“Bob Hearts Abishola” is the most anticipated love story about a middle-aged compression sock businessman from Detroit who falls for his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant, while recovering from a heart attack. He sets his sights on winning her over.
The nurse is played by Nigerian actress, Folake Olowofoyeku, who is the lead role in the newly announced CBS show. This is the first time a Nigerian plays a Nigerian in an American produced sitcom.
Previous shows have passed off foreign actors as Nigerians. The most recent example is Idris Elba in Netflix’s Turn Up Charlie. There is also the 2015 biographical drama Concussions where Will Smith plays the role of Nigerian Dr. Bennet Omalu.
The depictions of Nigerians by both talented actors left much to be desired. It is therefore exciting that for the first time, the CBS show producers are getting the casting right.
Olowofoyeku will be starring alongside Billy Gardell. Other members of the cast include Christine Ebersole, Maribeth Monroe, Matt Jones, Vernee Watson, Shola Adewusi and Barry Shabaka Henley and Travis Wolfe Jr.
The show will be written and executive produced by Chuck Lorre who is also known as the “King of Sitcoms.” He is the brain behind all your favourite shows. The extensive list includes “Two and a Half Men,” “Mike & Molly,” “Mom,” “Young Sheldon,” “The Kominsky Method,” and “The Big Bang Theory,” which just ended after being on air for 12 seasons.
“Undaunted by Abishola’s (Folake Olowofoyeku) lack of initial interest or the vast differences in their backgrounds, Bob (Billy Gardell) is determined to win Abishola’s heart in this comedic examination of immigrant life in America,” CBS wrote on its website.
The show is one of seven new series CBS has ordered for the 2019–20 season. The network also released a trailer for the show on May 15 which showed the relatable dynamics in Abishola’s family, including a judgemental aunty and a hapless uncle.
In the trailer, we see the talented Olowofoyeku speak flawless Yoruba, the kind that will make any Nigerian parent proud. It showed Abishola’s cousin who just wants to cut loose (more than Nigerian parents will allow). Viewers also get to meet Bob’s doting mom, who thinks the world revolves around her son.
Confirming the news, Olowofoyeku shared photographs from the show on her Instagram page @the.folake with the caption, “My TV family. Abishola”.
According to her profile on IMDb, Olowofoyeku is the youngest of twenty children of her parents – Chief Babatunji & Chief Mrs. Felicia Olowofoyeku. Growing up in Nigeria, the talented actress wanted to delve into the arts but her parents insisted she toed the line of family i.e. law and politics.
Olowofoyeku started her undergraduate studies in the arts unbeknownst to her parents when she was on a summer vacation in New York City. She completed the programme with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She also got a diploma in Audio Engineering.
As far as her roles in movies go, she has aced them earning her Best Actress Award for her lead role in “When They Could Fly” at the prestigious ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada; and Best Actress In A Fashion Film for her lead role in “Central & Broadway” at CinéFashion Film Awards, Los Angeles.
Bob Hearts Abishola will premiere sometime in September.