NBC is Making a Show about a Black Female Mayor in Baltimore

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The real office of NBC’s fictional mayor.

All fiction is based in some reality, right?

Variety reported last Thursday that NBC is putting together a new drama series about a black female mayor, set just as she’s taking office. According to the report, the show follows her around as she works with her district attorney and a female police chief “for the good of one of America’s most dangerous cities.”

There’s another local tie: Baltimore-born actress Penny Johnson Jerald will co-executive produce with Allison Abner and Tom Szentgyorgyi.

You may have seen Jerald before in her roles on HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show,” as well as “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Castle” and, early on, in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.” She’s also set to star in Fox’s upcoming sci-fi series “The Orville.”

Abner is known for her writing on “The West Wing,” “Without a Trace,” “NCIS” and Netflix’s “Narcos,” while Szentgyorgyi has written and produced for “The Mentalist” and “NYPD Blue.”

Other details about the show – a name, release date, cast, etc. – are scant. Whatever they’re planning, Jerald, Abner and Szentgyorgyi should have plenty of material to draw on for inspiration. The mayor’s office has been occupied by black women for a decade now; Mayor Catherine Pugh is Baltimore’s third straight female African-American mayor, succeeding Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Sheila Dixon.

Baltimore’s been getting some cable TV shine lately, with producers following “The Bachelorette” contestant Eric Bigger here for an episode, and a local doctor getting to win some hundreds of thousands of dollars on NBC’s game show “The Wall.” ESPN is also in town this week, broadcasting the final two rounds of “The Basketball Tournament” at Coppin State University with Carmelo Anthony serving as host.

Who knows? Maybe this fictional female mayor will have some original ideas for curbing Baltimore’s ballooning gun-violence problem, implementing successful police reform and making widespread, equitable enhancements to the city’s infrastructure (though probably not).

Ethan McLeod
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  1. Another series documenting our great tradition of female mayors and their visions for whatever any idea brought to their office by an assortment of carpetbaggers, corporations and franchised scams. Three n a row!

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