Mar 26, 2024 - Culture

Detroit's Diarra Kilpatrick stars in new BET+ mystery

Detroit native Diarra Kilpatrick promotes her new show, "Diarra From Detroit."

Detroit native Diarra Kilpatrick. Photo: Arnold Turner/Getty Images for BET+

"Diarra From Detroit," a new show on BET+, could follow "Sister, Sister" and "Martin" as the next hit Black comedy series set in Detroit.

Why it matters: Detroit native Diarra Kilpatrick is the show's creator, executive producer, writer and star, Axios' Maxwell Millington reports.

  • Prior to this series, Kilpatrick was a comedy writer and had recurring roles in HBO's "Perry Mason" and Tracy Morgan's sitcom "The Last O.G."

Zoom in: Kilpatrick's artistic background started at Bates Academy. She was part of the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and went to high school at Detroit Country Day.

What they're saying: Kilpatrick told Axios about capturing the Detroit experience at the show's premiere in Hollywood last week.

  • "Anybody who said 'soda' on set was automatically fined — it's 'pop' or nothing," she joked.
  • "I'm from all of Detroit," she said in an interview with Paper Magazine.

The actor also said she wanted to capture the city's east side vs. west side rivalry and showcase local businesses like Flood's.

The intrigue: In the show, Diarra is a teacher going through a divorce who discovers her dating app match may be related to a missing-child cold case.

  • This discovery sets her on a mission to solve the mystery.
  • The cast includes Phylicia Rashad and Morris Chestnut, with cameos from local celebrities like Kash Doll and John Salley.

Kilpatrick tells Axios she hopes lawmakers will bring back state film tax incentives for future seasons of the show to be filmed in Detroit. This season was primarily filmed in New Jersey.

  • "It not only allows us to bring money back into the community and local businesses and feature local talent, but it also helps us get that special sauce of Detroit on screen."

Friction point: Industry advocates and Democratic lawmakers say a new form of incentives would help spur new production locally. But skeptical economists say economic returns have been underwhelming under similar measures.

  • Stalled legislation to provide tax credits for up to 30% of a production company's local costs to produce a film was heard by a state House panel this year.
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