SHA NA NA/SYN/1977-81
**(Frederick "Dennis" Greene) The only black musician belonging to the Rock n'
Roll group "Sha Na Na" which specialized in nostalgic 1950's music.
*(Richard Roundtree) John Shaft, a flamboyant, streetwise black private
detective living in New York City. Richard Roundtree had previously starred in
the theatrical movie Shaft (1971) [that inspired the TV series] and in the
subsequent theatrical releases Shaft's Big Score! (1972) and Shaft In Africa
*(Dale Godboldo) Randy “Ran,” up and coming black musician with the rap group
Shasta McNasty who lives and performs in Venice Beach with the other two white
members of the band.
*(CCH Pounder) Det. Claudette Wyms, a married black police detective working the
fictional Farmington District of Los Angeles. She reports to Hispanic Captain
David Aceveda and has to contend with a group of corrupt Caucasian cops lead by
Detective Vic Mackey. Claudette was promoted to Captain in 2003. Her husband was
killed in a drive-by shooting while buying flowers on April Fools Day. Her
daughter Bonnie witnessed the event. Michael Jace appeared as gay black police
officer Officer Julien Lowe. He later married a woman with a young boy to cover
up allegations that he was gay. Brian J. White appeared as Detective Tavon
**(Michael Warren) P. J. Lewis, a black park ranger working at Sierra National
Park somewhere in the western United States. Michael Warren later played police
officer Bobby Hill on HILL STREET BLUES.
THE SILENT FORCE/ABC/1970-71
*(Percy Rodriquez/costar) Jason Hart, a black federal agent and one of three
operatives who were member of "The Silent Force" an undercover organization
battling crime in Southern California.
**(Ben Vereen) Ben “Hutch” Hutchinson, a black police captain who supervises two
white detectives investigating society murders (“Silk Stalkings”) in the Palms
Springs, Florida area during the 1991-1992 seasons.
**(Franklyn Seales) Dexter Stuffins, a fussy black business executive and
treasurer of Eddie Toys, a manufacturing company owned by white millionaire
Edward Stratton III. Alfonso Ribeiro played Alfonso Speers, Dexter's nephew and
the best friend of the millionaire's son. Pearl Bailey also appeared as Lulu
Baker, a friend of the millionaire who hosted a cooking show called “Cooking
with Lulu, which is sponsored by Stratton Flour.
SIMON AND SIMON/CBS/1981-88
**(Tim Reid) Marcel "Downtown" Brown, a black undercover police detective
working out of San Diego who often got involved in the investigations of the
Simon brothers. Tim Reid formerly played Venus Butterfly, a hip disk jockey on
the comedy WKRP IN CINCINNATI/CBS/1978-82.
**(Cartoon Character) Dr. Julius Hibbert, the black physician for the white
Simpson family Homer, Marge, Maggie, Bart and Lisa. Other black characters
included Carl, a black guy who worked with Homer at the Springfield Nuclear
THE SINBAD SHOW/FOX/1993-94
*(David Adkins aka "Sinbad") David Brian, black owner of a computer video
graphics firm based in Silicon Valley south of San Francisco (and later as host
of a children's TV science show). Other cast included Erin Davis, as Zana
Beckley, an adorable six-year-old black girl; Willie Norwood as Little John (L.
J.) Beckley, Zana's streetwise 12-year-old brother (both kids were foster
children living with David) T. K. Carter as David's clothing store employee
friend Clarence; Hal Williams as David's dad, Rudy; and Nancy Wilson as his
SINGER & SON/NBC/1990
*(Ester Rolle) Sarah Patterson, a black housekeeper working for Jewish New York
Deli shop owner. Also featured were Bobby Hosea as Mitchell Patterson, who was
hired by the Deli Owner in hopes of making him the heir to his business; and
Tommy Ford as Sarah's streetwise son, Reggie.
THE SINGLE GUY/NBC/1995-97
**(Shawn Michael Howard) Russell, an African-American first year NYU law student
who worked at a coffee shop called The Bagel in New York City where locals
Johnny and Manny ate breakfast.
**(Joel Robinson, Alexaundria Simmons) Neville Williams and Violet Johnson, two
black orphans living at the Redemption House, a Catholic residence for children
run by a hard-boiled nun named Sister Kate.
