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Issa Rae ('Awkward Black Girl'), Shonda Rhimes Team For New ABC Series 'I Hate L.A. Dudes'

Television
by Courtney
October 1, 2012 3:55 PM
46 Comments
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Issa Rae

I believe it was a few weeks ago that Issa Rae shared a photo of herself and Shonda Rhimes on Twitter, which of course led to speculation that something might be brewing between the two.

And maybe something was, as it's just been announced that Rhimes (via her Shondaland production company) has set up a half-hour comedy series titled, I Hate L.A. Dudes, with Issa Rae writing.

I Hate L.A. Dudes centers on an aspiring journalist, new to Los Angeles, who becomes the lone female voice on a budding, male-driven Internet talk show, while learning to decode the often humiliating and exasperating rules of the LA dating scene. 

Rhimes has sold I Hate L.A. Dudes to ABC, which she'll exec produce with her producing partner at Shondaland Betsy Beers.

Issa Rae will write and co-executive produce.

This will be Rhimes' first half-hour comedy entry.

Congrats to Issa Rae! This is a pairing that I think many were hoping for, and it's finally happened.

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46 Comments

  • Liz Rizzo | October 8, 2012 10:48 AMReply

    SO excited to learn about this partnership and to see what blossoms from it in the coming years!!!

    But for the record, I love L.A. dudes, and the thing about dating today is, there *aren't* any rules and *that's* what drives so many people crazy. :)

  • D.C. Kirkwood | October 2, 2012 10:21 PMReply

    Happy about the partnership, but I don't know about this one. ABG second season is really bad. Love Issa but I just can't watch anymore. I don't know what happened but it the same with the Akils and Shonda. They have great ideas and they definitely have the writing skills to pull off a successful show in the beginning!!! But maintaining that artistic integrity and keeping ratings up has been a problem. As it is for any TV show. The Game is a perfect example. You build up a solid fan base only to dissapoint in the end. Plus, Gabriel Unions show seems very similar in premise to this one too. We'll see.

  • Troy | October 3, 2012 6:57 PM

    Gabriel Unions show is about a middle aged woman.

  • Just Sayin' | October 2, 2012 9:38 PMReply

    Congrats to Issa, this is great news for her! I sincerely hope this opportunity will result in a more entertaining program than what she presents in ABG, which is unwatchable and not funny. It's an interesting premise, but very low-brow. And I strongly agree with Nadia. Behind the scenes is important, but so is being in front of the camera. If Tina Fey can helm her own TV show, write and executive produce it, then why can't a black woman -- regardless of her exterior facade? Hollywood is happy to support a black president for two terms, but having two black women as leads on different shows on a major network would be asking too much? Really! We're living in the 21st, not the 19th century. ... Cautious optimism is the right tone to take in moments like these.

  • NO BRAINER | October 3, 2012 1:32 AM

    "unwatchable and not funny" -- JUST SAYIN' the truth. Phew! I thought I was the only one who felt this way...

  • turner | October 2, 2012 10:31 PM

    @ Just sayin-Tina Fey is brilliant at what she does. Issa... not so much.

  • ojie king | October 2, 2012 10:01 AMReply

    Congrats are in order!

  • BluTopaz | October 2, 2012 1:48 AMReply

    Huge congrats to Issa and Shonda. When was the last time we saw an established Black woman in Hollywood partnering with a young sister like this. This is major for any young writer regardless of color, and is going in the direction so many of us CLAIM we want to see.

  • CareyCarey | October 3, 2012 10:44 PM

    Bondgirl, oh how I appreciate these words-->"the JOKES are vital in comedy, not story structure or plot". Yep, Charles and I had that long discussion but it seemed as if my words were falling on deft ears. Going back, I believe it was Charles who said the plot was key. In my opinion, if it's a comedy, I felt there was no way I would put more emphasis on "plot" and structure than those things that actually make us laugh. It's kind of like going to a fancy restaurant. The host can be gracious and the decor adorned with gold, but if the food is lousy the restaurant is essentially -- LOUSY. Soooo, great plot, excellent premise but the jokes ain't funny, equals failure. So yeah, let's hope Shonda can mentor Issa on the critical importance of nailing her jokes vs story/skit/plot. But wait, does Shonda actually have the skills and background to assist her in that department? That reminds me, Blutopaz said: "The irony is I have only seen one of Shonda's shows and was not a fan". Huuumm, I don't know, but with all the kvetch fests, moans and groans, there's one thing I know for sure. That is, if you have no critics you'll likely have no success.

  • Priss | October 3, 2012 1:41 PM

    As is often the case, agreeing with BondGirl

  • bondgirl | October 3, 2012 11:00 AM

    I am extremely happy for these 2 black women who have accomplished more in 2 years, than most in tv (black or white) will do in their sagging careers. Kudos are def in order to both of them. Artists should be judged on their last opus, but also given latitiude to spread their wings and create on a new canvass. I will say, however, that I really hope Shonda can mentor Issa on the critical importance of nailing her jokes vs story/skit/plot. Issa is capable of being funnier, and I believe Shonda (and indirectly Chris Rock) will assist her with strengthening her comedic chops. @Carey: Yes, the last episode was pretty bad, and I didn't finish it. You were completely correct with your last assessment-the JOKES are vital in comedy, not story structure or plot.

  • BluTopaz | October 3, 2012 10:13 AM

    Well I think some people are being unfairly negative about the whole thing, almost like they are expecting this partnership to fail. Years ago my mother said it was a good thing Oprah did not have to depend on Black people to succeed-lol. Shonda is a smart cookie and getting ANOTHER network show is no joke, plus I don't think ABG's current season is as bad as many are saying. But of course that's all subjective and like I noted, I do wish she would stop relying on the n word for a cheap laugh. I really enjoyed Tambay's other post about Issa's success, and like a lot of people will watch what she does next. I was talking with someone yesterday about this new frontier of making a profit from new media content, it's a beast right now.

    Btw "kvetch" is a Yiddish word for complain, nag, etc.

  • CareyCarey | October 3, 2012 3:23 AM

    Now now NO-Brainer, don't be starting mess *lol*. But you and Just Sayin' are being a bit too harsh on ABG... don't you think? I mean, I wouldn't give it five stars but "unwatchable"?! Nawl man, that's too cold.

  • NO BRAINER | October 3, 2012 1:30 AM

    Hey CAREYCAREY! What about me? I don't give free passes to writers simply because they're black. I hate on our people too...lol

  • CareyCarey | October 2, 2012 7:01 PM

    Blutopaz, we've gotta stop meeting like this, somebody might think we've lost our fire :-). But moving forward... "if you get my drift ;-)". You know I do *lol*. And I agree, it ultimately comes down to "IF IT'S DONE RIGHT. Because, really, ultimately, power in the wrong hands can be a mean thang. Also, it was interesting (I didn't think about it) that Issa is the one with comedy writing under her belt, and if we're honest, she has been faltering. Last... "kvetch fest"? Huuuummm, I didn't quite understand that word (I even looked it up *lol*) but what I don't want to see happen is a "crying wolf syndrome". You know, before we even see the finished product, some folks might start yelling "THIS IS GREAT"... "THIS IS THE BEST THANG SINCE SLICED BREAD"... "MOSES HAS COME DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN". Then, if it's not all that, what are we left with? Granted, inspiration and optimism are great tools, however, I believe caution should be the name of the game. Hey, I wish them the best b/c when they win, I win. I love seeing my people do their thang. Be it films, tv, sports, music, dance, etc, do me. But I don't give my praise to any ol'body (just because they're black) and I don't suffer fools lightly.

