At Netflix’s panel at the Television Critics Association press tour today, the streaming giant announced an upcoming limited series produced by and starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, titled Madam C.J. Walker. The series will tell the “highly irreverent story of black hair care pioneer and mogul [Sarah Breedlove, better known as Madam C.J. Walker], and how she overcame hostile turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, tumultuous marriages and some trifling family to become America’s first black, self-made female millionaire.”
The series, which will run for 8 episodes, is based on the book On Her Own Ground by A’Lelia Bundles. Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou, Talk to Me) will direct and executive produce the first episode, with Nicole Asher writing. Janine Sherman Barrois (Claws) and Elle Johnson will share showrunning duties, and also executive produce alongside Spencer, LeBron James, Maverick Carter (SpringHill), Mark Holder, and Christine Holder (Zero Gravity).
The announcement comes alongside news of another new limited series Maniac, which has also courted A-list movie talent (including Emma Stone and Jonah Hill). The big question with limited series, of course, is whether or not they will actually continue on or not if they proves popular. Most movie stars are more willing to sign on to shorter-term projects like limited series rather than an ongoing TV show, which can make limited series appealing (and increasingly popular now). And as we’ve seen with HBO’s Big Little Lies, if the cast wants more, there will be more! (Whether there should be or not).