Best "New Jack Swing" sitcoms!

by thepoet21 | created - 20 Oct 2012 | updated - 31 Oct 2012 | Public

The "New Jack Swing" movement in the 90s dominated the culture; a mix of hip hop ghetto swagger and middle class refinement. Throughout the 90s this would inspire many sitcoms, variety shows, movies and talk shows. This list includes the dominate new jack sitcoms. Though now the new jack sitcom fizzled and was replaced by reality TV, its impact lives on in the form of reruns!

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1. The Cosby Show (1984–1992)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

The goings-on in the life of a successful African-American family.

Stars: Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Votes: 31,279

Cosby tops the list. Though Cosby is far from a "New Jack", without his show there would not have been any of these other shows on at all. Cosby changed history for black people on television, and paved the way for all the shows that follow.

2. 227 (1985–1990)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

This series took place in an apartment building numbered 227. The cast would frequently be sitting outside on a large set of stone stairs, involved in some discussion that would unfold into the weekly plotline.

Stars: Helen Martin, Marla Gibbs, Hal Williams, Alaina Reed-Hall

Votes: 2,690

Although not entirely New Jack either, this show birthed Regina King and also lended to the format as well.

3. Martin (1992–1997)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Sassy sitcom centering on radio and television personality Martin Payne. Series focuses on his romantic relationship with girlfriend Gina, her best friend Pam and escapades with best friends Tommy and Cole.

Stars: Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Thomas Mikal Ford, Carl Anthony Payne II

Votes: 7,639

Martin was a revolution! He kicked down the doors and gave America the personification of "New Jack"!

4. Living Single (1993–1998)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Follows the lives of several single male and female roommates and friends in 1990s Brooklyn, New York.

Stars: Queen Latifah, Kim Coles, Erika Alexander, John Henton

Votes: 4,410

With Living Single it just got better. Young, hip and urban, this personified "New Jack" from the theme song to the excellent cast.

5. Sister, Sister (1994–1999)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell are twins separated at birth who learn of each other's existence and come together as teenagers.

Stars: Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Jackée Harry, Tim Reid

Votes: 11,185

2 young twins growing up in New Jack America, nothing distinct abouth them but they were pretty cute!

6. Family Matters (1989–1998)

TV-G | 30 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

The Winslow family deal with various misadventures, many of them caused by their pesky next-door neighbor, ultra-nerd Steve Urkel.

Stars: Reginald VelJohnson, Jaleel White, Kellie Shanygne Williams, Darius McCrary

Votes: 24,637

The show started out on some kid stuff and then got a little funkier in the end. Even the fuddy duddy non New Jack network CBS picked this up when the show ended, a milestone indeed!

7. Moesha (1996–2001)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

A teenager struggles to come to terms with everything life throws at her.

Stars: Brandy Norwood, William Allen Young, Marcus T. Paulk, Lamont Bentley

Votes: 3,229

Young black teen singer (now full grown hot babe) coming of age in New Jack America, a common theme throughout the 90s. Being black in America was changing!

8. A Different World (1987–1993)

TV-PG | 60 min | Comedy

A group of students at a historically Black university struggle to make it through college.

Stars: Lisa Bonet, Kadeem Hardison, Jasmine Guy, Darryl M. Bell

Votes: 5,659

School Daze introduced the world of the HBCU, this show put it in everybody's face, as this world was pretty much a mystery until now. A perfect document of HBCUs in the New Jack era!

9. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–1996)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

A streetwise, poor young man from Philadelphia is sent by his mother to live with his aunt, uncle and cousins in their Bel-Air mansion.

Stars: Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali

Votes: 121,377

Former rapper turned actor Will is an icon, along with Martin, of the New Jack Swing era. He set the tone for what would later be called "swagger."

10. In Living Color (1990–2006)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy

The Wayans siblings present an African-American focused sketch comedy show.

Stars: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, Kelly Coffield Park, David Alan Grier

Votes: 9,564

New Jack Swing variety show not really a sitcom, but brief and just hit you with that New Jack Swing humor. Family friendly but edgy. You never saw this many funny black people on TV before!