  • BluTopaz | October 2, 2012 10:22 AM

    Hey Carey, whuzzup. Thank you for the praise, but i sure don't deserve it-lol. We are always saying the best way is take the reins and create our own projects instead of waiting for opportunities. These two women, at different stages in their careers, are doing that as a team. You're right, it's smart to think about all aspects of a venture. I just don't want the convo to turn into a kvetch fest about their success because ultimately it can only make us look good if done right. The irony is I have only seen one of Shonda's shows and was not a fan, but thrilled for her overall. In a strange way I'm glad our Black American pop culture is at the point now where there is so much content, I don't feel obligated to support everything we do. But I LOVE Awkward Black Girl (except for the rampant n-word usage, must be generational), and it's interesting that Issa is the one with established comedy writing under her belt instead of Shonda , that I know of. It will be interesting to see how big this thread gets because the last one criticizing the recent ABG episode was pretty long and detailed, if you get my drift ;-)

  • CareyCarey | October 2, 2012 2:01 AM

    Blutopaz, I love the calm and caution in your voice. See, I know you're not the one to leap before you look. And you're not the one to give free passes to writers simply because they're black. No no no, several times I've noticed the loudest voices giving big praise on a film, but you will step right in and say, "it wasn't all that". So tell me, what's behind your words "many of us "CLAIM" we want to see". I think I know what you mean but I am not sure.Would you care to expound?

  • ALM | October 2, 2012 12:25 AMReply

    It's good to have someone like Shonda Rhimes who has a level of power. If we had 10 Shonda Rhimes in Hollywood we wouldn't be having the many of the conversations that we have on this site. Love or hate her work, Shonda goes out of her way to provide people of color with meaningful roles in which they are portrayed as middle or upper class people who are not burdened by tons of stereotypes.

  • NO BRAINER | October 3, 2012 1:24 AM

    Yawn!!!

  • Adam Scott Thompson | October 2, 2012 12:08 AMReply

    Winning...

  • CareyCarey | October 1, 2012 11:21 PMReply

    As Nadia said: Y'all better SLOW YOUR ROLL This ain't the first time we've had black folks behind the camera... remember BET? Now look, just because Shonda's name is attached, who looked deep into these words -->"Will ABC go for another primetime series with a black woman at the center, from Shondo Rhimes?". Opps upside our heads! Will that show (Scandal) be around for another season? They better pickup their game or they're certain to get slam-dunked. And America has shown that they're not really interested in seeing black women in lead roles. Besides, are we now giving free passes to writers simply because they're black? Whatever happened to the cry for "positive" black images? Have we given up the fight and thus this is a case of "if you can't beat'em then join'em?

  • JMac | October 1, 2012 9:49 PMReply

    Good news and I hope there will be some mutual improvement with both writers. Anyone else notice that black women are the ones partnering up all over the place, lol?

  • ok | October 7, 2012 2:20 PM

    lol @ adam scott thompson!!! shady!!! hahahaha...

  • Adam Scott Thompson | October 2, 2012 12:07 AM

    Are you referring to the recent deal between Oprah and Tyler Perry?

  • Nicole | October 1, 2012 7:50 PMReply

    Congrats to Issa!!! Major move!!!

    As for her acting in it, she probably won't be because the press release doesn't say that. But I'm fine with that. She is writing and co-executive producing. That's more important to the black community making inroads in Hollywood than being in front of the camera. There are enough black people in front with no power behind the scenes.

    And if this is successful, she can use this to get ABG on TV(or a movie). And even if this isn't successful, Issa wins by being taken under Shonda's wing. Do you know how many aspiring writers of any color would love to have Shonda as a mentor? The opportunities are endless. Issa won big today. BIG!!!

  • Orville | October 1, 2012 6:47 PMReply

    Wow this is tremendous for Issa Rae she must be so happy and thrilled! Issa should be very proud of herself she took the initiative and created her own successful web series! Now Issa is working with a Hollywood power player like Shonda Rhimes she's going to learn so much from Shonda. Very happy for Issa!

  • jerrica | October 1, 2012 6:21 PMReply

    Good for her. Here's hoping it's much better than the current season of ABG, and that she manages to maintain her own voice in Shondaland.

  • ChocolateOrchid | October 1, 2012 6:09 PMReply

    So happy for Issa! She definitely is deserving of this. Wishing her continued success in the future.

  • B. Nicole | October 1, 2012 6:05 PMReply

    So happy for Issa! I'm already a huge fan of both so I can't wait to see how this turns out. And while I'd love for the starring role to go to a person of color, I'm still gonna support it if that doesn't turn out to be the case.

