It's official! Yara Shahidi will be heading to college. Freeform has closed a 13-episode deal for ABC’s Black-ish’s college-set spinoff staring Shahidi, Variety has learned.
Premiering in 2018, College-ish (working title) will center around Shahidi’s character Zoey Johnson, as she heads off to college. The series will tackle current issues facing both students and administrators in the world of higher education.
Reprising his “Black-ish” role of Charlie, Deon Cole will co-star as an adjunct marketing professor. The rest of the cast will be entirely made up of new characters.
The spinoff was previously developed for ABC and the pilot aired this spring during Black-ish’s time-slot. The network passed on the project and offered it to sister network Freeform, believing the series was too young for ABC and, instead, perfect for the cable network.
Black-ish creator Kenya Barris will still be involved in the project and serve as executive producer. “I never thought they’d let me put Black-ish on the air, let alone give me a spinoff," Barris told Variety. '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.”
There’s no word yet from ABC on how Shahidi and Cole’s will transition from Black-ish to College-ish. However, Barris had suggested in the past that the ABC series would feature a college storyline in its fourth season, which would seamlessly transition Shahidi to her new show. It's also not confirmed if Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, and the other “Black-ish” characters will appear on College-ish and vice versa.