Its KEY

BLACK TV Sitcom Stuff Pt. 1

In Griot, News, Self Improvement, TV Shows on May 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Recently I read a great article in Entertainment Weekly called:

“The Rise & Fall and Rise Again of Black TV”

Such a befitting title. Isn’t it? So good, I had to re-type it for peeps that don’t receive the monthly magazine in print. READING is fundamental and KNOWLEDGE is golden::

Entertainment Weekly — Two years ago broadcast TV officially got out of the African-American sitcom business. The CW canceled the long-running Girlfriends in 2008, and the following year it yanked both Everybody Hates Chris and The Girlfriends spin off, The Game— also known as the last two successful black-eccentric shows on network television. ••►But today something is saving black TV from becoming as outmoded as Bill Cosby’s acrylic sweaters: basic cable, where scripted programming is experiencing explosive growth. In January, BET revived The Game to a record-breaking 7.7 million viewers–which is three times the audience it got on The CW and, in fact, twice the size of anything on the teen-skewing network now. (Sorry Gossip Girl.) The success of The Game and BET’s Queen Latifah produced romantic comedy Let’s Stay Together, which also premiered in January, has spurred the network to develop Reed Between the Lines, a new fall sitcom starring Girlfriends Tracy Ellis Ross and The Cosby’s Show’s Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Meanwhile, VH1 has joined up with Queen Latifah, who will be exec-producing its new dramedy Single Ladies (debuting in May 30), starring Clueless’ Stacy Dash.

In reality, this new generation of African-American-focused scripted TV can be traced to TBS’ success in 2007 when it acquired House of Payne from the proven brand of Tyler Perry. (Some 222 episodes later, the network recently announced it would be ending Payne but staying in the Perry business with For Better or Worse, an adaptation of his film Why Did I Get Married?) The reason for the big ratings and latest development rush is simple: pent-up demand. “I’ve had plenty of people say to me that it’s great to see something on TV that represents them”, says Jacque Edmonds-Cofer, exec producer of Let’s Stay Together”. “It’s also important for people to see that every African American woman is not a Real Housewife”. Adds VH1’s exec VP of original programming, Jeff Olde, “I think our shows should reflect the country we’re living in– go, Barack and Michelle! We’re thrilled that we have a large number of African-American women who watch us, and quite frankly, we’re always looking for new stories to tell.

Both BET and VH1 set their programming in response to direct viewer demands. BET first ran The Game in reruns, which sparked an onslaught of fans begging for the network to revive the show. VH1 initially shot Single Ladies as a TV movie, but market testing on the project garnered a “crazy ridiculous response,” Olde says. “[The marketers] SAID, ‘Not only do they want you to make this a series but the audience will actually be mad at you if they don’t see where these characters go next’.”

The ratings for the black-centric shows that have already premiered bear this out.

This concludes Part 1.and wouldn’t you know,
you don’t want to miss the conclusion — because it’s good to go…

Advertisements
  1. Great post! Relevant and fun!

  2. […] Weekly pressed a great read that Qui Entertainment couldn’t refuse to transcribe & […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: