What would Black History Month be without a fond look back at some of our favorite TV shows? Not a very entertaining month. That’s why we’ve compiled some fun facts from our favorite black TV show throughout the years. Enjoy. –djr
“Good Times”

– Penny’s real first name was Millicent. The name “Penny” derived from the word “cent” in her name.

– One of the first African American family sitcoms.

“The Jeffersons”

– Florence was originally intended to be a recurring cast member, but the character became so popular with fans, that the producers made Marla Gibbs a series regular.

“Sanford & Son”

– Redd Foxx and LaWanda Page had been friends since childhood, and she was his first and only choice to play Fred’s sister-in-law, Esther.


“Living Single”

– The original title for the show was “My Girls.”

– The set used during the first season was the same set used on the sitcom, “Family Matters.”

“Martin”

– Martin Lawrence played a total of nine characters in his sitcom.

– During the final season, Tisha Campbell filed charges against Martin Lawrence claiming he sexually harassed and battered her. She left the series for eight episodes. She later returned when the case was settled out of court. From then on, Lawrence and Campbell filmed their scenes at different times and their characters no longer appeared in the same scenes.

– Show was filmed in Detroit.

“What’s Happening!!”

– According to writer Eric Monte, ABC had originally planned to do a TV version of Cooley High (1975). After a poorly received pilot, ABC retooled it completely; “What’s Happening!!” was the result.

“The Cosby Show”

– Originally, Rudy was supposed to be the Huxtables’ youngest son, but when producers had trouble finding a boy, they went with a girl, played by Keshia Knight Pulliam.

– The façade of the Huxtables’ home is really located at 10 St. Luke’s Place in Manhattan, even though the family’s house is set in Brooklyn.

“Thea”

– The show was the first to feature Brandy Norwood, who later went on to become a Grammy-winning singer and star of her own sitcom “Moesha.”

“My Wife and Kids”

–  The Michael Kyle character was ranked No. 27 in TV Guide‘s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” (20 June 2004 issue).

“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

– The term “Fresh Prince” in the title is a reference to the stage name used by Will Smith as a rap artist in the 1980s.

– The running gag of the “Carlton Dance” throughout the show was actually a parody of the dance Courteney Cox did on the Bruce Springsteen music video “Dancing in the Dark” in 1984.

“Showtime at the Apollo”

– The tree trunk, located stage right, was part of a tree that once grew just outside the Harlem Lafayette Theatre, another top spot for African American talent during the Depression era. Underneath its branches performers used to gather for a shot at stardom.

“Family Matters”

– The character of Steve Urkel was named after a friend of one of the producers, and was only supposed to appear once. However, the audience’s response was so overwhelmingly positive that the producers decided to make Urkel a regular character.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

What would Black History Month be without a fond look back at some of our favorite TV shows? Not a very entertaining month, if you ask me. That’s why we’ve compiled some fun facts from our favorite black TV show throughout the years, just so they can receive some well-deserved time in the sun as we celebrate all things black. Enjoy. –djr

“Good Times”

– Penny’s real first name was Millicent. The name “Penny” derived from the word “cent” in her name.

– The first African American family sitcom.

“Jeffersons”

– Florence was originally intended to be a recurring cast member, but the character became so popular with fans, that the producers made Marla Gibbs a series regular.

“Sanford & Son”

– Redd Foxx and LaWanda Page had been friends since childhood, and she was his first and only choice to play Fred’s sister-in-law Esther.

“ Living Single”

– The original title for the show was “My Girls”

– The set used during the first season was the same set used on the sitcom, “Family Matters.”

“Martin”

– Martin Lawrence played a total of nine characters in his sitcom.

– During the final season, Tisha Campbell filed charges against Martin Lawrence claiming he sexually harassed and sexually battered her. She left the series for eight episodes. She later returned when the case was settled out of court. From then on, Lawrence and Campbell filmed their scenes at different times and their characters no longer appeared together in the same scene.

-Show was filmed in Detroit.

“What’s Happening!!”

– According to writer Eric Monte, ABC had originally planned to do a TV version of Cooley High (1975). After a poorly received pilot, ABC retooled it completely; “What’s Happening!!” was the result.

