Kim Fields celebrates long-term success of ‘The Upshaws’ as part 5 hits Netflix

“I think people think I have this expectation like, ‘she did nine years on 'Facts of Life' and five years on 'Living Single,' so maybe she expects to be on hit after hit. But this is a different time," Fields tells theGrio exclusively.

Kim Fields is filled with gratitude. 

The actor-director is celebrating the release of part 5 of her hit Netflix series, “The Upshaws,” which premieres on the streamer on April 18. In a time when many shows come and go with one or two seasons, “The Upshaws” has maintained a solid audience and continued success. 

In an exclusive interview with theGrio, Fields says that people may think she’s used to TV longevity, but she is thankful for each new season of “The Upshaws.”   

“I think people think I have this expectation like, ‘she did nine years on ‘Facts of Life’ and five years on ‘Living Single,’ so maybe she just expects to be on hit after hit after hit,’” Fields says. “While I want to acknowledge that — in my faith in the universe — yes, I claim 678 seasons of everything that I ever do. But this is a different time to be on a show and jockeying for position in the hearts and minds of your audience.” 

Fields went on to say that the series, which stars Mike Epps, Wanda Sykes, Jermelle Simon, and Gabrielle Dennis, has “not just planted, but we have cemented our place with [the fans] in their hearts and in their minds.” 

“It’s very surreal at the end of the day, which I think is kind of where we hover. Because then on the heels of that, we have so much gratitude,” she adds. “We have so much gratitude being where we are with Netflix and with our audience.”

Part 5 of “The Upshaws” follows Epps’ Bennie as he navigates the ups and downs of working at his auto shop, while his family pursues new ventures. Sykes’ Lucretia is revisiting an old love, Fields’ Regina is dealing with old classmates, daughter Aaliyah (Khali Spraggins) has a new crush, and Simon’s Bernard is fulfilling his dream as a gym owner. 

Simon tells theGrio that starring on the sitcom has been a “surreal” and “incredible” experience for him. “The Upshaws” was the South Carolina native’s first series regular role after appearing in a string of short films. Like his co-star Fields, Simon is happy to see the sitcom grow and succeed.

Recommended Stories

“It’s really incredible, quite honestly, in a day and age where there’s so much content,” Simon says. “There’s so many platforms, there’s so much noise – if we’re real about it — and to be able to cut through all of that on a regular basis. Even when we were a little bit bound [with the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike] and not able to let people know that we were back last summer.” 

“Everyone not only found us, but they were waiting for us. It just feels very empowering. Empowering from the standpoint of — you feel like you want to keep giving it to them because they’re waiting for it. That’s an incredible, symbiotic vibe. It’s really wonderful.”

“The Upshaws” part 5 premieres on Netflix on Thursday, April 18.