Coming To A Screen Near You: The Black TV Shows and Movies We're Excited About In 2017
Things are looking up for pop culture fanatics with the return of Shonda Rhimes’ TGIT, incredible movies on the horizon, and must-see shows from filmmakers like John Singleton. We’re going to be glued to our screens and heading to the box office frequently to catch the best the year has to offer. Not sure what’s dropping this year? He’s a quick list of some of the year’s most anticipated television shows and movies.
Being Mary Jane – January 10
The fourth season of BET’s hit show features a few changes that should make for an insane season. Gabrielle Union’s Mary Jane will be living in New York City, looking for Mr. Right, and taking her career to a new level. New editions have been added to the cast including MIchael Ealy, Chiké Okonkwo, and Valarie Pettiford.
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Scandal – January 19 (Delayed, January 26)
It feels like its been years, but Kerry Washington will soon be back on our screens as Olivia Pope, handling things and stirring up drama. The show went on a brief hiatus after Washington revealed that she was pregnant with her second child, opting for a break instead of awkward camera angles and cover-ups. Welcome back to Washington, Olivia Pope.
How To Get Away With Murder – January 19 (Delayed, January 26)
TGIT is officialy back and How To Get Away With Murder has a lot of questions to answer following its shocking winter finale. What happened to Wes? Laurel’s got a bun in the overn, but who’s the dad? And, what the heck is going on with Annalise? Shonda sure knows how to leave us guessing.
The New Edition Story – January 24
This three-night miniseries is sure to be the biggest thing on television this year. BET brings the story of one of R&B’s most beloved boy bands to television, from their humble beginnings to their rise to fame and the rocky road in between. Cancel your plans, you’re not going to want to miss it.
The Quad – January 31
Another BET hit on the horizon, The Quad adds a little drama to HBCU’s. Starring Anika Noni Rose and Jasmine Guy, the series focuses on fiction HBCU Georgia A&M University and it’s newly elected president who’s trying to save the school from bankruptcy and her own marriage. The show will bring a dramatic, behind the scenes look into the world of HBCUs.
I Am Not Your Negro – February 3
Based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, the highly anticipated documentary is already on the shortlist for an Oscar. Raoul Peck’s documentary explore races relations in the United States through Baldwin’s lens and features Samuel L. Jackson as the film’s narrator.
24:Legacy – Feb. 5
A series spin-off of FOX’s successful 24, 24:Legacy follows a military hero, played by Corey Hawkins, who’s baggage follows him back after his return to America. Little tidbit, Hawkins was the only actor considered for the role after casting director Lisa Miller Katz saw him in Straight Outta Compton.
Get Out – February 24
Written and directed by Key & Peele‘s Jordan Peele, the horror film focuses on a young African American man visiting his girlfriend’s parents, but thing soon take a very disturbing turn. Peele has said the film is partiall inspired by The Stepford Wives. It’s a horror movie, but it’s a satirical premise.” Atlanta’s Lakeith Stanfield also makes an appearance in the film.
The Shack – March 3
Based on the 2007 novel by William P. Young, The Shack tells the story of a grieving man who receives an invitation from God. The film has already stirred up a little controversy from Christian racists upset at Octavia Spencer’s portrayal of God, we, however, think she’ll do just fine.
Shots Fired – March 22
FOX’s new ten-part drama series is a timely addition to its lineup. The show tells the story of an African American cop who kills a white teenager in a small town in North Carolina, setting off a media frenzy. The cast includes Sanaa Lathan, DeWanda Wise, and Julian Brittano. The show’s created by husband and wife team acclaimed filmmakers Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood.
Spider-Man Homecoming – July 7
The highly anticipated new edition to the Marvel universe has a star-studded cast attached that includes Zendaya, Donald Glover, Hannibal Buress, and Garcelle Beauvais. It’s also already stirred a little controversy after racist fanboys assumed that Zendaya would be playing the role of Mary Jane. The actress has said repeatedly that she is not, with many Twitter users coming to her defense, shutting down angry trolls.
The Dark Tower – July 28
Stephen King’s The Dark Tower comes to life this year with two amazing leads, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, with the wester horror sci-fi acting as a kind of sequel to King’s book series. Both King and the film’s writer and direct Nikolaj Arcel praised Elba, with King saying, “I think he’s a terrifc actor, one of the best working in the business now.”
God Particle – October 27
Rumored to be a part of J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield universe, God Particle features a stellar cast that includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo as a team of astronauts make a shocking scientific discovery, then must fight for their lives while in an altered reality. Sign us up!
Jumanji – December 22
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart team up once again, this time to reboot a beloved classic, Jumanji. Things are a little different this time around, though, as teens are sucked into the game and forced to battle their way out of the jungle. Oh, and the teens don’t play as themselves, but as opposite adult versions of themselves. Interesting.
Chewing Gum – (TBD)
Michaela Coel’s Tracey returns for more fun, sex, and awkwardness in this British hit series. The show premiere’s on the UK’s E4 January 12, but a US release date has yet to be announced. We’ll try to wait patiently.
Power – (TBD)
Renewed for a fourth and fifth season, the Starz crima drama is rumored for a summer release and after season three’s incredible finale, we’re chomping at the bit for new episodes.
Rebel – (TBD)
Added to its 2016-2017 slate, BET ordered John Singleton’s Rebel earlier last year. The show will focus on a female officer in Oakland, California who becomes a private investigator after her brother is killed. Method Man, Fences actor Mykelti Williamson, and stage star Danielle Moné Truitt will lead the cast.
Snowfall – (TBD)
Another Singleton series is slated to premiere on FX. The ten-episode series takes a look at the 1980s crack epidemic. Not much is known about the series, but Singleton has a knack for storytelling and drawing audiences in, so we’re sure this will be a riveting series.
Slice – (TBD)
Chance the Rapper makes his feature film debut in A24 and long-tim collaborator Austin Vesely’s Slice, a film about a former Chinese food delivery driver and werewolf accused of playing a role in a string of murders. Not much is known about the film and the teaser doesn’t even scratch the surface. Still, with A24’s history of exceptional films and Chance and Vesely’s talent, we’re sure the film is going to be one you won’t want to miss.
Queen Sugar – (TBD)
A premiere date has yet to be announced for the second seasn of Ava DuVernay’s groundbreaking series, but it’s expected return will surely have viewers tuning in. Sixteen episodes have been ordered for the second season and fans of the book are already speculating about what could be around the corner, but considering that the series, like many shows adapted from novels, has strayed a bit from the books, it’s anyone’s guess what could happen next season.