Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: I hear TBS is finalizing a deal to order 90 additional episodes of the Ice Cube/Joe Roth-produced comedy series Are We There Yet?, bringing the total order to the sitcom based on the 2005 feature starring Ice Cube to 100 episodes. This marks the third straight series from distributor Dembar-Mercury to receive a massive pickup following a trial 10-episode run on TBS and the first for a non-Tyler Perry show. I hear Debmar-Mercury is planning to take out Are We There Yet? in syndication shortly, following the template it developed with Perry for House of Payne that was also used for Perry’s Meet the Browns. The pickup also establishes Ali LeRoi, along with Perry, as the leading black showrunners having created and run two consecutive series that have gone the distance. Before Are We There Yet? LeRoi co-created and executive produced Everybody Hates Chris with Chris Rock. Vince Totino is an executive producer and Revoution financed with Cubevision producing.

With House of Payne, Meet the Browns and Are We There Yet? TBS reaffirms its status as the only network doing African American sitcoms at the moment. (BET is looking to get in the field with the upcoming series The Game and Let’s Stay Together.) I hear Are We There Yet’s 10 episode trial run averaged an 1.9 rating, just shy of the 2.0 that would’ve automatically triggered the 90-episode order. Still, the show was considered a solid performer for TBS and the network started pickup discussions with the producers and Debmar-Mercury shortly after Are We There Yet’s 10-episode run ended on June 30.

The series stars Terry Crews in the central role of Nick, played in the movie by Ice Cube. It is executive produced by Ice Cube, who also has a recurring role on the show, Roth, Matt Alvarez, Vince Totino and LeRoi. Roth’s Revoution financed the project, and Cube’s Cube Vision is producing the series. Are We There Yet? was put together by WME, which is also behind House of Payne and Meet the Browns.

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