‘Scandal’ Renewed, Plus New Wave Of African-American Creators Launch ABC’s New Fall Line-Up!
Of course, ABC’s hit White House drama Scandal is coming back — without Columbus Short — for a fourth season. ABC’s also got four more shows in its new TV line-up featuring your favorite black creators: Shonda Rhimes, Kenya Barris (The Game), Kevin Hart, and John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), Vulture reports.
Shonda Rhimes has impressed the ABC network so far with Scandal’s rising ratings and favorable critical reviews, so why not try her luck with a new legal thriller — How to Get Away With Murder? The highly-anticipated drama, penned by Peter Norwalk and produced by Rhimes, is about a “group of ambitious law students and their brilliant, mysterious criminal defense professor who become entangled in a murder plot that will rock the entire university and change the course of their lives,” TVLine said. The African-American led cast will include Viola Davis as the “brilliant” and “mysterious” law professor as well as Aja Naomi King (Blackbox, The Blacklist), Billy Brown (Hostages), and Alfre Enoch (Harry Potter).
Joining Rhimes this fall on ABC is Kenya Barris with Black-ish, a comedy in which Anthony Anderson plays an upper-middle-class African-American who “struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions from his liberal wife, old-school father, and his own assimilated, color-blind kids,” EurWeb explained. Playing his wife is Girlfriends alum Tracee Ellis Ross. Laurence Fishburne will play the father. Comedy Central’s newest host Larry Wilmore is also involved with this one as executive producer and showrunner.
Blackish tested “extremely well,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, and is reminiscent of Kevin Hart’s new and upcoming comedy, Keep It Together. That scripted slow is loosely based on Hart’s life and follows the “post-divorce life of a couple. . .who are trying to forge a friendship for the sake of their kids, despite their differences,” Deadline said.
Lastly, ABC picked up American Crime, produced by 12 Years a Slave‘s John Ridley. Starring Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives), the plot follows the lives of players involved in a racially-charged murder and trial. “The case takes on a greater meaning in the community, bringing to the forefront America’s hardened views on race, class and gender politics,” TV Line adds. Ridley finally returns to TV after HBO’s rejection of Da Brick and the cancellation of The Wanda Sykes Show.
Aside from ABC, other networks are starring black actresses in leading roles including Octavia Spencer (Fox’s Red Band Society), Taraji P. Henson (Fox’s Empire), and Alfre Woodard (NBC’s State of Affairs).
Will you be watching?