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10:19 AM / Monday January 30, 2023

11 May 2014

What new shows with Black actors might be coming To TV this Fall? We have a full list for you! Part One

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May 11, 2014 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Romany Malco (‘Keep It Together’,)  Viola Davis (‘How to Get Away With Murder’,)  Octavia Spencer (‘Red Band Society’,)  Boris Kodjoe (‘The Club’,)  Nicole Beharie (‘Sleepy Hollow’,)  Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson (‘Empire’.)

By Vanessa Martinez

shadow and act.com

In rather early anticipation for 2014’s Fall Season TV’s slate – official announcement on actual pilots that have been picked up by networks hasn’t been released – we’ve compiled a rather thorough list of fall’s upcoming shows divided by their respective Networks. 

Those TV series beginning this spring and summer are not included, like Zoe Saldana’s starring turn in the NBC mini-series remake Rosemary’s Baby (May 11), Halle Berry as an astronaut in the CBS sci-fi series Extant (July 2) and STARZ’s 50-Cent produced drama series Power, which stars Omari Hardwick and Naturi Naughton (June 7).

Here are projects in development – that we know of –  about and/or centering on black characters. We’ve also included upcoming shows with black characters in a supporting role. Keep in mind that the list isn’t exhaustive, and that it’ll be continuously updated as new announcements are made.

So, what might we have to look forward to? Take a look!

ABC

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – B.J. Britt (Being Mary Jane) co-stars opposite Bill Paxton as Agent Tripplett, who joins the team on a special mission. 

American Crime – John Ridley writes and executive produces the drama series which follows a racially-charged murder case and the trial that follows. 

An American Education – Rosie Perez has booked a starring role opposite Jack Whitehall in the comedy pilot, which is based on the BBC series “Bad Education” (no relation to the Pedro Almodóvar 2004 movie). The original series also starred Jack Whitehall as young teacher Alfie Wickers – “the worst teacher ever to grace the British education system” – at the fictional Abbey Grove School, in Watford, Hertfordshire. In the American TV remake, the character will instead be a British transplant teaching within the San Diego public school system. Rosie Perez has signed up to play Rita Gomez, the school’s tough-as-nails Vice Principal, who rules with an iron fist, and who Alfie is intimidated by.

Black-ish (pilot) – Kanya Barris’ half-hour scripted comedy – written by Barris (“The Game”) – stars Anthony Anderson, and is produced by Laurence Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy production company. To be based on Barris’ own life (loosely), “Black-ish” will follow an upper-middle class black man, intent on raising his kids with some sense of cultural identity, in the face of an assault of constant contradictions and obstacles coming from various directions, insisting that his children be color-blind. 

The Club – From Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich, The Soloist) comes the drama series centered on the different classes that inhabit a private country club. Boris Kodjoe will co-star as Deacon Harris, an NFL Hall of Famer and new member of the club.

Forever – the drama pilot starring Barbara Eve Harris centers on New York City’s star medical examiner, who also happens to be immortal. Harris has signed up to play a Lt. Roark, an NYPD veteran who runs the unit where the medical examiner works. It’s worth noting is that, the role originally was written for a male character.

Galavant – Luke Youngblood has joined the cast of the comedy fairytale pilot, penned by Dan Fogelman. Youngblood joins a cast that includes Joshua Sasse in the lead role, Karen David, and Mallory Jansen, in a project that centers on handsome Prince Galavant and his quest for revenge over the evil King Richard who stole his one true love, the beautiful Madalena (played by Mallory Janesen). Youngblood has signed up to play “Galavant’s” squire Sid, whose tasked with picking up Galavant’s pieces during his struggles. The young actor was most recently seen in NBC’s “Community.”

How To Get Away With Murder – Written and executive produced by Peter Norwalk (Grey’s Anatomy) and produced via Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland production company, with her partner Betsy Beers, “Murder” is described as a sexy, suspense legal thriller that follows brilliant criminal defense attorney Annalise DeWitt, played by Viola Davis, and her ambitious law school students, who become entangled in a murder mystery that could have major ramifications on their entire university as well as change the course of their lives. Rounding out the cast are Aja Naomi King, Matt McGorry, Alfred Enoch, Karla Souza, Jack Falahee and Charlie Weber.

Keep it Together – The comedy pilot by Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan (“Community,” “Scrubs”) and executive produced by Kevin Hart, will give audiences a candid look at the life of a couple after their divorce, as they try to rebuild their relationship as friends, for the sake of their children. Mandy, played by Ryan Michelle Bathe, is the post-divorce girlfriend, and an optimist who may have gone over her skis when she encourages Derek, played by Romany Malco, to make peace with his ex-wife, played by “Love That Girl’s” Bresha Webb.

