Strong Black Sitcoms: Yes, You Can Watch Some of Your Fave ’90s and ’00s Black TV Shows on Netflix Soon

Remember when United Paramount Network (UPN) was considered a Black mecca for TV shows back in the day? Well, nowadays, the ‘N’ stands for Netflix because it looks like the popular streaming platform is trying to recreate a little bit of that magic!

Netflix has acquired the rights to stream MoeshaThe Game (Seasons 1-3), Sister, SisterGirlfriendsThe ParkersHalf & Half and One on One! The stars from each of the nostalgic TV shows shared a message to celebrate the huge news (and cherish the impact their respective shows have made on the Black community), including Tracee Ellis Ross, Essence Atkins, Flex Alexander, Pooch Hall, Tamera Mowry-Housley and more!

This is not only a huge deal for the culture but also a huge deal for the streaming platform to be able to acquire all of these shows. I know fans typically bombard the mentions of the Netflix/Strong Black Lead teams to secure our beloved Black-ass content but licensing it is no easy feat. As Netflix Editorial Manager (and historic Beyoncé retweeter) Jasmyn Lawson noted, this announcement was many months (and much money, I’m sure) in the making.

Here’s how it works: Per Netflix’s own website, “Netflix partners with content providers to license streaming rights for a variety of TV shows and movies.”

Investopedia breaks down the process:

Licensing in the realm of online streaming content is defined as the process of obtaining permission from the owner of a TV show or movie to stream its content through a service such as Netflix. A licensing agreement is established under the terms of a legally binding contract between the content owners and Netflix, and each agreement varies based on the needs of the content owner and Netflix.

For instance, the owner of a TV show could agree to allow Netflix to stream all seasons of that show in full through its online platform for one, three or five years. The licensing agreement can be renegotiated after the set time period ends, or Netflix could drop the show from its library if viewer interest is not high enough to warrant the cost.

A content owner may offer a similar deal on the same TV show to a competing streaming service, such as Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, making the licensing agreement between each company and the owner non-exclusive. Licensing agreements that are not exclusive to a single streaming platform are less expensive to obtain.

So, yeah that’s a lot of jargon, contracts, cash, negotiating and more to be had. It’s not as simple as Netflix bosses knocking on the desk a la House of Cards’ Francis Underwood and making magic happen—it’s a whole arduous process! So…I know we typically chill when watching Netflix, but this is no time to chill! This is not a drill!

The drop dates are below. Mark your calendars, accordingly:

Moesha – Aug. 1

The Game S1-3 – Aug. 15

Sister Sister – Sept. 1

Girlfriends – Sept. 11

The Parkers – Oct. 1

Half & Half – Oct. 15

One on One – Oct. 15

While y’all do that, I’ll be over here singing (or humming, in the case of the shows with instrumentals) the theme song from each and every one of these listed TV shows.

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Nathan Odige