One to watch; Sinbad

Sinbad, known through his appearances on “Showtime at the Apollo,” HBO specials and as a regular on “A Different World,” has his own show this fall. Fox Broadcasting committed to it without a pilot, and those who evaluate TV programming for Madison Avenue point to the high-energy stand-up as a likely break-out TV star without seeing a frame of “The Sinbad Show.”

After Fox and producer Walt Disney TV temporarily suspeneded production of the series to re-work it, the comic-turned-TV-actor has been in production 6-to- 14 hours a day, five days a week. Sinbad says starting over allowed the show’s creators to punch up the comedy and make sure the episodes carried enough emotional impact. In addition to starring in “The Sinbad Show,” the comic has been assisting writers on scripts.

Sinbad attributes the early mis-steps to the speed with which the show was assembled. His original plan was not to return to TV until 1994, but Fox had intervened, pressing to launch a show this fall. “They said, ‘hey, we want to do it and we want to do it now,” says Sinbad. So the normal seven-to-eight months of preparation was jammed into about three.

Sinbad sees the show as another stepping stone in a career in which he hopes to eventually be able to greenlight motion pictures and TV shows. African Americans face an uphill struggle in the entertainment industry, and he hopes to do his part to break down the walls. “Hollywood is a very stereotypical place,” he says.

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