Headed by dad Tony (Omar Gooding), a struggling general contractor, and his wife Lisa (Angell Conwell), an unfulfilled stay-at-home mom, the series chronicles the lives of a family that show creator Bentley Kyle Evans says is just as flawed as any other American family.
The half-hour situation comedy was created by Evans (“The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Martin”), which he produces along with Trenten Gumbs (“Love That Girl”), both of whom produce the successful Bounce TV original series “In The Cut.”
“Rigtht now it’s important, especially in the black community, to show the importance of family,” Evans noted during a recent media teleconference.
“We are evolving. We’ve got to a point to where Bounce has allowed us to express through stories that we had not got a chance to do in the past, which are holiday stories, and all of them are non-traditional holiday episodes,” he said. “They’re not what you would expect from a sitcom. However, they do capture the holidays for what they truly are.”
Bentley explained to EUR/Electronic Urban Report that the non-traditional holidays episodes will explore both light and dark themes.
“In the Thanksgiving episode, it’s a little bit of both. It’s a little bit of darkness in that we’re dealing with the homeless situation that is very prevalent in the community. And also in that same episode, we’re dealing with dysfunction within that homeless community. You’ll see two guest stars, Michael Colyar and Chante Moore, who play estranged father and daughter, and you’ll see how they pull it all together in the end,” he said.
“In the Christmas episode, we deal with Kwanzaa as opposed to the traditional Santa Clause Ho-Ho-Ho,” Bentley added. “The Halloween episode is not really a Halloween episode. It’s just an episode that has a bit of a scary theme in there, and that’s the Stallworth’s find out that there was something very-very deep that happened within those walls before they moved into the house.”
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The fourth season of the popular comedy series premiered Tues. Oct. 4 on Bounce TV, the fastest-growing African-American network on television. “Family Time” was the first original series for the network, originally airing the summer of 2012. Four seasons later, Angell told us why she believes the show continues to resonate with viewers.
“I read something that kinda resonated with me, where it says, people can appreciate and value that which they understand. In a nutshell, I feel like if you watch ‘Family Time,’ most anyone can relate to most of the story lines, or character. If you think about it on a daily basis, most of us are trying to put up this picture perfect image and ideal of what our family and our situations are,” Angell explained.
“We don’t necessarily go around telling everyone about out family issues, or the weird quirks within our family dynamic. We don’t talk about all the things that we may be a little embarrassed of. So when you watch ‘Family Time,’ it’s almost as if it’s confirmation [that] we’re all alike,” the actress said. “We all go through similar things. So, you might watch ‘Family Time’ and actually be able to relate to them just as much, if not more, than the people you interact with everyday because you’re getting a slice of that inside family life that a lot of people don’t really discuss.”
“People gotta realize that when we used to watch sitcoms, they weren’t able to get away with stuff that they can now on television — with these reality shows, and they feel like you have to take the n-word, and you have to be really raunchy to depict the black family, and you don’t.” Omar added.
Gooding noted how writers and creators “have to find that balance” when developing black content, and doing so is “really not that big of a mystery.”
“Bentley knows the recipe for these types of shows,” said Omar “He’s succeed with these types of shows.”
Tune in to new episodes of “Family Time” every Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET on Bounce TV.