BET’s new series “The Yard” is definitely a FAMUly affair. Florida A&M University alumnus Rob Hardy Jr. is a producer, screenwriter, and director of “The Yard” starring FAMU alumna and Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose.
Hardy said he’s especially excited to have her on the project because they were on the “Hill” at the same time.
The new series is about life at a historically black college. It follows a newly elected University President, Dr. Eva, played by Rose. She used to run an Ivy League school on the northeast, but is now looking to start something new.
Rose’s character will be faced with challenges of being a mother to an incoming freshman, getting the trust of her new faculty and staff all while adjusting to life in the South.
Hardy and his production team came up with the idea to do a series about the black college experience after finishing “Stomp the Yard.” He said there needed to be more shows like “A Different World” that talked about the African-American and HBCU experience.
“I feel it’s important to explore the black college life because it’s something that’s not talked about like it used to be. When I was coming up there was shows like ‘A Different World.’ Later on there was ‘Stomp the Yard’ and ‘Drumline,’” Hardy said.
He explained it’s important to spotlight the schools and make them identifiable to the youth as somewhere to have a good time while learning and discovering yourself.
Around the time BET picked up the show’s pilot, FAMU’s first female president, Elmira Mangum was in the hiring process. Hardy was amazed at the coincidence.
“Both things happened at the same time. It was almost like life imitating art and art imitating life,” Hardy said.
Most of the scenes for the series will be shot on the campus of Morehouse and Morris Brown College.
According to Essence.com, there isn’t an official air date. Check back at the famuanonline.com for updates.