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 African Americans

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WALKER, TEXAS RANGER/CBS/1993-2001
*(Clarence Gilyard/costar) Jimmy Trivette, a black Texas Ranger with a knack for scientific methods of investigation who partnered with Cordell Walker, a martial arts trained half-white/half-Indian Texas Ranger. On October 2, 1999 (eighth season) Nia Peeples joined the cast of “Walker, Texas Ranger” as Dallas police detective Sydney Cooke.

WAR OF THE WORLDS/SYN/1988-90
**(Philip Akin) Norton Drake, a black computer genius in a wheelchair who battled the menace of alien invaders from outer space. Drake nicknamed his voice activated wheelchair "Gertrude." Actor Philip Akin was not really crippled.

WASTELAND/ABC/1999
**(Jeffrey D. Sams) Vincent "Vince" Lewis, a black lawyer in the District Attorney’s office who interacts with a group of twentysomething whites living and discovering themselves in New York City. One of the group (Rebecca Gayheart as Sam) has a crush on her boss, namely Vince.

THE WATCHER/UPN/1995
*(Sir Mix-A-Lot) The Watcher, a mysterious black security executive who sat in a room filled with TV monitors and watched the goings-on in the lives of those who visited the Desert Flower Casino in the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. The anthology program opened with rapper Sir Mix-A-lot narrating the following: "I gotta little secret about me, your sky high wired in homeboy called the Watcher. You see I wired into every camera in Vegas to watch y'all play. In a town where a war is raging. Which war? The same old one. The war between dark and light, right and wrong, good and evil. Yeah, I watch y'all, maybe keeping score for someone. So why don't you watch with me awhile."

WATERFRONT/SYN/1954-56
**(Willie Best) Willie Slocum, a black crew member working onboard the tugboat Cheryl Ann docked in San Pedro Harbor.

THE WAVERLY WONDERS/ NBC/1978
**(Tierre Turner) Hasty Parks, a black high school basketball player and fast-talking con artist.

THE WAYANS BROS./WB/1995-99
*(Shawn and Marlon Wayons) Shawn and Marlon Williams, two black brothers living in Manhattan with hopes of coming up with a get-rich scheme. Shawn, 24, owns the newsstand in the Neidermeyer Building and Marlon works part-time at Pop's Joint, a small Manhattan diner owned by their father John "Pop" Williams (John Witherspoon). Other cast included Lela Rochon as Shawn's girlfriend, Lisa; Jermaine Big Hugg Hopkins as Dupree; and in 1996 Ja'net DuBois appeared as Marlon and Shawn's feisty, manipulative grandmother.

WEBSTER/ABC/1983-87/SYN/1987-88
*(Emannuel Lewis) Webster Long, a seven-year-old black orphan (40 inches high) who was adopted by a white married couple (George and Katherine Papadopolis) when the boy's parents (Travis and his wife Gert) were killed in a car crash. Despite the fact that Webster aged, the kid seemingly never grew an inch. Ben Vereen appeared as Webster's uncle, Philip Long, who unsuccessfully tried to win custody of his diminutive nephew during the 1984-85 season.

WELCOME BACK, KOTTER/ABC/1975-79
**(Lawrence-Hilton Jacob) Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington, a black student and one of four delinquent teenagers who belonged to the Sweathogs, a gang that roamed the halls of James Buchanan High School in Brooklyn.

WEST WING/NBC/1999-2006
**(Dule Hill) Charlie Young, black teenage male hired to be Personal Aide to the President of the United States and staffers of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C. John Amos also appeared in a recurring role as Admiral Percy Fitzwallace.

WHAT A COUNTRY!/SYN/1986-87
**(Harry Waters, Jr.) Robert Muboto, the black son of Julius Muboto, an African strongman booted out of his own country and exiled to Burbank where he takes citizenship lessons at a Los Angeles night class. As Robert once remarked, "I was descendant of kings, the keeper of tradition and virtue, the Prince of all I envisioned and now...I'm just Bob."

WHAT'S HAPPENING!/ABC/1976-79
*(Ernest Thomas) Roger "Raj" Thomas, a black high school student and aspiring writer. Featured regulars were Fred Barry and Haywood Nelson as Rogers' best friends Freddie "Rerun" Stubbs and Dwayne Clemons; Shirley Hemphill as Shirley, the cantankerous waitress at Rob's Place, the gang's hangout; Mabel King as Roger's mother and Danielle Spencer as Dee, his irritating younger sister. In 1985, the series returned in syndication under the title of WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW.

