If you were a fan of the roster of shows that were featured on UPN in the early and mid-00s, then you know Half & Half. Rachel True and Essence Atkins played paternal half-sisters who are very different (one spoiled, the other levelheaded), and seek to work on their nonexistent relationship. There were a lot of laughs created in the four seasons the show was on. But what’s not funny is the little money True receives from the series being in syndication.
Over the last few years, reruns have played on networks in Canada, the UK and on Bounce TV and BET Her (formerly known as Centric). But in a series of tweets, True said due to a shoddy contract she signed, she sees very little in residual checks.
It all started when a fan tweeted that they wanted the series on Blu-ray. The 52-year-old (you read that right) said, “I make very very very little a yr off H&H residuals despite syndication.. Don’t get shafted like I did kids.” The key to not getting played? Knowing what you’re signing and having a good lawyer.
Despite signing a bad deal in terms of syndication checks, True loved Half & Half. She does wish though that it, along with a number of other successful Black sitcoms that were unexpectedly canceled by the network, would have been treated better by UPN.
“It was odd that they ended up canceling my show and a few other shows that were better in the ratings than some of the white shows that they kept on,” True told the Huffington Post in 2016. “They own the network and they’re building the brand and it’s certainly their right to put out whatever they want. I did think it was sort of sad. First of all, let me just say, when I first got the show I thought it was weird that all the black shows were segregated to one night, like, ‘Monday night was Black night!’ And you have a whole row of black shows and the rest of Tuesday through Friday were non-black shows.”
While we can’t speak on the fact that most Black sitcoms on UPN were relegated to Monday nights, in UPN’s defense, they ceased broadcasting altogether in 2006, the same year Half & Half and a few other popular shows were canceled while others were picked up by new network, CW. The CW was UPN and the WB programming combined and marketed to a much whiter audience. It picked up certain hit shows that some might say had crossover appeal, including Girlfriends, America’s Next Top Model, Veronica Mars, All of Us, Everybody Hates Chris and WWE Smackdown.
Nevertheless, Half & Half was a favorite of many fans, and it says a lot if after only four seasons, old viewers are still tuning in to reruns and seeking out all the seasons.
With that being said, somebody needs to cut sis a better check.
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