The Game and Being Mary Jane creator Mara Brock Akil and her husband, writer-director Salim Akil have been recruited by Oprah Winfrey’s to develop a new hour long dramedy on OWN titled Love Is ____.

Love Is ___ is set to debut in 2018, and 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 when the love story began.

Love Is ___ originated as Documenting Love, a multi-camera comedy project the Akils developed last season. It landed at ABC with a pilot production commitment. The script, which did not go to production at the broadcast network, is now being reworked as a one-hour single-camera dramedy.

“I’ve dreamed of working with the Akils,” said Oprah Winfrey. “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.”

“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,” said Mara Brock Akil. “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.”

The Akils executive produce the series through their Akil Productions banner, with Mara Brock Akil serving as showrunner. The series hails from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and stems from the Akils’ big overall deal at Warner Bros. TV.

Brock Akil first began her career in 1994 writing for the critically acclaimed Fox series, South Central. She went on to write for Moesha for four seasons and later served as Supervising Producer and was a writer on The Jamie Foxx Show. It’s no argument that Brock Akil has a significant industry history under her belt!  Between them, the Akils have written, produced and/or directed more than 350 episodes of primetime television series. Up next for them is the Warner Bros. Television/DC drama series Black Lightning for the CW, which they are executive producing, with Salim Akil serving as showrunner.

In addition to drama Being Mary Jane and comedy The Game, Mara also created/executive produced The Game’s predecessor Girlfriends. Salim was director on all and executive produced The Game and Being Mary Jane. Mara Brock Akil is repped by CAA, Salim Akil is wth ICM Partners.



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The HBR Media Team is a collective group of black women filmmakers, writers, and studio/network executives who are passionate about bringing visibility to women of African descent working in film and television.

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