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Black TV Shows (Or TV Series with Black Leads) Taking Over Your TV Screens During the Summer Season

Black TV Shows (Or TV Series with Black Leads) Taking Over Your TV Screens During the Summer Season

Wasn’t there a time when summers weren’t exactly a season that TV networks packed their schedules with new originals series that will keep you at home, instead of out, enjoying the weather, as well as the sights and sounds of probably the most-loved season of the year? Not anymore, apparently, as more and more networks are debuting (sometimes testing) new series during the summer months, both scripted and unscripted, as the ways in which we demand and consume content continue to rapidly evolve. Essentially, there are no “off-seasons” anymore in what is becoming an even more competitive TV landscape, as your eyeballs (those belonging to people of African descent) are once again desired.
So let’s take a quick look at what’s coming…

First, CBS’ sci-fi summer series “Extant,” starring Halle Berry, returns for a second season this July, with Berry back in the lead, as astronaut Molly Woods, as she discovers that she has unwittingly put the human race on a path to destruction and that she and mysterious stranger J.B. Richter (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) may be the only hope for survival. 

Promising a (much needed) shift in tone and pacing in the upcoming new season, the producers said, “the world is changing, and so the tone of the show is changing. It’s a little more soapy, but it’s a little pulpier and fun, too. The stakes were so high with the themes we were dealing with last season… It was about this pregnant woman, and she had her baby taken from her, and this year the characters have little left to lose, and in going for it, there’s a little more fun. A little more gallows humor, too […] We took a page out of the ‘Battlestar Galactica’ book in the sense that the things we loved so much about that show was… the fate of the human race hangs in the balance, and they look at the moral and ethical issues that arise in that context… And it’s about exploring love in desperate times. That’s kind of the nature of what’s happening in the backdrop, but we’re getting into the reality of: What would life really be like under these circumstances? How do you go about your daily life of living and loving? Those relationships in desperate times take on a whole new level of urgency.”

“Extant” season 2 premieres July 1 at 10pm on CBS.

You still have time to catch up on season one. I will definitely need to because I barely remember it. It’s not streaming on Netflix yet; Amazon bought the exclusive streaming rights to the series, so, if you have an Amazon Prime membership like I do, you can watch all of season 1 there. Or rent the DVD from Netflix.

This summer on CBS will also see the premiere of “Zoo,” which is based on the #1 bestselling novel by James Patterson, with a cast that includes Brit Nonso Anozie, who will be joined by James Wolk, Kristen Connolly, Billy Burke, and Nora Arnezeder. 

In the series, a wave of violent animal attacks against humans begin taking place across the globe. As the assaults become more cunning, coordinated and ferocious, a young renegade biologist (James Wolk) is thrust into the race to unlock the pandemic’s mystery before there’s no place left for people to hide.

“Zoo” will debut on Tuesday, June 30 (9-10 PM, ET/PT). 

Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg and Michael Katleman are executive producers with James Mangold, Cathy Konrad, James Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Steve Bowen. 

Brad Anderson is directing and also serves as an executive producer.

Your summer season TV watch list just got a little bit longer, as BET Networks prepares a summer TV lineup that includes 2 new original movies, new series, specials, live events and more.

Of note is Regina King’s feature length film directorial debut, an adaptation of “Let the Church Say Amen,” the best-selling novel by Reshonda Tate Billingsley, which stars Naturi Naughton as Rachel Jackson, a wayward preacher’s kid who is struggling to pull her life together. With a six-year-old son out of wedlock and a high school diploma, Rachel’s mission in life is to marry her son’s father in order to become a traditional and respectable family and regain her father’s respect.

The two hour movie, which will be a BET Premiere Cinema event, also stars Steve Harris, Lela Rochon, Hosea Chanchez and Collins Curtis Pennie. It’s produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone, Roger Bobb and Regina King, who is also executive producer.

BET has set an August premiere date, although no specific day yet.

