A series of promos for the new ABC sitcom “The Mayor” have been running for a couple of weeks now, showing the main character – a young rapper who ran for office in his hometown just for publicity and ended up winning – calling real life mayors across the nation and asking them for advice.
In the promos, the fictional Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) calls the mayor of Philadelphia, the mayor of San Diego and the mayor of ... Clayton, N.C.
McLeod is featured in three promotional spots. In one he appears with his 84-year-old mother, Mavorine McLeod of Clayton, who has been affectionately known as “Mama Mayor” since President Jimmy Carter called her that in a book inscription years ago.
McLeod, who has held the office of mayor for 13 years, says the ABC creative team found him through a YouTube video about public art called “Spotlight on Clayton,” which featured his outspoken mother (it’s really worth watching just to skip to Mama Mayor at the 17:45 mark).
McLeod said he liked the idea of the young mayor in the ABC show needing to ask others for advice.
“That’s pretty much everybody in the state of North Carolina who has ever won an elected office,” McLeod said. “You win and you’re like, ‘Whoa what do I do?’ ”
McLeod said a crew came from LA to film the promos, which were shot at Clayton Town Hall. He said they gave him and his mother a script to go by and then they had “wild lines,” where they’d ask McLeod a series of questions and he’d give quick replies.
One of those segments shows up in a second promo featuring all of the mayors telling Courtney what kind of music they like to listen to. McLeod tells him, “I love some jazz. I love Top Ten.” In another promo, McLeod raps some advice to Courtney’s character.
Other mayors featured in promos are from Green Bay, Wis.; Salt Lake City; Richmond, Va.; and Rabbit Hash, Ky. (that mayor is a dog named Brynneth Pawltro).
“It’s an honor for me,” McLeod said. “The character and I parallel in a lot of ways, and it was personally great for me to see the ABC network highlight the good work that local elected officials do. And it’s a family sitcom that will teach kids about how to give back to your community. I was kind of blown away when they said, ‘We want you.’ ”
“The Mayor” debuts Tuesday (Oct. 3) at 9:30 p.m. and also stars Lea Michele and Yvette Nicole Brown.