Friday, June 12, 2009


ShermanOaks, California -- Veteran TV Producer/Playwright /Screenwriter Michael Ajakwe Jr. has launched a web channel and new comedy series.

The former “Martin”, “Eve” and “Soul Food” scribe says the idea for starting an internet dial was sparked by the lack of diverse programming online. “It’s worse than network TV, Cable and Film,” the Los Angeles native said. “Most of these web channels don’t have a single show featuring a person of color even in supporting roles, let alone shows created by people of color. It’s shocking considering how wide open the web is.”

Instead of boycotting these web portals, the Emmy-winning tv producer (E!’s “Talk Soup”) and NAACP Theater Award-winning playwright decided to throw his hat in the ring. He hired Ben McAllister of CreatingtheWeb.com to design his channel and Ajakwetv.com was born.

“Ben did an outstanding job. He’s not only technically sound, but very creative – just like his company logo says,” Ajakwe mused.

The first offering from Ajakwetv.com is “Who…” – a comedy about Deana, a buxom trophy wife, and her working-class girlfriend Tina who meet every day for lunch and dish about celebrities. They’re waited on by Jalel -- Deana’s best male friend who despises Tina. Newcomers Shoneji Loraine, Nafeesa Monroe and Charles Reese round out the cast.

Every episode features music by indie artists which viewers can also purchase. Rather than post his show for free online like most web creators, Ajakwe is taking a more unothodox approach – he’s charging viewers $1 to watch three episodes. “I believe people will pay for content if the price is right and they feel they’re getting something back. iTunes is a prime example that this theory can work. Like Dr. Jekyll, I am experimenting on myself. I am my own guinea pig (laughs).”

The first generation Nigerian-American who has written and directed 10 plays that have been nominated for 27 NAACP Theater Awards, winning 5 trophies, sees Ajakwetv.com as an opportunity to showcase Web Creators of Color who are often ignored by “mainstream” web content providers. “Minority comedy writers are akin to second-class citizens. If there are no minority shows on tv or films being made, we don’t work. But we shouldn’t have to put up with that on the web. I’m not. It’s still economical enough to get in if you have the skill and the will. We just need to kick off our shoes, roll up our sleeves, jump in and swim.”

Click the post's title to visit Ajakwetv.com.
To learn more about Michael Ajakwe, Jr. visit michaelajakwe.com.

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