Were the Emmys just a little too colorless for you? Well, they certainly were for actress Regina King, who, to add insult to injury, was captioned as an attendee though she wasn’t even there. The actress who was? “True Blood’”s Rutina Wesley – hardly a lookalike. Fortunately for King – and all of us – this fall TV season is shaping up marginally better for black actors and actresses.
The new J.J. Abrams show “Undercovers” has two black leads – the always alluring Boris Kodjoe and gorgeous English newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The recently dead Eggscharacter played by Mechad Brooks from “True Blood” has been resurrected for “My Generation.” Blair Underwood returns to TV as – gotta love it! – the president of the United States on “The Event.” (Hey, it worked out pretty well for “24’s” Dennis Haysbert.)
Here’s a list of new shows featuring black actors this fall, as well as some returning shows and old faces in new places. (Note: In the interests of space, reality shows are excluded. Reality show junkies know who and where anyway!)
“Hellcats,” with Sharon Leal (“Why Did I Get Married?”)
Premiere: Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m.
About: “Bring It On” meets “Glee” in this cheerleading comedy.
“Boardwalk Empire,” with Michael K. Williams (“The Wire”)
Premiere: Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m.
About: Atlantic City during Prohibition in the 20’s. It’s HBO and New Jersey gangsters have done well there before.
“The Event,” with Blair Underwood (“Dirty Sexy Money,” “L.A. Law”)
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m.
About: Think a better version of a “Flash Forward” type of ensemble, what-the-hell-is-going-on-here show. NBC has a poor track record with these kinds of shows, but maybe they’ll get it right this time.
“Chase,” with Rose Rollins (“The L Word”)
Premiere: Monday, Sept. 20 at 10 p.m.
About: U.S. Marshals on the hunt for the bad guys – and girls.
“Detroit 1-8-7,” with Aisha Hinds (“Hawthorne”) James McDaniel, newcomer Jon Michael Hill
Premiere: Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m.
About: Crime and police in Detroit. In other words, it’s yet another cop show.
“The Defenders,” with Jurnee Smollett (“Friday Night Lights”)
Premiere: Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m.
About: Lawyers! In Las Vegas! But Smollett is fun to watch, no matter where she is.
“Undercovers,” with Boris Kodjoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Premiere: Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.
About: Think “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” on the small screen, powered by TV hitmaker J.J. Abrams (“Alias,” “Lost”)
“Law and Order: Los Angeles,” with Terence Howard
Premiere: Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 10 p.m.
About: We’ll see how this goes now that the “L&O” franchise has basically been relocated. Aren’t there already enough crime shows set in L.A.?
“My Generation,” with Mechad Brooks (“The Game”)
Premiere: Thursday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m.
About: A group of high-school kids who participate in a documentary meet up years later to see what’s changed in their lives.
“Body Of Proof,” with Sonja Sohn (“The Wire), Windell Middlebrooks
Premiere: Fridays at 9 p.m. (TBD)
About: A medical examiner in Philadelphia. How in the world does such a beautiful woman like Sonja Sohn keep getting cast as a cop? I don’t know, but there it is.