It’s upfronts season in the television industry, and I’m not going to get all jargon-y on you—let’s just say this is the time of year where audiences hear a lot about new shows, existing show season renewals and existing show cancellations! It’s a rollercoaster of emotions!
Probably the biggest (and Blackest) news out of the ABC Upfronts is the fact that the first series out of the Kenya Barris Cinematic-ish Universe (KBCU), Black-ish, has been renewed for its eighth and final season, per a press release sent to The Root. You read that right. Turns out, show creator Kenya had a major hand in making this decision, noting on his Instagram page that “it is rare to get to decide when your show should come to an end.”
“This show has changed my life in so many ways and I am so proud of the conversations we’ve started along the way,” Kenya added in his lengthy caption. “None of this would have been possible without our audience and supporters, who have championed the show every step of the journey; allowing us to change not just the narrative of Black Families, but of Family, Culture, and the World in general. All the while allowing us to talk about things that people were not supposed to talk about period... especially on a network television comedy.”
On the flip side, the third spinoff from the franchise, Mixed-ish is ending prematurely. According to Deadline, the series created by Kenya, Tracee Ellis Ross and Peter Saji has been canceled after two seasons. The series followed the younger years of Black-ish’s Rainbow Johnson and starred Arica Himmel, Tika Sumpter, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Christina Anthony, Ethan William Childress, Mykal-Michelle Harris and Gary Cole.
“I’m so grateful for every single cast member, writer, crew member and executive who went on this journey with me,” co-creator Peter Saji wrote via Instagram. “Thanks to you, at least three of my kids will be able to get braces. But this is one of the greatest places I’ve ever had the pleasure of working, and it’s because you all are so amazing. Thank you. And I won’t say I’ll miss you because I’ll make sure we all cross paths again soon.”
“It’s never the end. Ever. Onward and continually upward. Love y’all!” co-star Tika wrote on her Instagram page, featuring an optimistic graphic that read, “What feels like the end is often the beginning.”
The season seven finale episode of Black-ish will be titled, “Urban Legend” and will air on Tuesday, May 18 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
The episode synopsis, via the press release:
Dre feels pigeonholed to the urban marketing team at Stevens & Lido and realizes he needs to make some big career changes. Boyz II Men stop by the office to help out the team with a SoFi campaign pitch. Meanwhile, Junior has to deal with the twins who are overstaying their welcome at his and Olivia’s apartment.
So, as it stands, the two remaining franchise series that will survive to tell another story-ish will be Grown-ish on Freeform and the upcoming spinoff Old-ish, starring Laurence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis, which is coming to ABC.