Kenya Barris’s (Black-ish, #BlackAF, Mixed-ish) “ish” universe has been relatively busy within the last few years, adding new spinoff series – Grown-ish, Mixed-ish – onto the parent series entitled Black-ish, according to Variety. Barris has recently confirmed the upcoming release of yet another spinoff series, Old-ish, during a virtual panel on Tuesday.
The series will star Black-ish‘s Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Boyz n the Hood) and Jenifer Lewis (The Princess and the Frog, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), who play Dre’s parents on Black-ish. Old-ish will follow the couple as they attempt to give their marriage a second try, years after their divorce. With regards to filling his plate with a fourth Black-ish spinoff, Barris stated, “Everyone’s been wanting to see Pop and Ruby together because they’re basically together anyway…It’s the weirdest divorce I’ve seen in my life. And truthfully in real life there is a huge recurrence of second time around in the older demographic….people are living longer and having experiences later in life, and it was just finding something that we felt we could tell a good story [about], that fit with the brands and what we’re doing,” per Variety.
Barris’s series have received acclaim for their politically affiliated subject matter and oftentimes blatant and humorous methods of raising awareness for social justice issues. One season 4 Black-ish episode entitled “Please, Baby, Please” dealt with notable political events that occurred after the 2016 election as Dre attempts to put his infant son to sleep, however, it was never aired due to creative differences between Barris and ABC. Now, two years later, it is available to watch on Hulu, to which Barris reacted, “This was more of a situation of ‘the timing is right…we’re in a different place with the team. Hulu was the right place for it…I really feel like when we [would have] put it on it would have been great, but it was just as received and just as timely now,” via Variety.
While the Black-ish season 7 premiere was set to debut mid-season, Anthony Anderson (Kangaroo Jack, Scary Movie 3), who plays the role of Dre on Black-ish, claimed that to keep this show off the air at such a revolutionary time in our history would be a “disservice to our community, a disservice to our audience, and a disservice to our show,” according to Variety. The show is now back on the ABC fall schedule.
In other news, Black-ish creators will release a two-part election episode weeks prior to the season premiere. The episode will feature both a mixture of live-action and animation, an idea brought on by star Tracee Ellis Ross (The High Note, Mixed-ish), who plays Rainbow on the show. In order to remain safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ross attempted to share “ways we could get back to work quickly” via Variety.
Black-ish will return to ABC with their election special episode on October 4 and will premiere its seventh season on October 21, with no signs of slowing down in terms of any future spinoffs or a cancellation.