The State of Blacks on Television Looks Good

Posted on March 12, 2015

All signs point to 2015 being a banner year for Blacks on television. We are knee-deep in pilot season, and the number of shows with prominent Black actors is staggering. This turn of events (for the better) shows that, unlike popular convention, supporting our community does pay dividends and Black faces are viable moneymakers in Hollywood.

Blacks have gained major ground, especially in television, by building off of the success of others. Scandal begatHow To Get Away With Murder and Being Mary Jane which begat new shows for Meagan Good and Paula Patton.

Wendy Williams and The Real begat a new talk show from Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker. Larry Wilmore’s popularity on The Daily Show begat The Larry Wilmore Show, black-ish, and Issa Rae’s HBO pilot.

Nicole Beharie on Sleepy Hollow begat Jill Marie Jones in the forthcoming Starz series Ash Vs. Evil Dead.

Tyler Perry’s runaway success on OWN begat… more Tyler Perry on OWN.

All of that is just the tip of the iceberg, and the roles aren’t “sassy friend #2” or “drug dealer with a heart” stereotypes either. CBS’ Supergirl has cast 2 Black actors in pivotal roles. Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Aldis Hodge will leadUnderground, a series based on the Underground Railroad. Mike Epps and Nia Long headline a comedy, Uncle Buck, based on the John Candy movie of the same name. Wesley Snipes, Morris Chestnut, and Phylicia Rashad are all set to lead new series in the Fall.

And there are many more that I am omitting from this list for simple lack of space. Yes, there are that many.

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