Words by: Sentwali Holder
ABC has another ensemble cast in the works for it’s upcoming comedy pilot, Black Don’t Crack, from Viola Davis’ JuVee Productions. Coming from the wheelhouse of comedy veteran Regina Y. Hicks, (Co-creator of Netflix’s upcoming sitcom, The Upshaws), the pilot has tapped iconic television leads Tisha Campbell, Essence Atkins, and Sherri Shepherd. Series regulars are Tahj Mowry, Beth Grant and Isaiah Mustafa. Hicks will executive produce with Davis, Julius Tennon and Larry Wilmore. The studio is ABC Signature which is making waves on high brow production projects.
The series arc follows three estranged sorority sisters “who lost touch after college and reunite during a pivotal point in their lives. They realize sometimes it’s okay to crack and when you do, no one will be there for you like your friends.”
Here’s the official character descriptions below:
Shepherd plays Angela Wright: A native New Yorker somewhere between 45 and death, but it’s hard to tell because “black don’t crack.” She’s a single mom who put aside her musical dreams to raise her son after her husband died. She’s been holding it down alone for years, taking care of her family instead of herself. When she is confronted with a personal crisis, she reunites with her sorority sisters to recapture the passion, ambition and sisterhood of their college glory days.
Atkins stars as Nia Hillis Davis: A bougie, conservative politician’s wife who has lost touch with her more fun-loving college self. Though she may have many cracks in her perfect facade that she goes to great pains to cover up. While she may be perceived as uptight and snobbish, she’s ultimately a lovable neurotic who is our voice of positivity, even if a lot of the times, she’s not sure what’s going on.
Campbell is playing Tasha Marks: A hip and fabulous Atlanta restaurateur who starts trends instead of following them. She holds nothing back and is brutally honest (sometimes to a fault) with her friends, but has been avoiding a truth in her own life. She’s achieved the perfect professional life and insists that she needs no man in her life to interfere with the career she’s worked so hard to create.
Mowry is Khalil Grant Angela’s (Shepard) 20 something son: He is a recent college grad who is full of big ideas and big dreams, but has yet to get any of his start-up companies off the ground. A bit of slow starter at life, he lives in his mother’s basement and still relies on her to do his laundry and front him rent money. He is fiercely protective of his family and is gradually growing into a responsible adult.
Grant is Nancy, Angela’s (Shepard) sharp-tongued mother-in-law: She adores her grandson but is tougher on her daughter-in-law – she can be abrasive, demanding, and unaware of her prejudices. While Nancy can be a thorn in Angela’s side, the truth is they need each other. At the end of the day, the things they share — the loss of a husband, their love for Khalil – keep them from killing each other.
Mustafa is Charles Daniels, co-owner with Tasha of a restaurant and bar in Atlanta: Charles is a former pro-football player who is handsome and oozes charm and swagger. He’s full of stories from back in his glory days and is comfortable being the center of attention. He could be perceived as cocky, but he’s ultimately the kind of dependable, good guy you want in your corner.