‘Girls Trip’ Director Inks First-Look Deal With Universal TV (Exclusive)

Malcolm D. Lee and his Blackmaled Productions banner will create, develop and exec produce projects for the studio.

Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee is expanding to the small screen.

Lee has signed a first-look development deal with Universal Television under which he will create, develop and exec produce projects for the studio via his Blackmaled Productions banner. The deal is Lee’s first TV pact.

“I first met Malcolm 20 years ago when he was a burgeoning filmmaker with his short Morningside Prep. His talent was evident back then so it is no wonder he has become such a successful filmmaker,” Universal Television president Pearlena Igbokwe said. “I’m looking forward to our rekindled collaboration and making up for lost time.”

Lee’s feature work includes directing and producing Universal Pictures’ breakout Girls Trip, starring Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Queen Latifah. The film, which bowed in July, was the first with a full African-American creative team in front and behind the camera to top the $100 million mark at the box office. His credits include The Best Man, Undercover Brother, Roll Bounce, Soul Men, The Best Man Holiday and Barbershop: The Next Cut. Next up, Lee will reteam with Haddish for feature Night School also starring Kevin Hart. He’s also in development on the next installment of the Best Man franchise, The Best Man Wedding, and I Almost Forgot About You, starring Viola Davis. On the small screen, he has directed episodes of Shots Fired and Everybody Hates Chris. On the feature side, he continues to have a first-look deal with Universal Pictures.

“I am very excited to finally expand my storytelling in the vast space that is television,” Lee said. “Having spent the first 20 years of my career immersed in feature film I really am ready to lend my voice to scripted television where I hope to continue to tell complex and diverse stories on a broader canvas. I am overwhelmed with excitement of working with Pearlena Igbokwe and her team to bring forth stories about which I am passionate. I cannot wait to get started.”

Lee is repped by Paradigm and Del Shaw.

He joins a roster of producers with deals at Universal Television including Lorne Michaels, Dick Wolf, Mindy Kaling, Mike Schur, Jason Katims and more.