Mara Brock Akil
Calling: Television Writer/producer
Why we’re saluting her:
Mara Brock Akil is the writer and producer behind a number of our favorite TV shows in the ’90s and 2000’s, from The Jamie Foxx Show and Moesha to Girlfriends and it’s spin-off, The Game.
Akil, who was born in LA, traveled to the midwest for college, graduating from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1992. In 1994, Akil got her first gig as a writer for the critically acclaimed Fox series South Central, but the comedy-drama was canceled after just one season and 10 episodes. Akil took her talents to UPN where she wrote for Brandy’s sitcom, Moesha, for four seasons. After which became a supervising producer and writer on The Jamie Foxx show in 1999, and in 2000, she created and executive produced another UPN favorite, Girlftriends, with Kelsey Grammer. Akil also created and executive produced it’s spin-off, The Game, for the same network.
In June 2007, Akil and her husband, television director Salim Akil, signed to independent American film studio The Weinstein Co. for the creation of various projects, the first of which is a film about a woman who starts a business to investigate the partners of high-powered women after she is left at the altar. Mara will reportedly write the screenplay and Salim will direct it.
In 2011, the Akils also signed a multi-year deal with BET to continue production of The Game for another season and develop new shows through Akil Productions, one of which is the upcoming dramedy, Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union. For making quality programs for brown people with brown people and allowing African American viewers to see see their tales on the small screen, we salute Mara Brock Akil.