It's Raining People of Color on TV Thanks to Shonda Rhimes, Scandal

People of color are taking over … the fall television schedule. From Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis to Octavia Spencer and Tracee Ellis Ross, it’s a long overdue change on network TV.

Davis joins Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes’ new ABC thriller How To Get Away With Murder as a professor who only wears leather jacket that compliment her no-nonsense attitude while she feels up that kid from Harry Potter. Elsewhere Davis’ The Help co-star Spencer plays a nurse in Fox’s sure tear-jerker Red Band Society surrounding kids with cancer. Just grab your box of tissue right now, dude.


Henson joins a blow-dried Terrence Howard as his scrappy ex-wife back from jail to ruin his music mogul plans in Fox’s Empire. Her luxe furs alone might be worth a watch. Over on NBC, Alfre Woodard is playing the President of the United States who sends her almost daughter-in-law, played by Katherine Heigl, to avenge the death of her son and Heigl's fiancé on State of Affairs. There’s even a comedy in the Larry Wilmore-produced Blackish on ABC starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne. Willmore used to tell you jokes on The Daily Show but now he’s set to take over Stephen Colbert’s empty spot with a new show as Colbert moves to Late Night.

That’s a lot of black people on a lot of television shows and it’s pretty clear why.

Scandal is killing it despite its ridiculously implausible story lines featuring Kerry Wshington's quivering lip and Tony Goldwyn's furrowed brow. Like, seriously how many times can the President just saunter over to his mistress’ house without anyone finding out? Come on. But Scandal is fun with a multi-ethnic cast that’s working for ABC so if it ain’t broke … make more of it. From the New York Post:

With “Scandal” commanding $200,970 per 30-second advertising spot, it’s a cash cow.

“The color Hollywood loves the most is green,” says Wilmore. “Shonda Rhimes really showed that you can have a black lead in your thriller and you can have a great show. She broke down that wall, and Hollywood follows success.”


And it’s not just blacks, Eddie Huang's Fresh Off The Boat and Cristela are also debuting this fall. Now we just have to wait and hope that all of the shows are good and none get cancelled.

Images via ABC and Fox.

Share This Story