New Series Created and Executive Produced by Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”) and Salim Akil (“Black Lightning”)
Inspired By the Power Couple’s Real-Life Relationship
Photo Caption (l-r): Michele Weaver, Will Catlett
Photo © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. / Courtesy of OWN
Los Angeles – OWN has announced that its new original one-hour romantic drama from award-winning producers Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”) and Salim Akil (“Black Lightning”) will premiere on Tuesday, June 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT (after Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots at 9 p.m. ET/PT). Brock Akil serves as showrunner on the series, which she and Akil created and executive produce through their company Akil Productions, in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television.
Set primarily in 1990’s Los Angeles against the backdrop of Black Hollywood, “Love Is__” follows Nuri (Michele Weaver) and Yasir (Will Catlett), a couple from seemingly opposite worlds, as they chase their dreams and learn to follow their hearts. Told from the perspective of the couple’s present-day selves, the romantic drama also revisits the social issues and vibrant black culture of that time reflecting on how it all aligned to shape the couple they have become nearly 20 years later — a power couple navigating a complex set of social codes while also balancing successful careers and a beautiful family. Drawing inspiration from creators Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil’s own relationship journey, the series explores the highs, the lows, and the magic of falling (and staying) in love.
The cast includes series regulars Michele Weaver (“Illicit”) as ‘Nuri,’ a bubbly personality with big dreams who is struggling to make a name for herself as a sitcom staff writer while juggling an assortment of romances that only leave her partly fulfilled; Will Catlett (“Black Lightning”) as ‘Yasir,’ an aspiring writer/director who is down to his last two unemployment checks and lives (unhappily) with his on-and-off again ex ‘Ruby,’ played by Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing (“Alles Voor Elkaar”). Tyrone Marshall Brown (“Bull”) portrays ‘Sean,’ Yasir’s opinionated friend who possesses great taste and is full of ideas but lacks follow through; and Idara Victor (“Mad Men”) stars as ‘Angela,’ a member of the same writing staff with Nuri who doesn’t always agree with everything Nuri says, mainly because she is a disgruntled drama writer stuck in a comedy she doesn’t believe in. TV veteran Kadeem Hardison (“A Different World”) is ‘Norman,’ the executive producer of the hit sit-com “Marvin” and tough boss of Nuri and Angela who is hard to impress and even harder to amuse; Clarke Peters (“The Wire”) portrays present day ‘Wiser Yasir,’ handsome, still-confident and Nuri’s husband of many years; and Wendy Davis (“Army Wives”) is ‘Wiser Nuri,’ who is a more relaxed, happy, and comfortable version of herself both in life and in her marriage to Yasir.
“Love Is___” also features Primetime Emmy®-winner Loretta Devine (“Grey’s Anatomy”), NAACP Image Award-nominee Vanessa Bell Calloway (“Coming to America”), NAACP Image Award-winner Tim Reid (“Sister, Sister”), Tosin Morohunfola (“The Chi”), Tammy Townsend (“Sherri”), and Michael King (“Black Lightning”), all with recurring roles.
For a Sneak Peek of the Series Please Click Here: WATCHOWN.tv/LoveIsIntro.
About Akil Productions
Founded in 2000 by prolific producers Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, Akil Productions has become one of the foremost creators of television and film projects that poignantly explores the nuances of human experience through diverse characters and storylines. With hundreds of hours of content to their credit, The Akils have earned a reputation for being two of the most influential African-American storytellers in Hollywood while entertaining millions of viewers along the way. The company’s most recent project is the critically-acclaimed series “Black Lightning” based on the first African-American superhero created by DC Comics. Since debuting on The CW earlier this year, the series has been hailed by fans and critics alike for elevating the ever-popular superhero genre through thoughtful, honest conversations about the African-American experience. Developed for television by Akil, who also serves as showrunner, the series has already been renewed for a second season. Up next for Akil Productions is the romantic drama “Love Is__,” which will premiere this June on OWN with Brock Akil leading the project as showrunner. Drawing inspiration from their own relationship journey, the series explores the highs, the lows, and the magic of falling (and staying) in love. The Akils executive produce both projects through their overall deal at Warner Bros. Television, which they inked in 2016 through the Akil Productions banner. The Akils, through the shingle, are responsible for producing over 350 episodes of television, including the popular BET drama “Being Mary Jane,” the record breaking ensemble comedy “The Game,” and the seminal sitcom “Girlfriends,” the last of which is still considered groundbreaking for its portrayal of black womanhood through an honest, authentic, and intelligent lens throughout its eight season run. Additionally, Akil Productions has been behind such films as “Jumping the Broom,” which Akil made his directorial debut on; the high-profile remake of “Sparkle,” which Brock Akil wrote and Akil directed. Prior to forming their professional partnership and launching Akil Productions, the pair earned credits individually playing pivotal roles on such beloved television series as “Soul Food,” “Moesha,” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.”
About OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand – and the magnetism of the channel. Winfrey provides leadership in original scripted and unscripted programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities. OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications. The network debuted on January 1, 2011. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime, anywhere on WatchOWN.tv or across mobile devices and connected TVs. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own and https://press.discovery.com/us/own/.
About Warner Horizon Scripted Television
A division of the Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Horizon Scripted Television was founded in 2006 and is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of dramatic and comedic programming for the cable and subscription/on-demand marketplace. Series produced by Warner Horizon Scripted Television include “Animal Kingdom” and “Claws” for TNT; “People of Earth” for TBS; “American Woman” for Paramount Network; “Famous in Love” for Freeform; “Fuller House” and “Longmire” for Netflix; “Krypton” for SYFY; “Love Is___,” “Queen Sugar,” and the Untitled Tarell Alvin McCraney Project for OWN; and “You” for Lifetime.
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