Billy Porter will be writing his very first television series, Fruits of Thy Labor. The show will take the form of a family showbiz drama that spans three generations of an African-American dynasty as they navigate their way through life, love, politics, and career. The Pose star will be penning the Peacock series script together with playwright Dan McCabe, working with Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Productions located in Warner Bros.
For those that do not know Porter, he is a highly awarded actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright. He won the Lead Actor award at the 2019 Emmy Awards for his role in FX’s drama Pose. Pose is an American series about New York City’s African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming drag ball culture scene in the 1980s and early 1990s. Porter plays the role of Pray Tell, the master of ceremonies of these balls, as well as a fashion designer and mentor. Porter was nominated again in 2020 for the same award for his portrayal of Pray Tell. He has also been honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Porter also won a Tony for his 2013 role as Lola in Broadway musical Kinky Boots. Kinky Boots also won a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle award, and a Grammy for Best Musical-Theatre Album. More recently, Porter has acted in the role of Fab G, a re-invention of the fairy godmother in 2021’s Cinderella, releasing this September. To add to his body of work, Porter has also signed on to make his directorial debut with What If, a coming-of-age story based on Alvaro Farcia Lecuona’s screenplay.
Greg Berlanti is also the award-winning director of Love, Simon, Love, Simon garnered a lot of attention and bagged Berlanti the Outstanding Film- Wide Release Award. Love, Simon is a romantic comedy based on Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs the Homo Sapiens. It depicts the life and struggles of a closeted gay high school boy who falls in love with a classmate he met online. The film was very well-received for its heartfelt nature and its touching representation of the subject matter. Additionally, Berlanti has written and produced The CW’s Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. Berlanti Productions is also developing other projects for Peacock, including an adaptation of Caroline Kepnes’ “Providence” novels.
Fruits of Thy Labor co-writers Porter and McCabe have previously worked together on the 2019 play The Purists which was directed by Porter. Berlanti’s Jonathan Gabay will produce Fruits of Thy Labor while Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and David Madden have been appointed executive producers. Although Porter is lending his voice to Berlanti’s Little Shop of Horrors, the two have worked together before for the 2000 film The Broken Hearts Club written and directed by Berlanti and starring Billy Porter. We are curious and excited to see what this collaboration will bring!