Casting directors wanted her to be one thing as she was trying to break into the industry – “sassy” – Nicole Byer, star of MTV’s new single-camera comedy Loosely Exactly Nicole told TV critics kicking off Sunday at TCA. Loosely Exactly Nicole debuts Monday, September 5 at 10:30 p.m.
Code words like “Can you be more urban,” “Can you have more edge?” and, she said quoting one casting director, “I need you to be as black as possible and if you go too black I’ll bring you back.”
“It was every audition I went on,” Byer said
“Sad,” muttered one TV critic in the Beverly Hilton ballroom, heard by all.
“But look at me now!” Byer beamed.
As described by MTV, Byer’s semi-autobiographical single-camera comedy follows her as she takes the missteps of being out on her own for the first time. Humiliating auditions, unpaid electric bills, friendship ups and downs, and the battlefield that is Tinder happen as she finds her voice as a comedian.
Weirdly, the original pilot had kids. “I was like, ‘No thank you!’ Byers said by way of explaining their absence. “Kids — the novelty wears off so fast!”
One TV critic noted one of the leitmotifs of this Summer TCA 2016 is the rareness of a TV show starring a black woman, and noted the two EPs up on stage with Byer both are white.
“My two friends over here are very white,” Byer said of Christine Zander and Christian Lander. “But they listen to me. Listening was a key thing. And I don’t think you needed to be black people,” she said, addressing Zander and Lander. “We had two black writers. We had a very diverse room,” Byer told the TV critic. “Half the room is black. So the blackness is trickling up!”