What to expect from ABC’s ‘Mixed-ish’
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Tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, Dr. Rainbow Johnson—anesthesiologist, mother and “Black-ish” main character (played by Tracee Ellis Ross)—will be throwing it back to the summer of 1985 and returning to her adolescence in spin-off series “Mixed-ish” that will explain her unique backstory.
For the uninitiated, Emmy-nominated “Black-ish” focuses on Andre and Rainbow Johnson and their kids, a middle-class black family in a largely white neighborhood who tackle issues from racism to LGBTQ+ rights. “Mixed-ish” will put the spotlight on Rainbow and her upbringing—going from a peace-and-love cult, er, commune raided by the ATF to the real world, where she learns for the first time what it means to be mixed race.
“Black-ish” has been so successful for ABC that “Mixed-ish” won’t even be the series’ first spin-off. In 2017, the network ordered 13 episodes of “Grown-ish,” following the Johnson family’s eldest daughter Zoey (played by Yara Shahidi, who Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi inteviewed last year) as she transitions out of the house and into college. Airing on ABC’s sister network Freeform, “Grown-ish” just wrapped its second season and is currently in production for its third.
ABC’s “-ish” shows are no strangers to confronting big issues, and from the three-minute trailer above, it’s clear that the concept of finding your identity as a mixed-race person will be front-and-center throughout the new spin-off. A couple early critical takes on the show underscore that approach: “Mixed-ish’ review: ‘Black-ish’ prequel is half-funny, half-serious,” from Newsday’s Verne Gay, and “Mixed-ish review: the Black-ish spin-off gets being mixed race right,” from TV Guide’s Megan Vick.