One of ABC's new shows is a rarity -- a prime-time network comedy revolving solely around an African American family.
"black-ish," arriving Sept. 24, features Anthony Anderson ("Law & Order"), Tracee Ellis Ross ("Girlfriends") and "special guest star" Laurence Fishburne in a humorous look at one man's determination to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family living in a predominantly white, affluent suburb.
Andre Johnson (Anderson) wonders if the trappings of success have brought too much assimilation to his family. "The world he sees has a much different lens than the one he would like his family to look though," the production notes say.
For instance, his son announces that like his schoolmates he would like a bar mitzvah for his 13th birthday, even though his family isn't Jewish. Anderson said the incident grew out of an actual story involving his son.
"This is more about culture, rather than race," said Anderson. "It's about a father that has given his kids a little too much. Something is lost."
Executive producer Kenya Barris added, "The show is about a black family but could be about a lot of different families and their experience."
The show comes more than three decades after "The Cosby Show" tackled comedy and universal issues without constantly pointing out that the Huxtables were black. Both Anderson and Ross have previously starred in family comedies in which culture was a non-issue.
Anderson and Fishburne are listed as executive producers, along with Larry Wilmore, the "black correspondent" for "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" who will host a new series on Comedy Central next May that will replace the departing "The Colbert Report." Wilmore was also creator of "The Bernie Mac Show," which also was about a black family living in the suburbs.