TV Shows with Black Leads

It's important to expose kids to media that both reflects their own experiences and expands their perspectives. These fantastic shows featuring Black lead characters are a great place to start. Ranging from delightful preschool favorite Doc McStuffins to mature, award-winning comedies like Atlanta, this list has something for kids, teens, and everyone in between. If we're missing any shows that you'd like to see included, please drop us a line and request a review. And for more picks featuring Black characters, check out our list of Books with Characters of Color.

Browse TV Shows with Black Leads

Doc McStuffins TV Poster Image
Excellent preschool series has positive messages for kids.
Network: Disney Junior
(2012)
(2012)
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Motown Magic TV Poster Image
Thoughtful musical series emphasizes self-confidence.
Network: Netflix
(2018)
(2018)
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Craig of the Creek TV Poster Image
Adventure, affirming messages stand out in appealing series.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2018)
(2018)
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Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts TV Poster Image
Themes of perseverance, friendship dominate dystopian tale.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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The Proud Family TV Poster Image
Relatable stories, good role models, zany comedy.
Network: ABC
(2003)
(2001)
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Family Matters TV Poster Image
Urkel and company still offer lots of family fun.
Network: Freeform, Nickelodeon, Syndicated
(2005)
(1989)
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That's So Raven TV Poster Image
Clairvoyant teen will have kids seeing Raven!
Network: Disney Channel
(2003)
(2003)
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Sister, Sister TV Poster Image
Separated twins reunite as teens -- tweens OK.
Network: Disney Channel
(2005)
(1994)
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Good Times TV Poster Image
Dy-no-mite '70s sitcom with a social message.
Network: Syndicated, TV Land
(2005)
(1974)
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Black-ish TV Poster Image
Race is tackled gently in fresh family friendly sitcom.
Network: ABC
(2014)
(2014)
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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air TV Poster Image
Good-natured sitcom that the family can enjoy together.
Network: Nickelodeon, Syndicated, TeenNick
(2005)
(1990)
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The Jeffersons TV Poster Image
Barrier-breaking sitcom mixes humor, stereotypes.
Network: Syndicated, TV Land
(2005)
(1975)
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Raising Dion TV Poster Image
Supervillain violence, bullying in excellent family drama.
Network: Netflix
(2019)
(2019)
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A Different World TV Poster Image
Cosby Show spin-off showcases college life.
Network: Nickelodeon, Oxygen
(2005)
(1987)
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The Bernie Mac Show TV Poster Image
Family sitcom with grouchy, lovable dad is funny, creative.
Network: Fox
(2005)
(2001)
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Everybody Hates Chris TV Poster Image
Everyone will love this funny take on real issues.
Network: CW, Nickelodeon
(2005)
(2005)
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The Jamie Foxx Show TV Poster Image
Ray star finds laughs in hotel life.
Network: BET, Syndicated
(2005)
(1996)
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All American TV Poster Image
Football series addresses classism, racism, and bullying .
Network: CW
(2018)
(2018)
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The Last Dance TV Poster Image
Terrific Michael Jordan docu has cursing, mature topics.
Network: ESPN
(2020)
(2020)
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Moesha TV Poster Image
Brandy strikes a chord as a typical teen.
Network: TeenNick
(2005)
(1996)
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Astronomy Club TV Poster Image
Weird, funny, fresh comedy skewers life and race.
Network: Netflix
(2019)
(2019)
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Black Lightning TV Poster Image
Electrifying DC series is a grown-up superhero tale.
Network: CW
(2018)
(2018)
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The Black List: Vol. 1 Movie Poster Image
Profound docu explores African-American racial identity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2008)
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The Black List: Vol. 2 Movie Poster Image
Insightful docu is as informative, inspiring as the first.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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The Black List: Vol. 3 TV Poster Image
Third docu in series is candid, colorful, and powerful.
Network: HBO
(2010)
(2010)
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The Daily Show with Trevor Noah TV Poster Image
Funny, satirical news softer than Stewart, best for teens.
Network: Comedy Central
(2015)
(2015)
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Family Reunion TV Poster Image
Heartwarming but uneven sitcom about family relationships.
Network: Netflix
(2019)
(2019)
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In Living Color TV Poster Image
Razor-sharp '90s humor has too much bite for kids.
Network: BET, Syndicated
(2005)
(1990)
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Marlon TV Poster Image
Bland family comedy has language, relies on stereotypes.
Network: NBC
(2017)
(2017)
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On My Block TV Poster Image
South Central teens come of age in delicate, moving series.
Network: Netflix
(2018)
(2018)
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Queen Sugar TV Poster Image
Mature series deeply explores human relationships, family.
Network: OWN
(2016)
(2016)
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Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story TV Poster Image
Dramatic docu about birth of Black Lives Matter movement.
Network: Paramount Network
(2018)
(2018)
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Second Generation Wayans TV Poster Image
Curb Your Enthusiasm-lite, with some mature situations.
Network: BET
(2013)
(2013)
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Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker TV Poster Image
