“The Bernie Mac Show” creator Larry Wilmore has lined up two laffer projects at NBC, including a hip-hop skein with scribe Bobby Gaylor and another half-hour based on an idea from Steven Spielberg.
“Fix Me,” which Wilmore is writing for NBC Universal TV Studio and DreamWorks TV, comes from Spielberg’s inspiration to set a comedy in a pediatrician’s office.
The other project, “The Raftons,” follows the exploits of a stiff, corporate executive who winds up running the business affairs for his younger brother, a rising hip-hop mogul in the vein of Jay-Z and Diddy.
“The Raftons” is being developed with Wilmore in mind to play the older brother, who finds himself trying to relate to a hip-hop world he knows nothing about.
Acting is nothing new to Wilmore, who toiled as a thesp before turning his attention to writing.
“I got tired of auditioning for the same fast-talking ex-con role,” he said. “Now I feel like the time is right. It’s fun to get back into acting.”
Wilmore and Gaylor spent several years as roommates and working the standup comedy circuit together. The scribes collaborated on “Bernie Mac” and have been looking for new ways to work together; when Wilmore signed on with NBC to write two scripts, he immediately thought of his pal.
“Our sensibilities are pretty different, but when they come together it makes for great writing,” Gaylor said. “They blend well together.”
Wilmore said the idea for “The Raftons” originally came about when a headhunter approached him about taking the top programming job at BET.
“I thought that was kind of funny, the idea of me running BET,” he said. “That’s where we started with the idea. By adapting it to a hip-hop empire, it opens up the world. We feel like no one’s taken a shot at this world yet, so we decided we would.”
The scribes said the fast-paced single-camera show would parody the hip-hop and music worlds but focus mostly on character-based laughs. Should the project go to series, they’d consider casting a real-life hip-hop star as Riff-Raff, the young rapper character.
Gaylor’s no stranger to the record industry, having released the 2000 spoken-word CD “Fuzzatonicscream” on Atlantic Records. His credits also include “Roseanne” and “Becker.”
As for “Fix Me,” the single-camera ensemble comedy follows the world of a young pediatrician who takes care of everyone around her — but needs some help of her own.
Spielberg, who still gets seen by a pediatrician himself, came up with the idea. Originally conceived as an hourlong dramedy, Wilmore said the show was reworked as a half-hour more in the vein of “Bernie Mac.”
Wilmore and DreamWorks TV toppers Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will exec produce “Fix Me.”
NBC Universal TV prexy Angela Bromstad said the studio was eager to develop with Wilmore.
“We expect that Larry will create a winning set of great comedic characters,” she said.
Besides “Bernie Mac” and “The Office,” Wilmore’s credits include “The PJ’s,” which he co-created.