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'In Living Color' Reboot Was To Feature Original Cast, But Damon Wayans Walked Away, Ending It

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 19, 2012 at 12:47PM

'In Living Color' Reboot Was To Feature Original Cast, But Damon Wayans Walked Away, Ending It
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in living color

At least that's what Milton "Lil' RelHowery says.

Maybe this is old news, and we just missed it, but I came across this video interview with Milton "Lil' Rel" Howery, who was one of the planned series reboot's new cast members, uploaded to YouTube just yesterday, so I assume it's a recent interview. In it, he shares more on why the series reboot has been shelved (at least temporarily), even saying who was seemingly responsible for the reboot not moving forward, and also, something I definitely didn't know, that the entire original cast was coming back for the series, in addition to the all new cast, which I don't quite get.

But first, a quick recap... those of you who weren't too keen on a reboot of In Living Color with an all-new cast of players (although still shepherded by Keenen Ivory Wayans), were thrilled when it was announced that the reboot had been put on hold; specifically, Kevin Reilly, Entertainment President of the Fox Broadcasting Companyindicated in an August interview, that the planned In Living Color specials, reviving the sketch-comedy series, wouldn't air anytime soon. Though several had been shot, he said a "high bar" had been set, which essentially wasn't met in terms of writing and other contributing factors.

What I interpreted from that, is that expectations were high (given the success of the original In Living Color), and, although they'd shot a few episodes already, they apparently weren't meeting those high expectations; and so maybe it was back to the drawing board; or maybe it was being (or will be) shelved permanently, and we wouldn't hear anything further about the reboot anymore.

In a radio interview that followed soon after Reilly's statement over the summer, Lil Rel Howery added that some of the cast from the original In Living Color series apparently wanted to come back, or at least be involved in the reboot in some way (or it could have been that Fox wanted them to come back), however, as he stated, they couldn't reach an agreement with Fox, and so, as he suggested, "Fox was mad" because they didn't get what the wanted... or something like that.

Skip ahead to today, in the below interview with Lil Rel, in which he recounts the day he learned that the reboot was off; stating, in short, that he arrived on set, noticed a tension in the air amongst all those who were present, inquired about what was at the root of that tension, and was told that Damon Wayans didn't want to do the show anymore (no reasons given), and that he approached David Alan Grier, asking him what was up with Damon, and Grier simply just shrugged and walked away. And so because Damon didn't want to do the show anymore, everyone else (including Jim Carrey, whom he says was supposed to return as well), decided not to do the show either.

But he doesn't go into details explaining why Damon suddenly walked away from it. Obviously, something went down, but, in all the interviews I've seen Keenen give in the last few months, he never really talks in-depth about why the show was shelved. Understandably I suppose, especially if Damon was somehow at the root of it.

Unless Lil Rel isn't telling the whole truth.

But I'm left to assume that there's likely a lot more to this than we know, and maybe it'll all come out eventually... or maybe it won't.

One thing that I was most surprised by was Rel's claim that just about everyone from the original series was going to return to the reboot. Unless they were returning for specials only, and not as part of the regular series cast, I'm not sure I quite understand why they would.

The entire new interview with Howery follows in the video player below, so listen to it. He obviously feels that they had something worth airing, but something obviously went down that we aren't getting the full story on.

But I won't be surprised if it's been put to rest permanently, and this never comes up again. And a year from now, we'll all be asking what happened to that In Living Color reboot, and Keenen will talk openly about what transpired behind closed doors, and the whole truth will be known.

The reboot was supposed to feature an all new cast (at least that's what was announced publicly) including Kali Hawk, Jennifer Bartels, Jermaine FowlerAyana Hampton, Cyrah Hawkins and of course Rel.

There was also going to be a new set of Fly Girls: Whitney Wiley, Tera Perez, Christina Chandler, Katee Shean, and Lisa Rosenthal.

Howery's interview follows below:

This article is related to: Television, TV News


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