The ’90s was the golden era for Black television shows in primetime. The success of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin, Living Single, and others dominated the ratings and made stars out of their casts.
They would show the world that Black people weren’t a monolith and had various stories that needed to be seen by a mainstream audience.
While some shows would live in infamy, others failed to reach the same heights. For every hit series, there was another that didn’t make a lasting impression.
Here’s a look at a few Black television series that you’ve probably forgotten existed.
Me and The Boys
The Cast of Me and The Boys
Before becoming a host extraordinaire and best-selling author, Steve Harvey was another up-and-coming comedian looking for his big break. This break would come in the form of the ABC series, Me and The Boys.
Harvey played a widower trying to raise three boys with the help of his mother-in-law. The show premiered in September of 1994 and only ran for 19 episodes. Harvey would find redemption with the success of The Steve Harvey Show.
The Cast of South Central
The ’90s also saw the growing influence of Los Angeles’s street culture in music and film. Movies like Boyz N The Hood and Menace II Society gave outsiders a firsthand look at how drugs and gang violence plagued its streets.
The Fox series South Central was about a single mother raising her three children in this west coast warzone. Though audiences may have connected with films with a similar premise, South Central failed at bringing the same attention to primetime and was canceled after only 10 episodes.
On Our Own
The Cast of On Our Own
After his parent’s death, Josh Jerrico (Ralph Louis Harris) now has to raise his six younger brothers and sisters. Hijinx would ensue as Josh would dress in drag as the family’s “aunt” to prevent social services from separating them.
On Our Own premiered on ABC in September of 1994 and co-starred Jussie Smollet, Jurnee Smollet, and their real-life siblings. The show would air only 20 episodes before its cancellation in April the following year.
The Cast of Between Brothers
Between Brothers was a buddy comedy about four Black men living together in Chicago. Debuting on Fox in September 1997, two of its cast members (Kadeem Hardison and Tommy Davidson) had already experienced being part of a primetime hit series. But unfortunately, lightning didn’t strike twice, as Between Brothers came to an end after its move to UPN in March of 1999.
The Cast of Good News
The show followed a young pastor (David Ramsey) looking to win over the congregation at a new church. Good News lasted one season before being removed from UPN’s lineup in May of 1998.
Out All Night
The Cast of Out All Night
One would think a show starring legendary singer Patti Labelle, Vivica A. Fox, and Morris Chestnut would be an instant success. However, the NBC series Out All Night proved otherwise. The show only aired for one season and was so poorly received that many can’t recall the show’s premise. Out All Night aired from September of 1999 to July of 1993.
Where I Live
Doug E. Doug star of Where I Live
Doug E. Doug was one of the ’90s’ most popular comedians. When he wasn’t performing standup comedy, he was starring in films like Cool Runnings and Class Act. Doug’s charisma and ability to make people laugh earned him his own ABC show, Where I Live.
Where I Live was based on Doug’s real-life upbringing in New York City. The show was a hit with critics, but lackluster ratings lead to its cancellation after two seasons and 21 episodes (seven of them wouldn’t make it to air).
Know of any other Black TV shows that came and went?
Follow us on Twitter @ Popdust and let us know!