The second original movie, “The Start Up,” stars Diggy Simmons as Blake Monroe, founder of TheJetsetters.com, an entertainment and lifestyle blog, in a story about what it means to be young, gifted and digital, as Blake and his friends strategize for fame and financing while they navigate the freedoms and pressures of adulthood.

Joining Simmons in front of the camera are Teyana Taylor, Bria Murphy, Allen Maldonado, Chris Brew, and Stephanie Charles.

The film is executive produced by Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, Kenya Barris, James DuBose and Laurie Dobbins. 

Directed by Salim Akil, BET has not set an exact summer debut date for the film yet.

In terms of new series, there’s the previously announced reality series on Washington Redskins’ wide receiver DeSean Jackson, produced by Rogue Atlas Productions in association with Lionsgate Television, which will premier on Tuesday, June 30, at 10pm ET/PT on BET.

And then there’s a reboot of “Punk’d” – the once popular MTV hidden camera series that was hosted by Ashton Kutcher, which will be tailored for the BET audience, which debuts on August, 18th at 10:30pm.

And specials include a Muhammad Ali tribute, set for August, as well as the self-explanatory “Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years Later,” which will also premier in August.

Season 9 of “The Game” (its final season) kicked off on Wednesday, June 3, at 10pm ET/PT; The 90-minute series finale airs July 29 at a special 9pm ET/PT timeslot on BET.

And of course, the BET Awards will air live, on Sunday, June 28.

TV One is also kicking off summer with 2 new movies premiering in June.

The first already premiered on Saturday, June 6 – “The Summoning,” a TV One original movie thriller, directed by Charles Murray about a remarried widow, Angela Simmons-Alexander (played by Paula Jai

Parker), who summons her first husband (Terrell Tilford) from the dead. Though her new husband Wayne Alexander (Dorian Missick) is everything she could hope for, the passion in her marriage is lukewarm at best. Given an artifact – a spiritual medallion said to awaken the deceased – by a dead friend’s brother, Drew Studdard (Darius McCrary), Angela cannot resist temptation and invokes the magic of the mysterious gift. The reunion with her past love is emotional but turns deadly very quickly as his spirit begins to strengthen and make life-threatening demands, including turning Kendra (Storm Reid), one of their young daughters, against Wayne. With the help of Kiki (Diandra Lyle), a homeless woman Angela hired to run her bar’s kitchen, they plot to send TJ back to the grave. Read our review of it here.

And debuting Saturday, June 27 at 8 p.m. E.T. is the world premiere of “You Got Served” director Chris Stokes’ “Will to Love,” a romantic comedy about a

workaholic bachelor (Marques Houston) who must find a wife in 90 days in order

to inherit his grandfather’s fortune. Jamal Hawkins is a 30-something CEO and heir of the “Let It Roll” toilet paper company, who must find a wife before his grandfather passes away. As a quintessential bachelor, Jamal has no idea how to accomplish such a feat and must do so despite his half-sister Monica’s (Shondrella Avery) meddling. He enlists the help of his secretary, Rachel (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and his best friend Danny (Black Thomas) to find a bride who will obtain his family’s approval and win him his birthright. After devising a plan to audition potential brides and finding Candice (Draya Michele), Jamal develops feelings for Rachel and must make the crucial decision between following the money or his heart. The stellar cast also includes Valarie Pettiford and Gary Sturgis. 

“During a month traditionally known for wedding bells, we bring two very different takes on

love,” said D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s SVP Original Programming and Production. “From

learning how to let go and move on, to embracing true love without hesitation, our June movies

illustrate the best, the worst, the humor, and ultimately the power of love.”

“The Summoning” is directed by Charles Murray and produced for TV One by Parkside

Pictures with Danny Roth and Damiano Tucci as producers. Craig Henry serves as executive

in charge of production and D’Angela Proctor as executive producer for the network. “Will to Love” is produced for TV One by Footage Films, LLC. Chris Stokes serves as

director and producer, and Christopher Owen and Jerome Jones are also producers. Jubba

Seyyid serves as executive in charge of production and D’Angela Proctor as executive producer.

