Combine a famous Christian couple with a burgeoning network, sprinkle in some comic relief, add a little drama and the result is "Mann & Wife," a series that's certain to find success among critics and television audiences.
As the title suggests, it takes an honest and often hilarious look at the composition and complexity of family life and the plot centers on the life of an American family -- except this a family that has progressed from the traditional, nuclear family. Loosely based on husband and wife team David Mann ("Madea's Big Happy Family") and Tamela Mann ("Meet the Browns") who are devout Christians, it's a scripted series set to premiere on Bounce TV.
"Family and faith is important to us and we know a lot of families are blended, so we just wanted to share some things that we went through that are not talked about and bring inspiration. Mann and Wife is more like our real life than any of the other projects that we've done. In our blended family, there's no 'his kids' or 'my kids' -- it's just our kids, our family," shares actress and Grammy nominated gospel singer Tamela Mann.
On the show, Tamela and David, who have been married for 27 years, play newlyweds Daniel and Toni. Daniel's a police officer from Atlanta and Toni is a schoolteacher from Dallas and the half-hour sitcom follows the second-chance sweethearts who along with their kids from previous marriages have to adjust to their new lives together in the Atlanta suburbs.
"We are not preachy on the show, but we do share our Christian principles without trying to be too in your face preachy. It's a series that the whole family can sit and watch together and not be embarrassed that something is going to be said or done that puts family in a bad light," adds David. "We wanted to make sure that we put the black family in a good light with everything that is going on in the world. That's one reason why we wanted to do it."
Today's families are very diverse and it's a series co-creator and director Roger Bobb ("The Rickey Smiley Show") describes as a "black Brady Bunch" as it centers on family life and domestic issues such as dealing with the difficulties of joining two families together.
"It's loosely based on their real situation of being a blended family. I wanted the world to see that they are a charming couple and they give really good advice on parenting and marriage. If we can put that together in a comedic way and make people laugh and teach at the same time, it's a win-win for everybody," says Roger.
The show tackles topics such as starting over, parenting and blended families with humor and heart. There's an outspoken mother in-law, plenty of drama from an ex-spouse, and resentful step kids as the show takes familiar elements -- what could be more familiar than the family itself? -- and treats them in such an assured and nifty way that you can't help but chuckle.
"We deal with the number one issue in a blended family, which is baby mama drama. We also deal with children getting to know a stepparent and people will be able to relate to a lot of the moments and characters," Roger continues. "This is a show that deals with faith and family and we need more of that more in our community."
Comedian Tony Rock adds humor as Daniel's over zealous police partner Michael Hobbs, JoMarie Payton ("Family Matters") plays Lorraine, Daniel's overbearing mother and Vivica A. Fox guest stars as Daniel's ex-wife Michelle.
With plenty of parental issues coupled with an eclectic cast, there's no reason that the comedic possibilities of "Mann & Wife" should ever run dry.
"Mann & Wife" premieres Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 9pm ET/8pm CT on Bounce TV