The First Family (TV series)
The First Family is an American sitcom that debuted in first-run syndication in the United States on September 22, 2012. Created by Byron Allen and produced by Allen's production company Entertainment Studios, the series (along with Mr. Box Office, which debuted the same weekend and is also produced by Entertainment Studios) is the first situation comedy to air in first-run syndication since the 2000 cancellation of Malibu, CA.
|The First Family|
|Created by||Byron Allen|
|Starring||Christopher B. Duncan
|Theme music composer||Brian Wayy|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||36 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Byron Allen
|Camera setup||Videotape; Multi-camera|
|Running time||Approx. 20 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Entertainment Studios|
|Original network||First-run syndication|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original release||September 22, 2012– April 25, 2015|
The series centers on William Johnson (Christopher B. Duncan), a Democrat who attempts to balance his family life with his wife Katherine (Kellita Smith) and their two sons and two daughters as they adjust to living in the White House, while maintaining his duties as the second African-American and 45th overall President of the United States. William, in turn, also has to deal with other family members, including his father Alvin (John Witherspoon) and his boisterous sister-in-law Pauletta (Jackée Harry), who despite their constant bickering will sometimes partner up for various schemes.
- Christopher B. Duncan – President William Johnson
- Kellita Smith – Katherine Johnson
- Jackée Harry – Pauletta Birdsong
- Michael D. Roberts – Bernard
- Khylin Rhambo – Charles Johnson
- Yara Shahidi (episodes 1-23) – Chloe Johnson
- Sayeed Shahidi (episodes 1-23) – Lucas Johnson
- Layla Crawford – Olivia Johnson
- John Witherspoon – Alvin Johnson
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||26||September 22, 2012||August 16, 2013|
|2||10||November 22, 2013||April 25, 2015|
The First Family is primarily syndicated to stations affiliated with The CW and MyNetworkTV and to independent stations for broadcast in weekend primetime timeslots. The series was supposed to produce a total of 104 episodes, borrowing a similarly-formatted episode order as several sitcoms produced and distributed by Debmar-Mercury, such as Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Anger Management (though the aforementioned Debmar-Mercury produced programs operated under a syndication model where the programs were sold to cable networks with an initial ten-episode order, and obtained an additional order of at least 90 episodes if the series was successful). The series, which was sold as part of a two-hour comedy block with Mr. Box Office, was initially picked up by stations owned by Tribune Broadcasting, Weigel Broadcasting and CBS Television Stations; by May 2012, the program had been sold to stations in markets covering approximately 85% of the United States.
Although the series centers around an African-American president and his family, show creator and executive producer Byron Allen denies that former U.S. president Barack Obama and his family served as the basis for the Johnson family in the series, noting major differences between the show's fictional Johnson family and the real-life Obama family: the William Johnson character is written as being the 45th president (thus, in this fictional universe, Johnson is Obama's successor, as Obama is the 44th president), the Johnsons moved to Washington from Detroit (the Obama family resided in Chicago prior to the presidency), the family in the series has four children (two male and two female, whereas Barack and Michelle Obama have only two children, both female) and that the family's dog is a Golden Retriever (as opposed to a Portuguese Water Dog).
On April 4, 2013, Centric acquired the cable syndication rights to all past and future episodes of The First Family, along with Mr. Box Office, with both series expected to begin airing on the channel starting April 19, 2013.
|2013||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Series – Leading Young Actress||Layla Crawford||Nominated|||
|2013||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series||Kellita Smith||Nominated|||
|2013||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Gladys Knight||Nominated|||
|2014||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Series – Leading Young Actress||Layla Crawford||Won|||
|2014||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor 17–21||Tajh Bellow||Nominated|||
- "Entertainment Studios Launches Two Primetime First-run Sitcoms for Fall 2012". The Futon Critic. January 18, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- Byron Allen Casts New Syndicated Comedy 'First Family', The Hollywood Reporter, September 28, 2012.
- Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Clears Syndicated Sitcom Block For Fall ’12 Launch, Deadline Hollywood, May 21, 2012.
- 'First Family' sitcom not about the Obamas, Politico, April 17, 2012.
- BET Networks Acquires Sitcoms 'The First Family' and 'Mr. Box Office'; Series to Air on Centric, TV by the Numbers, April 4, 2013.
- "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Couch, Aaron. "NAACP Image Awards: Winners Announced". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "35th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved April 14, 2014.