In a special three-night programming event Tuesday, Jan. 19 – Thursday, Jan. 21, TV One will feature the world premiere of an all-new African-American produced sitcom, LOVE THAT GIRL!, that stars Tatyana Ali and marks the exciting return to television of producer/writer/director Bentley Kyle Evans (Martin, The Jamie Foxx Show), who also created the series. Also participating as an executive producer of the four-episode, half-hour series is superstar comedian and actor Martin Lawrence.
This sexy, new half-hour sitcom, which will air in back-to-back episodes from 9-10 PM (all times ET) each night, stars Tatyana Ali (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, TV One Access) as a young divorcee who returns home to southern California for a second chance in life and a career in her father's (Phil Morris) real estate business. When her unemployed brother Latrell (Alphonso McAuley) unexpectedly moves in with her, the world that she was trying to create is suddenly turned upside down, and life will never be the same. Tyana's new move reconnects her with old friends, especially her best friend Nefertiti (Kendyl Joi) who is happily single and ready to help her friend get her groove back. There are many other characters in Tyana's world and they all know that she is smart, sexy, fun-loving and far from perfect... That's why they all LOVE THAT GIRL! Encore airing are scheduled for midnight each night.
LOVE THAT GIRL! will air on TV One each night immediately following two back-to-back episodes of Martin at 8 PM. Two all-new episodes of LOVE THAT GIRL! will kick off the programming event on Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 9-10 PM, and one new episode will premiere on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Thursday, Jan. 21 at 9 PM, followed at 9:30 PM by a repeat of one of the Tuesday, Jan. 19 episodes.
“We are delighted to be a part of this exciting project and bring this fresh, new comedy to TV One viewers,” said TV One Senior Vice President of Original Programming Toni Judkins. “In many ways, LOVE THAT GIRL! is a family affair, and we feel like Bentley Kyle Evans and his colleagues are bringing LOVE THAT GIRL! home to TV One, since Tatyana Ali already is the host of our popular original entertainment show TV One Access, and Martin has been an incredibly strong part of our primetime lineup since the network launched six years ago on January 19.”
“It's great to be back in the television game and working with a network like TV ONE. Not only do they get the business behind programming to the more sophisticated urban market, they have the ideal audience for a series like ours, “ said Bentley Kyle Evans “What we wanted to do was create a series that was unique and distinctive, intelligently written, and well crafted – and I think we accomplished all four objectives with the episodes we created. And on the business side, thanks to our two Distribution partners, Dennis Ray and Desmond Gumbs, we were able to structure a business relationship with TV ONE that will bring benefits to all parties involved. If executed properly, this will represent a whole new model for producing and delivering quality scripted series to the television market, at a reasonable cost” he added.
Bentley Evans, and partners, produced the sitcom outside the traditional studio system by personally calling in favors and using unconventional methods, personal resources and relationships with industry veterans behind the scenes to give of their time to bring this vision to life including Martin Lawrence and Jeff Franklin, creator/writer and producer of the hit series “Full House” and “Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.” Franklin also wrote for the classic series Laverne & Shirley. In addition, Trenten Gumbs and Raphael Saadiq are also Executive Producers on the project.
The project was shopped by newly formed Ray-Gumbs Entertainment, a Content Distribution Company headed by longtime Television Syndicator, Dennis Ray, and his partner, Desmond Gumbs. Ray-Gumbs also negotiated the terms of the deal with TV ONE and will handle the syndication of the series.
Bentley Kyle Evans began his entertainment career as an actor in Robert Townsend's “Hollywood Shuffle” followed by featured roles in “I'm Gonna Get U Sucka” directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans, and New LineCinema's “House Party”. He met Martin Lawrence when they were to co-star in an ill-fated ABC pilot, and later decided that his true calling was behind the camera. He began writing and Martin Lawrence soon arranged for his friend to write for his new TV show. Bentley Evans quickly moved up the ranks and became co-executive producer/show runner of the hit series. He branched out into feature films and also teamed up with Jamie Foxx to create the hit series, “The Jamie Foxx Show.” He became one of the few individuals to run two hit shows on two different networks – all before he turned 30.
Launched in January 2004, TV One (www.tvoneonline.com) serves nearly 49.5 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies, and music designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult African American viewers. TV One's investors include Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK; www.radio-one.com], the largest radio company that primarily targets African American and urban listeners; Comcast Corporation [NASDAQ: CMCSA and CMCSK; www.comcast.com], the leading cable television company in the country; The DirecTV Group; Constellation Ventures; Syndicated Communications; and Opportunity Capital Partners.