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TV Critic’s Corner

‘Black-ish’ returns with a song

Miles Brown and Marsai Martin in “Black-ish.”Kelsey McNeal/ABC

“Black-ish” moves to Tuesday nights at 9 beginning this week. The series, a two-time Emmy nominee for best comedy, will no longer be sitting pretty after “Modern Family” on the ABC schedule. The network is hoping the show will help draw viewers to “The Mayor,” a promising new comedy on Tuesdays at 9:30. “The Mayor” is about a rap artist who runs for mayor as a gimmick — and wins.

This is the fourth season for “Black-ish,” which digs into race, America, stereotyping, interracial dating, class, family, and generational issues, usually with more sophistication than you’d expect from a network sitcom. Episodes revolving around the n-word, police brutality, and the election of Donald Trump have been particularly poignant, with hints of Norman Lear’s groundbreaking 1970s comedies playing around the edges.


The premiere, called “Juneteenth,” will be an homage to the Broadway sensation “Hamilton.” After a school play about Columbus Day, the family members have a conversation about under-recognized black holidays — much of it in song.

“In the same way that comedy gives you a dose of sugar to take something down,” show creator Kenya Barris told Variety, “I thought that what Lin-Manuel did with ‘Hamilton’ was amazing. In educating people about this story about America’s early roots, talking about the ugliness of it but doing it in a musical way, allows people to take it in a way more than you normally would have just hearing the story.”

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.