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Obama’s Change Hits Primetime

When Barack Obama was elected, we speculated a bit on what it would mean in terms of what comes out of Hollywood’s dream factories.

It’s easy to speculate. Out: Hard hitting, dramatic government exposes. In: Inspirational tales reflecting calls to service, or the common good.

Of course, we all remember the post-9/11 declaration of the “death of irony,” followed not too long after by an unprecedented boom in late-night comedy and an acceleration of celebrity culture reflected in the success of Us magazine.

But Variety’s Michael Schneider reports that NBC is developing a comedy based on the book “Making Friends with Black People,” “capitalizing on how Obama’s success has changed the national dialogue on race.”

“Making Friends” will center on two guys — one African-American and one white — who become close friends, but who don’t necessarily see things the same way.

The author of the book, Nick Adams, tells Schneider, “Now, with Obama, people are talking about race a lot more. We hope to capitalize on that and not let the dialogue die down. … It seemed like a good opportunity to strike while the iron is hot.”

Schneider points out that “Making Friends” could be this generation’s “All in the Family,” which reflected the generational battles coming out of the 1960s, or “Family Ties,” which showed the tilt rightward among the sons and daughters of baby boomers.

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