Well this is terrible news!
Eight months after HBO ordered the half-hour comedy from Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin to series, the network has announced today that it has pulled the plug on the project, which was to be titled “Brothers in Atlanta.”
Executive produced by Lorne Michaels, along with Riddle and Salahuddin, the series was to star both actor/writer/comedians as 2 young struggling entertainers trying to make it big in Atlanta: “After some time apart, 2 old college friends, Langston Rogers (Riddle) and Musa ‘Moose’ Almuharib (Salahudin), reunite in the black mecca of the New South, Atlanta. Both determined to make it big, their unique perspectives on the quirks of both Atlanta and the black community inevitably lead to personal and professional conflicts.”
Maya Rudolph, Finesse Mitchell and Jaden Smith were all part of the cast, in recurring roles. And Tim Story directed the pilot (and was to direct more episodes).
“After assessing our programming needs we talked to Bashir and Diallo and decided moving forward didn’t make sense for us at the time,” HBO said in a statement. “We feel they are immensely talented and we hope to work with them in the future.”
I would say that another network might pick it up, but that would only be speculation on my part.
As for HBO, in terms of new “black programming” coming next TV season, there’s Steve McQueen’s “Codes of Conduct,” and Issa Rae’s “Insecure.”
I should also note that there is a second cable TV comedy/drama series starring and created by black creatives, set in Atlanta, also with “Atlanta” in the title, that was ordered for the next TV season – Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” which revolves around two cousins on their way up through the Atlanta rap scene whose opposing views on art versus commerce, success and race, will make their quest anything but easy. I wonder if HBO’s decision to pull the plug on “Brothers in Atlanta” was in part due to the fact that a competing network ordered a series with a broadly similar plot.
Deadline was first to report the news of HBO’s dropping the series.