*Not only did “Black-ish” pull solid ratings in its 9 p.m. series premiere Wednesday night, it managed to keep the majority of “Modern Family’s” audience from turning the channel…something ABC hasn’t been able to do in a number of years.
(Just ask fellow 9:30 Wednesday casualties “Happy Endings,” “Suburgatory,” “Cougar Town,” “Mr. Sunshine” and “Super Fun Night.”)
According to Nielsen numbers, “Black-ish” drew 10.8 million viewers, retaining 99 percent of “Modern Family’s” audience of 10.9 million – which, according to ABC, is the best a “Modern Family” lead-out has done…ever.
Reactions to the series premiere on Black Twitter were largely positive…
— Patrik-Ian Polk (@PatrikIanPolk) September 25, 2014
For every person who tweets something about how black people would be outraged about a show called Whiteish, remember ‘Friends’. #blackish
— Nichelle Stephens (@niche) September 25, 2014
You can tell this show actually has writers and producers of color. Thank you. #Blackish
— Patrice J. Williams (@FlyonaDime) September 25, 2014
The negative tweeters mostly complained that she show emphasizes race too much and brought up a few too many black stereotypes – like grape juice and fried chicken.
— Charmaine (@Only1Charmaine) September 25, 2014
Public opinions aside, the show’s creators are the first to say that “Black-ish” is just as much about money and class as it is about race.
“Class is as much an issue, probably even more so now in some ways, for families that have arrived, as you will, no matter what the culture is,” executive producer Larry Wilmore said at the show’s Summer TCA panel. “[It] can be a more profound discussion than race and culture in some ways. When you talk about black privilege, that isn’t something that people are always accustomed to seeing, especially in comedy.”
Below, Wilmore talks about his “First Class” test – something he uses to gauge just how far America has come in its view of black privilege.