*(Tia Dashon Mowry & Tamera Darvette Mowry) Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell,
black twin sisters, separated in their youth and later reunited in Detroit as
teenagers. Tia is an honor student; Tamera is sloppy and less studious.
Together, however, Tia and Tamera conspired to get their now-single parents
romantically involved. Other cast were Tim Reid as Tamera's adoptive father, Ray
Campbell who owns a limousine service; Jackée Harry as Tia's sassy adoptive
mother, Lisa Landry; Marques Houston as Roger, a young black next-door neighbor
who has a crush on Tamera; Alexis Fields as Diavion; Deon Richmond as Jordon;
Ronreaco Lee as Tyreke Scott; Chad Haywood as Steven; Rolanda Watts as Vivica;
Dorien Wilson as Terrence Winningham; Bianca Lawson as Rhoda; and Christopher
Reid as Clark.
THE SIX O'CLOCK FOLLIES/NBC/1980
*(Larry Fishburne/costar) Corporal Dan "Robby" Robinson, a black newscaster at
Armed Forces Vietnam Network in 1967 Saigon. David Hubbard played specialist
*(Ed Bradley/costar) Ed Bradley, black newscaster and journalist featured on
this investigative weekly magazine-of-the-air. in 1981. He replaced Dan Rather
THE ‘SLAP’ MAXWELL SHOW/ABC/1987-88
**(Bill Cobbs) The Dutchman, a friendly black bartender of a local tavern
frequented by white sportswriter ‘Slap’ Maxwell.
**(Harrison Page) Captain Trunk, a black police supervisor who had the unhappy
job of coordinating the activities of the maniacal white Lt. Sledgehammer (a la
Dirty Harry) who often carried on conversations with his .357 Magnum handgun.
*(Jeffrey D. Sams/costar) Ben Costigan, a black scientist working with a team of
intrepid dream researchers who use special sleep-beds to electronically send
operatives into people's dreams to battle their nightmares or sort out their
*(Jimmy Scribner) Jimmy Scribner, a white man popular in the 1930s and 40's for
his radio program THE JOHNSON FAMILY wherein he voiced a variety of "Black"
characters. He first came to television as a local children series in Los
Angeles from 1949-51 where he continued his black characterizations (this time
in black face). He performed the roles of a down South Uncle Remus character who
told yarns to a little girl named Gayle (actually his daughter). When his
program was syndicated nationally, the lead character became a puppet.
*(Cleavant Derricks/costar) Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown, a washed-up soul
singer who got caught in a parallel universe time warp with three other people.
Tembi Locke also appeared as Diana Davis, a young black female scientist whose
good intentions lead to a dangerous experiment that alters two of the former
Sliders in season five.
*(Tahj Mowry) T. J. Henderson, a 10-year-old African-American whiz kid who
struggles to adjust to his new lifestyle when he transfers to high school. Other
cast were John Marshall Jones as T. J.'s dad, Floyd; Jason Weaver as Marcus
Henderson; Essence Atkins as Yvette Henderson; Omar Gooding as MorrisL. “Mo“
Tibbs; J. D. Walsh as Mackey Nagel; and Marsha Warfield as Principal Dowling.
Tahj Mowry is the brother of Tia and Tamar from the WB sitcom SISTER, SISTER.
*(Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell Reid/costars) Chance Dennis, a black professor of
criminology and his wife Micki, a protocol aide for the State Department both
whom always seemed to get drawn into the midst of mystery and intrigue. Other
cast included Tasha Scott as Katja Dennis, Chance’s daughter from an earlier
marriage; Lynn Whitfield as Chance’s sister Denise Kendall; Moses Gunn as
Chance’s father, Chance Dennis, Sr.; Raymond St. Jacques as Micki’s father
General Ben Martin; and Barbara McNair as Micki’s mother Virginia Martin.
*(Paula Jai Parker) Roberta, sexy black Los Angeles private eye teamed with two
white partners from Glenn Hall, Inc., who track down cheating husbands, missing
persons etc. Roberta is not beneath stealing a deadbeat dad’s toupee until he
forked over child support payments for her client.
