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The mastermind architect of the admittedly narrow field of weekend late-night sketch comedy over at Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels is about to divvy up some his talent even further over to HBO for a new comedy series. The show will be called Brothers in Atlanta, and it will star a pair of comedic talents who, in the past, have helped facilitate Jimmy Fallon’s slow-jamming of the news with the likes of notable guests like President Barack Obama.
According to a report from Deadline, HBO has given a series order to the pilot for Brothers in Atlanta, which will star its duo of creators in Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, both former writers for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and the short-lived David Alan Grier topical show Chocolate News. It seems that their work with Fallon’s late-night antics have proven fruitful with a connection to Lorne Michaels. The overlord of NBC's late-night lineup was attached to two other HBO pilots in the past, and will now bring his wealth of experience to Brothers as a producer. The pickup adds yet another killer comedy to the HBO lineup, just after the recent acquisition of popular web series High Maintenance.
Apparently structured as a situational comedy, Brothers will depict the life of an Atlanta duo of best friends who find themselves navigating the perils of life, while looking for a cohesive direction. Riddle plays Langston, a slacker whose aspirations of being a professional DJ aren’t exactly matched by the actual effort he puts into the idea. Salahuddin plays Moose, who, unlike his Atlanta native friend, is relatively new to the city and is having his own career complications with his job as a backup singer with dreams of stepping into the forefront. However, it seems that with Langston’s proclivity for jumping on get-rich-quick schemes and Moose’s alienating personality, the duo of ne’er-do-wells will have a hilariously hard time chasing the American dream.
Riddle and Salahuddin actually first got themselves on HBO’s radar in 2013 with another comedy pilot in which they played news reporters; in Atlanta, no less. Now, momentum for their latest project has already moved quick enough that Brothers in Atlanta has nabbed its first set of co-stars, starting with SNL alum Maya Rudolph, who has worked with Riddle and Salahuddin in the past. Rudolph will play Moose’s boss, Shirle, a has-been R&B singer who, despite seeing her success crest in the 1990s, is still no-less a difficult diva of a boss to the vocal backer. Additionally, the famous Will Smith offspring and After Earth star who gave us a new take on the crane kick in The Karate Kid remake, Jaden Smith, is also set to play the teenage neighbor of Langston, whose noisiness is also coupled with a possibly sinister income source.
Overall, it sounds like an intriguing, unpretentious character study with two stars who have been playing off each other’s comedic quirks since they attended Harvard together. Now, with the platform of HBO, we could be seeing a potentially off-the-wall, yet smart sitcom that explores the lives of African Americans in modern Atlanta with hopefully hilarious results.