11. Malcolm & Eddie (1996–2000)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Malcolm McGee is a responsible and sensible twenty-something who ends up sharing a Kansas City apartment and a business venture with relentlessly enthusiastic tow truck owner Eddie Sherman.... See full summary »

Stars: Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Eddie Griffin, Karen Malina White, Jaime Cardriche

Votes: 1,280

Theo from Cosby grew up, and Eddie, a Def Comedy Jam alum, came together and lived life as 20 something New Jack brothers!

12. The Wayans Bros. (1995–1999)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The wacky escapades of brothers Shawn and Marlon Williams, along with their wise but eccentric father.

Stars: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, John Witherspoon, Anna Maria Horsford

Votes: 4,393

The youngest of the Wayans clan delivered comedy that was more of a hip hop vibe, but that was what the New Jack was about, hip hop swagger that could appeal to middle class sensibilities.

13. The Sinbad Show (1993–1994)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Family

David (Sinbad) is a single foster father for Zana and LJ, and he's very new to the game. He learns as much from the children as they learn from him.

Stars: Sinbad, T.K. Carter, Erin Davis, Ray J

Votes: 375

Showtime at the Apollo and Different World alum Sinbad carried his own on this sitcom but this didn't last. He embodies a more milder and palpable New Jack Swing vibe. No cussing but he's still funny.

14. The Jamie Foxx Show (1996–2001)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Jamie King (Jamie Foxx) is an aspiring actor from Terrell, Texas, who has come to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment. To support himself, he works in his family's hotel, the ... See full summary »

Stars: Jamie Foxx, Garrett Morris, Garcelle Beauvais, Christopher B. Duncan

Votes: 2,703

Jamie was cool, but I really loved seeing the irresistible Garcelle Beauvais, and back then you could see her beauty was beyond words. She really lit up the screen! For me, at least.

15. My Wife and Kids (2001–2005)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Michael Kyle longs for a traditional life, but his day-trader wife Janet, gangsta rap-worshipping son Michael Jr., and brooding daughters Claire and Kady make his dream just that ... a dream.

Stars: Damon Wayans, Tisha Campbell-Martin, George Gore II, Parker McKenna Posey

Votes: 25,209

New Jack came of age? 2 bright stars from the New Jack era settled down, having kids, picking up where Cosby left off.

16. The Bernie Mac Show (2001–2006)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

A stand up comedian suddenly becomes a father when he takes custody of his sister's three children.

Stars: Bernie Mac, Kellita Smith, Jeremy Suarez, Dee Dee Davis

Votes: 6,915

Who would have thought that the outstanding comedian who jumped onto the stage of Def Comedy Jam, saying "I ain't scared of you m------s" wearing his New Jack style gear, bopping to rap music, would get big enough to get his own show. RIP.

17. Girlfriends (2000–2008)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

A look at the lives, loves, and losses of four different women, Toni, Maya, Lynn, and Joan.

Stars: Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White, Reginald C. Hayes

Votes: 3,738

Though I think this was supposed to replace "Living Single", it was a good attempt, and held my interest for a few seasons. But it just wasn't the same.

18. The Steve Harvey Show (1996–2002)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

A former funk star named Steve Hightower enlists as a high school music teacher away from his original career in Chicago.

Stars: Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, Merlin Santana, William Lee Scott

Votes: 2,620

Classic New Jack humor by one of the oldest purveyors of the "New Jack" era. He lived it! With his boy Cedric, he just knew how to make people laugh.

19. The Game (2006–2015)

TV-14 | 21 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A spinoff of Girlfriends (2000) featuring a group of women who all have relationships with professional football players.

Stars: Hosea Chanchez, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Coby Bell, Pooch Hall

Votes: 3,926

Much like "Girlfriends", this came after the New Jack era was gone. The show lent itself to that, but now it has gotten a bit trashy since it got on BET. The problem with this show is that without that New Jack vibe, nobody cared about it.

20. Everybody Hates Chris (2005–2009)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

A young African-American teen attempts to survive with his dysfunctional family and his all-white school in the 1980s.

