Years after striking out from under Tyler Perry’s wing, longtime producer Roger Bobb has made a name for himself as one of the creatives behind some of the most well-known series of the past few years.
Since producing Perry’s “House of Payne” through 2011, Bobb has gone on to do work for “The Rickey Smiley Show,” Bounce’s “Mann and Wife,” and the highly anticipated follow-up to the Tyra Banks “Life Size” TV movie, “Life Size 2: A Christmas Eve.”
For his first project of 2019, Bobb is gearing up for the debut of a new sitcom starring Charles Malik Whitfield called “Last Call.”
Premiering Monday, Jan. 14, with two back-to-back episodes on Bounce, the show follows a retired NFL star named Darius Knight who opens a comedy club after his former business manager takes off with his money. The club, which is located in the Baltimore bar that is his only remaining investment, sees a host of characters come through its doors.
“It’s basically a black ‘Cheers,'” Bobb told Atlanta Black Star in a Jan. 10 interview. “What we’ve done is we’ve created an environment in a bar where you have these different types of African-Americans who come and do what we do in bars, which is, basically, talk and commiserate and love and insult each other and just have a whole bunch of fun.”
He added that what attracted him to the project was having the chance to discuss social issues like gentrification, the school system, and topics surrounding life, money and family.
“We do it in a way that is in a comedic way but in a way that will hopefully inspire and entertain people,” Bobb says.
The project began quickly after Bounce brought the idea to Bobb, and it was only a matter of months before the show prepped to go on air.
“From them telling me the idea to the premiere, it’s probably about four or five months, which is incredibly fast on television,” he says. “I tend to shoot fast because that’s the way I was groomed from Tyler Perry.”
Typically, Bobb said, sitcoms take up to a week to shoot a single episode of a show. But he was able to knock out three episodes in a single week. That was something Whitfield was used to, having worked with Perry’s “If Loving You Is Wrong.” However, for “Living Single” alum T.C. Carson, the actor had to make some adjustments.
“It was interesting to see T.C., who is not used to that process, but day one he was right there for it,” Bobb said. “You can cast individuals, but it’s always interesting to see if they’re going to come together as a whole. I have to say, this cast, they jelled on a personal level and a professional level very quickly.”