Ellis Ross will star as Jodie Landon, a good friend of Daria's introduced in the original series, Variety reports. Jodie is in search of her first post-college job in the tech industry. Other former students from the original series' Lawndale High School will appear throughout the show.
The new series was announced last year as a re-imagination of the original Daria, but MTV chose to re-title it Jodie to focus on a different character from the same world. The new series is being billed as a satire of the search for a job after graduation college for Generation Z.
Daria ran from 1997 to 2002 and was a spinoff of Mike Judge's Beavis and Butt-Head, which introduced Daria. The series was created by Glenne Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn. Grace Nkenge Edwards (Inside Amy Schumer, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) wrote the new series.
"I am thrilled to bring this project to life with MTV, both as executive producer and by voicing Jodie's character. Being able to give voice to fresh, feminist and unexplored stories of young women excites me," Ellis Ross, who is also an executive producer on the show, said in a statement. "We will feature a diverse cast, comprised mainly of unapologetically smart and ambitious young female characters who are vulnerable and flawed and interesting and funny.
She continued, "Jodie will be the first adult animated show in almost 20 years that will star a black woman. It will be a smart, funny workplace comedy full of commentary about everything from gentrification to sex to tech to call-out culture."
"Given the passion for these characters, there was only one person who could build upon the legacy to re-imagine Jodie for a whole new generation, and that person is Tracee Ellis Ross," MTV president Chris McCarthy added. "This marks another exciting step forward for MTV Studios as we build out a wide new slate based on the rich characters from the history in MTV Animation."
Other executive producers include TMV's Trevor Rose, Amy Doyle and Morgana Rosenberg.
Ellis Ross is best known for playing Rainbow Johnson on ABC's acclaimed sitcom, Black-ish. The role earned her a Golden Globe in 2017 and three Emmy nominations. She will also serve as narrator and executive producer on the new spinoff Mixed-ish, which will debut during ABC's 2019-2020 season.
In May, Deadline reported that Ellis Ross will join Dakota Johnson in Focus Features' Covers, a comedy set in the Hollywood music scene. It will be Ellis Ross' first big screen role since Tyler Perry's 2007 film Daddy's Little Girls.
Photo credit: Rich Fury/FilmMagic/Getty Images