Stars: Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, Tequan Richmond, Imani Hakim

Votes: 34,069

I hesitated to put this on the list, but Chris Rock is a product of the New Jack era (having had his first major role in "New Jack City"), and the mother was played by one of the vets from the Martin show, so not only is this a New Jack show, this might be the last of them. The genre is now gone.

21. In the House (1995–1999)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Once famous football player must rent part of his house in order to support himself. A single mother and her two kids are the latest tenants. He also owns a sports clinic that he barely manages to run with a little help from his friends.

Stars: LL Cool J, Maia Campbell, Alfonso Ribeiro, Kim Wayans

Votes: 967

This to me was a New Jack variation of the 80s syndicated sitcom "Who's The Boss" but just with a different racial makeup, and less of a connection between LL and Debbie Allen. I loved Maia, this was her in her prime before the drugs.

22. Roc (1991–1994)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

Roc Emerson, a city garbage collector, balances the pressures of work with the everyday crises of family life in an effort to do what he thinks is best for his wife and kids. Most of the ... See full summary »

Stars: Charles S. Dutton, Ella Joyce, Rocky Carroll, Carl Gordon

Votes: 1,193

This live TV show was a bit more on the working class side, stripped down reality dealing with social issues as experienced by a simple man. A New Jack version of Archie Bunker without the bigotry, maybe?

23. Smart Guy (1997–1999)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

A 10-year-old genius goes from elementary school to high school.

Stars: Tahj Mowry, John Marshall Jones, Jason Weaver, Omar Gooding

Votes: 4,523

A New Jack version of Doogie Howser? What surprised me most was that the main character is in real life the brother of the girls from Sister,Sister!

24. Half & Half (2002–2006)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy

Mona and Dee Dee are half-sisters who share the same father. They are completely unlike each other, but they live in the same apartment building, so disagreements are common.

Stars: Essence Atkins, Rachel True, Chico Benymon, Valarie Pettiford

Votes: 1,471

Much like the show "Girlfriends", this seemed to be another variation of the classic show "Living Single". Much like Girlfriends, it just didn't have the impact of its predecessor.

25. Cuts (2005–2006)

60 min | Comedy

Kevin, the son of the former owner, and Tiffany, the daughter of the current owner, team up to manage a hair salon/day spa, in this spinoff to "One on One."

Stars: Shannon Elizabeth, Shondrella Avery, Rashaan Nall, Edward Fordham Jr.

Votes: 235

26. Romeo! (2003–2006)

TV-Y7 | Comedy, Family

Romeo finds out what it means to be a good friend, even if it means breaking the law.

Stars: Zachary Isaiah Williams, Master P, Erica O'Keith, Noel Callahan

Votes: 479

Well, even though Master P is more "dirty South gangsta", he really couldn't be "Bout It" on his show; you think Nickelodeon execs would have put up with those kind of antics? So, he had to take the "New Jack" format to make it somewhat palpable to the mainstream, and it lasted for more than one season. I still couldn't get past some of the lyrics I have heard him say, but it was rather entertaining nonetheless.

27. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper (1992–1997)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Sport

American comedy with the larger-than-life teacher and his housemates.

Stars: Mark Curry, Holly Robinson Peete, Sandra Quarterman, Marquise Wilson

Votes: 2,668

28. Soul Food (2000–2004)

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama

The everyday life and problems of the Josephs, a black family living in Chicago, Illinois.

Stars: Rockmond Dunbar, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Aaron Meeks, Nicole Ari Parker

Votes: 935

A serious show, but had some New Jackisms in it....

29. True Colors (1990–1992)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

A newly wedded middle-class interracial blended family deals with life's issues with love and humor.

Stars: Claude Brooks, Brigid Brannagh, Adam Jeffries, Nancy Walker

Votes: 142

30. One on One (2001–2006)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy

A sportscaster must take on the responsibility of being a full-time dad when his teenage daughter moves in with him.

Stars: Kyla Pratt, Robert Ri'chard, Flex Alexander, Kelly Perine

Votes: 1,931

31. The Parkers (1999–2004)

TV-PG | 20 min | Comedy

Nikki decides to go to school to get her degree so she can go to Santa Monica college.

