August 16, 2017 at 08:30 AM EDT

You would expect a show called Marlon, from Marlon Wayans, to having something to do with the actor and comedian’s life. And you’d be right for thinking so, Wayans reveals in this clip for EW’s Summer TV Preview.

“The backdrop is divorce, but the show is really about love and family,” says Wayans, who plays Marlon Wayne on the show. “All of the characters are based on people from my life.”

The show follows Marlon and his ex-wife Ashley (Essence Atkins) as they try to “make it work” by co-parenting two kids. Wayans says the character Ashley is inspired by a real ex-girfriend, Angelica Zachary, who left him because, as he says in the video, he’s a “mess up.” The actor says he used painful moments he’s experienced to create comedy for the show, one moment, in particular, being his son’s bone infection.

“Last summer, I spent a month and a half, literally, in a hotel room with my son as he fought osteomyelitis,” Wayans revealed. “In the hospital,  I was like, Okay, here’s what’s funny about it. Because that’s my therapy.”

Marlon premieres Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

Reporting by Robyn Ross

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