EXCLUSIVE: Fox Looking to Bring Back Soul Food TV Series

Twentieth Century Fox is looking to revive the TV series Soul Food, a source familiar with the decision tells FishbowlLA.

The original Soul Food ran on Showtime from 2000 to 2004, and was based on the 1997 film of the same name from director George Tillman Jr. The film and TV series centered on the trials and tribulations of an African American family in Chicago that gets hit by the loss of their matriarch.

Now, Fox is looking to revamp the series for a new generation. The project is still in the very early stages of development, but executives at the company are said to be keen on it. It isn’t yet clear whether the new Soul Food would be for the Fox broadcast network, or whether the company would try and sell it to other channels.

While many networks have been reluctant to order series that target African American audiences in recent years, there is ample evidence that the demographic is being under-served. After being canceled by The CW in 2009, drama series The Game moved to BET, where it garnered nearly eight million viewers in its premiere in January, 2011. BET would seem to be a natural fit for the series, as it acquired the off-network rights to Soul Food in 2004, though it has since shifted the reruns to Centric. It also has a solid African American drama to pair it with in The Game.

Likewise, TBS—one of cable’s top networks—has set up an African American comedy block led by the Tyler Perry series House of Payne and Meet the Browns, as well as the Ice Cube-produced series Are We There Yet? TBS will debut another series from Perry, For Better or Worse, in November. The TBS focus on comedy makes it an unlikely fit for the project, however.

Whether any of the original cast from the movie or Showtime series will be involved in the new project remains to be seen.