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developing sit-com from 'Making Friends With Black People' book
Variety.com (November 18, 2008) President-elect Barack Obama is already bringing
about change -- to the world of network TV development, at least.
NBC is developing a comedy based on the book "Making Friends With Black
People," a buddy comedy that will focus on the state of race relations
in the U.S.
Show isn't specifically about Obama's rise as the nation's first
African-American president -- but "Making Friends" hopes to capitalize
on how Obama's success has changed the nation's dialogue on race.
"From time to time, race bubbles up in the consciousness of the country
and then dissipates," said "Making Friends" author Nick Adams. "Now,
with Obama, people are talking about race a lot more. We hope to
capitalize on that and not let the dialogue die down. ... It seemed like
a good opportunity to strike while the iron is hot."
"The Game" exec producers Mara Brock Akil (pictured above, who also
created "Girlfriends") and Salim Akil will write the script and serve as
exec producers on the project.
"Making Friends" will center on two guys -- one African-American and one
white -- who become close friends, but who don't necessarily see things
the same way.
Universal Media Studios is behind the project, along with Industry
The "Making Friends" book was penned in 2006 by Adams, a standup comic
who took a humorous look at how people dance around issues of race.
Adams will serve as a co-producer on the project, while Industry's
Dianne Fraser and Eryn Brown will be co-exec producers.
"Making Friends" could rep the latest in a long line of laffers
conceived to reflect, in part, a societal shift in the U.S. In 1982, for
example, "Family Ties" bowed in the midst of the country's move toward a
more conservative era under Ronald Reagan. Before that, 1970s sitcoms
like "All in the Family" highlighted the nation's generational culture
clash, while "Maude" embraced the women's movement.
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