'The Mayor' Raps Its Way Into the ABC Fall Comedy Lineup: 'Democrats and Republicans Are Not Part of This Universe'

John Russell
Fall Preview Tony Rivetti/ABC

Brandon Micheal Hall in The Mayor

Is America ready for a comedy about a political upset? On ABC’s The Mayor, aspiring rapper Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) is looking for his big break, so he decides to run for mayor of his California town as a publicity stunt. Then he actually wins! Here’s the dossier on the new series.

1 It doesn’t draw any party lines. “Democrats and Republicans are not a part of the universe of this show,” executive producer and cocreator Jeremy Bronson says. “This is about a young man growing up and the people he’s populated his life with.” And he will need to grow up fast. Through his music, Courtney was the consummate social critic. But as mayor of the fictional Fort Grey, he’ll have to actually solve the local problems he used to rap about. “The challenges that he’s facing,” Bronson adds, “are community-based.”

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2 Grammy and Tony winner Daveed Diggs is an executive producer, so expect some cool music. The Hamilton alum will write the lyrics to some of the raps on the show. (His bandmates from the hip-hop group clipping., Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson, compose the music, and Snipes is scoring the series.) “But Brandon performs all the songs himself,” says Diggs. “It’s a massive feat. He is that dude! You can’t help but fall in love with him instantly. And he has the talent and smarts to back it up.”

3 It adheres to the principle that behind every great man is a great woman. And Courtney has two! Glee’s Lea Michele (late of Scream Queens) plays Valentina Barella, a former campaign rival who becomes his chief of staff. And Courtney’s mother, Dina (Yvette Nicole Brown), is his biggest supporter—and his conscience. “Yvette is the heart of the show,” Diggs says. “Both on and off screen, her morality and her guidance are the reason the series works.”

The Mayor, Premieres Oct. 3, 9:30/8:30c, ABC

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This article also appeared in the Sept. 4–17 issue of TV Guide Magazine

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