The pilot “Rel” will air Sunday, Sept. 9 after the NFL on Fox TV. Inspired by the comedy of Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out,” “Uncle Drew,” “The Carmichael Show”), “Rel” is a multi-camera comedy starring Howery as a successful, hardworking father and husband on the West Side of Chicago, whose life appears to be perfect until he’s sucker punched by the news of his wife’s affair with his own barber. This comes as a hard blow because as hard as it is to find love, it’s even harder to find a good barber.
Now separated, and with his son and daughter having moved to Cleveland with their mother, Rel must begin the difficult task of rebuilding his life as a long-distance single dad. Offering Rel support are his best friend and unfiltered sounding board, Brittany (Jessica “Jess Hilarious” Moore, “Wild ’N Out”), and his recently out-of-jail, younger brother, Nat (Jordan L. Jones, “NCIS: Los Angeles”), as well as his recently widowed Dad (Sinbad, “A Different World”, “The Sinbad Show”), who finds both his sons deep disappointments.
Earlier this week, the pilot of “Rel” was screened at the AMC Magic Johnson theater in Harlem. Howery and Moore were at the screening and took questions following it. Loosely based on his life, Rel admitted the similarities. “I’m from the West Side of Chicago,” he said, “and Chicago is very present in it. But for blacks, it really doesn’t make that much of a difference where you’re from because the experiences and the humor is basically the same.”
Howery and Jessica feel the same about Sinbad. “He’s brilliant and a legend,” Rel remarked. ‘He’s a teacher on set and off,” Jessica offered. “He was very supportive in my being able to have short hair. I did not want to wear wigs. He’s amazing. He fights for a lot of things for his people.”
The show, Rel assures, will be different. “Even with all the comedy there are heartfelt moments,” he pointed out. “Our approach is different from any other comedy show you’ve seen on TV.”
“Rel” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. Jerrod Carmichael (“The Carmichael Show”), Mike Scully (“The Carmichael Show,” “The Simpson”), Howery, Josh Rabinowitz (“The Carmichael Show,” “Broad City”) and Kevin Barnett (“The Carmichael Show,” “Broad City”) are executive producers. Gerry Cohen (“The Carmichael Show,” “Married with Children”) directed the pilot.
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