TV networks are finally getting the message- shows on the small screen need to reflect the times we live in.  As the “sassy Black friend” is becoming a thing of the past, network dramas and sitcoms are stepping up to give us more fleshed out, three-dimensional Black characters.  We’re now sexy, charismatic vampires (“The Originals”), whip-smart police detectives (“Ironside”) and highly evolved androids (“Almost Human”).

We’ve listed some of our “must-see” shows for the 2013 Fall TV Season!

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Tues. Sept. 17th on Fox, 8:30P EST

Andre Braugher plays Ray Holt, the new captain of the 99th police precinct, and his no-nonsense ways soon clash with Det. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) whose immature ways are frowned upon.  Terry Crews co-stars as Sargeant Terry Jeffords.

“Sleepy Hollow” Mon. Sept. 19th on FOX,  9PM EST

Police officer Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is about to leave her job in the small town of Sleepy Hollow, when she comes across the newly resurrected Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison).  The two team up to bring down the Headless Horseman, who just happens to be one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.  Orlando Jones (“Drumline”) also stars as police Captain Irving.

“Parenthood” Thur. Sept. 26th on NBC, 10PM EST

One of primetime’s hidden gems returns for a fifth season with more family tension and dysfunction.  The NBC drama has made a rock solid commitment to one of TV’s few interracial couples, as Jasmine (Joy Bryant) and Crosby (Dax Shepard) welcome a new addition to the Braverman family.

“Ironside”  Wed. October 2nd on NBC, 10P EST

A remake of the 1960’s television series, Blair Underwood stars as Robert Ironside, a paraplegic police detective who doesn’t let his disability get in the way of solving the toughest crimes on the streets of New York.

“Scandal”  Thur. Oct. 3rd on ABC, 10PM EST

The Queen Gladiator is back for a third season which promises more political intrigue, forbidden romance and more high profile scandals.  Now that someone’s let the cat out of the bag about Liv’s (Kerry Washington) secret affair with the President, can she use her magical powers of spin to repair the damage to her own reputation?  Life will be more complicated as Liv will have to balance her professional life and  dealing with the reappearance of her father, Rowan Pope (Joe Morton).

“The Originals”  Thur. Oct. 3rd on CW, 9PM EST

Finally, a Black vampire calling the shots!  In this spin-off from “The Vampire Diaries,”  Charles Michael Davis plays Marcel, a one time protege of Klaus (Joseph Morgan ), who now controls both the human and vampire inhabitants of Klaus’ hometown in New Orleans.  Klaus, determined to regain his power, joins forces with the town’s community of witches to break Marcel’s hold over the city.

“Arrow” Wed. Oct. 9th on CW, 8PM EST

Most comic book movies leave a lot to be desired when it comes to diversity, but “Arrow”  is a shining example of how a superhero narrative can exist in a 21st century multi-cultural landscape.  From giving Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) a Black stepfather (Colin Salmon) to his friendship with partner John Diggle (David Ramsey), this show is far from giving token roles to actors of color.  Michael Jai White joins this season as Bronze Tiger, who teams up with the villainous White China (Kelly Hu) to take down the Green Arrow.

“The Walking Dead”  Sun. Oct. 13th on AMC, 9PM EST 

“The Walking Dead” returns with more post-apocalyptic pandemonium.  Executive Producer Scott Gimple hints at “smarter” zombies, causing more problems for Rick and his crew of human survivors. Larry Gilliard Jr. (“The Wire”) joins the cast as Bob Stookey, a former Army medic with a haunted past. Let’s hope “The Walking Dead” can do a better job of keeping two Black men alive on the show this season.

“Almost Human” Mon. Nov. 4th on FOX,  8PM EST

It’s the year 2048  and Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban) is back on the force after being placed in a coma due to injuries sustained on the job. Kennex seems off his game, so his superiors mandate that he be partnered with a highly evolved android, Dorian (Michael Ealy).   Kennex resents Dorian at first, but comes to realized Dorian is more in touch with humanity than he realizes.

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