ABC Studios seems to recognize that black folks enjoy watching TV. First, they’ve allowed Shonda Rhimes to paint the nights with dramas the ladies love: Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, Private Practice, The Catch, and Gilded Lillies…any more?
Now, ABC has hired Larry Wilmore to bring new sitcoms to life on the network. Under the terms of the deal, Wilmore will develop his own series in addition to supervising and working with other creators.
For some reason Larry Wilmore isn’t a household name, but he’s the guy who brought Black-ish to ABC before leaving to do The Nightly Show on Comedy Central that was recently cancelled.
On his last episode of The Nightly Show, the last thing he said before they faded to black was, “I’m not Done!”
Well, damn Larry, you could have taken a couple weeks off at least.
Soon after the end of The Nightly Show, the super fantastic HBO show Insecure aired which he co-writes with the star Issa Rae that’s become one of the most talked about shows on TV and has been picked up for another season (and I’m sure a lot more after that). Other past credits include creating, or helping to create, The Bernie Mac Show, In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The PJs, and The Office.
As a huge Nightly Show fan, my favorite segment was his coverage of the presidential campaign. He called it The Unblackening and gave it a colorful intro with fancy graphics and music. It’s a real shame Comedy Central didn’t let The Nightly Show continue. It’s hard to find the perspective Wilmore and crew brought to the political process. His bold take on matters of race and politics were on point but failed to connect with viewers.
Now Wilmore will have the big audience of the networks at his disposal to continue to hone his craft and build his legacy.
Move over Shonda. Larry Wilmore is entering the highway to take a lane with you.
Feature photo: I had the honor of attending a taping of ‘The Nightly Show’ last summer. I knew it was too good to last, so I’m glad I captured a few photos.