EXCLUSIVE: HBO has given the green light to a half-hour comedy pilot from former Late Night With Jimmy Fallon writers/performers Diallo Riddle & Bashir Salahuddin, which is executive produced by Late Night exec producer Lorne Michaels. Written by Riddle and Salahuddin, the untitled project stars the duo as Bashir and Diallo, two 30-year old-reporters, as they try to make it big in the burgeoning black mecca of contemporary Atlanta, aka the New South. Riddle, Salahuddin and Michaels executive produce the pilot with Dave Flebotte who serves as showrunner. Andrew Singer co-executive produces.
This marks Riddle and Salahuddin’s return to HBO, which gave the two their start in the business with the Web series The Message. They went on to write for Comedy Central’s Chocolate News With David Alan Grier and, most notably, for NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, where they also regularly appeared in skits, especially Salahuddin. (Watch Salahuddin as his most popular character Milky J below). Among the bits Riddle and Salahuddin wrote while on the show was Slow Jam The News With Barack Obama. Riddle and Salahuddin, who met while attending Harvard together, are the latest writers/performers from one of Michaels’ late-night shows to get a primetime project backed by him. This also marks Michaels’ second comedy pilot at HBO. He also has People In New Jersey.