projects, such as You’ll Never Believe What Happened To Lacey, goes to series.
The book adaptation, the script sale for which was done before the strikes, is now in the works with Peacock and Universal Television in association with Straight to Cards and Sethmaker Shoemeyers.
In the project, Ruffin lives in New York where she is no one’s first Black friend and everyone is, as she puts it, “stark raving normal.” But Amber’s sister, Lacey? She’s still living in their home state of Nebraska, and trust us, you’ll never believe what happened to Lacey.
The book, which was published by Hachette in 2021, sees Ruffin and Lamar share absurd anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism.
From racist donut shops to strangers putting their whole hand in her hair, from being mistaken for a prostitute to being mistaken for Harriet Tubman, Lamar is a lightning rod for hilariously ridiculous yet all-too-real anecdotes. She’s the perfect mix of polite, beautiful, petite, and Black that apparently makes people think “I can say whatever I want to this woman.”
Once the writers strike is over, Ruffin will write with Lamar. They will exec produce alongside Hagel, Seth Meyers, Michael Shoemaker and Jason Carden.
Ruffin has been out on the picket lines in New York over the last few months, most notably during the WGAE Comedy Picket in July. She joked that the studios are “so bad that they got the writers to leave the house”.
“It feels great to come out and protest with you guys and to look in your unpaid eyes and know they we’re all going to be ok and we’re all going to make it. Coming out to these things, fills you with a fire and a beautiful anger because these people are taking advantage of you and your home and your writing, but then you get out here and you see this. Let’s stay angry and full of love with each other,” she added.
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