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The network has ordered six more episodes of the veteran comedy, which had its season premiere on Wednesday. The additional installments will bring the show’s total for the season to 21, with the potential to add more.
Black-ish was set for an early 2021 premiere when ABC announced its fall schedule and thus received a shorter order of 13 episodes, plus two election-themed specials that count toward the season total. (They aired Oct. 4, a couple weeks ahead of Wednesday’s official season premiere.)
A day after unveiling the schedule, however, ABC changed course and put Black-ish back in the fall lineup. First-year comedy Call Your Mother, starring Kyra Sedgwick, was bumped back to midseason.
Series creator Kenya Barris and stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross told reporters in September that they pressed ABC chief Karey Burke to move the show back onto the early-season schedule in the wake of nationwide racial and social justice protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
“I thought it would be doing a disservice to our audience and to our show to have our voices muted and not have the show come back until midseason,” said Anderson. “That was my conversation with the powers that be, and everyone came to an accord.”
Wednesday’s premiere showed the Johnson family adapting to life during the coronavirus pandemic. The series will continue to touch on the pandemic, along with systemic racism and the movement for justice and equality, as the season progresses.
Barris executive produces Black-ish with showrunner Courtney Lilly, Laura Gutin Peterson, Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Helen Sugland, E. Brian Dobbins and Michael Petok.
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