12 New Must-See TV Shows With Black Stars

NBC leads the on-air diversity charge among the major networks' for the upcoming seasons.

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    Once again, the big five networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and the CW — and a few cable networks are trotting out new shows for the fall TV season. Though we’ve given up hope that the big five will ever feature shows that tell stories strictly from a black perspective (Kerry Washington’s Scandal, which returns for its second season on Sept. 27, came close), this season’s slate does feature a slew of diverse ensembles, with African-American actors playing prominent roles (NBC wins the award for most new shows with black folks). Here are the stars we’ll be watching this season.

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    Steve Harvey

    Steve Harvey (syndication, check local listings here): The comedian promises that his new daytime talk show will be different from anything else out there. Expect plenty of discussion on life, love and relationships. If the show is anything like his movie Think Like a Man or that meme-tastic video “S–t Steve Harvey Says,” daytime TV may never be the same.


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    NeNe Leakes

    The New Normal, NBC (Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m. EDT, premieres Sept. 11): The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum has already parlayed her outrageous personality into a recurring role on Glee. Now Leakes joins the cast of The New Normal, making her one of the first reality-show stars to have a permanent role in a scripted show. The series centers on a gay male couple who are trying adopt a baby. Leakes plays personal assistant Rocky, who matches wits with a bigoted grandmother played by Ellen Barkin.

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    Giancarlo Esposito

    Revolution, NBC (Mondays, 10 p.m. EDT, premieres Sept. 17): Fresh from his Emmy-nominated role as meth druglord Gustavo “Gus” Fring in AMC’s Breaking Bad, Esposito joins this J.J. Abrams thriller that takes place 15 years after a global blackout. Esposito is once again playing the bad guy, this time as Capt. Tom Neville, a tyrannical militia leader who battles a band of survivors who are determined to restore electricity and, ultimately, the United States.

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    Anthony Anderson and Tempestt Bledsoe

    Guys With Kids, NBC (Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m. EDT, premieres Sept. 26): Anderson plays cuddly stay-at-home-dad Gary, one of three fathers desperately clinging to their youth in this “bro-mantic” comedy co-created by Jimmy Fallon. Bledsoe, best known as Vanessa on The Cosby Show, plays Anderson’s wife. Bledsoe told the Associated Press she was thrilled to be returning to network TV to depict a “positive black family” similar to the iconic sitcom that made her a household name.

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    Andre Braugher

    Last Resort, ABC (Thursdays, 8 p.m. EDT, premieres Sept. 27): Braugher, who first made a name for himself playing fiery Det. Frank Pembleton in the ’90s cop drama Homicide: Life on the Street and who has been a steady presence on television ever since, stars as Capt. Marcus Chapin, head of a U.S. submarine crew that refuses a nuclear-launch order, flees to a NATO island and declares themselves a nuclear nation.

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    Vanessa Williams

    666 Park Avenue, ABC (Sundays, 10 p.m. EDT, premieres Sept. 30): Williams has seemingly taken up permanent residence at ABC, having appeared in two of the network’s hit shows, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives. In this new supernatural drama, she plays Olivia Doran, the seductive co-owner of the Drake, a luxury apartment building that has a devilish hold on its tenants.

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    T.J. Holmes

    Don’t Sleep! BET (Monday-Thursday, 11 p.m. EDT, premieres Oct. 1): The former CNN anchor says he won’t be another Arsenio Hall or David Letterman, but his new late-night talk show will feature a mix of news and entertainment, with a particular focus on stories that affect the black community.


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    Daniel Gibson and Keyshia Cole

    Keyshia and Daniel: Family First, BET (Tuesdays, 10 p.m. EDT, premieres Oct. 9): Four years after her first reality show, Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is, shone a spotlight on the R&B star’s fractured relationship with her mother, the singer returns with a new series that will focus on her life as a new mother and wife after marrying NBA player Daniel Gibson. Viewers will also get a glimpse inside her career as she preps her fifth studio album, Woman to Woman.



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    Eamonn Walker

    Chicago Fire, NBC (Wednesdays, 10 p.m. ET, premieres Oct. 10): Walker is a familiar face to fans of HBO’s Oz, on which he played Muslim leader Kareem Said. In Chicago Fire, Walker stars as battalion Chief Wallace Boden, who battles fires along with the challenges of running one of the city’s busiest firehouses.

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    Phylicia Rashad

    Do No Harm, NBC (Sundays, 10 p.m. EDT, premiere date TBA): Rashad, star of screen and stage, returns to network television as Dr. Vanessa Young in this Jekyll-and-Hyde medical drama that follows a neurosurgeon (Steven Pasquale) with a maniacal split personality that threatens to ruin his life and career.

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    Meagan Good and Laz Alonzo

    Infamous, NBC (premiere date TBA): Good (Jump the Broom, Think Like a Man) is Det. Joanna Locasto, who goes undercover to find out who killed a wealthy childhood friend. Alonso (Avatar) is FBI agent Will Morena, also on the case in one of the few new shows to feature black actors in leading roles.


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    Chi McBride

    Golden Boy, CBS (premiere date TBA): McBride (Boston Public, Human Target) plays Det. Don Owens, who is partnered with a young, ambitious policeman (played by Theo James) who quickly rises through the ranks after a major drug bust to become the youngest NYPD commissioner in history.

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