While no official date has been revealed yet, things seem to be very hopeful for The CW’s All American. If you remember correctly, the show was not renewed earlier this year with the 10 other shows that premiered in the fall on The CW.
Its fate remained hanging in the balance ahead of its Netflix debut. If you also remember correctly, most The CW/WBTV shows have healthy Netflix distribution pacts where the series lands on Netflix shortly after it wraps its run on The CW. When asked about the fate of the show in February, The CW president Mark Pedowitz hinted that how the show performed on Netflix would determine if it got renewed.
Now, in a new interview with Deadline, Greg Berlanti, Robbie Rogers and showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll spoke on the show’s fate and what they know about its Netflix performance, as well as the late rapper Nipsey Hussle’s influence and almost-guest-spot on the show.
Mega-producer Greg Berlanti said: “A few weeks back, Nielsen released data to The CW saying All American was the number 3 show of the week for Netflix and number 2 in teenagers. Obviously, Netflix is quiet about that sort of thing, but all the indicators we’ve gotten are very positive and a good sign that the show is continuing to find an audience, just as Riverdale did after its first season on The CW and Netflix.” After its first season dropped on Netflix, Riverdale saw a huge spike in numbers once it returned that fall and amassed a large cult following. The All American bosses are hoping for the same thing, and it seems to be well on its way there.
Exec producer Robbie Rogers and showrunner/EP Nkechi Okoro Carroll said: “We had such an awesome, loyal following when we originally aired on The CW, but it’s been amazing to see All American get a second life on Netflix. A whole new audience has discovered us and has been reaching out to both of us and our actors,” they commented. “The response/feedback has been overwhelming and humbling. While we don’t get numbers from Netflix, we have been trending on the site since its first weekend on there and the social media chatter around the show skyrocketed over the last three weeks. At one point, every 20-30 seconds, someone new was tweeting about the show and how much they loved it or how raw it was or how much it moved them. Not only have the followers on official CW All American accounts grown significantly, but also fans have been very actively reaching out to all of us on the show to tell us how much it means to them. New fan (and STAN) accounts are popping up all over the place.”
The show’s heads also talked about the influence that the late rapper Nipsey Hussle had on the show. The show notably featured some of Hussle’s The Marathon Clothing and a song of his was used in the premiere. “We are all huge fans of Nipsey on the show and in fact were trying to get him on the show in season one but we couldn’t make the schedules work,” said Rogers and Okoro Carroll. “Our lead actor, Daniel Ezra, who’s British, has spoken repeatedly about how studying Nipsey was how he crafted the character of Spencer James, right down to the accent. Given that so much of our show takes place in South LA, in Nipsey’s stomping grounds, it was impossible to rep Crenshaw without repping Nipsey. So his music and clothing line were featured throughout our show and will continue to be because that is just the reality of the neighborhood our Spencer is from. Our show is very much a love letter to South LA, so if watching it helps people feel closer to Nipsey, and closer to South LA during this tragic time, we’re honored to be that for our fans. People are motivated to pick up the baton and continue Nipsey’s work and we feel exactly the same way. We believe in what Nipsey was doing to revitalize South LA and whatever we can do to continue his legacy, we will.”
The official description of All American reads: Spencer James is a rising high school football player and an A student at South Crenshaw High. Compton is the place he calls home. But when Beverly High School’s football coach Billy Baker recruits him to join his team in Beverly Hills, Spencer’s mother, Grace, and his best friend, Coop, convince Spencer it’s an opportunity he has to seize. Now Spencer must navigate two worlds, the south side neighborhood that he knows and the affluent Beverly Hills world that has offered him an opportunity for something bigger.
Inspired by the life of NFL player Spencer Paysinger, the series stars Daniel Ezra, Taye Diggs, Samantha Logan, Bre-Z, Greta Onieogou, Monet Mazur, Michael Evans Behling, Cody Christian, and Karimah Westbrook.
Photo: Kevin Estrada/The CW