Above: Houston skyline
Plot: centers on 3 middle aged, has -been entertainment industry veterans who find their lives changed forever when their plane heading to Mexico from Los Angeles, makes an unexpected landing - in Houston, Texas. When they discover that they are hot in Houston (hence the title), they decide to stay.
They rent a house that happens to come with a feisty caretaker named Silvia.
Above: the original cast of Hot In Cleveland (L-R Wendy Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, Betty White and Jane Leeves)
I asked myself what would an all-Black cast look like if I were to cast a set of alternative female leads in the roles of the characters for this iteration of the sitcom. Well, it would look like this..... (*character descriptions the same as they were on 'Hot in Cleveland')
Main characters and my ideal casting:
Melanie originally played by Valerie Bertinelli
renamed as Hope played by Debbie Allen
Recently divorced mother of 2 children after 35 years of marriage. When the plane makes an emergency landing in Houston, Hope falls in love with the city and decides to stay. Just like her name, she is always the optimist & is fiercely loyal to her friends. Also has a sister named Patricia (played by Phylicia Rashad).
Image credit: Paras Griffin/contributor, Getty Images 2015
Joy originally played by Jane Leeves
renamed as Alexa played by Judy Reyes
A never married beautician who counts Oprah Winfrey and Ryan Seacrest as her clients. Is judgmental & calls people out as she sees them. On the surface she is cynical and pessimistic - yet inside vulnerable and a romantic. Has a strong dislike towards caretaker, Silvia. Is 4th generation Afro- Latina, whose parents emigrated to the States in the late 1960s.
Victoria originally played by Wendy Malick
renamed as Loretta played by Jenifer Lewis
6- time divorced Emmy and Oscar award winning soap opera actress whose long- running show was cancelled. Loves to be the centre of attention, she can't get enough of the compliments and is delightfully vain. Now in her early 50s, she may be self - obsessed, but she's always there when her friends need her.
Ella originally played by Betty White
renamed as Silvia played by Cicely Tyson
Caretaker whose judgmental retorts to the other women in the pilot episode reveal a tough demeanor & allude to an illustrious life. A widower in her 80s, she is opinionated and outspoken and has a strong dislike towards Alexa. Also cooks food for the ladies.