Listen. I know. The 1990s spoiled us when it came to Blackness on television. Between FOX and the WB/UPN Bermuda triangles where most melanation went to live life, there was a richness of diversity on the airwaves. Of course we had Martin and Jamie and Moesha and Steve and Roc, along with Living Single and for some of the 90s even A Different World. However, there were other sitcoms that were given a green light that didn’t quite stick, like that Malcolm-Jamal Warner starrer called Here and Now (1992) where he was a big brother to a lot of kids at a rec center and S. Epatha Merkerson was his boss. Or The Sinbad Show (1993) where we were introduced to the somewhat talented, very entrepreneurial pain in the neck that is Ray J. See? Blackness was everywhere. Below are a few other sitcoms that aired during the 90s that never quite got the spotlight that was intended for them. Some of them are currently airing on the free Crackle app, so if you’re so inclined… check the rhymes below and then do like me: find them and remember the time when we were sitcom kings and queens.
(1997-1999) 2 Seasons
Starring: Kadeem Hardison, Dondre T. Whitfield, Kelly Perine, Tommy Davidson
Premise: An ensemble comedy about four single 20-somethings in Chicago and their lives. One is a sports writer, another a weatherman, and the last is a high-school teacher. James Gordon is their buddy, a free-spirited ladies’ man.
(1996) 1 Season
Starring: Dave Chappelle, Christopher Gartin
Premise: A spinoff of ABC’s hit sitcom Home Improvement, the series starred two friends navigating the world of dating.
(1999) 1 Season
Starring: Jaleel White, Dave Ruby, Bumper Robinson, Marissa Ribisi
Premise: A day-dreaming single guy works in a box factory, still pining over a crush he had in high school. He gets a reality sandwich square in the face when the girl shows up at a party and barely remembers him. Meanwhile his best friend, now married, advises him to give up the fantasies and get real: they’re adults now.
Guys Like Us
(1998) 1 Season
Starring: Bumper Robinson, Chris Hardwick, Maestro Harrell
Premise: Jared and Sean are bachelor roommates. They find their lives must change, however, when Jared’s 6-year-old brother, Maestro, becomes their new roommate.
(1993) 1 Season
Starring: Thea Vidale, Brandy Norwood, Yvette Wilson, Wesley Jonathan
Premise: A feisty widow with four kids approaches life with humor and patience.
(1998) 1 Season
Starring: Damon Wayans, David Alan Grier, Andrea Martin
Premise: Two brothers, one a bachelor and undercover detective, the other a married rent-a-cop, are reunited in Chicago.
The Gregory Hines Show
(1997) 1 Season
Starring: Gregory Hines, Bill Cobb, Brandon Hammond, Wendell Pierce
Premise: Widower Ben Stevenson tries to be both parent and pal to his precocious 12-year-old son, Matty, when he isn’t working as an editor at a small Chicago publishing house run by bickering ex-spouses Alex and Nicole. At home, Ben’s father, James, and brother, Carl, are more than ready to offer unsolicited advice on everything from childrearing to romance. Ben’s administrative assistant, Angela, also is good for a supportive hug now and then.
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