ABC Reverses Course, Will Bring Black-ish Back This Fall

'It was important to tell these meaningful stories during this moment in time,' said creator Kenya Barris

Instead of being held for midseason, Black-ish will air Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. this fall. - Credit by ABC/Craig Sjodin
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Two days after ABC made the surprising choice to leave Black-ish off its fall schedule and hold the comedy for midseason, the network has reversed course and will return the groundbreaking series to its lineup.

Black-ish will air Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., in place of new sitcom Call Your Mother, which will be held for midseason.

Created by Kenya Barris, Adweek’s Creator of the Year in 2018, Black-ish was based on Barris’ life and routinely tackles many of the issues, including Black Lives Matter, that have been brought to the forefront during the nationwide protests over police brutality and social justice during the past few weeks. Earlier this month, ABC honored Blackout Tuesday by reairing two episodes of the series—“Hope” and “Juneteenth”—that highlighted many of those topics.

That’s what made the network’s decision to leave Black-ish off its fall schedule all the more surprising—to Barris as well.

“Black-ish has a long-standing history of shining a light on current events and honoring Black voices through the lens of the Johnson family,” said ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke in a statement. “After speaking with Kenya and our creative partners, we decided it was important to tell these meaningful stories during this moment in time, so we are adjusting our premiere schedule and are committed to doing whatever it takes to bring this series back as soon as we possibly can. Following recent monumental events, it’s imperative that the dialogue continues and empowers viewers to raise their voices, and there is no other show that does that like Black-ish.”

In the new Wednesday lineup, The Goldbergs will air at 8 p.m., followed by Black-ish, The Conners, American Housewife and drama Stumptown.

“We are incredibly grateful to Karey, Dana [Walden, chairman, Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment] and Peter [Rice, chairman, Walt Disney Television] for recognizing the importance of Black-ish in this moment and applaud them for making the necessary shifts to bring the show back as soon as possible,” said Barris in his own statement. “While the last few months have felt overwhelming at times, they have also underscored just how important it is that Black voices are not only heard but empowered and amplified as well; and our entire Black-ish team is humbled to be a small part of telling our stories and are excited to get back to these conversations.”

Like other broadcasters, ABC isn’t sure yet when its shows will be able to resume production, which means premiere dates are also up in the air.


@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV/Media Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.