OWN orders relationship dramedy 'Love Is ___' from Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil

July 18 2017

The Oprah Winfrey Network has ordered a new drama series from husband and wife duo Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil.

The hourlong comedy-drama, titled, Love Is___, is set to debut in 2018. It is created and executive produced by the Akils. Mara Brock Akil will be showrunner.

The description of the series reads, "Drawing inspiration from their real-life relationship, the project tells the love story between a modern-day power couple. In the world of Black Hollywood, they navigate a complex set of social codes, and this series will explore it all, from the good to the bad… to the ‘90s, because that’s the love story began."

This project sounds just like one that was first in development at ABC, as a multi-camera, half-hour comedy series titled Documenting Love. It had a pilot commitment, but was not picked up for series. Now, OWN has now picked it up as a drama series, under a different title and in an hour-long format.

"I’ve dreamed of working with the Akils. 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," said Oprah.

"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. 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," said Mara Brock Akil.

The Akils, who ran The Game and Being Mary Jane, are also running the upcoming DC superhero series Black Lightning over at The CW.

Also, this news comes just as Tyler Perry is leaving an exclusive deal with OWN for BET. The Akils were at BET before leaving 2 years ago, and now find themselves with a project at OWN.

With zero OWN series nominated for Emmys (Ava DuVernay's Queen Sugar and Greenleaf notably), is this a move to change the network's industry and audience perception as the home of 5 Tyler Perry series?

by Shadow and Act on July 18 2017

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