The network It also is adding a new scripted series – “Born Again Virgin,” a half-hour romantic comedy scheduled to premiere in July. TV One aired a sneak peek the new series in February of this year.

It’s a planned 30-minute series set in the fast-paced Atlanta, that explores the love lives of three 30-something best friends: Jenna, a vlogger who decides to become celibate after a stream of unsuccessful dates and hook-ups leave her wanting more. She decides to document her newly adapted sex-fast and share the “sexcapades” of her girlfriends – Kelly and Tara. Each week, the ladies will comically work through their friendship, dating woes and career challenges.

Danielle Nicolet, Gabrielle Dennis, and Eva Marcille star as the 3 best friends. And R&B singer Tank plays Donovan.

Watch 4 clips from the upcoming summer series below.




And check out the trailer for “The Summoning” below:

IFC will premiere “The Spoils Before Dying” as a 3-night miniseries event on Wednesday, July 8, Thursday, July 9 and Friday, July 10. Two half-hour episodes of the six part miniseries will air each evening starting at 9:00pm ET/PT on IFC. 

Described as a debaucherous pulp-noir murder mystery set in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles’ jazz scene, “The Spoils Before Dying” follows Rock Banyon (Michael Kenneth Williams) as he becomes the prime suspect in the double murder of his occasional lover Fresno Foxglove (Maya Rudolph) who is found dead with another man. Panicked, Rock splits for Mexico where he reunites with his one-time big band singer Delores DeWinter (Kristen Wiig). With 72-hours to clear his name or fry in the electric chair, Rock and Delores embark on a dangerous quest for the truth that takes them into an abyss of sex, drugs, betrayal, and of course, jazz.  While his world crumbles, Rock’s hard-charging manager Alistair St. Barnaby (Haley Joel Osment) pressures him to record a mainstream jazz album.

Additional cast includes Michael Sheen, Kate McKinnon, Molly, Tim Meadows, Lou Gossett Jr., Chris Parnell, Emily Ratajkowski, Steve Tom, Marc Evan Jackson, Jesse Williams, Andrew Daly, Chris Mulkey, Chin Han, Ted Levine, Jack Kilmer, Bérénice Marlohe and Patty Guggenheim.

“The Spoils Before Dying” is produced by Funny Or Die and executive produced by Ferrell, Adam McKay, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele and Nate Young. Steele and Piedmont wrote the miniseries, with Piedmont also directing.

IFC has released a couple of teasers ahead of a full trailer; emphasis on the word “teasers” as neither contains any footage. Both are embedded below:



Here’s one of TNT’s summer offerings – a supernatural drama series titled “Proof,” which stars Jennifer Beals as a brilliant but somewhat jaded female surgeon, still struggling with the devastating death of her son, who begins investigating cases concerning reincarnations, hauntings, out-of-body experiences, and other supernatural phenomena. 

Joe Morton co-stars, playing the tough and intimidating chief who runs the hospital where Beals’ character works.

And Edi Gathegi plays a Sudanese hospital intern tasked with finding proof of life after death.

TNT will premiere the series tomorrow night, this June 16th, as a summer series.

MTV2’s highest-rated series ever, “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out,” has returned to the network for a seventh season this summer, with 12 all-new episodes, which beun airing on Wednesday, June 10 at 11 pm ET/PT. 

4 additional episodes of the seventh season will air later in 2015.

The roster of celebrity guests and performers for season seven includes Kevin Hart, Jordin Sparks, Shaquille O’Neal, Snoop Dogg, Ne-Yo, Zendaya, Fabolous, Pete Wentz, Fetty Wap, T-Pain, A$AP Ferg, Nick Young, French Montana, Fat Joe, Rae Sremmurd, Ty Dolla $ign, Migos, Mack Wilds, DJ Drama, Ray J, Lil Duval, O.T. Genasis, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Dej Loaf, K Camp and the hosts of Power 105’s The Breakfast Club.

