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‘Black-ish’ Prequel in Early Development at ABC

ABC is in early development on a prequel to “Black-ish” that would focus on Tracee Ellis Ross’ character Rainbow, sources tell Variety.

A Rainbow-centric episode of the critically-acclaimed comedy will film in March with an airdate to be determined later.

The episode would potentially serve as a backdoor pilot for the prequel, which would be the second spinoff of “Black-ish” to date. “Grown-ish,” which was just renewed for a third season at Freeform features Johnson daughter Zoey (Yara Shahidi) in college and ranks at the top comedy among women 18-49 and females 12-34.

Ellis Ross has received three consecutive Emmy nominations for best actress in a comedy for her role in “Black-ish.” She won the Golden Globe for her role in the show in 2017.

“Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris recently departed his overall deal at ABC Studios for a new pact at Netflix. Barris’ relationship with ABC began to show signs of strain last March when Variety reported that the network had indefinitely shelved an episode of “Black-ish” that he wrote and directed, titled “Please, Baby, Please,” which touched on current events, including controversy over athletes kneeling during performances of the national anthem. Barris told Variety at the time, “Given our creative differences, neither ABC nor I were happy with the direction of the episode and mutually agreed not to air it.”

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