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Tisha Campbell, Essence Atkins, Tahj Mowry Among Five Cast in ABC Pilot ‘Black Don’t Crack’

Black Don't Crack cast
Tisha Campbell/@RikerBrothers/Tim Schaeffer/I Am Photographs/Beth Grant

Tisha Campbell, Essence Atkins, Tahj Mowry, Isaiah Mustafa, and Beth Grant have all been cast in ABC’s multi-cam comedy pilot “Black Don’t Crack,” Variety has learned.

The group joins previously announced series star Sherri Shepherd. The show follows three former sorority sisters (Shepherd, Atkins, Campbell) who lost touch after college and reunite during a pivotal point in their lives. The show marks a reunion for Mowry and Atkins, who previously starred together in the Disney series “Smart Guy.”

Campbell will play Tasha Marks, described as a hip and fabulous Atlanta restaurateur who starts trends instead of following them. She holds nothing back and is brutally honest (sometimes to a fault) with her friends, but has been avoiding a truth in her own life. She’s achieved the perfect professional life and insists that she needs no man in her life to interfere with the career she’s worked so hard to create.

Campbell is known for her starring roles in sitcoms like “Martin” and “My Wife and Kids.” Her recent TV credits include “Dr. Ken,” “Last Man Standing,” and “Empire,” while she has also starred in films ranging from “School Daze” to “Blindspotting.”

She is repped by TCA and Mintz, Levin Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo.

Atkins will play Nia Hillis-Davis, a bougie, conservative politician’s wife who has lost touch with her more fun-loving college self. Though she may have many cracks in her perfect facade that she goes to great pains to cover up. While she may be perceived as uptight and snobbish, she’s ultimately a lovable neurotic who is our voice of positivity, even if a lot of the times, she’s not sure what’s going on.

In addition to her role in “Smart Guy,” Atkins has starred in shows such as “Marlon,”  “Half & Half,” “Are We There Yet,” and “Ambiitions.” On the film side, she recently played the lead in the indie feature “Same Difference.” She partnered with her “Marlon” co-star Marlon Wayans on the comedy film “A Haunted House” in 2013.

She is repped by Buchwald and manager Kathy McComb.

Mowry will play Khalil Grant, the 20 year old son of Angela (Shepherd). He is a recent college grad who is full of big ideas and big dreams, but has yet to get any of his start-up companies off the ground. A bit of slow starter at life, he lives in his mother’s basement and still relies on her to do his laundry and front him rent money. He is fiercely protective of his family and is gradually growing into a responsible adult.

Mowry is known for starring in “Smart Guy” as well as the Freeform series “Baby Daddy.” He also had a recurring role on “Full House” as Teddy, a friend of Michelle’s. He also appeared alongside his real-life sisters, Tia and Tamara, in their comedy series “Sister Sister.” Other roles include “Desperate Housewives,” “The Game,” and “Kim Possible.”

He is repped by Gilbertson Entertainment and Meyer & Downs.

Mustafa will play Charles Daniels, co-owner with Tasha of a restaurant and bar in Atlanta. Charles is a former pro-football player who is handsome and oozes charm and swagger. He’s full of stories from back in his glory days and is comfortable being the center of attention. He could be perceived as cocky, but he’s ultimately the kind of dependable, good guy you want in your corner.

Mustafa is known for his time as the spokesperson for Old Spice as well as Hulu. Since transitioning into acting full-time after a career as a pro football player, he has starred in the film “IT: Chapter Two” and “Horrible Bosses” as well as shows like “Shadowhunters.”

He is repped by Paradigm, Megan Silverman Management, and Morris Yorn.

Grant will play Nancy Grant, Angela’s sharp-tongued mother-in-law. She adores her grandson but is tougher on her daughter-in-law – she can be abrasive, demanding, and unaware of her prejudices. While Nancy can be a thorn in Angela’s side, the truth is they need each other. At the end of the day, the things they share — the loss of a husband, their love for Khalil – keep them from killing each other.

Grant is a mainstay of both film and television. She has appeared in critically-acclaimed films like “The Artist,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Rain Man” among many more. On the TV side, she has appeared in series such as “Goliath,” “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” and “American Gods.”

She is repped by Buchwald.

“Black Don’t Crack” hails from writer and producer Regina Hicks. Viola Davis and Julius Tennon will executive produce via JuVee Productions along with Andrew Wang, with Larry Wilmore supervising and executive producing via Wilmore Films. Kelly Park will direct the pilot. ABC Signature will produce.