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.
**(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.
*(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."
**(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.
*(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.
**(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
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."
*(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
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.
*(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.
**(Phil Morris) Eddie Brock, an energetic black reporter working for WNDY,
Channel 12, a Midwest television station (known as WIOU because of financial
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.
**(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.
*(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.
**(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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