‘If We Shock Other Black People, Then Everybody Will Love It’: ‘Snowfall’ Series Renewed For Season 2

Written by Dana Sanchez

The TV series, “Snowfall,” which chronicles the infancy of the crack epidemic in 1983, has been renewed for a second season on FX, further cementing producer John Singleton’s transition from film to TV.

Singleton’s drama, which airs the sixth episode tonight in the 10-episode first season, has averaged 5 million total viewers per episode, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The series premiere ranks in the top five of most key demographics among all new cable drama premieres in 2017 including the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 (fourth), adults 18-34 (fourth) and adults 25-54 (fifth). The premiere ranks No. 8 in total viewers.

Here’s a synopsis of the series from Shadow and Act:

Los Angeles 1983. A storm is coming and its name is crack. “Snowfall” is a one-hour drama set against the infancy of the crack cocaine epidemic and its ultimate radical impact on the culture as we know it. The story follows numerous characters on a violent collision course, including: Franklin Saint (Damson Idris), young street entrepreneur on a quest for power; Gustavo “El Oso” Zapata (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), a Mexican wrestler caught up in a power struggle within a crime family; Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson), a CIA operative running from a dark past who begins an off-book operation to fund the Nicaraguan Contras and Lucia Villanueva (Emily Rios), the self-possessed daughter of a Mexican crime lord.

Singleton’s 1991 movie, “Boyz n the Hood,” made him, at age 24, the first African-American director and the youngest director ever to be nominated for an Oscar.

He’s also behind the movies “Rosewood,” “Baby Boy” and “Shaft.” His foray into TV includes directing episodes of Fox’s “Empire” and Showtime’s “Billions,” and he got an Emmy nod for “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX) in 2016. Now the 49-year-old is executive-producing two new series: “Rebel” (BET) and “Snowfall.”

Singleton worked on “Snowfall” for three years and brought it to Showtime before the series arrived at FX Networks, premiering on July 9, Chicago Defender reported. Singleton drew from his own life and experiences in South Central Los Angeles. “I was trying to figure out– when I brought it to television—how to create a world that was self-contained,” he said.

Singleton and cast members of the show traveled around the country to promote the series, stopping at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, Dallas and Chicago.

Singleton talked about why he likes working in TV in a July 13 Essence interview.

“I get to make a ‘movie’ weekly, and with film you’re lucky if you get to make one every year or two years. With TV, you’re on the floor every week—seeing stuff happen, working with the scripts and working with actors—and it’s great. (Also with TV) viewers don’t want the okie-doke anymore. They want that authenticity. “Atlanta” and “Insecure” were two of last year’s best programs and they don’t pull punches.

The Black people behind the shows and writing them are the real deal. For too long, there were people in the writers’ rooms who weren’t people of color. They were interested in Black culture, but they were afraid to go there because it could be considered racist. Black people don’t have cultural filters. The hardest thing to do as a Black person is to shock other Black people. I’ve always thought that if we shock other Black people, then everybody will love it.”


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