With his latest sitcom Ice Cube hopes to redefine reality TV. The hip-hop vet turned Hollywood powerhouse is spinning off his successful 2005 film, “Are We There Yet?” into a series on TBS of the same name. In the film Nick (played by Ice Cube) is driving his girlfriend Suzanne’s (played by Nia Long) kids across country in an attempt to bond with them. The show picks up six months into Nick and Suzanne’s marriage as they attempt to adjust to their new life together.
“Anybody who’s dealing with a blended family, any man that has a girl that got kids can relate,” Ice Cube told TheUrbandaily.com. “We’re not going for the cheap over the top stuff that ain’t really based in reality.”
Ice Cube and Long’s roles are now played by Terry Crews (Everybody Hate’s Chris) and Essence Atkins (Half-And-Half) who, who along with their kids, are trying to adjust to new careers and an overbearing mother-in-law Marilyn played by Telma Hopkins.
“It’s a family trying to be the Huxtables but they ain’t there. They’re far from it,” says Cube who now plays Suzanne’s older brother Terrence on the show. “They’re dealing with iPad issues and stuff that’s modern.”
For example, in an up-coming episode an old video of Suzanne dancing becomes a viral video hit but not everyone is happy about it.
While laughs are definitely on the menu Cube feels there is a bigger message about family that he wants to convey as well.
“[This show] is very important for all the statistics of fathers not being in the home, [because] there still are those who are in the home,” he says. “It’s important to show that to the new generation. It’s not just a world of single mothers that stay single. Single mothers want love, too. Single mothers want to put a family together still, even if it didn’t work out with the first man. If at first you don’t succeed try again.”
If ratings for the show are up to snuff Cube says that TBS will pick it up for 90 episodes, just ten shy of the coveted 100 needed for syndication.
“We want everybody to check us out,” he says underlining the shows universal appeal. “Americans of all colors and creeds are dealing with this issue.”
As for TV, is there any chance that Cube’s other successful franchises like Friday will make their way into our living rooms?
“This ain’t gonna be the last one we do,” Cube says confidently. “We’ll do more niche kind of stuff in the future. We’re just getting our feet wet in the TV world.”
Catch “Are We There Yet?” Wednesday night on TBS. Check your local listings for time.