Solid drama highlights the life of legendary entrepreneur.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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A Black Lady Sketch Show TV Poster Image
Brilliantly original sketch show is fresh, raunchy, funny.
Network: HBO
(2019)
(2019)
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Atlanta TV Poster Image
Smart dramedy makes "star is born" premise fresh.
Network: FX
(2016)
(2016)
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David Makes Man TV Poster Image
Lyrical drama has mature content, great beauty.
Network: OWN
(2019)
(2019)
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Deon Cole's Black Box TV Poster Image
Comedy/clip show has cursing and race-related humor.
Network: TBS
(2013)
(2013)
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The Get Down TV Poster Image
Relatable characters in edgy but powerful hip-hop history.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2016)
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Girlfriends TV Poster Image
A tamer Sex and the City -- mature teens.
Network: CW
(2005)
(2000)
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Greenleaf TV Poster Image
Oprah's church-themed drama is soapy but dark.
Network: OWN
(2016)
(2016)
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Grown-ish TV Poster Image
Black-ish kid goes to college in great, edgy show.
Network: Freeform
(2017)
(2018)
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How to Get Away with Murder TV Poster Image
Tense legal procedural is steamy with some violence.
Network: ABC
(2014)
(2014)
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Key & Peele TV Poster Image
Witty sketch comedy series takes on race, stereotypes.
Network: Comedy Central
(2012)
(2012)
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Little Fires Everywhere TV Poster Image
Race and class issues erupt in thoughtful, mature drama.
Network: Hulu
(2020)
(2020)
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Living Single TV Poster Image
Comedy about diversity and friendship for teens+.
Network: Oxygen
(2005)
(1993)
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Pose TV Poster Image
Groundbreaking series brings NYC drag ball culture to life.
Network: FX
(2018)
(2018)
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Scandal TV Poster Image
Political thriller mixes sex with violence and murky ethics.
Network: ABC
(2012)
(2012)
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When They See Us TV Poster Image
Solid dramatic account of 1990s wrongful conviction trial.
Network: Netflix
(2019)
(2019)
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#BlackAF TV Poster Image
Provocative, cheeky comedy has strong language.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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Being Mary Jane TV Poster Image
Great successful-woman series with sexy stuff.
Network: BET
(2014)
(2013)
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Black Dynamite TV Poster Image
Risque, raunchy blaxpoitation is funny but mature.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2012)
(2012)
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The Boondocks TV Poster Image
This cutting-edge cartoon is for adults only.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2006)
(2005)
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Chewing Gum TV Poster Image
Fresh comedy about an awkward, amorous 20-something.
Network: Netflix
(2017)
(2016)
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The Chi TV Poster Image
Well-written South Chicago-themed drama isn't for kids.
Network: Showtime
(2018)
(2018)
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Claws TV Poster Image
Sisterhood and strong, complex women anchor dark comedy.
Network: TBS
(2017)
(2017)
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The Eddy TV Poster Image
Melodic, thoughtful drama has some language and violence.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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Empire TV Poster Image
Musical melodrama explores family, fame, and homophobia.
Network: Fox
(2014)
(2015)
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High Fidelity TV Poster Image
Gender-swapped series has language, sex, great soundtrack.
Network: Hulu
(2020)
(2020)
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Hip-Hop Evolution TV Poster Image
Frank, fascinating history of a music genre, culture shift.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2016)
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Insecure TV Poster Image
Raunchy, funny comedy explores stereotypes, black culture.
Network: HBO
(2016)
(2016)
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2 Dope Queens TV Poster Image
Podcast turned late-night comedy show brings big laughs.
Network: HBO
(2018)
(2018)
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Black Jesus TV Poster Image
Irreverent, edgy comedy puts the Savior in the inner city.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2014)
(2014)
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Black Monday TV Poster Image
Strong performances buoy uneven, mature Wall Street comedy.
Network: Showtime
(2019)
(2019)
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Dear White People TV Poster Image
College is complicated in series on race, sex, activism.
Network: Netflix
(2017)
(2017)
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The Last O.G. TV Poster Image
Ex-con rebuilds his life in crude yet oddly sweet comedy.
Network: TBS
(2018)
(2018)
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Luke Cage TV Poster Image
Complex role model is bulletproof in a bloody modern world.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2016)
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She's Gotta Have It TV Poster Image
Lyrical Spike Lee series has language, lots of graphic sex.
Network: Netflix
(2017)
(2017)
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Snowfall TV Poster Image
Edgy show about the '80s crack epidemic is complex, mature.
Network: FX
(2017)
(2017)
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Watchmen TV Poster Image
Meta-superhero show is deep, violent, challenging.
Network: HBO
(2019)
(2019)
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Orange Is the New Black TV Poster Image
Quality true-story prison dramedy with sex, strong language.
Network: Netflix
(2013)
(2013)
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The Wire TV Poster Image
Realistic drama about urban crime is not for kids.
Network: BET, HBO, Syndicated
(2006)
(2002)
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