“The Cosby Show”

– Originally, Rudy was supposed to be the Huxtables’ youngest son, but when producers had trouble finding a boy, they went with a girl, played by Keshia Knight Pulliam.

– The façade of the Huxtables’ home is really located at 10 St. Luke’s Place in Manhattan, even though the family’s house is set in Brooklyn.

“Thea”

– The show was the first to feature Brandy Norwood, who later went on to become a Grammy-winning singer and star of her own sitcom Moesha.

“My Wife and Kids”

–  The character ‘Michael Kyle’ was ranked #27 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” (20 June 2004 issue).

“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

– The term “Fresh Prince” in the title is a reference to the stage name used by Will Smith as a rap artist in the 1980s.

– The running gag of the “Carlton Dance” throughout the show was actually a parody of the dance Courteney Cox did on the Bruce Springsteen music video “Dancing in the Dark” in 1984.

“Showtime at the Apollo”

– The tree trunk, located stage right, was part of a tree that once grew just outside the Harlem Lafayette Theatre, another top spot for African American talent during the Depression era. Underneath its branches is where performers used to gather for their own shot at stardom.

“ Family Matters”

– The character of Steve Urkel was named after a friend of one of the producers, and was only supposed to appear once. However, the audience’s response was so overwhelmingly positive that the producers decided to make Urkel a regular character.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

What would Black History Month be without a fond look back at some of our favorite TV shows? Not a very entertaining month, if you ask me. That’s why we’ve compiled some fun facts from our favorite black TV show throughout the years, just so they can receive some well-deserved time in the sun as we celebrate all things black. Enjoy. –djr

“Good Times”

– Penny’s real first name was Millicent. The name “Penny” derived from the word “cent” in her name.

– The first African American family sitcom.

“Jeffersons”

– Florence was originally intended to be a recurring cast member, but the character became so popular with fans, that the producers made Marla Gibbs a series regular.

“Sanford & Son”

– Redd Foxx and LaWanda Page had been friends since childhood, and she was his first and only choice to play Fred’s sister-in-law Esther.

“ Living Single”

– The original title for the show was “My Girls”

– The set used during the first season was the same set used on the sitcom, “Family Matters.”

“Martin”

– Martin Lawrence played a total of nine characters in his sitcom.

– During the final season, Tisha Campbell filed charges against Martin Lawrence claiming he sexually harassed and sexually battered her. She left the series for eight episodes. She later returned when the case was settled out of court. From then on, Lawrence and Campbell filmed their scenes at different times and their characters no longer appeared together in the same scene.

-Show was filmed in Detroit.

“What’s Happening!!”

– According to writer Eric Monte, ABC had originally planned to do a TV version of Cooley High (1975). After a poorly received pilot, ABC retooled it completely; “What’s Happening!!” was the result.

“The Cosby Show”

– Originally, Rudy was supposed to be the Huxtables’ youngest son, but when producers had trouble finding a boy, they went with a girl, played by Keshia Knight Pulliam.

– The façade of the Huxtables’ home is really located at 10 St. Luke’s Place in Manhattan, even though the family’s house is set in Brooklyn.

“Thea”

– The show was the first to feature Brandy Norwood, who later went on to become a Grammy-winning singer and star of her own sitcom Moesha.

“My Wife and Kids”

–  The character ‘Michael Kyle’ was ranked #27 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” (20 June 2004 issue).

“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

– The term “Fresh Prince” in the title is a reference to the stage name used by Will Smith as a rap artist in the 1980s.

– The running gag of the “Carlton Dance” throughout the show was actually a parody of the dance Courteney Cox did on the Bruce Springsteen music video “Dancing in the Dark” in 1984.

“Showtime at the Apollo”

– The tree trunk, located stage right, was part of a tree that once grew just outside the Harlem Lafayette Theatre, another top spot for African American talent during the Depression era. Underneath its branches is where performers used to gather for their own shot at stardom.

“ Family Matters”

– The character of Steve Urkel was named after a friend of one of the producers, and was only supposed to appear once. However, the audience’s response was so overwhelmingly positive that the producers decided to make Urkel a regular character.