The time has come for all major TV networks to unveil their plans for the upcoming season–which also means it’s time for some of us to play a little game we call Spot the Person of Color. This season yielded a few breakout hits with strong multicultural casts. Will next fall do the same? Let’s take a look.
ABC has decided to give second season orders to three of its fun, melodramatic hour-long dramas: Revenge, Once Upon a Time, and Scandal. The network also found yet another space for the fabulous Vanessa Williams (who has been a late addition to two of their other hour-long shows, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives). She’ll be starring in a supernatural Sunday night thriller series called, 666 Park Avenue, about a New York high rise full of creepy secrets. Happy Endings returns with Damon Wayans, Jr.
By now, you’ve likely heard about the Thursday Night sitcoms, all of which feature multicultural ensemble casts. Community, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation have been renewed, but only for 13 episodes a piece (which amounts to a half-season each). They’ll end after that, which begs the question: how does the network intend to replace all the color it’s losing? This move displaces so many likable actors like Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Retta, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, and Tracy Morgan. Still, with their decision to renew Parenthood, actress Joy Bryant will be returning to Tuesday nights. Anthony Anderson is helming a sitcom called Guys with Kids. And Maya Rudolph will return to the renewed new-parent comedy, Up All Night.
Historically, CBS hasn’t been a frontrunner when it comes to multicultural casting. But with the network’s continued focus on cop procedurals and law shows, CBS tends to include quite a bit of diversity in its shows’ casts. Taraji P. Henson will be back on Person of Interest. The Good Wife returns, which means frequent guest stars of color and Archie Punjabi as Kalinda.
Lamorne Morris will be back for the second season of the fun roommate comedy, New Girl. The Office alum/writer Mindy Kaling is jumping from NBC to Fox with her own show. She’s calling it The Mindy Project. Like a boss. Glee returns, but not necessarily with Amber Riley. So we’re not sure how diverse Fox’s fall lineup will shape up to be yet, in total.
BET’s upfronts took place much earlier than “The Big Three” networks and Fox’s. So we’ve known for awhile about the renewals of The Game, Let’s Stay Together, and Reed Between the Lines. Joining the scripted series fray is the highly anticipated Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union, Tika Sumpter, and Robinne Lee, helmed by Mara Brock Akil. House Husbands will also debut, based on a popular recurring sketch from last year’s BET Awards. The show will feature Kevin Hart, but other cast members have yet to be announced. Second Generation Wayanses is being described as a cross between HBO’s Entourage and How to Make It in America; it’s a scripted comedy starring the titular kids of the more famous Wayans. Don’t Sleep with TJ Holmes brings the CNN anchor to late-night political talk. And if you were wondering when you’d ever see Larenz Tate in a starring role again, you might want to tune into his new show, Gun Hill, which sees him playing the dual role of twins, one an upstanding law enforcement officer, the other a criminal.
Do any of these shows–new or old–interest you?