When he's not busy launching a new HD TV channel for African American audiences via his Entertainment Studios production/distribution company, media mogul Byron Allen (yes, THAT Byron Allen) is also busy developing primetime sitcoms to debut in the fall of 2012.
Entertainment Studios has ordered 104 episodes of The First Family, a sitcom about an African American family that resides in The White House (not the Obamas however, though I'm sure they were of some influence), and another 104 episodes of Mr. Box Office, a sitcom about the biggest movie star in the world who is sentenced to community service, teaching English at the "toughest" high school in America.
The studio is said to be staffing up the writing and producing crew for each new series with "top network pedigree writers and producers," with production for both set to begin this summer.
"There's a huge shortfall of quality family sitcoms for broadcast television stations, and we are 110 percent committed to filling that enormous void... Our number one priority is to deliver the highest quality content in the sitcom genre, and this initial 208-episode order is a big step in the right direction," said Byron Allen, chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios.
Each new series will be carried on multiple platforms, including broadcast, cable, and digital media starting this fall.
As for casting, Allen told THR recently that, unlike most of his shows, he expects to cast some stars in lead roles to help with marketing. No names mentioned though.
Watch out Tyler Perry; Byron Allen's gunning for ya :)