2015 also marks the 10th anniversary of the first “Wild ‘N Out” premiere in 2005.

“Wild ‘N Out” is hosted by Nick Cannon, who also serves as Executive Producer, along with Michael Goldman for NCredible Entertainment. Nile Evans serves as Show Runner and Executive Producer. Chris McCarthy, Paul Ricci and Candida Boyette-Clemons are Executive Producers for MTV2.

Last summer’s hit drama series for the Starz Network already made its highly anticipated return for a second season, on Saturday, June 6th. The season 2 premiere did so well that the network has already ordered a 3rd season.

The second season of “Power” features 10 hour-long episodes, a bump from the first season’s order of 8 episodes.

Omari Hardwick returns to reprise his role as James “Ghost” St. Patrick, Lela Loren is Angela Valdes, Naturi Naughton is Tasha St. Patrick, Joseph Sikora is Tommy Egan, Sinqua Walls is Shawn and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is Kanan.

From Executive Producer Jackson and show creator and Executive Producer Courtney Kemp Agboh (“The Good Wife”), “Power” season two picks up right where it left off: James “Ghost” St. Patrick doubling down on his drug business to save his nightclub and dream of a legitimate future. Ghost’s work troubles pale in comparison to juggling his relationship with his wife, Tasha, and his first love, Angela, who’s also an Assistant US Attorney investigating his drug organization.

Ghost is set further back from his dream by his business partner, Tommy, who loves the drug game, and his former mentor, Kanan, fresh out of jail and looking for revenge.

Season two has Ghost in a race against himself: Can he get out of the drug game alive before Angela discovers who he is?

Trailer below:

Also on Starz this summer… its freshman series “Survivor’s Remorse” from executive producer LeBron James.

The sophomore season of the half-hour scripted comedy series will feature 10 episodes – up from its 6-episode first season.

“Survivor’s Remorse” follows Cam Calloway, played by Jessie T. Usher, a basketball phenom in his early 20’s who is suddenly thrust into the limelight after signing a multi-million dollar contract with a professional basketball team in Atlanta. Cam, along with his cousin and confidant Reggie Vaughn, played by RonReaco Lee, move to Georgia to start Cam’s journey to success. The two confront the challenges of carrying needy family members and their strong ties to the impoverished community that they come from. Cam, Reggie and an unforgettable group of characters wrestle with the rewards and pitfalls of stardom, love, and loyalty. 

The cast includes Mike Epps, Tichina Arnold, Teyonah Parris, and Erica Ash.

Starz has now set the series’ return date for August 22 at 9:30pm.

Spike TV’s “Tut” will tell the story of the Egyptian Pharaoh in what the network calls an ambitious special-event series, which will follow Tut’s rise to power and his struggle to lead Egypt to glory, while his closest advisers, friends and lovers scheme for their own nefarious interests. 

Of note, with respect to this blog’s interests… British actor Nonso Anozie will play the savvy military, yet power hungry, strategist General Horemheb. The accomplished stage and screen talent recently appeared on the small screen as Renfield in NBC’s “Dracula” and as Xaro Xhoan Daxos in HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones.” Also Canadian-born actress Kylie Bunbury portrays Suhad, the beautiful and endearing girl of Mitanni descent who develops a strong bond with the young Egyptian king, despite the fact she is not of royal bloodlines. Bunbury is best known for her portrayal of Lacey Porter in the ABC Family series, “Twisted,” as well as her co-starring role opposite Jonah Hill in “The Sitter” for FOX.

