Client: Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams - Executive Producer, Talent, Writer, and Co-Creator
BET has signed comedian, actress and producer Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams to a multi-genre overall deal under which she will produce, write and perform in new series and other projects—both scripted and unscripted— across BET linear and streaming.
The deal expands her relationship with BET following the success of The Ms. Pat Show, a comedy series based on her life in which she serves are co-creator, executive producer and star. BET+ has greenlighted a third season with production already underway in Atlanta. The show’s 10-episode Season 2 is set to premiere August 11.
Via her namesake production banner, Williams aims to create content both on-screen and behind the camera that inspires conversation through humor and raw honesty.
“One of the first people to tell me to pursue comedy was my welfare care worker. At that moment, I never could have imagined the success of The Ms. Pat Show or that BET and Paramount Global would give me the chance to tell even more stories,” Williams tells Deadline. “I’m so excited for this new journey and grateful to BET for believing in me. If you think The Ms. Pat Show is wild, just wait until you see what we come up with! It’s only the beginning!”
The Ms. Pat Show, co-created alongside fellow EP Jordan E. Cooper, lifts from Williams’ life experiences covered in her memoir Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat, which tells the story of a drug dealer and convicted felon turned suburban mom.
Season 1 shattered records for viewing and audience engagement on BET+. Executive producers also include Brian Grazer and Lee Daniels.
“Since our first viewing of The Ms. Pat Show’s pilot episode, we knew Ms. Pat was something special and we are excited to build our relationship with her and her team to bring our BET+ members more content that is refreshing, raw, and real,” said Scott Mills, CEO BET, in a statement.
While the series often tackles controversial topics like abortion, drug addiction, racism and child abuse, Williams does so with aplomb by creating a safe space for raw and unfiltered conversations between the characters for the benefit of the viewer—and often herself. In a particularly poignant episode in Season 2, Ms. Pat confronts the complicated relationship between Black women and their hair. When someone close to the character jokingly calls her hair nappy, Ms. Pat is transported back to her childhood and the root of her pain. Her mother often mocked and criticized young Pat’s hair and compared it unfairly to her sister’s hair which was easier to style.
“The theme of Season 2 is healing,” she revealed. “We’ll be dealing with family issues and deeper stuff. There’s an episode where we talk about my mother’s boyfriend molesting me with a focus on overcoming and healing. I know some people find these topics dark but it can be dark and funny because it’s stuff that people need to know it’s ok to talk about.”
She continued, “I cried after that episode about Black hair. You know, we can’t pick our parents. I thought I ended up with a shitty mom who made a lot of mistakes. But I had to learn that she gave me what she was given; hurt people hurt people. Through this story of Black hair, I wanted to show how trauma starts early.”
On the heels of her new deal, Williams has no plans to slow down. As she works toward putting the final touches on Season 3, she’s also currently touring nationally in support of her Netflix stand-up special Y’all Wanna Hear Something Crazy? which was released in February.
For BET, she’s already hit the ground running.
“I do have things already in the works. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was unscripted. I would like to do a workplace comedy,” she said. “I also have some projects I was working on before my deal so I’m planning to present it all to BET and what they don’t want I’ll put in the freezer. You are all going to get so much more. I’m really excited about the future and my partnership with BET. I’ve been mad for about 30 years, I know I have a lot of stuff they’re going to love. This is a great opportunity for me to step out on my own and I’m grateful for that. This is me stepping out on my own.”
Williams is represented by APA, Tigerman Management and Cohen & Gardner.