Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) anchors reality-based series, Raising Whitley
I’m in love! He’s an angel– bright, friendly, and adorable—his name is Joshua, the most amazing toddler on television. This season of OWN has given birth to my top TV show, “Raising Whitley” and I haven’t felt this way in years! Actor, comedienne, producer and all-around dynamic woman, Kym Whitley, was bestowed with a precious gift from God when she became guardian to Joshua as a result of a teenage mom who assigned custody to the single Whitley.
The show feels real and the extended family that cares for the precocious cherub has been aptly named, “The Village,” a posse of Whitley’s friends who step in to help her raise him. Sweet, sentimental and sometimes shocking, we follow the family of friends as they share advice, wanted or not, child-rearing duties, and the yet to be defined love life between Kym and Rodney, her platonic friend of twenty-plus years. Watching the sparks between them is its own storyline. Will they make it a love connection, for real?
Rodney has stepped to the plate and bats a thousand as the surrogate father to Joshua. The bond between them is infectious. Moreover, Kym’s close circle of friends and reality costars bring layers of nuance: genuine affection, dipped in humor, opinion and occasional disagreements. Blended together, “Raising Whitley” is equal parts Sex in the City, Good Times, We Are Family, and all parts creative genius.
Now, following a successful first season on OWN, the network has renewed “Raising Whitley” for 10 episodes and expanded it to an hour long show. I couldn’t be happier!
I spoke to Whitley via phone over background noises including baby babble, dog barking, and “bizzyness” on the eve of the show’s season finale, this Saturday night. Check local listings and PLEASE set your DVRs.
So attached am I to the show, I host my own “Raising Whitley” marathons; once you see it you want to watch again and again.
Major congrats to OWN for adding “Raising Whitley” to their regular lineup of original programming; this one is a winner and my personal favorite! Stay tuned as we will bring you tidbits and updates via our exclusive interviews.
More on Kym Whitley—
Born in Khartoum, Sudan, raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and introduced to the world via Hollywood, Kym E. Whitley is a funny, talented, and driven quadruple-threat – actress, producer, director and stand-up comedienne.
After a scene stealing run as the hilarious wisecracking secretary on the UPN comedy series “Sparks,” Whitley became a staple on television guest-starring on popular shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which got her Emmy nods, Lifetime’s “Missing,” Disney’s “That’s So Raven,” ABC’s “My Wife And Kids,” UPN’s “Love Inc.,” “The Parkers,” “The Boondocks” on the Cartoon Network, Fox’s “The Cleveland Show,” “Til Death,” BET’s “Let’s Stay Together” and ABC’s “Animal Practice.” Currently, Whitley voices Honeybee on Black Dynamite: The Animated Series. Currently, Whitley is in production on her new unscripted series, “Raising Whitley” on the OWN network in 2013.
Whitley’s personal passions include raising her adorable son that she adopted in 2011, as well as giving back to her community and causes that touch her heart. As a result, she donates her time and talents to as many fundraisers that her schedule permits. A few of her passions are HBCU’s (Historically Back Colleges and Universities), women shelters, victim’s rights and anything having to do with children. Whitley started her own non-profit called Comics 4 Kids, which she has used to host toy drives during Christmas and celebrity basketball on the east coast.
Additional acting credits include:
Her own evening talk show on BET entitled “Oh Drama!” Other hosting credits include the syndicated “Brian McKnight Show” and the NBC show “School Pride.” An in-demand big screen player, starring alongside some of Hollywood’s elite such as Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Martin Lawrence, Ice Cube and Eddie Murphy. Whitley’s past credits include box office hits “We Bought A Zoo,” “Rango,” “Fun with Dick and Jane,” “Along Came Polly,” “The Perfect Man,” “I Love You Man,” “Deliver Us From Eva,” “College Road Trip,” “Next Friday,” “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps,” “Black Dynamite” and “Transformers 3.”
Follow Kym Whitley on Facebook or Twitter @ kymwhitley. An excerpt of our real time conversation at http://snd.sc/11GqtAU