ABC‘s new comedy series Black-ish “celebrates black more as a culture than a race,” executive producer Larry Wilmore told TV critics this afternoon at Summer TV Press Tour 2014. “At heart it’s a family show,” he said, about a father who feels he has maybe given his kids too much and, in the process, that they’ve lost some of their heritage.
“The show is about a black family – not about a family that happens to be black,” creator Kenya Barris explained, but the issues would also be relevant if the characters were Jewish, Latino, Asian, etc. Anthony Anderson stars as an upper-middle-class man who struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles from his liberal wife, old-school father and his own assimilated, color-blind kids.
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ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel gave his yearly network roast today in his 12th upfronts appearance. Last year he compared the network’s presentation to trolling a strip club for cash and pushed ABC’s multiplatform apps. This year he roasted outgoing Disney/ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney, Entertainment Group president Paul Lee‘s praise of new comedy Black-ish, rivals NBC, CBS, and Fox, ABC’s lineup of new programs, and the baldfaced pitch for ad dollars that are the annual upfronts:
Related: ABC Upfronts Presentation 2014: Live-Blog
“Sorry I’m late, I got stuck in the elevator with this guy, he’s a rapper and his wife is a singer. His sister-in-law was very upset…
I don’t know about you but my favorite part of upfronts was Paul Lee saying Black-ish. Paul saying Black-ish is the ‘White-ish’ thing I’ve ever heard.
You heard Paul say we’re #1. I don’t know what this #1 brand bullsh*t is… We might have to crash on your couch for a while.
If anyone’s in the market for a director with no experience who’s used to a high-7-figure salary and used to no one getting in her way, make sure to accept Anne Sweeney’s invitation on LinkedIn. Read More »
A promising sign for two ABC pilots, drama How To Get Away With Murder and comedy Black-ish (aka untitled Anthony Anderson). I’ve learned that both have started making deals with writers. The deals are “if come,” contingent on a pickup by the network, but that still is a good indication that the network intends to pick them up, especially both being from sibling ABC Studios. Starting staff writer hires early gives projects a leg up to lock in sought after scribes. The move on both pilots is not surprising. Legal thriller How To Get Away with Murder, written by Peter Nowalk, produced by Shonda Rhimes and starring Viola Davis, has been a clear frontrunner on the drama side from the start. Black-ish, which counts Laurence Fishburne as executive producer and recurring guest star, is one of two Black family comedy pilots ordered by ABC this season, along with Kevin Hart’s Keep It Together from 20th TV (the first is single-camera, the second multi-camera). After a fast start for Keep It Together, the two pilots had been running neck-and-neck, with Keep It Together starting to lose steam in the past week, partly due to the rise of another ABC multi-camera family comedy project from 20th TV, Cristela. As usual, ABC is late to the pickup party but we could get some action tonight.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots