‘Bob Hearts Abishola,’ ‘The Neighborhood’ Return September 2021
CBS’s comedy block plans for Bob Hearts Abishola and The Neighborhood to return for seasons three and four, respectively. Senior executive vice president of programming at CBS Entertainment, Thom Sherman, expresses his feelings on the shows.
“We’re extremely proud of these two comedies and delighted to bring them back next season,” said Sherman told Variety. “The Neighborhood and Bob Hearts Abishola masterfully blend humor with relatable and culturally relevant storylines, and are tremendous, successful Monday night anchors.”
‘Bob Hearts Abishola,’ a Culture-Clash Romance
Romantic comedies are a dime a dozen, but Bob Hearts Abishola offers a twist on the traditional formula. The titular couple is played by Billy Gardell of Mike & Molly, and Folake Olowofoyeku of Transparent.
After suffering a heart attack, Detroit business owner Bob falls smitten with his Nigerian nurse, Abishola. The two eventually date, but of course, obstacles arise. Navigating cultural differences between American and Nigerian expectations in romance gives the show a unique identity.
Then season two introduced Abishola’s not-yet-ex husband, Tayo, played by Dayo Ade (Lost and Degrassi Junior High). Pushing for Abishola and his son, Dele (Travis Wolfe Jr.) to live with him in Nigeria, Tayo poses a major challenge for the relationship.
The majority of the show takes place in America. Jumping between the families, it examines how Nigerian culture operates in American society. Season three looks to shake that up, as season two’s finale saw the couple boarding an airplane to Nigeria.
With Bob, the fish-out-of-water, season three undoubtedly promises new interesting scenarios for the couple.
‘The Neighborhood,’ Finding Common Ground
Alongside Bob Hearts Abishola, The Neighborhood returns as well.
A lot of time passed since Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner broke ground for American film and television. The Neighborhood turns the concept around when a white Midwestern family moves next door to Calvin Butler (Cedric the Entertainer) in a predominantly African-American neighborhood.
Additionally, other cast members include Tina Butler played by Tichina Arnold from Everybody Hates Chris and Happily Divorced. 2 Broke Girls’ Beth Behrs plays Gemma Johnson, the midwestern wife, and mother of Grover Johnson (Hank Greenspan).
While neighbors Calvin and Dave (Ugly Betty and New Girl’s Max Greenfield) clashed initially, over the past three seasons, the two have become friends. The show explores the complex relationship between race and culture in a light-hearted fashion.
Season three ended with a big announcement that is sure to shake up season four and beyond.
Shows like ‘Bob Hearts Abishola’ and ‘The Neighborhood’ are Invaluable now
The effects of the pandemic rippled into the Fall programming block. While September usually marks the time for new pilots and show pitches, many have been delayed, making existing shows even more valuable.
CBS only ordered one new pilot this season, an adaptation of True Lies, with other spots filled by the remainder of order pilots from 2020.
However, with shows as strong as Bob Hearts Abishola and The Neighborhood, the gap in new pitches feels softer for networks.
Bob Hearts Abishola plans to fly back on the same day as The Neighborhood on September 20.