Deadline reports actress Kyanna Simone Simpson, known for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, has joined the cast of the CW’s upcoming superhero show, Black Lightning, as a recurring character. Simpson is set to play Kiesha, the best friend of Jennifer Pierce (China Ann McClain), Jefferson’s daughter.
The two attend Garfield High School together, and Kiesha challenges Jennifer to change her image as the perfect principal’s daughter. Kiesha is also the daughter of Inspector Henderson (Damon Gupton). The crew of Black Lightning were excited to add Simpson to the cast, with executive producer Salim Akil saying “I am happy to bring some new talent to the CW!”
Simpson has been featured in a recurring role on HBO’s Show Me A Hero, as well as appearing on Law and Order: SVU and Being Mary Jane. She can also be seen in the upcoming film, White Boy Rick, which stars Matthew McConaughey. Simpson is represented by J Pervis Talent Agency.
Black Lightning, produced by Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television, is set to premiere midseason on the CW.
“Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad. Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community. Based on the characters from DC, BLACK LIGHTNING is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”), and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash”). The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.”