By Natasha Greeves
shadow and act
With new primetime TV series debuting this fall, and old shows returning, who has the time to watch them all? I have my old favorites as well as a busy life, and deciding to watch something new means that a show must look really interesting to me, based on marketing materials, and when I do eventually tune in, engages me, almost immediately.
And as I’m most interested in primetime series with black characters (especially in leading roles – not that having black characters is my only criteria), seeing a black face in a trailer or other marketing materials for a new series will at least pique my curiosity.
And to put the below calendars of fall premieres together, it meant watching lots of trailers, and scanning IMDB pages for black names and faces.
I did find that you will see *us* in prominent roles in the following new series – at least the trailers suggest so:
666 Park Avenue – Vanessa Williams is co-starring in ABC’s new series as Olivia Doran, the cold and sophisticated wife of building owner; Terry Quinn (“Lost”). The series is based upon the Alloy book series by Gabriella Pierce and follows the lives of the residents of 666 Park Avenue. A place where all you wish for could be yours… but at what cost? Williams described the series as part “a splash of Rosemarys Baby with a hint of The Shining.” The series premieres September 30th at 10ET on ABC.
Guys With Kids – Anthony Anderson co-stars as one the titular guys with a kid. The series is produced by Jimmy Fallon centers on a group of 30-Somethings friends trying to hang onto their youth while raising kids. Tempestt Bledsoe also stars in the series as Anderson’s wife. The series premieres September 26th at 8:30ET on NBC.
Last Resort – Andre Baugher headlines ABC’s Last Resort, starring as Captain Marcus Chaplin, commander of the U.S.S. Nevada – a nuclear submarine. The series follows Chaplin and crew, who, after disobeying a suspicious order, become fugitives. They land on the island of Sainte Marina, where they take over the NATO Listening Station and declare themselves an independent nuclear nation. After taking a peek at the trailer, I recognized Sahr Ngaujah of Broadway’s Fela. Sahr stars as Mayor Julian Serrat. No word on any details regarding his charachter have been released, but based on the trailer, I would say he may be causing a bit of trouble on the island. The series premieres September 27th at 8ET on ABC.
While not the lead characters, I am happy to report that several black actors will be seen on a few new series: Tyler James Williams in Go On, NeNe Leaks in The New Normal, Giancarlo Esposito in Revolution, Eamonn Walker in Chicago Fire, Robert Wisdom in Nashville, Aliya Astaphan in The Neighbors, Kelly McCreary in Emily Owens, M.D., Echo Kellum on Ben & Kate, and Megalyn Echikumwoke in Made in New Jersey.
Just how much they will figure into the plots of each series, we will have to wait and see!
I should note that this is just for fall primetime premieres; new series like “Infamous,” with Meagan Good and Laz Alonso are mid-season debuts, so you won’t see them this fall.
But without further ado, so you don’t miss any of the fall season premieres of note, check out our handy calendars.