Michael Schwartz/WireImage
April 03, 2015 11:05 AM

NBC will not be shying away from heavy, real-life issues in its upcoming comedy The Carmichael Show.

The series, led by stand-up comic Jerrod Carmichael, is inspired by his own life. The Carmichael Show will follow his character’s relationships with his outspoken father (David Alan Grier), his religious mother (Loretta Devine), his therapist girlfriend (Amber West) and his hustler brother (Lil Rel Howery), reports The Hollywood Reporter.

“I think we’re going to get to discuss things that really need to be discussed,” star Devine, 65, told THR. “Like Obama and Ferguson.”

“You know, zany topics like that,” joked Carmichael in reply.

More seriously, however, Carmichael insists that the intention of his multicamera comedy series is “to actually reflect the conversations that are being had in living rooms amongst families, amongst couples.”

Said Carmichael, “The most important thing for us is to really be people that exist in the world. A lot of comedy seems so isolated and it seems removed from our daily realities, and it’s criminal not to talk about these things. It’s criminal not to reflect the real conversations that America is having, especially at this time when it’s all about conversations.”

This is Carmichael’s second go at an NBC sitcom; he narrowly missed a pickup during last year’s pilot season for what was then titled Go Jerrod Go. The low-budget presentation was co-written with Mike Pennie and has now been retooled into a more family-friendly series.

Carmichael is best known for his role in Neighbors and for his HBO special, Jerrod Carmichael: Love at the Store, which was directed by Spike Lee.

The Carmichael Show premieres Aug. 5 at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

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