It looks like we get to keep the Johnsons around for another season.
ABC has renewed one of our favorite family comedies, Black-ish, for a fifth season. As one of the network’s strongest and most acclaimed comedies, it’s no surprise we’ll have much more time with our favorite suburban African-American family.
The show averages a 1.2 demo rating and 4.2 million total weekly viewers so far this season (in live and same day numbers), and Black-ish ranks seventh out of ABC’s 11 sitcoms. ABC has also renewed another one of its most successful sitcoms— Fresh Off the Boat will also be back for a season five.
The only thing that is still up in the air is whether or not Kenya Barris, writer and producer behind the comedy, will be coming along for the ride. In April, it was reported that Barris had grown frustrated with the network and was trying to figure out a way to make an early exit from his contract.
One of the many reasons we’ve grown to love Black-ish is its ability to go there with topics like the n-word, police brutality, “the talk,” and more. But an episode from the previous season was cut for being “too controversial.” The shelved episode, which was co-written and directed by Barris, reportedly addressed the current state of the country in a way that baby Devante Johnson would understand and touched on the National Football League’s “take a knee” protest.
“Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it,” Barris said in a statement last month. “Black-ish is a show that has spoken to all different types of people and brought them closer as a community, and I’m so proud of the series.”
Without a doubt, Black-ish would not have the success that it’s had today without the strong team of Black creatives it has in front of and behind the camera, Barris included. We hope that ABC gives Barris the necessary creative freedom to continue giving us the storylines we deserve to see on primetime.