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‘Black-ish’ Spinoff in the Works at ABC

Variety logo Variety 1/20/2017 Variety Staff
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The Johnson family may soon be taking up more airtime on ABC.

The network is considering a spin-off of its hit comedy “Black-ish,” Variety has confirmed. The spin-off, which would star Yara Shahidi, would focus on her character, oldest daughter Zoey Johnson, in college. The spinoff, which is in very early stages, would be introduced as a backdoor pilot this spring. Sources stress that this is early development and nothing has been officially ordered yet.

The series is being developed by “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris. For Barris, the development marks yet another project on the mega-producer’s resume. The “Black-ish” creator is looking toward a fruitful 2017-2018 television season, as he has two more hot projects in the works at ABC. Aside from this spinoff, he’s already nabbed an early pilot order for a new comedy, “Libby & Malcolm,” starring Felicity Huffman and Courtney B. Vance, plus has an action dramedy starring Toni Collete in contention at the network.

News of the potential spinoff was first announced by Deadline.

Several other spinoffs are already in contention this pilot season, including a “Big Bang Theory” prequel at CBS focused on young Sheldon Cooper, and a 1990s-set version of “The Goldbergs” at ABC from Adam F. Goldberg.

Now in its third season, the popularity of “Black-ish” continues to climb. The comedy, which stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, recently landed an exclusive SVOD deal with Hulu. And Ross won the best actress in a comedy trophy at the Golden Globes, the first black woman to win in the category since Debbie Allen took the trophy for “Fame” in 1983.

The comedy’s recent episode about the election was also met with tremendous critical acclaim. “Black-ish” star and executive producer Anderson praised Barris’ script, saying, “I thought it spoke to a majority of the people that I knew, in terms of their shock and utter disbelief that Donald Trump is our president-elect, based on everything leading up to the election — the things that he said, the things that he tweeted.”

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