By RODNEY HO/ email@example.com, originally filed Tuesday, February 23, 2016
A decade ago, the worlds of reality TV and scripted shows rarely crossed.
Nowadays, the stigma of what is sometimes euphemistically dubbed "non-scripted docuseries" has faded. Actors are more willing to do both - sometimes at the same time.
David and Tamela Mann, for instance, juggle the unscripted "It's a Mann's World" on BET and scripted "Mann & Wife" on Atlanta's Bounce TV. For a time, Terry Crews (now on Fox's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine") could be seen on both Atlanta-based TBS sitcom "Are We There Yet?" and BET reality series "The Family Crews." And LisaRaye McCoy briefly did a TV One reality show "The Real McCoy" while also filming VH1's "Single Ladies" in Atlanta.
Now Clark Atlanta University grad Eva Marcille joins that club by being on both a scripted comedy on TV One ("Born Again Virgin") and a new reality show "About the Business" on BET debuting Wednesday at 10.
The show is focused on Marcille's life and her friends, including:
- Crystal Renay, a model who just got married to part-time Atlantan Ne-Yo this past weekend.
- Sparkle Holmes, who runs a public relations firm which caters to stars such as Nelly and Chris Brown.
- EJ King, a stylist who used to assist Marcille and now works for Chris Brown.
- Danielle Crawley , who head marketing for Nick Cannon's production company.
"Reality has definitely taken a life of its own," Marcille said. "Our show falls in between tongue in cheek and crazy and ratchet. They'll be enough drama to keep you engaged. It's what we are going through that's relatable. The result is more classy than some other shows." (We know she didn't cite any specific shows but the lowest bar is along the lines of "Love and Hip Hop" and "Bad Girl's Club.")
Plus, these aren't a bunch of women who are cobbled together by producers. She has known most of the cast for at least five years. She helped plan Renay's wedding. "Our lives already existed," she said. "It's so colorful, all you have to do is throw a camera in there and you have a show."
Marcille broke into show business by notching a victory on reality competition fashion show "America's Next Top Model" in 2004 when she went by the name Eva Pigford. The show last year closed shop after 22 cycles and 289 episodes.
"I am beyond amazed that show is now off the air," Marcille said. "I don't think I'd be in entertainment if it were not for 'America's Next Top Model.' I'm so excited for Tyra [Banks]. She had this small idea that became a mountain that was so monumental for me and so many others. Now she's a new mom. I'm so excited for her and her journey."
UPDATE: Feb. 23: We spoke too soon. VH1 today has picked up "America's Next Top Model" from the CW with what the network is touting "a new, re-imagined cast of host and judges." Premiere date and cast forthcoming.
She became a successful model for several years but decided to focus on acting. In her case, she wanted to do so on her own terms so she used her middle name and became Eva Marcille.
She guested on several shows and received a regular role on "The Young and the Restless." She nabbed small roles on "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" and "Let's Stay Together," both in Atlanta. The second season of "Born Again Virgin" just launched last week.
On TV One's "Born Again Virgin," her character Tara is not trying to be a virgin like the lead. She's more like the Samantha of "Sex and the City" in this crew. But this season, she said, Tara may actually explore (gasp!) love.
"About the Business," 10 p.m. Wednesdays, BET
"Born Again Virgin," 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, TV One