Black-ish creator Kenya Barris has accomplished something that not too many in his position, past or present, have managed to accomplish: He has developed multiple, successful spin-offs of a popular sitcom. That’s no easy feat, and we can appreciate a good idea that continues to bear fruit. So while we have to tamp down the urge to roll our eyes and release a guttural groan at the possibility of yet another televised entry of the -ish universe, we also get it. There are other thriving franchises in sci-fi and drama, so why can’t more exist in comedies that center on Black families? And if a network is willing to hand Barris wads of cash to make it happen, why wouldn’t he take it?
According to a recent interview with Deadline, the #blackAF creator and star spoke a little bit about his time at Netflix, his guiding philosophies when it comes to developing projects with others (“I sold enough pilots and I’ve seen enough untalented people I was working with take credit. That’s why, to this day, I do not take credit for anything. If I’m in a room with anyone, if I get a chance to speak, I’m like, ‘That was such and such’s joke’”), and his experience in front of the camera for his Netflix series. Towards the end, he was asked about the possibility of doing one more spin-off to join the likes of Grown-ish and Mixed-ish.
“We’re brewing it, yeah,” Barris confirmed. “It’s something I’m really super excited about. Yeah, we’re brewing it, and hopefully it gets done, and adds to that world in a really special way.” Apparently, the fact that he traded in his development deal with ABC for a much bigger one with Netflix shouldn’t complicate matters too much, even though all Black-ish adjacent content exists on Disney-affiliated properties. As long as he, as states, remains contractually “within that world,” the potential new addition gel with the rest. And the project could provide a different kind of reset for Barris. “It’s actually sometimes a little bit nicer to go and do network television because it’s a little bit freeing in a different kind of way because you get to tell different kinds of stories.”