'Black-ish' Spinoff in the Works at ABC

Yara Shahidi would topline the potential backdoor pilot from series creator Kenya Barris and former showrunner Larry Wilmore.
ABC
'Black-ish'

ABC is looking to potentially spin off another one of its top family comedies.

The Disney-owned network is in early talks for a Black-ish spinoff starring Yara Shahidi, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. 

Insiders stress talks are still in the early stages — no deals are currently in place — with the potential spinoff revolving around Shahidi's Zoey Johnson in college. The comedy could be planted as a backdoor pilot this spring and hail from series creator Kenya Barris, former showrunner Larry Wilmore and producers ABC Studios. Wilmore, who had served as showrunner for Black-ish's first 13 episodes before moving to Comedy Central's Nightly Show, recently returned to ABC Studios with an overall deal.

Should the spinoff move forward, it would be Barris' second pilot in the works this season. He also has ABC comedy pilot Libby & Malcolm, starring Courtney B. Vance and Felicity Huffman.

The college-themed Black-ish project also marks the third comedy spinoff in the works this season and second at ABC, which also has a 1990s-set version of The Goldbergs in the works. CBS, meanwhile, also has The Big Bang Theory spinoff Sheldon, focusing on a young version of Emmy winner Jim Parsons' Sheldon Cooper, in the works.

In an era of fragmented viewership and more than 450 original scripted series, spinoffs and reboots have become more common as broadcasters, cable networks and streaming services look for proven intellectual property in an attempt to break through the clutter. 

Black-ish has become a core property for ABC and its sibling studio, recently scoring a Hulu SVOD deal. The comedy has become a critical darling and awards season player for stars including Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, the latter of whom recently collected a Golden Globe for her role as the family's mother.

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