Martin’s New Deal With TV One

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Martin Lawrence, former star of Fox sitcom “Martin,” returns to series television this month as an executive producer of a new comedy series picked up by TV One.

“Love That Girl!” stars Tatyana Ali as a young divorcee who returns home to Southern California and takes a job in her father’s real estate business while living with her unemployed brother.

Without so much as a pilot order, writer-director Bentley Kyle Evans (“Martin,” “The Jamie Foxx Show”) shot four episodes of “Love That Girl!” on a shoestring budget of $1.2 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Evans called in favors from friends and colleagues to shoot the episodes over five days in a converted warehouse.

“It’s great to be back in the television game and working with a network like TV One,” Evans said. “If executed properly, this will represent a whole new model for producing and delivering quality scripted series to the television market at a reasonable cost.”

TV One will show “Girl!” over a three-night period starting January 19. This will mark the first original scripted program to air on TV One, which is available in roughly 50 million homes and typically features specials and syndicated programming, including repeats of “Martin,” one of the network’s top-rated shows.

If the episodes hit a certain rating, the network will pick up 13-26 additional half-hours.

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