New series about rapper inspired by Trump

A new political comedy will center on an entertainment figure, with no political experience, who unexpectedly wins public office. The premise was quickly compared to the election of President Donald Trump.

ABC’s “The Mayor” centers on a young rapper Courtney Rose (Brandon Michael Hall). He decides to run for mayor of his California hometown as a publicity stunt, but the ploy backfires when he actually wins the election. His mother (Yvette Nicole Brown) steps up to help, along with a group of friends.

The premise of the show may sound familiar. Parallels have been made between Rose and President Trump, who was a famous public figure that defeated a candidate favored to win based on their political experience. The similarity is somewhat coincidental, however, according to creator Jeremy Bronson.

He said that while current politics inspired the show, he came up with the idea before President Trump won the office.

“Given the politics of the past year, it’s helped everybody, I think,” Bronson told the press on Sunday. “Everybody is a lot more focused on what they can do, what we can all do to sort of improve the country, improve our situations so it gives us a lot of, I would say inspiration for the show, but it’s not tackling the issue of the week, nor is it a parody or a satire.”

Bronson, a longtime producer on MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews, moved to writing for scripted comedies. After stints with “The Mindy Project” and “Speechless,” Bronson wanted to try writing a political comedy about “a complete novice” navigating politics.

“I’ve always been sort of a political junkie and a socially conscious type of person,” Bronson reportedly said. “I knew I wanted to do some type of show about people coming together in a non-partisan way.”

Bronson and the exec producers of The Mayor pitched the idea for the show in July, just as “things were sort of heating up in the presidential race,” Bronson said. “The germ of the idea for the show came a little bit before that.”

Bronson said Jerry Springer’s thoughts about running for Senate, as well as former wrestler Jesse Ventura’s election as Governor of Minnesota, also provided inspiration for his character.

“There are elements of a lot of those outside candidates in the writing of Courtney Rose,” he said, but clarified that the character is not modeled after any one person in particular.

“He really is this guy, Courtney Rose, who didn’t want to win but deeply deeply loves this city, wants to give, is very generous, feels the pressure and the weigh of the job and this responsibility that he’s been given, with Dina’s help, with mom’s help, he’s really going to be that maverick-type politician,” Bronson said. “He’s been rapping about [issues] and writing about them for years, but now he’s actually able to effect some change.”

Bronson said Rose might tackle big issues of the day, like police brutality, but that the show will not focus on such issues exclusively.

“We’re using comedy as a device for sort of talking about certain issues. But I would say [it’s] less an issue show than the story about the growth of a young man and this tremendous responsibility,” he said.

 

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