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Black-ish (stylized as blackish) is an American sitcom starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, broadcast on ABC.[1][2] The single-camera comedy centers on an upper-middle-class African-American family.[3] The series premiered on September 24, 2014[4][5][6] and in May 2017 was renewed for a fourth season, which will premiere in October 2017.[7] Since the second-season premiere, the show has received critical acclaim, receiving many awards and nominations including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for Tracee Ellis Ross, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, and a TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy.

Black-ish
Black-ish intertitle.png
Genre Sitcom
Created by Kenya Barris
Starring
Narrated by Anthony Anderson
Theme music composer Transcenders
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 72 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s)
  • ABC Studios
  • Khalabo Ink Society
  • Cinema Gypsy Productions
  • Principato-Young Entertainment
Distributor Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Release
Original network ABC
Picture format 1080p (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1 with Descriptive Video Service on SAP channel
Original release September 24, 2014 (2014-09-24) – present
Chronology
Related shows Grown-ish
External links
Official website abc.go.com/shows/blackish

Contents

Cast and charactersEdit

Main castEdit

  • Anthony Anderson as Andre "Dre" Johnson Sr., an advertising executive who tries to pass on some of his urban culture to his seemingly uninterested children. His alma mater is Howard University.
  • Tracee Ellis Ross as Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson, who is Dre's wife. She is a anesthesiologist who was raised by hippies. Her alma mater is Brown University.
  • Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson, Dre and Rainbow's 17-year-old daughter. She is the attractive, popular, stylish, and socially active member of the Johnson family.
  • Marcus Scribner as Andre ("Junior") Johnson Jr., Dre and Rainbow's 16-year-old son. He is a so-called "nerd" who is confused by the world around him.
  • Miles Brown as Jack Johnson, Dre and Rainbow's upbeat 9-year-old son, fraternal twin of Diane, who idolizes his father.
  • Marsai Martin as Diane Johnson, Dre and Rainbow's 9-year-old daughter, fraternal twin of Jack, who considers herself smarter and more mature than her twin brother.
  • Jenifer Lewis as Ruby Johnson (recurring season 1; starring season 2-present), Dre's mother.[8]
  • Jeff Meacham as Josh Oppenhol (recurring season 1, 3–present; starring season 2), Dre's co-worker.
  • Peter Mackenzie as Leslie Stevens (recurring seasons 1–2; starring season 3–present), Dre's boss and co-owner of Stevens & Lido.

Recurring castEdit

EpisodesEdit

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 24 September 24, 2014 (2014-09-24) May 20, 2015 (2015-05-20)
2 24 September 23, 2015 (2015-09-23) May 18, 2016 (2016-05-18)
3 24 September 21, 2016 (2016-09-21) May 10, 2017 (2017-05-10)
4 TBA October 3, 2017 (2017-10-03)[12] TBA

ProductionEdit

Development and castingEdit

Black-ish first appeared on the development slate at ABC in October 2013, when it was reported that the project, which would star Anthony Anderson, had received a script commitment.[13] On January 16, 2014, ABC greenlit the pilot episode.[14] Two weeks later, Larry Wilmore joined the show as showrunner.[15] In mid-February, Laurence Fishburne was cast as the father of Anderson's character, and Tracee Ellis Ross signed on as the female lead.[16][17][18]

FilmingEdit

On May 8, 2014, ABC picked up the pilot to the series for the 2014–15 television season.[1][2] A few days later, Anderson announced that Larry Wilmore would be stepping down as showrunner early in the show's run due to his forthcoming late night show, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.[19]

On May 7, 2015, ABC renewed the series for a second season.

On March 3, 2016, ABC renewed the series for a third season.[20]

On May 10, 2017, ABC renewed the series for a fourth season.[21]

Spin-offEdit

Grown-ish

The twenty-third episode of the third season, "Liberal Arts", functioned as a backdoor pilot for a proposed spin-off, featuring Yara Shahidi's character, Zoey Johnson, as she goes to college. Shahidi will topline the proposed series, with Chris Parnell, Mallory Sparks, Matt Walsh, and Trevor Jackson guest starring in the backdoor pilot, and the possibility to become regulars should the proposed spin-off be picked up by ABC.[22][23][24]

On May 19, 2017, Freeform (ABCs sister network) officially ordered 13 episodes of spinoff under the tentative title College-ish.[25] The series was later retitled Grown-ish , with Parnell and Jackson reprising their roles from the backdoor pilot with Emily Arlook replacing Mallory Sparks in the role of Miriam.[26]

ReceptionEdit

Nielsen ratingsEdit

Season Timeslot (ET) # Ep. Premiered Ended TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere Viewers
(in millions)
Premiere 18-49
rating/share
Date Finale Viewers
(in millions)
Finale 18-49
rating/share
1 Wednesday 9:30 pm 24
September 24, 2014
11.04[27] 3.3/10[27]
May 20, 2015
5.36[28] 1.6/5[28] 2014–2015 #54[29] 8.49[29]
2 24
September 23, 2015
7.30[30] 2.4/7[30]
May 18, 2016
5.05[31] 1.5/5[31] 2015–2016 #60[32] 7.22[32]
3 24
September 21, 2016
6.39[33] 2.0/7[33]
May 10, 2017
4.75[34] 1.3/5[34] 2016–2017 #59[35] 6.61[35]
4 Tuesday 9:00 pm
October 3, 2017
2017–2018