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW!!/SYN/1985-87
*(Ernest Thomas) The storyline picked-up with Roger being married, a writer and part time owner in Rob's Place. New cast characters included Anne-Marie Johnson as Roger's wife, Nadine and Reina King as their adopted daughter, Carolyn.

WHERE I LIVE/CBS/1993
*(Doug E. Doug) Douglas Saint Martin, a quirky teenager (age 17) growing up in a working-class Caribbean family in New York City. Other cast included Sullivan Walker as James St. Martin; Lorraine Toussaint as Marie St. Martin; Yunoka Doyle as Sharon St Martin ((Age 14); Flex as Reggis Coltrane Doug’s buddy; Shaun Baker as Malcolm, Doug’s other buddy; Jason Bose Smith as Kwanzie; and Alma Yvonne as Vonzella The program (inspired by Doug’s own life) was nominated for an NAACP Image Award as Best Television Show in 1993 and was supported by Coretta Scott King and Bill Cosby during its campaign to be renewed for a second season. He began his career in standup comedy at the age of 17, appearing at some of New York's best-known venues, including the world-famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem and the Comic Strip. See also COSBY

THE WHITE SHADOW/CBS/1978-81
**(Kevin Hooks, Eric Kilpatrick, Nathan Cook) Morris Thorpe, Curtis Jackson and Milton Reese, three black teenagers who belonged to the Carver High School basketball team. Ed Bernard appeared as high school principal and Joan Pringle as the vice-principal.

WILDSIDE/ABC/1985
*(Howard E. Rollins, Jr./costar) Bannister Sparks, a bon vivant black explosives expert and card sharp who belonged to the "Wildside Chamber of Commerce" a secret vigilante law-enforcement group founded (and answerable to the Governor) to clean up the Northern California frontier territory filled with local gangs and wandering renegades.

WIOU/CBS/1990-91
**(Phil Morris) Eddie Brock, an energetic black reporter working for WNDY, Channel 12, a Midwest television station (known as WIOU because of financial problems)

WKRP IN CINCINNATI/CBS/1978-82/SYN/1991-93
*(Tim Reid/costar) Gordon Sims, a.k.a. "Venus Flytrap," a former school teacher who became a late night disk jockey on Cincinnati's "top 40" rock n' roll station WKRP. Gordon performs as “Venus Flytrap” and sets the mood for his evening listeners by filling his broadcast booth with candles, incense, gongs, an occasional beautiful woman and of course, the funky sounds of soul music. He was hired by Andy Travis, the station’s new program director who had previously worked with Gordon at other stations. While at WKRP, Gordon participated in the “Win a Date with a DJ” contest and cleverly used his skills as an ex-teacher to educate a teenager about the structure of an atom by equating the atom’s structure to street gangs. When it came to his past, Gordon was very secretive [and camera shy]. That’s because he was wanted by the law as a deserter from the US Army after serving ten months and 29 days. Eventually, he cleared his record and took a marketing job in Washington, DC with the Black Entertainment Network [BET] and then got promoted to chief executive officer. In the 1991 syndicated revival series THE NEW WKRP IN CINCINNATI, the station hired a black program director named Donovan Aderhold (Mykel T. Williamson) who moved to Cincinnati because he thought it was a "nice place to raise little black children". Donovan died in a plane crash on the last episode. Ronny Lee, the black station receptionist was played by Wendy Davis.

WONDERLAND/NBC/2000
**(Michael Jai White) Dr. Derrick Hatcher, black physician working with the staff of Rivervue Hospital, a psychiatric and emergency facility in New York City. Derrick is a trauma specialist and single father.

WOOPS!/FOX/1992
*(Cleavant Derricks/costar) Dr. Frederick Ross, black pathologist and only one of six survivors (five Caucasians) of a worldwide nuclear holocaust accidentally triggered by a small electronic toy at a small Midwestern parade. Frederick survived the explosion because he was working in an underground morgue.

WORKING/NBC/1997-99
**(Yvette Freeman) Evelyn Smalley, plump, nasty-tempered black office supervisor working at Upton/Webber, a bizarre multinational corporation. Her fellow employees consider Evelyn evil. The only thing that soothes Evelyn’s vicious nature is a mouthful of creamy Belgian chocolates. But don’t be around when she runs out of her calming confections.

THE WORLD'S FUNNIEST!/FOX/1997-98
*(James Brown) James Brown, the black host of a bloopers show filled with out takes culled from videos footage taken from around the world.
 

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