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'Chocolate News,' Heavy on the Vanilla Frosting

Just a few short years after TV networks took shots at the TV press tour over the absence of African Americans in front of and behind the camera, Comedy Central introduces to critics "Chocolate News," a sketch comedy show that focuses, the cable network says, on "the urban experience in America from the African-American perspective." It was created by and stars David Alan Grier. It is executive-produced by four white guys, who join Grier on stage at Summer TV Press Tour 2008.

Actor David Alan Grier (Stuart Ramson/AP)

"I can't help but notice that most of the panel are white guys," one sharp-eyed TV critic notes right off the bat.

"You represent, yeah, but why aren't there more African Americans up there?" the critic asks.

"What do you mean by that?" Grier asks.

"I don't know if you noticed that the guys to your right are white," the critic says. To be completely accurate, the critics should have mentioned that the guys to Grier's left are white as well, but we'll let that go.

"Exactly. I can explain that, sir," Grier responds. "These two gentlemen are octoroons and -- no, we have African Americans on our staff. These [exec producers on stage] are the guys I've known a very long time. Fax [Bahr] and I went to college together. We worked together. Fax and Adam [Small] and I were on 'In Living Color' and these are the guys I really wanted to write with. So it all comes through me -- I'm African American. It's all good. We're going to 'chocolate' it up more."

By Lisa de Moraes  |  July 10, 2008; 1:28 PM ET
Categories:  Summer TV Press Tour 2008  
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Next: Spike (Lee) TV: Talking Barack



Please explain how the head of TLC has kept her job.
She moved a top tier network to LA, blew up a line-up that got ratings and replaced it one that depends on older and existing programming just to stay afloat. I'd love to hear how Disocvery management can explain this one away.
With Disc about to go public how can they continue this downward spiral?

Posted by: Billy Shears | July 10, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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