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Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street to Produce Three New Audible Originals

A photo of Kerry Washington on the left, with the logos of Audible and Simpson Street on the right.
Photo credit: Nino Munoz

Audible today announced three scripted multi-cast Audible Original productions with Emmy winning Simpson Street Productions, helmed by founder and Emmy-, SAG- and Golden Globe-nominated actor, director, producer and activist Kerry Washington (Scandal, Little Fires Everywhere) and Simpson Street EVP and Academy Award-nominated producer Pilar Savone (Django Unchained, Death Proof). The first of the three Audible Original podcasts, ranging from romantic comedies to epic science fiction tales, will include Prophecy launching in 2022, followed by Between Me and You and The Last Black Queen. Washington and Simpson Street will serve as executive producers on all scripted audio projects, and Washington is attached to star in Prophecy.

Washington commented, “Our focus at Simpson Street is to weave together narratives that honor our unique differences while connecting us through shared humanity. Expanding into the podcast space, especially with Audible, is a phenomenal opportunity to engage in storytelling across multiple mediums. We could not be more excited!”

Savone commented, “The art of storytelling is constantly evolving and through podcasts, there’s something thrilling and fresh about putting a new and modern spin on the idea of past time radio dramas. We could not think of anyone more perfect to share our stories with than Audible. They are at the forefront of audio storytelling and we are delighted to be working with Zola and team on this new endeavor!”

Zola Mashariki, Head of Audible Studios, commented: “Kerry, Pilar and the entire Simpson Street team have truly raised the bar when it comes to marrying art and entertainment to explore the complexities and depth of the human experience. Audible is equally committed to creating meaningful, thought-provoking, and dynamic entertainment, all of which is reflected in the projects we’ve quickly launched together. Prophecy, The Last Black Queen and Between Me and You are brave, explorative stories that we know will captivate listener’s imagination. Kerry has an accomplished background in theatre, film and television and we are thrilled to be her collaborator as she extends her talents to the audio arena both as actor, creator and producer.”

In Prophecy, when a series of unexplainable events happens simultaneously around the world, Virginia (Kerry Washington) – a hydrologist, Daniel - a British zoo veterinarian, and Jonah – a commercial diver, will find themselves at the head of each phenomena; but as they fight for survival, they soon will realize they are all connected in this contemporary, Biblical reimagining of the Virgin Mary, Daniel in the Lions’ Den, and Jonah and the Whale. Created, written, and directed by Randy McKinnon, Prophecy is an 8-episode audio series produced in collaboration with premium content studio and podcast network QCODE.

In celebration of the debut of Simpson Street’s first Audible Original, Washington, Prophecy creator, writer and director Randy McKinnon and EP Brian Kavanaugh Jones will join Head of Audible Studios, Zola Mashariki and Variety’s Angelique Jackson in a spirited conversation hosted by Variety about the creative process behind scripted audio storytelling at Sundance Film Festival.

Between Me and You, created by New York Times best-selling author Allison Winn Scotch and Pete Chiarelli (The Proposal, Crazy Rich Asians), is based on the book by Scotch. This 8-episode scripted romantic comedy podcast will introduce a couple, at a breaking point, asking themselves: Is it possible to forgive and forget?

Told in a non-linear style, Between Me and You follows Tatum and Ben, who fell in love ten years ago just out of college, with Ben finding success as a writer and Tatum struggling with her acting career. However, when their professional fortunes reverse, the couple's marriage collapses. As the program explores the ways love can bend and break, Tatum and Ben recount their individual versions of the story - Ben’s moving backward and Tatum’s moving forward, each wondering what they can do now to reset their course.

