Kenya Barris’ acclaimed black-ish has become the most prolific comedy series of the past couple of decades. During its run, it has already spawned two spinoff series, Freeform’s grown-ish, the No.1 live-action comedy on basic cable among adults 18-34, and mixed-ish, which aired on ABC for two seasons.
And Emmy-nominated black-ish, headed into its eighth and final season, is not done. This past season, ABC developed old-ish, built around Laurence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis’ characters on the mothership series. Additionally, Barris and Eva Longoria had been bouncing around ideas for brown-ish, which would revolve around a modern Latinx family.
“Brown-ish is still a concept that is in development, we haven’t rolled out the firm plans around that yet,” Erwich told Deadline. “On old-ish, we have no current plans to make it as a pilot.”
Overall, “when we talk about the world of black-ish, there are so many different iterations that we are open to; it’s really up to Kenya who is the master and the captain of the franchise,” Erwich said.
ABC also has explored spinning off another acclaimed family comedy from the last decade, Modern Family. A Mitch & Cam offshoot, headlined by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, came close to green light this season, and the network previously developed a potential spinoff around Rob Riggle’s recurring character of Gil Thorpe.
“We don’t have any current plans to do that,” Erwich said about a potential new Modern Family offshoot, “but we are always on a lookout for amazing storytellers and stories, whether they are original or stem from storied franchises like Modern
Erwich last month opted not to proceed with the untitled Alec Baldwin/Kelsey Grammer multi-camera comedy, whose pilot episode was written by Modern Family’s Chris Lloyd and Vali Chandrasekaran and directed by James Burrows. The project, from 20th Television, was originally bought by Erwich’s predecessor at the network, Karey Burke, with a straight-to-series order.
“Alex and Kelsey are incredibly talented performers. It was a year where we made some tough choices around new shows. We had creative we wanted to focus on that didn’t include Alec and Kelsey,” Erwich said about the decision. “It wasn’t really a fit for our audience ultimately but it doesn’t take away from what Chris Lloyd, Kelsey and Alex had accomplished.”
As now-President of 20th TV, Burke led the effort to shop the pilot elsewhere. CBS explored a possible pickup but ultimately did not go forward with it.
“That was a heartbreaker,” Burke said about the comedy not making it to air. “I’m so fond of everybody involved, from Jimmy Burrows tp Chris Lloyd to Vali to Alec and Kelsey. It was a phenomenal group of people who came together, and I was sorry not to see it go forward.”
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