TV Shows You Didn’t Know Had Black Folks

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  • If your idea of TV is filled with Tyler Perry shows, BET and TV One, you might not know that there are a bunch of great shows on TV that also have black characters. Some you might not have heard of before, some you might have but just didn’t realize there were any black actors on them. These characters aren’t always just foils for the main (white) characters and some even have storylines of their own. Well, sometimes.

    Here’s a look a few shows you might want to check out that have one or more Black characters.

    REVENGE
    ABC, Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
    This ABC drama has become a guilty pleasure as we watch revenge seeker Emily Thorne take on the shady Grayson family of the Hamptons who framed her father for a horrific crime he didn’t commit. British actress Ashley Madekwe is a theater, film and TV actress who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She plays social climber Ashley Davenport on “Revenge” and she’s Thorne’s BFF. Well, maybe, since you never really know who’s who or what’s what on the show. Courtney Vance has recently joined the cast as the scheming lawyer who assists the Grayson family in helping get their son Daniel off for a murder charge. If you haven’t already watched, head to http://www.abc.com to catch up with full episodes, otherwise you’ll just be totally confused.

    SMASH
    NBC, Mondays at 10 p.m.
    Debra Messing and Oscar winner Anjelica Huston anchor this show about all the shady doings behind the creation of a Broadway musical, but “Smash” does have a few black characters. The one with the most screen time is the scheming Ellis who is trying to work his way up quickly in the Broadway hierarchy. He’s played by actor Jaime Cepero, a Boston-based theater actor who makes his TV debut with “Smash.” So far, so good as he’s one of the people the show’s fans love to hate…or just hate. Ellis’ girlfriend on the show is played by Condola Rashad, the daughter of Phylicia and Ahmad Rashad. There’s also a black actor playing a recurring role as a gay dancer who is the current love interest of Tom, one of the show’s leads, so look for more from him.

    MIKE AND MOLLY
    CBS, Mondays at 9:30 p.m.
    Reno Wilson is a recurring character, Officer Carl McMillan on this show about a chubby Chicago couple who meet at Overeaters Anonymous. The sitcom has just been renewed for its third season and won an Emmy for Melissa McCarthy, its female lead. Television veteran Holly Robinson-Peete drops in as McMillan’s girlfriend Christina and actor Nyambi Nyambi plays a Senegalese waiter at the café that Carl and Mike frequent. If you enjoy a sitcom that gets great reviews and gives its black characters something to do, then you might want to catch up with “Mike and Molly.”

    PARENTHOOD
    NBC, Tuesday at 10 p.m.
    This show about a large Southern California family might remind you of “Brothers and Sisters” with one big difference – this show has some color on it. Model/actress Joy Bryant (of “Get Rich or Die Trying” and “Antwone Fisher” fame) plays Jasmine Trussell, the baby mama turned wife of one of the show’s main characters. “Friday Night Lights’’’ Michael B. Jordan has made several appearances on “Parenthood” as well. If you want to check it out, do so sometime soon, because it’s on the “bubble” right now and may not return to NBC’s fall season lineup.

    HAPPY ENDINGS
    ABC, Wednesdays at 9:30
    Those Wayans told you that they wouldn’t stop. Well, maybe that was Diddy, but you get the idea. There are more Wayans than any other family in show business and fortunately, they created some good-looking kids to carry on the family legacy. Damon Wayans, Jr. stars on the ABC sitcom “Happy Endings,” and as the series has just been renewed for a third season we guess those Wayans family checks will keep on coming. Damon plays Brad, one of six young Chicago-based friends who navigate life and love together.

    NECESSARY ROUGHNESS
    USA, Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
    If you’re a “True Blood” fan wondering what happened to Tara’s love interest “Eggs,” wonder no more. Actor Mechad Brooks is in good shape, literally, as arrogant but troubled football player Terrence “T.K.” King who’s been mandated to work with therapist Dr. Dani Santino. If you’ve watched the show, you know things ended up last season on a cliffhanger for King, but Brooks is returning and so is the show on June 6. Look for more fun with the N.Y. Hawks football team this season and if you haven’t seen the show already, it’s a good habit to start.

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