Rounding out the cast are  Ben Kingsley who plays Ay, the Grand Vizier to King Tutankhamun, who wields tremendous power and influence as the top advisor to the young Egyptian ruler; The role of King Tutankhamun is played by Canadian up-and-comer, Avan Jogia; Sibylla Deen who plays Ankhe, the calculating and conniving sister-wife of King Tutankhamun; Alexander Siddig plays High Priest Amun, a major political figure who holds great influence in King Tutankhamun’s inner sanctum; Peter Gadiot plays Ka, King Tutankhamun’s close confidant and seemingly loyal friend from childhood who harbors a secret love for Ankhe, Tut’s wife; and Iddo Goldberg plays Lagus, an Egyptian soldier who develops a special bond with King Tutankhamun.

“Tut” was shot entirely on location in Morocco last fall.

The event series will air over 3 nights – July 19 to July 21 – on Spike.

This will be Spike TV’s first scripted event series in 8 years.

A first trailer has been released by the network and is embedded below:

Also coming to TNT this summer, another season of Taye Diggs’ TNT scripted detective drama series “Murder in the First,” from Steven Bochco, which Kathleen Robertson co-stars in.

The series already premiered on June 8, at 10/9c.

The San Francisco-set detective drama, which is being produced by TNT Originals, returns for a 10-episode second season.

Over last summer, “Murder in the First” took viewers deep inside a complex homicide investigation that spanned the entire season. The series followed San Francisco homicide detectives Terry English (Diggs) and Hildy Mulligan (Robertson) as they investigated 2 seemingly unrelated murders which they soon found had a common denominator in a Silicon Valley wunderkind.

The series, which is executive produced by Emmy winner Steven Bochco (“NYPD Blue”) and Eric Lodal, ranked as one of basic cable’s Top 10 series of the summer. 

HBO’s new comedy series “Ballers” will kick off a 10-episode season starting on Sunday, June 21, at 10pm (it’s a 30-minute show). 

Looking at the lives of former and current football players, “Ballers” follows former superstar Spencer Strasmore (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) as he gets his life on track in retirement, while mentoring other current and former players through the daily grind of the business of football. 

Omar Benson Miller, John David Washington (Denzel Washington’s son, in his first major acting role), Donovan Carter, Troy Garity, Rob Corrdry, Jazmyn Simon, and Arielle Kebble also star in the series, which is set in Miami, FL, and is created and executive produced by Steve Levinson, with executive producing duties by Mark Wahlberg, Peter Berg, Dany Garcia, Julian Farino, Evan Reilly and Rob Weiss.

As if Dwayne Johnson wasn’t already busy enough…

John David Washington is also a former college football player who had a stint in the NFL, and has now turned to acting, following in his father’s (and sister’s) footsteps.

And Donovan Carter is also a former college football player as well.

Peter Berg directed the pilot.

Watch the trailer for “Ballers” below:

Last, but not least….

Fox will test-run 2 new talk shows this summer –  “The Boris and Nicole Show” is for July 6th; while “Ice & Coco” will debut on August 3 and run for 3 weeks, immediately following “Boris and Nicole” which will run for 4 weeks.

Both hour-long programs will offer each couple’s take on everything from current events, relationships and much more, I’m sure. They will also feature celebrity guests. 

Presented in a “fun, authentic vibe,” the husband-and-wife duos will each bring a “fresh perspective to the daily talk show format,” says Fox.

“We see this as another attempt to do something different — big personalities, new to the daypart,” said Frank Cicha, senior vice president of programming, FOX Television Stations, in a statement.

“Ice & Coco” will be executive produced by “The Oprah Winfrey Show’s” Candi Carter and produced by Telepictures Productions.

Previously, the couple starred on E!’s “Ice Loves Coco.”

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker will also serve as co-executive producers of their show, under Kirschbaum Productions.

The busy couple first appeared on screen together on Showtime series “Soul Food.” 

That’s it for the summer! Although certainly not everything. What will be on your must-see list this summer, whether it’s a show I mentioned in this post, or something I did not?

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