Minorities Finally Get Lead Roles in TV Dramas

This year's network pilots include four with non-white stars
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2010 8:36 PM CST
Laz Alonso will star in 'Breakout Kings' on Fox.   (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
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(Newser) – The upcoming crop of pilots for network TV offers hope that the industry taboo against minority leads in dramas can finally be put to rest. Four of the most high-profile projects in the works feature non-white actors, notes the Hollywood Reporter, including Forest Whitaker in a spinoff of Criminal Minds for CBS.

Only one such pilot surfaced last year—LL Cool J in NCIS: Los Angeles, which has been a runaway hit—and none the year before that. Except for LL Cool J and Jimmy Smits of NYPD Blue years ago, examples are hard to find. In addition to Whitaker, this year's entries include Laz Alonso in Breakout Kings on Fox, Freddie Rodriguez in Chaos on CBS, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Boris Kodjoe as spy partners in NBC's Undercovers.

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