Critical responseEdit

Black-ish has been met with generally positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives season 1 a rating of 86% based on 56 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's consensus states, "Although it seems uncertain of its target audience, Black-ish ingratiates with a diverse cast and engaging cultural issues."[36] Metacritic gave season 1 a score of 77 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[37] Rolling Stone's December 4, 2014 issue called it "one of the only new network comedies worth watching," praising in particular Laurence Fishburne's performance. Anthony Anderson's performance was met with critical acclaim, earning him multiple nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2015 American Film Institute Top 10 TV Shows Black-ish Won [38]
People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Comedy Black-ish Nominated [39]
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Black-ish Won [40]
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson Won [40]
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Tracee Ellis Ross Won [40]
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Yara Shahidi Won [40]
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Laurence Fishburne Won [40]
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Marcus Scribner Nominated [40]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson Nominated [41]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Comedy Anthony Anderson Nominated [42]
Choice TV: Breakout Star Yara Shahidi Nominated [42]
Choice TV: Breakout Show Black-ish Nominated [42]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson Nominated [43]
Peabody Award Black-ish Won [44]
2016 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Comedy Series Black-ish Won [45]
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson Won
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Tracee Ellis Ross Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Marsai Martin Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Miles Brown Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Laurence Fishburne Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Youth Marcus Scribner Won
Outstanding Performance by a Youth Miles Brown Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Youth Marsai Martin Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Kenya Barris for "The Word" Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Comedy Series Black-ish Nominated [46]
Best Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Series Tracee Ellis Ross Nominated
Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series Jenifer Lewis Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Actor – Family Show Anthony Anderson Nominated
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Black-ish Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Black-ish Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Tracee Ellis Ross Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Comedy Series Black-ish Nominated [47]
Best Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Series Tracee Ellis Ross Nominated
2017 Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Black-ish Nominated [48]
Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Anthony Anderson Nominated [48]
Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Tracee Ellis Ross Won [48]
Producers Guild of America Awards Episodic Television, Comedy Producers of Black-ish Nominated [49]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson, Miles Brown, Deon Cole, Laurence Fishburne, Jenifer Lewis, Peter Mackenzie, Marsai Martin, Jeff Meacham, Tracee Ellis Ross, Marcus Scribner, Yara Shahidi Nominated [50]
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Black-ish Won [51]
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson Won
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Tracee Ellis Ross Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Laurence Fishburne Won
Miles Brown Nominated
Deon Cole Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Marsai Martin Nominated
Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Anton Cropper for "God" Nominated
Anton Cropper for "Good-ish Times" Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Kenya Barris for "Hope" Won
Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited Series) Marsai Martin Won
Miles Brown Nominated
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series – Half Hour Tom N. Stasinis, Peter J. Nusbaum and Whitney Purple for "God" Nominated [52]
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Show – Family Show Black-ish Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Series - Supporting Young Actor Anthony LaPenna Won [53]
Best Performance in a TV Series - Leading Young Actor Miles Brown Nominated [54]
Best Performance in a TV Series - Leading Teen Actor Marcus Scribner Nominated
Best Performance in a TV Series - Leading Young Actress Marsai Martin Nominated
Best Performance in a TV Series - Leading Teen Actress Yara Shahidi Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best American Story Black-ish Won [55]
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Individual Episode "Johnson & Johnson" Nominated [56]
Rockie Awards Comedy Series: English Language Black-ish Nominated [57]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Black-ish Nominated [58]
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Anderson Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Tracee Ellis Ross Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Wanda Sykes Nominated

Social and political commentary contentEdit

RacismEdit

Black-ish addresses not only the racism that the Johnsons face as an upper-middle class African-American family, but also includes the racism African-Americans from a variety of backgrounds face in America. The "Pilot" episode starts off the series by introducing Dre's fear that his kids are too assimilated to their primarily white surroundings and are losing their black culture. The episode also addresses the racism African-Americans face in the workplace when Dre gets excited for a promotion at his advertising agency, which turns out to be for Senior Vice President of the Urban Division. In response, Dre questions, "Did they just put me in charge of black stuff?" This episode raises the question of where the line is drawn so that you are not defined by your race but your culture still remains relevant.[59]

In the 25th episode, "The Word", Jack performs Kanye West's "Gold Digger" at school and says the N-word. The rest of the episode discusses the generational and multicultural perspectives of the word and how it has a different meaning to different people, even between different African-Americans. That different meaning comes with different guidelines and regulations for the use of the N-word based on the speaker, the context, and the audience.[60]

LGBTEdit

In the 22nd episode, "Please Don't Ask, Please Don't Tell". Dre's younger sister, Rhonda (Raven-Symoné), is introduced. Rhonda is a lesbian but never officially came out to her family. Family members just gradually figured it out because of Rhonda's live-in girlfriend, however, no one ever acknowledges it. Andre admits that homosexuality is a topic that most African-Americans prefer to avoid, due to homophobia, which is why he never discusses it with his sister. This leads to Rhonda not inviting any of her family members to her wedding and Andre finally talking to Rhonda about her sexuality.[61]

Police brutalityEdit

In the 40th episode, "Hope", the show tackles police brutality and Black Lives Matter as the family watches the news reporting about an unarmed young, black man's fatal run-in with police. Although the case was fictional, many real names, such as Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland, were included in the family's discussion. The debate format of the episode was able to address both sides of the situation and not completely villainize the police force. However, it leaned more towards the Black Lives Matter movement. The format also allowed for perspectives from different generations, backgrounds, and ideologies. The end of the episode revolved around a message of hope and the importance of protests, discussion, and attitudes when people are faced with tragedies from police brutality, assassinations, etc.[62]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit