Donald Glover is back on TV, but he’s a long way from (his former) home.
The former Community star created, exec produces and stars in FX’s new half-hour comedy Atlanta. The series centers on Earnest “Earn” Marks (Glover) a loner who returns to his hometown of Atlanta to try to make ends meet before being drawn into the rap scene when his cousin suddenly skyrockets to stardom.
“I just always wanted to make Twin Peaks with rappers,” Glover joked to reporters Saturday (Jan. 16) at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
Atlanta marks Glover’s return to TV following Community, on which he starred for five seasons. In the time in between, Glover headlined a semi-autobiographical comedy for NBC in 2012 that was never picked up and also launched a successful rap career under the name Childish Gambino.
Glover said he was courted for other projects in the interim, but “I knew they weren’t me,” he said. “People wanted to make me everything. I think they still do.”
Instead, Glover waited to find a way to combine his two artistic passions in Atlanta. “Its kind of the perfect time to make something that I would want to see,” he said. Glover pointed specifically to the need in the current era to interact with viewers across multiple platforms like cell phones and computers in addition to on TV. “There’s more screens that have to be filled,” he continued. It’s “the perfect time to combine everything that media kind of is right now.”
The result is a series Globe says is deeply personal to him. Instead of a writer’s room, the writers of Atlanta convene at Glover’s house where they eat together and peruse the Internet together. “I’ve been keeping them very close and tight and secret because I just want to make sure they’re perfect,” he said when asked about the scripts of the series.
“Television shows are like novels. You just got to invest in them. The tone of this, its going to take people time to figure out what’s going on, which I think is a good thing.”
Atlanta premieres this summer on FX.
This article originally appeared in THR.com.