|Created by||Kenya Barris|
|Narrated by||Anthony Anderson|
|Theme music composer||Transcenders|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||141 (142 including unbroadcast episode) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Distributor||Disney–ABC Domestic Television|
|Picture format||1080p (16:9 HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1 with Descriptive Video Service on SAP channel|
|Original release||September 24, 2014 –|
Black-ish follows an upper middle class African-American family led by Andre 'Dre' Johnson (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross). The show revolves around the family's lives, as they juggle several personal and sociopolitical issues. The show also features the characters Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi), Andre Johnson, Jr. (Marcus Scribner), Jack Johnson (Miles Brown), and Diane Johnson (Marsai Martin).
In later seasons, the characters of Josh Oppenhol (Jeff Meacham), Ruby Johnson (Jenifer Lewis), Charlie Telphy (Deon Cole), and Leslie Stevens (Peter Mackenzie) were promoted to series regulars, while the character of Earl Johnson (Laurence Fishburne) makes recurring appearances.
Throughout its run, Black-ish has received critical acclaim. The show has received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, and a TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. Meanwhile, Tracee Ellis Ross has received individual praise, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. The show also ranks relatively highly among shows broadcast by ABC in terms of television season ratings, and ranks among the top ten in the United States for estimated total audience size.
Ahead of its seventh season premiere, an hour-long Election-themed special is set to air on October 4, 2020.
The show's success has also prompted a spin-off titled Grown-ish, which stars Shahidi as her character travels to college. In May 2019, ABC ordered a prequel spin-off, Mixed-ish, centered on young Bow and her biracial family in the 1980s.
Cast and characters
It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled List of Black-ish, Grown-ish, and Mixed-ish characters. (Discuss) (February 2020)
|Anthony Anderson||Andre "Dre" Johnson Sr.||Main|
|Tracee Ellis Ross||Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson||Main|
|Yara Shahidi||Zoey Johnson||Main||Recurring||Guest|
|Marcus Scribner||Andre "Junior" Johnson Jr.||Main||Guest|
|Miles Brown||Jack Johnson||Main|
|Marsai Martin||Diane Johnson||Main|
|Jenifer Lewis||Ruby Johnson||Recurring||Main||Guest|
|Anna Deavere Smith||Alicia Johnson||Recurring||Guest||Main|
|Austin and Berlin Gross||Devante Johnson||Does not appear||Mentioned||Main|
|Jeff Meacham||Josh Oppenhol||Recurring||Main||Recurring||Main|
|Peter Mackenzie||Leslie Stevens||Recurring||Main|
|Deon Cole||Charlie Telphy||Recurring||Main|
- Anthony Anderson as Andre "Dre" Johnson: a wealthy advertising executive at Stevens & Lido, who wishes to ensure a balance of black culture is intertwined with his family's ultra-suburban upbringing.
- Tracee Ellis Ross as Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson: an anesthesiologist and Andre's wife, who wishes to retain a place in her children's lives. She comes from a bi-racial family where her father is white and her mother is African-American.
- Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson (starring seasons 1–3; recurring seasons 4–5; guest season 6): Andre and Rainbow's oldest child. Shahidi left the main cast at the end of season 3 to star in her own spin-off series Grown-ish.
- Marcus Scribner as Andre "Junior" Johnson Jr.: Andre and Rainbow's self-proclaimed "nerdy" second child. He typically lacks teenage savvy, and is taught these things, albeit with a hint of disdain, by his relatively shallow and self-aggrandizing father and siblings.
- Miles Brown as Jackson "Jack" Johnson: Dre and Rainbow's third child and fraternal twin of Diane. He is 13-years-old and typically aloof, but also idolizes his father, and is Diane's older twin brother.
- Marsai Martin as Diane Johnson: Andre and Rainbow's fourth child and fraternal twin of Jack, who considers herself smarter and more mature than him and is Jack's younger twin sister.
- August and Berlin Gross as DeVante Johnson: Andre and Rainbow's fifth child who appears in seasons 3, 4, 5, and 6. Rainbow found out she was pregnant with him in "Daddy Dre-Care". He is born in the episode "Sprinkles".
- Anna Deavere Smith as Alicia Johnson: Rainbow, Santamonica and Johan's widowed mother
- Deon Cole as Charlie Telphy (recurring seasons 1–3; starring seasons 4–present): Dre's eccentric co-worker and adulthood best friend. Cole also features as part of the main cast of Grown-ish.
