CBS is taking a huge gamble on a Chuck Lorre sitcom titled Bob Hearts Abishola, which explores the cultural differences between Africans and American Blacks. The show focuses on a relationship between a middle aged businessman and a no-nonsense nurse from Africa.
Billy Gardell (former lead of Mike & Molly) stars as Bob, while Transparent star Folake Olowofoyeku plays cardiac nurse Abishola who tickles Bob’s fancy.
In the series premiere, Bob, who owns a pressure stocking company, is rushed to the emergency room after suffering a heart attack. When he awakens, he spots Abishola and immediately begins to flirt with her.
“Do people call you Abby?” he asks her. “No! Go back and wash your hands,” she responds.
But Abishola really piques Bob’s interest when she sings to him in her native Nigerian language.
Abishola is a single mom (her husband returned to Lagos after he was unable to find a job as a civil engineer in America).
She and her son Dele (Travis Wolfe Jr.) currently live with her relatives Auntie Olu (Shola Adewusi) and Uncle Tunde (Barry Shabaka Henley), who provide comic relief.
Abishola’s relatives and friends don’t take kindly to Bob – and they certainly can’t see him married to Abishola.
One friend Kemi (Gina Yashere) explains, “Top of the list, Nigerian man — same tribe (Yoruba). Then, Nigerian man — different tribe (Igbo). Then, other Africans (except Tunisians and Egyptians). Obviously. Then Caribbean. Then white. Then African American.”
Of course American Blacks are at the bottom of the totem pole.
Another friend named Gloria (the wonderful character actress Vernee Watson) takes offense to the disrespect Africans show American Blacks.
CBS hopes Black Americans will tune in anyway.