NEW YORK – Chris Rock (search) thought of other titles for his upcoming sitcom "Everybody Hates Chris" (search): "Mad about Chris Rock" ... "Rockfeld."
But then the title he settled on "just popped in my head," he said Thursday, livening up one of the Television Critics Association's summer sessions.
The comedian will narrate the series, inspired by his experiences in the 1980s in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The show — part of UPN's Thursday night comedy slate in the fall — also will focus on Rock's trials while attending a predominantly white junior high school.
Tyler James Williams (search), 12, stars in the title role.
"I was at Michael Jackson's house, and this kid runs out, 'Wait, save me!" Rock joked about how he found the actor.
A tad more seriously, Rock said: "Tyler was the funniest kid we could find. He's the funniest kid in the country. Trust me. There's a lot of unfunny kids out there. They need to work on their comedy."
Rock expects to be hands-on with the show, "going through scripts, making sure I like all the jokes, trying to be there for pretty much all of the tapings."
The irreverent tone of the comedian's standup is evident throughout the pilot episode, including use of the N-word.
"I'll do whatever the network will let me do," Rock told reporters. "If they let me use the F-word I'll use that too."