THE CONNERS: Actor Michael Fishman on Season 3 of the ABC comedy series – Exclusive Interview

Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner in THE CONNERS Season 3 | ©2020 ABC/Andrew Eccles

THE CONNERS is now in its third season, Wednesday nights on ABC. To celebrate Halloween, the half-hour comedy series airs the episode “Halloween and the Election Vs. the Pandemic” on Wednesday, October 28. This marks the narrative directorial debut of THE CONNERS regular Michael Fishman, who originated his role of D.J. Conner in the original nine seasons of ROSEANNE, 1988-1997, before returning for the reboot in 2018. (The ROSEANNE return was canceled after one season and spun off into THE CONNERS.) In an exclusive telephone interview, Fishman talks how he prepared to direct the episode of THE CONNERS, and much […]Read On »

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MIXED-ISH: Actress Tika Sumpter on new ABC comedy – Exclusive Interview

Tika Sumpter as Alicia Johnson in MIXED-ISH - Season 1| ©2020 ABC/Brian Bowen Smith

ABC’s Tuesday-night comedy MIXED-ISH is a spinoff of the network’s BLACK-ISH. Co-created by BLACK-ISH star Tracee Ellis Ross, MIXED-ISH is very loosely based on Ross’s childhood; Ellis narrates the new series as her character’s adult self.  MIXED-ISH chronicles the adventures of Ross’s BLACK-ISH character Bow Johnson (played as a youngster by Arika Himmel) as a child in the ‘80s, with a little brother (Ethan William Childress) and sister (Mykal-Michelle Harris), white dad Paul, played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and black mom Alicia, played by Tika Sumpter. (Anna Deavere Smith plays Alicia when the character recurs on BLACK-ISH). The family is coping […]Read On »

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DEAR WHITE PEOPLE: Showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser on Season 3 – Exclusive Interview

Jeremy Tardy, Nia Jervier, Ashley Blaine Featherson, Jemar Michael, Marque Richardson in DEAR WHITE PEOPLE - Season 3 | ©2019 Netflix/Adam Rose

Netflix’s DEAR WHITE PEOPLE is currently streaming its first three seasons on Netflix, with a fourth and final season set for 2020. Created by Justin Simien, who also wrote and directed the 2014 feature film of the same name, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE is set at the fictional Winchester University, where students grapple with issues that affect them personally, including racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia, between one another and in broadcasts from the college radio show, which is also called “Dear White People.” In the current season, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE takes on possible sexual predation, and possible false accusation. Yvette Lee […]Read On »

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MIXED-ISH: Actress Arica Himmell on Season 1 of the ABC spin-off – Exclusive Interview

Arica Himmel as Bow in MIXED-ISH | ©2018/Brian Bowen Smith

MIXED-ISH, now in its first season Tuesday nights on ABC, is spun off from BLACK-ISH. In BLACK-ISH, Tracee Ellis Ross plays doctor, wife and family woman Rainbow Johnson. MIXED-ISH, which Ross created with Kenya Barris (who also created BLACK-ISH) & Peter Saji, chronicles Rainbow’s childhood. Arica Himmel plays the young Rainbow in MIXED-ISH (Ross narrates the show as Rainbow’s adult self). As MIXED-ISH begins, we’re in the ‘80s. Rainbow, her two younger siblings and their parents, black mom Alicia (Tika Sumpter) and white dad Paul (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) move from a free-spirited commune to suburbia, where the kids must deal with […]Read On »

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MIXED-ISH: Mark-Paul Gosselaar returns to comedy – Exclusive Interview

Mark-Paul Gosselaar in MIXED-ISH - Season 1 | ©2019 ABC/Brian Bowen Smith

MIXED-ISH, Tuesday nights on ABC, is a prequel spinoff of that network’s BLACK-ISH. Created by Kenya Barris (who also created BLACK-ISH) & Peter Saji & Tracee Ellis Ross, MIXED-ISH explores the childhood of Ross’s BLACK-ISH character Rainbow (played in MIXED-ISH by Arica Himmel – Ross narrates as Rainbow’s adult self), her two siblings and their parents, black mother Alicia (Tika Sumpter) and white father Paul, who is played in MIXED-ISH by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. (We’ve already met Paul’s older self as played in a recurring role by Beau Bridges on BLACK-ISH.)  We encounter the family as they’re forced to move from […]Read On »