- Jenifer Lewis as Ruby Johnson (starring season 2–present; recurring season 1): Andre's mother, who does not get along with Rainbow. She is heavily religious and pro-black on several issues.
- Jeff Meacham as Josh Oppenhol (starring seasons 2 and 6; recurring seasons 1, 3–5): Andre's co-worker, who is often disrespected and undervalued by his peers.
- Peter Mackenzie as Leslie Stevens (starring seasons 3–present; recurring seasons 1–2): Andre's boss and co-owner of Stevens & Lido, who engages in hipster racism and provides implicit bias in regards to social issues.
- Laurence Fishburne as Earl "Pops" Johnson: Dre's father who lives with the Johnsons
- Nelson Franklin as Connor Stevens: Leslie Stevens' son who works at Stevens & Lido
- Beau Bridges as Paul Johnson: Rainbow, Santamonica and Johan's late father
- Raven-Symoné as Rhonda Johnson: Dre's lesbian sister
- Nicole Sullivan as Janine: The Johnsons' neighbor.
- Wanda Sykes as Daphne Lido: The wife of Stevens & Lido's founding partner who takes over as co-owner.
- Allen Maldonado as Curtis
- Catherine Reitman as Lucy
- Daveed Diggs as Johan Johnson: Rainbow and Santamonica's brother
- Rashida Jones as Santamonica Johnson: Rainbow and Johan's sister
- Quvenzhané Wallis as Kyra
- Issac Ryan Brown as Young Dre
- Faizon Love as Sha: Dre's childhood best friend
- Jennie Pierson as Ms. Davis
- Emerson Min as Mason
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||24||September 24, 2014||May 20, 2015|
|2||24||September 23, 2015||May 18, 2016|
|3||24||September 21, 2016||May 10, 2017|
|4||24[a]||October 3, 2017||May 15, 2018|
|5||23||October 16, 2018||May 21, 2019|
|6||23||September 24, 2019||May 5, 2020|
|7||TBA||October 21, 2020||TBA|
- Twenty-four episodes were produced for season 4, but the thirteenth produced episode (titled "Please, Baby, Please") was shelved by ABC due to its controversial content, hence only 23 episodes were aired. "Please, Baby, Please" later debuted on Hulu on August 10, 2020.
Development and casting
Black-ish first appeared on the development slate at ABC in October 2013, when it was reported that the project, which would star Anthony Anderson, had received a script commitment. On January 16, 2014, ABC greenlit the pilot episode. Two weeks later, Larry Wilmore joined the show as showrunner. In mid-February, Laurence Fishburne was cast as the father of Anderson's character, and Tracee Ellis Ross signed on as the female lead.
On May 8, 2014, ABC picked up the pilot to the series for the 2014–15 television season. A few days later, Anderson announced that Larry Wilmore would be stepping down as showrunner early in the show's run due to his forthcoming late night show, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.
On May 7, 2015, ABC renewed the series for a second season.
On December 14, 2018, ABC picked up 2 additional episodes for the fifth season bringing the season total to 24 episodes.
On May 2, 2019, ABC renewed the series for a sixth season.
On May 21, 2020, ABC renewed the series for a seventh season.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||# Ep.||Premiered||Ended||TV Season||Rank||Viewers|
|1||Wednesday 9:30 pm||24||11.04||3.3/10||5.36||1.6/5||2014–2015||#54||8.49|
|4||Tuesday 9:00 pm||23||4.71||1.5/5||4.96||1.2/5||2017–2018||#84||5.47|
|6||Tuesday 9:30 pm||23||3.49||0.9/4||May 5, 2020||2.53||0.4/2||2019–2020||#96||3.72|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2018)
Black-ish has been met with generally positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives season 1 an approval rating of 86% based on 56 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's consensus states, "Although it seems uncertain of its target audience, Black-ish ingratiates with a diverse cast and engaging cultural issues." Metacritic gave season 1 a weighted average score of 77 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Rolling Stone′s December 4, 2014, issue called it "one of the only new network comedies worth watching," praising in particular Laurence Fishburne's performance.
On Rotten Tomatoes, season 4 holds an approval rating of 100% based on 11 reviews, with an average rating of 8.67/10. The site's consensus states, "black-ish continues to push boundaries, but with a much more celebratory tone that seeks to educate as readily as it entertains."
