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

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
December 19, 2012 12:47 PM
6 Comments
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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:

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6 Comments

  • Blackman | December 20, 2012 11:46 PMReply

    Damon Wayans is a DRUG ADDICT and insane in the brain. When was the last time someone seen him?

    duh

  • Taz | December 19, 2012 10:33 PMReply

    Would have tried to watch to see SYTYCD alumn Katee Sheen.

  • Dankwa Brooks | December 19, 2012 4:27 PMReply

    I agree Tambay, the old cast members returning for anything more than cameos do not make sense. It also sounds like what they shot just wasn't good and the project is done.

  • Mekisha Hale | December 19, 2012 3:16 PMReply

    I remembered at sometime ago that Damon Wayne was going back to television with an idea for the plot and it never was brought up again for some reason. Then last year or so there was this report about the very story that this article projected that there was going to be a reboot of "Living In Color" again. Keenan Wayne who was the brains behind the ultimate funny show of the late 1980's and 1990's and was a hit on the Fox line up was the show that everyone thought was the most hilarious show on air . The creativity that was on that show was out of this world and in reruns it's still got it. But I do remember the reboot method of the show. What I didn't know was that everyone was coming back to show which is really weird knowing that everyone found success in some shape or form with the what and why that success became what was either films or in other success within the business. Just being on the show and being part of that success that show gave to everyone. Got them exposure to other projects,what was interesting was that Jim Carey who went on to be successful in million making hit comedy's in motion pictures. Why would he come back after all that success and now end up back to where he started couldn't be the money. So maybe it's just the pure idea of doing something again after starting from there and since Keenan Wayne's was the the guy that really started everyone on that show to get exposure,maybe it was generosity then just fame or money. Even though these days it's to imagine anyone doing anything not for the money, but in Jim Carey or Damon Wayne,David Allen Grier it was someone who got there names out there and the known fact that they were on the biggest hit show of it time. But maybe it could have been about money and they weren't given enough to make themselves noticed and decided not to do it. What ever the reason now what was possible of being a start forward were working together again to now it's being shelved or an idea that just didn't quite work out. Maybe it sounded good at the time,but other things were playing it's part to why maybe that possible reason now it impossible. It's tricky to go back to something that was so successful the first time and then decades later wanting to reboot it I don't know.

  • getthesenets | December 19, 2012 1:51 PMReply

    tell you what....I don't think Damon is in that group photo above article either..which I'm guessing is from the tv lands awards or something...nor was he in the "reunion" interview that was on Good Morning America either.

    Don't know if he was busy filming another project, but unless it was non comedic role..I can't see the producers of the project NOT wanting him to be at such a visisble reunion.

    think he was distancing himself from ILC way before the reboot became a reality

  • Zaidi B | December 19, 2012 1:25 PMReply

    One thing is for sure, is that he won't be back. Loose lips sinks ships.

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