Back to IndieWire

Tracee Ellis Ross Will Play Anthony Anderson’s Wife In ABC’s Kenya Barris Pilot, ‘Black-ish’

Tracee Ellis Ross Will Play Anthony Anderson's Wife In ABC's Kenya Barris Pilot, 'Black-ish'

Tracee Ellis Ross has joined Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne in ABC’s Kenya Barris pilot, Black-ish (working title).

Based on Barris’ own life (loosely), Black-ish will follow an upper-middle class black man, intent on raising his kids with some sense of cultural identity, in the face of an assault of constant contradictions and obstacles coming from various directions, insisting that his children be color-blind. 

“I decided to do this project when I looked up and realized that everywhere I go I’m constantly the fly in buttermilk… I’m usually THE Black guy at work. We’re THE Black family in the neighborhood. My kids are basically THE Black kids at school. I think it’s kind of a situation of be careful what you wish for. It’s almost in like moving on up, I’ve sort of priced myself “out” of being Black,” said Barris.

Anderson will play the lead, with Fishburne as his old-school father. Tracee Ellis Ross will play Anderson’s wife.
Black-ish is produced by Fishburne and his producing partner Helen Sugland, with Tom Russo, Anderson and Barris exec producing, along with Peter Principato, Paul Young and Brian Dobbins
Barris’ writing credits also include (Are We There Yet?, Soul Food, Girlfriends, The Game) and he’s also co-creator of America’s Next Top Model.
Graduating from script order to pilot order is a large step in the right direction. Let’s hope the network takes what will be the next crucial step in the process and actually orders the project to series.

This Article is related to: News and tagged ,


Miles Ellison

This certainly has the potential to be interesting and thought provoking, but if it actually is, who will watch it?


it looks like it might be good… I'll watch it….


This sounds good, surprised ABC would take a chance on it, considering that race is the central theme. Will have to check it out.


QUESTION-QUESTION-QUESTIONS, this can work, the concept is ripe for a bevy of seldom traveled storylines, but I have questions.

But first, lets start with the positives. Who hasn't traveled that upward bound road through college and various jobs in search of a "better" life, only to find themselves in places like Cedar Rapids, Iowa or Fargo ND or some place where you're the only black face in the crowd? Hey, I've been there. Like Kenya Barris, I was THE Black guy at work. We were THE Black family in the neighborhood. My kids were basically THE Black kids at school. And, I am sure many of us have been "there" to some degree. So the journey begins, how do I raise my kids so they don't lose their cultural identity? OH BOY, there were no road maps to lead the way.

Short story: Hell bent on raising my kids with a sense of who they were and where they came from, any activities outside the school system was to occur in "the hood". One day, as we were riding in the car on our way to practice (i.e. basketball, track, little league baseball), I don't remember which one, my daughter said "here we are back in ni**er town". Let me tell you, my wife couldn't pull the car to the curb fast enough. In fact, I believe she stopped right in the middle of the street… it was on!

Yes sir, needless to say, I have many stories on the ills of Black-ish and white-wash, and I am more than sure most of us do as well. Who hasn't been the "black face" at work, who was expected to speak for everything "black"? How many of us have had to consider dating outside our race because there was few of "us" around? So, as I said, this concept can work, but now the questions.

Well, as always the fate of this show or any show starts with the writers. I'd be interest to know who's on Barris's writing team? I mean, it has been said if one is going to write a book, they should write about something they know (have experienced). In this case, if they have not experience the life of "Black-ish", they may resort to stereotypical "black folks don't do" jokes.

Second, Tracee Ellis Ross? How did she do in her last sitcom? What do we remember about her performance?Does she have that presence, that "thang" that naturally draws attention, regardless of the character or sub-par writing? Hey, some actors simply have that "it" factor, is she one of them?

Anthony Anderson? Can he carry a show?

Oh, back to Tracy's last show, there was child actors involved. It's safe to say they were not the Cosby kids, okay. Now I don't know if they were instrumental in the show's demise, but here we go again, young adults (or kids), in major roles. How has that been working out in recent years?

Question-question-questions but the show's concept is ripe in so many ways.


Hum?…this sounds like writer Jake Lamar's Bourgeoisie Blues…

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *