We live in an ok time for black television. We have some pretty solid lead and supporting roles. No one can deny how powerful Papa Pope and the Pope Family are on Scandal, or how strong and, to me, sexy Michonne is on the Walking Dead. We even have Black-ish really shining a light on how silly it is to try to act black rather than just being black. At least that's what the episodes I watched were about, I'm a bit behind on it. Even Empire, the black "Dynasty", is doing what it can for black television.
I love new shows, I love being able to get new experiences and somewhat original content, with shows like the Flash or Hannibal. Still we have a current theme of rebooting, and bringing back the past. Nostalgia is in. We currently have Girl Meets World which brings back the uber popular Boy Meets World series and they are in talks with bringing back Full House as Fuller House. Not to go on a Black Power, we want equality rant, but I haven't heard any talks about bringing back any of the great black sitcoms of the 90's. I know that two shows don't make a trend but trust me if they could bring back more shows they would. Everyone loves nostalgia.
The thing is we have a lot of movies being made over with black casts, Death at a Funeral, About Last Night, Steel Magnolias and Annie to name a few but we have a pretty decent history of our own to reincorporate. Just look at the movies we've had, an Aaliyah Biopic, a Whitney Houston biopic, Straight Outta Compton, All is by My Side, we have a lot of look at the history in black music but not so much in the history of black television. I'm not making a big deal out of this I'm sure if they keep bringing back old shows they'll do something but I wanted to talk about this anyway. So I wanted to do a few ideas I have bouncing around for reimaginings of black tv shows. I hate doing fan castings but I'm going to attempt to do one here too.
The original show was called The Cosby Show, I'm definitely aware of that. I would go for this show being called the Huxtables though because Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad wouldn't have big roles on this show. It would be a mixture of The Cosby Show and 227 with a modern family vibe. They would all live in one big brownstone apartments that they pooled their money together to buy. It would be a show about a close knit family who deal with all the trouble families have to go through only this time instead of late 80's early 90's problems they have to deal with the newer generation.
Jaden Martin as Rudy's Son
For this I'm imagining that Will's son, let's call him WJ for this scenario, would be sent to live with his Uncle Carlton. WJ is acting up in school and Will feels like he doesn't really know how to break him out of this behavior because he is still quite the ladies man himself. He chooses to send WJ to live with his uncle like he was sent as a teenager. WJ is just like his dad, a fun loving ladies man too smooth for his own good, but after the death of his mother he has his own demons to deal with much like Will had with his dad not being in the picture.
A lot of people think the obvious answer would be to use Will's actual son, Jaden Smith. While I could agree or disagree with that I chose someone that I see a little more in the role. Trevor Jackson.
This one seems the second most impossible on my prospective list. The twins are very happy with being seen as their own actresses and people, not constantly being cast to work in the same movies and shows. Tamera seems to be doing well on her talk show The Real and Tia has a very fun show Instant Mom. Still I can't help dreaming about what could possibly be. I really loved this show growing up.
My idea is that Tia and Tamera would have lost contact for a while both just being very busy with their lives. They haven't seen each other in person in about 13 years. Tamera and her husband decide to move out of their apartment in the city and into a suburb but she has some very unexpected neighbors, Tia and her husband. Now the sisters would reconnect while helping raising their kids, Tia having two young twin boys and Tamera having two teenage twin girls who would be the main stars of the show. To add some realism and a little drama to the comedy, Tamera would be married to a white man and her twins would be fraternal and one would be a fair skinned girl with naturally curly brown hair and the other would be the complexion of her mother with naturally straight black hair who don't really look like twins. The only problem there is Tamera is pretty light too so it's not that hard to believe that her children would be fair skinned, it'd be more of a shock if her kids were darker skinned. Just look at her adorable little boy Aden.
Madison Pettis as one of Tamera's daughters.
This would be a fun show to do. Smart Guy for those who don't remember was about a young boy who had a genius level IQ and ended up going to high school with his older brother, then hi-jinks ensue. I really liked this show it was fun. Reed Between the Lines attempted a backdoor pilot for a similar show called Young Man on Campus about a way too smart 15 year old who would go to college with his party all the time cousin. This pilot failed however along with the show Reed Between the Lines which was a show I really loved.
Anyway Smart Girl would go back to it's root of a young girl going to high school except instead of her brother she would be going to school with her cousins. Making Tahj Mowry the dad for this would be ridiculous, he's like 28 so unless his kid is like 8 or 10 if you want to be risky then I doubt it'd work out that well. So I'm thinking that Jason Weaver or Marcus the older brother would have the genius daughter while Essence Aktins the older sister would have the cousins. Of course Tahj would show up sometimes as Uncle TJ to battle wits with his genius niece.
Skai Jackson Marsai Martin was my first choice, that little girl looks like a genius. She's too young though so Skai Jackson would be the next best choice, Being that she is 13 though she is only skipping one grade to be in high school but that might not be such a bad thing to make it more realistic. As Zuri she has played a character who is a little smart for her age.
Family Still Matters
The idea that started it all. This is the idea that first brought me to make this article. As I've said before I absolutely loved Family Matters growing up. I think what would be great, is to have Steve and Laura's kids going through school and trying to navigate life. One of Steve's kid would be unintentionally really nerdy just like Steve was growing up but he is trying to fit in with the cool crowd now, it's just not working very well. The older brother would be naturally cool and always one of the popular kids but also isn't very smart like his dad or his brother and sister. He loves his little brother and always tries to give him advice but it usually doesn't help much. The younger brother's twin sister would be just like her mother often being annoyed by the nerdy clumsy things her younger brother and father are doing and baffled by the fact that her older brother is considered cool. She'd be your usual goody two shoes who runs for class president and maybe a writer at heart. Of course they'd need their uncles Eddie and 3J to visit sometimes and Eddie would have his bad girl daughter who is best friends with Steve's daughter. Possibly they could even have Steve as the principal of the school or at least a science teacher.
For Steve's two sons none other than real life brothers Tyler James Williams and Tyrel James Williams
Honorable Mention: Small Wonders with Marsai Martin as Vicki
I didn't include this in the main list for a few important reasons:
- It wasn't my idea. I don't want to cheat you guys thinking that I came up with an idea I didn't. This was told to me by a guy named Thomas Cruz in a facebook group I'm in.
- It's not a black show. This is a race swapping and my list is bringing back the black shows we loved.
- It's an 80's show. Unlike the Cosby show which started in the 80's but concluded in the early 90's this show began in the mid 80's and ending in 89.
- I didn't really watch this show. It was an 80's show and I'm a 90's kid by the time I was old enough to understand tv it was on the old people's channel like tv land and stuff which I didn't watch.
Still I feel like this would be a really awesome idea and Thomas was spot on with the casting for it. Marsai Martin is adorable and would be a perfect fit for a black version of Vicki. It was too good not to mention.
Also I know you guys probably have a bunch of great ideas for tv shows that could probably come back, the Jamie Foxx show maybe? Or the Steve Harvey show? The possibilities are somewhat endless. The 90's were an excellent time for black tv. Also I don't want my readers of other colors and nationalities to be left out so any tv show you might want back let me know in the comments. My vote is for Taina but she was in the 2000s.