  • Nadia | October 1, 2012 5:25 PMReply

    Not to be a spoilsport, but before y'all get too excited, notice that it doesn't say whether the starring character will be black. Just because Issa Rae is writing, and Shonda Rhimes is producing doesn't mean it'll be about a black woman. Will ABC go for another primetime series with a black woman at the center, from Shondo Rhimes? I hope so, but I'm just sayin'. Slow your roll.

  • Agent K | October 3, 2012 12:42 PM

    @OhGoodness: You're thinking way ahead. This "HUGE" step may not lead to anywhere. I find it funny that some people would seem desperate for "change for change sake" or something different. What change or what difference would that be?

  • Agent K | October 3, 2012 12:14 PM

    @Ojie King: I think that's a reason not to get too excited. Just because it's Issa Rae and Shonda Rhimes doesn't mean it's going to be a "good show".

  • ojie king | October 2, 2012 10:00 AM

    What does it matter whether the lead is black? A good show is a good show is a good show!

  • Ochieng | October 2, 2012 1:29 AM

    DEFEATED??!! Nadia is not defeated, she's simply making people aware that all that glitters is not gold. It's been proven that a black face behind the camera can be just as destructive as any other race. To that point, Nadia simply said, slow your roll, don't make your move too soon. Fools go where wise men tread not. Change for change sake is not something to cheer about.

  • ohgoodness | October 2, 2012 12:49 AM

    But you ARE a spoilsport! lol At least own it. Why are you so defeated by the idea of black people writing/ directing/ producing, etc. - and at a MAJOR NETWORK for that matter?!?!? We NEED more black execs in positions of power. That is how change happens. This is a HUGE step in the right direction, no matter if the cameras are pointed at white, black or "other" actors.

  • Nicole | October 1, 2012 7:39 PM

    @Nadia: Actually I hadn't thought of it. I was focused on the fact that Issa would be writing and co-executive producing. Which to me is a MAJOR move. Especially for her FIRST network project.

  • Dankwa Brooks | October 1, 2012 5:51 PM

    @NADIA. LOL True dat, true dat, but even with black folks behind the scenes I'm down with that...or should I say wit dat. LOL

  • Ava | October 1, 2012 5:03 PMReply

    Yay, for Issa! Hopefully that means at least one sitcom that takes place in a major city that will actually acknowledge the presence of People of Color! I don't watch much TV, I admit but I will tune in to see what this is all about. Just tell me when and where.

  • Invariable-Muse | October 1, 2012 4:42 PMReply

    I'm glad Issa's writing, but I need confirmation she'll be acting in it as well!

  • Darnell | October 3, 2012 11:02 PM

    @ AVA, why is it important that Issa be the "star" of this? Is Issa, the woman, is she the draw in ABG? Is it her comedic timing, her facial expressions and/or the lines/dialog that people tune in for? I do not believe Shonda is reaching out to Issa because of Issa's star power. That homely one who writes and stars in GIRLS, fits that part.

  • Ava | October 3, 2012 8:54 AM

    I will be a huge disappointment if Issa is not starring in this. If that homely one who writes and stars in GIRLS on HBO can star in her show, why can't Issa be in this one?
    The problem with the ABG series is that it has lost momentum because each episode takes too long to premiere. It is just difficult to sustain the comedic pulse when the series is not moving along at a fast enough clip, imo.

  • Nadia | October 1, 2012 5:00 PM

    I seriously doubt she'll be starring. If she was, they'd have mentioned it. This is Hollywood. When was the last time you saw a black woman who looked like Issa Rae on network TV, especially in a starring role? Would it be nice? Heck yeah! But I doubt it.

  • NinaG | October 1, 2012 4:38 PMReply

    This sounds really good! I don't even watch scripted shows on TV like that but I'll be tuning in to this.

  • K | October 1, 2012 4:34 PMReply

    The title is so Issa. And having Shonda behind her should be epic! As long as Shonda doesn't do too much of the writing.

  • Big Styles | October 1, 2012 4:12 PMReply

    Good News Everyone!

  • donnadara | October 1, 2012 4:01 PMReply

    Yes!

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