Photo Caption (l-r): Michele Weaver, Will Catlett
Photo © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. / Courtesy of OWN
Los Angeles – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today it has renewed for a second season its hit romantic drama series “Love Is___” from award-winning producers Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”) and Salim Akil (“Black Lightning”). The Akils created and executive produced the series through their company Akil Productions, in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. Brock Akil serves as the series’ showrunner, as well as director for the pilot and upcoming season finale episode (Tuesday, August 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT).
“Love Is___” (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT) premiered June 19 with 1.2 million viewers and a 1.2 W25-54 rating (L+3) and was the night’s #2 telecast on all of television among African American women. The July 17 telecast achieved a series high across all key demos and total viewers with 1.4 million viewers and a 1.51 W25-54 rating. On average over its series run, “Love Is___” ranks as the #1 show on cable in its time period with W25-54.
“Mara and Salim have brought their heart and soul to this passion project working with our friends at Warner Horizon Scripted Television and we couldn’t be more thrilled to renew the show for a second season,” said Erik Logan, president, OWN. “This series is an important part of OWN’s scripted programming lineup and to see the ratings grow as the Akils’ love story unfolds each week is truly exciting.”
About “Love Is___”
(Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
Set primarily in 1990’s Los Angeles against the backdrop of Black Hollywood, “Love Is___” follows Nuri (Michele Weaver) and Yasir (Will Catlett), a couple from seemingly opposite worlds, as they chase their dreams and learn to follow their hearts. Told from the perspective of the couple’s present-day selves, the romantic drama also revisits the social issues and vibrant black culture of that time reflecting on how it all aligned to shape the couple they have become nearly 20 years later -- a power couple navigating a complex set of social codes while also balancing successful careers and a beautiful family. Drawing inspiration from creators Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil’s own relationship journey, the series explores the highs, the lows, and the magic of falling (and staying) in love.
The cast includes series regulars Michele Weaver (“Illicit”) as ‘Nuri,’ a bubbly personality with big dreams who is struggling to make a name for herself as a sitcom staff writer while juggling an assortment of romances that only leave her partly fulfilled; Will Catlett (“Black Lightning”) as ‘Yasir,’ an aspiring writer/director who is down to his last two unemployment checks and lives (unhappily) with his on-and-off again ex ‘Ruby,’ played by Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing (“Alles Voor Elkaar”). Tyrone Marshall Brown (“Bull”) portrays ‘Sean,’ Yasir’s opinionated friend who possesses great taste and is full of ideas but lacks follow through; and Idara Victor (“Mad Men”) stars as ‘Angela,’ a member of the same writing staff with Nuri who doesn’t always agree with everything Nuri says, mainly because she is a disgruntled drama writer stuck in a comedy she doesn’t believe in. TV veteran Kadeem Hardison (“A Different World”) is ‘Norman,’ the executive producer of the hit sit-com “Marvin” and tough boss of Nuri and Angela who is hard to impress and even harder to amuse; Clarke Peters (“The Wire”) portrays present day ‘Wiser Yasir,’ handsome, still-confident and Nuri’s husband of many years; and Wendy Davis (“Army Wives”) is ‘Wiser Nuri,’ who is a more relaxed, happy, and comfortable version of herself both in life and in her marriage to Yasir.
“Love Is___” also features Primetime Emmy®-winner Loretta Devine (“Grey’s Anatomy”), NAACP Image Award-nominee Vanessa Bell Calloway (“Coming to America”), NAACP Image Award-winner Tim Reid (“Sister, Sister”), Tosin Morohunfola (“The Chi”), Tammy Townsend (“Sherri”), and Michael King (“Black Lightning”), all with recurring roles.
About Akil Productions
Founded in 2000 by prolific producers Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, Akil Productions has become one of the foremost creators of television and film projects that poignantly explores the nuances of human experience through diverse characters and storylines. With hundreds of hours of content to their credit, The Akils have earned a reputation for being two of the most influential African-American storytellers in Hollywood while entertaining millions of viewers along the way. The company’s most recent project is the romantic drama “Love Is ___” which premiered on OWN in June and is currently airing its first season. Drawing inspiration from their own relationship journey, the series explores the highs, the lows, and the magic of falling (and staying) in love. With Brock Akil leading as showrunner, the series has further proven Brock Akil’s innate ability to connect and engage with viewers in a deeply personal way through storytelling. Additionally, this year Akil Productions debuted the critically acclaimed series “Black Lightning” based on the first African-American superhero created by DC Comics. Since debuting on The CW earlier this year, the series has been hailed by fans and critics alike for elevating the ever-popular superhero genre through thoughtful, honest conversations about the African-American experience. Developed for television by Akil, who also serves as showrunner, the series will return for its second season this fall on October 9. The Akils executive produce both projects through their overall deal at Warner Bros. Television, which they inked in 2016 through the Akil Productions banner. The Akils, through the shingle, are responsible for producing over 350 episodes of television, including the popular BET drama “Being Mary Jane,” the record-breaking ensemble comedy “The Game,” and the seminal sitcom “Girlfriends.” The latter of which is still considered to be groundbreaking in its portrayal of black womanhood through an honest, authentic, and intelligent lens during its 8-season run. Additionally, Akil Productions has been behind such films as “Jumping the Broom,” which Akil made his directorial debut on; the high-profile remake of “Sparkle,” which Brock Akil wrote and Akil directed. Prior to forming their professional partnership and launching Akil Productions, the pair earned credits individually playing pivotal roles on such beloved television series as “Soul Food,” “Moesha,” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.”
About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey's heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today's most innovative storytellers. OWN’s original scripted series include popular dramas “Queen Sugar,” “Greenleaf,” “Love Is __,” “The Have and Have Nots, “If Loving You is Wrong,” hit sitcom “The Paynes,” and upcoming drama series “David Makes Man” from Academy Award-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney and “Ambitions” from box office hit-maker Will Packer. OWN’s Saturday night unscripted programming lineup includes “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Book of John Gray,” “Black Love,” “Mind Your Business with Mahisha” and the recently announced dating series “Ready to Love.” OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime, anywhere on WatchOWN.tv or across mobile devices and connected TVs. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own