Kenya Barris is the gift that keeps on giving. The celebrated director is creating a third spinoff of his Emmy Award-nominated ABC flagship show, “Black-ish.”
“Old-ish” is currently in development at ABC. The new comedy will feature Jenifer Lewis and Laurence Fishburne in their familiar respective roles as Ruby Johnson and Earl “Pops” Johnson.
The spinoff will find Ruby and Earl giving their relationship a second try in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in Los Angeles. The couple will meet a cast of quirky, diverse characters who represent the old and new faces of their changing community.
Longtime actor Fishburne will be an executive producer on the new series, as he has been with “Black-ish” since its inception. Barris, who left ABC in 2018 for an eight-figure deal at the streaming giant Netflix, will pen its script.
“Old-ish” follows the development of “Grown-ish,” which stars Yara Shahidi as the eldest Johnson daughter, Zoey, during her adventures at college. The Freeform network comedy is entering its fourth season.
“Mixed-ish,” a prequel to “Black-ish,” is set in the 1980s and explores the childhood of Tracee Ellis Ross’ biracial character, Rainbow. The ABC show was recently granted a second season.
Barris’ new Netflix deal spawned the creation of “BlackAF,” which is a fictionalization of the creative force’s family life. In addition to that series, Barris is developing a documentary about civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
“Black-ish” is set to return to ABC for a seventh season with two election-themed specials. The second special will be partially animated and directed by Academy Award winner Matthew A. Cherry.
The series will continue to explore social issues experienced by African Americans during its forthcoming season. In a statement, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said that it was “important to tell these meaningful stories during this moment in time.”
“Following recent monumental events, it’s imperative that the dialogue continues and empowers viewers to raise their voices,” Burke contended. “There is no other show that does that like ‘Black-ish.’”
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