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Grown-ish creator/showrunner Kenya Barris surprised the young actress with the news that the Disney-owned cable network had handed out an early season-two renewal for her Black-ish spinoff. The sophomore season will consist of 20 episodes, up from its first-year run of 13.
The pickup comes after only four episodes of the half-hour comedy have aired, with the show’s Jan. 3 series premiere ranking as the younger-skewing cable network’s best comedy launch in five and a half years. The series opened with 1.56 million total viewers, including 917,000 among the adults 18-49 demographic.
The comedy, originally developed by ABC and airing last season as a back-door pilot, revolves around Shahidi’s Zoey, the eldest daughter in the Johnson family as she heads off to college. Black-ish co-star Deon Cole moved to the ABC Signature Studios-produced spinoff with Shahidi. Black-ish stars Anthony Anderson and Laurence FIshburne executive produce alongside Barris, Helen Sugland, Brian Dobbins and Julie Bean.
The Grown-ish renewal comes as Freeform is expanding its originals to four nights a week as it looks to utilize its slate of blockbuster films as lead-ins to help boost the fortunes of its scripted fare. Grown-ish is part of an original scripted roster that also includes The Bold Type, Famous in Love, Shadowhunters, Beyond and rookies Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, Alone Together and Siren. The Tom Ascheim-led Freeform is also readying a Pretty Little Liars spinoff as it plots the end of The Fosters with another offshoot of that franchise as well. Still to be determined is the future of half-hour Young and Hungry.
The Grown-ish renewal comes after Freeform unveiled a new logo and tagline and announced a number of premiere dates while also unveiling the trailer for Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger during Thursday’s Freeform Summit. The event capped a busy day for the cabler, with The Hollywood Reporter reporting early Thursday that Freeform is developing an immigration-themed reboot of Party of Five and genre drama Cleopatra.
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