In the early and mid-2000s, The CW was home to two of our favorite television shows – “Girlfriends” and “The Game”.
It’s when we first fell in love with Tracee Ellis Ross, and where our friendship with Tia Mowry was rekindled.
The producers behind these two relatable, funny and interesting series, including “Being Mary Jane”, are Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil.
After leaving BET to collaborate with Warner Brothers a couple of years ago, we have been eager to see what’s next for the couple. And now we have our answer.
According to a press release, the husband-and-wife team are joining forces with Oprah Winfrey to develop a new relationship drama for the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Titled “Love Is ___”, the original hour-long show, which will debut in 2018, tells the love story of a modern-day power couple, drawing inspiration from the couple’s real-life relationship.
Married since 1999, the couple often hears that they exemplify black love, so the series will explore their successful careers, family life, and the world of Black Hollywood, from the good and the bad.
“I’ve dreamed of working with the Akils,” Oprah Winfrey said. “I’ve been a huge fan of their work since first viewing ‘Girlfriends.’ They know just how to hit the cultural nerve to make you think and laugh at the same time.”
The Akils will create and executive produce the self-proclaimed “humorous” show through their company Akil Productions, in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. Mara will serve as the showrunner. Between them, the Akils have written, produced and/or directed more than 350 episodes of primetime television series.
“To have a partner that brings the attention to detail and sheer excellence that Oprah has built an empire on is an absolute dream come true for Salim and me,” said Mara Brock Akil. “That, and it’s Oprah! ‘Love Is ___’ is not only a passion project, but is a personal one for us as well. We’re grateful to have her wholehearted support and magic touch behind this story.”
It looks like OWN is revamping its slate of content in an effort to transform audience perception of the network and reestablish its brand as a television powerhouse.