It's 2019, and it feels like every single television series from our childhood is getting the reboot treatment: last summer's announcement they're bringing back Buffy with a black lead and the return of Kim Possible to the TV screens are two prime examples. While there are suggestions that were pretty much rejected from the get-go—did anyone ask for a Coach revival?—there's been an an astonishing lack of '90s and early '00s Black sitcoms on the reboot shortlist. Why aren't we capitalizing on Black nostalgia? I mean, for some reason we got multiple reboots of 24 that no one asked for. There are so many other options out there, too! From Living Single to Girlfriends, here are some of my favorite Black TV shows that deserve their chance to capture our hearst one more time.
A Different World had a massive impact on black audiences with its honest portrayal of college life—black-ish creator Kenya Barris has cited A Different World as an influence and said he hoped his own shows would have a similar cultural impact. Set at an HBCU, the show was ahead of its time: a comedy that dabbled in social commentary, like racial bias and colorism, years before black-ish and America's Next Top Model did. Just cast Zendaya as Whitley and Dwayne's kid (we've come close before)entering her first year at Hillman, and you've got a series. If you're really anxious for this concept, grown-ish on Freeform is a close facsimile of the A Different World reboot we've wanted for years.
Tia and Tamera Mowry's beloved '90s sitcom—which had effectively the same plot as The Parent Trap—followed twin sisters who were separated at birth, one raised by a single mother, the other by a single father, who reunite as teenagers and move in with their parents to live under the same roof. Tia & Tamera are interested in bringing it back, and I can imagine the show focusing on the two sisters leaning on each other while they parent their own set of twins, with Jackée Harry's Lisa Landry popping in from time to time to play grandma. But don't call her grandma.
Friends wouldn't be Friends without Living Single. We definitely wouldn't have Sex and the City without Living Single. Enough said. The sitcom, which aired from 1993 to 1998, followed six friends living in Brooklyn, and launched Queen Latifah into the spotlight. The show was a love letter to modern Black female friendship, showing how you can be strong and true to yourself while also making sure you're respected. And there may be some good news: According to Latifah herself, a reboot of the show is in the works.
The Famous Jett Jackson gets lost even in the dialogue of modern-day Disney Channel shows, but it was a true gem, and had a plot that would work seamlessly in 2019: Wanting a taste of the normal life he left behind, teen actor Jett Jackson has the production of his hit TV show, Silverstone, moved from Los Angeles to his father's town in North Carolina, where he goes to school and hangs out with his friends, but his "normal life" doesn't exist because of how famous he is. With some paranormal elements thrown in from time to time. Bringing this show back would be an amazing career opportunity for a young black actor, as well as a great way to pay homage to the original Jett Jackson, Lee Thompson Young, who passed away in 2013.
This sitcom was short-lived (1992-1993), but it should have been on forever if only because the theme song is an actual bop. Musical legend Patti LaBelle played a former singer who owns her own club in Los Angeles, Club Chelsea. Set in the same universe as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Hillary Banks even appeared in an episode), the show also starred Vivica A. Fox and Morris Chestnut and boasted a stellar list of musical guests like TLC, Boyz II Men, and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Bring this one back with Loretta Divine as the lead and musical guests like Normani.
Fans of Girlfriends are still holding out hope that Joan, Toni, Maya and Lynn will get a reunion of some sort. And it seems farily likely—even creator Mara Brock Akil has expressed to Page Six her desire to give the show a proper send-off, and the cast has also shared a dream for the show to return. The show was a sacrifice of the 2007–2008 WGA writers' strike, with producers deciding the show was too expensive to produce and declining to renew. But that meant that the show basically ended before we saw how Joan handled her fiancé being sent off to Iraq or Toni and Joan make up. So, it's no longer a request, but a demand: Bring Back Girlfriends. ...If Tracee Ellis Ross isn't too busy, that is. The best way to handle? Have the reboot start at Joan's wedding, and go back to the beginning, showing us how we got there.