UPDATE 3/11/17: A day after the announcement of the series spinoff likely heading to the millennial skewing Freeform, ABC has officially renewed “Black-ish” for a 4th season, which really shouldn’t be a surprise, as it’s been a consistent performer for them.
So “Black-ish” returns for a 4th season on ABC, while its currently untitled spinoff series, starring Yara Shahidi, is being eyed by Freeform, and may ultimately end up there.
Yesterday’s (3/10/17) announcement follows below…
Kenya Barris has had a tremendous last 24 months in terms of all the high profile projects (both film and TV) he’s become attached to, likely thanks in large part to the critical and commercial success of his hit ABC comedy series “Black-Ish,” which is now in its 3rd year and continues to perform well for the network.
It has not yet been officially renewed for a 4th season, but it’s almost certain that it will be.
The series centers on an upper-middle-class African American family, following their various trials and triumphs. Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin, Jeff Meacham, Jenifer Lewis, and Peter Mackenzie round out the key cast.
Reported in January, ABC is spinning off “Black-Ish” with series creator/executive producer Barris and ABC Studios working together on the project, which will star Yara Shahidi, focusing on her character, oldest child Zoey Johnson, who goes off to college.
Zoey Johnson, Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow’s (Tracee Ellis Ross) 17-year-old daughter is the popular, entitled, stylish, and socially active member of the Johnson family. She is typically apathetic to any dealings with her family and is treated as the most perfect teenager, despite her generally shallow personality.
Talks on the potential spin-off were in very early stages when the idea first became public 3 months ago, but it looks like the series is much closer to becoming a reality, although not at ABC; Freeform (the retooled ABC Familiy) is “in talks” to to bring the spinoff to the basic cable TV network, according to Deadline, with a series order greenlight.
Apparently, the backdoor pilot which aired last week, tested well with ABC’s audience, but it’s “deemed too young skewing” and so would be a better fit for Freeform’s millennial demographic.
In addition to star Shahidi, the spinoff series cast includes Trevor Jackson (ABC’s “American Crime”), Chris Parnell (“Saturday Night Live”) and Matt Walsh (“Veep”), playing a college freshman (and classmate to Zoey/Shahidi), and a pair of college administrators, respectively.
All three appeared as guest stars in the backdoor pilot episode of “Black-ish” that aired last week.
So now we wait for an announcement of an official series order from Freeform. But it looks like it’s close to being a done deal.