9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Kenya Barris' '#BlackAF' Renewed at Netflix
#BlackAF is coming back.
Netflix has handed out a second season renewal for the scripted comedy created by and starring Black-ish creator Kenya Barris.
The series, originally titled Black Excellence, was the first project Barris set up at Netflix after he moved his overall deal from ABC Studios to the streamer in 2018. The family comedy, much like Black-ish, explores subjects including Barris' honest approach to parenting, relationships, race and culture, but with a more unfiltered lens. The single-camera comedy is exec produced by Barris, co-star Rashida Jones and Hale Rothstein (Black-ish, Grown-ish).
The news comes two months after the semiautobiographical comedy launched to mixed reviews. In his review of the series, The Hollywood Reporter's chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg noted that it was "[p]ossibly even more self-lacerating than Curb Your Enthusiasm." The comedy has 46 percent score from critics on aggregation site RottenTomatoes.com, with a 75 percent rating among viewers. Netflix, like other streamers, does not release traditional viewership data.
The renewal arrives as entertainment companies find themselves under increased pressure to amplify Black voices and storytelling.
Barris portrays a fictionalized version of himself in #BlackAF alongside a cast that includes Jones, Genneya Walton, Iman Benson, Scarlet Spencer, Justin Claiborne, Ravi Cabot-Conyers and Richard Gardenhire Jr.
#BlackAF is but one of multiple film and TV projects Barris and his Khalabo Ink Society banner have in the works as part of the company's overall deal with Netflix. He also has TV series including animated music series Entergalatic and is in talks with the streaming giant for a Juneteenth-inspired musical with Pharrell Williams. Meanwhile, the Barris-produced comedy sketch show Astronomy Club was canceled after one season.