One of “Daria’s” most beloved characters will return to TV. The Hollywood Reporter confirms MTV Studios is developing “Jodie,” an animated spinoff of iconic ’90s cartoon “Daria.” “Black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross will voice the titular character, a young black woman, and exec produce.
Jessica Cydnee Jackson originated the role of Jodie Landon, one of the smartest characters in “Daria’s” world — and one of its few black characters. Jodie is always aware of her race, and embraces it, but it’s not the only thing that defines her. In fact, since “Daria’s” conclusion, Jodie has established a legacy that rivals the lead character’s.
Written and exec produced by Grace Nkenge Edwards (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,”), “Jodie” “will follow Jodie as she comes into her own and enters the workplace in her first post-college job in tech. Other former students from ‘Daria’s’ Lawndale High will also appear,” THR reports. “‘Jodie’ will satirize workplace culture, Gen Z struggles, themes of empowerment across gender and racial lines, and explorations of privilege.”
“Being able to give voice to fresh, feminist, and unexplored stories of young women excites me,” Ross said. “‘Jodie’ will spin off from the cult classic ‘Daria,’ and with the brilliant, sweet, and sarcastic black-girl magic that is Jodie Landon, we will feature a diverse cast, comprised mainly of unapologetically smart and ambitious young female characters who are vulnerable and flawed and interesting and funny.” She added, “As a very cool bonus, ‘Jodie’ will be the first adult animated show in almost 20 years that will star a black woman. It will be a smart, funny workplace comedy full of commentary about everything from gentrification to sex to tech to call-out culture.”
“Given the passion for these characters, there was only one person who could build upon the legacy to reimagine Jodie for a whole new generation, and that person is Tracee Ellis Ross,” stated MTV, VH1, and Logo president Chris McCarthy.
No word on a network for “Jodie” just yet.
Last year, MTV Studios announced that “Daria & Jodie” was in the works. Also penned by Edwards, the reboot sees the pals sounding off on pop culture, class, gender, and race.
While it’s unclear if that project will move forward, it does seem likely we’ll get more of Daria Morgendorffer. “Jodie” will be part of MTV Studios’ planned “Daria universe,” which will include other series as well as films.
The original “Daria” was created by Susie Lewis and Glenn Eichler and ran from 1997-2001. The characters also appeared in two TV movies, “Daria: Is It Fall Yet?” and “Daria: Is It College Yet?” Tracy Grandstaff (Daria), Wendy Hoopes (Jane/Quinn/Helen), and Julian Rebolledo (Jake) were among the show’s voice actors. The character of Daria first appeared as a supporting player on “Beavis and Butt-Head.”
Edwards’ other credits include “Loosely Exactly Nicole,” “Broad City,” and “Inside Amy Schumer.”
You can catch Ross next in the upcoming sixth season of “Black-ish” on ABC. She exec produces that series as well as “Mixed-ish,” the new spinoff about her character Bow’s childhood. Ross will star in Nisha Ganatra’s Universal pic “Covers,” a love story set in the LA music scene. Her other credits include “Girlfriends,” “Reed Between the Lines,” and “Little.”