16 Diverse Shows We’re Looking Forward to Watching This Fall

As we noted in our post last week, this year’s Emmy Awards weren’t as diverse as we hoped they might be. Still, the television medium has taken some big strides diversity-wise in the last few years and we’re looking forward to what’s ahead. Fall 2014’s TV season is about to start and there are some amazing diverse offerings on the horizon.

Returning:

Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes’s medical drama with one of the most diverse casts on network TV, returns for its eleventh season.

Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as a modern day Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson, returns. We just love this show.

Sleepy HollowSleepy Hollow normalizes POC (people of color) characters as leads in a fantasy-world setting, in which their race isn’t an “issue” but definitely a part of who they are as characters. It tackles historical issues like slavery head-on (for example, Ichabod’s reaction to Abbie being a cop), and it centers Abbie’s experience as the hero of this tale.

Ultimately, it’s epic and funny and fascinating—it tells a good story.

Scandal, Shonda Rhimes’s political thriller, returns with Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, queen of the Perfect Pantsuit. Whether you love or hate this show, one thing’s for sure: it’s impossible to stop watching.

The Mindy Project, Mindy Kaling’s rom-com, is back for a third season, featuring a strong, smart Indian American woman front and center as its main character.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Andre Braugher earned an Emmy nomination for his role in this sitcom set in a Brooklyn Police Department, which has been praised by many for its truly diverse cast and nuanced representation.

Premiering:

Fresh off the Boat is the first sitcom starring Asian Americans since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl in 1994. There are 18.9 million Asian Americans in the US. It’s time to see some positive representation! Fresh off the Boat

The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore will replace Comedy Central’s Colbert Report. Larry Wilmore, also known as the “Senior Black Correspondent” on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, will be one of the first black comedians to anchor his own show in the coveted 11:30 pm spot. 

Black-ish, starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, follows a middle-class African American family in a mostly-white neighborhood.

Selfie looks fun and funny, a fresh take on My Fair Lady, with a nicely diverse cast across the board.

Cristela, “in her sixth year at law school, is finally on the brink of landing her first big (unpaid) internship at a prestigious law firm. However, she’s a lot more ambitious than her traditional Mexican-American family thinks is appropriate.”

How to Get Away with MurderHow to Get Away with Murder stars two-time Oscar nominee, Viola Davis, as “the brilliant, charismatic and seductive Professor Annalise Keating, who gets entangled with four law students from her class “How to Get Away with Murder.””

Jane the Virgin is a retelling of Venezuelan soap-opera Juana la Virgen staring Gina Rodriguez.

Survivor’s Remorse, produced by LeBron James, follows Cam Calloway, a young basketball prodigy who is thrust into the limelight after getting a multi-million dollar contract with a professional team in Atlanta.

Honorable Mentions:

Galavant is about a dashing hero, determined to reclaim his reputation and his “happily ever after” from the evil KingJada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney Richard. Karen David stars as Isabella. It’s unclear from the previews what role Isabella will ultimately play overall, but Karen David is the top-billed woman in the cast, so we have hopes her character will be important!

Gotham, WB’s new origin story on Batman and several villains, will have Jada Pinkett Smith in the role of Fish Mooney. Zabryna Guevara will star in the role of Sarah Essen.

Have we missed any? Let us know in the comments what diverse shows you’re looking forward to this fall!

14 thoughts on “16 Diverse Shows We’re Looking Forward to Watching This Fall”

  1. I’d include The Flash as an Honorable Mention. Love interest Iris West and her detective father are played by Candice Patton and Jesse L. Martin. I love that they’ve cast the main superhero love interest as a woman of color! Also one of Barry Allen’s scientist sidekicks is played by Carlos Valdes, a seemingly up-and-coming Latino American actor!

  2. Oh, another honorable mention! And in November, State of Affairs will feature Alfre Woodard as the female black president. (The character also happens to share my name, Constance!)

  3. I love Sleepy Hollow (though PoC-ness is a really strange term… couldn’t you have just said race?) and hope they don’t hit a sophomore slump next year.

    I’m really looking forward to How to Get Away with Murder. I’m also hesitantly looking forward to Fresh Off the Boat (parts look funny, but I worry about the antiblackness among other things).

  4. Reblogged this on ConStar Studies TV and commented:
    Check out Lee and Low’s list of Diverse TV Shows coming this fall, both new and returning. Many of these shows are on my list (http://constarstudiestv.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/fall-2014-tv-schedule/) and I think The Flash should be considered an honorable mention due to it’s racebending Iris and Joe West (Barry Allen’s main love interest and her detective father). The show also feature Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, a comic character himself.

    I absolutely love that there is enough shows on TV this season to make such a list. I hope next year’s lists are even longer.

  5. @Alison

    I’m curious as to how you interpreted Fresh off the Boat as potentially anti-black? Was it anti-black because Eddie is called a racial slur by a black student or because Eddie’s mom asks him why he wears a shirt with Notorious B.I.G. on it?

    These two moments do not necessarily mark a show as anti-black. It is a little hard to tell simply from a 2 minute clip. I personally will reserve that judgement for the moment when I see the full pilot.

  6. 1. Not in the fall, I admit (I believe this returns in January), but Switched at Birth has MULTIPLE Deaf characters!! This is the first show where I’ve actually seen MORE THAN ONE CHARACTER AT A TIME who is “like me”. And also has a few characters of color, including the birth mother of one of the girls who was switched at birth and some minor characters. Also a few minor characters who are L or G. (no B or T so far)

    2. Also not in the fall, but eventually returning will be The Fosters in which one of the Moms is black and two of the adopted children are Latino. And both Moms are lesbian. And there are also some minor characters of color as well.

  7. There is also “Stalker” premiering this fall on CBS, with lead Maggie Q. She is Vietnamese-Irish American and was also the first Asia-Am female to lead a drama in US television history with her anti-hero role as Nikita on the CW. A great, criminally underrated action show that passed the Bechdel test and then some for 4 seasons.

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