The Parent 'Hood
The Parent 'Hood is an American sitcom television series that aired on The WB from January 18, 1995, to July 25, 1999. The series starred Robert Townsend and Suzzanne Douglas. Originally to be titled Father Knows Nothing (a parody of the title of the 1950s sitcom Father Knows Best), the series was one of the four sitcoms that aired as part of the original Wednesday-night two-hour lineup that helped launch The WB network (along with The Wayans Bros., Unhappily Ever After, and the short-lived Muscle).
|The Parent 'Hood|
|Theme music composer||Monty Seward|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||90 (list of episodes)|
|Camera setup||Videotape; Multi-camera|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution|
|Original network||The WB|
|Original release||January 18, 1995 –|
July 25, 1999
The series is about the Petersons, an upper-middle-class black family in Harlem, New York City. Robert Peterson (Robert Townsend) is a college professor at New York University and his wife Jerri (Suzzanne Douglas) is a law student, and they are trying to balance their lives, their work, and their four kids. The eldest two, 16-year-old Michael (Kenny Blank) and 15-year-old Zaria (Reagan Gomez-Preston), are eager to spread their wings, experiment, and avoid being seen with their not-quite-cool parents. Nicholas (Curtis Williams) is a bright-eyed eight-year-old who has discovered the joys of mischief. Four-year-old Cece (Ashli Amari Adams) is the darling of the family. Robert's childhood buddy Wendell (Faizon Love) offers his own unique viewpoint. Robert's love for his kids, combined with his vivid imagination (prompting frequent fantasy sequences) and impulsive energy, propels him to do extraordinary things on their behalf as he continually dreams up nontraditional solutions to traditional family problems. Many critics from news organizations such as the Associated Press and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution often referred to the show as The Cosby Show of the 1990s.
Throughout its 5-season run, each season brought cast changes, some unexplained. Carol Woods, who played Mrs. Wilcox, the housekeeper and Wendell's mother, left the series after the first season, along with Bobby McGee, who played one of Robert's childhood friends. Faizon Love, a recurring character in season one, became a regular in season two. At the end of the third season, Kenny Blank, who played Michael Peterson, left the series; at the beginning of the next season his character was explained to be off at college. Blank's departure also saw the exits of Nigel Thatch, who had played Zaria's militant but loveable boyfriend Shakeim, and Tasha Scott, who was Zaria's friend and the lead singer in Michael's band. Season three ended with an unexplained cliffhanger, with Shakeim starting Morehouse College early-admission and Skye (Shyheim), another member of Michael's band, confessing his feelings for Zaria. Shakeim decides to stay and attend NYU in the fall instead; as Zaria and Skye discuss it, Shakeim walks into the room and Zaria runs upstairs. Tyrone Dorzell Burton was introduced as streetwise kid T.K. in the season-four premiere, which focused on him and his situation. Hollywood Insider reported that WB was cancelling the series in May 1998, leaving another cliffhanger, but the network gave the series a last-minute 13-episode renewal for midseason. Faizon Love left at that time and Kelly Perine was brought on as Robert's brother Kelly.
The later seasonsEdit
The show took a different turn at the beginning of the 1997-1998 season: Michael (Blank) was written out of the series with his absence explained as him going off to college, and a troubled teenager from juvenile hall, T.K., joined the household. T.K.'s father (Richard Lawson) was an ex-convict, and his mother (Bern Nadette Stanis) was a drug addict who literally left him on the street. Jerri was the only person who didn't give up on T.K. and welcomed him into her home, even though Robert did not think it was a good idea. During this season, more teenage storylines were employed including domestic abuse, peer pressure and Robert reaching out to many of T.K.'s street friends trying to help them change their lives; one character, "Boo" (played by the rapper Da Brat), gets her high-school diploma thanks to Robert and T.K.
In the 1997-98 fourth-season finale, T.K. gets into a fight with several thugs (including Tyrese Gibson), and Robert tries to talk him out the situation. Robert and T.K. leave and the thugs fire a gun, ending the episode on a cliffhanger. The show's final season was placed on hiatus after this episode and didn't return until May 30, 1999, a year after the season finale aired. In the fifth season's first episodes, Jerri has finally had enough of T.K. due to the shooting, but before he moves out of the house, he and family check on Robert, who has fallen into a coma; in the coma, Robert meets guardian angel Max (Barry Sobel), who convinces Robert to change his mind about the shooting and T.K; when Robert awakens, all is forgiven. In later episodes, T.K. tries to get his act together and sees his mom again; he decides he wants to move back in with her, but she relapses back into substance abuse and the Petersons tell T.K. their home is always open to him. In the last episode, which was not produced or written as the last episode, Jerri and Robert renew their wedding vows and the cast dances a Soul Train line into the final commercial break.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||January 18, 1995||May 17, 1995|
|2||22||September 4, 1995||May 15, 1996|
|3||22||September 8, 1996||May 18, 1997|
|4||22||September 7, 1997||May 17, 1998|
|5||11||May 30, 1999||July 25, 1999|
- Robert Townsend as Robert Peterson, a college professor and strict-disciplinarian father.
- Suzzanne Douglas as Geraldine "Jerri" Peterson, a law student and mother of four kids.
- Kenny Blank as Michael Peterson (seasons 1–3)
- Reagan Gomez-Preston as Zaria Peterson
- Curtis Williams as Nicholas Peterson
- Ashli Amari Adams as Cecilia "CeCe" Peterson
- Bobby McGee as Derek Sawyer (season 1)
- Carol Woods as Mrs. Wilcox (season 1)
- Faizon Love as Wendell Wilcox (seasons 2–4, main; 1, recurring)
- Tyrone Dorzell Burton as T.K. Anderson (seasons 4–5)
- Kelly Perine as Kelly Peterson (season 5)
In September 1999, The Parent 'Hood began in off-network syndication, with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution handling its syndication. At the same time, Chicago-based national cable superstation WGN began airing reruns of it, with the series airing until 2002 (when its broadcast syndication run also ended); both the local Chicago feed and the national superstation feed of WGN aired The Wayans Bros. in first-run form from 1995 to 1999, when WGN aired WB programming nationally to make The WB available to markets where a local affiliate did not exist (The Parent 'Hood is one of four WB series to air on WGN in first-run and syndication form; The Wayans Bros., 7th Heaven and Sister, Sister are the others). Episodes aired on TBS from 2002 to 2007 as well as TV One. In January 2015, Bounce TV began airing reruns of the series. In September 2018, episodes began to air on Starz.
- Coe, Steve (August 15, 1994). "It's Comedy for WB Network". Broadcasting & Cable (via HighBeam Research). Archived from the original on 2012-11-05.
- "Robert Townsend Gives Positive View of Black Family on The Parent 'Hood". JET Magazine. January 29, 1996.