The Last Black Queen, created by Darnell Brown (BET’s American Soul, HBO’s Kent State) is an intimate look inside the mind of Maya Foster, a middle-aged mid-level professional carrying the superhuman weight of expectation that Black women shoulder every day, ignoring her own desires for a more exciting, meaningful life. That is until she meets Aimé, a mysterious and seductive young woman who unleashes a sexual awakening in Maya that threatens to destroy her marriage, job and any semblance of her former existence. Each episode will follow Maya as she struggles to balance her work life, home life and incredibly disruptive new commitment to finding her real self. Each episode of The Last Black Queen will give Audible listeners a peek inside Maya’s colorful view of the world through unique audio devices, dream sequences and the occasional musical number.

These projects will join a series of best-in-class Audible Originals including recent releases like the #1 New York Times best-selling audio fiction The Sandman from Neil Gaiman, performed by James McAvoy, Kat Dennings and Michael Sheen, Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the World, A Total Switch Show created in collaboration with Team Coco and performed by Zoey Deutch, Lea Thompson, Bradley Whitford and a full cast, Broadway Video’s Hit Job performed by Keke Palmer and Pete Davidson, Russell Brand’s Revelation, Beginner’s Mind written and performed by Yo-Yo Ma, James Patterson’s The Coldest Case starring Aaron Paul, among many more.

ABOUT SIMPSON STREET In 2016, Kerry Washington launched her production company Simpson Street, developing broadcast, cable and digital projects. The company’s debut film, HBO’s CONFIRMATION, starred Washington as Anita Hill. The film received Emmy, NAACP and Critics' Choice nominations and won the WGA Award for Long Form – Original.

In June 2018, Simpson Street launched Five Points, the first scripted series for Facebook Watch. A co-production with Indigenous Media, the second season dropped August 2019. In September 2018, the company made its Broadway debut with the critically acclaimed production of American Son, which also starred Washington. In January 2019, Washington announced that Simpson Street would be partnering with Netflix to adapt American Son for the screen. The production, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, was released as a Netflix Television Event. The film received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Television Movie. The company also received a PGA nomination for Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures in support of AMERICAN SON, as well as three NAACP nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie for Washington, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special; Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special; and Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Television). Simpson Street produced the ABC special, Live in Front of a Studio Audience in Fall 2019, which featured re-imaginings of the classic sitcoms All in the Family and Good Times and again in 2021 with Diff’rent Strokes and its spinoff The Facts of Life. The 2019 special received four Emmy nominations and took home the trophy for Outstanding Variety Special (Live). Simpson Street brought their latest film, THE FIGHT, to Sundance in January 2020 where Magnolia Pictures picked up the distribution rights. This documentary provides unprecedented access to 5 ACLU lawyers as they battle the previous administration’s attack on human rights and civil liberties - from the ‘Muslim Ban’ to abortion rights. It was released on-demand and in theaters in July 2020.

In Spring 2020, Simpson Street and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine collaborated on Little Fires Everywhere for Hulu. Both Witherspoon and Washington star in the limited series based on the best-selling novel by Celeste Ng. Washington received Emmy, SAG, and NAACP Image Award nominations for her portrayal of Mia Warren. The series received multiple NAACP Image Award and Emmy nominations, including ‘Outstanding Limited Series’. Simpson Street is currently shooting legal drama series Reasonable Doubt for Onyx/Hulu/ABC Signature with Wilmore Films and Raamla Mohamed showrunning. Other projects in development include action-drama SHADOW FORCE in partnership with Sterling K. Brown’s Indian Meadows Productions and Made with Love Media’s Stephen “Dr” Love, Disney Branded Television original movie FROM THE DESK OF ZOE WASHINGTON in partnership with Gamechanger Films, based on Janae Marks’ book of the same name, Netflix’s film adaptation of Diane Cardwell’s ROCKAWAY in partnership with 3dot Productions and Aevitas Entertainment, written by Nichelle Tramble, and The Bobby Love Story, for FX/ABC Signature with Octavia Spenser starring and producing with her Orit Entertainment, alongside Jenni Konner Productions, Jocelyn Hayes-Simpson, Brandon Stanton, Bobby Love and Cheryl Love, written by Shalisha Francis-Feusner, who will also serve as an executive producer.

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