“White Famous” is loosely based on the career of Jamie Foxx, but it might also apply to the path taken by its star, Jay Pharoah. Pharoah, who was lauded as a superstar in the making when he joined “Saturday Night Live” in 2010, was instead surprisingly cut from the show in 2016.
Pharoah is known for his spot-on impersonations of celebrities like Jay-Z and Denzel Washington. But ultimately he felt underutilized by the show. “You go where you’re appreciated,” he told a radio station earlier this year. “They put people into boxes and whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do. And I’m fiery. I’m not a yes n—-.”
In “White Famous,” Pharoah’s character, young comedian Floyd Mooney, must navigate similar tricky situations – while staying true to himself and his credibility – as he strives for a career that makes him, in the words of his agent (Utkarsh Ambudkar), “white famous.”
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Cleopatra Coleman (“The Last Man on Earth”) plays his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his son (played by Lonnie Davis, “This Is Us”), while Jacob Ming-Trent is his roommate. Stephen Tobolowsky guest stars in the pilot, while others appearing in Season 1 include Meagan Good, Jack Davenport, Michael Rapaport, Kendrick Sampson, Lyndon Smith and Natalie Zea.
Foxx also guest stars in a recurring role on the show, which he created and executive produces with Tom Kapinos (“Californication”). Director Tim Story (“Barbershop,” “Ride Along”), also executive produces and directed the pilot. Here’s an exclusive first look at the teaser trailer for “White Famous.”
“White Famous” premieres Sunday, Oct. 15, at 10 p.m. ET behind “Ray Donovan.” On Nov. 5, “White Famous” moves to 10:30 p.m., behind the new comedy “SMILF.”