Today I’d like to give to a big, loud, ghetto shout-out to Devon K. Shepard and Bentley Kyle Evans, two writer/producers who have landed television deals for 2010. WhooooHoooo! Now, that’s how you start a damn decade!

If you have read my novel, HOLLYHOOD, you know the story is not about a seductive female as the busty book cover implies, but it is the story of African-American males like Devon and Bentley making moves and money in an entertainment world not created for them.

Devon K. Shepard (That’s Shep, if he likes you), writer, producer of Crash, Weeds and Everybody Hates Chris, just to name a few, along with Al Higgins has sold a pilot to ABC, starring Cedric the Entertainer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show will feature Cedric as a retired baseball player-turned-radio host forced to re-evaluate the type of father he has been when his son and 6-year old granddaughter re-enter his life. Now doesn’t that sound refreshing? I don’t know about ya’ll, but I am ready to see a few decent images of parenting. Between Frankie, Neffe and Super Nanny, I'm almost scared to have children. As the father of two, I’m sure Devon will deliver a few proven parenting methods and real life situations that will resonate with parents and kids alike and make us laugh till we bust a gut.

Next up is Bentley Kyle Evans, another writer/producer, I had the pleasure of working with. As the creator and Executive Producer, Bentley was indeed the HNIC at The Jamie Foxx Show. Yeah, he kind of fits the profile of Ty Hart in my novel Hollyhood, right? I’m not saying he is Ty. And I’m not saying he ain’t. What I am saying is that he’s back along with his partner in TV, Martin Lawrence. Together, they will Executive Produce “Love That Girl,” with Jeff Franklin, Raphael Saadiq and Trenten Gumbs. The sitcom stars a very grown and sexy, Tatyana Ali from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

In true gangsta style, Bentley stepped out on-his-own and produced four episodes without the resources of a major studio. TV One has picked it up and will air all four episodes starting Jan. 19th at 9:00PM. The Hollywood Reporter states, “If the episodes hit a certain rating, the network will pick up additional episodes.” So PLEASE tune in and watch people. We need an intelligent alternative to “Meet the Browns.” I’m just saying.

Congratulations Devon and Bentley!!! You’re making things happen in Hollyhood!

P.S. These deals mean much more than work for those named above. If these shows are picked-up it will translate into job opportunities for many people of color (writers, costumers, prop masters, stage managers, etc) who are less likely to be hired on white shows. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get some new behind-the-scene material!

Here's Devon cussing me out. :-)

Happy Twenty-Ten Everyone!

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