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Ohana - Hawaiian Family Drama from Viola Davis & Lisa Takeuchi Cullen in Development at ABC

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ABC is developing Ohana, a drama based on Kiana Davenport's 1994 novel Shark Dialogues per The Hollywood Reporter.

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon's JuVee Productions are teaming up with former Time magazine writer and foreign correspondent Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, who will pen the adaptation. The novel follows four hapa women who reunite when their grandmother, a mystic known as a kahuna who dies mysteriously and leaves them the family plantation.

Japanese-American writer Takeuchi Cullen notes the change in representation, especially on the heels of Crazy Rich Asians, and is ready to tell a story from the points of view of someone who isn't the usual white Hawaiian because Hawaiian culture is far more than diverse than television has lead people to believe. Andrew Wang, head of JuVee TV is proud to tell diverse stories, so this project was a perfect fit for them.

Each of the four protagonists in the drama will be of mixed ethnicity - half-white, half-Japanese, half-Filipino and half-black. Their unexpected shared inheritance will force them to overcome years of jealousies, misunderstandings, resentments, and secrets per The Hollywood Reporter.

"So many Hawaii-set stories have been told from the white point of view," Cullen tells The Hollywood Reporter. "This is a story we're passionate about telling from the point of view of native Hawaiians — Pacific Islanders, people of Asian descent and people of hapa heritage."

"'Ohana is Hawaiian for 'family,' and that is a big part of who we are and what we want JuVee to support: embracing cultures and points of view from all over the world and showing that we all can relate and connect to each other," Tennon and Davis, who are married, said in a joint statement.

"The landscape has shifted dramatically in the last 12 months, and maybe in the last week," she says, adding that she was recently pitched a different idea from a producer who told her, "I would be very open to [the protagonist] being cast with an Asian-American actor, because I think Crazy Rich Asians is going to be the biggest movie this year, and there's going to be a huge demand."

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