Showtime has acquired the buzzy BBC comedy Dreaming Whilst Black, a six-part, half-hour comedy that hails from A24 and Big Deal Films. It will join several other U.K. series on the premium cable network, including Episodes and We Hunt Together. The show aired in the U.K. earlier this summer to strong reviews and aims to explore the specific struggles faced by Black creatives in the entertainment industry.
Loosely inspired by real events, Dreaming Whilst Black is based on the web series and BBC pilot of the same name, both of which earned critical acclaim in the U.K., including the 2022 BAFTA for Emerging Talent: Fiction and the Screen International Star of Tomorrow.
Co-created, co-written by, and starring Adjani Salmon, the series follows the story of Kwabena, an aspiring filmmaker stuck in a dead-end recruitment job who slowly begins to take the first steps toward achieving his dream of creating a TV show. Working by day and writing by night, he attempts to balance his personal life and adult responsibilities while still making time for his professional ambitions.
Speaking to Deadline, Executive Producer Dhanny Joshi emphasized that although the series addresses themes around microaggressions and workplace racism from a U.K. perspective, its messages "will translate" for American audiences.
“Our mission statement is to champion contemporary projects that shine a light on voices you don’t see on TV,” he said. “There are other stories that need to be told.”
Here's the series' description.
Dreaming Whilst Black is loosely inspired by real-life events, following Kwabena (Salmon), an aspiring filmmaker stuck in a dead-end recruitment job who takes the first step to achieving his dream. However, he is quickly confronted with the tribulations of balancing finances, love and his own sense of reality.
The ensemble cast features Dani Moseley (Everything I Know About Love), who reprises her role as Amy. It also includes Demmy Ladipo (We Are Lady Parts) as Maurice, Rachel Adedeji (Champion) as Funmi, Babirye Bukilwa (We Hunt Together) as Vanessa, Alexander Owen (Jurassic World Dominion) as Adam, and Will Hislop (Gangs of London) as Lewis.
The six-episode series is written by Salmon, along with Ali Hughes and Yemi Oyefuwa. Directing duties are split between Jermain Julien, Koby Adom, Sebastien Thiel, and Joelle Mae David. Thomas Stogdon, Joshi, and Salmon serve as executive producers, while Nicola Gregory is the producer.
Dreaming Whilst Black will make its streaming debut on Paramount+ with Showtime on Friday, September 8, and premiere on air Sunday, September 10, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. It will air two episodes weekly through September 24.