Picks and Pans Review: Blacks on Tv

UPDATED 06/10/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/10/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

Following the smashing success of The Cosby Show, it's no surprise that more black stars are being given their own shows: Flip Wilson and Gladys Knight are a middle-class family in Chicago in CBS' Charlie and Company, Marla (The Jeffersons) Gibbs is a "well-meaning busybody" in NBC's 227 and Kevin Hooks is a good-guy politico in ABC's He's the Mayor. Add to this the returning shows really starring (not just co-starring) blacks—Benson, Cosby, Gimme a Break, Webster and Diff'rent Strokes—and a pattern emerges: They're all sitcoms. Blacks, it seems, still have to be funny to get top billing on TV.

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