yara shahidi's "black-ish" spinoff is the black teen sitcom we've been waiting for

Watch the first teaser for the star-studded coming-of-age show.

by André-Naquian Wheeler
03 November 2017, 3:26pm

There has always been a dearth of shows created specifically for black teens (as Issa Rae pointed out in a hilarious pitch for a "black 90210"). Grown-ish, a spinoff from the highly successful black-ish, looks set to change this. Starring the Harvard-bound actress Yara Shahidi, the show will follow the popular, stylish Zoey as she heads to college and grows into herself. The premise feels like a fresh, modern take on the iconic 90s sitcom A Different World, which also focused on black college students discovering their identities.

"Many shows are now proving to networks that you don't need to have a 'mainstream family' to attract a mainstream audience," Yara wrote in a personal essay penned for i-D's Acting Up issue. "When you see families of color, especially on network television, the assumption may be that the show is going to be for a 'niche' market, that few people will relate to it, rather than it being a show for people of different ethnicities and generations to connect to. I think Black-ish has proven that the audience relates to us not in spite of us being black, but because of it."

The cast of Grown-ish is looking to be pretty spectacular. Singer Trevor Jackson will play Zoey's love interest, model Luka Sabbat will play a recurring role, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager actress Francia Raisa will play Zoey's sassy roommate. Francia has been raising awareness about organ donation after giving Selena Gomez, her BFF, her kidney.

Thankfully, we won't have to wait long to watch all this POC excellence. Grown-ish will premiere on Freeform in January. Check out the teaser below!