ABC put in a full season order for “Black-ish” on Thursday after airing only three episodes of the family-centered comedy, but that should come as much of a surprise.
The show has a talented cast of stars in Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis, Ross Yara Shahidi and Laurence Fishburne, and a favorable timeslot, but those aren’t the only reasons why it has taken off.
Also read: ABC Gives Full Season Orders to ‘How to Get Away With Murder,’ ‘Black-Ish’
Here’s why TheWrap thinks “Black-ish” couldn’t have missed:
1. Timing Is Everything
ABC’s family comedy “Black-ish” couldn’t ask for a better timeslot than 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays. It’s lead-in is “Modern Family,” which happens to be the night’s top primetime offering.
On Wednesday “Modern Family” scored a 3.4 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. The show also earned 10.1 million viewers. And, oh, it wins the Emmy every single year.
Also read: Ratings: ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Black-ish’ Push ABC to Win Over CBS
Even with a slightly down (8 percent) “Modern Family” lead-in, “Black-ish” (2.8, 8 million viewers) had a slightly up (8 percent the other way) performance this Wednesday. What’s that old cliche about pizza and sex: even when it’s bad, it’s good? The same can be said for “Modern Family” ratings.
2. This Is Larry Wilmore’s Time
Executive producer Larry Wilmore was originally slated to be the showrunner on “Black-ish,” but he had to reduce his role because of another opportunity.
In May, Comedy Central announced the comedian would take the “Colbert Report” reins from Stephen Colbert, who’s poised to take over “Late Night” from David Letterman soon. “The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore” is set to premiere Jan. 2015.
Also read: CW Diversity Scorecard: Better But Still Whiter, Less Gay Than Its Target Audience
3. Critical Darling
TheWrap’s own Mekeisha Madden Toby says “Black-ish” is “extremely intelligent and funny” and many other critics agree. The show has generally favorable reviews on Metacritic, scoring a 77 out of 100.
4. Drama, Drama, Drama
None of the other broadcast networks are offering up Wednesday night comedies, so “Black-ish” essentially has the market cornered. Fox’s “Red Band Society” or the NBC’s “The Mysteries of Laura” are both comedy-dramas, but neither one of them do half as well in the demo numbers as “Black-ish.” (“Red Band” didn’t even do a third of “Black-ish” numbers this week.)
5. Diversity Does It
This season is all about diversity. From ABC’s “Cristela” to the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” this Fall’s new offerings are as diverse as ever. And, as potential viewers can probably tell just by looking at it’s title, “Black-ish” isn’t afraid to put race and ethnicity front and center.
Also read: ‘Black-ish’ Series Premiere Draws Passionate Support and Derision
And here’s a few bonus reasons:
Bonus: Anthony Anderson‘s Slim New Look
The actor is 47 pounds lighter and credits his weight loss to a vegan diet. Twitter fans think it’s a good look:
Oh Anthony Anderson looks too dang on handsome on this show. #Blackish
— 🍫 𝒱𝒾𝓉𝒶𝓂𝒾𝓃 𝒟 🍫 (@DaneikaShenay) October 9, 2014
Bonus: Trump Would Fire It
Donald Trump tweeted “Black-ish” is racist, which is reason enough for many of his haters to watch the show.
Bonus: ABC Viewers Know the Difference Between Laurence Fishburne and Samuel L. Jackson
“Black-ish” airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.