— Evans And His All-Star Team to Produce 26 Episodes To Air on TV One; Martin Lawrence will Serve As An Executive Producer and Will Appear in Upcoming Episodes of the Series –
TV One and Writer/Producer/Director Bentley Kyle Evans (Martin, The Jamie Foxx Show) have struck a deal for his company, Bent Outta Shape Productions, Inc., in association with Hazrah Entertainment, to produce TV One’s first original, scripted series, LOVE THAT GIRL!, the popular African-American produced sitcom that Evans and his executive producer partner Martin Lawrence introduced to TV One viewers with four special episodes in January 2010. Evans, who created the series, has assembled a top-notch team to produce the 26-episode series, a sexy half-hour sitcom starring 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), an aspiring stand -up comedian, 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!
In addition to serving as executive producer, Martin Lawrence will also appear in upcoming episodes of the series.
In 2009, Bent Outta Shape Productions, Inc., produced four episodes of the sitcom outside the traditional studio system and brought them to TV One after Dennis Ray and Desmond Gumbs facilitated a meeting between the two parties. The four episodes proved quite popular with TV One’s audience when they aired in January 2010. Evans produced the original episodes on his own 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.” In addition, Trenten Gumbs, Stacey Evans Morgan and Raphael Saadiq are also part of the Executive Producer team. Evans is producing the show with Anastasia Ali and Tatyana Ali, the sisters of Hazrah Entertainment.
Evans has re-assembled his talented producing team, which includes Eric D. Upshur, for the new production. The deal with TV One calls for 26 episodes, 13 of which have already been filmed, with 13 more to be filmed in early 2011. LOVE THAT GIRL! is expected to premiere in first quarter 2011.
“LOVE THAT GIRL! really resonated with TV One viewers when we aired the original four episodes in January, and we are delighted to work with Bentley Evans and Martin Lawrence on this exciting project and bring original, scripted comedy to our lineup,” said TV One Senior Vice President of Original Programming Toni Judkins. “Our viewers love sitcoms, they love Tatyana, and Martin has been a strong and beloved part of the schedule since the day TV One went on the air more than six years ago, so LOVE THAT GIRL! is a natural step for us.”
“I am delighted to be back in business with TV One for a full season of LOVE THAT GIRL!” said Bentley Evans. “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. What we wanted to do was create a series that was unique and distinctive, intelligently written, and well crafted ““ and I think we are accomplishing all four objectives with LOVE THAT GIRL! 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.”