Kenya Barris Joins Forces with Diarra Kilpatrick for ‘Diarra From Detroit’ | EURweb

Diarra Kilpatrick

*”Diarra From Detroit,” the newest original series on BET+, premiered on March 21st and promises viewers an immersive experience with its gripping storyline and captivating performances.

Starring series creator Diarra Kilpatrick, the show “follows a divorcing schoolteacher who refuses to believe she’s been ghosted by her rebound Tinder date. Her search for the missing man pulls her into a decades-old mystery involving the Detroit underworld. As the case unfolds, her co-workers, friends, and lovers become unlikely allies as she falls down a dangerous rabbit hole,” per the official series synopsis. 

Kilpatrick leads a cast that includes Morris Chestnut, Phylicia Rashad, DomiNque Perry, Claudia Logan, Bryan Terrell Clark, Shannon Wallace, and Jon ChaffinKenya Barris, known for his work on “Black-ish,” takes on the role of executive producer for the project created by Kilpatrick. In February, we spoke with the pair during the Television Critics Association (TCA) event in Pasadena, Calif., where Barris said, “BET is taking a big swing with this,” he said of the series.

“This is very different than the things they’ve done, and I think that they had a great swing with Deon Cole’s show,” he continued. “I think this show will continue what will become a really rich tradition of BET taking bigger, broader swings that reach not just its base but reach way beyond that.”

Barris said the characters on the show are people “you haven’t quite seen played in the way that they’re played, which was important for me to not just do stereotypical characters but to also say, like, everyone has a lane, and they’re going to do something that feels, heightens the sort of tableau of what we’ve seen, a show like this and any of these characters being played.”

Diarra From Detroit
(L-R) Kenya Barris, Diarra Kilpatrick and Morris Chestnut speak onstage during the 55th Annual NAACP Awards at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on March 16, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

He described Kilpatrick as “sincere and surgical” in her creative process.

“She was very serious about what she wanted the show to be and ambitious, and I think we had a great directing core and the writers did an amazing job, and I really appreciate BET for giving us the latitude to sort of tell this show — and they sort of like kept letting us push the boundaries,” Barris said at TCA. “I really feel like I hope it pays off in a big way.”

During TCA, we asked Kilpatrick what she hopes audiences will appreciate most about this series and what impact she envisions it having on viewers.

I made this because I want people to feel entertained,” she said of the series.

Diarra From Detroit
Diarra From Detroit: Season 1. Photo Credit: Kyle Terboss/BET+

“I think the world is so crazy right now, and as a mom, when I put my kid to sleep, I have about one hour with my husband to watch something before I have to do my meditation and do this and that. And that one hour is so precious to me, you know?  When I was younger, I could watch ten hours of bad television,” Kilpatrick continued. “Now, I just want to watch something that I want to talk to my friends about later, that I want to engage with and see if anybody on social is talking about it. I really hope that that show can be that for people; Black, White, male, female.”

She added, “The other thing is, I was really excited to work with this cast and reveal more complexities of blackness. I really want people to take that away from her is that she’s quirky and sexy.  She’s strong and vulnerable.  She’s assured and discerning and incredibly naïve.  And there’s room for all of that in a Black woman but also a Black woman in an urban environment where we might expect her to be sort of one-dimensional in the way that we’ve seen Black women before.  I hope that that richness comes through in what Dom and Bryan and the rest of our cast are bringing forth.”

READ MORE: BET+ Drops Trailer for New Series ‘Diarra From Detroit’ Starring Morris Chestnut | Watch

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