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'Girlfriends' creator Mara Brock Akil to produce and direct Fox series

She began her career writing for the Fox series “South Central” in the 1990s before working on “The Game” and “Being Mary Jane.”
Image: Mara Brock Akil
Mara Brock Akil attends The Paley Center For Media Presents OWN's Erik Logan In Conversation With Special Guest Mara Brock Akil at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California on Sept. 20, 2018.Greg Doherty / Getty Images file

“Girlfriends” creator Mara Brock Akil is slated to develop and write a scripted series to air on Fox as part of a network-direct script deal with Fox Entertainment.

“Mara is a truly gifted writer, with a strong point of view,” Michael Thorn, president of entertainment at Fox Entertainment, said during the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, when the news was announced earlier this month. “From ‘Girlfriends’ to ‘The Game’ to ‘Being Mary Jane,’ she’s a proven hitmaker with the unique ability to write both comedy and drama.”

Akil began her career writing for the Fox series “South Central” in the 1990s before working on “Moesha” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.” In 2000, she created “Girlfriends,” which was one of the highest-rated scripted series among African Americans in the 18-34 demographic during its eight-season run. Girlfriends aired on UPN, before moving to The CW in 2006. It

inspired the equally popular spinoff, “The Game.” The CW is currently developing a reboot of “The Game,” which will pick up with the former football-playing cast post-retirement and follow them as they mentor the next generation of players.

“Being Mary Jane,” which starred Gabrielle Union, aired on BET from 2013-2019 and marked Akil’s move from half-hour sitcoms to one-hour dramas. Under a recent deal with Warner Bros. Television, Akil created “Love Is” for OWN and “Black Lightning” for the CW. She is also an executive producer for “Black Lightning” and has directed several episodes of the various series she has created throughout her career.

In November 2018, Amber Dixon Brenner filed a lawsuit against Akil’s husband, Salim Akil, for alleged domestic violence and breach of contract during an extramarital affair. A month later, OWN canceled “Love Is,” a relationship drama pioneered by the the Akils. Mara also ran into legal trouble in 2006, when Staci Robinson, writer of the novel “Interceptions,” filed a 40-million dollar lawsuit against Akil, claiming the showrunner lifted the concept of “The Game” from her novel.