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MIXED-ISH: Gary Cole talks about the new BLACK-ISH spin-off and Richard Schiff on THE GOOD DOCTOR – Exclusive Interview

MIXED-ISH - Season 1 key art | ©2019 ABC

MIXED-ISH, a half-hour comedy created by Kenya Barris & Peter Saji, is a spin-off of BLACK-ISH, created by Barris. MIXED-ISH, which has its series debut on ABC Tuesday, September 24 at 9 PM (followed directly by the Season 6 premiere of BLACK-ISH), explores the ‘80s childhood of Tracee Ellis Ross’s BLACK-ISH character Rainbow (played in MIXED-ISH by Arica Himmel – Ross narrates as Rainbow’s adult self). Rainbow and her siblings have to move with their parents, black mom Alicia (Tika Sumpter) and white dad Paul (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), from a mellow commune to racially conscious suburbia. Culture shock ensues. So do […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SHAFT (2019)

SHAFT movie poster from the 2019 reboot | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Jesse T. Usher, Regina Hall, Richard Roundtree, Alexandra Shipp, Isaach De Bankole, Titus Welliver Writers: Kenya Barris & Alex Barnow, based on the novel by Ernest Tidyman Director: Tim Story Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: June 14, 2019 The 2019 film SHAFT is technically a direct sequel to the 2000 film also entitled SHAFT, which also starred Samuel L. Jackson as the title character. That SHAFT was in turn a quasi-sequel to the trilogy of SHAFT films (the 1971 original, which won an Oscar for Isaac Hayes’s indelible theme song, 1972’s SHAFT’S BIG SCORE, […]Read On »

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BLACK-ISH: Marsai Martin on Season 3 – Exclusive Interview

Marsai Martin in BLACK-ISH | ©2016 ABC/Bob D'Amico

Marsai Martin plays younger daughter Diane Johnson on ABC’s half-hour comedy BLACK-ISH. The series, created by Kenya Barris, about an upper-middle-class black family, returns for the second half of its third season on Wednesday, January 11. Diane’s parents are successful Dre (series executive producer Anthony Anderson) and doctor Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross). She has an older sister, college-bound Zoey (played by the likewise-higher-education-headed Yara Shahidi), and brothers Andre Jr. (Marcus Scribner) and Jack (Miles Brown). Grandparents Pops (Laurence Fishburne, another executive producer) and Ruby (Jenifer Lewis) are also often on hand as the family finds humor in topics like God, […]Read On »

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BLACK-ISH creator Kenya Barris on his new ABC comedy – Interview

Anthony Anderson as Andre "Dre" Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow Johnson, Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson, Miles Brown as Jack Johnson, special guest star, Laurence Fishburne as Pops Johnson, Marcus Scribner as Andre Johnson, Jr., and Marsai Martin as Diane Johnson in BLACK-ISH | ©2014 ABC/Bob D'Amico

Kenya Barris created the new ABC comedy BLACK-ISH, Wednesdays at 9:30 PM, with an eye to putting something like his own family life on television. BLACK-ISH stars Barris’ fellow executive producers Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne.  Anderson plays Andre “Dre” Johnson, a successful, self-made man with a wife and three children, plus an opinionated father, portrayed by Fishburne. Dre is trying to balance wanting his children to grow up with a sense of racial inclusiveness while still maintaining their cultural roots. These issues are germane to both Barris and Anderson in their real lives. As Barris tells members of the […]Read On »

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BLACK-ISH star Anthony Anderson on his new ABC comedy – Exclusive Interview

Anthony Anderson as Andre "Dre" Johnson in BLACK-ISH | ©2014 ABC/Bob D'Amico

In ABC’s new comedy BLACK-ISH, Wednesdays at 9:30 PM, executive producer Anthony Anderson stars as Andre “Dre” Johnson. Dre is a successful, self-made man with a wife and three children. On the one hand, Dre wants his kids to go into the world without any sense of racial divide; on the other, he wants them to have a sense of their cultural roots. Dre’s character and his familial issues are close to home for family man Anderson, who wound up having BLACK-ISH creator Kenya Barris incorporate a real-life incident into the series pitch and the body of an episode – […]Read On »

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