Anthony Anderson's performance was met with critical acclaim, earning him multiple nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
Social and political commentary content
The examples and perspective in this section may not include all significant viewpoints. (November 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Black-ish addresses not only the racism that the Johnsons face as an upper-middle class African-American family, but also includes the racism African Americans from a variety of backgrounds face in America. The "Pilot" episode starts off the series by introducing Dre's fear that his children are too assimilated to their primarily white surroundings and are losing their black culture. The episode also addresses the racism African Americans face in the workplace when Dre gets excited for a promotion at his advertising agency, which turns out to be for Senior Vice President of the Urban Division. In response, Dre questions, "Did they just put me in charge of black stuff?" This episode raises the question of where the line is drawn so that you are not defined by your race but your culture still remains relevant. The show altogether features many racially charged storylines  Due to the show's content that tackles racism, in August 2020, Hulu announced it would stream Black-ish episode, "Please, Baby, Please," that was originally pulled and never aired in 2018. "I asked Walt Disney Television to revisit making the episode available. Recognizing the importance of this moment, they listened and agreed," Black-ish creator Kenya Barris said. Barris shared that Disney released the episode after he pressed the network to revisit their decision to pull it in light of today's political and cultural climate.
In the 25th episode, "The Word", Jack performs Kanye West's "Gold Digger" at school and says "nigger." The rest of the episode discusses the generational and multicultural perspectives of the word and how it has a different meaning to different people, even between different African Americans. That different meaning comes with different guidelines and de facto regulations for the use of the N-word based on the speaker, context, and audience.
In the 22nd episode, "Please Don't Ask, Please Don't Tell," Dre's younger sister, Rhonda (Raven-Symoné), is introduced. Rhonda is a lesbian but never officially came out to her family. Family members gradually figured it out because of Rhonda's live-in girlfriend. However, no one ever acknowledges it. Andre admits that homosexuality is a topic that most African Americans prefer to avoid, due to homophobia, which is why he never discusses it with his sister. This leads to Rhonda not inviting any of her family members to her wedding and Andre finally talking to Rhonda about her sexuality.
In the 40th episode, "Hope", the show tackles police brutality and Black Lives Matter as the family watches the news reporting about an unarmed young, black man's fatal run-in with police. Although the case was fictional, many real names, such as Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland, were included in the family's discussion. The debate format of the episode was able to address both sides of the situation and not completely villainize the police force. The format also allowed for perspectives from different generations (except for the youngest twins), backgrounds and ideologies. The end of the episode revolved around a message of hope and the importance of protests, discussion, and attitudes when people are faced with tragedies due to police brutality, assassinations, etc.
Election of Donald Trump
In January 2017, the 60th episode, "Lemons", the show tackles the issue of the 2016 presidential election. It features conversations with the Johnson family and at Dre's work about the election of Donald Trump as president. The episode originally aired a few weeks prior to Trump's inauguration.
The 23rd episode of the third season, "Liberal Arts", functioned as a backdoor pilot for a proposed spin-off of the same title, starring Yara Shahidi as her character, Zoey Johnson, goes to college away from the family. Other cast members in the pilot and proposed series were Chris Parnell, Mallory Sparks, Matt Walsh, and Trevor Jackson.
In early May 2017, ABC passed on the pilot, but its cable sister channel Freeform was in negotiations to move the project there. On May 19, 2017, Freeform officially ordered 13 episodes of the spin-off, now under the tentative title College-ish. In August 2017, the series changed its title to Grown-ish, and added Francia Raisa, Jordan Buhat and Chloe x Halle as cast members. The series's pilot premiered on January 3, 2018. Parnell and Jackson reprised their roles from the backdoor pilot, while Emily Arlook was also added as Nomi, replacing the character Miriam played by Mallory Sparks. The series has been renewed for a second season. Also it was renewed for a third season on January 30, 2019. On January 17, 2020, the series was renewed for a fourth season.
On May 2, 2019, it was announced that a second spin-off, now titled Mixed-ish had been ordered to series by ABC. In lieu of this, the May 7 episode of season five would be shelved until next season. The episode, titled "Becoming Bow", would follow a young Bow and her family. The series was renewed for a second season on May 21, 2020.
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