#Summer2K17: 7 Black-Lead Television Shows to Watch

By: @TheGreatIsNate on Twitter

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With the Season 3 finale of Empire airing this Wednesday and Scandal’s final season on the horizon, it’s time to look for other television programs to hold us over until the fall. Whether you like side-splitting comedy or tear-jerking dramas, here is a short list of some black lead TV shows to DVR and enjoy this summer:

The Carmichael Show

Premiere Date: May 31 @ 9 PM

Starring: Jerrod Carmichael, Loretta Devine, David Alan Grier

Network: NBC

Season: 3

Premise: “Inspired by the life of comedian Jerrod Carmichael, the series follows Jerrod and his opinionated North Carolina family as they navigate topics that all families face today in America. Nothing is too uncomfortable to explore, including police protests, guns and religion. Jerrod often finds himself debating such issues with his old-school father, Joe (Grier), his devoutly religious mother, Cynthia (Devine), his progressive live-in girlfriend, Maxine (Amber Stevens West), his recently separated brother, Bobby (Rel Howery), and Bobby’s estranged and outspoken wife, Nekeisha (Tiffany Haddish). And somewhere in the middle of all of their disagreeing, is the heart of this family.” –


Queen Sugar

Premiere Date: June 20 and 21 @ 10 PM (2-Day Premiere)

Starring: Rutina Wesley, Kofi Siriboe, Dawn-Lyen Gardner

Network: OWN

Season: 2

Premise: “The contemporary drama Queen Sugar, set in Louisiana, chronicles the lives and loves of the estranged Bordelon siblings: Nova (Wesley), a worldly-wise journalist and activist; Charley (Gardner), the savvy wife and manager of a professional basketball star; and Ralph Angel (Siriboe), a formerly incarcerated young father in search of redemption.”



Premiere Date: August 16 @ 9 PM

Starring: Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins

Network: NBC

Season: 1

Premise: “Loosely inspired by the real life of star Marlon Wayans (“In Living Color,” “Scary Movie”), this update to the classic family comedy centers on a loving (but immature) father committed to co-parenting his two kids with his very-together ex-wife. While his misguided fatherly advice, unstoppable larger-than-life personality and unpredictable internet superstardom might get in the way sometimes, for Marlon, family really always does come first – even if he’s the biggest kid of all.”


Being Mary Jane

Premiere Date: July 18 @ 10 PM

Starring: Gabrielle Union, Lisa Vidal, Michael Ealy

Network: BET

Season: 4

Premise: “Smart and fierce, Mary Jane is the type of journalist who’s ambitious, on top of her game and armed for battle. As she tries to navigate singlehood and put her past behind her, she resolves to take a bite out of the Big Apple and make it to the anchor chair on Good Day USA, the top-rated New York morning show where she now works as a correspondent. Starting over isn’t easy and Mary Jane struggles to climb the ladder while keeping her relationships (both work and personal) intact.”  –



Premiere Date: July 23

Starring: Issa Rae, Jay Ellis, Yvonne Orji

Network: HBO

Season: 2

Premise: “Created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore, the comedy series Insecure explores the black female experience. Rae stars as Issa Dee, and Yvonne Orji stars as Molly Carter. Over the course of the season, Issa attempts to figure out what she wants out of life and how to take control of it, while fumbling her way through this journey. Molly, a corporate attorney who appears to have everything together professionally, struggles inside as she looks for external ways to fix her life. Meanwhile, Issa’s boyfriend, Lawrence (Jay Ellis), who has fallen victim to complacency, works to get his own act together.”



Premiere Date: June 11 @ 9 PM

Starring: Niecy Nash, Karrueche Tran

Network: TNT

Season: 1

Premise: “Claws is a midnight-dark, wickedly funny meditation on female badness set in a South Florida nail salon. It follows the rise of five diverse and treacherous manicurists working at the Nail Artisan of Manatee County salon, where there is a lot more going on than silk wraps and pedicures. Claws is about good women caught in bad places with worse men. It’s the story of hardworking women trying to get by in this economy, set against the surreal, bright, gritty landscape of Florida and the luscious, absurd, extreme excesses of the crime world.” –



Premiere Date: June 25

Starring: Omari Hardwick, Naturi Naughton, Joseph Sikora

Network: STARZ

Season: 4

Premise: “Power tells the story of James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Hardwick), a wealthy New York City nightclub owner who caters to the city’s elite. He wants to build an empire, turn the club into a Fortune 500 business, but there’s just one problem: Ghost is living a double life. When he is not in the club, he is the kingpin of the most lucrative drug network in New York for a very high-level clientele. His marriage, family and business all become unknowingly threatened as he is tempted to leave his criminal life behind and become the rags-to-riches businessman he wants to be most of all.” –




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