Photo: Getty
  /  02.15.2022

Shows like “Martin” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” dominated the television airwaves in the 90s. With United Paramount Network (UPN) also backing small screen classics like “Girlfriends,” “The Parkers” and “All of Us” at the time, Black families were represented on television like never before. In September 2006, however, UPN ceased production and broadcasting, merging with The WB to create a new network called The CW. When The CW’s television slate was released, there were quite a few notable exclusions. Several Black sitcoms, including “Eve,” “Half & Half” and “One on One,” did not survive the merger. As The CW grew in popularity, most of the Black UPN shows that pulled through initially were eventually canceled. Others – “Moesha,” for example – ended on major cliffhangers (like, who did that pregnancy test in Moesha’s dorm room belong to?!). The 80s and 90s were filled with small screen representation for the Black community, but after the UPN merger, Black TV certainly hit a decline – that is, until fairly recently.

Fast forward to 2022, and Black television is experiencing a renaissance like no other. To many viewers’ surprise, one of the most prominent leaders of this new resurgence is none other than rapper-turned-executive television producer, 50 Cent. Recently, 50 took to Instagram to share an extraordinary statistic. The entertainment mogul has had a hand in the top three most-watched television shows in Black households: “Power Book II: Ghost,” “Power Book III: Raising Kanan,” and “BMF.” 50 shows no plans of slowing down anytime soon either, as he has several upcoming series set to premiere this year and beyond. One of his impending titles, “Angel’s Playbook,” is inspired by Nicole Lynn, the first Black woman to represent a top-three NFL draft pick. The next installment in 50’s “Power” franchise, “Power Book V: Influence,” stars Larenz Tate and is also set to premiere later this year.

It isn’t just 50 Cent who has become a crucial player in this new era of Black TV. Issa Rae recently ended her incredibly successful HBO show “Insecure” and is working on a new series titled “Rap Sh*t” for HBO Max. “Insecure” had a phenomenal impact on the culture during its run. Rae and the cast trended on Twitter every week whenever a new season aired, sparking insightful conversations about real-life situations that affect the Black community on a daily basis. One of the greatest parts about the show was that, after five seasons, Rae gave viewers a happy ending. While so many Black series have closed on a painful and sad note, the TV star was sure to give “Insecure” fans an optimistic finale, with each character finding a sense of hope, light and love. Her newest project, “Rap Sh*t,” is set to be a half-hour comedy series and has reportedly been in development since 2019. Syreeta Singleton is the slated showrunner, and Rae is on as head writer. The two will executive produce the series alongside current hip hop favorites, JT and Yung Miami of the City Girls.

While Issa Rae has already accomplished so much, she’s clearly just getting started. In 2021, the young icon inked an incredibly lucrative five-year overall deal with HBO. The partnership is reported to be worth over $40 million, so we can certainly look forward to Rae feeding the culture her unique brand of content for years to come.

Quinta Brunson is another exciting name leading the current era of Black television. The actress, comedian, writer and producer has a gem on her hands with “Abbott Elementary.” The series follows a group of teachers who are brought together in one of the worst public schools in the country. In January, the show became the first ABC comedy series to quadruple its ratings since its original airing. According to Deadline, the mockumentary-style title increased its viewership from 2.79 million to 7.1 million in just 35 days. The show features a nearly all-Black ensemble cast that includes Brunson, Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, William Stanford Davis and Sheryl Lee Ralph. Like “Insecure,” “Abbott Elementary” has become a trending topic on social media each time a new episode is released. With that in mind, a renewal for a second season is highly probable.

Celebrating today’s small screen innovators is a must, but we can’t talk Black TV without talking Mara Brock Akil, who’s been running the game for decades. As the creator of several classic shows, including “Girlfriends,” “The Game,” “Being Mary Jane” and “Black Lightning,” Akil’s impact on the reemergence of Black television is extraordinary. One of few storytellers with a long list of iconic shows under her belt, it’s clear the television O.G. is nowhere near done making shows that resonate with our culture. In fact, the screenwriter and producer signed a multi-year deal with Netflix at the end of 2020, which will allow her to develop and release content through her production company, story27.

