Wayans nephews enter family trade

From left, “Second Generation Wayans” cast members Celeste Sullivan, George O. Gore II, Damien Dante Wayans, Tatyana Ali and Craig Wayans, at the Los Angeles premiere screening for the series beginning Jan. 15 at 10:30 p.m. on BET. — PHOTO COURTESY OF BET NETWORKS/TONYA WISE/PICTURE GROUP

The new BET-scripted comedy “Second Generation Wayans” will debut Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 10:30 p.m. after the premiere of “Real Husbands of Hollywood.” The half-hour series stars Damien Dante Wayans, Craig Wayans, George O. Gore II and Tatyana Ali.

According to the network, viewers will see “the good, the funny and the ugly” as Damien Dante and Craig emerge from the long shadows of their uncles, Keenan, Damon, Shawn and Marlon Wayans (as well as their aunt, Kim), to carve out their own paths to stardom in Hollywood.

Joining the comedic duo, who have essentially grown up in show business, is George O. Gore II (formerly of the sitcom “My Wife & Kids”) as friend and business partner George and Tatyana Ali (formerly of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”) as their office assistant Maya.

“It’s basically ‘Entourage,’ but with my nephews in it,” said Marlon Wayans, one of the executive producers of the show. “That’s my sister Elvira’s son — Damien, and Deidre’s son is Craig.”

“I’m involved in it if they need me,” Keenan Ivory Wayans, the monarch of the Wayans comedy dynasty, told BET.com. “When they went to do this show, it initially was going to be all of us producing. But I said to Craig and Damien, ‘This is your thing and you’re doing this to establish yourselves, so you all don’t need me.’ They don’t need Marlon either [laughs]. But Marlon is there in case they need him. They’re doing their thing.”

It appears that the irreverent Marlon, whose hilarious feature film, “A Haunted House,” is now open in theaters, is passing on to his young nephews the showbiz knowledge that his big brother shared with him. “My brother Keenan taught me that you can’t just be a ‘Black actor,’” he said. “If you want to be a Black actor, expect not to work. If you want the Black actor to work, then you must take your Black a** and write and produce and learn to direct, so that you can write a vehicle for your Black actor to be in, and that’s the bottom line.”

“The Wayans family name is synonymous with comedy and entertainment, and you’ll indulge in plenty of laughter and amusement in ‘Second Generation Wayans.’ You’ll also witness firsthand that life as a Wayans and childhood star isn’t all fun and games in Hollywood. In a way, this series is a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to juggle the pressures of being famous while trying to create your own path,” said Loretha Jones, president of original programming at BET.


Contact entertainment reporter Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or kroberts@phillytrib.com.

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