Netflix Rolling Out Seven Classic Black Sitcoms From 1990s and Early 2000s

Netflix is rolling out seven Black sitcoms from the 1990s and early 2000s on its service in the coming months: “Sister Sister,” “Moesha,” “The Parkers,” “Girlfriends,” “The Game,” “One on One” and “Half & Half.”

“These shows made us laugh, and cry, and sing along with those catchy theme songs,” wrote Bradley Edwards, manager of content acquisition, and Jasmyn Lawson, manager of Strong Black Lead, in a company blog. “And mostly importantly, we felt like we saw ourselves on screen — in some cases for the very first time. Every week we were able to tune in to see people, families and friends that looked like us and characters whose everyday ups and downs reflected Black life in an authentic way.”

The shows have been on top of members’ wish lists, they wrote.

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“From the first days of Strong Black Lead in February 2018, our comment sections have been filled with members asking about this kind of classic Black content,” they wrote. “So we worked with our content team to make it happen — starting in 2019 with classic Black films like Love & Basketball, B*A*P*S, and Love Jones. The conversation on social media was larger than we could have ever anticipated. And once we had the wish list of series from our members, we were excited to discover they were available.

“We want to give each its due so we’re staggering the release of these beloved series to ensure our members have time to enjoy them.”

“Moesha” will bow Aug. 1, followed by the first three seasons of “The Game” on Aug. 15. “Sister Sister” arrives on Sept. 1, with “Girlfriends” launching on Sept. 11 to mark the 20th anniversary of its premiere. “The Parkers” debuts on Oct. 1, followed by “Half & Half “and “One on One” on Oct. 15.

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“The goal of Strong Black Lead is to celebrate and lift up Black Hollywood,” they wrote. “These trailblazing shows are a huge part of that story. From the classic clown funeral episode of ‘The Parkers’ to Moesha’s mind-tripping meet-up with Brandy, we’re thrilled that our members can now enjoy these amazing classics.”

Uplifting Films ‘Supa Modo’ and ‘Don’t Be Nice’ Available on DVD From MVD and Juno

Two uplifting films, the drama Supa Modo and the documentary Don’t Be Nice, are available on DVD from MVD Entertainment Group and Juno Films.

From first-time feature filmmaker Likarion Wainaina comes the Kenyan drama Supa Modo, about Jo, a witty 9-year old terminally ill girl who is taken back to her rural village to live out the rest of her short life after being diagnosed with cancer. Her only comfort during dull times are her dreams of being a superhero, which prove to be something her rebellious teenage sister Mwix, overprotective mother Kathryn and the entire village of Maweni think they can fulfill. With the entire village’s support, they decide to make dreams a reality and turn Jo into the superhero they know she is. Newcomer Stycie Waweru delivers a captivating and earnest performance, imbuing her character with a subtle strength that ignites the screen. The 2018 film was Kenya’s Oscar submission.

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In the documentary Don’t Be Nice, the upstart Bowery Slam Poetry Team, made up of five young African-American, Afro-Hispanic and queer poets, prepares for the national championships. Mentored by a demanding coach who pushes them past their personal boundaries to write from a painfully honest place, the poets break down, break through, and compose their best work ever. Will their soul-searching pieces about police violence and the whitewashing of black culture be able to compete against choreographed crowd-pleasers for the title? Lauren Whitehead coaches the Bowery Slam Team with the credo “Don’t Be Nice.” She explains that to “be nice” is to stay on the surface of things, is to perpetuate the status quo, and is, for black people, to be what white culture demands. Her team of poets brave their inner demons and buck societal expectations to write truthful poems, and to ultimately celebrate black joy.

AMC’s Acorn TV and UMC Launch on YouTube TV

Subscription streaming services Acorn TV and UMC are available on YouTube TV, AMC Networks announced.

Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service for British and international television, and UMC is the largest streaming service for black TV and film, according to AMC. The services join sister services Shudder, Sundance NOW and AMC Premiere as part of YouTube TV’s lineup of premium streaming service add-on options.

Acorn TV’s add-on channel is now available via YouTube TV for $6 a month, and UMC’s add-on channel is $5 a month.

Programming now available on Acorn TV’s YouTube TV channel includes:

  • “Manhunt,” a 2019 series starring Martin Clunes as a former police detective who tenaciously pursues a serial killer;
  • “Line of Duty,” a cop thriller that takes a probing look into modern police corruption with new guest leads every season;
  • “Agatha Raisin,” an Acorn TV Original series starring Ashley Jensen in adaptations of MC Beaton’s best-selling novels as an amateur sleuth who becomes entangled in mischief, mayhem and murder;
  • “Doc Martin,” a U.K. series starring Clunes as a tactless, self-centered, and uptight doctor in the town of Portwenn, where he clashes with the village’s quirky inhabitants;
  • “Keeping Faith,” an Acorn TV Original thriller starring Eve Myles as Faith, a lawyer with a happy marriage until her husband suddenly disappears; and
  • dramas including “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” and “Midsomer Murders,” as well as Acorn TV Original series “Queens of Mystery” and “Mystery Road.”

 

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Programming now available on UMC’s YouTube TV channel includes:

  • “A House Divided,” a new original drama series starring Demetria McKinney, Lawrence Hilton Jacobs, Paula Jai Parker and Brad James;
  • “Beyond the Pole,” the channel’s first original reality series that follows six of Atlanta’s exotic dancers on their journeys out of the strip club world with the help of Stormy Wellington, a former dancer turned multi-millionaire;
  • “Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy,” which will return for its second season later this fall;
  • OWN’s “Black Love” and WEtv’s “Growing Up Hip Hop”;
  • classic sitcoms, such as UPN’s “All of Us”; and
  • classic films such as Set It Off, starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica Fox and Kimberly Elise, and B.A.P.S., starring Halle Berry and Natalie Desselle.

Over the past year, Acorn TV and UMC have expanded their availability across various platform partners, most recently joining Apple TV Channels and The Roku Channel. Others will be added later this year, according to AMC.