CBS' newest sitcom "Bob ♥ Abishola" explores immigrant life in America through a unique lens: the relationship between Bob, a Detroit compression sock salesman, and Abishola, his Nigerian nurse. The pair first meet in the hospital, after Bob suffers a heart attack and Abishola is assigned as his nurse.
The show stars Folake Olowofoyeku and Billy Gardell, who said he's "proud" to be on a show about the value of kindness.
"I'm humbled by it, I really am," Gardell said Thursday on "CBS This Morning." "I go home very proud every day. We've been finding moments of connection that I think are very important right now."
After his character has a heart attack, Gardell said, his life changes. "When you have a moment like that close to death, the people you wake up around or who care for you, it imprints on you. And he finds something very striking and special about her, and he decides in that moment, 'You know what, I'm going to see if I can get her to just give me a chance even though we're very different.'"
But Olowofoyeku's character Abishola doesn't want to give him a chance. "She has tunnel vision in a way," Olowofoyeku said. "She has come to this country and her goal is to create a better life for herself and her son. Specifically, [to] send her son to an Ivy League school to become a doctor. And that's been her mission and that's all she's been focused on. So this comes as a surprise to her. So it takes a while for her to notice and realize what is going on."
When Olowofoyeku first read the script, she said she felt "like it was written for me."
"She was my mom, she was a lot of my aunties I grew up with back home in Nigeria," she said. "It just was seamless." She said she's excited for the program to showcase Nigerian culture, including the food and the parties.
Gardell said that when he first read the script, he was struck by the "heart" in the writing.
"For me, I think it's a man who's divorced and he's stressed out about his business, and I think your priorities shift when you go through something like a heart attack," Gardell said. "And you go, 'You know what, I should be taking a risk on things that I believe are going to make me a better person, make me feel better.' And what struck me about the writing and what [show co-creator] Chuck Lorre does better than anyone, is there's heart involved."