TV One acquires ‘Love That Girl’

Four-episode sitcom, starring Tatyana Ali, will air Jan. 19-21

TV One has acquired “Love That Girl,” a four-episode sitcom from Martin Lawrence and scribe Bentley Kyle Evans.

Evans created the sitcom, which stars “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” alum Tatyana Ali.

“Girl” will air as a special three-night event on TV One, from Tuesday, Jan. 19, through Thursday, Jan. 21, at 9 p.m. Back-to-back episodes will air each night (including repeats).

Ali stars as a divorcee who moves back to Southern California to work with her father (Phil Morris) in the real estate business. Alphonso McAuley co-stars as her unemployed brother, while Kendyl Joi plays her best friend.

In an unusual setup, Evans (“Martin,” “The Jamie Foxx Show”) produced the sitcom without the involvement of a studio, and called in favors — which included drawing on his “Martin” star, Lawrence — to make the show happen.

“Love That Girl” was even shot unconventionally, with all four episodes produced over five days at Blakeslee Recording Studios. Singer Raphael Saadiq, whose 2008 single “Love That Girl” serves as the show’s theme song, owns Blakeslee.

Beyond Lawrence, Evans also tapped “Full House” creator Jeff Franklin to help bring “Love That Girl” to life.

Evans then recruited several family members to perform key roles on the production: His sister, Stacey Evans Morgan (“The Parkers”), was a producer-writer on “Girl,” while his nephew Nile Evans (“Wild’n Out”) and brother Lamont Evans also helped as writers.

Evans’ wife, Valicia Evans, served as set designer, while Ali’s sister and business partner, Anastasia Ali, was also a producer.

Besides Evans and Lawrence, other exec producers on “Girl” include Saadiq and Trenten Gumbs.

“Not only do they get the business behind programming to the more sophisticated urban market, they have the ideal audience for a series like ours,” Evans said of TV One. “Thanks to our two distribution partners, Dennis Ray and Desmond Gumbs, we were able to structure a business relationship with TV One that will bring benefits to all parties involved. If executed properly, this will represent a whole new model for producing and delivering quality scripted series to the television market, at a reasonable cost.”

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