Bounce TV’s ‘Act Your Age’ is ‘Golden Girls’ for Black women



The trio of stars are Kym Whitley, Tisha Campbell and Yvette Nicole Brown

Atlanta-based broadcast network Bounce TV has created a sitcom that evokes “The Golden Girls,” but this time with Black women.

“Bounce wanted a show about women of a certain age and I’m a woman of a certain age,” said showrunner Alyson Fouse, who has produced on shows ranging from Disney+’s “Big Shot” to Amazon’s “A League of Their Own.” “Basically I’m culling from my life and my writers’ lives. At this age, personally, I value my friendships even more. Life’s not over. We still have stuff to learn, stuff to do.”

The result is “Act Your Age,” which debuts at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 4, with two back-to-back episodes. The first season is set to run 16 episodes.

The show features three veteran actresses with serious comedy chops: Tisha Campbell (”House Party,” “Martin,” “My Wife and Kids”), Kym Whitley (”Next Friday,” “Young & Hungry”) and Yvette Nicole Brown (”Community,” “The Mayor,” “Big Shot”).

Whitley is Bernadette, a successful, no-nonsense real estate developer with a lovely penthouse. Campbell portrays Keisha, the fun-loving free spirit of the trio, and Brown plays the more uptight Angela, the former first lady of Norfolk, Virginia, whose late husband was a revered politician. By episode two, the trio have moved in together and hijinks ensue.

“I took myself and divided me into three people,” Fouse said. “At different points, I have been one of these women. Like Bernadette, I’m a single mom who worked and supported myself and my daughter. Angela is like my mother. And I’m not embarrassed to say I was Keisha for a long time. It’s the part of me that wants to stay forever young. I’m 57 but my heart still feels like a young woman though not so much my knees.”

Whitley said she was “scared” of the vulnerability she would have to show playing Bernadette but embraced it.

Campbell said yes to do this sitcom even before she knew her role because she respected Fouse. “She made sure the writers room was filled with people of varied ages and experiences,” Campbell said. “It’s really beautiful to see. When I found out Kym was doing it, it was like icing on the cake for me. I’m really picky when it comes to my work. This is my second half and I really want to enjoy it. I get to work with this dream cast and crew and with dream writers.”

Brown had previously worked with Fouse on “Big Shot” and knew this would be a collaborative process.

“As Black women in this industry, we’re often given things to do but can’t ask questions,” Brown said. “We’re the girlfriend or the sister who asks how someone else’s day is. It’s super exciting that my character’s arcs are important and special and three-dimensional. Plus, I get to work with industry legends. It’s an honor.”

Fouse said she will tackle subjects Black women care about: a woman’s right to choose, body positivity, mental health. “We are not doing an after-school special,” she said. “We found great takes and funny takes to get into it.”

Given the way the show was taped and COVID restrictions, Bounce shot the show without a live audience. The crew, though, was free to laugh.

“Many of these guys have been in sitcoms going back to the 1970s,” Fouse said. “We’ve worked with them on different shows.”

Campbell: “They’ve heard all the jokes. If they laugh, it’s got to be funny.”

Bounce TV debuted in 2011 as part of Atlanta-based Katz Broadcasting. Cincinnati-based E. W. Scripps Co. purchased Katz in 2017 and remains a profitable arm of the company targeting people who still enjoy watching free broadcast TV. Bounce’s lineup includes past sitcoms and dramas such as “Everybody Hates Chris,” “In the Heat of the Night” and “NCIS: New Orleans” and films like “I Spy” and “Waiting to Exhale.”

Its most successful original program to date has been its soap “Saints & Sinners,” which aired from 2016 to 2022, and the network has aired a handful of original comedy shows over the years including “Mann and Wife,” “In the Cut” and “Johnson.”

Fouse said the executives at Bounce “have been supreme. It feels like a home and nobody is cursing you out. They support the creatives.”


“Act Your Age,” 8 p.m. Saturdays on Bounce TV and available on demand on the Bounce TV app