Host Anthony Anderson speaks onstage during the 45th NAACP Image Awards presented by TV One at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 22, 2014 in Pasadena, California
*Viola Davis won’t be the only African American to lead a series on ABC in the fall.
Joining her Shonda Rhimes-produced drama “How to Get Away With Murder” will be the comedy “Blackish,” starring Anthony Anderson and loosely based on the life of executive producer Kenya Barris (“The Game”).
As previously reported, Anderson plays an upper-middle-class black man who struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions from his liberal wife, old-school father and his own assimilated, color-blind kids.
Laurence Fishburne recurs in the single-camera comedy and executive produces alongside Barris and showrunners Larry Wilmore, Helen Sugland, Tom Russo, Peter Principato, Paul Young and Brian Dobbins.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the comedy tested extremely well and helped push the entry over the similarly themed Kevin Hart comedy “Keep It Together,” which was the early front-runner.
John Ridley arrives at the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala Dinner at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on March 22, 2014 in Los Angeles, California
ABC also ordered “American Crime,” written, exec produced and directed by Oscar winning “12 Years a Slave” screenwriter John Ridley and former ABC Studios head of drama-turned-producer Michael McDonald. It examines the personal lives of the players involved in a racially charged trial as their worlds are turned upside down.
Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman star in the ABC Studios drama, which marks Ridley’s return to TV after “The Wanda Sykes Show” and HBO’s passed over boxing drama “Da Brick.”