Responding to years of fan demand, Netflix is building up its Strong Black Lead library with the acquisition of seven beloved Black sitcoms.

The classic shows from the 1990s and early aughts include “Moesha,” its spinoff “The Parkers,” as well as “The Game,” “Sister, Sister,” Girlfriends,” “Half & Half” and “One on One,” the streamer announced Wednesday.

“Moesha,” the teen sitcom starring R&B singer Brandy, begins streaming Saturday. The other premieres will be staggered between Aug. 15 and Oct. 15.

Netflix’s announcement was accompanied by a star-studded video mash-up from the series’ numerous actors.

“I am beyond humbled and honored at how much the fans continue to ride hard for these shows years later and how it’s made a huge impact on the culture,” the actors said. “These shows changed the face of television as we know it. And it helps for black creators both in front of and behind the camera. It has provided us with being able to be in the homes of people worldwide.”

Tracee Ellis Ross, Robert Ri’chard, Tia Mowry, Coby Bell, Pooch Hall, Valerie Pettiford and Sicily Johnson were among those participating in the video and who shared favorite moments from their shows.

“These shows made us laugh, and cry, and sing along with those catchy theme songs. And mostly importantly, we felt like we saw ourselves on screen — in some cases for the very first time,” said a statement from Bradley Edwards, Netflix’s content acquisition manager, and Jasmyn Lawson, manager of Strong Black Lead. “Every week we were able to tune in to see people, families and friends that looked like us and characters whose everyday ups and downs reflected Black life in an authentic way.”

In June, the streaming giant added a Black Lives Matter section to its genre in response to viewers’ interest in titles related to racial injustice, discrimination and systemic racism. That announcement came as viewership spiked for the oft-maligned film “The Help” following the death of George Floyd.

Tribune Wire

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