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Last year, fans of up-and-coming filmmaker Issa Rae and “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes were excited to find out that ABC bought the rights to their developing comedy series, “I Hate LA Dudes.”

The show was expected to follow the life of an aspiring journalist who struggled to navigate the L.A. dating scene after a recent move to the West Coast. However, the project, which Rhimes hoped would be the first comedy for her Shondaland production company, will not make it to our TV screens this season.

Hello Beautiful caught up with Issa Rae at the Los Angeles viewing of her latest web series “The Choir,” and she revealed that ABC passed on what would’ve been her first break into network television.

“ABC passed on [“I Hate LA Dudes”] so I am working on another series right now,” she said. “But the process of working with [Shonda Rhimes] was freaking amazing and I learned so much from her.”

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The mastermind behind the popular web series “Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” said she’s setting her sights on cable TV now. “That was network television; this one is kind of different” she said, describing the new comedy project she’s co-writing and co-executive producing for HBO. “Cable, that’s my home.”

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If you’ve been following the 28-year-old’s career over the past three years, then you know that hard work and dedication has rewarded her with much success.

Along with a co-hosting gig on the new Aspire talkshow “Exhale,” Issa is writing a memoir/collection of personal essays for publishing house HarperCollins and she’s gearing up for the August 29th debut of  “The Choir,” produced for Tracey Edmond’s new faith-based YouTube channel Alright TV.

“Tracey Edmonds is brilliant. She has a specific vision and she’s such a hard worker,” the web star added. “A lot of producers try to transition from television to digital and the transition isn’t as seamless. For her, she’s been doing her research, she’s taking it seriously, she’s studying it, she’s promoting it and not putting it on the side. She recognizes the digital is the future, and to work with someone who recognizes that and who is smart, ambitious and thinks outside of the box is just a dream come true.”

They say when one door closes, another one opens. For Issa, looks like multiple swinging doors are flying open her way. You go girl!


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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.