CBS is showing more determination to diversify its roster by signing off on two pilot-to-series orders on multicamera comedies starring Cedric the Entertainer and Damon Wayans Jr., as reported by multiple trade publications.
The first series, Welcome to the Neighborhood stars Cedric, Josh Lawson (House of Lies), Marcel Spears (The Mayor) and Sheaun McKinney (Snowfall). As we reported in March, the series will center around Lawson’s character Dave, “the nicest guy in the Midwest, who moves his family into a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles, where not everyone appreciates his extreme neighborliness.” Tichina Arnold (Survivor’s Remorse) will play Loretta, one of Dave’s new neighbors. She’s married to Calvin (Cedric) and is the mother of Malcolm and Marty (Spears and McKinney). Dreama Walker and Hank Greenspan round out the cast. Welcome to the Neighborhood is produced by Kapital Entertainment, directed by James Burrows and written by Jim Reynolds (The Big Bang Theory).
The second pilot, currently untitled, stars Wayans and is executive produced by Ben Winston, executive producer of The Late Late Show with James Corden. Wayans’ attachment to the project is suspected to be the biggest talent deal of this year’s pilot season. The series focuses on the time Wayans lived with One Direction’s Harry Styles, who has signed on to executive produce. According to Deadline, the show isn’t based on any real experiences or people from Wayans and Styles’ lives.
As we’ve reported, the synopsis for the series follows a couple, Peter and Claire, who “are tired of their mundane life and start to reconnect with their younger, cooler selves when an emerging pop star, who is drawn to their super-normal suburban life, moves in.” Wayans will play Peter, the business manager for young music star Cooper, played by Australian actor Felix Mallard. Amber Stevens West (The Carmichael Show) has signed on to play Peter’s wife, Claire.