BET has committed to more scripted programming so it’s no surprise that it’s latest pilot was first introduced in an episode of last year’s new offering Reed Between The Lines. You might recall a December episode that featured 14-year old Jacob Lattimore as a child prodigy and A Different World veteran Dawnn Lewis as his mother. That premise has been fleshed out as the comedy Y.M.O.C. aka Young Man On Campus, starring Lattimore as Jacob Matthews but replacing Lewis with Terri Vaughn (The Steve Harvey Show) as his mother Trishelle.
The cast will also include Eric D. Hill, who also appeared in the Reed Between The Lines episode, as Jacob’s friend Mario. Dondre Whitfield will play Prof. Derek Watson, who functions as a role model and authority figure as the man who discovered Jacob’s genius, while Vanessa Simmons (you know, Reverend Run’s daughter) will play Aliya, the object of both Jacob and Mario’s affections. The show is produced by Jacque Edmonds Cofer, who also produced both Reed Between The Lines and Let’s Stay Together.
Dondre Whitfield and Terri J. Vaughn make my nineties-television-loving senses perk up, but we’ve been played by casts that sounds stellar for nostalgia reasons before. Speaking of nostalgia, doesn’t the premise remind you of that old Tahj Mowry show Smart Guy? Regardless, it sounds like those who enjoy the scripted programing that BET is already offering will also enjoy this show, and it would probably be a mistake to expect anything different — for better or worse.