Alyson Fouse is the creator, showrunner, and executive producer of the popular new Bounce TV sitcom “Act Your Age.” The show delves into the lives of three, very different, Black women who live together under one roof.
Through their living arrangement, they discover new things about themselves and each other. The comedy stars Yvette Nicole Brown, Tisha Campbell, and Kym Whitley.
Prior to “Act Your Age,” Fouse has written and produced a wide variety of television programing including: “A League of Their Own,” “The Neighborhood,” “All About The Washingtons,” “Born Again Virgin,” “The Wanda Sykes Show,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” several straight to video “Bring It On” projects and her resume goes on.
Fouse’s affinity for the television sitcom started in Compton, California watching fondly remembered shows like “Good Times.” In some ways, the series resembled Fouse’s own upbringing.
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“Growing up in Compton was great because when you’re a kid,you don’t know any better,” said Fouse. “I just remember loving my block and my mother and father were great!”
One day, while sitting in the living room and watching “Good Times,” Fouse said she asked her mother, “Where is the ghetto?” She recalled her mother’s quick-witted reply being, “You’re sitting in it.”
“As far as I was concerned, when I was a kid, I lived in the same neighborhood as the Brady Bunch,” stated Fouse.
Although Fouse was a fan of many Black family sitcoms, she did not know Black people could be a part of the creative process.
“I didn’t know we did this [TV shows] at all,” thought Fouse. “My only goal at a very young age was to be a writer. I wanted to write the great American novel when I fell into television.”
Fouse recollects listening to John London and the House Party on The Beat 92.3. The radio program was widely known for doing comedy sketches.
Fouse felt she could write her own sketches for the show, and then she faxed them one. “They called and said we don’t hire outside writers, but we’ll pay you freelance,” said Fouse. “I heard one of my sketches on the radio, and I was like, ‘oh I made it!’”
According to Fouse, Keenan Ivory Wayans heard one of hersketches, and he called the radio station to inquire about who wrote it. The radio station contacted Fouse. Wayans was interested in her writing for his night-time talk program, “The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show.”
That was the beginning of what led Fouse to her considerable array of television credits.
“I enjoy the process, I enjoy the writing, I enjoy making people laugh, and I enjoy making people feel,” said Fouse. “I love imagining characters and their worlds.”
The world of her new hit sitcom, “Act Your Age,” was crafted following a meeting with executive producer Bradley Gardner. Fouse says the show was practically given to her.
“Brad had this show about three women, and if I wanted it, it was mine,” said Fouse. “The only requirements [that] they are three women of a certain age, and they lived together in the DMV area.”
Fouse recalls submitting the pitch for her vision of the show. She thought they wouldn’t like it, but they loved it.
“Bounce really gets behind the creator, and I felt that,” mused Fouse. “They trusted me to be the voice of these women.”
Fouse reveals, when she created the characters, she divided herself into three people. They were women she had been at certain points in her life or women she aspired to be.
“A lot of the shows I’ve done in the past have been for male leads,” said Fouse. “Now it feels good to give Black women that representation, and we deserve it!”