In one of entertainment’s most prolific careers, Ice Cube has made the leap from gangster rapper to film and television mogul to cuddly sitcom creator and actor. Given what he’s accomplished thus far, it should be no surprise that he’s moving into Tyler Perry territory with a new TBS sitcom, “Are We There Yet?,” an outgrowth of his popular movies of the same title.
Starring Terry Crews, who’s become the go-to TV dad, and Essence Atkins from “Half and Half,” the show is geared around the two as newlyweds Nick and Suzanne Kingston, who are raising Suzanne’s two kids together. The show debuts on TBS at 9 and 9:30 p.m. tonight.
Here are a few things you may not know about “Are We There Yet?” (Check out the trailer here.)
1. Art imitates life.
Essence Atkins is a newlywed. (She married financial executive Jamie Mendoza last September.) When Terry Crews met his wife, Rebecca, she had a six-month-old. (As anyone whose watched “The Family Crews” knows, they have since had four together in 20 years of marriage.) So “Are We There Yet” isn’t much of a stretch for either actor.
“I’m a newlywed,” Atkins told the Philadelphia Daily News, “so, much like Suzanne, I’m learning the whole process of beyond-the-happily-ever-after. Suzanne and Nick have been married six months. In my life, I’ve been married seven.”
2. They’re playing the numbers.
The show was green-lit with a 10-episode order, but TBS has the option to pick up 90 episodes going forward. This could be considered the Perry effect, as Perry’s two hit sitcoms, “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne,” both hits for TBS, were initially picked up for 100 episodes, an initial commitment that was virtually unheard of in TV sitcom history. Apparently TBS is hedging their bets on this one, since the 90 additional episodes are an option at this point.
3. Everybody loves Ali.
Ali Le Roi, who won an Emmy for his writing on “The Chris Rock Show,” is producer and co-creator of “Are We There Yet.” (Ice Cube is the executive producer.) LeRoi is best known for his work on “Everybody Hates Chris,” the show loosely based on the comedian’s Brooklyn childhood. The show was critically acclaimed, but it’s run was cut short when the CW dropped Black sitcoms. LeRoi started out his career as Bernie Mac’s MC, eventually making his way to “The Chris Rock Show.”
4. Ice Cube values family.
Show creator Ice Cube says that he and his wife, Kimberly, who have been married 18 years, keep it old-school when it comes to their successful relationship. In almost two decades of celebrity, Cube and his wife have managed to avoid scandal and speculation. He says the parents of four prioritize communication.
“We talk about all aspects of our lives,” Cube told Essence.com. “We have our morning coffee and make sure we communicate with each other and try to keep the world out of our business. We keep our family and our friends out of our business also. That, to me, are the ingredients of making it work — and also having respect for each other.”
5. They didn’t go Hollywood.
Most TV sitcoms shoot in Los Angeles, the center of the pilot and sitcom world. And certainly TBS has its own Atlanta studios to shoot in. So guess where the L.A. based stars of “Are We There Yet” are shooting? New York City? Vancouver? — all good guesses since those are the places where just about every TV show and most films are shot? Nope.
You’d never guess that “Are We There Yet” shoots in the most unlikely place you might think of a Black family in – the tony suburb of Stamford, Connecticut. Not exactly sure why the show is shooting here, but given that several reports have discussed the economically friendly accelerated shooting schedule (most shows have about a week to shoot the entire show; “Are We There Yet” will shoot one show in about a day and a half), we can assume it has something to do with saving money.
August 19, 2012 //
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