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‘Black-ish’ spinoff to debut on Freeform; Kenya Barris has the scoop

Yara Shahidi
Photo credit: Joe Seer /

A spinoff of ABC’s hit show, “Black-ish,” is officially a go.

The tentatively titled, “College-ish,” will debut on Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family) sometime next year, the network announced on Friday, May 19. The series, starring Yara Shahidi, will kick off with 13, 30-minute episodes.

The pilot, helmed by “Black-ish” executive producer, Kenya Barris, will tackle “current issues facing students and administrators in the world of higher education,” and follows Shahidi’s popular, entitled, stylish and somewhat shallow, Zoey Johnson — 17-year-old daughter of Andre “Dre” Johnson (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow Johnson’s (Tracee Ellis Ross) — as she spreads her wings and heads off to college. Only, unlike ruling the halls of her high school, Zoey soon learns that life isn’t all that simple after leaving the nest.

“I never thought they’d let me put ‘Black-ish’ on the air let alone give me a spinoff,” Barris said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to continue working with Yara and the rest of this talented young cast. To any aspiring writers struggling to make it out there, I highly advise adding an ‘–ish’ to any working title you might have. It seems to be the move.”

Meanwhile, fans can expect to see a handful of familiar faces including Deon Cole — better known as Charlie — who moonlights as a marketing professor.

“Our goal at Freeform is to celebrate the power, possibility and inclusivity of youth culture through our shows,” said Karey Burke, Freeform’s executive vice president of programming and development. “Kenya Barris blazes new trails in the funniest way possible with ‘College-ish’ and we can’t wait to get schooled by the incredibly talented Yara Shahidi, who is the perfect addition to our Freeform family.”

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