Comedian Byron Allen has been a busy man launching his own cable network and creating a new sitcom about a black first family that has just been picked up by NBC for 104 episodes — a rather long initial run for any sitcom, black or mainstream. No, the family is not exactly the Obamas, but I’m sure a little real-world inspiration put this one in motion.

The First Family will star Christopher B. Duncan (the uptight Braxton opposite Jamie on The Jamie Foxx Show) and Kellita Smith (Bernie Mac’s wife on The Bernie Mac Show) as the president and first lady. Gladys Knight will play the president’s mother, and Jackee Harry and Marla Gibbs will portray the first lady’s sister and mother, respectively. John Witherspoon (bang, bang, bang!) will also have a regular role on the series. Now do you see how non-Obama the show will be?

Allen spoke on behalf of his production company Entertainment studios about the show, saying that “there’s a huge shortfall of quality family sitcoms, and we are 110 percent committed to filling that enormous void…our number one priority is to deliver the highest quality content in the sitcom genre, and this initial 104-episode order is a big step in the right direction.”

He certainly has a point. The family sitcom is a dying genre and those of us who love it have been twiddling our thumbs waiting for a show as fun and familiar as The Cosby Show, A Different World, or Living Single. The First Family seems ready to make use of skilled sitcom veterans, but the challenge is whether it will successfully brave network television’s fickle nature beyond it’s premiere date of Fall 2012 and stay on the air long enough for us to watch it.

Are you looking forward to this one?

  • Priceless34

    Interesting…kinda looking forward to it..hope it brings me a breath of fresh air.

  • MsQuita

    I love the line up!!!! Hope it is as good as I am hoping.

  • A Diva State of Mind

    As someone who grew up watching sitcoms, I look forward to checking out this show in the fall. I hope it’s good!

  • Bee

    Looking forward to it!

  • Tonton Michel

    Cautiously optimistic.

  • HowApropos…

    Can’t wait to see it!!!

  • Candy 1

    Yay! (I think.)

  • jas

    I hope this show is good but Jackee and John Witherspoon both have a history of ignorant acting. Maybe the rest of the cast will keep them in check.

  • rhirhi-hater

    took the thought right out of my head

  • T


  • Perverted Alchemist

    Hmmm…Jackee Harry and Marla Gibbs starring together in a family centered sitcom on NBC. Sound familiar, anyone?

  • Queen Ki

    Hm…not to be so pessimistic because I really AM all for the comeback of family sitcoms–ESPECIALLY Black ones…but did it REALLY have a…presidential setting? I mean, really?

    But one thing I do find interesting is that this show premieres in the Fall…near Election Season. *shifty eyes* Hmmmm….I wonder if this show will help Obama, hurt him, or even have any kind of influence on the voters at all. Just a thought. Lol.

  • Pingback: New TV Show- First Family « Chronicles of Cara

  • 2cents

    I’ve only seen John Witherspoon play the loud, ignorant uncle/father. As long as they stay away from the ridiculous Tyler Perry type of comedy, I’ll support it.

  • Creoleyaya

    Hmmmm. Jackee was recently on Let’s Stay Together and was just LOUDDDDDDDDDDD. I don’t know about this!

  • Val

    No, No, No! No more Black comedies! How about a drama! And not one of those dramadies either, an actual drama starring Black people. That I would watch.

  • babe

    Not if it is not well written and full of buffoonery.

  • Pingback: Black First Family Sitcom To Star Jackee, Kellita White, and Gladys Knight | Chocolate News Treats

  • Myisha of Pink Panties & Leopard Lipstick

    I’ll def be tuning in! Souls been craving a show like this since I’m ridiculously obsessed with reality tv (and no I’m NOT ashamed to admit that *rolls eyes*). I am curious about one thing tho… is Pop’s gonna be “Pop’s” again?? As much as I LOVE me some John Witherspoon… his one dimensional roles leave me to wonder if he COULD even attempts to play anyone else.

    If I’ve missed something, please direct me to it! I’d LOVE to see him play another roll!

  • Elegance

    I just hope this doesn’t make everyone look like fools! I don’t want to see any stereotypical neck rolling, finger wagging, shucking and jiving! If it’s the Cosby’s fine but nothing else will be acceptable to me.

