90s Black TV Shows
Do you remember all of the old networks that used to be on TV? One such example of these networks was the United Paramount Network, which ran several classic shows before being replaced with the CW Network in 2006. Before its end, it was home to some of the very best Black television ever made and was groundbreaking in helping showcase Black voices during the Golden Era of Black TV in America.
Five of the Best 90s Black TV shows on UPN
The UPN was way ahead of its time when it came to featuring Black sitcoms and talented, unique voices. Here are five of the very greatest black TV shows that aired on UPN during the 90s!
“Moesha” began airing in January of 1996 and stars R&B legend Brandy Norwood as Moesha, an upper-class teen who lives in LA with her family. This groundbreaking show tackles a number of tough issues, like sexuality and race, presented through the eyes of Moesha. Its success prompted other shows set in the same universe like “The Parkers” and “The Game.”
2. The Parkers
Set within the same world as “Moesha,” “The Parkers” follow a mother and daughter duo who are attending Santa Monica College together. Themes of adulthood, letting go, and the bonds of family are explored as the two navigate through the challenges of college and their relationship. While the show aired from just 1999 to 2000, it left a lasting impression on TV and sitcom culture.
3. The Hughleys
Darryl Hughley is a seasoned vending machine salesman who moves his family from South Los Angeles to West Hills in the San Fernando Valley. The family must adjust to living in their new and predominantly white neighborhood and its comedic storylines cover a number of racial topics. The show began on ABC in 1998 but was moved to UPN a few years later, where it wrapped up in 2002.
While this show technically began in 2000, we’d be remiss not to mention “Girlfriends”, as it certainly falls in line with and was a product of the Golden Era of Black Television. Featuring four friends, Joan, Maya, Lynn, and Toni, the show explores their relationships with each other, as well as their dating lives and complicated family dynamics. Along the way, the women learn lessons about friendship and support each other through life’s ups and downs.
5. In the House
Starring a dynamic cast of characters (including LL Cool J), this sitcom follows an ex-football player named Marion who becomes a manny (male nanny) for one of his tenant’s children, a recent divorcee named Jackie. The show aired from 1995 to 1996 on NBC but was picked up by UPN in 1997, where it ran for another two years.
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