Soul Food (TV series)

Soul Food: The Series is an American drama series that aired Wednesday nights on Showtime from June 28, 2000, to May 26, 2004. Developed for television by Felicia D. Henderson, the series was an adaptation of George Tillman's 1997 drama film, Soul Food, which was based on his childhood experiences growing up in Wisconsin. Having aired for five seasons and 74 episodes, it was the first hit drama that featured an African-American cast in U.S. primetime television.[1][2]

Soul Food
Soul Food TV series.png
GenreFamily drama
Based onSoul Food
by George Tillman, Jr.
Developed byFelicia D. Henderson
Starring
Narrated byAaron Meeks
Theme music composerKenneth "Babyface" Edmonds & Al Green
Opening theme
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes74 (list of episodes)
Production
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkShowtime
Original releaseJune 28, 2000 (2000-06-28) –
May 26, 2004 (2004-05-26)
Chronology
Preceded bySoul Food (1997 film)

PremiseEdit

Soul Food follows the triumphs, struggles, and rivalries of the Josephs, a tight-knit African-American family living in Chicago, Illinois. The series picks up immediately after the events in the 1997 film, starting with the birth of Bird and Lems son Jeremiah, as the family tries to hold together after the death of the Joseph sisters' mother Josephine (Irma P. Hall, reprising her role in flashback sequences), usually referred to as Mama, Mother Joe, or Big Mama.

EpisodesEdit

CastEdit

ResponseEdit

Soul Food was one of the first long-running and successful dramatic series on television to feature a predominantly African-American cast. Short-lived series such as Under One Roof and City of Angels featured predominantly black casts but never gained recognition due to lack of ratings and viewership. The show dealt in topics of politics, homosexuality, racial discrimination, and certain forms of abuse (drug, domestic, and sexual). Because it aired on Showtime, there was use of mild profanity and partial nudity. Several episodes even served as launching pads for upcoming new music artists. Many known performers such as Gerald Levert, Montell Jordan, India.Arie, Sunshine Anderson and Common have made guest appearances as well.

PopularityEdit

The show received five NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Drama Series and won three consecutive times in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Also, a three-book series was launched in 2002.

The Soul Food cast was interviewed by comedian Mo'Nique about fan reaction to the series. The cast considered that fans of the show would approach them at different places, including the airport, and would talk to them about storylines that they enjoyed or disliked. Nicole Ari Parker commented on studio executives telling the cast and crew that they were not marketable overseas; yet, after the show ended, the series garnered a fanbase in France.

SyndicationEdit

In 2004, BET acquired the rights to air reruns of the series (in the United States). The episodes have been edited to allow for commercials, and to meet FCC content standards for basic cable networks. BET aired syndicated reruns of Soul Food for a long time, until it shifted the series to its sister network, BET J (now known as BET Her). On March 15, 2010, the principal cast members (except for Rockmond Dunbar), appeared together on the BET late-night talk show The Mo'Nique Show. TV One began airing reruns of the series in January 2012. Syndication rights are currently held by Aspire, which began airing reruns of the series in January 2016.

Home releasesEdit

On June 24, 2003, Showtime Entertainment/Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment released the first season of Soul Food: The Series on DVD, just two weeks after the series wrapped its fourth season.

After a long delay, the remaining four seasons were released in 2007 and 2008 by Paramount Pictures and CBS Home Entertainment (because of CBS acquiring the pre-2006 Viacom, including Showtime Networks).

While season one (billed as "the complete first season") runs in its uncut, complete form, the remaining other seasons did not, primarily due to music licensing issues, and some episodes being edited from their original versions, primarily due to expensive costing issues while trying to go back to their original, unedited versions.

International rights to the series are held by Fox, which has yet to release DVD sets in other territories.

DVD name Ep # Release date
Season 1 20 June 24, 2003
Season 2 20 August 7, 2007
Season 3^ 20 February 5, 2008
Fourth & Final Season 14 July 8, 2008
Complete Series 74 July 8, 2008 [3]

^ The 20-episode DVD release of "Season 3" actually contains the 10 episodes in Season 3 and the 10 episodes in Season 4.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Status Year Award For
Winner 2001 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress - Aaron Meeks
Winner 2002 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Drama Series
Winner 2002 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Debbi Morgan
Winner 2002 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress - Aaron Meeks
Winner 2003 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Drama Series
Winner 2003 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Vanessa A. Williams
Winner 2004 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Drama Series
Nominee 2001 Emmy Award Outstanding Main Title Theme Music - Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and Al Green
Nominee 2001 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Drama Series
Nominee 2001 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Nicole Ari Parker
Nominee 2001 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Vanessa A. Williams
Nominee 2001 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Irma P. Hall
Nominee 2002 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Nicole Ari Parker
Nominee 2002 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
Nominee 2002 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Boris Kodjoe
Nominee 2003 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Nicole Ari Parker
Nominee 2003 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Malinda Williams
Nominee 2003 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Boris Kodjoe
Nominee 2003 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Aaron Meeks
Nominee 2003 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Kimberly Elise
Nominee 2003 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Supporting Young Actor - Aaron Meeks
Nominee 2004 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Nicole Ari Parker
Nominee 2004 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Malinda Williams
Nominee 2004 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Vanessa A. Williams
Nominee 2004 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Darrin Dewitt Henson
Nominee 2004 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Boris Kodjoe
Nominee 2004 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Terri J. Vaughn
Nominee 2004 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Supporting Young Actor - Aaron Meeks
Nominee 2005 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Drama Series
Nominee 2005 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Nicole Ari Parker
Nominee 2005 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Malinda Williams
Nominee 2005 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Vanessa A. Williams
Nominee 2005 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Darrin Dewitt Henson
Nominee 2005 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Diahann Carroll

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "No black dramas left on television", MSNBC.com, May 24, 2004. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  2. ^ Wiggins, Ovetta. "Last Call for 'Soul Food'", The Washington Post, May 26, 2004. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Soul Food DVD news: Announcement for Soul Food - The Final Season - TVShowsOnDVD.com". www.tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-20.

External linksEdit