Warriors – the medical drama is inspired by the Walter Reed Military Medical Center, and follows the best and brightest military doctors and nurses as they practice trailblazing medicine. Courtney B. Vance will play a Navy Lt. Hennessey Fiske, who’s described as an orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in neurology, and a resident genius. Vance joins Eloise Mumford, the only other actor cast in the pilot thus far.

ADULT SWIM

Black Jesus – the live action scripted comedy, produced by Aaron McGruder, stars newcomer Gerald “Slink” Johnson (“Grand Theft Auto V”) as Black Jesus, who is living in present day Compton, California on a daily mission to spread love and kindness throughout the neighborhood, with the help of his small but loyal group of downtrodden followers.

AMAZON

The After – Produced by Chris Carter and co-starring Aldis Hodge, the show revolves around eight strangers who are thrown together by mysterious forces and must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation. Hodge co-stars alongside Andrew Howard, Arielle Kebbel, Jamie Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Adrian Pasdar, and Louise Monot.

Bosch – Based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch series, the show follows a relentless LAPD homicide detective as he pursues the killer of a 13-year-old boy while standing trial in federal court on accusations that he murdered a suspected serial killer in cold blood. Bosch is played by Titus Welliver (Argo, “The Good Wife”). Jamie Hector co-stars as Bosch’s partner.

Hand of God – Produced by Ben Watkins (“Burn Notice”), the drama series follows Judge Harris Pernell (Ron Perlman), a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side who has a religious awakening and starts hearing voices that could be God speaking to him. Andre Royo co-stars in the pilot as the slick, smart, gregarious, and greedy mayor Robert “Bobo” Boston, while Emayatzy Corinealdi plays the high-end call girl/confidante, Tessie.

AMC

Bombingham – “The fragile peace in present-day Birmingham,” the scripted drama, helmed by Alexander Woo, is set in Alabama, and centers on when a “murderer from 1963 is discovered and buried demons from the Civil Rights Era resurface.”

No Money Down – In the comedy series starring Wyatt Cenac and written/produced by Cenac, follows a guy “who bottoms out and begins working at an Austin car dealership with a variety of personalities.”

BBC 

America’s Intruders – the show follows an ex-cop forced to confront his past when he opens an investigation into the disappearance of his wife. Tory Kittles will play Gary Fischer, described as an attorney friend of the ex-cop, who assists in the investigation.

BBC One

Doctor Who (Series 8) – the sci-fi series introduces Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. Samuel Anderson (“The History Boys”) has a recurring role as Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School where companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) also teaches. 

The Interceptor – the drama series, directed by Farren Blaburn (“Luther”) and produced by Tony Saint, follows a state of the art law enforcement team, known as UNIT, whose mission is to hunt down Britain’s most dangerous and ruthless criminals. O.T. Fagbenle (“Doctor Who,” “EastEnders”) will play Ash, a new recruit to the UNIT, whose dream is to bring down the biggest of those criminals. Trevor Eve will play Roach, a ruthless criminal and Ash’s main target; Jo Joyner will play Ash’s wife; Robert Lonsdale will be Ash’s partner and best friend.

BRITISH SKY ARTS

Psychobitches – the drama, co-written by Jeremy Dyson (“The League of Gentleman”), stars Rebecca Front as the unnamed therapist trying to get to the bottom of the deep-seated issues in the lives of various famous women. Zawe Ashton co-stars. 

CBS

NCIS Spinoff – the series set in the NCIS New Orleans office handles cases from in the Southeastern section of the USA. CH Pounder will play a Dr. Wade, the Medical Examiner, described as eccentric, smart, and deeply-rooted in Louisiana. Scott Bakula and Zoe McLellan also star. 

Unforgettable (3rd Season) – Boris Kodjoe will star as Secret Service Agent Benjamin Hernandez, who takes over a murder case because of its connection to a federal case he’s been working on. The character is described as adversarial and territorial, but eventually warms up to the Unforgettable team.

Wall Street-Set (Unnamed) – written by Taylor Elmore and Ben Cavell (“Justified”), the drama series centers on a smart and sophisticated Wall Street hedge fund trader who served his country in Iraq and wants to do good. Sophie Okonedo plays Bryce,  a woman who’s deeply committed to her work as an assistant attorney general, tasked with the responsibility of heading a task force investigating Wall Street firms.

COMEDY CENTRAL 

Legends (Urban Animated Series) – Created and developed by Brad Ableson (“The Simpsons”), Michael Starrbury (The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete), Mike Clements, and producers Quinn Hawking and Josiah Johnson, who are UCLA basketball benchwarmers themselves, and will also voice the characters Jamal (Hawking), Grover and Milk (Johnson). Ableson and Starburry are serving as exec producers along with Bento Box’s Clements and studio founders Scott Greenberg, Mark McJimsey and Joel Kuwahara. The animated series follows the exploits of three high school basketball players who are legends (in their own minds, at least). “Best buds and perpetual benchwarmers, the freshmen pals Jamal, Grover and Milk try and fail to make an impression at Bluford High, both on the court and with their peers. 

