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Inspired by the hit film of the same title, "Soul Food" the new one-hour family drama on the Showtime cable network, follows the triumphs, struggles and rivalries of an African-American family living in Chicago and deals with relationships across the board - from parent-child to man-woman to man-to-man relationships.
"The show is first and foremost honest and depicts the Black family in a way we have never seen before," says co-executive producer Felicia D. Henderson. "I hope not only Black people, but all people will relate to the issues were bringing to the screen because all families in America face them."
Henderson says some of those issues include sibling rivalry, divorce, sex, balancing career with personal commitments and maintaining monogamous love relationships.
Original "Soul Food" writer/director George Tillman. Jr., says he wanted to reach everyone with his work. "I hope the series will enjoy the same success as my film did."
One daring move on the part of the shows producers was the choice to cast up and coming actors.
Vanessa Williams who plays Maxine, the matriarch of the family now that "Big Mama" is gone, says although her character is a housewife, shes also sexy and has a wonderful relationship with her husband.
"Maxine handles the family business, but shes also vulnerable," Williams says.
Nicole Parker who plays Teri, a slick high-powered attorney and the eldest sister, says the show was an answered prayer.
"I received the script back in December and I thought theyre not going to hire me," Parker says. "Im just this indie film actress from New York. They want big stars."
Henderson told Parker that theyre not relying on stars, "Were making stars," she says.
Showtime has already guaranteed "Soul Food" a full season to build an audience and find its niche among night-time viewers.
"Soul Food" appears 10 p.m. e.s.t. Wednesdays on Showtime.