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Best of 2014: Kenya Barris on casting the perfect 'Black-ish' kiddie quartet

Why is ABC’s Black-ish the fall season’s biggest sitcom success story? Credit a sharp point of view, finely honed jokes, Tracee Ellis Ross (and her glorious hair), a plum timeslot right behind Modern Family… and, perhaps most importantly, the four young actors who keep stealing scenes right out from underneath star Anthony Anderson.

How did the show cast what might be the finest pint-sized ensemble on television? We chatted with series creator Kenya Barris—who says these characters are “loosely based” on his own brood—to find out, going kid by kid. Click here for more stories behind the year’s top TV moments.

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Tracee Ellis Ross: '2014 was the year I saw my hair on TV'

One promising TV trend in 2014? The abundance of natural hair, as seen on black female characters from network TV to Netflix. Annalise Keating shed her wig and shattered narrow beauty standards on How to Get Away With Murder. The inmates’ textured hairstyles inspired emotional story lines on Orange Is the New Black. In Scandal‘s season premiere, Olivia took a rest from her silky-smooth D.C. blowouts. And Dr. Johnson’s hair on black-ish is exactly like Tracee Ellis Ross’ hair in real life: natural. Ross spoke to EW about what the boom in un-relaxed hair means to her. READ FULL STORY

ABC gives full season orders to 'How to Get Away with Murder,' 'Black-ish'

ABC is the first out of the gate with full-season orders, picking up drama How to Get Away with Murder and comedy Black-ish.

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Watch this, DVR that: Your guide to Wednesday's perfect night of TV

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In our fall TV preview, we broke down each day into what to watch live and what to DVR. Here’s your Fall Wednesday night game plan:

8 p.m.
Watch: Survivor (CBS): The long-running reality show revives the Blood vs. Water concept as nine pairs compete to win a million dollars in Nicaragua.

DVR: Arrow (The CW): Arrow returns with classic DC Comics villain Ra’s al Ghul as a new foe while Oliver (Stephen Amell) continues to contend with his identity as the titular superhero. Premieres Oct. 8.

9 p.m.
Watch: Modern Family (ABC): The show continues with Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch’s (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) honeymoon period while Haley (Sarah Hyland) struggles with her feelings for Andy (Adam Devine).

9:30 p.m.
Watch: Black-ish (ABC): Black-ish follows the Johnsons, a family living the American dream—even though father Andre (Anthony Anderson) feels that his family isn’t living his particular definition of “the black experience.”

DVR: Red Band Society (Fox): The hospital drama follows a Breakfast Club-like group of kids who live in the pediatric ward while dealing with illness and the everyday struggles of the teenage experience.

10 p.m.
Watch: American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX): Freak Show was doing three-boobs before it became a whole thing. FX continues the American Horror Story franchise, this time set in a circus of performers that features the three-boobed Desiree (Angela Bassett), conjoined twins Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson), and bearded lady Ethel (Kathy Bates). Premieres Oct. 8.

DVR: Stalker (CBS): CBS’s new procedural follows LAPD detectives played by Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott, who handle the city’s incredibly creepy list of stalking cases.

'Gotham' deemed 'most promising' new fall show

For the second year in a row, the Television Critics Association is betting on a superhero show. The TCA named Fox’s Gotham, which focuses on the origin stories of Commissioner Gordon and Batman’s legendary foes, the “most promising” new show of the fall TV season. The CW’s Jane the Virgin and Showtime’s The Affair came in second and third in the TCA poll. Gotham was also deemed the most promising drama, followed by The Affair and ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, starring Viola Davis. ABC’s Black-ish topped the list on the comedy side, beating out Jane and NBC’s A to Z.

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Critics push ABC to explain diverse fall lineup—and how Jewish 'The Goldbergs' are

ABC has one of the most diverse fall programming slates in TV history, and critics want to know why.

At the Television Critics Association press tour Tuesday, ABC chief Paul Lee fielded questions from reporters pushing for a more detailed explanation for why ABC greenlit three ethnic family comedies (Anthony Anderson’s Black-ish, Cristela Alonzo’s Cristela, and Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat, coming midseason), plus another drama series starring a black actress, Shonda Rhimes’ How to Get Away with Murder.

“We’re taking a very good step along that journey,” Lee told critics at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday. “To be able to pull this off, you need not just stars on air… you need storytellers and executives”—such as the ones present at that very panel. “I’m very proud—if you look at the back of the room [referencing the various executives in attendance], it’s a very diverse group of people,” Lee continued. “You need the people telling the stories to truly reflect America as it is.” READ FULL STORY

ABC's new fall shows: A snap judgment

Superheroes and fairy tales dominated the midseason lineup at ABC’s upfront presentation, with shows like Galavant and Marvel’s Agent Carter coming soon. “We may be a terrible network,” joked Jimmy Kimmel, “but we are a great birthday party for a 6-year-old.” But for fall, ABC stuck to the basics: broad comedies, police procedurals, and Shonda Rhimes, whom ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee described as the Charles Dickens of our generation. Her latest show, How to Get Away With Murder, isn’t exactly Great Expectations, but it might be the only new ABC series worth watching. Quick takes on the others follow below. READ FULL STORY

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