Black Stars Head to Prime Time
DeErricka Green | Staff Writer
Earlier this year, major television networks including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, presented their programming plans for the 2012-2013 fall television season. Though you’ll still have to tune in to Tyler Perry, BET or Centric to see more than just one or two African-American faces in a given show, many black actors will be cashing in and branching out at the end of this month.
Here we take a look at some of the most highly anticipated shows in this year’s fall lineup, starring African-Americans. Will any of these programs make television history, or, are they doomed from the start?
“Revolution”: Actor Giancarlo Eposito (Do the Right Thing, Once Upon a Time, Breaking Bad) stars in NBC’s “Revolution”. This show revolves a post-apocalyptic future world overwhelmed by the total loss of electricity. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. Many areas are ruled by militias. The show focuses on a family that holds the key to understanding what happened to the electricity, how to fix it, and their struggle not to let this information fall into the wrong hands. Esposito plays Capt. Tom Neville, the head of a militia, and a man who may not be exactly what he seems. Will Esposito will be able to draw viewers in as Neville, as he does when playing Gus Fring on “Breaking Bad”? It’ll be quite the challenge.
Premiered: Sept. 17 and airs Mondays at 10p.m. on NBC.
“Guys with Kids”: This new NBC sitcom, created by Jimmy Fallon, stars Anthony Anderson (Law and Order) and Tempestt Bledsoe (The Cosby Show) as Gary (a stay-at-home dad) and Marny (his wife). The show centers on Gary and his group of 30-something friends as they struggle to hang onto their youth while raising infants, usually without the help of the mothers. The premise looks to be promising, but viewers have seen some dad plots flop (just look at “My Baby’s Daddy,” which also starred Anderson). The success of this show all depends on execution.
Premiere: Wednesday, Sept. 26th at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.
“666 Park Avenue” : This ABC drama is based on the book of the same name by Gabriella Pierce and follows the lives of the residents of 666 Park Avenue, who may be possessed by a demonic force living in the building. It stars veteran Vanessa Williams as Olivia Doran, the shady wife of the building owner, played by Terry O’Quinn (Lost). Though this show sounds very intriguing, sometimes viewers don’t seem to really get into shows that are New York-centric. The success of this show depends on the balance between drama, humor and the potential cheesiness of the elements of the paranormal.
Premiere: Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. on ABC.
“Scandal”: This ABC show is back for its second season, the first season earlier this year giving viewers just a taste and leaving them begging for more. Written by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, and starring Kerry Washington (Ray, The Last King of Scotland) as lead character Olivia Pope, Scandal is full of political scandal, steaminess and thrill. It focuses on Olivia’s crisis management firm, the staff of the White House, as well as a sizzling affair between Olivia and the President, played by Tony Goldwyn (The Last Samurai). There’s even some Columbus Short action for the ladies! The audience is definitely ready for the continuation of this series and waiting to see if it can live up to the success acquired earlier this year. With all this star power behind it, this seems likely. Plus, there’s always enough scandal in politics to give the show some spice.
Premiere: Thursday, Sept. 27 at 10 p.m. on ABC.
“Infamous”: This drama is a classic “whodunit” mystery. Meagan Good (The Game, You Got Served) stars in the NBC show as Joanna Locasto, a detective who goes undercover to her childhood friend’s family home. Locasto was raised as the daughter of the wealthy socialite’s family maid. Her friend ends up dead, and thus the mystery begins. Laz Alonso also stars as detective Will Moreno, aiding Locasto in her case. Can multiple African-American lead characters survive in this drama? We’ll have to see.
This series is featured as a midseason program, so viewers will have to wait a few months for the debut of this one.
Premiere: Early 2013, on NBC.
There are also several African-American actors featured in supporting roles of new series, such as NeNe Leaks in the sitcom The New Normal” (Tuesdays at 9:30 pm on NBC), as well as Tyler James Williams in the comedy Go On (Tuesdays at 9:00 pm also on NBC).
Everyone has a busy life, and with the demands of school and work, there’s barely time to breathe, let alone tune into all of these shows every week. But, if you ever find yourself with some downtime between WebAssign, slaving to collect your next paycheck, or napping, check out one of these shows!