‘Black-ish’ to premiere election special before season debut

On Oct. 4, the ABC hit will feature two back-to-back election-themed episodes, one of them animated.

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On Sunday, Oct. 4, the hit ABC sitcom Black-ish will air a one-hour election-themed special. The programming will feature two back-to-back episodes of the Johnson family preparing to vote in the upcoming presidential election. 

In the first episode, Junior (Marcus Scribner) will be getting ready to vote for the first time, only to find that his name has been purged from voter rolls. Junior will then “do a deep dive into why—trying to understand the systems in place for voter registration,” according to TVLine

FYC Event For ABC's "Blackish" - Arrivals
“Black-ish” cast members (from left) Nelson Franklin, Peter Mackenzie, Jenifer Lewis, Anna Deavere Smith, Miles Brown, Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Marcus Scribner, Yara Shahidi, Jeff Meacham and Marsai Martin at a 2018 event for the show at Walt Disney Studios. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

In the second half, which is animated, Dre (Anthony Anderson) deals with his boss, Mr. Stevens (Peter Mackenzie), deciding to run for Congress. Dre “enlists his family’s help and campaigns against” him, but “gets caught up with fundraising and private interest groups.”

Both halves of the special will be directed by Matthew A. Cherry, the Academy Award-winning director of Hair Love. This morning, Cherry tweeted that he had been named one of “40 under 40 in Media and Entertainment” by Forbes Magazine.

ABC recently released an episode of “Black-ish” that never aired on the network. Instead, “Please, Baby, Please” ran on Hulu last month. The episode depicted Dre telling baby Devante a bedtime story about the current state of America. 

In 2018, an ABC spokesperson told Variety “One of the things that has always made ‘Black-ish’ so special is how it deftly examines delicate social issues in a way that simultaneously entertains and educates.” 

The Kenya Barris-created show is nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Anderson and Ross respectively.

Production for Black-ish remains delayed, like many fall shows, as networks scramble to figure out how to safely film amid the coronavirus pandemic. The new season seven premiere doesn’t yet have an airing date.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series also plans to address the pandemic, systemic racism and the movement for social justice in its forthcoming seventh season. 

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