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UPN Make no mistake: It's Eve's show

Monday, March 1, 2004

She is one of a few black actresses to have a show named for her.
When Eve, a Grammy Award-winning rap artist and novice actor, signed on as a cast member of a new UPN sitcom, it was decided that a name change was necessary.
The network decided to follow the lead of those who were already referring to "The Opposite of Sex" as the Eve Show, in hopes that the popularity of the multitalented entertainer would draw viewers.
The new sitcom with the new name, "Eve," airs Mondays.
Eve, 24, said it was a "corporate decision" to name the show after her.
"They wanted to make sure (viewers were aware) what show was my show," she said.
According to co-executive producer Meg DeLoatch, "We're just trying to lead with our strongest asset. Eve has such strong name recognition."
She is one of a few African-American actresses to have a show named for her (a group that now includes Whoopi Goldberg, whose NBC show also premiered this season). Eve, who said she fell in love with the show's original title, did not want to lend her name to the series.
About the show
While her fame may draw her fans, Eve said the show is not about her. In fact, her character's name is not Eve.
The show revolves around her character, Shelly Williams, owner of a clothing design company, and her new relationship with physical therapist J.T., played by Jason George. The two receive support and advice from their co-workers and friends.
"She's got her crew of girls, and I've got my crew of boys. They're weighing in their opinions, which means it's all going to get screwed up," said George.
Natalie Desselle-Reid and Ali Landry are Shelly's best friends.
Jason George, Brian Hooks and Sean Maguire represent the male point of view.
"It's definitely an ensemble" cast, said Eve, who said although the show's name changed, the scripts stayed the same.
Eve suggested that recognition is one reason a lot of musicians are offered acting roles.
Networks are looking for "someone who has an audience," she said. "It's a business. They see sales."
Historically, stand-up comics have served as the stars of TV sitcoms. However, musicians who have already gained national celebrity bring an audience to television that lesser-known comedians may not.
The same is true on the big screen where stars such as Cher, who earned an Oscar, and Golden Globe-winner Madonna dabbled in acting and found success.
DeLoatch said she was "presently surprised" by Eve's acting ability.
"I'm confident about where she's going to take this role and this character," she said.
As the original title suggests, the show is about the differences and interactions between men and women.
DeLoatch said "Eve" differs from other shows focusing on the single life, such as HBO's "Sex and the City," because it offers both sides.
The show "focuses on one relationship and follows all of the ups and downs in it. We're showing the male and female points of view," said DeLoatch, who graduated from American University in D.C. before moving to the West Coast.
"I have male writers. A lot of it comes from them," she said.