Stars: Mo'Nique, Dorien Wilson, Countess Vaughn, Jenna von Oÿ

Votes: 1,943

32. Out All Night (1992–1993)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Sitcom about a singer who runs an L.A. nightclub, a young graduate and his irresponsible best friend and roommate, who help her, her daughter and their Scottish neighbor. Set in the same universe as the Fresh Prince from Bel-Air.

Stars: Patti LaBelle, Morris Chestnut, Vivica A. Fox, Duane Martin

Votes: 141

33. South Central (1994)

30 min | Comedy

Joan Mosley, tries to raise her two children in a troubled neighborhood after a son is killed. Andre is 17, is attracted to the wealthy Nicole and hangs with buddy Rashad. Tasha is her studious daughter and Deion her mute foster child.

Stars: Tina Lifford, Larenz Tate, Tasha Scott, Keith Mbulo

Votes: 208

34. City Guys (1997–2001)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Comedy

Manhattan High School students Jamal Grant and Chris Anderson try to make it through life while avoiding the ire of their principal Karen Noble.

Stars: Wesley Jonathan, Scott Whyte, Caitlin Mowrey, Dionysio Basco

Votes: 601

35. Between Brothers (1997–1999)

30 min | Comedy

Charles and James Winston are young, good looking brothers with conflicting differences. Charles is a workaholic journalist, and James is a fun playboy. They have two friends from college, ... See full summary »

Stars: Kadeem Hardison, Dondré T. Whitfield, Kelly Perine, Rachael Crawford

Votes: 77

36. All of Us (2003–2007)

30 min | Comedy

The estranged wife of a television reporter returns to invade his new life.

Stars: Duane Martin, LisaRaye McCoy, Khamani Griffin, Tony Rock

Votes: 1,281

37. The Parent 'Hood (1995–1999)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

A college professor copes with contemporary fatherhood.

Stars: Robert Townsend, Suzzanne Douglas, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Curtis Williams

Votes: 951

38. Eve (2003–2006)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Following Eve and her group of friends as they experience the highs and lows of life.

Stars: Eve, Jason George, Ali Landry Monteverde, Natalie Desselle Reid

Votes: 941

39. Getting Personal (1998– )

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Getting Personal was an American sitcom starring Vivica A. Fox as the new Creative Director of Chicago-based advertisement company, and the boss of a guy she knew from a bad date, played by ... See full summary »

Stars: Vivica A. Fox, Duane Martin, Jon Cryer, Elliott Gould

Votes: 36

40. The Hughleys (1998–2002)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Darryl Hughley, who owns his own vending machine business, moving out of from South Central to West Hills, a predominately white neighborhood within the San Fernando Valley. Darryl and his ... See full summary »

Stars: D.L. Hughley, Elise Neal, Eric Allan Kramer, John Henton

Votes: 703

41. For Your Love (1998–2002)

30 min | Comedy

Focused on three couples who try to counsel each other on how to deal with the opposite sex.

Stars: Holly Robinson Peete, James Lesure, Tamala Jones, Dedee Pfeiffer

Votes: 233

42. Grown Ups (1999–2000)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Follows the lives of three post-college friends who are coming to terms with adulthood.

Stars: Jaleel White, Dave Ruby, Marissa Ribisi, Bumper Robinson

Votes: 75

43. Homeboys in Outer Space (1996–1997)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

Straight-laced Morris Clay and fun-loving Tyberius Walker are two Han Solo wannabes who fly around the galaxy in the Space Hoopty, a used starship that looks like a winged car and comes ... See full summary »

Stars: Flex Alexander, Darryl M. Bell, Rhona Bennett, Kevin Michael Richardson

Votes: 226

44. My Brother and Me (1994–1995)

TV-Y | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Alfie and Dee-Dee experience how life affects them with different aspects each day, such as learning life lessons.

Stars: Arthur Reggie III, Ralph Woolfolk IV, Jimmy Lee Newman, Aisling Sistrunk

Votes: 829

45. Kenan & Kel (1996–2000)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Kenan and Kel: two best friends who live in Chicago are always dragged down by Kenan's yet rich quick schemes while orange soda-loving buddy Kel is dragged along but tends to mess things up.

Stars: Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Ken Foree, Teal Marchande

Votes: 14,108

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