“I’m excited to have a home that allows me the creative freedom and support to do what I do best — paint portraits and murals of women, Black people and anyone else whose story is missing from this golden age of television. Representation matters and so does who you build with — I can’t wait to work closely with Channing Dungey and her team to launch some great stories,” Akil said of the deal at the time, calling the partnership with Netflix a “dream” collaboration.

Akil’s influence on television, and particularly Black television, is undeniable. There would be no “Insecure” without “The Game” or “Girlfriends” and no “Raising Dion” without “Black Lightning.” The living legend has always had a remarkable knack for storytelling, and it’s thanks to trailblazers like her that we’re now seeing Black experiences highlighted on screen in an authentic way. Pioneers like Akil, Tyler Perry, Yvette Lee Bowser (“Living Single,” “Half & Half”) and so many others have demonstrated that Black stories aren’t just worth telling — they’re worth telling on the biggest platforms possible.

What we’re witnessing right now is only the start of Black TV’s newest and most influential era. The creators who came before us kicked the door down. Now, thanks to their perseverance, the incredibly passionate storytellers of today are taking over – one hit show at a time.



View More



View More


Walmart has the home essentials for everyone on your holiday shopping list

Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.

  /  11.24.2023

5 things you need to know about the 2023 Billboard Music Awards

“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.

  /  11.20.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicks off at Central State University

On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.

  /  11.14.2023

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour visited Mississippi Valley State University

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.

  /  11.22.2023

Walmart continues HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour during lively Virginia State University stop

After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.

  /  11.14.2023

Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University

On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

  /  11.15.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicked off at Central State University

In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.

  /  11.28.2023

Dig In & Drink Up | 'Bet on Black'

In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!

  /  11.15.2023

The Auditions | 'Shoot Your Shot'

The competition begins at REVOLT WORLD as rising rappers, singers, and musicians line up to audition for their spot on the main stage. Brought to you by McDonald’s.

  /  11.28.2023

Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'

Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.

  /  11.15.2023

Pheelz talks expressing himself through music & his biggest inspirations | 'On In 5'

On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!

  /  07.11.2023

Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'

On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!

  /  07.10.2023

Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'

On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.

  /  07.12.2023

BNXN talks leaving IT for music, linking with Wizkid, going viral & new album | 'On In 5'

For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!

  /  08.08.2023

Walmart brings in heavy-hitters for Black and Unlimited Tour panel

REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.

  /  11.30.2023

Dr. Jaqueline Echols' mission to cure environmental racism

The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.

  /  12.01.2023

Investing in stocks in a recession | 'Maconomics'

Host Ross Mac provides useful advice for preparing your personal finances in the event of a recession. He emphasizes the importance of budgeting properly, building an emergency fund, and maintaining discipline when investing.

  /  11.21.2023

Best chef's kiss | 'Bet on Black'

“Bet on Black” is back with an all-new season! Watch as judges Pinky Cole, Bun B, Van Lathan, and Target’s Melanie Gatewood-Hall meet new contestants and hear pitches from entrepreneurs Saucy D and Chef Diva Dawg.

  /  10.24.2023

Good taste test | 'Bet on Black'

With the help of host Dustin Ross and correspondent Danielle Young, entrepreneurs Diva Dawg, Brooklyn Tea, and The Sable Collective pitch their ideas to the judges. Watch the all-new episode of “Bet on Black” now!

  /  10.31.2023

From city lots to lush gardens: The power of urban farming with Karen Washington

This is the inspiring story of Karen Washington, a pioneering urban farmer who has been revolutionizing urban spaces by transforming them into vibrant community gardens and educational hubs. Sponsored by State Farm.

  /  11.17.2023
View More
Revolt - New Episodes