Last week TheVisibilityProject.com (The ViP) released their fall primetime lineup for Color TV. Color TV is a selection of shows featuring actors of color in prominent roles, that The ViP is following, live tweeting, and covering on The Soapbox (official podcast of The ViP).
This fall the Color TV lineup includes 23 shows, which is more than 300 hours of television featuring people of color, 26% of which includes first season premieres. This marks a definite improvement from just last season. Most of these shows are on the big networks including ABC, Fox, and NBC.
There are at least 15 shows featuring Black actors and this season we’re also seeing the most women of color in lead roles on television ever, including four different races/ethnicities–South Asian (Priyanka Chopra), East Asian (Lucy Liu and Constance Wu), Latina (Gina Rodriguez), andDomestic Blacks (Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Nicole Beharie, Meagan Good, Regina King, Tracee Ellis Ross, Taraji P. Henson).”
So here are four of my favs from The Color TV lineup.
Who I’m Watching For: Priyanka Chopra, Aunjanue Ellis
Why I Love It: I love crime shows. It’s everything I love about crime dramas with way more feminism and much more diversity. Chopra hasn’t disappointed and Ellis, via these writers, is giving me more than I thought I’d get from AD Shaw’s character and storyline. “Quantico” has been the pleasant surprise for me this fall; the new ABC series has made me look forward to television in real time. This is a show you’re going to want to follow and not one I’d recommend jumping in the middle of–unless you just want to watch Chopra and Ellis work–definitely worth it.
Who I’m Watching For: Meagan Good
Why I Love It: Another unlikely fav early in the season. I’m a bit picky when it comes to the Sci-Fi I enjoy so I went in with low expectations. Really, I just wanted to be able to say I gave the show a chance before I wrote it off. Then I liked it. I wasn’t supposed to like it but I found myself invested in the characters and the larger storyline, enjoying the writers’ take on the future timeline, and pissed off at the lone white woman on the show trying to ruin everything. Good holds her own and the science and technology on the show isn’t so bad either. It reminds me of the high-tech, futuristic Sleepy Hollow.
FRESH OFF THE BOAT
Who I’m Watching For: Constance Wu
Why I Love It: I live for Constance Wu’s impeccable comedic timing. Nine of the 10 times I’m laughing out loud while watching this show it’s because of Wu. She’s genius in every dynamic, in every scene with any character. I love the way they include guest characters and cameos, with Shaq and NBA phenom Jeremy Lin among the most recent. It’s based on the actual childhood and memoir of celebrity chef Eddie Huang. The show might not meet his expectations and it’s certainly not perfect–it is, however a step in the right direction for seeing accurate, diverse representations on TV.
Who I’m Watching For: The Squad of Coloreds
Why I Love It: I will always love Grey’s. It’s that show that I’m too deep into to retreat now. I’ve invested too much time and energy and emotions into these peopl–characters to not see them to the end of the road. That means enduring the endless (emotional) rollercoaster that is Shondaland and putting up with the peaks and valleys. Lucky for me, Grey’s is on an upswing in season 12 in content, character development, and overall production quality. Another pleasant surprise for me this fall.
“Grey’s Anatomy,” which debuted in 2005, is the most diverse show on Network primetime television by far in race, gender, and LGBTQ+ membership. Grey’s is unafraid to tackle storylines and take characters places other shows wouldn’t dare, which usually makes them one of the first to do so. This month the show added Sickle Cell Disease to the storyline of one of the major characters, addressed feminism in the workplace via a Black woman character and stands to be the only TV show to ever boast this many women and women of color as the heads or very top of their department.
In short, “Grey’s Anatomy” is impressive and watching it renews my Black Girl Magic each week.