Watch Black TV Shows | DIRECTV Insider

There’s never been a better time for television. Streaming platforms abound and the industry embraces diverse voices. There’s something for everyone, but some of the best content comes from black creators. Let’s dive into amazing black TV shows from the past and present.

Our favorite black TV shows to watch range from early 2000s family sitcoms to cutting-edge modern dramas. The one thing they all have in common? They not only feature black actors, but also black creators.

Whether you’re looking for family fun or drama, check out our best streaming packages to find your match.

‘Everybody Hates Chris’

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Rating: TV-PG

Broadcast dates: 2005–2009

Creators: Chris Rock and Ali LeRoi

Family comedian and Emmy Award-winning Chris Rock follows his own Chris (Tyler James Williams) as he navigates between projects and a middle-class neighborhood. As Chris takes care of his family, but takes long bus rides every day to school in an Italian neighborhood, the series shows difficult situations in a hilariously heartwarming way.

‘The good years’

Rating: TV-PG

Broadcast dates: 2021-present

Creator: Saladin K. Patterson

The good years It might not be what you think of when you think of black shows, but this reboot is one of the best out there. Don Cheadle recounts the actions of his 12-year-old character, Dean (Elisha Williams), who lives in Montgomery, Alabama in the 1960s. The show has earned praise for gracefully handling deep and emotional subject matter.

‘Abbott Elementary’

Rating: TV-PG

Broadcast dates: 2021-present

Creator: Quinta Brunson

Families looking for black TV shows to watch that will make adults and teens laugh should check it out Abbott Elementary School. Filmed as a mockumentary about underfunded public schools, the series focuses on the daily trials of an optimistic young teacher, Janine Teagues (Quinta Brunson), and delivers jokes with perfect timing and charm.

‘Scandal’

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Rating: TV-14

Broadcast dates: 2012–2018

Creator: Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes is one of Hollywood’s most famous showrunners, and Scandal may be one of his most famous black TV shows. Kerry Washington has won numerous awards for her role as crisis management guru Olivia Pope. At its peak, Scandal was a top ten TV show, and it’s still a fun watch if you’re looking for soapy, addictive drama.

‘blackish’

Rating: TV-14

Broadcast dates: 2014–2022

Creator: Kenya Barris

blackish is the story of Dr. Johnson (Anthony Anderson), a hardworking father who wants to provide the best for his children but fears they will lose their black culture along the way. It is considered a groundbreaking black television show: in 2017, Tracee Ellis Ross, who plays his wife Rainbow, became the first black woman to win the Golden Globe for best actress in a television comedy since 1983.

‘Sisters’

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Rating: TV-14

Broadcast dates: 2019-present

Creator: Tyler Perry

This latest adventure from African-American filmmaker, actor and writer Tyler Perry is about a group of single black women looking for love. This noir TV series tackles the emotion and drama of dating and relationships in the modern world, but also draws you in to care about the characters. The result is a one-hour roller coaster ride that will leave you wanting more.

Stream Tyler Perry sisters online with DIRECTV.

“The Upshaws”

Rating: TV-14

Broadcast dates: 2021-present

Creators: Regina Y. Hicks and Wanda Sykes

Looking for black family TV shows with a more edgy twist? The Upshaws features Bennie (Mike Epps) and Regina Upshaw (Kim Fields) and their two daughters. With veteran writer Regina Hicks and comedian Wanda Sykes at the wheel and experienced actors in front of the camera, the show is full of adult humor with perfect comedic timing.

‘The Boondocks’

Rating: TV-MA

Broadcast dates: 2005–2014

Creator: Aaron McGruder

For more adult humor, The Boondocks does not disappoint. This all-black animated TV show follows the Freemans as they settle in their fictional, upscale neighborhood of Woodcrest. With raw and relevant commentary on culture, class and race, as well as famous voices like Samuel L. Jackson, The Boondocks is satire at its finest.

‘Atlanta’

Rating: TV-MA

Broadcast dates: 2016–2022

Creator: Donald Glover

Atlanta aired its final episode in November 2022 after four successful seasons deftly combining comedy and drama to tell the story of budding rapper Alfred/Paper Boi (Bryan Tyree Henry). The show won multiple Emmys for its gorgeous cinematography and propelled its stars to fame, cementing its place as an iconic black television series.

‘Snowfall’

Rating: TV-MA

Broadcast dates: 2017–2023

Creators: Eric Amadio and John Singleton

Originally created by John Singleton, the mind behind the seminal African American film Boyz N the Hood, Snowfall looks at a difficult time in black history: the crack epidemic in South LA in the 1980s. It’s nostalgic, humanistic and beautiful, yet brutal and complicated – just like the city that created it. inspired – and it’s one of the best noir TV shows you’ll find.

Where to Watch Black TV Shows

There’s no shortage of excellent noir TV series to choose from – if you know where to look. DIRECTV is home to many popular networks, including Disney Channel, FX, ABC, and BET. Check your local listings on our channel guide so you never miss another episode of your favorite show.

Looking for more black TV shows? Learn more about DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM.

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