**(Robert Guillaume) Benson Dubois, an officious but very funny black manservant
for a crazy wealthy, white family from Dunn's River, Connecticut. His character
later got his own spin-off series BENSON/ABC/1979-86 where beginning as a
governor's butler, he later reached the heights of state budget director and
confidant to the governor. Roscoe Lee Browne later replaced Benson as butler.
SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, INC. (S.O.F. SPECIAL OPS FORCES)/SYN/1997-98
*(Réal Andrews/costar) Jason “Chance” Walker, black Philadelphia-born mercenary
recruited by a covert operation to travel about the globe assisting in sensitive
political hot spots. Chance is an expert helicopter pilot, survivalist and
hand-to-hand combat specialist. While in the U.S. military, Chance blew off his
knee while repelling down the face of a cliff during a mission in Zivinice,
Bosnia to assist a wounded comrade. Assigned to a desk job, he left the Army
looking for more excitement as a soldier of fortune. Also featured was Dennis
Rodham (introduced in the 1998 season) as Deacon “Deke” Reynolds” a rouge
mercenary who fought crime outside the confines of the “system.” using his
worldwide contact of underworld cronies. Earlier in his life Deke was a
basketball phenomenon who joined the armed forces, became a top chopper pilot in
Desert Storm and won the Purple Heart in the bargain. Deke will go anywhere and
*(Dionne Warwick) Dionne Warwick, a black singer who hosted this weekly musical
program that counted down the weeks top ten record hits. Marilyn McCoo replaced
her from 1981-84 and again assumed the role of hostess in 1986. In the 1990's
Dionne Warwick could be seen info-commercials hawking a "Psychic" phone line
**(Cleavant Derricks) Caleb, a black ad agency handyman.
SON OF THE BEACH/FX/2000
**(Leila Arcieri) Jamaica St. Croix, a buxom black beauty who worked as a
lifeguard (ala Pamela Anderson on BAYWATCH).
*(Mario Van Peebles) Sonny Spoon, a street-smart black private investigator
working in Los Angeles who often wore disguises to get the job done.
*An hour long variety series produced at WNET-TV New York, featuring black
musicians, singers and dancers.
*(Don Cornelius) Don Cornelius, host of the popular music program that featured
black performers in the fields of rhythm, blues and rock. In 1971 Don Cornelius
took the format of ABC's AMERICAN BANDSTAND, a predominantly white teenage
oriented musical program, and created SOUL TRAIN. The program featured an
audience of mostly black teenagers who danced and cheered to the music of black
artists some who performed live to the audience. The program used a traveling
camera that wandered through the crowd of dancers and highlighted many
attractive young ladies who often were generously shaking their "groove thing"
for the home viewers. In 1997, Mystro Clark took over hosting duties on the
program. The series began in Chicago in 1970 as a local show and went into
syndication out of Hollywood in 1971. The first annual SOUL TRAIN MUSIC AWARDS
was telecast on March 23, 1987 to pay homage to black producers, songwriters,
and recording artists who paved the way for black musical entertainers.
SOUTH OF SUNSET/CBS/1993
*(Aries Spears) Ziggy Duane, black ex-thief who partnered with white Los
Angeles-based private investigator. The show was cancelled after one episode.
**(Isaac Hayes) Jerome “Chef” McElroy, a black chef at a elementary school in
South Park, Colorado. Chef is a mellow, easy going character filled with
encouragement and “sweet love.” He believes in outer space aliens and knows a
lot of rock and roll stars. Chef often gives advise to four eight year-old white
boys - Stan Marsh, Eric Cartman, Kenny McCormick and Kyle Broslofski. The Chef
was forced out of town after he was involve in a Pedophila scandal. Later in the
series, a young black boy named "Token" was introduced on the show.
THE SOUTHERNAIRES QUARTET/ABC/1948
*(Roy Yeats, Lowell Peters, Jay Stone Toney, William Edmonson) This short-lived
musical program was of the earliest network series to star black performers. It
aired from September-November of 1948 and featured a black gospel quartet who
had been heard on radio throughout the 1940's. The group was accompanied by
pianist/arranger Clarence Jones.
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