  • Jame

    104 episodes? Wow that is a lot, and plenty of time to find a groove with the script and audience. I haven’t watched a sitcom in years, so it’ll have to be seriously funny and interesting for me to break my sitcom-free streak.

  • Shirl

    Val I’m with you on that one. I’d love to see a drama.

  • Sindy

    What happened to ‘No, Really…She’s Still NOT Our Sister’ on GMC. It had Kellita Smith and it was OK until Jackee came along..oh well.

    Anyway, it may be okay though who’da thought Byron Allen was thinking progressively.

  • purplekeychain

    I’m not the biggest fan of Kellita Smith… something about her over-acting and her weaves that are just… never… right. But that’s just superficial shit. Not sure why you called her Kellita White in the article title, though.

    Black TV shows always SUCK because of the ridiculous laugh tracks and the desperate attempt to be “wholesome” – most of them show absolutely no realism and rely too heavily on punchlines. The acting is always sub-par and it always looks like… well, acting. Like soap opera acting. It’s kind of pathetic.

    And it’s not just the actors. Black actors on “white” TV shows bring some realism to their characters, so I think it’s the shows production and direction that really limits the actors. Like, take Tracee Ellis Ross. Her Joan Clayton (Girlfriends) was fantastic, we know the woman can act her a*s off. Now see her as Dr. Reed (Reed Between the Lines) — it’s like she can’t take her character as far as she wants to take her (I mean, come on, she’s a mother of 3 on her 2nd marriage and put herself through med-school, surely that deserves SOME realism) and instead has to stick to punchlines and overly-done storylines from the Cosby Show (it doesn’t help that MJ Warner is her co-star).

    I just wish black TV shows could be more realistic and that the actors didn’t have to try SO HARD to be “wholesome black characters” or the over-the-top, countrified stereotyped character that actors like John Witherspoon and Gladys Knight always play.

    I don’t know, I wish the show success. But I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t have another Tyler Perry-like show on our hands. I would be really upset to see Braxton and Wanda portray the real first family (you know what I mean) in a crappy way.

  • candi

    Another insulting black sitcom. Really!!!

  • Mitt_Romen_Noodles

    those all happen in day to day conversations, though. you wagged your finger today i’m sure.

    lt it fail first. i doubt white sitcoms have their audience attack them before they air.

  • Shebeth Wealth

    We will not watch this disgrace. We are not a joke. We are tired of being ‘poked’ fun at! Like, some ‘Of the funniest,singing and dancing,fools! We are not a joke we are strong! Smart,intelligent,powerful, remarkable people!!! We do more than be funny if ‘poking fun’ at our president- is a fair or funny thing. I’m sure the struggle wasn’t enough! :( Some one told me,the show had and all start cast! In my opinion,they should all be lynched!!! How dare they!!! I bet they didn’t sell out for much!!! All those actors are washed up anyway. And Jackee that ghetto trash. Looks horrible!!!

  • Amanda Johnson

    Yes Jackie Harris is ghetto. Her grammar is horrible. She is over weight, loud and too much in to her self. A cast of mostly “has beens” Now Gladys does have talent– she can sing but she is old school country acting. Basically a cast of people acting as if they have class. Black people can do better than this. I just hope they don’t speak that old country, ghetto talk. They need to listen to the way educated black people talk like the obamas.

  • style12

    How bout you stop thinking that white actors are better then black ones. Your pathetic

  • kay

    worst show ever. 70′s sitcoms don’t work in the 21st century. bad writing. bad acting.

  • Casey

    This show is horrible! Not to mention an embarrassment to all African Americans. Being an African American President is a great accomplishment and something to be proud of but this show makes it look like a joke! I can’t believe intelligent black people would support this foolishness!

  • jen

    This show is confusing , I happened to see it by accident and was confused, I felt like it was too much going on in the story line, too many people doing a whole lot of nothing. Great actors and all but it just makes no sense…sorry but it wont last long , they need to get lee daniels to make a thats a show

Latest Stories

Watch: ‘Black People Mate’ a Parody About the Ridiculous Stats on Black Women & Dating


University President Under Fire for Wanting to Make School Less White In the Future


Taraji P. Henson Says European Men Are Less ‘Bitter’ and ‘Jaded’ Than American Men


Style Inspiration: Casual Work Outfits

Read previous post:
High Schools Cracking Down on Dress Codes For Prom Season, Is It Fair?
How Much Progress Have We Really Made With Race In America?