9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Whitney' Adds NBC Diversity Program Winner as New Series Regular
NBC's Whitney is adding a new series regular for season two.
Tone Bell, a winner of the network's Stand Up for Diversity Program, is boarding the Whitney Cummings comedy, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Bell will play RJ, the bartender at Whitney (Cummings) and Alex's (Chris D'Elia) new local spot, who is described as effortlessly cool, rock solid and a confident guy -- but not in a cocky way. The divorced "guy's guy" remains optimistic and patient about finding the right woman and believes chivalry still exists.
Bell won NBC's Stand Up for Diversity program in 2011, which in its nine-year history has produced finalists including Apartment 23's Eric Andre (2006) and W. Kamau Bell (2005), who recently earned a spot on FX's late-night lineup.
Bell, repped by Innovative, Black Box and Jackoway Tyerman, also appeared in two episodes of VH1's Single Ladies.
His casting comes as new showrunner Wil Calhoun will retool the second-year comedy, which recently parted ways with series regular Maulik Pancholy.
Whitney returns in its new time slot on Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. on NBC.