CW

Flash – Candice Patton (likely best known for her appearance on “The Game”) has joined Jesse L. Martin in The CW’s Flash pilot, which stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen aka The Flash. Patton has signed up to play Iris West, daughter of Detective West (Jesse L. Martin’s character), a respectable, blue-collar cop and surrogate father to Barry Allen/The Flash. Iris West is also Allen’s best friend.  The show is actually a spin-off of Arrow, and will be executive-produced by Arrow executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, as well as DC Comics’ Geoff Johns.

FOX 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 2) – Andre Braugher and Terry Crews co-star, alongside Andy Samberg in the project from Mike Schur/Dan Goor, directed by the co-directors of 21 Jump Street (the movie) – Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The comedy centers on a diverse group of detectives in a New York City police precinct.

Dead Fox (Adaptation of BBC3 Series) – the comedy/mystery series stars Jane Krakowski as Helen, a woman wrongfully convicted of murdering her boss and depending on her train wreck of a sister to prove her innocence. Cedric Yarbrough will play Helen’s schlumpy lawyer, Tony.

Empire – the drama series is penned by Danny Strong and produced by Brian Grazer. Lee Daniels will direct Terrence Howard, who plays Lucious, a charismatic, but tough chief of a record label titled Empire Entertainment, which is on the verge of an IPO. Taraji P. Henson will play Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious Lyon, who’s described as a “total badass” with a prison record (she served 17 years for dealing drugs, and used the money to help finance Lucious’ growing music empire, when it was still in its early days). She’s now out of prison, and has come for what’s hers! Jussie Smollett will play their son, Jamal, a fledgling rapper himself, who, is also gay – something that Lucious, the father, has a problem with. And Macy Gray will appear as Tasha, a woman having an affair with Bryshere Y. Gray’s character, Hakeem Lyon, Lucious’ other son, the youngest of the two, and Lucious’ favorite, and the frontrunner to take over his father’s empire.

Fatrick (Pilot) – From co-creator/executive producer Nahnatchka Khan, the show follows a 30 something man named Patrick, who was once the chubby neighborhood kid his peers teasingly referred to as Fatrick (as in the title), who realizes that his life isn’t quite where it should be. Ray Ford has signed up to play Patrick’s long-time best friend Maurice (Dante Hoagland plays 12-yr old Maurice), who’s known him since his “Fatrick” days, and now serves as his therapist. 

Gracepoint – Kendrick Sampson (“The Vampire Diaries”) has booked a role in the 10-hour miniseries, which is a remake of UK’s “Broadchurch” – a series that earned critical acclaim, including BAFTA nods, and centers on the investigation into the murder of a young boy in a British seaside town. Sampson joins lead David Tennant, in the series, to play a character named Dean Iverson, who works busing tables at his uncle’s restaurant, while saving money hoping to eventually pay for college. He is also in a relationship with a character named Chloe, whose parents (played by Michael Pena and Virginia Kull) don’t approve. 

Hieroglyph – Set in ancient Egypt, the series is said to be combo of fantasy and reality, and will follow a notorious thief who leaves prison to serve the Pharaoh – a move that places him amid lots intrigue within palace walls; sex, crime, the usual. Playing Pharaoh will be British/South African actor Reece Ritchie (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Hercules). Condola Rashad will play Nefertari – “a rare beauty who intimidates even the strongest of suitors… and she knows it,” described by Fox. Travis Beacham, Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope and Miguel Sapochnik  are executive producers. 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment will produce.

Red Band Society Pilot – A remake of the lauded Spanish series “Pulseras Rojas,” created by Albert Espinosa. The show, penned by Margaret Nagle (Boardwalk Empire), draws on Espinosa’s childhood experiences as a hospital patient. It tells the story of a group of Catalan children and teenagers who meet as patients in the children’s wing of a hospital. Octavia Spencer will play a Nurse Jackson, who’s described as an tough, intuitive nurse who’s very good at her job. Despite her hard exterior, she is very sympathetic to the kids on her ward.

Sleepy Hollow (Season 2) –  Nicole Beharie, Tom Mison, Lyndie Greenwood, Orlando Jones and John Cho will return for season 2 of the supernatural series by executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Orci, Heather Kadin, Mark Goffman and Len Wiseman.

Untitled – scripted TV comedy series based on the life of Judge Greg Mathis from Warner Bros TV and Ellen DeGeneres’ company, A Very Good Production. Written by brothers Todd Jones and Earl Richey Jones (Johnson Family Vacation, In Living Color), the show will follow the life of a thug-turned-judge who is in full control of his courtroom, but has zero control over the four children he’s raising at home with his wife.

[Shadow and Act’s 2014 Fall Preview Part two continues in next week’s issue of the SUN.]

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