David and Tamela Mann Continue To Grow Their Brand with Mann & Wife
This all-star couple truly needs no introduction. From their early days with Kirk Franklin and the Family to their infamous roles as Cora and Mr. Brown in Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns, along with a variety of other projects, David and Tamela Mann became an “overnight” phenomenon.
The two gained a great amount of popularity while managing to successfully conquer the TV and music industry for over 23 years now. From the looks of it, they aren’t quite done yet.
In January of 2015, the couple ventured into reality TV, premiering their first reality show, It’s A Mann’s World on BET. The show focused on the everyday lives of David and Tamela Mann behind the scenes and their lives as a blended family household.
Now, they are taking their real-life experience to TV, while adding an urban twist of modern comedy. Stepping away from the normality of their previous roles, for the first time, David and Tamela Mann portray a married couple on-screen in their new Bounce TV series, Mann & Wife.
Created by David and Tamela Mann and co-created and directed by Roger Bobb of Bobbcat Films, Mann & Wife is a comedy series centering around the lives of newlywed couple, Daniel and Toni Mann who must take on the everyday challenges of blending two separate families under one roof.
After meeting through an online dating service, Daniel moves Toni and her two girls from Texas up to Atlanta with him and his two boys. But, what Toni doesn’t know, is that Daniel’s elderly mother, Lorraine, is not just a house guest—she’s a tenant.
As sticky situations arise, together, Daniel, Toni, and the children must learn to adjust to their new emerging lifestyle. The series stars David and Tamela Mann as Daniel and Toni, Jo Marie Payton as Lorraine and Tony Rock as Michael Hobbs—Daniel’s new partner on the police force.
Viviva A. Fox also makes guest appearances as Daniel’s ex-wife.
“We’ve done a few shows with Roger Bobb. I think 140 episodes of Meet The Browns. We’ve worked with him and really loved working with him. So, we all just sat down and wanted to develop another show where we could kind of change the characters and do some other things,” David Mann expressed in a recent interview. “So, you know, we all put our brains together—him, Tamela, and I, and came up with Mann & Wife—which is a play on our last name. We wanted to develop characters we could grow with as husband and wife because from the other shows we’ve played, I play her father and she plays my daughter.”
The series premiered on April 7th, 2015, bringing in thousands to almost a million viewers the first episode. The first season did so well that the show recently returned for season two on April 5th of this year. The series has also been renewed for a third season.
“It’s almost like you have two sitcoms. You have a family sitcom—where we teach families faith, friendship, and forgiveness. Then, you have this hilarious detective sitcom—where you have Tony and David going undercover to solve various crimes. So, you get two for one when you watch Mann & Wife,” Director, Roger Bobb stated, referring to David and Tony Rock’s character as undercover detectives.
Speaking of Tony Rock—who is the brother to comedian, Chris Rock, surprisingly, you’ll actually see a bit of a serious side as well as comedic, too. “Tony, he’s actually a very underrated actor. He’s a very good actor. He can do both comedic and dramatic scenes. The best thing is to finally have someone who can hang with David comedically because, as David mentioned, he’s very witty and he’s very quick, and so is Tony.”
Starring and guest starring a variety of pivotal actors and actresses, one standing out the most would have to be matriarch actress, Jo Marie Payton—who portrays Lorraine Mann.
“She’s bad; she’s real sweet, but she’s devilish. When I was asked to join this incredible cast of David and Tamela—like I say, everyone loves them, along with the incredible Roger Bobb—those that don’t know Roger like I know Roger love him, too, what really kept me there was the way Daniel (David) calls me mama. I love the way that boy calls me mama,” Payton said laughing. “I think this is the best role I’ve ever played because it gives me the freedom to just go in any direction I want to go—from happy to sad, to mad, to jumping, to lying, to laying—whatever. And I will. I think we have an incredible cast.”
From some of her most memorable roles, one being as Harriette Winslow on the hit 80’s/90’s sitcom, Family Matters, to a plethora of other guest appearances and other recurring roles, Jo Marie Payton has become the epitome of what a TV mother should be.
This is the Mann’s first time working with Jo Marie, and by speaking with them, I gathered that they would agree. She’s a character in real life! “We have such a good time, and our chemistry on set is like really wonderful—wonderful for us to start the first time working with Jo Marie. It’s been a wonderful and great experience for me, as a whole, with her being the vet over all of us in this business,” Tamela exclaimed.
Touching on a number of controversial topics within blended family homes and the Black community today, the cast’s only hopes are for this project is to ‘educate people while being entertained’ and take viewers on a journey.
“I wanted this show for African-Americans, about African-Americans, by African-Americans. I want to do them in a way that respects out individuality and respects our culture. I knew the show was going to be a success because that’s what I do,” Bobb said with confidence.
David, on the other hand, says he loves playing his character because now he finally gets to touch Tamela like he wants to. All I can say is, well, Mr. Mann, you finally got your wish!
Aside from the cameras, Tamela is currently gearing up for the release of her new album, One Way, this September. Her single, “One Way” is now available on iTunes. She and David are also working on a marriage book, which they are hoping to release by the end of this year. David says a live comedy DVD will be coming soon as well.
Jo Marie is in the process of creating her own animated project called, Inner City Kitty.
As for Mr. Bobb, well, he’s going to keep putting out hit shows.