Essence Atkins and Tetona Jackson are joining Damon Wayans and Damon Wayans Jr in the latter pair’s CBS family comedy.
The untitled project, which picked up a pilot order in February, has also set Andy Ackerman as director and exec producer of the pilot.
It centers on a legendary talk radio host and happily divorced “Poppa” (Wayans) who has his point of view challenged at work when a new female co-host is hired, and at home where he finds himself still parenting his adult son (Wayans Jr.), a brilliant dreamer who is trying to pursue his passion while being a responsible father and husband.
Atkins plays Dr. Ivy Reed, an intelligent, savvy and bold, Ivy is the host of the “Ask Doctor Reed” radio show where she gives helpful advice to listeners with a modern approach on life. When the network wants to modernize Poppa’s outdated routine, Ivy joins him as a co-host; she quickly dismantles his old-school arguments, and a new rivalry is instantly born.
Jackson plays Nina, Junior’s loving, real and detail oriented wife. She is his biggest supporter, but his biggest motivator as well. She doesn’t want Junior to give up his dream, but hopes he can focus more on work in the meantime – she’s already raising two kids and can’t have him acting like a third. Even with all the distractions and family drama, Nina and Junior always make a great team.
Atkins is currently recurring on the BET+ series First Wives Club and ABC’s Milo Ventimiglia new series The Company You Keep. She previously starred for two seasons opposite Marlon Wayans in NBC’s Marlon. She is repped by Buchwald and Kathy McComb Management.
Jackson is currently recurring on Freeform’s Good Trouble and for the past two seasons she had been recurring on ABC’s Home Economics. She is represented by BRS-Gage and The Priluck Company.
Wayans, Kevin Hench and Wayans Jr. executive produce. CBS Studios, where Wayans Jr.’s Two Shakes Entertainment has been based since its launch, is the studio. Kameron Tarlow, VP Productions, will be overseeing the project for Two Shakes.