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Regina King’s latest ABC deal makes her the new queen of the network’s diversity push

Emmy-winning actress inks 2-year production contract with ABC Studios

In September 2016, veteran actress and director Regina King accepted her second Emmy in a row for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie for her role in the ABC’s American Crime. Just the year before, in her 2015 acceptance speech, she took time out to thank her mother and grandmother “who taught me the power of being a woman,” she said.

King is now joining the ranks of other powerful women of color to develop new ideas and help create fresh content for ABC Studios in a new two-year deal. Her extensive catalog of work as an actor and her proven skills as a producer and director caught the eye of the network.

King is the latest to ink a deal with ABC Studios, under her production company Royal Ties. In 2016, actress Viola Davis earned a deal with ABC for the comedy The ZipCoders under her production company JuVee Productions. Kerry Washington also signed a deal under her Simpson Street Productions to create television ideas for ABC properties. Powerhouse show creator Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder) has worked with all three women.

King labored behind the scenes with Rhimes on the hit show Scandal. She’s also lent her expertise to OWN’s Greenleaf, FOX’s Pitch, and BET’s Being Mary Jane. According the IndieWire, BET Networks debuted King’s feature-length film directorial debut, an adaptation of Let the Church Say Amen, now streaming on Netflix.

ABC is highlighting women of color as actors and directors, indicating it is dedicated to diversity in storytelling. King is back for the third installment of American Crime and she recently signed on to star in the upcoming Netflix crime drama Seven Seconds.

King has been dazzling viewers since her television debut on the 1985 NBC sitcom 227 in the role as girl-next-door teen Brenda Jenkins. She held her own and quickly emerged as one of the show’s standouts alongside actresses Marla Gibbs and Jackee Harry. She took on roles in Jerry Maquire, Poetic Justice, Miss Congeniality 2, This Christmas, Friday, Ray, and The Boondocks.

King’s sister, Reina King, will serve as development executive for the new deal with ABC Studios.

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.